Native Village 

Youth and Education News

November 1, 2007 Issue 181  Volume 3

"Now I know the government is going to break the treaty because when it was signed, it was understood that it would last as long as the grass grew, the winds blew, and the rivers ran, and men walked on two legs--and now they have sent us an Agent who has only one leg."  Piapot (Flash In The Sky), Cree, 1895

Tribes Included in 1872 Mining Law Update 
The U.S. house Natural Resources Committee has voted to include new provision benefiting U.S. Tribes in the Hardrock Mining and Reclamation Act of 2007. The 2007 Act is a major overhaul of the 1872 Mining Law. The amendments are to H.R. 2262 which was introduced by Nick Rahall (D-WV) and Jim Costa (D-CA). The vote reinstates key provisions for those tribes affected by mining throughout the west. The Tribal amendments will:
Enable Tribes to petition the Secretary of Interior and the Secretary of Agriculture to withdraw federal lands with cultural and religious values from mining activities;
Requires the Secretaries and Tribes to consult about regulations to determine the information needed for Tribal petitions requesting withdrawal on sacred lands;
Establishes a Reclamation Fund and clarifies how the money can be used to clean up mining activity on Indian lands.
It also includes a provision for “restoring and enhancing land, water resources, fish and wildlife habitat, and cultural resources in which an Indian Tribe holds reserved rights.”


Rival Cases Question Hawaiian Blood Requirements
Hawaii: Legal challenges are being pursued to decide who is really Hawaiian enough to receive public benefits.   In one lawsuit, Native Hawaiians with 50%-100% Hawaiian blood want to control programs currently open to all Hawaiians.  In another case, state residents without Hawaiian ancestry question why they're left out.  Blood quantum is an important factor in Hawaiians' lives. For example, Native Hawaiians can get cheap island land for $1 a year, and those with more mixed ancestry qualify for other perks, including acceptance for their children into Kamehameha Schools.  Kamehameha has 6,700 Native Hawaiian students on three islands and has a private trust worth about $7,700,000,000.  This public help was designed to make amends for the 1893 U.S.  overthrow of the Hawaiian kingdom and hundreds of thousands of deaths caused by foreign diseases. 
H-Amindian Listserve
Bush Blasts Native Hawaiian Self-Determination Bill
Washington, DC: The White House has slammed a bill to extend Native Hawaiians the same rights as federally recognized tribes.  "The administration strongly opposes any bill that would formally divide sovereign United States power along suspect lines of race and ethnicity," the White House said.  "Given the substantial historical and cultural differences between Native Hawaiians as a group and members of federally recognized Indian tribes, the administration believes that tribal recognition is inappropriate and unwise for Native Hawaiians and would raise serious constitutional concerns."  However, the federal government has long treated American Indians and Alaska Natives as political entities, so Congress has the power place Native Hawaiians in the same category. In fact, in 2000, the House of Representatives voted in favor of Native Hawaiians. But when President Bush took office, he objected, so the recent House passage (below) had been held up by conservative Republicans.  Most of Hawaii's politicians -- Republicans and Democrats -- support a bill that would offer federal funding to Native Hawaiian programs and protect Native-owned land, culture and heritage.

Hawaii Delegation Welcomes House Passage of Akaka Bill
The U.S. House passed a bill awarding self governance rights to those with Native Hawaiian ancestry.  "This is a victory for all the people of Hawaii,' said  U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono,D-Hawaii. The House version of the identical Senate Akaka bill must still pass the Senate and be signed by the president to become law.
H-Amindian Listserve

UM program to help Native American kids marked
Montana: National Statistics suggest that one out of every four U.S. children face a significant traumatic event before age 16. Recently, the University of Montana received a $2,400,000 grant to launch a first-of-its-kind National Trauma Center for American Indian Children. The center will help AI youth across the country deal with the aftermath of traumatic experiences such as family suicides, car accidents and crime.  The new grant enables UM to expand its current children's trauma program and target services directly to Native American children.  Many tribes are inviting the center to offer its services in their reservation schools and police forces.,op=visit,nid=16771.html

New office to aid Oglala in child-custody proceedings
South Dakota: Under the federal Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978, Indian tribes must be notified when Native children are taken from their parents in child custody proceedings.  The Oglala Nation Tiospaye Resource and Advocacy Center in Rapid City has a simple goal: keeping those Native American children with relatives or native foster parents. ONTRAC  represents the children and tribe by trying to place youth with  those who will help kids connect to their cultures."The whole idea is to try to keep them with family," said Juanita Scherick,  ONTRAC's director. "I think that's what we all want.",file=article,nid=16721.html

O'odham Aiding Elderly, But Youth Needs Unmet

Arizona:  A 60-bed senior center has cared for 200 elderly Tohono O'odham tribal members since it was built five years ago. Before then, many seniors had been forced to live in urban environments.  But the bigger problem -- caring for O'odham youth -- cannot be solved so easily:
The Tohono O'odham nation has 28,000 tribal members;
People 65 or older make up only 7% of the tribal population;  those who are 21 years and younger are nearly 25% of the population;   
25% of the students at the tribe's high school dropped out in 2005-06;
Gangs are a growing problem;
Those who earn degrees find a severe shortage of jobs for skilled people;
While the Tohono O'odham tribe built 5 youth centers two years ago, not enough time has passed to assess any changes. Meanwhile, some are criticizing the tribe, which grossed $196,000,000 last year in gaming profits.  Many say the tribe hasn't reduced its unemployment rate and is slow to use casino profits to help citizens.   Chairman Ned Norris says that the vast social ills the tribe faces stretches their budget far beyond their resources. The shortfalls are most visible in the struggles of young tribal members.

UNH dental hygiene students providing free care in South Dakota
Connecticut: Three dental hygiene students from the University of New Haven traveled to the Cheyenne River Reservation to give free dental care.  Seniors Kristin Edgar, Rose Zajac and Jackie Tyler joined "Healing the Children," a once-a-year event during which dentists travel to Eagle Butte to treat Native Americans in need of urgent dental care.  They worked 10 hours a day to see as many patients as possible. "I've always wanted to contribute to a meaningful cause beyond my own family, and I´ve found it," Zajac said.  "We will triage, do screenings, cleanings, and write up what these children need."  Students heard about the need through a nonprofit agency, Hawkwing.   Hawkwing reports the reservation's unemployment rate is almost 90%, life expectancy is 48 years, and 33% drop out of school. "We aim to see at least 250 children while we´re there.  The students organized it all," said UNH Instructor, Carole Patenaude.
Indigenous Peoples Literature] Digest Number 3001

Grant awarded to help tribe combat infant mortality rate
Wyoming: The Northern Arapaho Tribe will receive a $2,000,000 grant to fight high infant mortality rates on the Wind River Indian Reservation.  Wind River has about 17 deaths per 1,000 live births. That is 55% higher than the overall American Indian rate and 138% higher than the U.S. rate. The money will be used to help educate pregnant women and new mothers about ways to improve the health of infants through diet and other means

Northwest Area Foundation Awards Grant to United Indians of All Tribes Foundation, Seattle, WA
Minnesota: The Northwest Area Foundation has awarded a $3,500,000 grant to the United Indians of All Tribes Foundation in Seattle, WA.  UIATF will use the money for the  "Pathways to Prosperity," project, a holistic community initiative that addresses poverty faced by urban Native American populations.  "We are working from a cultural and spiritual foundation that recognizes poverty as much more than simply a lack of money," said Phil Lane, who is Yankton Dakota/Chickasaw.   "Poverty is many things braided together.  ... Social, cultural, political, economic and personal factors ... combine to trap families and whole communities in patterns of ill health, deprivation, and dependency.  The only way out of the trap is to ... engage these same families and communities in a journey of learning, healing and building."
H-Amindian Listserve

Government Short Money to Help Poor Pay Heating Bills
Washington DC: About 30,000,000 American households needing help to pay winter heating bills will not receive funds from the government's Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program.  IHEAP only has enough funding to cover 16% of the 38,000,000 poor households eligible for the program.   The poor, who are already digging deep to pay for gasoline,  face much higher heating fuel costs, especially if oil prices stay near record levels.  Consumer groups and state energy officials are alarmed. “If it is a typical winter, its going to be a real struggle for these (poor) households. If it's colder
than normal all bets are off,” said David Fox from the National Low Income Energy Consortium. 

Funding information:

The Bush administration has threatened to veto legislation to boost funding for LIHEAP because it says the spending levels are too high;
LIHEAP has an interim annual budget of $2,160,000,000, but the White House wants to cut the program to $1,780,000,000 for the 2008 spending year;
The House of Representatives passed legislation to boost the program to $2,660,000,000;
Senate committee recommended maintaining the $2,160,000,000;
   About two-thirds of the households that receive LIHEAP assistance have annual incomes of less than $20,000.
Because more people asked for help, the average grant under the program fell from $451 last year to $314 this year.

Porcupine Clinic Out of Heat
South Dakota: Porcupine Clinic on the Pine Ridge Reservation is out of heat and has been forced to close its doors until it can pay heating costs.  Porcupine Clinic is the only independent Indian community-controlled health clinic in the U.S. and its funding comes mostly from grants and donations. Patients are billed according to their ability to pay. Many patients, including low-income Elders and children, receive free health care there.  Harvey Iron Boy, leader and elder, says the clinic is vital to the entire reservation. It offers:
health care services,
dialysis treatments
diabetic education,
bi-lingual assistance,
a warm place to visit for those who have no heat in their home.

Porcupine Clinic opened its doors in 1992. In 2004 it opened a dialysis unit, saving the lives of
diabetic patients who can't travel 120 miles to Rapid City for treatment several times a week.  The only other dialysis treatment on the 11,000-square-mile reservation is in a small IHS Hospital in  Pine Ridge.  But that facility has only a few dialysis beds, is 100 miles away from some remote areas and is unable to meet the need: on Pine Ridge, the diabetes rate is 800% above the national average. The director of Porcupine Clinic is Charmaine White Eyes. She says the Clinic needs $245 to pay their annual propane tank rental fees. The minimum propane delivery from their provider, Western Cooperative in Nebraska, is $360. If all the tanks were filled at $1.69 per gallon, it would cost well over $3,000.  Further, that will need to happen more than once this winter.  
For more information and ways to help, visit


[Background]: The first pumpkins were grown in the Americas before 5000 B.C.  Summer Squash originated in Mexico and Central America, and winter squash originated in Peru, Colombia, and Ecuador. Pumpkins are found in both species. Before European invasion, pumpkins grew along the Atlantic seaboard and throughout the Midwest. Native Americans dried pumpkin strips for food. They also dried strips to weave into mats.  The idea for pumpkin pie occurred when colonists sliced off the pumpkin top, removed the seeds, and filled the insides with milk, spices and honey. The pumpkin was then baked in hot ashes.

Enjoy this delicious, healthy and modern recipe over the holidays!

(The "Lite" Version)

From Aiyana Eternal Blossom's Recipes For The Seventh Generation
2 Cups low fat low sodium chicken broth
1/4 of a 1 pound frozen pepper stir-fry diced
1 can tomatoes
1 bunch scallions
1 pinch parsley
1 pinch thyme
2 cups cubed cooked pumpkin
1 Tablespoon flour
2 Tablespoons buttery spread
1 cup 2% milk
1 pinch  nutmeg
1 pinch sugar lite
1 pinch lite salt
Preparation Method:
Place 1 Cup Chicken Broth, Pepper,  Tomato, Onion, Parsley and Thyme in blender container.
Cover and use on medium speed, just until vegetables are coarsely chopped.
Pour into a saucepan; simmer 5 minutes.
Return mixture to blender container. Add Pumpkin and Flour.
Cover and blend on high speed until mixture is very smooth.
Pour mixture into saucepan.
Stir in buttery spread, milk, nutmeg, sugar lite, lite salt.
Heat to a boil, stirring frequently.
Cook 3 minutes longer.
Serve hot.

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