Native Village 

Youth and Education News

March 1, 2006 Issue 165  Volume 3

"Laughter is a necessity in life that does not cost much, and the Old Ones say that one of the greatest healing powers in our life is the ability to laugh." Larry P. Aitken, Chippewa

B.C.  First Nations to run Their Own Schools
British Columbia: The province's First Nations will soon have stronger controls over their children's K-12 education.  Tribes may also develop curriculums, give high school diplomas and certificates and certify teachers and schools.  These agreement stemmed from  long debates over why Canada's schools fail First Nations children.  The deal is also part of the Kelowna Accord that promises $5,000,000,000 to improve First Nations' education, health, housing and economic opportunities.  $1,000,000,000 has been designated for education. Most will go to on-reserve schools. 
H-Amindian Listserve

Court to Reconsider Hawaii Schools Case
Hawaii:  Kamehameha School is a highly rated private institution with campuses on three islands. Kamehameha was founded 118 years ago through the will of Hawaiian Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop.  Her $6,200,000,000 trust funds the school whose mission is to educate and "improve the capability and well-being of people of Hawaiian ancestry."  Last year, however, a federal court ruled that the Kamehameha's policy of admitting only native Hawaiians is racial discrimination.  But Hawaiian politicians --  including the governor, attorney general, and the state's four members of Congress -- support the school's admissions policy.  Now the courts will review the case.  "It's too bad that there's this energy to remove such an important legacy from the Hawaiian people," said Jonathan Osorio, a Kamehameha grad and director of U. of Hawaii's Center for Hawaiian Studies.  Admission at Kamehameha Schools is coveted for the quality of education and low tuition rates. The main campus is spread over 600 acres on a mountainside above Honolulu. The school has two smaller campuses, on Maui and on the Big Island. The school enrolls about 5,000 students each year. http:/

Indian educator asks Congress for help
Washington DC:  Ryan Wilson (Oglala Lakota) made a plea to Congress to recognize and help solve the problems facing Indian youth. Wilson, who heads the National Indian Education Association, began his address with a history lesson:  In 1969, Congress requested a study of the learning conditions in Indian Country. The study, named  “Indian Education: A National Tragedy - A National Challenge, " was a “stinging critique,” Wilson said. “We ranked at the bottom of every social, health, economic, and yes, education indicator in America.”  Fast-forward 37 years, he says, and things have not improved much.  “The conscience of America can never be clear, the state of American education can never be strong, so long as Indian Country lives on a lonely island of educational poverty, amidst of vast ocean of wealth and educational opportunity for all Americans, except the first Americans,” Wilson said.

National Statistics:
American Indian and Alaska Native children are:
300% more likely to live in poverty than white children;
More than 200% likely to commit suicide;
200% more likely to die in a car accident, because reservation roads are the most dangerous in the country.
Wilson's commendations:
Tribal colleges have produced more Native graduates in the last 30 years than all mainstream universities combined;
Thousands of Native children have graduated from Indian Head Start programs and are doing remarkably better than youth who didn't attend.
Wilson requested from Congress:
Convene an Indian education summit;
Help tribal language movements;
Create greater teacher support;
More flexibility and acknowledgment of the unique contexts of Native schools;
Data collection and research with culturally appropriate design models and methodologies;
Re-authorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act;
Increase and include input from Native leaders when Congress debates the No Child Left Behind Act.

National Indian Education Association:
Native American Times

Cultural Representation in Native America
A new book, "Cultural Representation in Native America," gathers writings by Native America leaders and activists about the rights and cultural revitalization of  indigenous peoples in North America. 
Contributors include:
Norma Alarcón, professor at University of California, Berkeley;
Paula Gunn Allen (Laguna, Sioux and Lebanese), poet, novelist and critic;
Carolyn Dunn-Anderson (Muscogee, Seminole, Cherokee, Creole & Cajun) doctoral student at USC;
Troy Johnson,  Professor at California State University, Long Beach;
Andrew Jolivétte (Opelousa/Atakapa/Creole),  Assistant Professor at San Francisco State University;
Winona LaDuke (Ojibwe,  Mississippi Band of Anishinaabeg) Program Director of Honor the Earth,  Founding Director of White Earth Land Recovery Project;
Melissa Nelson (Chippewa and Métis)  Professor at San Francisco State University, executive director of The Cultural Conservancy;
Kim Shuck, professor at San Francisco State;
Sara Sutler-Cohen, University of California, Santa Cruz.
The author and editor, Andrew Jolivétte,  teaches in the American Indian Studies Department and the Ethnic Studies Program at SFSU.  He is a mixed race studies specialist with a particular interest in Black-Indian relations, Creole Studies, and mixed race health disparities.

Budget cuts wipe out Indian education plan
Virginia:  The Jamestown 2007 commemoration is meant to promote the history of Jamestown's three cultures -- Virginian Indian, European, and African --  in the early 17th century.  However, the $500,000 proposed for the Virginia Indian Heritage Program has been reduced to $75,000 by Virginia's Senate, while the House of Delegates totally eliminated it. The money is designated for educating tourists and Virginians about the state's native history and cultures since 1607.  Karenne Wood, chair of the Virginia Council on Indians, believes these budget cut swill kill plans to improve teaching Virginia's Indian history in state schools.  “There will be Indians participating in events with the [Jamestown] commemoration,"  Woods said.  "But in terms of impacting education in Virginia in any kind of sustainable way, there won't be any without this program.”   This was the first time Virginia Indian people asked for a program allowing them to join in presenting their tribe's history at the 1607 settlement.
photo: Powhattan's Mantle,0,4430805.story?coll=va-news

 iqaluit to house new heritage centre

Nunavut:  Iqaluit will be the site of a new $55,000,000 heritage centre to house Nunavut's historical artifacts.  Currently those artifacts are housed at the Wales Northern Heritage Centre in Yellowknife.  Nunavut minister Louis Taparjuk had other good news to share with those in his territory.  The territory's new trade school will be created in Rankin Inlet. A campus residence area will be constructed once the legislature approves funding.  There will also be funding to renovate and expand existing training locations in Cambridge Bay and Iqaluit.

Nunavut Coat of Arms  

Polar bear no match for fearsome mother in Ivujivik
Nunavut:  Lydia Angyiou was outside when she saw a polar bear eying her son and two friends playing hockey in front of Ivujivik's youth center.  To protect the boys, Lydia shouted "Polar Bear!" and ran towards the animal and kicked it.  Meanwhile, one of the boys alerted an adult who grabbed a rifle from a qamuti.  "Then, I ran to the place where the bear was,"  Siqualuk Ainalik told police.   He fired three warning shots, and when the bear turned towards him, Ainalik killed it.  Angyiou, who was covered in blood and in shock, was all right.  "She saved some kids' lives, I tell you," said Kativik Regional Police Capt.  Larry Hubert.  "I am going to put in a request for a bravery medal from the Governor-General."  Doctors use the term "fight-or-flight response" to describe the body's automatic response to threat or danger.  This instinctive response gives human beings enough strength and  speed to avoid physical harm.  The fight-or-flight response can be activated to protect both ourselves and others in danger.

Choctaw Author’s American Indian Health and Fitness Book Wins Gourmand World Cookbook Award
Kansas: American Indian author Devon Mihesuah’s latest book has won the Special Award of the Jury from the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards. Her book, "Recovering Our Ancestors’ Gardens" is a finalist for “Best in the World” along with books by Maya Angelou and Martha Stewart.  Devon, an Oklahoma Choctaw, teaches cultural studies at the University of Kansas.  Mihesuah's book contains indigenous recipes from  U.S.  and Canadian colleagues. The book also discusses today's poor state of indigenous health and why many Natives are separated from their traditionally healthy gardens, diets, and activities.  "Natives once gathered, hunted and cultivated foods that kept them physically strong."  Mihesuah notes.  "Now, many Natives across the Americas are sedentary ...  Boycotting the greasy, fatty, sugary and salty foods that are killing us in favor of the nutrient-rich and unprocessed indigenous foods of this hemisphere is greatly empowering.”   The "Best in the World" cookbook award will be presented in May, 2006 in Malaysia.   More than 6000 books from 65 countries were entered in this years contest.


Meat and vegetable kabobs
1 pound meat of your choice (elk, deer, buffalo, turkey or salmon)
2 red, yellow or green bell peppers, seeded and cut into squares
2 cups large whole mushrooms
2 zucchinis, cut into chunks
2 yellow crooked-neck squash, cut into chunks.
Marinate meat in either a plastic bag or covered bowl with marinade of your choice for at least four hours.  Preheat the grill by allowing coals to burn for 15 to 20 minutes.  Oil the skewers with vegetable oil, then thread meat and vegetables onto skewers and “paint” on a thick layer of olive oil.  Sprinkle with pepper and other spices.  Place the kabobs onto the rack and turn every eight minutes until the meat is done. 
    Vegetable sauté
2-3 yellow squash, sliced lengthwise
2-3 zucchini, sliced lengthwise
1-2 cups sliced mushrooms
3 large sliced tomatoes
1 cup broccoli florets
1 cup cauliflower
Cover a nonstick pan with vegetable spray or a few tablespoons of vegetable oil.  Cover the pan with a layer of vegetables and sprinkle with pepper, garlic, oregano or other seasoning.  Cook over medium heat and turn after 10 minutes.  Turn to low, cover and simmer until vegetables are tender. 
Green chili
6-12 roasted, peeled and de-seeded green chiles
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound lean pork, elk or venison, cubed
1/2 lime juice
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
Salt and black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil
Add green chilis, onion, garlic and spices to cooking pan and stir.  Add meat and stir; then add lime juice.  Add chicken stock until the meat is covered.  Stir well and reduce to simmer.  Cover for 30 minutes, add more chicken broth if the mixture has become too thick.
Zucchini canoes
2-4 large zucchinis
1/2 pound ground lean meat (such as turkey)
1 cup cooked wild rice
1 cup chopped onions
1 beaten egg
4 large tomatoes, pureed
2 tablespoons olive oil
Italian breadcrumbs (optional)
Garlic (optional)
Parsley (optional)
Parmesan cheese (optional)
Cut squash lengthwise and take out the flesh.  Place emptied zucchini skins in a baking pan.  Sauté the ground meat, squash, spices and olive oil until meat is done.  Remove from heat and add the cooked rice and beaten egg and beat well.  Fill each emptied zucchini skin with the mixture, cover with foil (or glass top) and bake at 350 degrees for approximately 45 minutes, or until squash is firm and tender.

Recipes from “Recovering Our Ancestors’ Gardens” by Devon Abbott Mihesuah

Navajo herbalist combines the best of her two  worlds
Arizona:  As a youth and teen, Virginia Boone learned about the healing qualities of Arizona's plants and herbs from her father. Today, the Navajo woman walks a fine line:  learning  to balance her traditional Navajo healing herb company without compromising family and tribal traditions.  "We were taught at a young age about our connection to the Earth and to the plants," Boone said.   "We also  learned to respect their medicinal qualities."    Using herbs and plants from the Navajo Reservation, Boone's sales began with teas and with dried herbs used for skin problems, backaches, stomach problems and arthritis pain.  As sales grew, Boone and a partner created a new company,  Medicine of the People. The company's items are sold at local museums, cultural centers, and other places. "It can be hard to find quality products that are made by Native Americans and are produced in  Arizona," said Lynn Bullock, a bookstore manager at the Heard Museum.  Becoming a large corporation is not  part of the plan.   "We're still holding onto  those grass roots," said Boone's partner.  "But we have to grow.  It's important to  keep that balance and not stray from our vision."


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