Native Village 

Youth and Education News

Sept 7, 2005 Issue 156 Volume 3

"It is time to talk with our Brothers and Sisters of other nations, colors and beliefs. The ideas and philosophies of yesterday may be the key to the world family's future." Edward Benton-Benai, Ojibwe

   Teachers' unions boycott Wal-Mart
The National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers want shoppers to boycott Walmart and buy school supplies somewhere else. The two unions, which represent over 4,000,000 teachers, have joined the United Food and Commercial Workers in a "Wake-Up Wal-Mart" campaign. They are demanding the company increase wages, expand health benefits and adhere to child-labor laws. "Even a hit of just 1 to 2 percent could make a big difference..." said Patricia Edwards, a financial analyst. Wal-Mart had sales of $285,000,000,000  in the year that ended in January.

World Festival of Youth and Students challenges U.S. imperialism
Venezuela: The 16th World Festival of Youth and Students ended in mid-August following a week of demonstrations, seminars, festivities, and trips near and around Caracas.  One major political event was a two-day  tribunal by students from countries they consider victims of U.S. imperialism. Representatives presented testimony and evidence of the crimes committed against their people by the U.S.
* LeiLani Dowell from the U.S.  testified on the effects of imperialism on America's youth, particularly those of color.  She presented evidence on racist and anti-poor tactics of military recruiters and on how America's youth bear the brunt of the U.S. government's illegal wars;
* Fernando Suarez del Solar, father of the first GI killed in Iraq, testified about how the U.S.-imperialist-led war in Iraq has affected his family;
* Representatives from Colombia, Haiti, Cuba, Vietnam, Korea, Palestine and  other countries spoke out against atrocities carried out by the Pentagon and the CIA.
More than 15,000 youth from 40 countries attended World Festival of Youth and Students events.

Mississippi Choctaw hit by tropical depression Katrina
Mississippi: The Mississippi Choctaw were hit by Hurricane Katrina as it became a tropical depression. It knocked down trees and power lines and cut off roads. Without electricity, public schools were closed, telephones were out and refrigerated food was spoiling. The tribe set up three emergency shelters for tribal members and other evacuees.  CNN's Anderson Cooper described his stay in one of the Choctaw's casino hotels. ''The main roads have been shut down. Right now we are trying to find out what road is open. We're trying to move our big truck. We're in the midst of what everyone else is facing in terms of trying to get gas and food and ice. Along these back roads in Mississippi, you have local residents who are coming out with chain saws and clearing the roads with their neighbors.'' The eight communities of Mississippi Choctaw are comprised of 9,700 tribal members. The tribe, whose language was used by the code talkers during World War II, today operates a diverse range of manufacturing, service, retail and tourism enterprises.

Indian Country responds to victims of Katrina
Southeast U.S.: Tribal nations across the United States are sending support to the victims of Hurricane Katrina. Six federally recognized tribes are located in the three states hit by the hurricane. Several tribal communities have suffered "extensive" physical damage, the Bureau of Indian Affairs said: 
Alabama's Poarch Band of Creek Indians suffered only minor damage;
The Mississippi Choctaw Reservation was hit by Katrina as it was downgraded to a tropical depression;
Members of the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana lost homes although the storm didn't claim any lives;
The Chitimacha Tribe has already taken in 400 tribal members who lived in New Orleans;
Other communities affected are the Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana and the Jena Band of Choctaw Indians.
Among the many Native people and tribes helping fellow American Indians:
The Seminole Tribe of Florida sent emergency crews to the Mississippi Choctaw Reservation;
The Klamath Tribes in Oregon are sending their primary physician, Dr. Curtis Hanst, and their pharmacist, Dr. Matt Baker, to New Orleans, the city that has endured some of the worst damage;
The Poarch Creeks are also sending clothing, food and water to the Chitimacha Tribe in Louisiana.
The National Congress of American Indians has set up a relief fund to assist tribes and their members in Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi.  "Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of the Indian Nations located in the region effected by Hurricane Katrina," said NCAI President Tex G. Hall. "It is times like this when it is important for Native people to come together to help one another out."
To contribute to the NCAI Hurricane Relief Fund, send donations to:
National Congress of American Indians
1301 Connecticut Ave, NW
Suite 200
Washington, DC 20036

Put Hurricane Relief in subject line of check. All donations will go to the tribes in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.

China puts in a call for Red Lake workers

Minnesota: About two dozen young men from the Red Lake reservation are in China setting up and operating carnival rides.  "It's an opportunity for our young guys," said Archie King at the tribal jobs office. "Not many Americans get to see China."  In July, Oklahoma's Murphy Brothers carnival company phoned King looking for workers to handle rides at the Roseau County Fair.  "I got them 26 guys," he said.  Impressed by their work in Roseau, the Murphy Brothers called again in August.  This time, the company wanted the Red Lake men for another assignment a little farther away: China.  And they'd need to be there in a week. "By 4 p.m. that day, I had 36 guys wanting to go," King said.  U.S. government officials in Bemidji were very helpful with passport applications, "but Homeland Security in Seattle wouldn't honor tribal IDs."  King and a tribal attorney reminded them that a  U.S. District Court ruled that Red Lake tribal ID cards are as valid as state-issued drivers licenses. The passports were issued, and the men left for China. They will be there for 2-6 months. Their tour will take them to Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Tianjin.

UFO spotted, may have landed, on Navajo Nation
New Mexico: Recently, an unidentified flying object was seen over the Navajo Nation and may have landed near the small community of Standing Rock. Lyle Jeff, a 17-year-old student, took pictures of the object. His family and others saw lights in the sky for five nights in a row. His mother said the object finally moved and appeared to have landed on the reservation. Robert Allen, a local UFO buff, says the photos are solid proof of the UFO's existence. He saw the object and said it couldn't be a helicopter or a weather balloon.

UFO : courtesy photo

Ahenakew Won't Be On Trip
Winnipeg: A Jewish group that organizes yearly educational trips to Israel for aboriginals says former native leader David Ahenakew was invited but turned them down. In 2002, Ahenakew, who is a previous Assembly of First Nations leader, referred to Jews as "a disease" and justified the Holocaust. Ahenakew was convicted in 2005 of promoting hatred for Jews.
The Leader-Post Regina, Saskatchewan

American Indians launch suicide hot line
Minnesota: American Indians age 15-24 are three times more likely to commit suicide than any other racial or ethnic group.  Officials say isolation, alcohol, drugs, violence and family problems are among the problems that contribute to high suicide rates.  To help combat the problem, American Indian teens and community leaders have formed the Native Youth Crisis Hotline. More than 30 state agencies and community groups have supported the 24-hour hot line, which will cost $280,000 a year. They expect to receive most calls from 12-13 year olds, but plan to serve people up to 18.  Many prominent community members will participate, including Floyd Jourdain, Jr., the Red Lake tribal chairman."We're losing children very quick, very fast,"
said social worker Pat Shepard. "If those kids had a number to call, maybe that could prevent it.
The Hot line center will be administered by Call Women of Nations 24 hours a day.
Suicide Prevention Number: 
(651) 222-5836
(877) 209-1266

Indian Health Care Funds Short
Montana:  Frustration is growing over a lack of funding for American Indian health care services -- a shortfall of $2,000,000,000 a year.   During a recent meeting, Michael O'Grady, from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services didn't argue that the IHS was underfunded.  Instead, he said the IHS must squeeze more out of existing programs.  "We need to get more bang for our buck," he said.  O'Grady said his agency is working to improve efficiency and communications. The IHS is also promoting prevention  steps that have long-term benefits both for people and for healthcare budgets
H-Amindian Listserve

Navajo EARTH Study is seeking data collectors
New Mexico: Native Americans seem more prone to chronic disease. To address the problem, the Fort Defiance and Shiprock Health Boards and the University of Utah are conducting the Navajo Education And Research Towards Health (EARTH).  Undertaken on the Navajo Nation, the long-term health study will collect data that helps to determine why chronic diseases are increasing among Native people and how their lifestyle factors are affecting them. Randall Comb, a study coordinator, said more than 3,200 Navajos have already gone through the study.  "This study has given a lot back to the Navajo people," he said. "We want to make their health a priority because people don't tend to make it their priority until a person gets sick. We hear testimony of how it has impacted their lives for the better." Combs added that the data will be shared with the Navajo Nation and the communities. More volunteers are needed. If interested, phone: 928-871-3034 or 505-368-4918.

Improving Native health through emerging technologies
A huge ''digital divide'' exists in Native America.  Compared to the rest of the country, too many Native homes lack telephone, Internet, wireless and related information tech. This creates serious concerns about the standard of living for Native peoples .  "Telehealth," however, is providing hope.  Telehealth services connect patients in remote areas with specialists in urban centers. These connections are available over the Internet in all 12 administrative areas of the IHS.  In Alaska, some 200 tribal health facilities benefit from the Alaska Federal Health Care Access Network. Unfortunately, the lower 48 states experience less access: only 81 of 236 tribal facilities have Telehealth activities.
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