Native Village 

Youth and Education News

January 11, 2006 Issue 162  Volume 3

"Only when all our children understand the truth can they be better human beings.  It's not about blaming one another, but working together as human beings. All of us." Sheldon Peters Wolfchild,  Sioux

Africa:  In an historic address before the 191 member countries of the United Nations, Navajo Nation President Joe Shirley, Jr., spoke on behalf of the 370 million indigenous people of the world. He re-affirmed indigenous sovereignty and announced the creation of a native peoples’ Internet portal.  “Knowledge, combined with the wisdom of our peoples, is what creates true opportunity,” President Shirley said.  “This is why our people call for universal indigenous connectivity and the development of indigenous-specific ICTs (information, communications and technology).”  The United Nations Millennium Project identified three things it believes can bring the world’s poor out of extreme poverty – information, communications and technology – known as ICT.  The goal of the Tunisia meeting was to complete a blueprint for a UN-sponsored plan to use ICTs to end extreme poverty by the year 2025.

Zapatistas Leave Jungle For Tour Of Mexico
Mexico: For the first time in four years, Zapatista rebels are leaving their jungle strongholds. Riding in rickety trucks and buses, they are launching a 6-month tour of Mexico to help reshape the nation's politics. Led by Subcomandante Marcos, the tour allows Zapatista leaders to reach out to leftist groups across the country.  The rebels are pledging to move away from armed struggle and toward politics. This is the first time the group has left  its Chiapas strongholds  since a triumphant 2001 tour to Mexico City in the name of Indian rights.

Tribes  threaten Jamestown protest
Virginia:  If they aren't federally recognized by 2007, Virginia's American Indian leaders are threatening to protest Jamestown's 400th anniversary celebrations.   "We're not asking for something that is not ours," says Stephen Adkins, chief of the Chickahominy tribe.  "We're trying  to reclaim that sovereignty that we believe God gave us.  And why should man be allowed to take that away from us?" The tribes blame their lack of recognition on Virginia's 1924 Racial Integrity Act, making it illegal for whites and nonwhites to marry.   At the time, Indians were classified as "colored" on birth and marriage certificates --  "a paper genocide," says the tribes.  The tribes are officially recognized by the state of Virginia, and both of Virginia's U.S. Senators are pushing for federal recognition.  However, federal support has stalled,  largely because of U.S.  Rep.  Frank R.  Wolf, (R).  He says the tribes would have been recognized 3 years ago had they agreed to send local boards of supervisors  to jail.   Between 3,000 and 5,000 people belong to the eight state-recognized tribes that have applied for federal recognition.

Shame Awards for 2005 
Suzan Shown Harjo, a Cheyenne and Hodulgee Muscogee columnist for Indian Country Today,  picked her 2005 Mantle of Shame Awards. They are:
1. Jack Abramoff, Michael Scanlon, Ralph Reed and other lobbyists for taking Native nations' money and [deceiving] those tribes paying them top dollar for their help. 
   2. Gov.  Arnold Schwarzenegger for demanding California's ''fair share'' of Indian casino monies.
3. All elected officials and staffers who won't even meet with Native people unless the meeting comes with  the promise of money. 
4. Congress and Senate President Dick Cheney for passing a drastic money-cutting bill for programs serving people with the least money, worst health and fewest years to live, and for next year's tax cut for rich, comfortable, and healthy folks. 
5. Sen.  Ted Stevens for trying to push through drilling in ANWR [Arctic National Wildlife Refuge] by holding up wartime funding and relief monies for hurricane-devastated states. 
6. Interior Special Trustee Ross O.  Swimmer for his advice on carrying out federal trust obligations to Native peoples, and to those in Interior and Justice who follow it.
  7.  Scientists and politicians who:
Spend taxpayers' money helping those trying to block Native nations' attempts to repatriate dead relatives and sacred objects;

Oppose an amendment to the Native American repatriation Act to restore the policy's intended balance;
Try to keep unidentified Native remains from being reburied or buried. 
   8.  Washington's National Football League franchise for fighting to stop a court filing against their "Redskins" team because "it's only a myth that all Indians think being sports references are swell." 
  9. Russell Means, Oglala Lakota, for challenging the Navajo Nation and disputing its tribal court's conviction of him regarding allegations that he beat his wife, her father, and a disabled World War II veteran with one arm.  Means has lost two appeals. 
10. Ward Churchill, University of Colorado Professor, for attacking those who exposed him as a pseudo-Indian. He has not been claimed by any Native nation he professes to be;
The conservatives who jumped on him,  and the liberals who jumped to defend him;
The University of Colorado for standing behind a ''self-declaration' 'rule which allows Churchill to claim himself "Indian;"
Russel Means, who supports Churchill because he has an ''Indian heart.''

Health of a People
Minnesota: According to the U.S. Indian Health Service, American Indians die at a rate nearly 50% higher than the national average. There are many reasons for the deaths -- accidents, suicides, chronic diseases, poverty and a lack of adequate and culturally sensitive medical care.  Now the University of Minnesota is making a difference with its Center of American Indian and Minority Health.  American Indians make up 2.8% of the U.S. population, according to the 2000 census.  But only 0.3% of the nation's medical student are American Indians.  UM's Center recruits American Indian students and helps them through the university's medical schools.  ``Having well-trained Indian doctors go back to their communities can make a real difference,'' said Indian Health Service spokesman Leo Nolan.  Dr. Arne Vainio, a Mille Lacs Band member, went through the University's program. ``UMD is a great place for native medical students to go because of the center,'' he said.  ``It certainly offers a lot of support to native students.''  Vainio believes there is a need for more Indian doctors.  ``They are very, very underrepresented,'' he said.  ``It's pretty rare to have a native physician working with native people.''  Fourth-year medical student Erik Brodt, Anishinaabe, says the center is like a family.  ``I think all of us have had moments were we need lots of support and than other moments where we are called upon to support other people,'' he said.  ``The support the center provided me really made medical school a much more enjoyable experience..."

Doula  training project coming
Wisconsin: The Honoring Our Children Project in Red Cliff is offering  birth doula training to residents of Red Cliff and surrounding communities. A doula fills the ancient role  of continuous support during labor and delivery. A doula also provides emotional and  physical comfort measures for the birthing family. Jessica Atkins,  Certified Doula Trainer, will work with Native American women and families. Her training will focus upon respecting cultural traditions and addressing modern issues within American Indian communities. Those entering the project must agree to volunteer their services to area women and families who want, but cannot afford, a doula.  Participants will be asked to attend at least three births, and offer at least 20 hours of post-partum and/or breastfeeding support the first year following training. Certified doulas have the option to offer their services for a fee.

doula artwork: need.htm

Doctor's heart improves care

Louisiana: The Chitimacha Tribe's Health Care Clinic has made great strides in patient care the past three years:

26% of the clinic's patients were getting diabetic screening. Now it is 100%;
Mammograms have gone from 4% to 72% of patients;
Tobacco screening has gone from  10% to 70%;
Screening for domestic violence has gone from 6% to 50%;
Eye exams for diabetics have gone from 6.3% to 58% in the last two years;
Depression screening has jumped from 6.3% to 41%;
Testing for diabetics with high cholesterol is now at 95%;
Screening for kidney problems is at 80%.

The improvements can mainly be traced to the dedication of one doctor, clinic staff say. That someone is Dr. Indira Gautam, who became the clinic's primary physician about three years ago.  " It has everything to do with our provider, Dr. Gautam," said Peggy Gatty, administrator for the Chitimacha tribe.  "She believes in standards of care, and luckily we're able to do those -- and it's paying off. We're catching things like diabetes and heart disease in the early stages. That's the reason for the awards: for data collection and most improved in areas like mammograms, treatment and prevention." Gautam, whose parents are natives of India, said she's particularly interested in the preventive aspects of treating Native Americans, who are at a high risk for many diseases, such as heart disease. "What's nice is that you get to do why you went into medicine," she said. "You want to help them be better, and it's basically preventive health, and we're doing it."

heart: graphicdesign.html

Title IV-E funding can help save Indian children
A potential ''pot of gold'' is available to tribal foster care programs.  Under Title IV-E of the Social Securities Act, tribes may be reimbursed for many costs spent on foster care and related services.   Title IV-E is a federal e for 50%-83% ofmonies spent on Title IV-E eligible services.  Only 75 of the more than 560 federally recognized tribes currently access Title IV-E funds.   Tribes may receive federal reimbursement for:
Monthly maintenance payments for eligible children in foster care,
Monthly assistance payments for special needs children in adoptive placements;
Administration costs associated with placement of eligible children;
Training costs for program personnel as well as foster and adoptive parents;
Adoption assistance funding and administration and staff training - including higher education - can be negotiated.

Cookbook preserves the tastes of American Indian culture

South Carolina: The Eastern Cherokee, Southern Iroquois and United Tribes of South Carolina have published a cookbook of authentic American Indian recipes, "South Carolina's Native American Cooking."  "This book is particularly welcomed (by) those of us who no longer have mothers or grandmothers close at hand to answer questions about how to make the desserts we grew up with,  or (for) those who have lost contact with their Native American Indian cultural roots," said Will Moreau Goins. The collection includes recipes from the Catawba, Cherokee, Lumbee, Pee Dee, Santee, Waccamaw and Wassamasaw tribes.

Goins' Salsa:

5 large tomatoes, diced 2 large yellow or white onions, diced 2 jalapeno peppers, chopped 3 serrano peppers, chopped
¼ yellow bell pepper,diced ¼ green bell pepper, diced ½ garlic clove, minced 1 cup finely chopped cilantro
½ cup chopped green onions the juice of one lemon 1 teaspoon vinegar 2 pinches of salt
2 pinches of black pepper 1/4 cup sugar

Combine vegetables in a large bowl.  Add lemon juice and vinegar.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper and sugar.  Mix thoroughly.  Allow to chill for at least 3 hours before serving with chips.

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