Native Village 

Youth and Education News

December 1, 2007 Issue 182  Volume 4

"The hearts of little children are pure, therefore, the Great Spirit may show to them many things which older people miss."     Black Elk (Hehaka Sapa) Oglala Lakota

Impoverished Tribe Hit Hard by Blazes
California: During the recent wildfires,  La Jolla Band of Luiseño Indians lost 8,679 acres of its 10,000-acre reservation.  Of 170 houses, 59 were burned. "We were already at the bottom of the barrel and now this takes us down even further," said Chairman Tracy Lee Nelson of the 700-member tribe.   Nelson and vice chairwoman Viola Peck were among those who lost homes.  "I lost my house, I lost everything," Peck said.  "I try to be strong in front of the family but I have my moments when I'm alone." The tribe doesn't operate a casino so it is depending on FEMA, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and others for help.
La Jolla Band of Luiseño Indians:
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Alaskan youth testifies on the Hill — and draws Limbaugh's ire
Washington DC:  Charlee Lockwood recently joined 5,000 teens and young adults at Power Shift 2007, called "the first national youth summit to solve the climate crisis." Lockwood spoke to a U.S, House committee about the effects of global warming on her own village of St.  Michael, Alaska.  She told them that moose once common around the village are now rarely seen.  She also said there are fewer fish each year and berry-picking spots aren't producing as much fruit. "Our traditional ways of life will die like the food we grew up eating, our hunters will have to travel farther to keep food in their homes," she warned.  "Our culture will die because everyone will have to move someplace, and there will be no one to teach them to."  But Rush Limbaugh, the talk show radio king, told listeners that Lockwood's emotional testimony made him "really want to puke.  I just want to throw up."  Limbaugh's attack on the teenager was "outrageous and grotesque," said Deborah Williams,  who accompanied Lockwood to Washington DC.  "[Charlee] got involved in this because she feels a big moral commitment to protect her community.  She is passionate about this issue, and she has so much invested in this issue."  Lockwood, who had never heard of Rush Limbaugh or listened to his radio show, didn't let the comments faze her. Living in St.  Michael taught her "about respect and treating people the way you want to be treated," she said.
NativeNews] Digest Number 3504

Clever crows are caught on camera
New Caledonia:  New Caledonia crows are the only non-primate animal known to create and use new tools. Today, new "Crow Cams" are enabling scientists a rare glimpse into the bird's natural habitat.  Tiny cameras and transmitters were attached to crows tails. These cameras then broadcast the crows' actions to researchers who are studying the birds' tool-using abilities.  "Before, we thought the crows targeted their tool use at fallen dead trees where they probe for grubs; but now we have observed them using tools on the ground - and that has never been seen before," said Christian Rutz from Oxford. "We also filmed them doing this using a new type of tool, which was very surprising.  We found them using grass stems - and that is interesting because these stems have very different physical properties from the sticks and leaves that we knew they use.  They are using the grass stems on the forest floor, probing the leaf litter, possibly fishing for ants."  The scientists hope to use the video tracking  technique could be used to study other wild birds that are shy or live in inaccessible habitats.
[inuitindianart] Digest Number 1859

Scientists Find Fossil of Enormous Bug

England:  British scientists have discover a fossilized claw, part of an ancient sea scorpion so large that it's the the biggest bug ever: 8 feet long! The discovery in 390-million-year-old rocks suggests that ancient spiders, insects, crabs and similar creatures were far larger than previously thought. Paleontologist Jeorg W. Schneider said the study provides valuable new information about "the last of the giant scorpions." He said these scorpions "were dominant for millions of years because they didn't have natural enemies. Eventually they were wiped out by large fish with jaws and teeth." Another paleontologist, Simon Braddy, said sea scorpions were also cannibals that fought and ate one other. It helped to be as big as they could be. "The competition between this scorpion and its prey was probably like a nuclear standoff, an effort to have the biggest weapon," he said. "Hundreds of millions of years ago, these sea scorpions had the upper hand over vertebrates - backboned animals like ourselves."  The study is published online  in the Royal Society's journal Biology Letters.
Photo: University of Bristol / Keystone / AP

In Eco-Friendly Factory, Low-Guilt Potato Chips
Arizona: At the Frito-Lay’s factory in Casa Grande, more than 500,000 pounds of potatoes arrive every day from New Mexico. They are washed, sliced, fried, and seasoned, then bagged as Lay’s and Ruffles chips. This process, however, uses huge amounts of energy and creates much wastewater, starch and potato peelings. Now Frito-Lay has plans to  change factory operations and create a new type of snack: the environmentally benign chip. Casa Grande hopes to run its factory almost entirely on renewable fuels and recycled water. The concept is called Net zero. “We don’t know what the complete payoff for net zero is going to be,” said Indra K. Nooyi . “If this works even to 50 or 60 percent of its potential, that is fantastic, and it’s so much better than what we already have.” What works in Casa Grande will be replicated at many of Frito's 27 sites.  PepsiCo, which is Frito-Lay's parent company, is the nation’s biggest buyer of renewable energy credits.

Alien Life Can Survive Trip to Earth, Space Test Shows
Kazakhstan: Scientists say we could have alien origins.  An experiment by the European Space Agency launched a rocket into space whose 12-day mission was scientific testing. In one of those tests, scientists attached a baseball-size rock from the Orkney Islands to the outside of the rocket before launching.  The rocket Scientists wanted to know if the rock's fossilized microbes and their molecular signature could survive the trip.  "In the bit of rock we got back, some biological compounds have survived," said John Parnell from the University of Aberdeen in Scotland. This means it's possible that simple organisms could arrive via meteorites, he said.  Research also suggests that living microbes would likely survive in a slightly bigger rock. 

Explore a Virtual Solar System

American Indians gain right to harvest willows for basket weaving
California: For the first time since 1929, California tribes may now harvest endangered willow trees growing along the Mokelumne River. The East Bay Municipal Utility District had banned anyone from harvesting trees growing on its land to protect water purity. This year, the district started issuing permits for crafts people to harvest willows growing a few miles from Paloma. American Indian basket weavers prize the gray willows and willow shoots for their strength and versatility.

Council Votes Down U.  North Dakota Nickname, Logo With No Debate
North Dakota:  The Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Council has opposed support for the University of North Dakota's "Fighting Sioux" nickname and logo. An agreement with the NCAA gives UND three years to gain formal support from the Spirit Lake Nation and the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe to keep the "Fighting Sioux" moniker.  While talks between UND and the tribes may continue, UND Chancellor Bill Goetz says that without immediate support, UND should start the transition to a new nickname and logo before the settlement deadline.
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Wisconsin Badgers Now to Play Schools with Indian Names & Mascots
Wisconsin: The University of Wisconsin has approved a policy regarding athletic competition. Teams may now schedule games against some schools with American Indian symbols and names. “The Badgers are now permitted to play schools including Central Michigan University, Florida State University, Mississippi College and the University of Utah --all of which have American Indian names--because tribes have endorsed the use of their names and, therefore, the universities are not subject to NCAA restrictions."  UW’s initial American Indian mascot policy was issued 12 years prior to the NCAA’s 2005 mascot review.
Paiute-Shoshone Quilters honor Native American veterans

Nevada: The Paiute-Shoshone Quilters have donated three handmade quilts to veterans from World War II, the War in Lebanon, and the Iraq war. The first quilt was gifted to former Marine Corps Lance Corporal, Monty Williams. The star quilt had the Marine Corps insignia sewn on all four corners.  "This is such an honor for me and for all veterans,"  Williams said. The group of 20 girls and their parents formed the quilting circle in August. Among their guiding principles is giving back to the community. Last month the quilt group gave away a "Breast Cancer Awareness" quilt in a raffle at the Tribal Health Clinic.

Documentary Highlights Navajo Pageant, Traditional Values

Arizona: When young women compete in the weeklong Miss Navajo Nation pageant, they wear evening gowns, jewelry, high heels,  and share their public speaking skills. Contestants must also speak their native language, make fry bread and butcher an animal. A television documentary, "Miss Navajo," recently aired on PBS's Independent Lens.   Producer Billy Luther said beauty is very much internal.  What Navajos consider beautiful might not be beautiful to others.  "It's having the knowledge of your culture, it's having respect for your mothers and grandmothers, it's the language, fluency. As we say, that's harmony, that's what we strive for." Luther's film follows Crystal Frazier on her quest to become Miss Navajo during the 2005 pageant.
Miss Navajo:
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Hopi woman tackles task of preserving kachinas
Arizona: Debra Drye, Hopi, was 19 when she took her future in her hands.  "One day, I asked my grandfather what would happen to our community when there's no more kachina carvers.  Without a word, he handed me a knife."  While Kachina carvers are traditionally men,  Drye is reversing the traditions with her carvings. Her creations of cottonwood and pigment depict the holy people who watch over the Hopi people.  Drye hope to educate future generations of Indian children about spirituality, art and culture and help ease the pain of those who attended Indian boarding schools.  "There needs to be a sense of forgiveness so we can stop carrying this heavy burden of bitterness," Drye said. "We can never forget what happened there, but we can correct the years of injustice..."

U.S.  Embassies to Show Works of Five American Indian Artists
Washington, DC: The works of five American Indian will be displayed in U.S. embassies across the world.   The five artists - Norman Akers, (Osage); Mario Martinez (Yaqui); Larry McNeil (Tlingit); Jaune Quick-to-See Smith (Flathead Salish), and Marie Watt (Seneca)-- often use traditional American Indians motifs in unexpected ways  Their artworks were unveiled at a November reception attended by the artists, first lady Laura Bush and other dignitaries.
Arwtork: Ghost Dance Dress” by Jaune Quick-to-See Smith
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