Youth and Education News
March 1, 2006 Issue 165 Volume 4
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.
Water still unsafe on 20 B.C. reserves
Canada: At least 20 First Nations communities in British Columbia don't have access to safe drinking water. Even after Canada spent $2,000,000,000 to upgrade water systems on Canada's reserves, boil water advisories are still in effect because of parasites or contaminants. Nelson Kahama, who operates the water system for the Soowahlie band, says Soowahlie water is safe. He also says the problems on other reserves is cause by the lack of proper maintenance. "You come and put a million-dollar water project in, and you drop it on to a guy who's doing maintenance for eight bucks an hour. [What you need is] a person that's educated in water systems." He also believes some tribal leaders don't believe their water problem is critical. "They get money for the water system and they'll spend it on the maintenance person to do something else – home renovations or something. "
Yaqui In Mexico Suffer Effects Of Toxic Pesticides Used In Agricultural Fields
Mexico : Yaqui from Sonora, Mexico, are seeing an increases in birth defects and in youth and young adults dying from cancer. " It would make you so sad to see these Yaqui children," said Francisco Villegas Paredes. Doctors confirm that the birth defects and cancers were caused by dangerous pesticides and chemicals used in Mexico but banned in the U.S, Canada, and Europe. The poisons are used by farmers leasing Yaqui lands for wheat and corn crops. Yaqui tribal members then work in those same agricultural fields near their villages. Recently, four Yaqui college students died from brain tumors and cancers after working the fields during school breaks. "Mexico knows these toxic chemicals are banned, but allows other countries to come in and violate the laws," Parades said. "In Mexico, there are no strict regulations or environmental laws to protect the people. The chemicals imported into Mexico should have warning signs on them. The farmers should inform the workers that these chemicals are dangerous, and they should supply the workers with gloves, masks and protective clothing." According to the International Indian Treaty Council, indigenous peoples across the world are often exposed to dangerous pesticides which contaminate the air and waters. Those pesticides travel and penetrate the food chain, causing cancer, birth defects and other health problems.
Greenland ice cap melting at faster pace
Greenland: The melting rates for Greenland's glaciers have almost doubled in the last five years. This amounts to 150 cubic kilometers of ice that contributes 0.5 millimeters -- almost 17% -- of the 3 millimeters sea-level rise per year. "This change, combined with increased melting, suggests that existing estimates of future sea level rise are too low," said researcher Julian Dowdeswel. Eric Rignot of NASA says one glacier that hasn't moved much in the past 60 years has now tripled its speed. "It's now flowing at 14 kilometres per year, it's now one of the fastest moving glaciers on Earth and its surface dropped by a hundred metres as a result of the acceleration, so these are major changes," he says. Increasing the amount of snowfall in Greenland is the only way to stem the loss of ice, Dowdeswell said.
San Francisco to Test Turning Dog Waste Into Power
California: San Francisco has an estimated 120,000 dogs living in the city. According to the city's garbage company, Norcal Waste Systems Inc., almost 4% of San Francisco's household garbage is animal waste destined for the city's landfill. ''The city asked us to start thinking about a pilot program to recycle the dog poop in order to cut back adding more waste in landfills,'' said Robert Reid from Norcal. Dog and cats produce about 10,000,000 tons of waste a year. That feces could be scooped into a methane digester where bugs and microorganisms gobble the material and emit methane. That methane would be trapped and burned to power a turbine for electricity or heating homes. Several European cities, including Zurich, Frankfurt, Munich and Vienna. are operating biomass programs to turn waste into gas. San Francisco already runs an aggressive recycling program. Two thirds of its garbage is now being recycled. The city's goal is a 75% diversion by 2010 and zero new waste in landfills by 2020.
Canada unveils huge new park on B.C. coast
British Columbia: Canadian officials unveiled a 16,000,000 acre preserve stretching 250 miles along the Pacific coastline. "The Great Bear Rainforest" was created after years of protests against loggers invading the forest. The park, which is more than twice as big as Yellowstone Park, is home to the "spirit bear" (a rare white species also called the kermode bear, grizzlies, black bears, wolves, cougars, mountain goats, moose, and deer. "Great Bear" is also the ancestral home of peoples whose cultures date back thousands of years. Canadian Premier Gordon Campbell said 4,400,000 of Great Bear's acres would be protected and managed as parkland. 11,600,000 acres will protected by an ecosystem management plan that maintains a balance between the environment and forestry. Those helping Canada fund the Great Bear Rainforest include Greenpeace, the Sierra Club, Forest Ethics, the Nature Conservancy, Tides Canada Foundation and several private U.S. and Canadian foundations. The Great Bear Rainforest Project will be completed in 2009.
Rainforest Solution Project: www.savethegreatbear.org/
Raincoast Conservation Society: www.raincoast.org
Environmental-health class broadcast to tribal colleges
Montana: When trash piled up at the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation's solid-waste transfer sites, Kermit Snow was frustrated by the mess. "There was really nothing I could do about it because we have no enforcement, no ordinances," said Snow, a Gros Ventre employed at Fort Belknap's air-quality division. Then someone started lighting the trash piles on fire. "They were thinking they were doing the community a favor by burning the trash, but really they were hurting the community," he said. Snow began to publish notices in newsletters and local papers explaining that the smoke from burning garbage could be hazardous. Then he wrote an open-burn ordinance and presented it to council. It is now out for public comment. Snow's activism may be studied in a class at Rocky Mountain College. Snow is one of the students in the environmental-health class, a well-known "think-tank" which discusses environment and health problems common to reservations. The class will also be broadcast to students in four other colleges: Little Big Horn College, Chief Dull Knife College, Fort Peck Community College, and Fort Belknap College.
Tulalip teen's music is his mission
Washington: In October, a 19-year-old Tulalip Tribes fisherman drowned. Jonny Cavanaugh was a young man who lived the ancient fishing tradition, and his death hurt the tribe. Kaisar Jones-Fryberg, 18, has answered the tragedy Jonny's tragedy only way he could: through music. "...another fallen soldier that I grew up with; Just two young kids, but only one of them lived. ...all he ever knew was what we taught down here." Jones-Fryberg, who is also called Komplex Kai, wants to open the eyes of other Tulalip teenagers. There's another world out there. "To all native youth, put down the drugs, pick up your dream," he raps. "I'll be here to lead the way and help you do it." Fryberg has released his first full-length album, "Perfect World.
Hip Hop Congress breaks stereotypes
Minnesota: Concordia College recently hosted the first Hip Hop Congress Summit in Minnesota. The event, themed “Politics, Globalization and the Hip Hop Generation," was meant to erase stereotypes surrounding hip-hop in today’s culture. Among the performers was Quesse IMC, Pawnee/Seminole, who raps to bring a sense of pride back to Native Americans. “ I grew up in the hip-hop culture by listening to bands such as Public Enemy,” Quesse said. “I try to send a message to other young natives that we can make it too. I like to talk about Native empowerment and I try to break the stereotypes of our people.” Other artists addressed more controversial topics -- American Indian rap duo Night Shield and Maniac’s opening song took aim at the Bush administration. "Hip-hop is a movement that is happening in which young people are empowering themselves in a very political and social conscious way,” said Amer Ahmed from Concordia.
Hip Hop Congress: www.hiphopcongress.com
A Brief History of the North American Indigenous Games
July 1-8, 1990 Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Saskatchewan took home the most medals with 203, Alberta was second with 139, and Manitoba finished third with 58.
The games included cultural performances from Native peoples across Canada and the United States.
July 18-25, 1993 – Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, Canada
Saskatchewan won first place with 283 medals, Alberta was second with 234, and British Columbia and Manitoba tied for third with 53 each.
25,000 athletes, cultural performers, and spectators witnessed the games.
A cultural festival included Native peoples from across Canada and the United States.
July 29-August 6, 1995 – Blaine, Minnesota, USA
11,000 participants from 26 states and 9 provinces.
Saskatchewan finished first with 100 medals, Alberta finished second with 80, and Ontario and Minnesota tied for third with 30.
August 3-8, 1997 – Victoria, British Columbia, Canada,
Over 3,000 people took part in the cultural festival.
Included participation from 17 states and 9 Provinces, Australia and New Zealand .
Saskatchewan won 298 medals, British Columbia earned 243 medals, and Alberta won with 231.
July 25-August 4, 2002 – Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
3,000 cultural performers
Included participation from 15 states and 12 Provinces
Close to 20,000 Indigenous peoples were involved as athletes, performers or volunteers.
Manitoba took home 390 medals, Saskatchewan finished second with 353, and Alberta finished third with 163.
2006 – Denver, Colorado, United States of America, July 2-9
Denver is the site for the 2006 NAIG. It will mark only the second time that the NAIG has been held in the United States. The host tribes are the Southern Ute Indian Tribe and the Ute Mountain Ute.
For more information please visit www.naig2006.com
Native Americans seek recognition
Oregon: Ten years ago, Stew Young trained for the Olympics. Because he couldn't afford elite training and was becoming older, Young gave up his dream. Now the Tulalip Tribal member is leading efforts get more Native Americans into the Olympics. In fact, Young traveled with 1968 Olympic skier Suzy Chaffee to Turin to plead for the inclusion of a North American Indigenous Olympic team. The team would be composed of indigenous athletes from Canada and the United States. Native groups have thought about creating a North American Indigenous Team after a Mohawk lacrosse team competed for Canada in the 1904 Olympics. "This Olympic team is going to happen sometime," Young said. The International Olympic Committee doesn't recognize ethnic groups, said David Wallechinsky, an Olympic historian. It does, however, recognize people who have been colonized by geographic areas, such as Guam and Puerto Rico, Hong Kong, and Palestine. "If territories 20 miles wide can have Olympic teams," Chaffee said, "why can't sovereign Native American nations who invented the roots of 10 Olympic sports?"
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