Youth and Education News
November 2, 2005 Issue 160 Volume 3
"The old people must start talking, and
the young people must start listening."
Thomas Banyacya, Hopi
NCAI convention hits Tulsa
Oklahoma: Thousands of American Indian tribal representatives are in Tulsa to attend the National Congress of American Indian Convention and Trade Show. This year's theme is "Celebrating 30 Years of the Indian Self-Determination Act," a reference to legislation passed in 1975 that helped put an end to "termination" polices. "The Congress declares its commitment to the maintenance of the Federal Government's unique and continuing relationship with and responsibility to the Indian people through the establishment of a meaningful Indian self-determination policy…" stated the legislation. Today, however, many Indians say the government's has not kept their promises. Among the comments:
"Violence against Indian women. That's our number one priority. We just do not have enough law enforcement. We see police departments responding to areas the size of Delaware." Lonna Stevens, Tlingit/Dakota
"...my main concern is always going to be health issues." Leon John, Swinomish
"Where do we fit in with No Child Left Behind? Where do we fit in with resource management? We need to get the health money that we desperately need. There are obligations to us that have not been met." Ron Allen, Jamestown S'Klallam Tribe
2005 Finalists for American Indian Tribal Governance Awards
Massachusetts: Fourteen finalists have been selected by “Honoring Nations,” Harvard's awards program that recognizes innovation and excellence in American Indian tribal governance. On Tuesday, Nov. 1, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the finalists will make public presentations to the Honoring Nations Advisory Board. The Advisory Board then selects up to seven programs to receive “high honors” and $10,000 to share their success stories with others. They also designate up to seven “honors” programs that will receive $2,000. Currently in its fifth year of awards, Honoring Nations is a member of a worldwide family of “governmental best practices” awards. Since "Honoring Nations" began in 1998, 64 tribal government programs and initiatives have been recognized. This year’s 14 finalists were chosen from applicants representing 41 Indian nations and seven inter-tribal collaborations.
2005 Honoring Nations Finalists
Language Revitalization Project
Tribal Court System
Hopi Land Team
Tribe Section 404 Permitting Program
Nation Sales Tax
Innovative Models for Enterprise Development
River Inter-Tribal Watershed Council
Hopi Foundation's visionary projects recognized
The Hopi Foundation is one of 17 organizations picked to receive Leadership for a Changing World awards. As one of the first independent foundations in Indian country, the group preserves its villages and traditions, encourages solar energy, and promotes a torture free-world. Ford Foundation officials say that with a deep belief in the Hopi concept of “Itam naap yani” (doing the work ourselves), Barbara Poley and Loris Ann Taylor merge Hopi tradition with community activism to address local needs. “These leaders are a welcome reminder that people can make a difference,” said Susan V. Berresford, president of the Ford Foundation. “They have brought not only concrete gains to their communities but a determination to stand for justice that builds hope and inspires others. It's never been more important to listen to them.” The Hopi Foundation will get $115,000 to continue its work and supporting activities.
considers transit system
Montana: Leaders of the Chippewa Cree Tribe of Montana are considering a bus system for the Rocky Boy Reservation. The system would provide transportation on the reservation and possibly to nearby cities. "I think it's an excellent idea, especially with the rising fuel costs," said tribal council chair John Houle who believes that senior citizens would especially benefit from it. "They get a chance to socialize, visit one another," he said. Two consulting firms completed a study of rural transit systems on Rocky Boy. After hearing the results, the tribal council put the system on its list of priorities for Bureau of Indian Affairs funds.
E. coli in water prompts evacuation of Ontario reservation
Ontario: Ontario began evacuating residents from the Kashechewan First Nation reserve after the deadly E. coli bacteria was found in their drinking water. 1,000 of the 1,900 residents are being flown out of the area, and Premier Dalton McGuinty has declared a state of emergency. Residents on the reserve have been under a boil-water restriction for more than two years because of dirty water. Indian leaders say the problems are linked to Kashechewan's water-treatment plant that was built downstream from a sewage lagoon. Almost 50% of the residents are suffering from skin infections, which are made worse by the high levels of chlorine being used to disinfect the water.
Reading: Good For Your Health
Edmunton: Hoping to change statistics that show Aboriginal youth as a high-risk group, the Healthy Aboriginal Network will create a comic books series dealing with Aboriginal health issues. The first edition is scheduled to be released in November. It will address the trend of youth suicide attempts in British Columbia's Aboriginal communities. Other topics being considered for future issues include racism, violence, drug/alcohol abuse, sexual transmitted infections, nutrition and residential schools. Sean Muir of the Healthy Aboriginal Network says that the books will promote both health and literacy. “The terrific thing about comics is that they can address any number of issues and kids read them over and over again,” he said. The books will be drawn by emerging and professional Aboriginal cartoonists.
Almost $70 Million Awarded to Help Children and Adolescents Who Have Experienced Traumatic Events
Washington, DC: Nearly $70,000,000 in grants have been awarded to provide help to children and adolescents who have experienced traumatic events. These grants are awarded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and will fund anetwork of community-based treatment and services centers that are supported
by national expertise. Among those receiving grants are:
Oregon: Willamette Family Treatment Services, Eugene -- $399,970 in the first year, and similar amounts thereafter, to integrate a program of gender sensitive trauma services into currently offered substance abuse treatment services for adolescent girls in Lane County. Services will also reach into numerous rural Oregon communities and onto several Native American Reservations.
South Dakota: Wakanyeja Pawicayapi, Inc., Porcupine -- $400,000 per year to develop a Community Treatment and Services Center to serve children and youth ages 3-18 who have experienced trauma on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in southwestern South Dakota.
Michigan: Breast cancer is the second leading cause of death among American Indian women. And if Punkin Shananaquet has her wish, this trend will reverse itself. For Native women, the shawl represents the role of womanhood – love, warmth, affection and protection. As a health representative for the Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians (Gun Lake Tribe), Shananaquet helped create the Pink Shawl video. Pink Shawl teaches American Indian women the dangers of breast cancer and need for regular mammograms. Now Shananaquet is traveling to New Zealand where she will present her Pink Shawl video at the World Indigenous Peoples Conference on Education. “We are so excited about being able to attend this conference to share the teachings of the shawl,” said Shananaquet. The World Indigenous Peoples Conference on Education meets every three years at different locations worldwide. It's purpose is to bring interesting and innovative ideas that evoke pride as indigenous peoples. The theme of this conference is (in Maori): Te Toi Roa or Indigenous Excellence.
Indigenous News Network
New Fuel to Help Prevent Petrol Sniffing
Australia: In an effort to combat gas sniffing in Aboriginal communities, the Australian government will provide $6,000,000 towards the use of Opal fuel in central desert indigenous communities. Opal fuel contains very low levels of aromatic hydrocarbons which cause intoxication and does not cause the inhaler to become high. The plan will also provide treatment, rehabilitation, communication, education, and alternative activities for Aboriginal youth. Aboriginals say they would like the government to increase efforts to reach the most affected, usually remote, areas with the fuel. "We need to do everything we can to stop this hugely destructive habit, and the development of Opal fuel offers the opportunity to stop petrol sniffing," said Vaughan Johnson, Shadow Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Policy. "We need to encourage it use in remote areas where sniffing is out of control." Australia’s rural aboriginal groups have been struck by a petrol sniffing epidemic for generations. Most popular among young men, chronic inhalation of petrol fumes can produce physical ailments, including seizures, tremors, loss of appetite, hyperactivity, unusual behavior and malnutrition
Oneida counselor can relate to domestic-violence victims
Wisconsin: Daniel Terrio, who wants to counsel Native youth about the dangers of domestic violence, has been there himself. Growing up in the Stockbridge-Munsee Tribe of Indians, Terrio's father was sometimes violent. First Terrio hid, then he turned to alcohol and drugs to cope. But Daniel decided to break the chain of abuse by dropping the drugs and alcohol. He went on to participate in the United National Indian Tribal Youth prevention and education program]. Then, at age 19, he headed to Washington, D.C., to lobby for UNITY. Now majoring in social work at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, Daniel has been hired as the Youth Action coordinator for the Oneida Tribe of Indians’ Social Services Department. Terrio's message: Just say NO to violence. “A lot of things I encounter with tribal kids I’ve experienced first-hand,” Terrio said. “I think that offers me insight and I want to make a difference. I know exactly what these kids are going through. I want to combat this; I want to guide these kids"
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