Native Village 

Youth and Education News

October 5, 2005 Issue 158 Volume 1

"What we have is because someone stood up before us.  What our Seventh Generation will have is a consequence of our actions today." Winona LaDuke, Annishnabe

Sweden: Founded in 1980, the Right Livelihood Awards are often referred to as “Alternative Nobel Prizes.”  While Alfred Nobel wanted to honour those whose work “brought the greatest benefit to humanity,” Jakob von Uexkull, felt that today's Nobel Prizes ignore much work and knowledge vital for our world.  In 1980 he sold his valuable postage stamps to provide the original endowment for the Right Livelihood Awards which " honour and support those offering practical and exemplary answers to the most urgent challenges facing us today.”
The 2005 Right Livelihood Awards goes to:
Francisco Toledo (Mexico), for devoting himself and his art to protect, enhance and renew the architecture, heritage, natural environment and community life of his native Oaxaca. Toledo is one of Mexico’s greatest living artists and community philanthropists.
Maude Barlow and Tony Clarke (Canada), for their worldwide work for trade justice and the recognition of human rights to water;
Irene Fernandez (Malaysia), for her work to stop violence against women and abuses of migrant and poor workers;
The organization First People of the Kalahari, and its founder Roy Sesana (Botswana), for resisting eviction from their ancestral lands, and for upholding the right to their traditional way of life.
This year's awards ceremony will be held December 9 in the Swedish Parliament. There were 77 candidates from 39 countries on this year's nomination list:
4 from Africa, 4 from the Arab world 20 from Asia 1 from Australia
26 from Europe 12 from Latin America 10 from North America

Botswana: Twenty-eight Bushmen leaders  were arrested they attempted to transport water and food to their relatives in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve. Once in custody, five Bushmen were beaten by police. Bushmen leader Roy Sesana was one of those beaten, a spokesman reports, "Sesana was sitting in the car. He put up his hands. They handcuffed him then Ishmael [the police superintendent] punched him on his thighs after he was handcuffed. When he was down they were jumping on him with big boots." After four days in jail, the Bushmen were released on bail and now face charges of "unlawful assembly. If convicted, they could spend up to one year in prison.  The Bushmen represented the First People of the Kalahari, a grass roots organization fighting for the rights of the Gana and Gwi Bushmen to return to their ancestral homeland.  "No matter what they do to us we will keep on peacefully fighting for our land rights" said a Bushmen spokesman.  Seven of those detained were children, including a seven-month old baby.

Guarani of Yvy Katu keep their land
Brazil: A Brazilian appeals court has ruled that the Guarani Ñandeva Indians of Yvy Katu can keep their land. This is a great victory for the Indians who returned to Yvy Katu in 2004,  after landowners evicted them about thirty years ago. The Yvy Katu community had feared they would face eviction and destitution if the landowners had won their case. Now, the official process of recognizing and protecting their land can continue.

Propriety and History Clash in Argentina
Argentina: On November 19, the Museum of High Altitude Archaeology plans to display three mummified Incan children who were discovered in preserved condition. But the Indigenous Association of Argentina and some museum officials believe the public display is disrespectful and are trying to stop it. "These children have been taken violently from their sacred resting places, and we consider this an attack on our people," said Rogelio Guanuco, of the Indigenous Association of Argentina.  "The desire to show them is something we consider even worse, because it turns something spiritual into something commercial."  The three bodies, believed to be 500 years old, were discovered six years ago on a mountaintop in Salta. The corpses -- two girls and a boy--are believed to range in age from about 6 to 15. They were not artificially mummified -- their bodies and clothes were preserved naturally by the combination of freezing temperatures, thin air and moderate humidity.

San Juan governor wants pueblo's name changed
New Mexico: San Juan Pueblo plans to return to its original name, "Ohkay Owinge."  That's what it was called before Spanish missionaries arrived in New Mexico more than 400 years ago.  "We're talking about sovereignty, self determination and our way of life," said Gov. Joe Garcia. "How does San Juan Pueblo relate to who we are?"  Ohkay Owinge translates to "place of the strong people."  Garcia said the name sets the pueblo's purpose in life and impacts how others perceive its people.  San Juan Pueblo would not be the first tribe to change its name. In 1999, the Navajo community of Canoncito near Albuquerque changed its name to To'hajiilee. Some tribes elsewhere in the United States also have changed their names.

Code Talkers museum could become reality

 New Mexico: Plans for a museum honoring the Navajo Code Talkers of World War II is gaining momentum. The New Mexico Legislature approved a $90,000 matching-fund grant if the city of Gallup and the Southwest Indian Foundation each contributes $90,000.   Today, many of the Code Talkers are in or past their late 70s. Kent Hodges from the Gallup Cultural Center wants them to witness the preservation of their legacy.    "It's very important for them to see that something is being done now," he said. The Code Talker museum would be created on the Cultural Center's upper floor or in a large open space downstairs. The museum will be interactive, , "where people are not just walking around looking at artifacts, something they can sink their teeth into." said Hodges.  That's especially important for the younger visitors, because, "any time you can engage a child in a sensory way, the longer it's going to live with them."  Navajo youth especially, he said, "need to be aware of that story and be proud of that heritage."  During WWII, the government recruited Navajos to speaktheir language and create a code the Japanese could not break.  The Navajo Code Talkers were instrumental... in a lot of our success, our rapid success, in the South Pacific, and some people will even say they were essential," Hodges said. Hodges said the foundation is also working with the Smithsonian which is interested in future support and funding.

First 29 Codetalkers 1942

Including Indians in Colonial History
New York: Recently, Native Americans from The Living History group participated in re-Revolutionary War reenactments at Fort Stanwix.  Financed by the Oneida Nation of New York, the Living History group focused upon the Oneida who lived alongside the colonists and suffered greatly for joining their fight against the British. " We are trying to educate people about a group who contributed significantly to the birth of the United States," said program director Dan Ulmstead. "This isn't about a bunch of guys in Philadelphia writing on a piece of paper that we are a free country. There were a lot more people who made an impact, particularly the Oneida. Nate George, 42, led visitors on a scouting mission that demonstrated how the Oneida used guerrilla tactics in war.  "[Our] way of fighting would be highly unusual for the Europeans," he said.  " They fought with hundreds lined up in a big open field, firing at each other. We thought fighting this way was ignorant, very stupid. Why would you stand there and let somebody shoot at you?" Living History volunteer Darryl Gillete spoke about how the colonial period influenced modern race relations because the colonialists could not see the Oneida's perspective. They "looked at a person as what they are, not who they are," he said, adding that they viewed American Indians with prejudiced eyes, as "uncivilized, savage, and uncouth." "And we still do it today. " he continued.

UNESCO treaty to protect oral traditions on track to enter into force next year
The "Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage" was adopted by the United Nations in 2003. The convention is a treaty to protect the world’s oral traditions, performing arts, social practices, craftsmanship and knowledge of nature. Twenty countries have already ratified the treaty to which will enter into force next year. “Few UNESCO conventions have been ratified by as many states in such a short time,” said UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura. “The interest shown by States for intangible cultural heritage is a source of joy and comfort for all who are concerned about its vulnerability.”

Storytelling with technology
New Mexico: Many Native languages are endangered, and Indian communities are responding to this crisis in various ways. On October 6,  representatives from 11 Native American tribes will gather at the Pueblo of Pojoaque Training Center for a three-day workshop titled “Storytelling with Technology.”  The workshop will feature Native language keyboarding, producing books and materials using desktop publishing, scanning and inserting images, and lab time to create materials with instructor guidance.  This is the second in a series of regional workshops that the Indigenous Language Institute (ILI) will conduct in partnership with IBM Corporation.
Indigenous Language Institute:

The Poetic Hearts of Mayan Women Write Large
Mexico: The Mayan women of the Chiapas highlands are extremely poor, and many are illiterate. The poorest own only a few blankets, articles of clothing and utensils. Thirty years ago Ámbar Past moved to Chiapas, stayed with some Mayan women and taught herself Tzotzil, one of the local Mayan languages. As she listened to the women, Ms. Past said she realized that they sometimes spoke in poetry, in couplets and in gleaming metaphors.  "I was so deeply moved hearing in these mud huts these breathtakingly beautiful verses, sometimes echoing verses and phrases spoken or written 500 years ago," she said. A new book, "Incantations," is a book of poetry by 150 Mayan women. Translated into English, Incantations may be the first book of Mayan women's poetry created almost entirely by them. The book is 295 pages of recycled and handmade paper with silk-screened illustrations. The first edition of "Incantations," Tzotzil translated into Spanish, was in 1998. So far, 1,850 volumes of the English edition are printed. The first 200 numbered copies cost $200 each, and half have sold. Another 1,650 are being bound, and will sell for $100.

IMLS Announces Awards of $36.8 Million to Museums and Libraries Nationwide
The Institute of Museum and Library Services has announced more than $36,800,000 in federal funding to libraries and museums throughout the nation. American Indian and Alaska Native organizations which received funding are:
Chilkat Indian Village - Haines, AK - $146,692  
Chilkoot Indian Association - Haines, AK - $149,986  
Native Village of Afognak - Kodiak, AK - $107,934  
Sealaska Corporation - Juneau, AK - $140,606
Pauma Band of Luiseno Mission Indians - Pauma Valley, CA - $142,097
Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians - Peshawbestown, MI - $148,948  
Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan - Mount Pleasant, MI - $119,810
Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes of the Fort Peck Indian Reservation - Poplar, MT - $134,015
Three Affiliated Tribes - New Town, ND - $139,856
Rosebud Sioux Tribe of the Rosebud Indian Reservation - Rosebud, SD - $149,600
Makah Indian Tribe - Neah Bay, WA - $40,000  
Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians - Hayward, WI - $149,183  
Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians - Bayfield, WI - $35,273
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