Native Village 

Youth and Education News

April 1, 2007 Issue 177  Volume 4

"A vision without execution is nothing but a hallucination."
Kim Krokodilo, Elk Valley Rancheria

Study of young American Indians found hypertension raised risk for enlarged heart
Recently, American Indians took part in the Strong Heart Study, which investigated heart disease and risk factors in 13 American Indian communities.  The study included 1,944 American Indians whose average age was 26.5.  Of the participants, 294 (15%) had hypertension and 675 (34%) had prehypertension.  "The frequency of heart abnormalities in these younger participants is similar to that found in the middle-age or adult population of hypertensives who are at risk for adverse events," said Dr. Richard Devereux from  Cornell University. "The findings are a wake-up call for increased preventive measures and to head off heart disease with lifestyle modifications, such as reducing caloric intake and increasing physical activity in this population."
Find your heart with an animated stethoscope:

Marysville students get a dose of prevention
Washington:  Diabetes, which has no cure, is the fifth-deadliest disease in the United States.  Almost 75% of the 5th grade students in a Quil Ceda Elementary School classroom know someone with diabetes. One student, who has eight cousins with diabetes, also has a grandmother who struggles with the disease. "I'm really scared," the student said.  "I don't want that to happen to me."  Two retired educators,  Irene and Carl Takeshita, recently spoke about diabetes prevention to the school's students. They led the children in drills that had them name the risk factors for diabetes, such as:
Being overweight;
Not getting enough exercise;
Eating too much fatty food;
Not eating enough fruits and vegetables.
"You're so important to us," Irene Takeshita told the students.  "We want to make sure you stay as healthy as possible for as long as possible." The Takeshitas first developed their diabetes-prevention program in their native Hawaii. Since launching the program in 1999, the Takeshitas have presented their diabetes-fighting message to 3,000 students and 2,000 parents. Their aim is to reach elementary school students, where they feel they can have the biggest impact on changing kids' behaviors.

Youth Custody Rate High Among Aboriginals,
Saskatchewan:  Saskatchewan youths are spending less time in custody -- except for aboriginal offenders. Statistics Canada's latest report (2004-05) found that aboriginal teens made up only 19% of the province's youth, but made up about 75% of all youth in custody of  the youth corrections system.  Hirsch Greenberg, professor at the University of Regina, said the report showed alternative methods of helping youth appear to work overall, especially on First Nations youth. One of the mandates of the Youth Criminal Justice Act is to decrease reliance on incarceration and move towards more community-based tactics for dealing with crime.
H-Amindian Listserve


California: The Indian Health Service oversees 33 nationwide clinics that provide free or discounted medical services to city-dwelling Indians.  Federal law requires these clinics to serve all patients of Indian ancestry; however, many clinics are now refusing to serve Native patients who can't document their federal tribal status.  Once clinic in Santa Barbara has refused about 200 patients. Clinic chairman, Martin Young, said a 2006 BIA letter told the clinic to stop offering free health services to patients without bureau identification card or who come from unrecognized tribes.  While the BIA denied telling Santa Barbara to withhold services, clinic managers in Tucson, Wichita, and Boston received similar orders.  ''IHS is suddenly saying that you can't serve this Indian even though he looks Indian, and his family says he's Indian and has all of this history of being Indian, but he doesn't have this piece of paper,'' said Susette Schwartz, director of the Hunter Health Clinic in Wichita. ''We need some consistency.''  Senator Byron Dorgan, chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, said tribal members who lack federal documentation should still be treated at urban clinics. ''We shouldn't be having people turned away from these health clinics because they don't have a piece of paper,'' said Dorgan. ''I'm very frustrated with what's going on.  This is a matter of life or death for American Indians, particularly children and the elderly.''

Wealthy Japanese man gives mansions to Hawaiian homeless
Genshiro Kawamoto, a Japanese real estate mogul, has handed over 8 of his 22 multimillion-dollar homes to low-income Native Hawaiian families.  One of those families is Doris-Ann Kahales and her five daughters.  Kahale became homeless two years ago when her landlord raised her rent from $800 to $1,200.  Her salary as a customer service representative did not cover the extra expense, so the Kahales moved out to stay with family before moving to a homeless shelter. "What we need to do is appreciate," Kahale said. "As fast as we got it, it could disappear." Kahale's new house is worth nearly $5,000,000. Her family can live in the home up to ten years.

Potato Chips
New York: As a world food, potatoes are second in human consumption only to rice. And as thin, salted, crisp chips, they are America's favorite snack food.   Potato chips were created in 1853 by Native American chef, George Crum, at an elegant resort in New York.  Crum was irritated with a customer who returned two plates of French fries because they were "too thick"  Crum decided to rile the guest by producing French fries too thin and crisp to skewer with a fork. The plan backfired: the guest was ecstatic over the browned, paper-thin potatoes.  Other diners began requesting Crum's potato chips, and soon the dish became known as Saratoga Chips, a house specialty.  In 1860 George opened his own restaurant near Saratoga Lake.  Within a few years, he was catering to wealthy clients including William Vanderbilt, Cornelius Vanderbilt, Jay Gould, and Henry Hilton. Crum died in 1914 at the age of 92.

Family lines keep an ancient skill alive
Alaska: In Yup'ik, they're called a mingquetuli -- "skin sewer," one who makes clothing from animal pelts. It's a skill passed in Native Alaskan families from mother to daughter, usually during childhood.  One skilled mingquetuli is Carrie Anvil-Kiana, who listened when her mother said:  "You must learn to make mukluks and parkas for your family. "  Carrie, now 76, made parkas, hats, mittens, and mulkuks for her six children using furs harvested in Alaska as well as calfskin and the pelts of nutria, rabbit and squirrel.  Seam quality is the true measure of a mingquetuli, Anvil-Kiana said, showing off a parka's neat, fur-free seams. "If there's hair caught in these seams, we say she's a kelugpak," meaning an inexpert skin sewer.  Carrie also said that people were known by their parkas.  Each region had a specific style or decoration no other family could copy.  Customs aren't as strong now; people generally incorporate what they like in their parkas, although the green and red tassels Anvil uses are Yup'ik colors.  "Red for blood and green for life," Anvil said.  "But for kids, you can use whatever colors. "  Anvil and other Yup'ik women are passing on their skin sewing, crafts and beading in weekly classes for young women.

2007 Fellowship SAIA Awards
The Southwestern Association for Indian Arts has announced the recipients of its 2007 Fellowship awards for Native American artists. The recipients are:
Roger Amerman (Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma) for beadwork/diverse arts.
Diane Douglas-Willard (Haida) for weaving (basketry).
Ira Lujan (Taos Pueblo) for sculpture (glass).
Beverly Rose Moran/Bear King (Standing Rock Sioux) for beadwork/diverse arts;
Penny Singer (Dine) for diverse arts (clothing design).

Jennifer Redbird's New Movie to Screen at Delray Beach Film Festival
Florida: MORNING SONG WAY, a powerful action/drama, has won 11 film festival awards including Best Drama, Best Screenplay, Best Actor, and Best Actress. The story is about Katy Sage, a young girl who witnesses a murder, then hides in the mountains with her great Uncle, an old time medicine man.  She learns the traditions and wants to help her people, but the murderers, drug dealers, and the government stand in her way. Actress Jennifer Redbird, who plays 10-year-old Katy, won the Rising Star Award in Columbia. Jennifer has become an icon among  tweenies and elementary school children.  She is most popular among Native Americans. Tanya Busytail, 13, is a Cherokee and says its probably because Redbird is a real person "that people can identify with, particularly Indians, and who isn't about fashion, glitz, parties, and things that really don't mean anything in the long run like Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton and Brittany Spears appear to be."  Redbird who walked over twenty miles per day during filming, lives in a rural mountain area and still goes to public school.

Indiana: Kelvin Sampson, a Lumbee tribal member, is head coach for the Indiana Hoosiers men's basketball team.  When the Hoosiers played in the 2007 NCAA playoffs, Sampson’s father, Ned Sampson, traveled with his son to the Sacramento regionals.  Ned, who coached Kelvin in high school in Pembroke, N.C., became famous in 1958 for fighting the Ku Klux Klan in a North Carolina field.  Ned Sampson was ambushing the Klan along with a hundred of Lumbee Indians, the Native American tribe that his family belonged to.  “He is a man that stood up for what he believed in,” Kelvin said. “My father (is) not only a better coach than I’ll ever be, but a better man.”

Less than 50 Native Americans have competed in the Major Leagues since 1897.  At long last, the drought of notable Native American hopefuls in MLB may be over. One current player is Joba Chamberlain, Winnebago, a starting pitcher for a New York Yankees minor league team.  Another is Jacoby Ellsbury, whose mother is full Navajo and member of the Colorado River tribe.  Ellsbury is in the Boston Red Sox minor league organization. And a recent former major leaguer, Bobby Madritsch, is of Lakota Sioux heritage.  He pitched for the Seattle Mariners in 2004 - 2005 before being traded to Kansas City.  Many believe the lack of college and professional Native American athletes is because Native culture encourages group participation more than individual achievement.  Also, many coaches or professional scouts have been told Native athletes can't assimilate on the college or professional level. Moreover, coaches worry about academic eligibility of these prospective students. Both Chamberlain and Ellsbury find themselves in unique positions to help foster a new dialog between scouts, coaches, MLB and the Native American community. Ron Volesky, a Lakota Sioux, Harvard graduate, and SD State representative agrees.  “I think coaches might find out that the reservations contain some extraordinary athletes," he said.  
  The first Native American player was James Madison Toy, of partial Indian ancestry, who played in the American Association League in 1897.
   Toy preceded Louis Sockalexis, the first officially acknowledged American Indian who competed for the Cleveland Spiders from 1897-1899.
   Charles Albert “Chief” Bender is the sole Native American elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame, although Jim Thorpe was perhaps the best-known Native American player of the 20th century as he excelled in multiple sports.
   Many well-known Hall of Famers have part Native American ancestry such as Johnny Bench, Willie Stargell and Early Wynn.


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