Native Village 

Youth and Education News

June 23, 2004,  Issue 136 Volume 4

"Don't ever make fun of each other. Don't ever put down another Indian person. In this world, we have enough people outside to put us down. We can change that, and the change will come with you young people that are here today." Dave Anderson, Ojibwa

Weavers receive recognition at bi-annual sale
TOADLENA, NM--The master weavers of the Toadlena-Two Grey Hills area are aging Navajo women who live simple lives in the Chuska Mountains. Their world-reknown art -- single and double-diamond design rugs -- are the product of traditions passed on by their mothers and grandmothers.  Because the rugs are sold to tourists and collectors, the weavers rarely receive the recognition deserved for their work. To honor them, Mark Winter holds a bi-yearly festival at his historic Toadlena Trading Post and Weaving Museum.  “I used to sell old chief’s blankets for $150,000, but these were anonymous, they were just Navajo, you didn’t know who made the blanket. This is an attempt to get [the weavers] recognized,” Winter said. This year, several hundred people gathered to view the rugs and meet the weavers. April Greenan and Doug Wolf, who traveled from Salt Lake City for the event, compared it to meeting great artists. “These rugs are exquisite. These women are Rembrandts and Monets,” Greenan said. “When we tell people about this place, we tell them it’s in the middle of nowhere, but it’s like standing in the Louvre.”

At this event, nature and art meet commerce
Indianapolis, Indiana. The Eiteljorg Museum's annual Indian Market will be held June 26 and 27.  More than 185 North American Indian artists from nearly 70 tribes will display jewelry, pottery, paintings, drums, baskets, beaded items, textiles and more. In addition to visual artists, the Indian Market features dancers, drummers and other performers. This years participants include artist Tony Abeyta (Navajo-Diné); weaver Marty Gradolf, Winnebago; sculptor Ed Archie Noisecat, Salish/Shuswap/Stlitlimx; and musician Robert Mirabal, Taos Pueblo.The Eiteljorg's Indian Market is the largest Native American art fair in the Midwest.

Violinist hits a high note
Arizona: Desert Eagle Secondary School on the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Community and the Phoenix Symphony have joined to create One Nation, funded by the National Endowment for the Arts. Symphony members sit in one-on-one lessons with the students and share their musical knowledge on a weekly basis. Recently, 17 students from the school’s advanced orchestra played along with the Phoenix Symphony at the Scottsdale Community College. The musical selection, Mozart’s four-minute "Overture to the Marriage of Figaro," was re-written to allow the DESS students an easier time. More than 200 attended the event.  "I was kind of nervous and anxious to play with them with the audience watching," said violinist Leo Norris, 15. "It was something that no other school or person hardly gets to do."

All-Indian TV channel planned
After nine years hosting the radio program “Native America Calling,” Harlan McKosato is focusing on television. McKosato believes Indian programming can sustain a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week cable and satellite channel to be called First Americans Cable Entertainment System, or FACES.  McKosato, a member of the Sac and Fox tribe of Oklahoma, and business partner Kelly Wade are seeking $2,800,000 for the initial start up fees. As they move closer to going on the air by 2007, McKosato says the investment capital will soar to about $60,000,000.

Actors Get New World Orders
Terrence Malick's new film, The New World, begins filming this July in Virgnia. The picture, which stars Colin Farrell and Christopher Plummer,  focuses on the relationship between explorer John Smith and young Indian Pocahontas. Native American actors Wes Studi , August Schellenberg, Emmy-nominee Raoul Trujillo and Michael Greyeyes  have also been cast in the project. According to reports, the film's producers went to New Zealand to cast Pocahontas. They are reportedly seeking a Maori woman.

Lakota teen hopes to portray Pocahontas in new film
Kyla Bearheels, 17, auditioned in mid-May for the part of one of the most famous indigenous women in history: Pocahontas.  The role is for an upcoming drama, "The New World" starring Colin Farrell as Captain John Smith.  Now Kyla is waiting for a phone call from Walt Disney studios to let her know if she received the part. "It's exciting," Bearheels said of the auditions. "The best part was just knowing that I had been given a chance to do something I love, which is acting." Kyla's mother, Jo Hawk-Sanders, spotted the casting call in a local newspaper. The studio was seeking a South Pacific girl with a British accent for the movie role of Pocahontas. Hawk-Sanders was angered that an Indian woman would be portrayed by an actress of a different nationality.  It was bad enough that Disney chose an Oriental Asian girl to be the model for the Disney animated film 'Pocahontas,' but now this," she said. "I sent the casting director my daughter's resume and some photos over the Internet," she said. "They fell in love with her." Kyla is a member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe member and now lives in New Zealand.

"Fightin' Whites" two years on
Two years after creating a firestorm of controversy, the "Fightin' Whites" are still calling attention to Indian mascots. The intramural basketball team at the University of Northern Colorado created the "Fighting White" mascot in 2002.  Media outlets from coast to coast reported on the team and the issue provided fodder for radio talk shows. Funds raised from donations and t-shirt and memorabilia sales allowed the team to give UNC  $100,000 for the Fightin' Whites Minority Endowment Scholarship Fund. But Jeff Van Iwarden, the only original member still attending UNC, is frustrated by the school's response. "I think we brought attention to the issue, but I don't think we brought much change," he said.  "[UNC administration] wanted nothing to do with us. It was like pulling teeth, but when things died down they accepted the money." Another $40,000 remains from the sales, but organizers may not give that money to the college. "We are looking for new ways. We discussed setting up our own type of scholarship,"  Van Iwarden said. "Possibly donating to a school that is willing to change [its mascot]. We know that is an expensive thing."

Tribe offers free youth golf clinic at Bandon Dunes
From July 9-11, the Coquille Indian Tribe Community Center will sponsor its second annual free golf clinic followed by two golf tournaments. The second-annual event is targeting twice as many youth golfers as last year--120 participants, compared to 60 in 2003. "Their big push is to get kids physically active," said Quentin Hall, an event organizer. The Nike Native American Employee Network will be volunteering with the clinic for the first time. They are sending about 30 employees to take part, while also providing cash donations, prize donations and other fundraising assistance.

Camp teaches Indian kids more than sports
BERNALILLO, N.M. Recently, nearly 40 NFL and NBA veterans and collegiate athletes taught 500 American Indian children important lessons about sports and life.  The three-day Native Vision summer camp offered instruction in football, basketball, volleyball, soccer and track while emphasizing the importance of education.  “It’s really to empower the youth and have them believe that a lot of people around this country believe in them and care about them,” said Allison Barlow from the Center for American Indian Health at John Hopkins University.  The health center and the NFL Players Association sponsor the annual event. This marks the first year the camp has been held in New Mexico.

Inter-tribal games provide fitness, culture and fun
PUYALLUP, Wash. - At 24, Angelo Baca is an accomplished American Indian filmmaker and nationally ranked cross-country runner. Now he's helping Chief Leschi kids grow strong and rich in the traditions of the past while preparing themselves for the future. Baca is a driving force in afterschool programs which include Inter-tribal games.  "Most of the games are interactive, physical and communication-based with minimal equipment as would have been done in the old days in playing tribal games," said Baca. "Play teaches kids social and cultural cohesion like cooperation, goal setting, and equality/fair play."  The games include Shinny, Athabaskan football, lacrosse and stickball. They come from different regions including the Great Lakes, Northeast, and Alaskan/Canadian. Baca makes sure the kids know his four rules before each game begins: Listen, Respect, Participate and Be Safe.
Indian Country Today

Bucktrot: Role model for determination and hard work
READING, Pa.--Keith Bucktrot is a 23-year-old right hand pitcher from Claremore, Okla.  Baseball America calls him the fourth best major league prospect in the Philadelphia Phillies minor league system. But despite a $435,000 signing bonus and the perks of being somewhat famous, nothing can replace the importance of Keith's native traditions. "I really miss participating in those [tribal] activities -- the traditional Native American dress, the green corn dance, the singing, the stickball games," Bucktrot said. "They were a big and important part of my early years."  Bucktrot said that while he is knowledgeable about Jim Thorpe, the great American Indian athlete, it Nolan Ryan whom he considers his role mode.  "I loved his attitude, his mental toughness," Keith said. "My parents [who both played fast-pitch softball] were inspirations, too, especially my Mom. I was always driven to work hard to match her work ethic." Asked if he considers himself a role model for American Indians children, Bucktrot, who is Creek/Euchee, answered quickly: "I would like to be. I've been blessed, and I would like to give something back to our people. Hopefully, by good example, I can have an impact on the life of a young Native American helping him or her realize that there are all sorts of possibilities out there if you are determined and willing to really work for them. I really want to get that message to them."
Indian Country Today

Mills back on his feet
Forty years after becoming the only American to win Olympic gold in the 10,000-meter run, Billy Mills is recovering from a rare ailment that forced him to the sidelines. In the 1970s, Mills was running in the Southwest and contracted a little-known disease found in that region -- coccidioidomycosis, or valley fever. Valley Fever is caused by fungal spores kicked up from the ground. Although it's not contagious nor serious, valley fever has flu-like symptoms that can lead to meningitis and joint pain. It had forced Mills, a Lakota Sioux, to all but give up running because of excruciating pain.  "I didn't want to tell anyone that my joints were just painful, because you're the Olympian. You don't want to say that," Mills said.  Since his recent diagnosis, medication has killed off the disease and restored Mill's body to more pain-free flexibility.  In 1964, Mills surged past two favorites in the Tokyo Olympic games to set a record -- a win that Runner's World Magazine calls the "best out-of-nowhere performance."

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