Youth and Education News
Sept 21, 2005 Issue 157 Volume 4
"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
Witnessing climate change in Alaska
Alaska: High school students in the Athabascan village of Huslia have recorded Elders and community members telling what climate change means to them. These audio-visual recordings have been used to produce two multi-media programs: a four-part radio series and an audio-slide show. The project took place during the 2004-2005 school year. Both the radio programmes and the audio slide show were part of the students’ journalism class at the Jimmy Huntington School.
Listen to the radio programs: http://www.panda.org/about_wwf/where_we_work/arctic/what_we_do/climate/climate_witness/radio_intro.cfm
America's Top 10 Green Schools
The Green Schools Initiative is a multi-school effort to make schools healthier and more ecologically sustainable, Over half of Americas 115,000 schools suffer from a poor indoor environment. Some also have hazardous outdoor surroundings which includes nearby pesticide spraying, leading to extreme illness in many students. "Green Guide" has used the LEEDS (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standards and created their own criteria to rank America's top 10 "Green Schools."
1 - Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design
2 - Healthy School Lunches:
3 - School-wide Green Initiatives
4 - Green Education
5 - School Procurement Policies
6 - Contaminant Protection
7 - School Green Spaces
The Top 10
H OR: Clackamas High School;
H Somerville, MA: Michael E. Capuano Early Childhood Center
H Punahou Schools, HA: Case Middle School
H Bainbridge Island, WA: Sakai Intermediate School
H Statesville, NC: Third Creek Elementary
H San Francisco, CA: Lick-Wilmerding High School
H Ada, MI: The Goodwill Environmental School
H Hanover, PA: The Clearview Elementary School
H Arlington, VA: John M. Langston High School Continuation and Langston-Brown Community Center
H Gladstone, NJ: Willow School
Students sink hands in the land
Hawaii: For years Mark Paikuli-Stride educates new generations about the traditional ahupua agricultural system. Each year, students are invited to his land where they work in a taro patch, planting, weeding and harvesting. Paikuli-Stride and Aloha 'Aina Health Center are working together to preserve agriculture land especially where taro once flourished. Their goal is to protect agricultural lands, make it productive again, and provide food at a price that people can afford. "We have to start securing our food-source areas," Paikuli-Stride said. "Right now, we look to the supermarkets for our water and our food, but in traditional times the ahupua'a was where everything was gathered, and right now our ahupua'a are being depleted and destroyed." Paikuli-Stride wants to grow taro just as the ancient Hawaiians did--without chemicals and pesticides. "We can't go back to that way of life but we can understand the tradition, the way they cared for the land, and do what we can to preserve it," he said. this year, the Hawai'i Farm Bureau back a bill allowing counties and states to identify "prime" agriculture land. Incentives are then offered to help keep the land productive. Between 1997-2002, farmland in Hawai'i dropped 10% as sugar cane acres were left fallow or were developed for nonagricultural use. "Educating our children is where we have to put our focus. Not only educate them on the importance of farm land but also on the importance of agriculture in Hawai'i," said Alan Takemoto of the Farm Bureau.
Iowa Tribe receives $250K grant for eagle center
The Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma has received a $250,000 federal grant to build an eagle aviary and rehabilitation center. The tribe will care for sick and injured birds at the center. But the center will serve primarily as a repository for golden and bald eagles. Tribal members should be able to obtain eagle fathers and parts for ceremonies, tribal officials said.
The tribe got the idea from the Zuni Tribe of New Mexico, which runs the only other known aviary in Indian Country.
Seafood Watch Program
Did you know nearly 70%of the world's fisheries are fully fished or overfished? Nearly 30,000,000 tons of fish, sharks, and seabirds die each year after they are accidentally caught, then discarded, dead or dying. The Montery Bay Aquarium has created a consumer guide for wise choices in selecting seafood. The information included is the result of years of research compiled by the Aquarium and other conservation organizations. Among the recommendations:
Albacore/Tombo tuna (Pacific)
Download the Seafood Watch Alternative Chart: http://www.mbayaq.org/cr/cr_seafoodwatch/content/media/MBA_SeafoodWatch_AlternativesChart.pdf
Teen scientists fight noxious weeds holistically
North Dakota: In Porcupine, nine high school students have a mission: to get rid of leafy spurge, a fast-spreading weed that causes millions of dollars in damage to grazing and agricultural land. Under the supervision of Gary Halvorson from Sitting Bull College, students are identifying Porcupine's plant composition while checking on the progress of previously released flea beetles. Flea beetles, whose root-eating larvae are an environmentally safe way to attack the weed, is a sharp contrast to government methods, which include spraying powerful herbicides across their town. ''Nothing's growing in sprayed areas,'' said Monica Skye. ''How can it be an improvement to kill everything for years? The chokecherries were a food source. And what about the children? Those must have been very dangerous chemicals.'' In addition to doing plant population studies, the students are capturing flea beetles and releasing where leafy spurge has newly appeared. "We keep track of the treated areas with a GPS so we can go back and re-evaluate them,'' said Dee Paint, Lakota. ''We run the numbers through the computer, then make comparisons over time.'' In addition to applauding the teen scientists' work, Porcupine hopes to stake out angora goats in infested areas. The goats will consume the high-protein leafy spurge, which causes their valuable coats to grow, providing raw material for yarn.
Loss of Genetic Diversity in Wild Horses Feared
Montana: Wild horse advocates have concerns about this year' roundup of wild horses and burros across the West. Up to 10,000 horses will be captured, drastically lowering wild horse populations and threatening the horses' genetic diversity. "You cannot preserve this gene pool with such reductions," said Karen Sussman from the Society for the Protection of Mustangs and Burros. Sussman said her group encourages American Indian tribes to adopt the animals. "Our goal is to see that they are protected on native land," Sussman said. An estimated 6,000 will be are adopted. or sold. Horses and burros more than 10 years and passed over for adoption may be sent to slaughter. Friends of Animals, an animal rights group, is pursuing legislation to end all wild horse roundups. Elizabeth Steven of FOA said the Bureau of Land Management, which will capture the horses, has failed for decades to protect and preserve America's wild horse herds. "It seems like a real conflict of interest between the people BLM serves -- ranchers and the oil and gas industry -- and the wild horses," she said. "And unfortunately, the horses don't get to speak out." The costs to remove and hold the animals cost the U.S. government $39,500,000.
Approved for Nuclear Waste,
Utah: The federal government has approved a $3,100,000,000 plan to store highly radioactive nuclear waste on the Skull Valley Band of Goshutes reservation. A private company, Private Fuel Storage, will store tens of thousands of tons of waste in powerfully built casks on concrete pads. The Gushute tribe, which has 130 members including about 85 adults, is deeply divided by the decision. Although tribal chairman Leon Brown wants the facility, others say the nuclear waste would debase sacred ground and destroy tribal culture. Environmental groups and Utah officials said the decision raised the risk of an accident or a deliberate attack, and promised to challenge it in court.
The Washington Post
No helmets, pads in proud Choctaw stickball tradition
Mississippi: In the east, Lacrosse is cherished as "The Native American Game." But on the Mississippi Choctaw Indian Reservation, stickball is played as the ancestors played it hundreds of years ago. Stickball is the forerunner to lacrosse, and the elders cherish the sport and refer to it as "our game." Neither helmets nor protective padding are allowed in Indian stickball, which is called "Kobacca" in Choctaw and refered to as "Little Brother of War." Stickball served as a way for tribes to settle disputes, often violently. Hundreds of men crowded onto a field and competed in games that sometimes lasted several days. Under modern rules, games last 60 minutes. Each team is limited to 30 players on the field, and no fighting is allowed. But the sport remains fierce, bloody and popular. During July's Choctaw Indian Fair, women and children compete in the World Series of Stickball, but it is men's division that features the best and most brutal players and attracts the largest crowds. For those games, Choctaw Indians fill the stands out of interest, pride and hope.
Colorado Ute Tribes Announce $1.2 Million Pledge as Host Sponsors of the 2006 North American Indigenous Games
Colorado: The Southern Ute and the Ute Mountain Ute Tribes have officially pledged a combined total of $1,200,000 to host the 2006 North American Indigenous Games. “We are pleased to put our support behind the 2006 North American Indigenous Games," said Southern Ute Tribe Chairman Clement Frost. "We could not think of a better way to honor our indigenous youth." The games are a multi-sport and cultural celebration, and one of the largest First Nations and Native American sport and cultural events in the United States. More than 8,000 Native and First Nations athletes are expected to participate, and more than 50,000 families and spectators are expected to attend. The games will be held in Denver from July 2-9, 2006.
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