Youth and Education News
June 1, 2006 Issue 168 Volume 4
''The only non-immigrants are Native Americans.'' Rep. Raul M. Grijalva, D-Ariz.
Super Mileage Challenge winners average over 1,000 MPG
Indiana: In April, Indianapolis Raceway Park hosted the 11th annual IMSTEA Super Mileage Challenge. Thirty-three Indiana high schools fielded 36 cars in the two classes of competition. Teams of students designed, constructed, and raised funds needed to construct their high mileage cars. Detailed technical proposals had to be submitted before schools could participate. The winners were:
Stock Class winner: Mater Dei High School of Evansville, Ind., at 1,242.76 MPG,
Unlimited Class winner: William Henry Harrison High School of Lafayette, Ind., at 1,060.30 MPG. http://www.rensselaerrepublican.com/articles/2006/04/28/news/community/community02.txt
Cree Plan Huge Wind Farm
Quebec: In partnership with Ventus Energy, the Chisasibi band of Cree Indians hope to build Canada's largest wind park. The $3,000,000,000 project calls for 1,100 windmills that would generate 1,650 megawats of wind power. The Ventus and Cree project, named Yudinn Energy Limited Partnership, has filed an application to export up to 204 megawatts, or 1.7 terawatt hours, of electricity to the United States. The windmills will be built on a 500-kilometre-long corridor along La Grande River and the Laforge/Brisay area. However, the plans must be approved by the Canadian federal government and Quebec. "There are a lot of things to look at first," said Mathieu St-Amant.
Six Tribes Receive Federal Wildlife Funds
The U.S. Department of the Interior has granted environmental funding to six tribes:
The Laguna, Santa Clara, Ohkay Ohwingeh and Taos pueblos -- funding to help manage, conserve and protect fish and wildlife on their lands;
The Navajo Nation -- funding to analyze the distribution of the Gunnison prairie dog on Navajo and Hopi lands;
Santo Domingo Pueblo -- funding for a restoration program on the Rio Galisteo.
Mining School, Indian College Testing Land Near Uranium Mines
South Dakota: Contamination from uranium mining on federal lands is well documented, but no one knows how much of that pollution has affected surrounding lands. Now researchers from The South Dakota School of Mines &Technology and Oglala Lakota College have begun a survey of adjacent private property. "Nobody has looked at how this has come onto private property or carried down the watershed areas on ground or surface water. And nobody's looked at air contamination," said Jim Stone, assistant professor at the School of Mines. So far, tests show that concentrations of arsenic, uranium and other contaminants is higher than what occurs naturally.
Gigantic Rock Slab Growing in Mount St. Helens' Crater
Washington: Mount St. Helens began erupting after several tiny earthquakes in 2004. At first, scientists believed the quakes were caused by rainwater seeping into the hot interior. Now it's clear the magma is on the move. Last November, a rock slab began growing in Mount St. Helen's Crater. The fin-shaped irregular mass, now about 300 feet tall, is growing 4-5 feet per day. The latest measurements show the new lava dome is about 96,000,000 cubic yards in volume - enough to fill a football field with a stack of rock 10 1/2 miles high. "Given the way things are going now, there's no hint of any sort of catastrophic eruptions," USGS geologist Tom Pierson said. "At any time, however, things can change." Eventually, scientists expect the volcano will rebuild its conical peak that it blew off during a 1980, eruption that killed 57 people. The current growth of the new lava dome has been accompanied by low seismicity rates, low emissions of steam and volcanic gases and minor production of ash, the USGS said.
2006 Student Art Competition Winners Announced by the Office of Indian Education
The winners of the 2006 Native American Student Art Competition, "The Power to Dream, The Power to Achieve," have been announced. Winners are:
1st Place: Untitled by Makayla Chenot (Chukchansi), CA
2nd Place: Once We Hunted Them, Now We Learn About Them by Pinna’Wasa’Pe Kopepasah (Comanche), OK
3rd Place: Rainbow Dreams by Brittany Schwartz, (Chippewa) MI
1st Place: Great Indian Artist by Ian Drapeau (Yankton), 2nd grade NE
2nd Place: I Want to be a Baby Doctor by Angela Longee (Sioux/Assiniboine), 1st grade, NE
3rd Place: My Good Tangles by Kanowan A. Kayotawape (Menominee), 2nd grade, IL
1st Place: Sweet Dreams by Seneca O. Love (Penobscot), 5th grade, ME
2nd Place: Living Up To Your Dream by Isabelle Chamberlain (Winnebago), 5th grade, NE
3rd Place: My Reflection by Rachel M. Baldwin (Brothertown Indian Nation), 5th grade,WI
1st Place: If You Can Believe, Then You Can Achieve by Antonio Perea (Navajo), 7th grade, NV
2nd Place: The Gifts of Education by Jordan Martin-Thompson, (Mohawk), 8th grade, NY
3rd Place: Dream Big! Reach for the Stars by Mariah Hayes (Cherokee), 8th grade, OK
1st Place: A Dream to Achieve by Amy Powless (Oneida), 10th grade, OK
2nd Place: Untitled by Michael Curley (Zuni), 10th grade, NM
3rd Place: Successful Paths by Sunny A. Loneman (Cheyenne – Arapaho), 9th grade, AZ
Honorable Mention: The Sacred Road by Lorraine Peters (Navajo), 10th grade, CA
1st Place: Education: The Power to Achieve Your Dream by Stephanie Hollis (Cherokee/Blackfoot), 12th grade, OK
2nd Place: Untitled by Samuel Dalgai (Navajo), 12th grade, AZ
3rd Place: College Dreams by Parker Forrest Blair (Mesquakie-Winnebago-Miwok), 11th grade, CA
Honorable Mention: Native Nation by Brandon Price (Navajo), 11th grade, CA
With 1398 entries from 32 states, participation in the 2006 Native American
Student Art Competition was 10 times greater than that of 2005.
Montana: In 2005, Scott McGowan became the first person from Montana to run the mile under 4 minutes. The 25 year old, of Chippewa heritage, grew up in Poplar on the Fort Peck Reservation, home to Sioux and Assisboine. To McGowan, it is a home he loves and is fiercely proud of, despite the racism he's encountered. "When I tell people that I’m from Poplar, I get everything from sympathy to being called ‘Prairie Nigger...," he said. "You can’t believe how tribal members are treated. When we were on the road, going to cross country meets, we’d go into a Wal-Mart and people said ‘there are too many of you to come in here.’ Too many Indians." McGowan himself has a strict set of values. They go something like this:
* You get a fair day’s wage for fair day’s work, no more, no less.
* You have to be able to trust in a person’s word.
T*here’s the "Popsicle rule"—if you have enough for everyone, you can eat your popsicles in the front yard. Otherwise, do it in private.
*It’s what you’ve done that’s worthy, not how many possessions or how much wealth you have.
*And you don’t talk about what you’ve done. No bragging, no whining.
Due to his light skin, McGowan said some Natives mistake him for white. But he remains proud of his Chippewa heritage. "My father told me, 'Never be embarrassed about where you’re from,'" he said.
Teens find the pulse of a people in Star Nation
South Dakota: Landon Lupi, 17, is a student at Stevens High School. In December, he created The Star Nation Drum Group, a student drum group to help SHS Lakota students connect with their tribal culture and heritage. Impressed by Lupi efforts, the school bought Star Nation a drum. "[Landon] is preserving his cultural heritage and reaching out through the drum to bring other students into the group," said assistant-principal Bruce Jordan. "He's a genuine, sincere kid out there wanting to make a better society."Students meet each week to learn and practice traditional Lakota songs. "I'm teaching the spiritual songs that you would hear at religious get-togethers and at sun dances, a little bit of the powwow songs and the flag song," Lupi said. Star Nation Drum includes both young men and women. "I thought it would be a good idea to have girls sing with us, and they could learn, too," he said. "Plus, they sound a little better than some of the guys." Star Nation has performed at area schools and will soon sing at nearby nursing homes. "I'd like to show the Lakota residents there that the songs are going on to the next generation, that it isn't dying," said 17-year-old Whitney Two Bulls, a Star Nation Drum Group member.
Jana performance raises money for youth program
Connecticut: Jana Mashonee is a 26-year-old Lumbee woman on her way to stardom. Her 2002 release of ''Stairway to Heaven'' skyrocketed to No. 8 on the Billboard dance chart, a first for a Native in this category. In retrospect, ''Stairway to Heaven'' prepared Jana for obstacles she would face as a recording artist. When radio stations refused to play her song, she worked around it by promoting it at nightclubs. ''For a couple of weeks I outsold Madonna,'' she said. ''But it still didn't get the airplay it deserved.'' She has also won three Native American Nammy Awards. In April, Jana performed at the First Lady's Luncheon in Washington, D.C. About 2,000 politicians, dignitaries, former Supreme Court justices and others were in attendance. Each year the event raises money for a different charity. This year, Jana helped raise $25,000 for the United National Indian Tribal Youth program. Jana's says her music reflects her heritage and her experiences in UNITY, a program that empowers American Indian and Alaska Native youths on a spiritual, social and psychological level. Mashonee has begun her own program, ''Jana's Kids.'' She visits schools where she intertwines her music with a speech on cultural pride, identity and peer pressures. She opens the floor for students to discuss their feelings on any topic. ''Native youth may appear passive, but they have a lot to say. We need to listen to them more and not shut them down.'' The Jana's Kids program also raises scholarship funds for students who excel in the academic, artistic or athletic arenas.
Learn more about Jana and Jana's Kids: http://www.jananation.com/
Town Members Challenge Local HS Mascot
Ohio: Recently, Oberlin High School graduates joined others at the Cleveland Indians’ home opener to protest the team's racist mascot and team name. Oberlin High School is also under fire for its own use of “Indians” as a team name. "Every decade someone has brought [the issue] to the board,” said Marci Alegant, school Board President. Ohio has the highest percentage of sports teams claiming an Indian mascot -- almost 10% of its teams embrace the Indian as its own. Some people say that Native Americans are honored [by the mascot],” said protestor Elana Riffle, Oberlin College senior. “So to take that out of the public eye it’ll be forgotten." Now Riffle and other OC students are showing a passionate drive to change the status quo. The college's Experimental College course titled “The History of the American Indian Movement,” is being taught by Robert Roche of the Cleveland American Indian Movement.
Daughter keeps alive the art of natural dyeing
Arizona: Navajo weaver Mabel Burnside Myers created the Navajo plant dye charts which illustrate natural dyes for yarn in Navajo weavings. ''When I was 11, I remember making these little plant cards," said Myer's daughter, Isabel Deschinny. Each card explained how a single dye was made from a plant. Eventually, Myers combined the plant samples with their yarn colors in a collection known as Navajo dye charts. Today Deschinny is carrying on her mother's traditions by teaching Southwest plants and the dying processes in university classes and workshops. The secret to creating natural dyes comes from choosing the right plant, in the right season and in the right spirit of Navajo tradition and giving back. Blossoms, roots, barks, leaves, berries and skins are used in the dye baths. Each requires special care and knowledge to produce the color:
"Buckwheat is the hardest; sometimes it is brighter yellow than at other times.''
''I have to have a pick and an axe for mountain mahogany, and I have to have a man to get it.''
''Holly berries only appear every five or 10 years, so you have to store those up.'' (red/violet)
''I go to Taos, New Mexico, for the chokecherries.''
Sumac leaves are used for gray;
Burnt juniper ashes produces a light color of lime;
Purple larkspur, known as txadidiidootl'ish, creates golds;
Navajo tea, known as ch'ilgoh wehih, creates yellow;
Another yellow dye is created from rabbit brush, known as g'iiltsoih;
Sagebrush produces a light yellow;
Brown onionskin produces the goldenrod color;
Canyaigre dock root, known as wild rhubarb and chaad'iniih to Navajos, is used for dark yellow-orange.
Deschinny has self-published a booklet of plant dye recipes, ''Native Plant Dyes, Series I, Introduction.''
Two of South Dakota's three Indian stations off the air
South Dakota: Until a few years ago, South Dakota had four radio stations that served mostly American Indians. Today, due to technical or licensing problems, only one remains on the air. The stations:
KSWS-FM at Sisseton lost its FCC license and no longer exists. A Web site now communicates with members of the Sisseton-Wahpeton tribe.
KILI-FM at Porcupine was knocked off the air in April when lightning hit near the station. They are now waiting for grant monies to replace and upgrade equipment. KILI-FM serves western South Dakota, including the Pine Ridge and Rosebud Indian Reservations.
KLND-FM at McLaughlin has equipment problems and hasn't broadcast since April 10. "Our converter is pretty much on the blink," said Jana Shields-Gipp, board of directors chairman. They are trying to make repairs. KLND serves mostly the Standing Rock and Cheyenne River reservations.
KINI-FM at St. Francis is the only station broadcasting. Its funding comes from the Catholic church and donations. KINI-FM serves the Rosebud and Pine Ridge reservations.
HJ ProVoice: http://www.hjprovoice.com
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