Native Village 

Youth and Education News

June 1, 2006 Issue 168  Volume 3

''The only non-immigrants are Native Americans.''  Rep. Raul M. Grijalva, D-Ariz.

  DNA Verifies Christopher Columbus' Remains in Spain
Spain: Scientists have confirmed that at least some of Christopher Columbus' remains are buried inside a Seville cathedral. DNA samples taken from the bones were compared with DNA from Columbus's brother, Diego, who was also buried in Seville. "There is absolute matchup between the mitochondrial DNA we have studied from Columbus' brother and Christopher Columbus," said Marcial Castro who devised the study.  Castro agreed that some of Columbus' remains may also be buried in the Dominican Republic.  "[Christopher Columbus'] remains have never left Dominican territory," said Juan Bautista Mieses, director of the Dominican's Columbus Lighthouse, which also claims Columbus's bones. Castro, however, has refused to allow scientists to open the monument and compare the DNA.
AOL News

Young adults in the United States appear isolated, uninformed, and indifferent when it comes to the world's people, places, and cultures.  A new survey by the National Geographic Education Foundation shows that most young American adults:
Lack basic knowledge of the world;
Could not find Iraq on a map of the Middle East;
That Indonesia is a predominantly Muslim nation;,
Knew that Mandarin Chinese -- not English -- is the most widely spoken native language in the world.
About 50% could locate New York state.

India: Doctors on the Andaman Islands have confirmed that members of the Jarawa tribe are suffering from measles. Large numbers of Jarawa children have been admitted to  a Port Blair hospital with various diseases including pneumonia and eye problems - both common after-effects of measles. All have now returned to their forest. When 108 Jarawa contracted measles in 1999, the local authorities first denied the report. Several weeks later they admitted the truth following doctors' testimonies. Many are warning the authorities to keep outsiders out of the Jarawa reserve and close the road that illegally runs through it.  This will help prevent the Jarawa from contacting potentially fatal diseases which have wiped out  tribal peoples worldwide. In the 19th century, measles killed at least half of the Great Andamanese on one island and all those on another island. That tribe, once 5,000 strong, now numbers only 41 people. In 1978, following the construction of a highway through their forest, four Yanomami communities in Brazil lost 50% of their population to measles.
To help, visit:

U.S. Newborn Survival Rate Ranks Low
According to a new Save the Children report, America's survival rate for newborn babies ranks near the bottom among modern nations. Among 33 industrialized nations, the United States is tied with Hungary, Malta, Poland and Slovakia with a death rate of nearly 5 per 1,000 babies. "Every time I see these kinds of statistics, I'm always amazed to see where the United States is because we are a country that prides itself on having such advanced medical care and developing new technology ... and new approaches to treating illness. But at the same time not everybody has access to those new technologies," said Dr. Mark Schuster, pediatrician with the University of California, Los Angeles. Japan had the lowest newborn death rate, 1.8 per 1,000 and four countries tied for second place with 2 per 1,000 - the Czech Republic, Finland, Iceland and Norway.
Read the Report:

Census figures show that:
45% of America's children under 5 are racial or ethnic minorities;
That percentage is rapidly increasing because of the growing Hispanic population;
Hispanics accounted for 49% of the country's growth from 2004 - 2005;
Hispanics also accounted for 70% of the growth for children younger than 5;
In some parts of the country, the transformation is more visible than in others;
Large parts of the upper Midwest are still mainly non-Hispanic white;
Minorities comprise most children younger than 5 in  Miami, Houston, Los Angeles. Washington, D.C., and other high-immigration regions. 
William Frey from the Brookings Institution predicted that the United States will have "a multicultural population that will probably be more tolerant, accommodating to other races and more able to succeed in a global economy."  There could be increased competition for money and power, he added. "The older, predominantly white baby-boom generations will need to accommodate younger, multiethnic young adults and child populations in civic life, political decisions and sharing of government resources."

Obesity and Diabetes: How they affect our children
Juvenile obesity rates in the U.S. are soaring. . A person becomes diabetic when their blood sugar (glucose) is too high.  The pancreas controls the amount of glucose in the blood, which makes insulin and helps cells make the energy you need.  Diabetes caused the pancreas to make little or no insulin, causing blood glucose to build up in the blood and damage the body. In Type 1 diabetes, the pancreas stops making insulin and a shot is needed to bring the insulin back into the body. In Type 2 diabetes, the pancreas still make some insulin, but the cells can't use it very well. Approximately 177,000 youngsters under the age of 20 have diabetes.  90%-95% of all  diabetes cases are Type 2 diabetes due to youth being overweight and inactive. 

Those with higher chances for diabetes are:
 Not physically active;
* Have a mom or dad or other close relative who has Type 2 diabetes;
* Are more at risk if they are African American, Hispanic or Latino American, American Indian, Asian American, or a Pacific Islander.
If you have Type 2 diabetes, you might:
* Urinate a lot;
* Lose weight without any reason;
* Be very thirsty;
* Feel tired;
* Have thick dark skin on the neck or under the arms.
What you can do to be more active?
Check with your doctor before you start a physical activity program;
* Set small goals to start. Be active, and increase your activity level a little more each week;
* Get up and play hard for at least 60 minutes almost every day.  You don't have to do it all at once - 20 minutes at a time is fine;
* Sign up for sports and physical education classes;*
* Cut your TV and video game time to less than one hour a day.  Be more active in your free time.
Why do you need to eat healthy foods?
* For energy to learn, play, and live;
* To grow at a healthy rate;
* To help your blood sugar or glucose levels stay in balance - not too high or too low;
* To help you lose weight slowly if you need to;
* To help you avoid other health problems caused by diabetes.
Putting it all together
* Eat meals and snacks at about the same time each day.  Try not to skip meals.
* Be physically active for at least 60 minutes almost every day;
* Drink more water instead of juice or soda;
* Learn more about foods and how much you need to eat;
* Ask your doctor or dietician for help;.
* Take the right amount of insulin or pills at the right times if you need them to help manage your diabetes.

To learn more
From Native Village:
Native American Food Pyramid

The American Dietetic Association:
The American Association of Diabetes Educators:
 My Pyramid Plan: An interactive, educational guide of good food choices:


Suicide Prevention Program Receives Grant
California: A $400,000 grant has been awarded to United American Indian Involvement for a suicide prevention program for Native American and Alaskan youth.   The groupís "Youth Suicide Prevention and Early Intervention Project" is aimed at Native Americans between the ages of 10 and 24.  "For far too long suicide prevention ... was ignored," said Charles Curie from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.  "Now we are taking action..."   Los Angeles has one of the nation's largest populations of Native Americans, who have traditionally suffered high rates of alcoholism and drug addiction.

Yakama Juice sells on Costco shelves  
Washington: Yakama Juice, the juice production plant owned by the Yakama Nation, will supply Costco Wholesale Corp. with 20,000 cases of fruit juice.  Apple juice and pomegranate juice will be sold in 45 Costco stores throughout the Northwest and Alaska. They also provide juice for a national  grocery chain and for the U.S. Department of  Agriculture's government food assistance programs.  Yakima Juice employs about 75 workers.

Indigenous Peoples Oppose National Geographic & IBM Genetic Research Project
Nevada:  The National Geographic Society and IBM have launched the Genographic Project  to "help people better understand their ancient history."  However, the Indigenous Peoples' Council on Biocolonialism is alarmed by the global project that plans to collect 100,000 DNA samples from Indigenous peoples around the world. "This is a recurrent nightmare.  It's essentially the same project we defeated years ago," said Debra Harry, speaking about 1993's Human Genome Diversity Projects. The HGDP faced world-wide  opposition by Indigenous peoples who considered it an attempt to pirate Indigenous peoples' DNA.  Their case in point: The Havasupai Tribe filed a lawsuit in 2004 against Arizona State University for taking and misusing their genetic samples.  The tribe authorized diabetes research, but later discovered their samples were used for schizophrenia, inbreeding and migration theories.  Among comments about the new Genographic Project:
"It's interesting how in the past racist scientists, such as those in the eugenics movement, did studies asserting that we are biologically inferior to them; and now, they are saying their research will show that we're all related to each other and share common origins.  Both ventures are based on racist science and produce invalid, yet damaging conclusions about Indigenous cultures."  Le'a Kanehe, Native Hawaiian, IPCB's Legal Analyst.
"Indigenous peoples are holding scientists accountable for use of their genetic material without prior informed consent, which is the accepted legal standard." Le'a Kanehe, Native Hawaiian, IPCB's Legal Analyst.
"Indigenous groups around the world are much more aware of biopiracy, and our own human and collective rights in research.  In the past ten years, we have developed extensive networks of Indigenous peoples who are knowledgeable and active in defense of their rights." Cherryl Smith, Maori bioethicist, New Zealand.
"Our creation stories and languages carry information about our genealogy and ancestors.  We don't need genetic testing to tell us where we come from. We will not stand by while our ancestors are desecrated in the name of scientific discovery."  Marla Big Boy,  Lakota attorney and IPCB member.

"Somehow, the Genographic Project has led its Indigenous participants to believe its work will insure their people's cultural preservation.  There is a huge disconnect between genetic research and cultural preservation. If they really want to help promote Indigenous peoples cultures there are more productive ways and methods for doing so."  Cherryl Smith, Maori bioethicist, New Zealand.
The IPCB invites Indigenous peoples, friends and colleagues to join an international boycott of IBM, Gateway Computers, and National Geographic until the project is abandoned.

Arctic "Noah's ArK" to Protect World's Seeds
Norway:  The Norwegian government is building a frozen "Noah's Ark" to safeguard the world's crop seeds from world catastrophe.  The Global Seed Vault will be built on the island of Svalbard, 600 miles from the North Pole.  It includes space for three million seed varieties such as rice, wheat, and barley as well as fruits and vegetables. Norway has worked with the U.N.'s Food and Agriculture Organization on the plans. It would receive financial support from the Global Crop Diversity Trust to help poor countries use the storage.  Construction for The Global Seed Vault begins in June and should be completed by September 2007.

Photo 47 Tribes Attend Bar Harbor Event
Maine: The Native American Fish and Wildlife Society's recently held their national conference in Bar Harbor.  Game wardens, biologists and land managers learned and shared information about wildlife protection, field technology, and  funding.  Equally important were the professionals' sense of deep obligation in caring for land central to their tribe's identity.  "Spirituality is just as essential a component in our approach as good science," said Ira New Breast, Blackfeet.  Roughly 250 people from 47 tribes and government agencies discussed issues such as endangered species, water pollution and shortages, and chronic wasting disease in deer.  The conference, in its 24th year, was hosted by the Penobscot Nation. Sunrise ceremonies were held on top of sacred Cadillac Mountain.
Bangor Daily News

Volume 2  Volume 4

 Native Village Home Page

Native Village is published with the generous help and support of friends, listserves, and online publications.
Without you, Native Village would not exist.  Megwich to you all.

To join our mailing list and receive news update reminders, send email address to:
To contact Native Village staff, email:

Native Village Linking Policy
Our research, study and resource collections cover a lot of Internet territory! We do our best to screen all links and select only those we designate "kidsafe" and appropriate. However, Native Village does not control the content found on third-party sites, so we are not always aware when content changes. If you discover a link that contains inappropriate information, please contact us immediately.  In addition, please be aware that each linked site maintains its own independent data collection, policies and procedures. If you visit a Web site linked from Native Village, you should consult that site's privacy policy before providing it with any personal information.
For more information about keeping kids safe online, please read about the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, this material is distributed without profit or payment for non-profit research, archival, news, and educational purposes only.

Native Village © Gina Boltz

All rights reserved