Native Village 

Youth and Education News

March 23, 2005 Issue 149 Volume 4

"We are INDIGENOUS to this land. We didn't come from China, Mongolia, Ireland or Greece.  We traveled around yes, and met other cultures and peoples, but get this:  we are indigenous "native to these lands." Although it's hard for Eurocentric Americans or Europeans to accept this, our cultures and languages are home grown. The Catholic missionaries and [those] who came over from Spain to steal and plunder couldn't--and--wouldn't believe that indigenous peoples could create a "civilization " more advanced that that in Europe at the time, so they began the process of looking to Europe for the source of inspiration for Indigenous culture here on Turtle Island."     Tom Dostou, Makwa, Midewin Society

Buffalo Captured After Two Weeks of Baiting
Montana:   For the past two weeks,  Montana Department of Livestock DOL agents have used fresh hay to bait buffalo out of the park and into a buffalo trap.  This week, the DOL captured five wild buffalo in the Duck Creek trap adjacent to Yellowstone National Park.  The captured buffalo, all bulls,  pose no risk of brucellosis transmission. Further, there will be no cattle in the area until June, by which time the buffalo will have already migrated back into the Park.   "It's ironic that we're celebrating the release of the new buffalo nickel at the same time we're capturing and killing the last wild and genetically pure buffalo as they begin their spring migration," said Mike Mease of the Buffalo Field Campaign.   "These animals have never spread brucellosis to cattle, and the fact that bulls are being captured, and may be sent to slaughter as has repeatedly happened in the past, demonstrates that this continuing buffalo war isn't about brucellosis; it's about the grass and who gets to eat it."  Much of the land surrounding Yellowstone National Park - the Gallatin National Forest - was set aside by Congress as wildlife habitat, yet the buffalo are not allowed to access it.   They are the only species not allowed to leave the park, even though there are no cattle present during the times of year. Their instincts carry them into Montana.

Animal activists fight to save wild horses from slaughter
Nevada: An estimated 37,000 wild horses, often called mustangs, roam free on rangelands in the western United States. "America's wild horses belong to all Americans. They are our heritage and you are their voice,'' said Robin Lohnes, executive director of the American Horse Protective Association.  But a new law, dubbed "the slaughter bill" by wild-horse advocates, lifts some protections of the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burro Act.  The amendment, slipped into a spending bill by Sen. Conrad Burns, R-Montana, allows the Bureau of Land Management to sell horses older than 10 years of age, and whose fate can end at the slaughterhouse.   But horse advocates argue that the BLM is not doing enough to solve issues of overpopulation. In 2001, the federal government funded a study to determine the best way to manage wild horses. The 300-plus page Fleishman Hillard report laid out acceptable ideas. ''It was a fabulous study,'' said Laurie Howard, vice president of the horse association. ''If the BLM had done just half of what was recommended in that report we wouldn't be having this conversation.'' In 2003, 35,000 horses were killed in two Texas slaughterhouses,  and thousands of others were exported to Canada, EPN said. The three horse slaughterhouses located in the United States are all foreign-owned.
American Horse Protective Agency:

Drought could leave Indian reservation in South Dakota without water
South Dakota: Some 14,000 residents of the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation could run out of water by August because of a drought along the Missouri River basin.    "It will be more than just running out of water for a couple of days," said Wayne Ducheneaux, a tribal official.  "There will be 14,000 people that have no water whatsoever."  Poverty on the reservation is complicating the matter, said Rebecca Kidder, a lawyer for the tribe.  "Any time you're dealing with that kind of poverty, there aren't as many options for moving, or even buying bottled water," Kidder said.  "People don't have the funds, they don't have the resources to travel to (water) distribution points." The tribe's list of potential problems stretches from health concerns to fire fighting.  The reservation's schools and its only hospital and clinic would have to close.    The tribe has asked for help from the Army Corps of Engineers, which is expected to do an evaluation soon.

Choctaws’ Hay Stacks Up
Oklahoma: After several good hay baling seasons, the Choctaw Nation has been able to store more than enough hay for their tribally owned livestock.  Now the extra hay has been hauled to the drought-stricken Navajo Nation reservation. The surplus hay enabled one tribe to help out another in need, said Jack Pate, Choctaw.  "We try to keep in contact with other tribes."  In addition to buffalo, the Choctaw Nation raises Pinto ponies and longhorn cattle.  Last year, it cut 3,500 of the nearly one ton, rolled bales.  
The Tulsa World

Senate approves drilling in the Arctic Refuge
The Senate has passed a budget resolution that calls for oil development in the Arctic National Wildlife refuge.  For decades, the oil industry has sought access to what is believed to be billions of barrels of oil beneath the 1,500,000 acre coastal plain on Alaska's northeast coast.  But environmentalists have fought this development, arguing that pipelines and drilling platforms would harm calving caribou, polar bears and millions of migratory birds. Sen. John Kerry says Congress would save more oil by enacting energy policies focusing on conservation, more efficient cars and trucks and renewable fuels. "The fact is (drilling in ANWR) is going to be destructive," said Kerry. Drilling supporters say ANWR could supply up to 1,000,000 barrels day, but would not impact soaring oil prices and tight supplies. The first lease sales would not be issued until 2007. "We won't see this oil for 10 years. It will have minimal impact," argued  Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash. It is "foolish to say oil development and a wildlife refuge can coexist," she said.
How did your senator vote?

(Click image for credits and full size picture)

Student revives Indian farming
New York: Rowen White, who was born and lived on the Akwesasne reservation near Potsdam, N.Y, is trying to adapt traditional Native American farming to commercial agriculture.  Her experiment, called the Three Sisters project, refers to the Native American tradition of corn, beans, and squash as the three sisters of the Earth. Traditionally planted in circular mounds instead of rows, the corn gives shade and support to the beans, which grow up the corn stalks like a vine. In the soil, the beans transform nitrogen into a form that the corn can use. The squash acts as ground cover, keeping down weeds. "They're helping each other out," White said. "You're working with nature -- and not against it."  While White has planted ancient strains of crop seeds in rows, she has also planted them as did her ancestors. Researchers have established that, under certain conditions, polyculture (planting in groups) can give equal yields to monoculture (planting in rows). Stephen Gliessman, an agricultural ecologist at the University of California, said monoculture is more susceptible to predators and needs more fertilizer and pesticide. "From an ecological standpoint, most monoculture systems are out of balance," he said/

Idaho: Daniel Hidalgo and Victor Bruha have discovered  two clever ways to utilize buffalo dung: creating artwork and manufacturing paper. "As artists, we are always looking for interesting and unique ways of expressing ourselves," Daniel said.  "And with our twisted senses of humor, we decided this might be the way to do it." Bruha and Hidalgo just recently started a company called Dung and Dunger. First, they sanitize the dung. Next, they mix it with small amounts of shredded paper to give it strength. Then the substance is placed into a vat of water. Particles are gathered with a screen, sponged and ready to dry. It takes about 6 hours to make one sheet.  "Of course, that includes our sanitation, all those types of things," said artist Victor Bruha." We insist everything must be cleaned."  Both artists are outdoor enthusiasts and spend much of their time exploring the back country. Daniel Hidalgo, artist: "When we go out and pick up the bison dung, you have to be selective because you want something that's dried in the sun and hard. Anything fresh will be gooey." The two artists are finalizing another method of paper making using elk dung.
View paper, art, and learn more:

WCMU receives tribal money to film documentary, aid conversion
The Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians has granted $151,000 to WCMU, the PBS station owned by Central Michigan University. $101,000 will be used to produce a documentary for local schools about the tribe’s history. The remaining monies will be used to upgrade the station's equipment. The money comes from gambling revenues. The Tribal Council will distribute a total of  $1,045,822 to 64 applicants.

Cowlitz tribe hoping track will be built
Washington: The Cowlitz Indian tribe met with International Speedway Corp. to propose a plan for building a NASCAR race track. "The goal is to help a distressed county create some economic development that would allow people to come back to work and also complement our casino in northern Clark County," said David Barnett. ISC officials say the site must be located within 50 miles of Seattle, WA, or Portland Oregon, include 800 acres for retail shops, parking, and a track seating 75,000, . At least 20,000 hotel rooms must be nearby the track.,1413,207~28811~2743820,00.html

Chief opponents file lawsuit

Illinois: The Illinois Native American Bar Association and two American Indians are suing the University of Illinois Board of Trustees. The lawsuit claims that the University's mascot, Chief Illiniwek, demeans American Indians and violates the Illinois Civil Rights Act of 2003 . "The Native American community has waited long enough for the board to act on its own," said Richard Hutchison, member of the INABA. "We came to the conclusion that (the Chief) would never be abolished -- not in the near future, anyhow."  Hutchison, an American Indian, said was an undergraduate at the University in the 1960s and supported the Chief.  "I loved the Chief," Hutchison said. "I thought the Chief honored us." However, after he graduated, he met other American Indians who showed him a different view of the Chief. "My thoughts were transformed," he said.  University spokesman Tom Hardy disputed the lawsuit's claims. "The University of Illinois complies with state and federal laws ... as well as the University's own non-discrimination policy," Hardy said. "In addition, the University has grievance procedures if students or staff allege those policies have been violated."

Sorlie Battles Insomnia to Win Another Iditarod
Alaska:  Norway's Robert Sorlie overcame insomnia and a dwindling dog team to win his second Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. He and his team completed the 1,100-mile race across Alaska in nine days, 18 hours, 39 minutes and 31 seconds. Sorlie finished the race with eight dogs, having dropped eight sick, sore or tired dogs at checkpoints along the route. His winning team averaged 4.65 mph.

Ailment can't slow McCormack
Washington: Jaci McCormack added another page to her storybook senior season with the Illinois State women's basketball team. The flu-ravaged  Idaho native scored 20 points before leaving to a standing ovation in the first round of the NCAA Tournament at Bank of America Area.  McCormack, a member of the Nez Perce Tribe, was inspired by a large contingent of family and friends who drove from Lapwai to see the game. "It was very emotional to play in front of people that have supported me throughout my entire career," McCormack said. "They are so proud to have someone playing in the NCAA Tournament from a town of only 1,000." The 15th-seeded Redbirds lost to to No. 2-seeded Baylor.

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