Native Village 

Youth and Education News

Aug 1, 2006 Issue 169  Volume 3

" People need to understand who we are today, and the struggles weve had to go through just to remain who we are, just to live our culture. Were part of mainstream America but we still have to live in two lives"  Chief Steve Adkins, Chickahominy

The Top 100 National Colleges and Universities That Graduate the Most Minority Students
Diverse: Issues in Higher Education is a bi-weekly publication dedicated to addressing the issues of minorities in the higher education arena. The July, 2006 magazine has ranked the Top 100 U.S. colleges and universities that graduate the most minority students.  The detailed data, compiled by Dr. Victor Borden from Indiana, ranks the total number of master's, doctoral, and first professional degrees awarded at every American college.

The top 10 schools for Native American Baccalaureate, all disciplines combined:
Northeastern State University, Oklahoma
Oklahoma State University
University of Oklahoma
University of New Mexico
Northern Arizona University
Arizona State University, Tempe
Southeastern Oklahoma State University
University of North Carolina-Pembroke
Fort Lewis College
East Central University
Native American Education Baccalaureates:
Northeastern State University
Northern Arizona University
Southeastern Oklahoma State University
University of New Mexico
Oklahoma State University
Haskell Indian Nations University
University of North Carolina-Pembroke
East Central University
Arizona State University - Tempe
University of Oklahoma
University of Central Oklahoma

To see the entire list of undergraduate and graduate degrees, by discipline:
Scholarship Posthumously Fills Wish Of Tohono Oodham Woman
Arizona: In 1999,  Pauline Miguel of the Tohono O'odham tribe passed away. The week before she died, Pauline told her daughters to sell her truck and house and use the money for scholarships to help Tohono O'odham students pay for college.  Pauline's three daughters,  Alberta Flannery, Neddie Blaine and Mary Bliss, also contributed $4,000 each for the scholarship fund. Today, the Pauline Miguel Scholarship Fund still awards $1,000 each year to one or two deserving students.  Pauline's daughters remember their mother as a women who never allowed her daughters to skip classes.  "She was very pro-education," said Flannery, a retired administrator for the Tucson Unified School District.  "We never missed a day of school.  Every year we'd get those little certificates on the last day of school."  Pauline was a shining example of community involvement.  She attended the Tucson Indian Training School before it closed in 1960, participated in the women's rights movements during the 1960s, spoke on welfare rights, and helped the Tohono O'odham Nation' create a nursing home for its elderly.
H-Amindian Listserve

Indian doctor program threatened
Oklahoma: On August 31, 2006, the University of Oklahoma will eliminate a program that recruits and supports Indian medical students. The Native American Center of Excellence Consortium is losing about $520,000 due to funding cuts. Philip McHale, the director of the center, is seeking an extension through May 2007. He will also ask tribes to provide funding for a scaled-back program. The Center for American Indian and Minority Health at the University of Minnesota Medical School also faces a funding cut. There are only three centers in the U.S. that encourage Indians to enter the medical field.

SIPI Names Tribal Educator to Be President
 New Mexico:  Jeffrey Hamley, a career tribal college educator, is the new president of Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute in Albuquerque.   Hamley served from 2001-05 as president of Saginaw Chippewa Tribal College in Michigan. In his new position, he plans to build strong  ties with New Mexico tribes and pueblos. "I'd like to do outreach with the tribal communities and let them know we want to serve them and have mutually beneficial relationships," Hamley said.  Frances Tafoya, chairman of SIPI's Board of Regents, said Hamley was chosen because of his experience in higher education and in grant writing.  Hamley is a member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewas. He will take office by Aug. 1.

Another Idaho School Receives Million-Dollar Gift To Help Indians
Idaho: Anne Voilleque and Louise Nelson have given $1,000,000 to Idaho State University/Pocatello to create the school's first endowed professorship. The two philanthropists and education supporters donated the money for the Native American Business Administration program.  They donated the money to help college students from Idaho's five tribes find a more positive experience in the college environment.

Oglala Tribe Teams with Orthodox Jews to Run Gordon Meat Plant
South Dakota: Oglala from the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and an ultra-orthodox Jewish family from New York City have partnered to start a kosher meat packing plant in Gordon.  Recently, they showed their progress to the community and, in the process, got to know each other a little better.  Local Pride hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony and a free lunch of grilled kosher hamburgers and hot dogs.  Several hundred people, including plant workers, community officials, politicians and business leaders, shared the meal. Sholom Rubashkin, one of the plant's owners, mused about his family's latest business venture.  "Why did we come to Gordon, Nebraska?" he asked.  "...Good cattle, good water, good people.  Walt Big Crow, a member of the Oglala Tribal Council, asked  if the man in the black yarmulke is a rabbi.  "I thought all of them were rabbis," Big Crow smiled. "Like we all live in tipis."
H-Amindian Listserve

From Bowery to the Side Streets, to Where?
New York: Michael Azeez describes himself as the only American Indian street food vendor in New York. Mr. Azeez, 45, is having a rough year:  first, city health code prevented him from selling wild game and other traditional Mohawk dishes; second, a building owner forced him to relocate in a less-traveled area;  third, the rock club at his corner is closing in October, and he will lose an important customer base.  But Mr. Azeez is handling it in stride.  Why should I be upset? he says.  Its about destiny.  Whatever happens, were not in control.  Azeez's food cart, named From Atlantis With Love, sells fresh kebabs from 7 p.m. -4 a. m.  Michael charges from as much as $5 a kebab to as little as nothing for customers he thinks need the money more than he does. He says he makes $500 a week on average.  Asked if he worries about the future, he grins. Im like a species on the brink of extinction," he said.  "Or Ill just move.

Feds may bring Amber Alert to American Indian country
New Mexico: The U.S. Department of Justice and tribal leaders are in discussions to bring the Amber Alert system to America's Indian Reservations. Amber Alerts are issued to the media by law enforcement when a child has been abducted and is considered to be in danger. Regina Schofield from the Office of Justice Programs met with Navajo Nation President Joe Shirley Jr. in discussions described as "primarily a  get-acquainted meeting."  Schofield says she's confident the Amber Alert program will be effective on tribal reservations.

Indoor Air Quality in Schools
The toll of air quality related health conditions on education is large. Nearly 55,000,000 people spend their days in U.S. elementary and secondary schools. Students are at greatest risk because they are especially susceptible to pollutants.  EPA studies show that:
20% of our nation's 110,000 schools have unsatisfactory indoor air quality;
25% have unsatisfactory ventilation systems; 
Asthma, which has been on a steep rise since
1980, accounts for 14,000,000 missed school days each year;
Allergies cause an additional
2,000,000 lost school days each year annually;
Poor indoor air quality leads to viral infections which can trigger asthma and allergies and colds;
Schoolchildren are estimated to experience
7-10 colds each year.

The US EPA provides a variety of resources to help educators with improving air quality in schools. The Environmental Education Outreach Program is interested in  working with tribal schools to improve indoor air quality. For more information, visit:

Nurse switches to natural medicine
West Virginia: During a lifetime in the medical field, Mary Kathryn Saville has decided to help people get healthy before they end up in a hospital bed. Saville, 52,  is opening Charleston's first naturopathic practice to help people manage and prevent stress, diabetes, cancer and obesity.   Besides using herbs and natural substances to help patients manage chronic illnesses, Saville will also work with conventional doctors. "I will help with stress and lifestyle changes but make no diagnoses," Saville said. "If they need a physician or therapist, I would refer them. But, many people don't need that. They just need someone to talk to. They come back when they feel the need.."  Saville grew up around doctors -- her father, brother, uncle, great grandfather and grandmother were all in health care.  After graduating from nursing school in 1978, Mary pursued  natural ways to prevent illness by studying Native American healing and naturopathic medicine.  In 2002, Saville was accepted into Alabama's Clayton College distance education program to become a naturopathic doctor. She completed the program last September. "The underlying point we are promoting is that the naturopathic doctor is more of teacher than some sort of wizard," said Caleb Cooks from The American Association of Naturopathic Physicians.  Saville is the state's only naturopathic doctor who is also a registered nurse. She is designing her medical practice around relaxation. "We have to be at peace to be healthy, peaceful people," Saville said about her clinic's design. "It is not a spa but a sanctuary where people can have their questions answered and be given good information that can be put into use right away."

Poisonous Tree Frog Could Bring Wealth to Tribe in Brazilian Amazon
Brazil:  In the Amazon rainforest, tribal shamans have used poisonous tree frog slime as an ancestral remedy for illness, pain, and even laziness.  Scientists are now seeking $1,000,000 in donations or grants to learn more and to reimburse the tribes for their knowledge.  "Traditional knowledge can help modern medicine and generate significant economic benefits, too," said Bruno Filizola, a Brazilian biologist.  Fernando Katukina is chief of an Amazon tribe without running water, electricity, or links to the world.  He is working with the Brazilian government in accessing the tree frog.  Katukina's help is crucial because Brazil, like other developing nations, is fighting biopiracy. Biopiracy is the theft of biological resources from the country's native habitats for commercial use.
H-Amindian Listserve

Project gets a taste of Ontario natives' medicinal plants
Ontario:  The Mohawk of Akwesasne are concerned about the decreased potency of their traditional medicines.  They believe pollution from the St. Lawrence River has weakened their area's plants.  Richard David says the Mohawks have tested some plants and found disturbing results. "We discovered high levels of mercury and (the pesticide) myrex, and fluorides," David says. "We decided if we have high levels here, is that a natural level, or is that something brought on by the industries?"  Now researchers are compiling a thorough inventory of native medicinal plants in Eastern Ontario.  Reserve officials and conservationists want to make sure the plants aren't accidentally over-harvested, so the  information will remain closely guarded.  Even natural medicine experts will only learn where the plants are on a need-to-know basis.

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