Native Village 

Youth and Education News

April 1, 2006 Issue 166  Volume 4

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

Hunger no Stranger to Alaska Natives
Alaska: Hunger is well known by Alaska Natives where poverty levels are:
$2,016 per month for a family of four;
$1,676 for a family of three;
$1,336 for a family of two;
$996 for a single person.
During the Hunger in America 2006 Study,  351 adult clients were surveyed by Food Bank of Alaska workers.  58, or 16.5%, were Alaska Native or American Indian. Survey findings indicate that:
More than 52% of hungry clients earned less than $1,000 per month;
Hunger is more common in low-income urban areas, where many Alaska Natives have moved to find work or educational opportunities;
More than 66% of the Food Bank of Alaska clients were non-Native: 56%Caucasian and 10% Afro-Americans; 
Nearly 50% of  food pantry clients had one or more adults in their household who were employed;
33% of them were homeowners; 
90% of the ‘soup kitchen’ clients were homeless; 
More than 50% of elders 65 years or older were considered "foodinsecure," meaning they don't get enough to eat;
Low income or no income were better indicators of hunger than geography or age.
H-Amindian Listserve

 Inuit alarmed by signs of global warming
Canada - Horrified Inuit with homelands in Alaska, Canada, Greenland and Russia are watching the Arctic lose its frozen grip and their world being reshaped.  The Inuit are described a "sentries for the rest of the world, and they are warning that this winter was worst of a series of warm winters.  "These are things that all of our old oral history has never mentioned," said Enosik Nashalik, 87, Inuit elder. "We cannot pass on our traditional knowledge, because it is no longer reliable. Before, I could look at cloud patterns, or the wind or even what stars are twinkling, and predict the weather. Now, everything is changed."  The Inuits' warnings and alarms were once considered odd stories.  Now scientists know the stories are true, and they are equally concerned.    "... long-range forecasts  indicate the effects of global warming will be most felt in the north," said Douglas Bancroft, a director of Oceanography and Climate Science for Canada. Bancroft said there would also be significant changes in the region's ecosystems. "You have species that adapted over 40,000 years to a certain regime," he said. "Some will make it, and some won't."
Fish and wildlife are following the retreating ice caps northward.
Polar bears are losing the floes they need for hunting.
Seals, unable to find stable ice, are hauling up on islands to give birth.
Robins and barn owls and hornets, previously unknown so far north, are arriving in Arctic villages.
Gray whales in the Bering Sea are heading north to colder waters
Walruses are starving, adrift on ice floes in water too deep for feeding.
Warmer-water fish such as pollock and salmon are coming in.
In Nova Scotia, ice on Northumberland Strait was so thin and unstable that thousands of gray seals crawled on unaccustomed islands to give birth. Storms and high tides washed 1,500 newborn seal pups out to sea. They died.

In Chukotka, Russia, the Inuit are drilling wells for water because there is so little snow to melt.
In Pangnirtung, residents were startled by a thunderstorm when February temperatures hit 48 degrees. The temperature is usually minus-20 degrees.
In Nain, Labrador, one hunter drove his snowmobile onto ocean ice where he had hunted safely for 20 years. The ice flexed, and the machine sunk. The hunter managed to save his  life.  "Someday we won't have any snow," he said. "We won't be Eskimos."
Shrinking ice flows mean polar bears travel to town for food.  One mother attacked a bear stalking her 7-year old boy.
In Alaska, water normally sealed by ice is now open, brewing winter storms that lash coastal and river villages. Two dozen native villages are threatened.
In Resolute Bay, Inuit people insisted that the dark arctic night was lighter. A weather station operator discovered that a warmer layer of air was reflecting light from the sun over the horizon. "It's getting very strange up here," he said. "There's more warm air, more massive and more uniform."
The troubles for the Inuit are ominous for everyone, says Sheila Watt-Cloutier, head of the International Circumpolar Conference, an organization for the 155,000 Inuit worldwide. "People have become disconnected from their environment. But the Inuit have remained through this whole dilemma, remained extremely connected to its environment and wildlife," she said. "They are the early warning. They see what's happening to the planet, and give the message to the rest of the world.

   Famed Indian Tortoise Dies at 250
India: A giant aldabra tortoise thought to be around 250 years old has died in the Kolkata Zoo of liver failure.  "Addwaitya," which means ''The One and Only'' in Bengali, was thought to be the oldest tortoise in the world. ''Historical records show he was a pet of British general Robert Clive of the East India Company and had spent several years in his sprawling estate before he was brought to the zoo about 130 years ago,'' said Jogesh Barman. Wild Aldabra tortoises are found in the Aldabra Islands in the Seychelles islands. They average about 265 pounds. It is believed that tortoises are the longest lived of all animals, with life spans often surpassing 100 years.
AOL News

Vancouver Island town mourns Luna
British Columbia: The Mowachaht-Muchalaht First Nation recently held a funeral in honor of Luna, an orphan killer whale who died last month. Known as Tsux'iit, Luna died when he got sucked into a tugboat's propellers. He had been living in Gold River after being separated from his pod. The Canadian government tried to remove Luna from the river but the tribe protested. Many believed Tsux'iit was the spiritual embodiment of the late Chief Ambrose Maquinna, who said shortly before he died that he would come back as a killer whale. Chief Mike Maquinna said the community is now being blamed for Luna's death by opposing the move. He said it was the right decision now to relocate the whale with his pod.

Montana: The Department of Livestock (DOL) is still capturing and slaughtering America's last wild bison. Near Gardiner National Park Servic, 250-300 wild buffalo were caught in the Stephens Creek bison trap, located within Yellowstone National Park. The DOL say they are capturing buffalo for fear they carry brucillious, which could infect cattle. The DOL did not test the bison they captured for exposure to the disease. Since fall, not including the Stevens Creek capture, 1,025 of America's last wild bison have been killed or forcibly held for experiments. In addition, winter has been especially hard on wildlife this year, and the winterkill mortality rate is extremely high.  Wild bison are a gregarious, migratory species native to North America and once spanned the continent, numbering an estimated 30-50,000,000.  The Yellowstone bison herd, America's only continuously wild herd, now numbers fewer than 3,500 animals.

 Native artists express their traditions in quilts
Indiana: Some may think quilts are only blankets made by farmers wives using pieces of leftover scraps. However, quilters come from all ethnic and cultural backgrounds. Today, Indians throughout North America are creating quilts as works of art and expressions of their heritage. At the Eiteljorg Museum in Indianapolis, 16 quilts are on display in an exhibit called "Great Lakes Native Quilting."   "Quilting is really quite popular across the board for Native people," said Ray Gonyea from the Eiteljorg. "They were exposed to quilts through white traders and settlers, but when they began making quilts of their own, they used patterns and designs from their own cultures." Among the quilts on display:
"Morning Star Quilt," by Rita Fairbanks, a White Earth Chippewa. (Pictured)
"Thunderbird Block Quilt," by Alice Fox, Rita Corbiere and Floyd Fox, Ojibwe.
"Strawberries and Flowers," by Alice Olsen Williams, an Anishnaabe.
"Snow Bird" and "Family Genealogy" , both created between 1935-1998 by Frances Ann Dunnagan, Miami Indian from Indiana. (Dunnagan was a direct descendent of Frances Slocum, who was abducted from her Quaker parents at age 5.  Slocum became a respected member of the Miami nation. )
In addition to bedding, Indians often use quilts for other purposes, said Michele Beltran from Michigan State University.  Quilts were also used  as baby swings, coverings for temporary shelters and winter outerwear.  "Quilts are valued in Native communities," she said, "and this exhibit shows the many different ways they're used."  Great Lakes Native Quilting runs through April 23.

The art of basketmaking links cultures
Arizona: American Indian basketmakers from New York to Arizona use materials that are as different as spiny-bladed yucca and horsehair in the south to black ash wood and moosehair in the north. Stonehorse Lone Goeman, Seneca, is helping bring back the art of moosehair embroidery and porcupine quills in Iroquois basketry. ''When people find out that I do moosehair embroidery, they go, 'No way!''' Goeman said recently at the Heard Museum.  Besides splitting and shredding the black ash wood for basketry, he must also shampoo and prepare moosehair.   Art Wilson, Tohono O'odham weaver, said it is important to respect the plants from which weaving materials are gathered.  "... we collect in groups on the reservation and go to the traditional gathering lands,"  Wilson said.  ''You're not supposed to burn any of your shavings - you just throw them out for the wind to carry away."
yucca basket: 

Broadcasting In Cherokee
Oklahoma :Experts say the Cherokee language could be extinct in two generations.  Now Tahlequah's KTLQ radio station is trying to keep the Cherokee Language alive. Recently Dennis Sixkiller and David Scott called the Sequoyah High School's state championship game in Cherokee.  "We have a lot of people that  still speak the Cherokee language, and it gives them a chance to hear the ball games," said Jim Trickett  "They may not  understand English, [but] they understand Cherokee,"  Scott says some basketball terms can't be translated, so the men had to improvise. For three pointers, they use  the Cherokee word for three.   And for coach, they use the Cherokee word for leader.

Navajo to represent United States in cross country championships 
New Mexico: This April, Navajo distance runner Brandon Leslie will represent the United States as a member of Team USA at the World Cross Country Championships in Japan.   Brandon achieved eight All-American titles and nine All-American titles at Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute.  In addition, he was ASC and SIPI's Most Valuable Player and inducted into the Adams State Sports Hall of Fame in 2001.

 2006 Arctic Winter Games Results
Alaska: Since 1970, far-northern countries have convened every two years for the Arctic Winter Games. Last month, Alaska hosted the 2006 Games.  2,000 athletes from the circumpolar world competed in 20 sports to win prized ulu medals.  Others participated simply for the chance to travel and meet people from other parts of the world.

Sporting events
Alpine Skiing  Badminton  Basketball  Biathlon - Ski  Biathlon, Snowshoe  Cross Country Skiing  Curling  Dene Games  Dog Mushing  Figure Skating  Gymnastics  Ice Hockey  Indoor Soccer  Inuit Games  Snowboarding  Snowshoeing  Speed Skating  Table Tennis  Volleyball  Wrestling

International Results

Teams Team 1st Place Team 2nd  Place Team 3rd Place Team Total
Alaska 80  64  47  191
Alberta North 42 45 41 128
Northwest Territories 28 41  36 105
Yukon 17 20  44 81
Nunavut 13 24 38 75
Yamal-Nenets 22 21  7 50
Greenland 20 17 11 48
Nunavik Québec 13 6 8 27
Saami 5 6 10  21

The games are held every two years in different northern communities  To learn detailed results from each sport and Nation, visit:
photo: Allan Rudisill     Amindian Listserve

Tribal members make strides in the world of film
California: First Americans in the Arts, a non-profit organization created in 1999, recognizes, honors and promotes American Indian participation in the arts and entertainment industry. Among this year's awards:
Humanitarian Award winner: ABC Entertainment and Extreme Makeover: Home Edition for  “The Piestewa Family.” The program built a home for the family of Lori Piestwea, a Hopi woman killed while on duty in Iraq.
Lifetime Achievement Award: Shawnee guitar god Link Wray received a posthumous award for his musical styles ranging from punk rock to grunge, heavy metal to rockabilly.
Other Awards: Q’Orianka Kilcher and August Schellenberg of “The New World;”
Tyler Christopher, Zahn McClarnon, Tonantzin Carmelo, Nakotah LaRance from “Into The West”
Director Chris Eyre;
Kristin Chenoweth for her roles in NBC’s “The West Wing” and “Bewitched.”

The film festival show features more than 130 of today’s leading contemporary Native artists.  The films are shown every Saturday through April 23, with a special screening of family-friendly movies on Saturday, April 15.
April 2. Moderator; Beverly Morris (Co-producer of Looking Toward Home)
Wind Grass Song: The Voice of Our Grandmothers (1989).  Directed by J. Birchum and T. Breitling (20 minutes)
Native New Yorker (2002).   Directed by Steve Bilich (7 minutes)
Looking Toward Home (2003).  Directed by Dale Kruzic (58 minutes)
April 9. Moderator: TBD
Coming to Light (2000)  Directed by Ann Makepeace (84 minutes)
April 15. Moderator:   TBD / Childrens’ Film Day
First Steps (2003)    Directed by Neil Diamond (24 min)
Lord of Sky (1992)   Directed by Ludmilla Zeman & Eugen Spaleny (13 min)
Paddle to the Sea   (1966). Directed by Bill Mason (30 min)
Rainbows of Hawaii   (1998). Directed by Faith Hubley (10 min)
Northern Ice, Golden Sun  (2002). Directed by Faith Hubley (10 min)
Starlore   (1983) Directed by Faith Hubley (10 min)
April 23. Moderator: TBD
Mount Shasta (2001)  Directed by Christopher McLeod (31 minutes)
A Thousand Roads (2005).  Directed by Chris Eyre (40 minutes)

Native American Times

Sacred Ground" takes home Native American GRAMMY
New York:  The 2006 Grammy Award Best Native American Album went to ''Sacred Ground: A Tribute to Mother Earth."  The album is a collection of music from top Native artists and previous Native American Grammy winners.  Runners-up are: 
''More Kids' Pow-Wow Songs,'' by  Black Lodge;
''Intonation: Harmonized Songs from the Southern Plains,'' by Alex  E. Smith &
Cheevers Toppah;
''Our Love Will Never Die,'' by Randy  Wood.
''People of Peace,'' by the R. Carlos  Nakai Quartet was also a runner up in the New Age Album.  Recordings released during between Oct. 1, 2004 and Sept. 30, 2005 were eligible for award nomination.

Litefoot organizes boycott of GUN video game
Cherokee rap artist/producer Litefoot is leading a boycott of Gun, a video game that depicts Indians as savages.  Produced by Activision, Gun takes place in the late 1800s.  The main character tries to avenge his father's death and must complete several tasks, including facing down some Apaches. In the end, the character finds out he is part Indian. Activision has apologized to players who have been offended.  "Activision does not condone or advocate any of the atrocities that occurred in the American West during the 1800s.  GUN was designed to reflect the harshness of life on the American frontier at that time," the company said.
For more information, read Litefoot's petition:

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