Native Village 

Youth and Education News

February 1, 2007 Issue 175  Volume 3

"There are bad and foolish people in every race. You have to judge them one by one, and then you have to give them a second chance."  Imogene Bowen, Upper Skagit Tribe

January 12 - February 6, 2007
On February 6th, 2007, it will be exactly 31 years since Leonard Peltier was arrested in Canada. (Learn about Leonard: Messages to Youth from Leonard Peltier)  Like the two previous years, KOLA offers online postcards supporting Leonard's release from prison. The postcards, which are already addressed, are ready to be printed out and sent to the White House and President Bush.
To learn more, visit:

McIntyre reintroduces Lumbee bill
Washington, DC:  U.S. Rep. Mike McIntyre has reintroduced legislation that would provide funding for Lumbee Indians.  In 1956, the Lumbee received federal recognition, but the legislation denied benefits given to other federally recognized tribes. If approved, the new bill would provide $473,000,000 for the tribe's housing, education, health and economic development.  “It is time for discrimination to end and recognition to begin,” said McIntyre, a member of the Congressional Native American Caucus.  “For over 100 years, the Lumbee people have been seeking the dignity and respect they deserve from the federal recognition.”  The recognition bill already has 25 cosponsors.   North Carolina's Senators, Elizabeth Dole and Richard Burr, have both been strong supporters of the legislation.

History tells tale of slaves on Grosse Ile
Michigan:  Grosse Ile is changing the way their history is being written. New investigations show that enslaved blacks and Indians may have been on the island about 1795.  On July 6, 1776, a deed transferred the title of Grosse Ile from the Pottawattomie to Alexander and William McComb. The McCombs owned dozens of slaves, and while the Ordinance of 1787 banned slavery in the new territories, slaves belonging to British settlers were still allowed. "The Indians who were slaves had been taken captive in intertribal wars and sold to the whites. Those who held slaves when the Americans took over were allowed to retain them," wrote Willis Dunbar in "Michigan: A History of the Wolverine State."  The 1810 census showed 17 slaves still in Detroit. 

Exchange offers cash to farmers who help rein in greenhouse gasses
Ohio: Colenzo Short has preserved 96 acres on his farm as wetlands. Colenzo is among a group of 30 northwest Ohio farmland owners who are trading greenhouse gasses trapped in the soil for cash. The program, called the Chicago Climate Exchange, has been trading for three years and has paid about $5,000,000 million to landowners.  "It's a win-win situation. You're helping out in the environment and you're getting paid for it," said Mr. Short.  Growing plants takes carbon dioxide out of the air. The plants then store the carbon and release oxygen back into the air.  That means the millions of acres of corn, soybeans, wheat, and other crops that farmers raise are big reducers of the carbon dioxide created by driving automobiles and producing electricity.  For maximum effectiveness, however, farm fields cannot be tilled.  Plowing allows oxygen to mix with the carbon stored in the soil from the roots of previous crops.  Thus, that carbon dioxide returns into the atmosphere.  About 225 industries, cities, universities, and other organizations have joined the Chicago exchange.  "This, I think, for America's farmers represents a whole new opportunity,"  said one participant. "We now have farmers having two crops. One above the ground called food. One below the ground called environmental service."
Chicago Climate Exchange:

Kenyan starts tree-planting campaign
Kenya - A Kenyan environmentalist and Nobel Peace Prize winner is calling on people around the world to plant 1,000,000,000 trees to fight global warming. "This something that anybody can do," said Wangari Maathai.  Destroying trees through burning contributes to global warming. This releases about 740,000,000,000 pounds of greenhouse gases every year - about 5% of the world total.  Planting trees helps offset climate change because they absorb carbon dioxide. The tree-planting project, organized by the United Nations Environment Program, shows that "action does not need to be confined to the corridors of the negotiation halls," said Achem Steiner, UNEP's executive director. Scientists blame the past century's 1° rise in average global temperatures on greenhouse gasses.
Billion  Tree Campaign:

Canada's  "Amazon" Getting Millions
British Columbia:  British Columbia will give $30,000,000 towards preserving the Great Bear Rainforest, known to some environmentalists as Canada's Amazon.  The area, which stretches 750 kilometers along B.C's coast, includes one-quarter of the world's remaining coastal temperate rainforest. Several private donors and charitable groups from around the world have also agreed to match funds.  In total, the investment stands at $120,000,000.  Funds will also help with economic development for the Coastal First Nations.  This includes more opportunities in sustainable fisheries, forestry and tourism.  Art Sterritt, executive director for the Coastal First Nations, said it was about time that people in the area were given more opportunities to use their land.
Barrie Examiner

Indias Forgotten Tribes Gain Rights Over Forest
India:  Daya Rakha, 36, is from the Maldhari tribe and was born in the Gir Wildlife Sanctuary. Like his ancestors, Daya makes his living tending his cattle which graze in Girs' lush forests. Over 40,000,000 of India's poorest people live in the country's forests, which include tiger reserves, wildlife sanctuaries and national parks. For years, the government neglected these people.  Recently, however, The Recognition of Forest Rights Bill 2006 became a new law. It recognizes the tribes' rights to live in the forests and national parks. The tribes may also use non-timber forest produce such as bamboo, stumps, cane and to collect honey.  They may not, however, hunt animals.  But conservationists worry how the endangered animals will still be affected.  Livestock epidemics could affect wild animals, including the rare Asiatic lion whose populations were once lower than 15.  Conservationists also worry that more encroachers will push wildlife out of protected areas, making them more vulnerable to hunters. "If allowed to live in the forest, [the tribes] will degrade the habitat as their cattle graze in direct competition with prey like deer," said Bharat Pathak.  But the forest dwellers disagree. They say they are not responsible for the wildlife loss and report poaching and illegal activities to officials.  "Officials say we are eating up the forest but in reality we are helping in protecting the lions and the jungle," says Lali Rudha, a mother of seven children.

Montana: On January 23, a hunter illegally shot a bull bison on private property on Horse Butte Peninsula. The shootings took place less than 150 yards from two nearby residences. Residents of the West Yellowstone community have told hunters that hunting is strictly prohibited.  Many "no hunting" and "buffalo safe zone" signs are posted throughout the area.  "We've made it well-known that it's illegal to shoot bison in this neighborhood.  I want this hunter prosecuted to the full extent of the law," said Ed Millspaugh, President of the Yellowstone Estates Homeowners Association.  The hunter, however, says he received permission to hunt on the private land where took three shots at three bulls, then fired a fourth shot at one who entered Cook's Meadow, an area where hunting and trespassing are illegal.  American Bison once spanned North America and numbered between 30,000,000 - 50,000,000.  Today's Yellowstone bison -- the only remaining bison from America's continuously wild and genetically intact herd -- number less than 4,000 animals. 1,871 bison have been killed since 2000.  Last winter, Federal and State agencies killed or authorized the killing of more than 1,010 bison.  So far this winter, two bison were captured and sent to slaughter by Montana Department of Livestock agents. Hunters have killed 27.
For more information, video clips and photos visit:

One-third of villages lacking in-home water tap
Alaska.  A recent study says that 34% of Alaska Native villages do not have modern water and sewer services in their homes.  The study, conducted by the Alaska Environmental Health Association, links this lack of water service to infectious diseases.  "Practically all villages have a purified water point -- a small treatment facility where villagers can go with a bucket to get water," said Troy Ritter from the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium.  However, these water points are often just a hose coming out of a small building or room, he added.  This means that while access to drinking water is a lesser issue, it doesn't always apply for water used for hand-washing and disposing of wastewater.  The research further shows that children in villages without running water tend to have many more infectious diseases. "Quantity is the most important characteristic of a water supply," said Ritter. "Water use less than eight gallons per capita per day was shown to be coincident with serious health consequences."  Most villages without modern water services are either built on permafrost ground or on swampy tundra areas. That creates difficulty and higher costs for building the necessary pipe systems.

Elk meat could reduce diabetes
South Dakota:  A vibrant elk herd could reverse diabetes rates among American Indian tribes.  Elk and other protein were once the foundation for many American Indian tribal diets.  But when the U.S. forced tribes to live on reservations and eat government-supplied foods, Indians started developing obesity and diabetes. Today, Native people have the highest obesity and diabetes rates in the world.  "In Indian country, there is four to five times the rate of diabetes as in the general population," said Kibbe Conti, an Oglala Sioux nutritionist.  "We're disproportionately affected by the American diet." Conti agrees with the evidence that shows Indian people benefit from traditional diets, whether wild rice, corn, elk or bison meat.  Mike Fox of the InterTribal Bison Cooperative agrees. For the last 15 years, his group has helped Midwest tribes restore bison herds and reintroduce that meat to Indian diets.  Short-term results suggest that obesity and diabetes rates are declining among tribes who restore native diets.

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