Native Village 

Youth and Education News

November 16, 2005 Issue 161 Volume 4

"Native American history is important to each and every one of us ... It’s important that we get to know and respect and honor. There is much wisdom for you to gain."  Michael Rao, President, Central Michigan University

Haskell forum focuses on sacred lands
Kansas: Recently a large audience of Haskell Indian Nations University students, faculty and alumni  took part in a forum on protecting sacred lands. A panel discussion was led by Haskell's Dan Wildcat, an American Indian Studies professor, who joined Michael Yellow Bird (Kansas University's Center for Indigenous Studies), and Lucia Orth (lawyer and adjunct professor at Haskell). They talked about ongoing efforts to route the South Lawrence Trafficway through the Baker Wetlands, and clearing 100 acres of forest in Arizona's San Francisco Peaks to expand ski runs. Both areas are considered sacred. Wildcat warned that national efforts to lower the barriers  between church and state will lead to a "very frontal attack on Indian sovereignty in Congress" within five to 10 years. Yellow Bird compared similarities between the United States' presence in Iraq to its efforts to eradicate Indians. "They're both what I call territorial colonialism," Yellow Bird said. All three speakers said education, unity and mastering technology will provide the strength to fend off attacks on Indian culture.   "We are going to need some warriors and some lifetime volunteers to step up," Wildcat said.

"Godzilla" Fossils Reveal Real-Life Sea Monster
Argentina: Researchers have unearthed fossil evidence of a 135-million-year-old "sea monster" they're calling Godzilla. The animal's large skull was found in southern Argentina in an area once part of the Pacific Ocean. Named Dakosaurus andiniensis, the creature is an entirely new species of ancient crocodile, but unlike today's crocodiles, Dakosaurus andiensis lived entirely in the water.  It measures 13 feet (4 meters) from nose to tail, with a head like a dinosaur.  Instead of legs, Dakosaurus had four paddle-like limbs, used mostly for stability. A fish-like tail propelled the beast through the water.  What made it especially unusual was its snout and teeth. "It is more like a carnivorous dinosaur than like a marine crocodilian," said James Clark, a dinosaur expert at George Washington University.
See pictures:

   The Grand Canyon Skywalk
The Glass Bridge Construction of the Grand Canyon Skywalk began March of 2004 and is scheduled to open Jan. 1, 2006. Located on the  Hualapai Indian Reservation,  the bridge:
* Juts about 70 feet into the canyon;
* Is 4000 ft. above the Colorado Rive; 
* Has 4-inch class bottoms and sides;   
* Will accommodate 120 people comfortably;
* Built with more than a million pounds of steel beams;
* Includes dampeners that minimize the structure's vibration;        
* Designed to hold 72,000,000 pounds, the same as 71 fully loaded Boeing 747 airplanes;
* Will withstand an 8.0 magnitude earthquake 50 miles away;
* Will withstand winds in excess of 100 mph  from 8 different directions;      
Passed engineering requirements by 400%.

Indian leaders hear complaints about legislation
Oklahoma - At the recent National Congress of American Indian conference in Washington, DC,  tribal leaders from across the country learned that Oklahoma Indian tribes are subservient to the state on environmental matters. Recently, a "midnight rider" was placed on a transportation bill after the House and Senate had agreed on the bill's final version. Written by U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Tulsa,  the rider basically says a tribe can't receive "treatment as state" status unless Oklahoma officials consent. "It allows the state to essentially set the environmental regulations for Indian land," said Jeannine Hale, assistant general counsel for the Cherokee Nation.  "I can't tell you how dangerous I think that is if we let it go" without a fight, Hale said.

Indigenous Peoples Particularly Vulnerable to Disasters
Guatemala : In areas recently devastated by Hurricane Stan, indigenous children play Kumatzin, a board game using Mayan illustrations and language that teaches how to prepare for, and survive, natural disasters. The howl of the coyotes, the way certain birds fly, the "sound" of the Earth and the position and shine of the moon are all signals of earth changes, according to the elders. However, Guatemalan officials ignore these signs. "The tragedy wouldn't have been as serious if plans existed that took into consideration the particularities of the indigenous communities and their cultures," said Ramiro Batzin from Sotz'il, a Guatemalan indigenous organisation. "We weren't listened to. The governments must realise that we live in more vulnerable areas, and that we have a different relationship with the Earth," said Nicaraguan Jorge Fredrick. Together with the Red Cross, Sotz'il is now working to create a Maya Network for Disaster Prevention.  The plan is to create a network of indigenous communities to evaluate and define natural threats and take appropriate action.  The Kumatzin game is just one step towards a disaster prevention programme involving the region's indigenous peoples, but "we hope it will ultimately reach all of the communities," said Batzin.

extinction  threatens 800 Species in California
California: A report by UC Davis says more than 800 animal species in California are imperiled by development, pollution, recreational activities, and invasive species.  Of the species in jeopardy, 481 of them are found nowhere else, ranging from the San Francisco fork-tail damselfly to the San Diego black-tailed jackrabbit. This sobering assessment  should guide development throughout the nation's most populous state.  "If done with thought and science, we can grow and still maintain a high quality of wildlife habitat in California," said a UC Davis Wildlife representative. ht

    Montana Wildlife Officials Kill Nine Wolves
Montana: Federal wildlife managers killed nine wolves between Labor Day and mid-October for allegedly attacking or killing livestock. The wolves were killed on orders of state wildlife officials. Two wolves were killed off the grazing allotment where run-ins had been confirmed, and a radio-collared female not involved in killing livestock was shot. The female's death means the group no longer counts as a breeding pair, an important fact because breeding pairs are key to wolf recovery. Suzanne Asha Stone, of the Defenders of Wildlife, said she would like to see nonlethal control and for the state to encourage more landowners to adapt to living with wolves.

The Fleecing of Navajo Weavers
Arizona:  90% of indigenous peoples who live in America's Southwest depend on crafts as their principal or secondary source of income. Yet, of the yearly $1,000,000,000 sales of American Indian arts and crafts, more than 50% is “fake,” said Andy Abeita of the Council for Indigenous Arts and Culture. Thousands of Diné (Navajo) weavers are finding their historic patterns copied abroad, then imported and sold in the U.S.   Imitation Navajo weaving is produced in Guatemala, Peru, Hong Kong, India, Pakistan, Japan, Egypt, Hungary, Romania, northern Thailand and, in particular, Oaxaca, Mexico. In fact, a Google search for “Navajo rugs” returned more than 140,000 hits.  The first 100 sites were either those reselling historic Navajo textiles,  or dozens of firms advertising “Navajo-inspired” rugs.  Navajo weavers say that their incomes have declined at least 40% in the past 10 years.  Only a handful of the 25,000 weavers make an adequate living.   Many are hoping anthropologists will help Navajo weavers by bringing this into discussion within the academic realm. Fair traders can help by marketing cultural diversity and encouraging weavers to use their own designs. 
Cultural Survival Quarterly

San Juan Pueblo Elder Named 2005 Heard Museum 'Spirit Of The Heard' Winner
Arizona--Herman Agoyo, San Juan Pueblo, has been honored with the Heard Museum's 2005 Spirit of the Heard Award. Created in 2004, the award recognizes a person's actions and work experience and how it exemplifies the Heard mission: "To educate the public about the heritage and the living cultures and art of Native peoples, with an emphasis on the peoples of the Southwest."  Committee members chose Agoyo because he is a role model to Pueblo communities and and among the most respected Pueblo Indians of his time.  Agoyo * whose name means, "star" in the Tewa language * is 70 years old. During his lifetime, he:
Was a four sport, four year letterman, in football, basketball, track and baseball;
Served on the Eight Northern Indian Pueblos Council, the All Indian Pueblo Council and as governor of San Juan Pueblo;
Remains active in traditional ceremonies;
continues to teach his traditional language to younger generations;
Dedicated to improving life in Pueblo communities by promoting economic and self-sufficiency.

Rabbit and Bear Paws
The 18th century will never be the same. Little Spirit Bear Productions has released a new comic strip called "Rabbit and Bear Paws."   Created by Chad Solomon, Rabbit and Bear Paws is set in 18th Century colonized North America. It follows the story of two Ojibwa brothers who play pranks and have amazing adventures using traditional Ojibwa medicine that briefly transforms them into animals.  "I've always remembered what Alwyn Morris, Olympic Mohawk Athlete used to say: 'If you have it in you to dream, you have it in you to succeed'. That is my personal motto and part of the message behind Rabbit and Bear Paws,"  Solomon said.  Solomon has based his comic on the teachings of the Seven Grandfathers (wisdom from the Anishinabek community) and is drawn with the guidance of his Community Elders and writer Christopher Meyer. The comic is printed monthly in the community papers of "Anishinabek News" and "Niiji (Friends) Circle". The Rabbit and Bear Paws graphic novel will be on sale in March 2006.
See the first comic:  Rabbit and Bear Paws

For more information please contact
A true legend
MAINE Baseball fan Rebecca Cole-Will, curator of the Abbe Museum, has helped create an exhibition about Louis Sockalexis, the first acknowledged American Indian to play major-league baseball.  "We've been interested in Louis Sockalexis for a very long time," said Cole-Will.  With photo reproductions, newspaper clippings and wall text, the Abbe exhibition tells about a young man with exceptional athletic abilities who left Maine in the 1890s to play big-league baseball.  For one remarkable half-season in 1897, his dream came true. Playing for the Cleveland Spiders, Sockalexis, a Penobscot Indian, batted .338 in his first 60 games. He had the abilities of present-day Ichiro Suzuki of the Seattle Mariners - a hot bat, fleet base-running skills and a rocket arm. Like the Japan-born Suzuki, Sockalexis drew widespread curiosity among fans and the media, and in 1897 became coast-to-coast news. But his season and career ground to a halt when he injured his ankle. Writer and historian Ed Rice, who wrote a book about Sockalexis in 2003, has long crusaded for Sockalexis to be included in the National Baseball Hall of Fame as baseball's first acknowledged Indian. "Sock went through a Jackie Robinson-type existence," said Rice, referring to the Brooklyn Dodgers star who in 1947 broke down racial barriers as the first African-American ballplayer. "We could be claiming a man that stood up to racial insults from fans, the media, other players, and for at least three months of his first season he was spectacular." "Louis Sockalexis: Baseball's First Indian" remains on display through Dec. 31 at the Abbe museum in Bar Harbor.

For The Love Of Lacrosse
Oregon:  Lacross is North America's first team sport -- European accounts of the Native American game date back to 1636.   In October, more than 40 aspiring players attended open tryouts for Portland's new pro lacrosse franchise, the Portland LumberJax.  Many athletes traveled from lacrosse hot beds as far away as New York and Boston for a chance to make the team.  For players like 25-year-old Dave Lisi of New York, this is his chance to join the "big league.  It's all I've ever dreamed about doing," Lisi says with a broad smile. "If I get picked, I will move to Portland from New York, and I'd be happy to do it in a minute." Lacrosse is surprisingly popular in parts of Portland where transplanted Ivy Leaguers grew up with a game they describe as "exhilarating" and "rough and tumble."    Youth participation (ages 15 and under) has doubled since 1999 to more than 60,000 players nationwide. The LumberJax hope to reach that market by attracting 10,000 or so fans to each Lumberjax game. The Portland LumberJax will begin play this January in the National Lacrosse League

Volume 3  

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