Native Village 

Youth and Education News

October 1, 2007 Issue 180  Volume 3

"My Creator, Let me live today with an open heart. Let me realize to be vulnerable is a strength, not a weakness. Let me realize the power of an open heart. Let me be available to truth. If I get into trouble, let me hear the whisper of your guidance. Let me make heart decisions and let my head catch up to that decision."  Audrey Shenandoah, Onondaga

Indian Congress to meet in Denver

Colorado: In November, thousands of American Indians will gather in Denver for the annual meeting of the National Congress of American Indians. The conference will deal with a variety of topics, including law enforcement, education, youth programs, jobs and water rights. Organizers are hoping for a record attendance of 4,000 people or more.
National Congress of American Indians:

Muskogee Metalworks recognized nationally
Oklahoma: Muskogee Metalworks has received national recognition as the National Minority Manufacturer of the Year. Muskogee Metalworks is a company in corporation with the Creek Indian Enterprise, part of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians. The award is given by the U.S. Department of Commerce and the Minority Business Development Agency.  Muskogee Metalworks deals with designing and manufacturing metal fabricated hardware

Hay, homes sought for wild horses
South Dakota: Karen Sussman and the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe desperately need homes for 200 historic wild horses before they are slaughtered. These wild horses, the first in America protected from slaughter, live on a reservation ranch.  In 2002, they were filmed by Steven Spielberg for his 2002 movie, Spirit.  Eventually, more horse herds were added. Their numbers grew to 300, then a drought reduced their wild food supply, and the tribe spent their monies on purchasing feed.  Now the tribe is in danger of losing the ranch and must lease some land out to cattle farmers.  Sussman, who is president of the International Society for the Protection of Mustangs and Burros, says, "Part of the problem is these horses will come down into their natural habitat.  Now, they're going into people's yards. That's a problem for some people. Then they have to remove some of the horses."  The society's wild-horse society's ranch at Lantry has kept the bloodlines of the wild horse herds pure. "Two out of the three herds here would no longer exist in our country," she said. "That was the point of us taking them. They would have been eliminated. The third herd that we have was expected to be eliminated in the next couple of years." 
Read more about the Gila Herd, the White Sands Herd and the Catnip Herd:
To adopt a horse or donate funds to keep horses alive, visit:

Brazil's President Pledges $270 Million for Amazon Indians
Brazil: Brazil will spend $270,000,000 in three years to create new Indian reservations and bring water and electric power to remote Amazon communities.  President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said military engineering units would do the work if private companies wouldn't.  Brazil has 615 recognized Indian reservations that cover 12.5% of the country -- larger than the 48 continental United States. The most recent census says 730,000 Indians live in the country and belong to 220 different ethnic groups that speak 180 languages.
2007 Associated Press

N. Idaho Place Names Changed to Remove 'Squaw'
Idaho: The U.S.  Board of Geographic Names approved removing the word 'squaw' from eight place names in northern Idaho. The Coeur d'Alene tribe asked for the changes.  In English, 'squaw' refers an American Indian woman, but in various American Indian languages the term is derogatory.
H-Amindian Listserve

We have broken speed of light
Germany: Two German physicists claim to have broken the speed of light -- an achievement that would change our entire understanding of space and time. According to Einstein's theory of relativity, an infinite amount of energy is needed to propel an object  faster than 186,000 miles per second.  Dr Gunter Nimtz and Dr Alfons Stahlhofen say they have breached a key tenet of that theory with an experiment using microwave photos and prisms. "For the time being, this is the only violation of special relativity that I know of,"  Nimtz told New Science magazine. Being able to travel faster than the speed of light would lead to bizarre consequences.  For instance, an astronaut moving faster than the speed of light would, theoretically, arrive at a destination before leaving.

Climate Shift to Hit Indians Hard
A new study says climate change will hit American Indians especially hard.   Rising seas will flood Miccosukee and Seminole lands in Florida. Droughts will trigger water wars between Southwestern tribes and others.  Among the hardest hit will be Alaska's native people, where eroding permafrost is sinking entire towns. The study, "Native Communities and Climate Change, Protecting Tribal Resources as Part of National Climate Policy" has been sent to members of the U.S.  Congress.
Denver Post

Yukon's Zelma Lake draining at rapid rate
Yukon: Zelma Lake is six-kilometres wide and one of the largest lakes in the Old Crow Flats. In less than a month, it's lost more than 60% of its water, startling researchers and local First Nations people. It is possible that Zelma Lake is draining because of a natural change in water flow, but the Vuntut Gwitchin believe climate change is affecting their land.  "We know that it's going to happen," said Vuntut Gwitchin deputy chief Roger Kyikavichik. "It will happen, I guess, it's been going on for a few years, but with Zelma Lake, you know, it was really close to home there. That area has just changed a lot, that shows that the permafrost is melting away."
photo: Kevin Turner

U.S.  Geological Survey, Tribal Colleges Partner for Climate Change Research
Tribal colleges may be Indian Country's best resource to research climate change and help adapt and create laws to slow it down. A partnership has developed among several tribal colleges and the U.S.  Geological Survey called Native View.  With USGS help and guidance, the colleges can now directly research climate change. Studies are also underway about energy options and building earth-friendly buildings.   Tribal colleges are creating green campuses such as Turtle Mountain Community College. 
H-Amindian Listserve

The Great Plastic Plague
  U.S. retailers spend  $4,000,000,000 a year on plastic bags, a price that's passed onto consumers.  Across the world,  500,000,000,000  - 1,000,000,000,000 plastic bags are used each year.  After their first use, most are thrown away. Then it's nature's turn to pay:

Plastic shopping bags last up to 1,000 years in a landfill;
They break down into tiny, toxic particles that become part of the soil and water;
Plastic refuse that end up in the ocean kills 1,000,000  sea creatures each year.  This includes birds, whales, seals, and sea turtles;
Broken, degraded plastic pieces outweigh surface zooplankton in the central North Pacific by 6-1.  Which means, when birds and sea animals or looking for food -- more often, they are finding plastic;
Mammals that dieeach year from  eating or being tangled in plastic is estimated at 100,000 in the North Pacific Ocean alone.
Fortunately, some countries and American communities are taking serious action.
In 2002,  Ireland imposed a 15-cent tax on bags, which led to a  90% reduction in use. Ireland uses the tax to help fund other environmental initiatives;
Asia banned the bags in 2002;
Bags are taxed in Sweden and Germany;
Bags will be banned in Paris this year;
A complete or partial ban on the bags has been approved in Australia, South Africa, parts of India, China, Italy, Bangladesh and Taiwan;
30 rural Alaskan villages and towns have banned plastic bags;
In March, San Francisco banned plastic bags, and Oakland followed suit.

Plastic bags are made from ethylene, a petroleum byproduct. In the United States alone, 12,000,000 barrels of oil are used each year just to meet consumer demand.  Using paper bags isn't the answer-- 14,000,000 trees were cut down in 1999 to produce 10,000,000,000 grocery bags in the U.S.  Producing and shipping those bags also contributes to global warming and air pollution. The best alternative, experts agree, are reusable cloth bags or reusing a plastic bag for as long as possible and then recycling them.  "There is a crisis happening right now," said Stephanie Barger from Earth Resource Foundation. "We have got to stop the flow of plastic today. People really want some organization to fix this problem. But we are the only people that can fix it."  It is also important, Barger says, to educate grocery store managers and ask them to talk to their employees.

Sea Level Rise Could Flood Many Cities
Coastal maps created by scientists at the University of Arizona, predict global warming will cause oceans to rise by one meter, or about 39 inches. 25,000 square miles of land in the lower 48 will disappear under water -- an area the size of West Virginia.  It will happen in 50-150 years, regardless of our efforts to curb greenhouse gases.   Sea level rise is "the thing that I'm most concerned about as a scientist," says Benjamin Santer, a climate physicist.  Among scientists' predictions:

Rising waters will lap at Wall Street and the new money towers of Silicon Valley;
Big city airports and major interstate highways will be swamped;
Storm surges will flood the coastlines and destroy beaches;
Protecting America's coastlines would cost billions of dollars and not all spots can be saved;
Louisiana, Florida, North Carolina, Texas and South Carolina would lose the most land;
Some inland areas also have slivers of at-risk land;
Worsening affects of Louisiana hurricanes will be created due to wetland loss. Wetlands serve as barriers against hurricanes:
Florida will face health problems as rising salt water taints drinking water wells;
California's farm-rich San Joaquin Delta  faces serious salt water flooding problems.  Flooding in New York's subways could become an  everyday occurrence;

Sea level rise "has consequences about where people live and what they care about," said  "We're going to be into this big national debate about what we protect and at what cost." Donald Boesch, a University of Maryland scientist.
maps: university of arizona

Baby Mammoth Corpse Found in Siberia
Russia: A well-preserved baby mammoth carcass has been discovered in the Russian permafrost by a reindeer breeder and hunter. Named  Lyuba, she's been' lying in the frozen ground for 40,000 years. Lyuba weights 110 pounds, and is 33 inches high and 51 inches from trunk to tail.  "It's a lovely little baby mammoth indeed, found in perfect condition," said Alexei Tikhonov from the Russian Academy of Science's Zoological Institute,  Tikhonov says Lyuba gives researchers their best chance yet to build a genetic map of a species extinct since the Ice Age.
photo: Sergei Cherkashin, Reuters

 Tropical giant penguin discovered
Peru:  Scientists have discovered the skeleton of a giant penguin that lived in the tropics 36,000,000 years ago.  The 5-foot tall  penguin, named Icadyptes salasi, would dwarf all the penguins who walk the planet today.  Also found were the remains of at least four new penguin species, all of which appear to have preferred the tropics for colder climates.

A Timeline Of Beekeeping Milestones
2007 – “Colony collapse disorder” describes a new affliction striking bee colonies. The bees are simply failing to return to their hives after foraging. Beekeepers in 35 states report huge losses -- some up to 90%.  But CCD is only the latest in the history of American bees and beekeeping:
1622:  Wild, native American bees — nearly half the world’s 7,000 species — don’t live in hives or make significant quantities of honey.
1622: The first record of European bees being shipped to the American colonies from England to Virginia.
1800: European honey bees are widely distributed from the East Coast to the Mississippi.
1850:  European honey bees are found from coast to coast.
1852-1865:  Improving technology leads to increased colony size and honey yields.
1896: “Disappearing disease,” an ailment causing bees to disappear or die, is noted in parts of the United States.
1900s: European foulbrood disease strikes American colonies.

1922: Congress bans the importation of bees.
1960: “Disappearing disease” again strikes, this time in Texas and Louisiana.
1975: At least 27 U.S. states, in addition to Mexico and Australia, report incidents of “disappearing disease.”
1984: Tracheal mites are found in Florida bee colonies.
1987: Varroa mites are found in Florida bee colonies, causing  some colonies to die in 7 months.
1990: Africanized bees (aka “killer bees”) reach Texas. By 2007, they are found in nine Southern and Southwestern states.
1990s: Widespread use of a popular antibiotic leads to resistant strains of American foulbrood disease, a particularly problematic bacterial infection.
2000: Cornell University reports the economic value of honey bees as pollinators is $15,000,000,000.
2003: Varroa mites resistant to approved pesticides become more and more common.
2005: Honey bees are imported to replenish dwindling American populations. Population loss since the 1980s is estimated at 50%.
2006: A National Academy of Sciences reports that loss of pollinators, especially European honey bees and native bumblebees, threatens 75% of North American  flowering plants and most food crops.

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