Youth and Education News
November 2, 2005 Issue 160 Volume 4
"The old people must start talking, and
the young people must start listening."
Thomas Banyacya, Hopi
Wildflowers contain nature's remedies
Wisconsin: Long before European invasion, Great Lakes Native American tribes used the healing qualities of abundant wildflower species. In the book “Plants Used by the Great Lakes Ojibwa,” 384 vascular plants have been identified as being used traditionally:
Chewing the roots of rough cinquefoil and tansy soothe a sore throat.
Apply the juice from a crushed stem of spotted touch-me-nots to a rash.
A drink from sweet fern roots helped soothe colds and coughs.
A drink from bunchberry roots soothed infant colic.
Extractions of white trillium roots were pricked in with needles near sore joints.
Red-raspberry extractions were used to treat measles and dysentery.
Poultices were made by placing hot and moist plant materials between two layers of cloth and applying externally.
Crushed sunflower roots were made into poultices to treat bruises and contusions
Coneflower blossom poultices were applied to burns.
Freshly chopped plantain leaves were used as a poultice to ease rheumatism.
Inhaling smoke from yarrow flowers broke a fever
Bearberry leaves were smoked to relieve headaches.
Wildflowers were also used in ceremonies and carried as charms. Some of these medicinal and ceremonial uses continue to be a part of the Ojibwa culture today.
Conservation groups get genetically 'pure' bison
South Dakota: Genetically pure bison from Wind Cave National Park have been sent to Indian tribes, the Nature Conservancy, and the American Prairie Foundation. The Nature Conservancy received 20 buffalo, the American Prairie Foundation received 16 animals, and 117 went to tribes through the Intertribal Bison Cooperative. The tribes and conservation groups received the animals after paying for a buffalo roundup on the 29,295-acre park. The plan helped keep the Wind Cave herd to it's maximum 400 head. The Wind Cave Park herd originated from 14 animals donated by the New York Zoological Society in 1913 and six from Yellowstone National Park in 1916. Recent testing by Texas A&M University found no hint of cattle genes in the Wind Cave herd. "As the National Park Service we felt we had done something good and want to protect what we have," said Dan Roddy, resource management specialist at Wind Cave Park. "Both [conservation] groups are interested in starting up new herds, and ... they came to a known source where they knew what they are getting is pure Great Plains bison."
Great White Shark Crosses Ocean, Twice
South Africa: A great white shark has astounded scientists by swimming from South Africa to Australia. In the first transoceanic and longest ever recorded trip by a shark, the tagged female shark named Nicole swam an astonishing 12,400 miles -- and experts reckon she did it for love. "We suspect that she went for reproductive reasons," Dr. Ramon Bonfil of the Wildlife Conservation Society. "There's plenty of food around South Africa and she would be using too much energy to just go to Australia to feed. Of course we can't prove this at this stage, it is just a hunch." Nicole's long swim suggests the South African and Australian populations have far more interaction than previously thought and may not be entirely separate groups. She also did it in just under 9 months -- which the WCS described as "the fastest return migration of any swimming marine organism known."
Mysterious spirit lights part of Catawba legend
North Carolina: Almost every evening, but especially in September and October, evening lights dance on Brown Mountain near Lenoir. The lights move up and down for a few seconds, then disappear and later reappear. Some witnesses have seen them shoot up into the air. The lights can be seen only from a distance, not up close. According to a local legend, the lights are the spirits of Catawba women looking for their departed love ones. The story is told of a bitter battle between Cherokee and Catawba warriors on the mountain during the 1200s. After the fight, both tribes left many dead warriors on the battlefield. During the evening, Catawba women went to the battleground with torchlights looking for their dead husbands, sweethearts, brothers and fathers. Today, the lights seen by thousands of tourists every year are said to be spirits of those Catawba women, still searching for their loved ones. Of course, many (including scientists) have tried to explain other causes for these mysterious lights:
Geraud De Brahm, one of the first white men to see the lights in 1771, said the lights were ''vapors which are borne by the wind and when laden winds meet each other the niter inflames, sulphurates and deteriorates.''
One scientific explanation is that the lights are made by radioactive uranium.
Another said the mysterious lights are light reflections from of lights from nearby towns. However, these lights were seen before those towns were settled.
A 1913 U.S. Geological Survey team decided that the lights were reflections of motor vehicle headlights in Catawba Valley. However, a flood in 1916 disproved that when the lights still appeared after the roads were closed.
One survey team said the lights were caused by spontaneous combustion from marsh gases, but there are no marshlands near Brown Mountain.
Some say the lights are lightning strikes discharging from clouds into the mountains. But the Brown Mountain are balls of light that appear spontaneously on only side of the small mountain.
Some believe they are ''earthlights,'' lights that foretell of a catastrophe about to occur. They claim the lights are similar to those seen in the 1970s on Washington's Yakima Indian reservation shortly before Mount St. Helens erupted in 1980. The Yakima lights disappeared after the eruption caused earthquakes on the reservation. ''If that is true, and if the Brown Mountain lights are earthlights, it may be that an earthquake may be looming,'' wrote Greg Little in a report. A geological fault line, Grandfather Mountain Fault, runs under Brown Mountain.
Indian Country Today
Three Affiliated Tribes' wind turbine ready for use
North Dakota: A wind turbine built on top of a butte 350 feet above Lake Sakakawea will help the Three Affiliated Tribes save money. Electric power generated from the turbine will help offset energy costs at nearby Four Bears Casino. The 66 kilowatt turbine stands 80 feet tall. One kilowatt is enough to power 10 100-watt light bulbs. Officials will monitor it consider whether to get a more powerful 30 megawatt turbine. That project may lead to the development of a large-scale wind farm on Fort Berthold.
25 Extreme Energy Saving Tips
Home-heating costs are expected to soar this winter. Fortunately, homeowners can cut their heating bills dramatically by taking a few relatively painless steps.
1. Appliances and Lighting: Appliances and lighting account for 28% of the typical household's annual energy use. Here's what you can do to save money:
Replace incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs to save 66% in energy;
Keep bulbs clean. Dust can cut light output by up to 25%.
Don't let a preheated oven sit empty, and don't open the door to check on food. Every time you do that, you lose 25% of the heat;
Use a microwave oven instead of a regular oven. You'll use 40% less energy;
Keep the inside of your microwave clean to cook food more efficiently;
Use the smallest pans possible--it takes less energy to heat them;
Use lids. Food cooks more quickly by keeping the steam inside;
Use glass or ceramic pans in ovens. They heat faster than metal ones.
Washing machine, dryer
Wash and dry full loads, and don't over-dry clothes;
Keep the dryer's lint filter clean;
Unless clothes are very dirty, wash laundry in cold water;
Don't add wet items to clothes that have already started drying in the dryer.
Wash only full loads. It costs exactly the same to wash one dish or a whole load;
Use the air-dry feature on your dishwasher;
If you wash dishes by hand, rinse dishes in groups, and don't leave the water running.
Check refrigerator temperatures. Put a thermometer in a full glass of water in the center of the fridge. If it's lower than 37-40 degrees, you are losing money. Put another thermometer in a glass of water between packages in the freezer. If it's between 0-5 degrees, you are losing money;
Cover and wrap food to preserve moisture that drives up electricity costs;
Let hot food cool before putting it in the fridge--the fridge will use less energy to cool it down;
Keep the freezer full or fill up empty with water containers. It's more efficient than an empty freezer;
Unplug unused refrigerators to save up to $130 a year.
2. Water heating: Water heating accounts for up to 16% of your annual energy consumption. To save money, you should:
Lower your water heater temperature from 140 degrees to 120 degrees to cut costs by 10%- 15%. But, if you have a dishwasher without a booster heater (a dishwasher device that heats water to the 140 degree temperature needed to clean bacteria from the dishes), you should leave the water heater set to 140 degrees;
Insulate your storage water heater tank to save 4%-9% on water heating costs;
Drain sediment from the water heater tank every 1-3 years;
Install low-flow shower head and faucets that save 33%-50% of water and water-heating charges than regular shower heads;
Don't take baths--take short showers instead. Showers use less hot water.
Psychologists label Indian mascots harmful
The American Psychological Association called for the elimination of Indian mascots, saying they are harmful to Indian youth. "The use of American Indian mascots as symbols in school and university athletic programs is particularly troubling,” APA President Ronald F. Levant said. “Schools and universities are places of learning. These mascots are teaching stereotypical, misleading and, too often, insulting images of American Indians. And these negative lessons are not just affecting American Indian students; they are sending the wrong message to all students.” The APA previously passed a resolution in opposition to mascots. It stated that research has shown that "continued use of American Indian mascots, symbols, images, and personalities by school systems appears to have a negative impact on the self-esteem of American Indian children."
Read the report: http://www.apa.org/releases/ResAmIndianMascots.pdf
Native American tribe defeats club Toli team
Alabama: The Appalachian State Ivory Bills toli team recently participated in the Moundville Native American Festival . Joined by 12 other players from the University of Georgia, the team played the Connehatta group of the Choctaw tribe at Moundville archeological park, where toli has been played since 1250 A.D. The tribe defeated the ASU team 32-12.
More about Toli:
fToli is similar to lacrosse;
fThe game is played with two teams whose sides must contain equal numbers of players. At times there are 30 people on each side;
fThe field itself is about the size of a soccer field, and there are no boundaries;
fPlayers use two sticks to control the towa, a golf-sized shaped ball wrapped in leather that is hard to catch;
fA team moves down the field by throwing the ball with the sticks; there is no kicking of the ball or use of hands;
fTo score, one must fling the ball and strike a pole at the opposite end of the field;
fToli is a full-contact sport. Pushing, shoving and even tackling are all a big part of the game;
fTackling is only executed when the defender drops his sticks, and chases the ball carrier;
fPlayers fight for loose balls, which often happens because catching the ball in the stick is difficult.
Omaha Nation pair plays with a song in their hearts
Nebraska: Football fans label gridiron stars "two-way players" if they play on the defensive and offensive sides of the ball. Oliver Saunsoci recently became a "four-way player" when he played offense, defense and performed TWO national anthems during a football game on the Omaha Indian Reservation. After starting lineups were announced Saunsoci joined the Omaha Nation Band and played snare drums for "The Star-Spangled Banner." Then he joined in singing the Omaha Flag Song, the national anthem for the Omaha Indian tribe.
Mystic Voices: The Story of the Pequot War
Mystic Voices: The Story of the Pequot War has been selected for national PBS distribution. The winner of two Emmy Awards, this two-hour documentary tells about the Pequot War of 1636-1637, the first declared war in American history. The English Puritans’ execution of the “Pequot massacre” at Missituck (Mystic) was the first time northeastern tribes experienced total warfare with European military methods. And, for the first time, the Puritans realized they had power to dominate the people they saw as Godless savages. Mystic Voices addresses both the pertinent European history and the oral and documented history of the Algonquian-Speaking Peoples. Mystic Voices: The Story of the Pequot War features the voice of Academy Award nominee Roy Scheider and music by the Grammy nominated Joanne Shenandoah. Mystic Voices has the potential of being shown by 145 local PBS stations nationwide. Forty-six stations have indicated their intent to broadcast, and another 18 are still considering.
To learn more about Mystic Voices, please visit: http://www.pequotwar.com
To view your PBS station's schedule, and/or to request Mystic Voices be shown in your area, visit: www.pbs.org
Guy Perrotta, PBS
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