Native Village 

Youth and Education News

January 1, 2008 Issue 183  Volume 3

During the first Gulf war a group of native Americans in Oregon wrote an open letter to President George Bush, Sr., ridiculing his pretext for attacking Iraq:
"Dear President Bush," it read. "Please send your assistance in freeing our small nation from occupation. This foreign force occupied our lands to steal our rich resources ... As in your own words, 'The occupation and overthrow of one small nation is one too many.' Yours sincerely,
An American Indian."

Navajo Chief Justice Herb Yazzie will serve a lifetime term
Arizona -The Navajo Tribal Council voted 64-2 to confirm Herb Yazzie as a lifetime justice on the Navajo Supreme Court. Yazzie became the tribe's 20th chief justice in April 2005. All judges are appointed to a two-year probation period, after which time the council's Judiciary Committee either recommends permanent status or a release from duties. Yazzie is the second person to serve in the top legal position in each of the tribe's three branches of government. The Vietnam veteran was the tribe's attorney general in the executive branch and was the chief legislative counsel for the Navajo Nation Council before joining the court.,file=article,nid=16833.html

Lakota group pushes for new nation
Washington, DC: American Indians want to withdraw the Lakota nation from treaties their forefathers signed with the U.S. government. Russell Means from the Porcupine Reservation says a new nation is necessary because Indians are "dismissed" by the U.S and are living under a colonial apartheid system.  Means joined other leaders and friends -- many from the American Indian Movement -- in visits to the Bolivian, Venezuelan, Chilean and South African embassies. They were seeking recognition for efforts to form a free and independent Lakota Nation. "I want to emphasize, we do not represent the collaborators, the Vichy Indians and those tribal governments set up by the United States of America to ensure our poverty, to ensure the theft of our land and resources," Means said.  He compared elected tribal governments to Nazi collaborators. However, Rodney Bordeaux, chairman of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, said his community will not join the breakaway nation. Means and his group, the Lakota Freedom Delegation, never officially pitched their views to the Rosebud community, Bordeaux said.  "Our position on that is we need to uphold the treaties, and we're constantly reminding Congress of that message," Bordeaux said. "We're pushing to maintain and to keep the treaties there because they're the basis of our relationship with the federal government."

If you had a trillion dollars
Washington, DC:  Democrats in the U.S. Congress estimate the real cost of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars at $1,600,000,000,000 through 2008. So what else could be bought with the dollars spent on the war effort?  For 1 trillion dollars, you could:

Put 8,000,000 students through a full four years of private college.  That's just slightly more than the population of New York City;
  Buy a
new '08 car for almost 60,000,000 people;
Purchase the market values of Microsoft, Wal-Mart, Google, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Time Warner and Apple, then have more than $23,000,000,000 left over;
every major-league professional sports franchise (football, basketball, hockey and baseball) in North America, then pay each player's salary for more than 100 years, (based on the current $9,000,000,000 per year;)
  Provide more than
1,000 nets for each African to protect them from mosquitos that spread malaria. Malaria kills over 1,000,000 Africans per year;
two Nintendo WII consoles each for every child in the world under the age of 15;
Hire 6,900,000 general practitioners, or one doctor for every 43 Americans;
Buy more than 3,000 of the world's largest airplanes, the double-deck Airbus A380, then have money left over for gas.
[inuitindianart] Digest Number 1898

Blatant discriminations against NJ's American Indians

The Village of Winakung in Waterloo Village at Stanhope NJ

New Jersey:  New Jersey has an estimated 20,000 American Indians in the Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape, the Powhatan Renape and Ramapough Lenape tribes.  A new report says blatant discrimination against American Indians thrives in the state. The report found "lingering discrimination, ignorance of state history and culture, and cynicism."  'We were disappointed to learn that New Jersey lags behind rather than leads at least 15 other states, which recognize, respect and celebrate their tribal people through legislative, executive, or agency action," the report states.  "We were saddened that subtle even blatant discrimination still can thrive in New Jersey rather than a shining celebration of the state's tribal members."  The report was given to Governor Jon S.  Corzine who appointed the study in 2006 after a Lenape Indian was fatally shot by a state park police officer in a confrontation that remains under dispute.
The Associated Press State &Local Wire

More than 1,200 homeless, nearly homeless on reservations

Tribal Reservations, Minnesota: A study shows that more than 1,200 people on northern Minnesota's reservations are homeless or living in the homes of friends or family members.  While many don’t meet the federal definition of homeless, they are still living in overcrowded homes with multiple families.  “Even though people might be staying for a long period of time in that status, it isn’t necessarily a stable way to live because they are bouncing back and forth among so many different settings,” said researcher Ellen Shelton.  Researchers conducted 674 interviews in fall 2006, focusing on the Red Lake, Leech Lake, White Earth, Mille Lacs, Bois Forte and Fond du Lac reservations.  Only Red Lake has a homeless shelter.

H-Amindian Listserve

First Nations Lands, Canada: According to Health Canada, suicide rates are:

5-7 times higher for First Nations youth than for non-aboriginal youth;  
11 times the national average among Inuit youth;
Some aboriginal bands have suicide rates more than 800 times the national average.

In the Hazleton region, the Wrinch Memorial Hospital has recorded 111 suicide attempts since Jan.  1, 2007.  With unreported suicide attempts, the actual number is much higher. In November, there were seven suicide attempts in one week alone.  "Our community has had historically high unemployment for the last eight years -- almost 90%," said Sharon Robertson of Wrinch Memorial Hospital.  "We have the worst socioeconomic indicators in the province.  We don't have a lot of services that we need.  Our demographics are primarily First Nations.  The forest industry is being hit hard.  We need to get rid of drugs and alcohol and bring some structure and order in to the community.'
Global Information Network

Prenatal care improves for American Indians
Oklahoma:  Prenatal care identifies and treats risks that can lead to birth problems such as early labor, low birth weight and infant or maternal death.  In 1994,  health officials reported a large disparity between American Indian and white pregnant women with access to, and usage of, early prenatal care.  Now a new study indicates those differences have been essentially eliminated. The improvements include:

95.7% of American Indian women confirm their pregnancy in the first trimester. For whites it's 97%; 
76.7% of American Indian women  to receive first trimester prenatal care. For whites it's 78.8%;
38.7% of American Indian women smoked before pregnancy. For whites it was 31.8%. However, the AI mothers were more likely to quit during pregnancy than white women.
The new study found disparities still exist in other areas of pregnancy and infant health:
24.7% of American Indians have their first baby before age 18 compared to 14.3% for whites;
American Indian women have more unintended pregnancies and were more likely to be unmarried at their child's birth when compared to white women.
[NativeNews] Digest Number 3521

Native American asthma radio public service announcements
  ORIA is airing Native American asthma public service announcements on some 5,000 radio stations nationwide.  The ads feature the voices of Native American children in three native languages, Navajo, Lakota and Anishinaabe, along with English.  The ads are designed to raise awareness and promote ways to  prevent asthma attacks among children.  The rate of asthma among Native Americans is nearly 12%, much higher than other single-race groups.
american_indians_news_source_tulanappes_list] Digest Number 1693

Oglala Lakota College campus will be tobacco-free

South Dakota: On January 1, Oglala Lakota College will become a tobacco-free campus. Each college center and the Piya Wiconi Administrative Headquarters will prohibit the use of all tobacco products. It does not, however, affect sacred use of traditional tobacco. The Board of Trustees "wanted to send a message to our students, staff, and reservation citizens of its great concern that tobacco use causes major health problems with Indian people," said OLC president, Thomas Shortbull. 

First Mesa Grill and Deli for business open in Hopi
Hopi Reservation, Arizona: First Mesa Grill and Delihas opened on the Hopi Reservation. Chef Abel Nash, a graduate of Scottsdale Culinary Institute, hopes to bring a different food experience to guests.  The grill and deli will offer homemade fresh food with an emphasis on soups, salads and deli meats. 
The soups include corn chowder, tortilla, chicken noodle, beef vegetable and chili beans. 
The four key salads will be pasta, chicken, Thai and potato.
Turkey, ham, salami, barbecue pork and possibly catfish will be among the sandwiches.
Hamburgers will be available which Nash plans to balance with healthy food to cut down on obesity and diabetes.
The future could also include pizzas, steaks, and deserts as well as deliveries.
“We made everything from Asian to Italian food,” he said. “Nothing is permanent on the menu," he said.  "We want to know what people like and don’t like. ”
H-Amindian Listserve

 Rocket engineer puts energy into cake design
Arizona:  By day, Vali Lameman is a lead engineer at an aerospace company designing rockets.  By night, she is a cake decorator with clients in the Mesa area and across the Navajo Nation. Lameman, who grew up in Littlewater, Utah,  is Kinlichíi'nii (Red House Clan) born for Yoo'ó Dine'é (Bead People Clan).  She began her business, Vali's Custom Cakes and Sweet Creations, last October.  Vali details each cake using only edible items and describes her designs as "being caught somewhere between the whimsical world and reality."  Recently Lameman created a cake for the "Sheep Is Life" organization and molded Churro sheep out of Rice Krispies.  She also creates cakes with traditional Navajo items, but first checks with her mother to verify if the designs are appropriate.  "Those catch the eye," she said.  Lememan's business has become a family project, involving husband Earl and the kids, aged 7 - 22.  Often times, the family sits together at dinner and brainstorms new design ideas.  "I like it because it's art to me, art you can eat," Earl said.

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