Native Village 

Youth and Education News

October 5, 2005 Issue 158 Volume 4

"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

House Votes for New Limits on Endangered Species Act
WASHINGTON, DC: By a vote of 229 to 193, the House of Representatives moved  to undo many central provisions of the 32-year-old Endangered Species Act. They also required agencies enforcing the law to reimburse property owners if the law reduces property value.
Environmental group are dismayed.  If enacted, the changes would represent one of the most far-reaching reversals of environmental policy in more than a decade.
Leading House Democrats say it creates an unlimited financial entitlement for landowners.
Jamie Rappoport Clark, director of the Fish and Wildlife Service in the Clinton administration, said the measures are a deadly blow to the protections of the Endangered Species Act. "This is an irresponsible developer's dream [and] makes it easier to use deadly pesticides like those which caused previous declines of the bald eagle and peregrine falcon."
Representative Nick J. Rahall II, a West Virginia Democrat and ranking minority member on the House Resources Committee, said the $10,000,000 estimate for the bill's compensation funding is a significant underestimate. "Who knows how high it will reach?" Mr. Rahall said.

   New York Skyscrapers Dim Lights to Save Birds
New York: After midnight, New York will turn off all lights on buildings above the 40th floor to protect birds during their fall and spring migrations. Since 1997, more than 4,000 migratory birds have been killed or injured from colliding into skyscrapers.  "New York City is this nexus of ancient migratory flyways, and the parks have become these havens for these birds, but ... the buildings with their light draw birds to them, sort of like moths to a flame," said E.J. McAdams of the Audubon society.  "Lights Out New York" expects 95%-100% cooperation among building owners.  It is modeled after programs in Chicago and Toronto.

First Nation Upset After Regulator Approves Oil Drilling on Land Claim
Alberta: The Lubicon Nation is considering its options after Alberta regulators ignored their protests and granted permission for Surge Global Energy to drill a well on the band's land claim.   Lubicon Chief Bernard Ominayak had written to the Alberta Energy and Utilities Board against the application, which the band considers to be only the first stage of a 500-well project. He argued the well shouldn't be granted without an assessment of the overall impact of the entire plan.   The utilities board sent a letter to the band rejecting their concerns.
H-Amindian Listserv

First Nations Want The Province To Fund Their Pine Beetle Plan
British Columbia: Some 69 First Nations and representatives for 85 communities gathered for an emergency forum about the mountain pine-beetle infestation. First Nations want financial help to manage beetles on their lands and to be included in the province's plan to address the beetles' devastating impact on pine trees.  Ed John, grand chief of the B.C. First Nations Summit, said the pine beetle infestation is as important to First Nations communities as the fisheries crises and residential school issues.  "Issues arise and people rally around them," John said.  "This [the pine beetle] is very important, and we don't want to be left on the sidelines while big corporations get access to more timber than they need, and [the] crumbs fall off the table for communities.  We can't allow that to happen."
The Vancouver Sun

  Wild rice sales are booming; threat of contamination looms
Minnesota: Observers say Minnesota's 2005 wild rice harvest is spotty. On some lakes, the harvest is down significantly. One exception is Big Rice Lake on the White Earth Indian Reservation where tribal members have harvested thousands of pounds of rice.  Hand-harvesting wild rice by canoe is a lot of work, but John Shimek's family has been ricing for as long as he can remember. He says a couple of experienced ricers can earn hundreds of dollars in just a few hours' work.  "They establish a rhythm and they just bring it over the side," said Shimek, 22, who uses wooden sticks to knock the rice from tall plants into the bottom of the boat. He says for many Native American people, wild rice is an important source of income.  "The economy around here does depend on it," he said "My dad, he put me through school with the wild rice. That's what we would do to make our money to get through the year." But for many, the threat of genetically contaminated rice is a major concern. Wild rice carries enormous cultural and spiritual importance for the Ojibwe people. Tribal Elder Earl Hoagland says the Ojibwe tradition teaches that it was the rice that led them centuries ago from the East Coast to their home in Minnesota. He worries genetic contamination might destroy what they cherish so much.  "We consider the wild rice to be a sacred gift from the Creator and it's always been here for us," said Hoagland. "Now, if the rice is altered genetically, it may be a strain that will take over the wild rice, and we will lose what was given to us by the Creator."

Wild Gorillas Seen Using Tools for First Time
Congo: Two female gorillas have been photographed using sticks as tools to get through swampy areas, the first time the apes have been seen doing so in the wild. "This is a truly astounding discovery," said Thomas Breuer of the Wildlife Conservation Society who observed the gorillas in the Republic of Congo's northern rain forests. All great apes use tools in captivity, but scientists have worried this does not reflect natural behavior, just something copied from humans.  "We first observed an adult female gorilla using a branch as a walking stick to test water deepness and to aid in her attempt to cross a pool of water at Mbeli Bai, a swampy forest clearing in northern Congo," Bueur and his colleagues wrote in their report.  In the second case, they saw another pull up a dead shrub. "She forcefully pushed it into the ground with both hands and held the tool for support with her left hand over her head for two minutes while dredging food with the other hand. Efi [the gorilla's name] then took the trunk with both hands and placed it on the swampy ground in front of her, crossed bipedally on this self-made bridge, and walked quadrupedally towards the middle of the clearing." The findings can also help shed light on how human beings came to use tools and broaden the understanding of how animals use them.

American Indian hero joins historical figures at Capitol
Washington, DC  For the next six months, statues of George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson and others will share the Capitol Rotunda with Po'Pay, a Pueblo medicine man.  Po'Pay is different from the 99 other historical figures represented in the Statuary Hall Collection -- in 1680, he led a revolt in New Mexico that killed 400 Spanish, including 21 priests.  His is the only statue that represents resistance to European invasion.   But Po'Pay's statue will also stand  in front of four large paintings whose sentiments he would not have shared -- Columbus stepping foot in the "New World;" the Pilgrims embarking from Holland; DeSoto's "discovery" of the Mississippi River; and the Baptism of Pocahontas. Even the four other American Indians who join tPo'Pay  in the collection collaborated with the United States to some extent.

tSakakawea (North Dakota) was the Shoshone girl who guided the Lewis and Clark expedition.
tSequoyah (Oklahoma) created the Cherokee alphabet and was an envoy to Washington after President Andrew Jackson ordered the Cherokees removed from their Southeast homelands to Oklahoma.
tWashakie (Wyoming), a Shoshone chief and father-in-law to mountain man Jim Bridger, negotiated with the United States for rights to the Wind River lands, where the Eastern Shosone still reside.
tSarah Winnemucca (Nevada) was a Paiute who helped the U.S. Army during its war with the Bannocks.

   Native basketball tourney to seek NCAA certification
The organizers of the Native American Basketball Invitational are trying to have the event certified by the NCAA.  “Our goal has always been looking out for the best interest of the athletes and taking this next step to be certified opens more doors for the players to be showcased to Division I & II colleges. Will it change some of how NABI is organized? Yes, but change is good when it creates higher levels of opportunities, professionalism, accountability and the creditability NABI is striving for as a national tournament,” says GinaMarie Scarpa-Mabry, Managing Partner of NABI. Last year's tournament drew 64 teams composed solely of Native high school players. They played in reservation gyms near Phoenix with the final four teams playing at America West Arena, the home of the Phoenix Suns.
For more information about NABI and the tournament, visit
Native American Time

NMSU student to do play-by-play in Navajo
New Mexico: New Mexico State University student Cuyler Frank broadcast the recent football game against Cal in his native Navajo language. He teamed up with Lanell Pahe for the game broadcast on the university's website.  Frank appreciates the opportunity to share the experiences and accomplishments of NMSU students with the Navajo Nation.  Several stations broadcast high school football games in the Navajo language, but Franks was the first to share a college football game speaking Dine.
The Associated Press

Creek rapper raises $12K for Choctaws hit by Katrina
Florida: Shadowyze, a Creek hip-hop artist,, raised $12,000 for a Choctaw community in Mississippi hit by Hurricane Katrina. With the help of his fans, he raised the money to buy food and supplies for 200 Mississippi Choctaws living in the rural community of Bogue Homa.

Encyclopedia of Native Music

   The Book:
Written by Brian Wright-McLeod (Dakota-Anishnabe),  "The Encyclopedia of Native Music [More Than a Century of Recordings from Wax Cylinder to the Internet)" is a guide to the sounds of Native North America.  Containing more than 1,800 entries categorized into traditional and contemporary music sections, the ENM provides an overview of the music and its historical value.  It also includes film soundtracks and compilation albums that have helped bring many artists to popular attention. In addition to music recordings, listings include spoken-word projects, audio books, comedy albums, interview discs and poetry collections.
The CD Box Set:
  CD 1 examines the traditional and folk roots.  "Many traditional people of the First Nations believe that songs come from dreams, spirits, visions, and the land itself and, in turn, are handed down orally to future generations – some personal songs, however, live and leave with the individual. The music serves a crucial purpose in ceremonies, healing, hunting, family use, in essence, all aspects of daily life"
  CD 2 examines Powwow Roots and Flute. "The powwow represents a continual change within a living and vibrant culture. The songs, dances and groups featured on this CD profile the roots of the modern powwow repertoire and how those origins have been maintained. The opening track dates back to the 1800s. Symbolically, the opening vocal call of a powwow singer represents the first cry of the newborn, while the drum is the heartbeat.
  CD 3 highlights contemporary music. " Since the first wax cylinders, there has been a strong Native presence in the recording field. Historically speaking, there were more archival and research recordings of North American Native music than of any other cultural group in the world. CD 3, which features several influential artists, takes a decade-by-decade approach, beginning in 1920 and continuing on to the jazz of the 1940s and '50s. The explosion of rock music through the electric guitar in the 1950s created a movement of Native musicians who began to express their culture in their songs. New styles, such as techno, dub, reggae and spoken word, became increasingly popular in the 1980s and 1990s as more powerful vehicles of expression. The CD comes full circle with modern jazz of the new millennium. "
The Encyclopedia of Native Music:

 Volume 3

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