Youth and Education News
May 1, 2006 Issue 167 Volume 3
"Itís what youíve done thatís worthy, not how many possessions or how much wealth you have." Scott McGowan, Chippewa
Native tribes assert identity
Georgia: During a recent conference at the University of Georgia, scholars shared ideas about how indigenous people throughout the Americas might assert themselves. This was the first major conference to explore how nationalism plays out in literature and literary criticism.
"One of the biggest topics in Native American studies for about 10 years now has been nationalism." Nationalism within sovereign tribes is advocacy for their people and nation." Jace Weaver, University of Georgia Institute of Native American Studies.
"Assimilation is used to discredit," and critics accuse authors of being "not real" for writing in English rather than their indigenous language. Many critics judge American Indian literature as culturally inferior." Joy Harjo, University of New Mexico
"Recognition is based on categories of quantity, such as percentage of blood heritage. These measures are threatening because they imply people can only become less Native American. (Through this viewpoint) Natives can only vanish." Daniel Justice, University of Toronto
"Some stereotypes in literature have become ingrained in the American psyche." Robbie Ethridge, University of Mississippi
"American Indians' involvement in the creation of baseball, as well as their participation in American Indian softball leagues, has been ignored. The native image in sports is not there. We're only the mascot for sports." LeAnne Howe, University of Illinois
"American Indians must "assert (themselves) on behalf of (their) land, culture and community. This begins with sovereignty. It means a sense of self that is our own." Simon Ortiz, University of Toronto.
Indian reservations to get air ambulances
South Dakota: Fifty American Indian reservations will get air ambulances over the next five years. The service will allow patients to be flown directly to medical centers for special care. The airplanes also will be used to fly in medical specialists to the reservations. The Inter-Tribal Economic Alliance is working with PassNet Inc. to secure planes, services and financial support. Other funds will come from federal programs under which the patients are covered: Medicare, Medicaid, Indian Health Services and the Veterans Administration. The Inter-Tribal Economic Alliance is a national coalition of Indian tribes and native Alaskans and Hawaiians.
New Housing for tribe's young adults
Maine: A new apartment building will be built on Indian Island. The building will house young adult Penobscot tribal members who want to live on their own while remaining on the island. "Up to this point we've always had to prioritize the elders or folks that were really disadvantaged, and this is the first time we've been able to focus on the younger generation," said Craig Sanborn, Penobscot Nation Housing Director. The Department of Agriculture's Rural Development program is providing about $1,000,000 for the project.
New group home to help Indian girls
Montana: The New Day Ranch has dedicated a new group home for teenage girls at the Four Dances Outdoor Adventure Program. The Four Dances is a 90-day program combines outdoor activities, cultural activities and meeting with tribal elders. Young women struggling with substance abuse and mental health problems can now find help, build confidence and reconnect with the outdoors and themselves. Four Dances relies heavily on the Recovery Medicine Wheel, a 16-step program developed for, and specifically geared toward, American Indian youth. Until now, the Four Dances program served only boys between the ages of 13 and 17. New Day's new group home now provides the same kinds of services to young women. "My heart does good to see how much Four Dances has grown," said Marcus Red Thunder, who works on the program.
Regina kids learn to say no to gang recruiters
Saskatchewan: In Regina, aboriginal street gangs are busy looking for new recruits, and children as young as eight are being asked to join . "I said no. And he said, 'Why not?' And I said, 'cause it's bad,' " said Jeremy McKay, 8, who had been approached by a gang member. Jeremy is among dozens of inner-city children attending a gang-prevention program at a local community centre. The youth learn how to say no; however, "saying no" is often a difficult thing to do. "If you say no, they'll beat you up and if you say yes, they'll beat you up," said Cassidy McNab, 12. Police say gangs have minors commit crimes because, under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, children under 12 cannot be sent to jail. The RCMP and Regina officials are now developing a plan to help protect children from being recruited. It's expected to be launched in the next few months.
Do This AT Home: Test Your Microwave
Microwave ovens "cook" food by forcing the atoms, molecules and cells within food to reverse polarity billions of times per second. This causes friction -- the more the friction, the more the heat. But this oscillation tears and deforms food molecules, and new compound, called radiolytic compounds are formed. These radiolytic compounds, however, are not found in nature.
To Prove This Fact:
Among Russia's findings on microwaved foods:
Great Lakes for sale! Michigan's Odawa Indians lead anti-Nestle fight
Michigan: If water is the oil of the 21st century, then Michigan is like Saudi Arabia. Now, for the first time in history, the Great Lakes are being compromised by a new Michigan law and Nestle Corporation. Nestle plans to bottle up even more Great Lakes water: up to 250,000 gallons of water per day to sell at a 24,000% markup. This gives Nestle's a daily profit $500,000 - $1,800,000. A new law allows Nestle to increase water purchases with the provision that the bottles can be no larger than 5.7 gallons apiece. Few Midwesterners realize that Nestle now sells the "Ice Mountain" brand of bottled water. The containers, which show a majestic snowy mountain, are misleading -- Ice Mountain water does not come from mountains; the water is drawn from four wells near Grand Rapids, MI. The United Indian Nations of the Great Lakes (UINGL) are at the forefront in mounting challenges to Nestle. More than 140 Great lakes tribes have joined to protect the waters. "We're not stakeholders but bonafide owners," said Bob Goulais, speaking for the Union of Ontario Indians. "The Great Lakes are not for sale." In 2003, Indian women began journeys around the Great Lakes carrying copper buckets full of water. They want to recall the traditional Anishnabe role of women as protectors of water, what they call the lifeblood of Mother Earth. So far they have completed treks around Lakes Superior, Michigan and Huron. Their walk around Lake Ontario began April 29.
Klemtu salmon farms get straight "A" environmental report card
British Columbia: A six year study by tribal members and university researchers confirms what the Kitasoo/Xaixais First Nation has believed all along: salmon farms can be operated in a sustainable manner, and in a way that respects the environment and First Nations traditions. The tribe's three salmon farms are operated in a partnership between Marine Harvest Canada and the Kitasoo/Xaixais First Nation. The partnership agreement recognizes traditional territory, environmental stewardship and economic development, and stipulates ongoing environmental research. "It is what we hoped for," states Percy Starr, Chief Councillor, Kitasoo/Xaixais First Nation. "We watch these farms very closely and we know our waters. Done properly salmon farming can co-exist with our traditional values."
CNW Group Ltd.
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.
EPA honors tribes as environmental heroes
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency honored several Indian tribes during the EPA's eighth annual Environmental Awards ceremony. Plaques were awarded to organizations and individuals who helped preserve the environment of the Pacific and Southwest. Among the environmental heroes:
David Saddler, Tim Walls and Cauy Washburn of the Tohono O'odham Utility Authority in Sells, Ariz. They were honored for bringing water to the O'odham community of Quitovac, creating the community's first water distribution system, and increasing water storage capacity and well improvements.
Sandi Tripp and Susan Corum of the Karuk Tribe of California, Department of Natural Resources. The Karuk Tribe played a key role in discovering and providing a timely response to toxic algae blooms in the Klamath River. Their data led to a three-year study of the cause, effect and extent of blooms in the Klamath Basin, River and dams.
The Ak Chin Indian Community in Maricopa, AZ. The tribe created an environmental department which cleaned up and prevented new illegal dump sites. They also removed more than 90 vehicles and 184,000 pounds of tires, recycled almost 100,000 pounds of scrap metal, scrap appliances and batteries; and removed all underground storage and septic tanks from the community.
The Navajo Nation EPA's Surface and Ground Water Protection Department. The tribe was selected for its new environmental protection regulations; environmental compliance assistance; monitoring and enforcement activities; and conducting more than 100 environmental outreach activities.
In Hawaii, Keikialoha Kekipi and Ho'oulu Lahui of Pahoa. Ho'oulu Lahui, an educational nonprofit organization, preserves cultural traditions and practices of ancient Hawaiians. By preserving traditional concepts while using technology, its goal is a sustainable community living in harmony with the environment.
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