Youth and Education News
Sept 21, 2005 Issue 157 Volume 3
"You cannot give away what you don't have. You need to give away what you have in order to keep it. Our Elders have lived their lives with a lot of trial and error. They have experienced how to do things good and they have experienced what didn't work for them as they grew old. They know things about living that we don't know. So, through the years the Elders have gained wisdom. They usually have a whole different point of view because of all their experiences. There are two ways to learn: someone tells us what they did and we do the same thing, or someone tells us what they did and we choose not to do it. Both of these paths will help us to live." Shared by Usti Yona, Cherokee
Why Indians Aren't Celebrating the Lewis and Clark Expedition
As nationwide events continue to recognize the Lewis and Clark expedition of 1804-1806, Native Americans are struggling to come to terms with history. The expedition opened the West to white settlement, and Native Americans were sent to reservations, ravaged by disease and poverty, and forced to abandon language, religion and culture. “To us, it was a holocaust—like what happened to the Jewish people,” says Cassandra Kipp, Nez Perce. At the time, some tribes considered Lewis and Clark unimportant. For the Mandan, the explorers are not depicted on the 1804-1805 buffalo hides on which the tribe painted pictures to record important events. “There were other things that were more significant,” says Amy Mossett, Mandan-Hidatsa. “Battles with the Sioux, when they came in and burned our villages. Or when smallpox came up the river. Even a meteor shower was more significant than Lewis and Clark. People ... want to know what stories we have about Lewis and Clark. Well, the fact that we don’t have any left probably tells you how insignificant these men really were. Lewis and Clark are not our heroes today. And they weren’t our heroes 200 years ago either.” Yet many Native American leaders remain active in the national Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Commission. They see the bicentennial as a chance to tell their stories and to financially benefit from tourists following the trail from St. Louis to the Pacific coast.
Trail of Tears organizer gets ready for '05 motorcycle ride
Alabama: As part of the Indian Removal Act of 1830, the U.S. military forced more than 17,000 Cherokee to march west towards poorly supplied reservations. More than 4,000 people died along way of starvation, disease and exposure. The inhumane marches to reservations became the first of many for other American Indian people. Ron Wheeler's Cherokee ancestors were in this march. To raise awareness of this historical injustice, Wheeler helped establish the Trail of Tears Commemorative Motorcycle Ride 12 years ago. Marking the actual Trail of Tears, the bikers started their first ride in Chattanooga and ended it in Waterloo with 100 riders. This year's ride, which takes the same route, is expected to draw 180,000 bikers by the time they reach Waterloo. Last year's proceeds netted $60,000 which was donated to universities in Tennessee and Alabama. This year they are using T-shirt proceeds to provide scholarships to American Indians. Additional funding is going to cultural education. Riders will also place historical markers along the route to mark encampments and important events along the trail.
Hawaii Gov. Lobbies Senate on Secession
Hawaii: A vote on a U.S. Senate bill granting federal recognition to Native Hawaiians has been delayed. This gives Hawaii's governor, Linda Lingle, a chance to lobby senators who fear it could lead to Hawaii's secession from the union. "That's a ridiculous claim and a ridiculous argument," she said. "We have over 500 recognized Indian tribes in America. "They don't secede. They simply get a federal recognition that allows them to avoid these kinds of lawsuits that Hawaiians have faced." Senator Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii, sponsored the bill and has been trying for six years to bring it to the Senate floor for a vote. If passed, the new law would give federal recognition to Native Hawaiians and lead to the formation of a Native Hawaiian governing entity. Akaka bill supporters say the bill helps right the wrong of the U.S.-backed overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy in 1893. It would also help Native Hawaiians establish programs to help them.
19th century 'Crazy Ute' has lessons for today
Utah: Outcasts live among us--people who are solitary, scorned, feared, forgotten. Most didn't become outcasts all at once; it took years of being marginalized, taunted, ignored, abused. As it was for Inneputs. Who was "Inneputs?" The Utah History Research Center has three photos labeled "Inneputs, Crazy Ute." They show a naked, dust-smeared man with long knotted hair, ragged beard, aged skin. He lived alone outdoors for 40 years, never wore clothes, and ignored the tourists who came to stare at the man they called the "Crazy Ute." From what the stories say, Inneputs was born in Utah Valley, but no one knows why he went "crazy." In the 1860s, when he was 6, his band was forced to move to the Uintah Reservation. One version says Inneputs angrily refused to go and scrambled up a mountainside, throwing rocks at anyone who approached. When Inneput's aging mother climbed up to talk to him, a rock accidentally hit and killed her. Horrified and humbled, the boy came down. Another version says that Inneputs accidentally killed his mother with a misfired rifle. Then there's a story that says Inneputs killed a white woman. Or one that says that during a bear attack he received a severe blow to the head, which deranged him. The stories also disagree on whether the tribe banished him, whether he imposed exile on himself, or whether he was simply, in a word, crazy. His life ended in October 1912, when somebody found his body.
Leonard Peltier Turns 61
Pennsylvania: Leonard Peltier, the well-known Native American political prisoner, recently turned 61-years-old. Today Peltier sits in the U.S. Federal Prison at Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. According to the Leonard Peltier Defense Committee, the past year has been especially difficult for him.
June 15: US District Court hearing in Fargo, ND on jurisdiction of US courts over federal crimes in native lands;
June 26: 30th anniversary of shootout at Jumping Bull's in Oglala;
June 30: Without notice to his attorneys or family Peltier is transferred to the Federal Prison at Terre Haute, Indiana from the Federal Prison at Leavenworth, Kansas;
June 30 - August 3: Peltier is arbitrarily placed in solitary for six weeks;
July 1: Peltier relative and key figure in Oglala Lakota community, Calvin Jumping Bull passes on to the spirit world;
August 15: Despite ailing health, Peltier is moved to US Federal Prison at Lewisburg;
September 2: Cousin and long-time supporter Steve Robideau passes on to the spirit world;
Peltier was convicted of assisting in the deaths of two FBI agents killed during a shoot-out on Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in 1975. However, Peltier's trial included withheld documents, witness intimidation, false testimony, and other misconducts. Activists across the world are working for a fair trial and/or Peltier's release.
To learn more, visit the Leonard Peltier Defense Committee website: http://www.leonardpeltier.org .
Native youth work to combat stereotypes
Oklahoma: UNITY, an acronym for United National Indian Tribal Youth, held its 29th annual conference in July. Native American youth, ages 15-24, traveled from 24 states to discuss solutions for improving conditions in Indian Country. Among the youths' requests:
More outreach to national media
and Hollywood to share stories of Native youth;
Although Native youth under age of 21 make up a majority of many tribal communities, they do not see an equitable amount of tribal spending to support youth programs.
Kids Cafe set to feed lunch to Indian kids
Montana: The Kids Cafe has begun serving after school meals to 50-70 children on the Northern Cheyenne reservation. Sponsored by ConAgra Foods, Kids Cafe is one of the nation's largest programs aimed at feeding low-income children. More than 93% of children in Lame Deer are eligible for free or reduced-price meals at school. "We are grateful that we are able to offer nutritious meals to our community's children because we have a demonstrated need for this program," said Rick Robinson from the Boys & Girls Club of the Northern Cheyenne Nation. The program will also host some evening meals intended for children and their families. About 1,300 Kids Cafes exist around the country. To help with funding, ConAgra provides $20,000 the first year, $10,000 to second and $5,000 the third year. Hopefully by then, local officials will provide funding so it can continue. Organizers hope to start similar programs at other reservations in Montana.
Indian clinic teaches children health
Oklahoma: The Oklahoma City Indian Clinic is fighting obesity and diabetes among Indian youth by offering an annual health education camp. The camp, which hosts 250-300 children each year, teaches kids how to stay in shape. The clinic also hosts a week-long health fair to offers nutritional information and activities for children. The clinic serves 4,000 patients under age 18.
SDSU educators win conference award
South Dakota: Gloria Craig, Tish Smyer and Kay Foland are associate professors at South Dakota State University. The woman have spent more than two years developing a Native American Elders Health Care Series. Recently, the series was awarded top prize in the health science division at the Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching International Conference. The SDSU project focuses on improving the health status of elderly Native Americans who experience a high rate of preventable, acute and
Read about the project: http://learn.sdstate.edu/share/
The Campaign for Youth
The Campaign for Youth has drafted a set of principles to ensure that at-risk youth will not be ignored or forgotten in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.
1. Create a large-scale Community Restoration and Youth Development Effort.
Such an effort should be comprehensive and should integrate the following components:
Work Component: provide jobs and wages to youth and engage them in meaningful projects that help repair and restore their communities;
Service Component: provide opportunities for young people to serve in restoring or creating public places, tutoring school children, assisting in public health to elderly and frail;
Academic Component: use educational models that work with youth who have low literacy levels;
Occupational Skills Component: provide opportunities to help with skills needed for rebuilding, including construction, utilities, agriculture, and more;
Support Component: create public centers to help affected youth.
2. Stimulate the Business-Youth connection by identifying occupational areas that will be in demand and allow subsidized employment for youth in those industry and occupational areas.
3. Establish a temporary residential area close to the major reconstruction effort.
4. Help local youth service providers expand service and support their efforts to accommodate the youth population.
5. Facilitate a peer-to-peer network among communities and providers for sharing best practice methods and the skills of staff members.
Read document: http://www.nyec.org/CFY-katrinal.pdf
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