Native Village 

Youth and Education News

April 1, 2006 Issue 166  Volume 3

"Within our culture, our new buffalo is education."  Keith Moore

Tribal college leader appeals for Indian education support
North Dakota: There are 35 tribal colleges in the country.  David Gipp, president of United Tribe Technical College, says the federal government is compromising their success in recruiting and educating Native students.  "My message is simple: culturally appropriate higher education for Indian people works, and Indian people today want quality, culturally appropriate higher education as never before," Gipp told U.S.  Senator Byron Dorgan, vice-chairman of the Indian Affairs Committee.  Gipp, a member of the Standing Rock Sioux, pointed out that the American Indian community is very young, with over half the population under the age of 25.  In addition to serving that segment, Gipp said education is "vitally necessary to allow tribal nations to rebuild their economies, long neglected by the United States.  The skills learned in higher education help rebuild infrastructure and reestablish vital tribal government services, as well as improve local economies and business institutions.  We remain concerned that the present administration does not fully support the financial assistance and scholarship programs, such as Pell grants, that so many of our students need for their education," Gipp said.
Gipp outlined nine key areas Congress must understand regarding Indian education:
1. Tribal colleges and universities need institutional stability.  This includes consistent and adequate funding.
2.  Tribal Colleges need the best technology possible.  Technology is a window to the future of Indian people.
3.  Tribal colleges need the best facilities possible.  Construction funds have lagged far behind student growth. 
4.  The President's Executive Order on tribal colleges and universities needs to be carried out.  Efforts to address this issue have been made to, and been ignored by,  Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings.
5.  Financial assistance and scholarship programs for Indian students have been drastically cut.  The needs of Indian Country cannot take a back seat to the needs of foreign citizens.
6.  Give tribal elementary and secondary schools the tools they need so students can succeed in tribal and non-tribal postsecondary educational institutions
7.  Make sure Tribal citizens are successful in non-Indian institutions of higher instruction. 
8. Make sure that the Higher Education Act goes forward as quickly as possible, and that the needs of Indian students are fully recognized and provided for in that Act. 
9.  Set aside funds to help Indian people develop their own scholars and professionals, such as teachers, engineers, scientists, and doctors, to help Indian communities grow and prosper.

Tribal college program honored
North Dakota: Fortune Magazine has named Sitting Bull College as one of 10 “cutting-edge programs for budding entrepreneurs."  "We’re very happy and excited,” said Laurel Vermillion, the college’s interim president. Sitting Bull stresses economic development and business leadership programs so tribal member have the skills to start small businesses.   The college also has a $40,000,000 expansion campaign which will include a $3,400,000 business entrepreneurship center with space for a dozen start-ups.  “It’s entrepreneurship through education,” said Ron Walters, the college’s resource development director.  Sitting Bull is a tribal college on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation. Currently, Standing Rock's unemployment rate is 35% in the summer and 75% in the winter.

American Indians on the rise in law studies
North Dakota: When Phillip Deloria began his career in American Indian Law,  the U.S. identified only 25 American Indian lawyers.   Deloria, director the University of New Mexico's American Indian Law Center, Inc., said American Indians had grade-point or racial difficulties getting into law school.  "There was a time before Affirmative Action, believe it or not," he said.  UNM allowed Deloria to help students meet the challenges of learning at "law school speed," and the school's success rate jumped from 30% to 95%.  Now, there are nearly 4,000 Indian lawyers across the United States.  Students who study at the UNM's American Indian law Center learn both practical law and laws dealing with tribal jurisdiction.  American Indian law study also addresses sovereignty issues  like rules, regulations and cultural differences best understood by Indian people themselves. Despite its overwhelming success,  the UNM American Indian Law Center still faces criticism.  "Our program causes controversy because, getting Indians to pass law school is part of the lunacy that is the law.  It changes them," Deloria said.  "If you go to law school for three years and it doesn't change you, you should get a refund."  Deloria is a member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and became the Director of the American Indian Law Center in 1972.  He attended law school at Yale University. digest

Harvard, Indian Health Service forge partnership
Massachusetts:  Harvard University and the Indian Health Service are working together to improve the health and wellness of American Indian and Alaska Native people.  "This is a great opportunity for synergy between Harvard's educational mission and IHS's mission to assist and collaborate in raising the physical, mental, social and spiritual health of American Indian and Alaska Native people," said Dennis Norman, faculty chair of Harvard's University Native American Program.  Comparisons between Indian and the rest of the U.S. health status reveals that a 40% increase is needed for IHS funding.  Complicating the situation are modern health problems confronting American Indian and Alaska Native communities.  Death rates for tuberculosis, alcoholism, diabetes, accidents, suicide, and homicide are significantly higher for Indians compared with the U.S.  general population.  Additionally, American Indian and Alaska Native death rates from injuries and auto accidents are 200%-300% higher than the national rates. Suicide and homicide rates are nearly 200% higher.  Through its Native Health Program, HUNAP will address these issues by supporting research, outreach, education, teaching and curriculum development in AI/AN health care and health policy.
H-Amindian Listserv

List of Urban Indian Health Clinics threatened by Bush
In his 2007 budget,  President Bush has proposed eliminating the $33,000,000 that goes to these 34 urban Indian health clinics. At least 17 will most likely have to close if the funding is eliminated.

Native Americans for Community Action _ Flagstaff
Native American Community Health Center _ Phoenix
Tucson Indian Center
American Indian Health &Services Corp. _ Santa Barbara
American Indian Health Project _ Bakersfield
Fresno Native American Health Center
Indian Health Center of Santa Clara Valley _ San Jose
Native American Health Center _ Oakland
Sacramento Native American Health Center
San Diego American Indian Health Center
United American Indian Involvement _ Los Angeles
Denver Indian Health and Family Services
American Indian Health Service of Chicago
Hunter Health Clinic _ Wichita
North American Indian Center of Boston _ Jamaica Plain
American Indian Health and Family Services of SE Michigan _ Detroit
Indian Health Board of Minneapolis
Helena Indian Alliance
Indian Family Health Clinic _ Great Falls
Indian Health Board of Billings
Missoula Indian Center
North American Indian Alliance _ Butte
Nebraska Urban Indian Health Coalition _ Omaha
Nevada Urban Indians _ Reno
First Nations Community Healthsource _ Albuquerque
American Indian Community House _ New York
Native American Rehabilitation Association of the Northwest _ Portland
South Dakota Urban Indian Health _ Pierre
Urban Inter-Tribal Center of Texas _ Dallas
Indian Walk-In Center _ Salt Lake City
N.A.T.I.V.E. Project _ Spokane
Seattle Indian Health Board
Gerald L. Ignace Indian Health Center _ Milwaukee
United Amerindian Health Center _ Green Bay

Backward evolution” spawns ape-like people
Turkey: Uner Tan of Cukurova University Medical School has discovered a genetic defect that may set back the clock on human evolution.  Victims of this condition, called "Unertan Syndrome, " walk on all fours and mouth a primitive language.  This mutation—known to run in one Turkish family—might offer scientists a new glimpse into human origins.  “This syndrome interestingly exhibits prehuman features” and represents “possible backward evolution,” Tan said.    The idea that evolution can run backward isn't new; some scientists say there have been confirmed cases of it in animals. But it’s also a controversial subject and considered hard to prove.  Behaviors of those with Unertan Syndrome:

Have a rather primitive language of only a few hundred words;
Can not count from one to ten;
Are unaware of time and space;
Do not know their country or village;
Are unaware of year, season, day, and time
Can not hold their heads upright;
Like most primates, victims "walk" in a sequence of movements: after a foot touches the ground, the hand on the other side does.

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