Native Village 

Youth and Education News

May 18, 2005 Issue 152 Volume 4

"Receiving your degree reflects a new beginning in your life – a life blessed with happiness, a strong intellect, self-discipline and many riches...  During your graduation ceremony, reflect back on the personal struggles you and your family have overcome to get to where you are today and the strength you are blessed with to overcome future endeavors. Remember your parents, relatives and friends who encouraged and supported you with their prayers. Remember and thank your role models and those who positively influenced your life. Listen and think about your elders' teachings that being  blessed with richness is not based on your salary or how many vehicles you own."  Leonard Chee, Navajo

Eskimo town gets sun for first time in months

Alaska: Most residents in Barrow, Alaska, are Inupiat Eskimos who cope with some of the most bizarre weather in the world. After a 1:50 a.m. sunset on May 9, the sun rose again at 2:56 a.m. Barrow now faces constant daylight until the next sunset on August 2.  To get an idea of what that means, resident can play outdoor sports in the middle of the night with absolutely no visibility problems. “Some people are just used to it because it happens every year," said Earl Finkler. "But there was one fellow ... who said that you could put foil over your windows to sleep, but if you get up in the middle of the night the sun hits you and it keeps you up. Other people say it energizes them, especially for subsistence hunting and whaling.” Barrow, a town of 4,500 people, is about 330 miles above the Arctic Circle. From November 18-January 24, it does not see the sun at all.
Indian Country Today

Life Abounds on Mount St. Helens 25 Years After Eruption
Washington: 25 years ago, Mt. St. Helens erupted. The devastating volcano blast killed 57 people and an overwhelming amount of plant and animal life. As the blast destroyed all in its path, it also carried new life -- seedlings from the south side landed and began to grow, and seeds continue to arrive via animals returning to the area. Today, the once-barren landscape is scattered with green, and diverse wildlife has made a new home in a vastly different habitat.  ''There was nothing out here. It's easy to forget it was like that,'' said Peter Frenzen,  scientist for the U.S. Forest Service. ''The next forest is essentially here. We just have to wait for it all to grow up.'' Among the new life:
Pine trees, honeysuckle, alder, cottonwood and willows are all growing in the blast zone;
z Roosevelt elk, bears and mountain goats have returned;
z About 130 new ponds created after the explosion are a new habitat for amphibians;
z70 species of birds, including hummingbirds, western meadowlarks and Savannah sparrows, are all drawn by the new habitats.

Plant a traditional-foods garden
North Dakota: This year, Aubry Skye, Lakota, will help plant 32 gardens around the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. The gardening project began five years ago when community members decided they wanted a holistic way to prevent and control diabetes. They put in their first plot near the reservation's high school to catch the attention of the youngsters and inspire them to eat more vegetables and fewer commodity foods.  "Gardening is an excellent way to improve health, especially for people with diabetes,'' said Skye. ''We Native people are blessed with the ability to lower blood sugar levels quickly with exercise. Gardening offers both functional exercise and high-quality, culturally appropriate nutrition - another key to wellness.'' 
Skye's suggestions for reaping an abundance of fresh, healthy food:
Obtain heirloom seeds saved by members of your own community. Also check out Native Seeds/SEARCH (, which offers indigenous farmers free heirloom seeds, Horizon Herbs (,  and Seeds of Change (;
Build a raised-bed garden in a spot that receives about six hours of sun a day;
Plant your seeds following directions from the seed packets, your tribal gardening program, your local extension service, a garden center or an experienced gardener. Store extra seeds in a cool dry place to use next year;
Mulch the soil to prevent weeds and conserve moisture;
Welcome bugs.  Put in flowers to draw bees and other pollinators, and rely on beneficial insects, such as praying mantises, to eat pests;
Irrigate: Take 2-liter plastic soda bottles, poke holes in the neck, fill with water, and insert upside down into the soil near groups of plants.
Use Organic fertilizer such as composted manure or fish emulsion;
Make compost from garden cuttings, grass clippings, leavens and kitchen scraps (vegetables, fruits, and eggshells only.) 
Each week, mix the heap and dampen it. The compost is ready when it's black and crumbly.
For gardening help and suggestions e-mail Skye at:

IndigenousNews Digest

Weak Salmon Run Shuts the Northwest's Fisheries
Washington: Tens of thousands of adult Chinook salmon expected to swim up the Columbia River this spring are missing. The numbers are so bad that Idaho, Oregon and Washington have ended commercial fishing, and the four Indian tribes with treaty rights to harvest the salmon did the same. Though tribal fishermen can still sell a limited catch to other tribe members, their subsistence fish harvest has been sharply curtailed. Most environmentalists are convinced that federal dams are causing the problem. The slow-moving, sometimes overheated reservoirs behind the dams confuse the salmon, who breed in fast, cold currents.  The dam machinery can also be lethal, particularly to outbound juvenile fish. "We need to figure out what happened," said Charles Hudson of the intertribal commission.  "But there is no question that year in and year out, the hydro system is the biggest killer of fish."

Goldman Winner Donates Prize to Forest Struggle
Isidro Baldenegro Lopez, a Tarahumara Indian leader from Mexico, has received the 2005 North American Goldman Award. The Goldman Awards, knows as the "Environmental Nobel," honors environmental heroes from each of the six continental regions. Lopez was honored for his fight to protect Tarahumara land from the illegal logging. Baldenegro is donating his $125,000 prize to the Sierra Madre Alliance, a U.S.-Mexican nonprofit aimed at helping the Tarahumara and the Tepehuan pursue land-rights claims.
Sierra  Club

Mount Rushmore superintendent wants to show American Indian view of memorial

South Dakota:  To many American Indians, Mount Rushmore is viewed as a painful symbol of Indian treaties broken by the federal government.  "Many of us consider this our treaty territory," said Charmaine White Face, an American Indian activist who heads Defenders of the Black Hills.  "Mount Rushmore is an insult because the Black Hills are sacred."  Gerard Baker, Mount Rushmore park's first American Indian superintendent, hopes to share that sentiment with Rushmore's 3,000,000 annual visitors. "What I want to do is educate America, including Indian people, children mainly, as to how the Indian people lived before the coming of the white man," he said. Baker plans for make changes in "baby steps," and will eventually include information about the breaking of treaties with American Indian tribes.  "You also have to tell the negative side of the story," he said.  "I don't think we've ever done that."

Italy: The captain of Inter Milan football club may e accepting an invitation for his club to play a team of Mexican Zapatista rebels. The Italian club received a letter from Subcomandante Marcos, the Zapatista leader based in the southern state of Chiapas. "I challenge you to a match against a team from the Zapatista national liberation army," his letter said, "at a time and a place to be determined.  Given the affection we have for you, we're not planning to submerge you in goals. As we wait for your reply, we'll continue with our rigorous training regime."  Inter--one of Italy's biggest and most famous clubs -- has supported the Zapatistas by funding sports, water and health projects in their area of Chiapas. Team manager Bruno Bartolozzi paid a visit to a village in Chiapas last June, bearing donations from the club and its owner, Massimo Moratti.

Yupik teen tears up the slopes
Alaska: Callan Chythlook-Sifsof, 15, has won the Junior Olympic Snowboard Championships in Jackson  Hole, Wyoming. The Yupik teen is now competing in the 2005 Junior World Championships in Switzerland.  Former Olympic skiier Suzie Chafee, who supports native ski teams, supports a remark made by Tex Hall, president of the National Congress of American Indians: "Indian youth sports opportunities are the answer."  As an example of this success, officials point to Arizona's White Mountain Apaches. They opened two ski resorts three decades ago, and the slopes has done wonders their tribes and their people. "It had everything to do with skiing,” said  Chairman Dallas Massey.  "Skiing is the No 1 motivate of our youth [then  rodeo], and prevents alcohol abuse if we can reach our children early  enough."
Native American Times

Traveling Art Museum on a Train Heading Your Way!
Michigan: Founded in 1971, Artrain USA is America’s museum in motion. The nation’s only traveling art museum on train announces its 15th exhibition, Native Views: Influences of Modern Culture, a contemporary Native American art exhibition. Traveling  the country with the support of America's railroads, five rail cars house the fine arts exhibition, artist studio, gift shop and staff administrative space. Since its inception, Artrain USA has stopped in more than 700 cities in 44 states and welcomed more than 3,000,000 people.
Learn more:

Dakwäkäda Dancers  FROM THE YUKON TO THE CZECH Republic
Yukon Territory:   The Dakwäkäda Dancers are an outstanding traditional Athabascan dance group from Yukon Territory.   Four sisters formed the group 8 years ago. They are the granddaughters of Annie Ned, the late Yukon Elder who taught the dances, songs, and traditional way of life learned during her childhood in Tlingit trading times.   The Dakwäkäda Dancers have performed at many events including the Navajo Language Conference, the, Yukon Storytelling  Festival, Arctic Winter Games Opening Ceremony, Council for Yukon First Nationsí General Assembly, and for various Yukon Territorial Government events. This summer, the Dakwäkäda Dancers  will perform at the Sumperk Festival in the Czech Republic.
Bronitsky and Associates

Volume 3 

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