Youth and Education News
March 9, 2005 Issue 148 Volume 4
"When I thought about who we are as Indian women, I had to take a good look at myself...I was reminded about how life, to me, is a never ending learning process, a journey of discovering ourselves, what we are capable of and what we are not, what we hold in the endless sea of our soul...who are you?" Roxanne Swentzell, Santa Clara Pueblo
Yellowstone Emptied of Buffalo?
Montana’s new governor, Brian Schweitzer wants to empty Yellowstone National Park of all bison to eradicate brucellosis from the herd. In this plan, "emptying the park" means that all bison that test positive for brucellosis would be killed. Those bison which test negative would be quarantined for years before being returned to the park or transferred to Indian tribal lands. Under Schweitzer’s plan, there would be "a brief period where the park would have no bison" at all.
UNIQUE GENES SET RIGHT WHALES APART
Alaska: The critically endangered North Pacific right whales who forage each summer in the Bering Sea are more unique than scientists thought. Genetic tests confirm that the whales have a much different DNA than right whales in the Atlantic or southern oceans. The new tests mark the first time that biologists used two types of genetic material -- DNA from the nucleus and DNA from a structure called the mitochondria -- to verify a new species among the great whales. The Alaska right whale population, considered the rarest large cetaceans on the planet, were thought extinct until the mid-1990s when a small number were spotted outside Bristol Bay. A few hundred more may remain near Russia.
Probe Looks for Sonar, Beached Dolphins Link
Florida: The U.S. Navy and marine wildlife experts are investigating whether a submarine's sonar caused 68 rough-toothed dolphins to beach themselves near Marathon. Twenty dolphins died; the survivors were being moved Saturday to rehabilitation centers in the Florida Keys. Scientists believe that sonar may disorient or scare marine mammals, causing them to surface too quickly. It creates what divers call "the bends" -- when nitrogen is formed in tissue by sudden decompression, leading to hemorrhaging. Naval ships using sonar--pulses of sound--previously caused at least one mass beaching. The Marathon beachings came a day after the USS Philadelphia conducted exercises off Key West.
Bubba the 22-Pound Lobster Dies After Capture
Pennsylvania: After dodging lobster pots, enduring a trip from Massachusetts, and surviving a week in a fish market before a trip to the Pittsburgh Zoo, Bubba, 22-pound lobster, has died. "They're very finicky. It could have been a change in the water. You have no idea,'' said Bob Wholey, fish market owner. Bubba will be examined to try to figure out why he died, although Wholey guessed it was from the stress of being moved. It typically takes a lobster five to seven years to grow to a pound, which is considered eating size. Some estimate Bubba was about 100 years old, but marine biologists said 30 to 50 years was more likely. Other large lobsters didn't fare well after they were caught, too. In 1985, a 25-pound lobster died when the water temperature rose and salt dropped in its aquarium. In 1990, a 17 1/2-pound lobster died just days after being flown to a Detroit restaurant. Last year, a 14-pound lobster named Hercules was rescued by a Washington state middle school class, but died before it could be released off the coast of Maine.
New York Times Exposes Truth About Drilling in Arctic Refuge
A major story in the New York Times has confirmed that major oil companies are skeptical about the potential oil to be found in the Arctic Refuge. Instead, the push for drilling is really intended to open doors for future drilling in other areas such as California's coast and in the Gulf of Mexico. The story quotes a Bush adviser saying "If the government gave [oil companies] the leases for free, they wouldn't take them. No oil company really cares about [the Arctic refuge]." Another oil industry official says that "evidence so far about [the refuge] is not promising." Others who advised President Bush on his energy plan stated outright that the push to drilling in the refuge is a "political maneuver to open the door" to drilling off the coasts of California and in the Gulf..
Proof of warming is written in mud
IQALUIT - Scientists around the circumpolar world say lakes and ponds are changing so fast it may be impossible to reverse the trend. The 26 researchers have released a new study which gives a dramatic signal of changes happening in the Arctic. "What we're seeing in the last hundred years or so is remarkable," one said. "It's totally out of line with any of the small natural changes that happen in ecosystems." He said this evidence shows that climate, not contaminants, is the main source of changes happening in the Arctic.
Tribes, U.S. Geological Survey announce agreement
South Dakota: Several American Indian tribes now use aerial photographs, satellite images and other electronically stored information to help protect sacred sites and make decisions about water and land use. A partnership with the U.S. Geological Survey enables them to access the EROS data system. EROS (Earth Resources Observation and Science), receives, processes and stores images of Earth. But retrieving and storing information is only part of the center's mission, said Ralph Thompson, EROS director. "Data does no good if nobody is using it," he said. The agreement covers 11 tribes, including the Standing Rock, Lower Brule, Flandreau-Santee, Rosebud, Crow Creek, Oglala, Cheyenne River, Sisseton-Wahpeton and Yankton in South Dakota. Spirit Lake in North Dakota and the Santee Sioux of Nebraska are also included.
Euro Leaders Support Native American Olympic Inclusion
Switzerland and Colorado: The International Olympic Committee is championing Native American inclusion as Sovereign Nations in future Olympic Games. Only one Native American, Naomi Lang (Cal Karuk Tribe), has competed in the last two Games, and only a handful in history. Yet a group of world Olympians at the Athens Games honored the American Indians for inventing the roots of 10 Olympic sports. Following the IOC Eco recommendation to include Indigenous Peoples in the Olympics, the First Nations of Canada received a $3,000,000 Legacy Fund to train a team of Snowboarders. With the IOC's opening their doors to welcome American Indian Nations into the Olympic Family, Native youth can have the opportunity and motivation to train for international competition in some of the sports they invented.
Among those promoting and initiation action are:
Stew Young-- Native American Ski Team and World Cup speed skier;
Suzy Chaffee, Olympic ski champ;
Jean Marie Fournier, owner of the Veysonnaz Swiss Ski Resort,
Princess Caroline Murat, world-renowned pianist inspired by a Ute Chief in Aspen, and the closest descendent of Napoleon;
Francoise Zweifel, former Secretary General of the IOC;
Princess Lea of Belgium;
Olympian Prince Albert of Monaco (adopted by Lakota-Sioux Tribe);
The Guinness's, the most ancient tribe of Ireland;
Aaron Marchant of the Squamish Nation;
Princess Caroline, Monaco;
Oren Lyons, Chief of the Onondaga Nation;
Billy Kidd (Abenaki), captain of the Native American Ski Team and 1964 Alpine Silver Medalist.
Box Elder students learn to play traditional games
Montana: Students at Box Elder School on the Rocky Boy Reservation learned traditional Native American games when members of the International Traditional Games Society visited the school. ITGS began in 1997 to teach the games nearly lost after generations of Native American children were sent to missions schools "When you tell your parents and grandparents about these games, they may not know them," said Presenter DeeAnna Leader. Leader, who is director of Indian education at Great Falls Public Schools, says each game hones a different set of skills. Some games help build an agile body; others, an agile mind. This month, ITGS will travel to each Montana reservation school to teach the games. The society will also hold a tribal games event from June 27 to July 3 at the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Commemoration in Great Falls.
Buffalo Dreams airing on Disney Channel
On March 11, the made for TV film, "Buffalo Dreams," is scheduled to air on the Disney Channel. It is a friendship story about two boys from different cultures. Shot in Utah, the movie stars Graham Green and Simon Baker.
"Moccasin Flats" Tootoosis named to Order
Actor Gordon Tootoosis, a Cree actor and activist from the Poundmaker reserve near Cut Knife, has been named to the Order of Canada. Tootoosis was appointed for his work on TV, live theatre, and in such Hollywood movies as Legends of the Fall and in TV series such as North of 60 and Moccasin Flats. The Order of Canada recognizes people who have made a difference to the country
Popé’s place in N.M. history set in stone
The Pueblo Revolt, Robert Silverberg
New Mexico: Jemez Pueblo artist Clifford Fragua has spent 5 years
chiseling a massive cube of marble into a 7-foot sculpture of Popé, the American Indian leader of the 1680 Pueblo
Revolt. "It’s been carved over time,” said the 49-year-old artist as he worked at a secret
location. “I work when I’m inspired — I get lost in time. I feel I’m not only carving stone but the
spirit of Popé and the spirit of the ancestors... There is no record of what he looked like. No drawings. I’m
just capturing his image as the stone speaks to me.” Popé, a medicine man whose name means “ripe pumpkin,”
organized Indian tribes who were angered by the Spaniards’ attempts to wipe out their religions and
customs. The unified tribes joined forces and killed hundreds of priests and Spanish settlers before laying siege
to Santa Fe and diverting its water supply. The revolt temporarily freed Indians from oppressive Spanish rule and pushed
1,000 panish colonists to El Paso. The Spanish, however, came back to New Mexico in 1683. Fragua's
sculpture of Pope will be unveiled at San Juan pueblo — where Popé was from — on May 21. The artwork will
then be shipped to Washington for inclusion in the Capitol's National Statuary Hall.
Casper's brave underground sound
Casper Lomayesva's reggae sound on his new compact disc, ''Honor the People," examines the imprisonment of Leonard Peltier and the root of war in Iraq. The Hopi artist from Third Mesa questions who won the last presidential election and how long before the voices of truth are silenced in America. ''There are things that need to be addressed at all cost. My biggest concern was that I might be jeopardizing my freedom, but somebody's got to do it,'' Casper said. ''We're living in pretty rough times and it is going to get rougher. People all over the world doing this music are under a lot of scrutiny." Casper's message is respect for Indian sovereignty, human rights, honor for women and respect for all races of mankind. He sends a special message to Native youths: Stay in school and question everything. ''Question authority,'' he said, urging Natives to use their senses to determine truth. ''Don't listen to the crap the government is trying to push down your throats; believe what your elders told you.''
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