Youth and Education News
October 19, 2005 Issue 159 Volume 4
"To [Europeans] we were only human when it came to territory, land cessions and whose side you were on." Susan Harjo, Cheyenne-Muscogee
Tradition and respect
California: For most Indian tribes, giving tobacco leaves to an elder is considered a sign of honor. But there’s a big difference between tobacco leaves and the additive-filled cigarettes they’re made into, says Lou Moerner. ”It would not be honorable to offer you a Marlboro,” she said. Moerner, a tobacco program specialist with the Northern California Indian Development Culture, teaches people about tobacco, including the difference between traditional tobacco plants and processed cigarettes. She encourages children to ask tribal elders what their traditions are and how tobacco can help with healing. And she also teaches that processed tobacco is dangerous. ”I cannot imagine a world without tobacco education because I see the lights go on in little children who did not know the things that I teach them,” she said. Moerner added that mall children, who’ve been taught that the chemicals kept under the sink are poisonous, are fascinated to learn that such things go into cigarettes. Adults tell her that their children or grandchildren came back from tobacco education and urge them to quit smoking. She also says many teenage boys are horrified to learn that smoking makes them less attractive to some girls their age. And she mentions the cultural insults, such as inappropriate pictures of American Indians used in marketing cigarettes -- such as one that shows an Indian wearing war feathers while holding a peace pipe. ”It’s offensive on so many levels,” she said.
Eurek Times Standard
A Rare and Unusual Harvest
Texas: In the mid-1970s, 27 people were licensed to distribute peyote, a small, round plant that grows wild only in fourTexas counties and the northern Mexico desert. Now, only 4 peyoteros remain to supply the plant to the Native American church, which uses it as the main sacrament in their religious ceremonies. Some ranch owners have stopped leasing land to peyoteros; others have plowed under peyote, and still others have never opened their land. Conservationists are concerned about over-harvesting immature plants as the Native American population and demand for the cactus grow. "Will there be peyote for my children and my children's children?" asked Adam Nez, 35. Efforts are being made to legalize the importation of peyote from Mexico and creating legal cultivation centers in the United States. Peyote, also know as Lophophora williamsii cactus, is classified as a narcotic and outlawed by federal and state governments.
New Mexico tribe seeks halt to ski area expansion
New Mexico: Tesque Pueblo has filed a lawsuit to halt the expansion of a ski area outside of Santa Fe. The tribe says the construction of a triple chairlift will expose shrines and sacred sites where tribal members conduct ceremonies. Ski Santa Fe plans to complete the chairlift by Thanksgiving.
Penobscot Nation chief named to national post
Maine: Penobscot Indian Nation Chief Jim Sappier has been elected as chairman of the National Tribal Environmental Council. Sappier will lobby for nationwide protection of tribal lands and tribal health. Sappier’s other major goal is improving communication among tribes and between native, state and federal government leaders. “When you talk about the environment, it means people,” Sappier said. “Whatever tribes’ members are dying of, so are their neighbors.” Sappier was among the leaders from seven tribes who created the council in 1991 to help preserve and protect Native American homelands. Today, the council includes 182 tribes.
Bangor Publishing Company
No Arctic oil drilling? How about selling parks?
Washington DC: Representative Richard Pombo (R-CA) has outlined a plan for the House budget bill to sell off 15 national parks for energy and commercial development. And there's more: the bill would require the Park Service to sell commercial advertising on all buses, shuttles, vans, trams, and ferries operated within the National Park System. This bill also requires the Park Service to solicit and sell commercial sponsorship for all park visitor centers, education centers, information centers, museums, trails, auditoriums, amphitheaters, and theaters. "These proposals for the national park system are unconscionable," said Craig Obey, vice president of the National Parks Conservation Association. "It's hard to believe anyone could even contemplate drafting something this extreme." However, Pombo's spokesman said the proposal was intended to be a conversation starter to encourage Congress to vote for drilling in the Alaskan refuge. "Ultimately it's not serious in any way as proposed legislation, but it's very serious with regard to what the committee's real alternatives are," said Brian Kennedy. "The chairman is actively working to make sure that it's ANWR -- and (the Arctic refuge) alone."
Among the National Park Service sites suggested for sale:
Eugene O'Neill National Historical Site, Washington
Alibates Flint Quarries National Monument, Texas
Fort Bowie National Historical Site, Arizona
Frederick Law Olmsted National Historical Site, Massachusetts
Mary McLeod Bethune Council House, District of Columbia
Minuteman Missile National Historic Site, South Dakota
Thaddeus Kosciuszko National Memorial, Pennsylvania
Thomas Stone National Historical Site, Maryland
Aniakchak National Monument and Preserve, Alaska
Bering Land Bridge National Preserve, Alaska
Cape Krusenstern National Monument, Alaska
Kobuk Valley National Park, Alaska
Lake Clark National Park and Preserve, Alaska
Noatak National Preserve, Alaska
Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve, Alaska
To sign a petition urging your Representative to oppose Rep. Pombo's National Park give-away, go to: http://go.care2.com/e/Ggz/BN/Blol
Three Alaska Volcanoes Show Signs of Unrest
Alaska: Three Alaskan volcanoes are setting off frequent tremors and minor bursts of ash or steam. Cleveland Volcano fills the western half of uninhabited Chuginadak Island. . It recently had a small eruption, and its ash plume rose to nearly 15,000 feet above sea level. A visible cloud of steam recently rose from the 11,070-foot Mount Spurr. The other volcano showing unrest is 5,925-foot Tanaga Volcano. The Alaska Volcano Observatory, which monitors Alaska's more than 40 active volcanoes, made the reports.
Butch, the cougar, Washington State University mascot
Burtnett: a legend in his own right
Washington: Leon Burtnett, 62, is a man who neither talks, dresses nor acts his age, an advantage he attributes to his profession (“coaching young people keeps me young”) and his native American heritage. He’s one-quarter Creek Indian with signs of longevity -- his mother is 84. Burtnett has coached in over 425 football games. For 41 seasons, from his first high school job in Kansas to assistant linebacker coach at Washington State University, Burtnett has lived a life visited by challenges and victories, disappointments and defeats. His most memorable game? He was head coach at Purdue when the Boilermakers knocked off Notre Dame in the inaugural game in the Indianapolis RCA Dome. With future NFL standout Jim Everett at quarterback, Burtnett’s Boilermakers beat the Irish and whipped Ohio State and Michigan on the way to the ‘84 Peach Bowl
Contract to track fake Native arts
Virginia: A consulting firm in Virginia has been hired by the Indian Arts and Crafts Board to track counterfeit Native goods. Potomac Management Group Inc. has experience in the homeland security arena. The firm will help the board upgrade its computer system to track people who might be selling fake arts and crafts. The Indian Arts and Crafts makes it illegal to sell or market goods as Native-owned without proof of Native workmanship. The law has been difficult to enforce, Native artists say.
So you want to be a star?
Kansas: Mark Reed, a Mohawk/Apache star of stage and screen, is coming to Haskell Indian Nations University for an acting workshop. “Because it is being conducted by CBS, the one-day seminar gives an intimate perspective on the casting process of network TV shows and mini series," Reed said. "This CBS workshop is focused on us because American Indians are the ‘Invisible Americans’ on television.” Reed said the event takes place at Haskell because of the deep pool of talent in the college’s theatre department. “I made the request for the Haskell University workshop about a year ago," he said. “I want to bring the network to us. Open communication between Indian Country and television executives can make a great difference for our performers. If we can create a network of talent resources for the networks, we can change our image in American media. At a recent press conference, I said we are the ‘Invisible American – the American Indian.’ We no longer choose to be invisible, so I am trying to establish working relationships with the networks that want to help us in resolving our ‘invisibility.' " The workshop is Oct. 22.
Voices on Canvas
Texas: Michael Kabotie, a member of the Hopi Tribe of Arizona, is Texas Tech University's Artist-in-Residency. Kabotie, an internationally recognized Hopi artist, said he does much more than Hopi art. His Native American heritage is the root of his creativity. "I've gone beyond the label Hopi," he said. "It's things that all human beings recognize." To further his artistry and honor his heritage, Kabote is working on the Hopi Mural Project. The Museum of Northern Arizona, the Peabody Museum of Harvard University and the Hopi tribe have combined efforts to create a mural telling a story of the Hopi tribe. Kabotie said pre-European Kiva murals, which were located in the underground religious chambers of the Hopi people, inspired the painting. The mural has modern elements, but it is mostly about the Hopi tribe's early traditions.
Institute of American Indian Arts Museum International Indigenous Biennial
New Mexico: In 2006, the Museum of the Institute of American Indian Arts will host "A Gathering of Power: Contemporary Works from the Indigenous World." The works will be selected from candidates recommended by artists and curators. The artwork chosen for display will be based on technical achievement and sense of alternate world views or spiritual systems. Works will include a variety of media, including paintings, sculpture, mixed media, installations, video art, and performances. An additional component of the exhibition will be a series of lectures, workshops, and panel discussions by Indigenous artists. Located in Sante Fe, the Institute of American Indian Arts is a tribal college and 1994 Land Grant Institution. The IAIA is the only multi-tribal center of higher education in the U.S. solely dedicated to the preservation, study, creation and expression of American Indian and Alaska Native arts and cultures.
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