Native Village 

Youth and Education News

May 1, 2007 Issue 177  Volume 3

     "Great disaster, sickness and war are coming and that is why the white buffalo has showed itself to the people ... to give them a warning. The white buffalo showed itself to the people so that they could live on ... Regardless of your color, we are all living on this Mother Earth, and there are children here who still need to live ... The white buffalo has come to give the people a warning and we must listen to the message of the white buffalo.  
  "I am not talking about the end of the world, but about a new beginning. Today we must change, we must give."  
David Swallow, Jr., Lakota Spiritual Leader and Sundance chief

Spirit Prize for Southwest Children's Literature: 2007 Winner
Arizona: This month, the Lacapa Spirit Prizes will be awarded during the 10th Annual Northern Arizona Book Festival in Flagstaff.
The 2007 Lacapa Spirit Prize:  Little Crow to the Rescue: El Cuervito Al Rescate, written by Victor Villasenor, illustrated by Filipe Ugalde Alcantara
The 2007 Lacapa Honor Prize for Narrative:  Evangeline Parson Yazzie for Dzání Yázhí Naazbaa’: Little Woman Warrior Who Came Home: A Story of the Navajo Long Walk
The 2007 Lacapa Honor Prize for Illustration:  Kendrick Bennaly for his illustrations for Frog Brings Rain

The awards are in remembrance of Michael Lacapa (Apache, Tewa and Hopi) who helped develop multicultural educational curricula for Native school-age children.  Lacapa was an exceptional storyteller who used his gift as a teaching tool.  His work includes The Magic Hummingbird, Spider Spins a Story, and The Good Rainbow Road. He is the author/illustrator of The Flute Player, Antelope Woman and Less Than Half, More Than Whole.

The X-Indian Chronicles: The Book of Mausape
Author Thomas M. Yeahpau has written a new book, The X-Indian Chronicles: The Book of Mausape. Illustrated by Bunky Echo-Hawk, the series of connected short stories tells of Mausape's search to find himself in a world where his culture is gone and he doesn't like the new one. One story tells of Mausape's dream to compete against the King of All Fancy-Dancers: Elvis Presley in full Las Vegas regalia. Another story tells of a young man seeking confirmation of his identity from Grandma Spider, a wise, obese old creature with the torso of an elderly woman and the eight legs of a spider.  The Oregon Educational Media Association has nominated The X-Indian Chronicles as a 2007 Best Book for Young Adults.
Native Village

World's Smallest Horse Takes On Big Mission
Missouri:  She is only 17 1/2" tall and weight 57 pounds, but the world's smallest horse has a big mission: to raise $1,000,000 for children's charities in 2007.   Handler Michael Goessling says Thumbelina is the ideal child advocate. "When kids meet her in person, they want to talk to her and know what she likes and dislikes," Goessling said. "It's amazing because she is so loving with people.  ...  There have been 100 kids around petting her and she'll take a nap." Thumbelina's charitable foundation has raised nearly $10,000 for children's charities since she was named the smallest horse ever recorded by the Guinness Book of World Records.   Now Thumbelina will have her own "Thumbelina Children's Tour." She'll be traveling across the country in the "Thumby Mobile," a recreational vehicle that's her converted stable on wheels. Thumbelina will stop at children's hospitals, schools, summer camps, fairs, horse shows and charitable fundraisers.  All money she raises will go towards children.  "We don't want to make a penny off of her," Michael Goessling said. "We never have. There will never be another Thumbelina." Thumbelina was named after the woman in the Hans Christian Andersen fairytale who was the size of a thumb.
Thumbelina Charitable Foundation:
Video of Thumbelina:


Eagle Award Recognizes Staff
California: Three staff members in San Diego State University's Interwork Institute received the prestigious "Eagle Award" during the CANAR [Consortia of Administrators for Native American Rehabilitation] Annual Conference held in Washington, DC.  Recipients are:
James Warne, technical assistance specialist;
Mari Guillermo, project coordinator; 
Bobbie J. Atkins, professor emeritus. 

The Eagle Award recognizes devoted service to CANAR's mission: to improve the quality of life for American Indians with disabilities.

First aboriginal food guide balances traditional, practical
Bannock, berries, wild game and canned milk are included in a new version of Canada's Food Guide created for First Nations, Inuit and Métis.  Like the standard Canadian food guide, the aboriginal version shares the four food groups, serving sizes, and a person's intake needs according to age.

Click Food Chart above to read:  "Eating Well with Canada's Food Guide - First Nations, Inuit and Métis"

5 home-cooked meals for pets
After several cats and dogs recently died from eating tainted pet food, many pet owners worried about the quality of store bought foods.  A few generations ago, canned and dry pet food was not available.  Pets ate what their owners prepared and it was easy, because most animals eat the same food as humans.  Most animals basically require a diet of meat such as chicken, beef, lamb or turkey;  some vegetables such as carrots and peas;  rice, potato or macaroni;  a source of calcium such as milk, cheese or sardines.  Below are several recipes for your ENTIRE family to enjoy.  More recipes are available at
the source credited below this article.

Chicken paprika for cats and people
Serves 6 people, or 4 people and 2 or 3 cats.
1 teaspoon corn oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons paprika
1 cup hot water
3 pounds of chicken, skinned, boned and cut into bite-size pieces
1 carrot, finely chopped
2 medium potatoes, cut into small cubes
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
Fresh parsley, to garnish
Additional ingredients for cat portions:
1/4 cup cooked rice
1/2 teaspoon brewer's yeast
1/2 teaspoon bone meal
In a medium saucepan, heat the oil over low heat. Add the garlic, salt, paprika and 1/2 cup hot water.
Cover, bring to a simmer. Cook for 10 minutes.
Add the chicken, remaining water, carrot, potatoes and broth.
Return to a simmer and cook another 10 minutes.
Add the tomatoes and red and green peppers.
Stir well and simmer another 10 minutes.
For people, garnish with parsley.
For cats, chop the chicken into smaller pieces and mix with rice, brewer's yeast and bonemeal. Allow to cool before serving.
Serves 6 people, or 4 people and 2 or 3 cats.
Gil's carrot salad for dogs and people
Makes 4 servings
6 medium carrots, grated
1 orange,  peeled and cut into bite size pieces
1/2 cup raw pecan pieces
1/2 cup dried blueberries or cherries
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
1 whole orange.
Place the carrots, cut orange, pecans, and dried fruit in a medium bowl.  Add parsley, olive oil and oregano, and toss to combine.
Cut the remaining orange in half and squeeze the juice into the salad. Mix well.
Makes 4 servings.

animated graphics:

Despite bumper grain crop, 33 countries in food crisis
Despite projections of a bumper grain crop this year, 33 countries will not have enough food. According to a United Nations report, "Crop Prospects and Food Situation:"

     Countries with "widespread lack of access to food" include Afghanistan, North Korea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Haiti, Liberia, Mauritania, Nepal, Niger and Sierra Leone;
     Hardest hit, with an "exceptional shortfall" in food production and supplies, are Iraq, Lesotho, the Philippines, Swaziland and Zimbabwe;
     In eastern Africa, millions still depend on food assistance due to a combination of factors including conflict and adverse weather conditions;
     In southern Africa, forecasts suggest a below-average maize yields, although prospects vary from country to country;
     Prospects are good overall in Latin America and the Caribbean except for Bolivia, where severe and extreme weather has caused extensive losses to agriculture, livestock and other assets;
     World cereal production is forecast to increase by 4.3% to a record 2,000,000,000 tons. About half of the increase is in "coarse grains," mainly maize, in North and South America to meet growing demands for ethanol fuel.

Read the "Crop Prospects and Food Situation" report:;_ylt=Ap.0FmqwfW82cHT9b0bd2OmKOrgF

Groups want more attention paid to pollution's effect on kids
New York: Recent spikes in chronic illness and developmental disabilities among children is linked to environmental toxins. According to reports by the Learning Disabilities Association of New York and the Healthy Schools Network, pollutants cause severe health problems that includes asthma, childhood cancer, ADHD, and developmental disabilities such as mental retardation and autism.  “Young children are uniquely vulnerable to environmental hazards because their body organs and systems are still developing.  Children eat proportionately more food, drink more fluids and breathe more air per pound of body weight than adults [so] their intake of pollutants is ... potentially more toxic," said George Dunkel from the American Academy of Pediatrics.  The threats range from asbestos and air pollution to lead jewelry, pesticides and arsenic in drinking water.  The report also states that minority youth living in cities have greater exposure to environmental toxins.  "Recognizing the potentially negative impacts of pollutants on children, it is imperative that we as a society commit to protect our children from environmental hazards in our homes, schools, and communities," Dunkel said.

First Navajo woman surgeon: Alvord's story is remarkable
Lori Alvord wanted to be a teacher.  Instead, she became the first-ever Navajo woman surgeon.  Today she is a doctor,  an assistant professor of surgery at Dartmouth, and an associate dean for student and minority affairs at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, N.H. Alvord has now written a new book, "The Scalpel and the Silver Bear."   SSB shares Alvord's history as a proud Navajo woman who discovered her inner abilities and made the most of opportunities.  Aware that conflicts exist between the modern health care system and Navajo culture, Alvord is a strong proponent of mixing the old culture with modern medicine.  The end result is encouraging for many American Indian patients.

Nearly 275,000 Katrina survivors are living in trailers -- basic models of camper-like units, designed only for overnight stays.  Most of these trailers, supplied by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, are now considered a health hazard due to the toxin, formaldehyde.  Children and elders, especially, are suffering from illnesses caused by formaldehyde poisoning.  Some people have died.  Among the first to recognize the cause of these illnesses was pediatrician Scott Needle. "I was seeing kids and families coming in with repeated, prolonged respiratory illnesses -- sinus infections, lingering coughs, viral infections that didn't go away," he said.  Some of the infants had to be hospitalized. "Over the course of three months, I saw several dozen families with these health problems. That's really high, and this isn't something I'd seen in my practice before. All of them were living in FEMA trailers."  After Hurricane Katrina, so many people were homeless that FEMA ordered more than 100,000 travel trailers from major companies.  Trailer manufacturers rushed into production, setting up ad hoc assembly lines and hiring new workers to fill FEMA orders at breakneck speed.  One problem was finding enough wood and particle-board needed  for construction.  While American building materials produce low-formaldehyde materials, experts believe some materials in  FEMA trailers are imports from countries that produce high-formaldehyde-emitting products. "In a mass production frenzy, ... quality control pretty much goes out the window," said Connie Gallant from the RV Consumer Group.  The price tag for these trailers? -- $2,600,000,000, or about $15,000 each.
Read a report from the Sierra Club:

"Extreme Makeover" to Revamp Ariz. Home
Arizona:- At age 13, Navajo teen Garrett  invented a solar heater from cans and an old car transmission to power his family's Pinon home. The invention was born of necessity: his youngest sister has severe asthma and epilepsy, and burning coal for heat made her ill.  Garrett's invention not only warmed the house for his sisters and his mother, but the teen became known as a ``junkyard genius. '' This April, Garrett expanded his home improvement mission with a new house -- courtesy of the television program, "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition."  More than 800 volunteers worked on the "green" project which honored the Navajo principles of honoring Father Sky and Mother Earth. In addition, Arizona State University created the Garrett Yazzie Rising Star Scholarship Fund for Native students and presented Garret with a Presidential scholarship to attend ASU.  "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" will air the Yazzie episode as its 2007 season premiere this August or September.


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