Youth and Education News
October 1, 2007 Issue 180 Volume 4
"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
Tribal Farms Are A Growing Part Of Arizona Agricultural Economy
Arizona: Farms on American Indian land near Phoenix are a growing part of Arizona's agricultural economy. Everything from alfalfa and pecans to citrus and barley are grown, then sold to major companies. With urban sprawl, some believe tribal farms could be responsible for carrying the tradition into the future. "Tribes came up with some of the most innovative agriculture techniques for this area," said Pat Mariella from Arizona State University. In past decades, the tribes' farming efforts were hindered by a lack of water. But water-rights settlements over the past two decades allowed farms to flourish.
Squash Seeds Show Andean Cultivation Is 10,000 Years Old, Twice as Old as Thought
Peru: Seeds of domesticated squash found northern Peru are almost 10,000 years old -- twice as old as previous discoveries. Scientists also found domesticated corn seeds in Mexico that are 9,000 years old. The findings suggest that farming may have developed in the Americas nearly as early as in the Middle East, which is considered the birthplace of agriculture. Plant domestication “served as catalysts for rapid social changes that eventually contributed to the development of intensified agriculture, institutionalized political power and towns in both the Andean highlands and on the coast between 5,000 and 4,000 years ago,” scientists wrote. Scholars now think that plants were domesticated in at least 10 “centers of origin:” the Middle East, Mexico and Peru, places in Africa, southern India, China and New Guinea.
Native American Natural Foods Set to launch Tanka Bars Oct. 5-7
South Dakota: This month, Native American Natural Foods will launch its new buffalo energy bars in Rapid City. The Tanka Bar pairs prairie-raised American buffalo with Wisconsin cranberries. It's a modern day version of "wasna" or "pemmican", a traditional Native American recipe which some nutritionists describe as the perfect energy food. “Tanka Bars don’t taste medicinal or like a candy bar,” said Karlene Hunter. “They are tender, flavorful and good for you. We’re convinced that once people taste them, they’ll choose pure meat protein-based energy over ‘enhanced’ cereal bars every time.” The 100% natural bar is 70 calories per 1-ounce serving and no trans fats.
Tanka Bars: www.tankabar.com
Nike unveils shoe just for American Indians
Oregon: Nike has designed the Air Native N7, a shoe for American Indians. It has a culturally-specific look and larger fit for the distinct foot shape of Native Americans. “Nike is aware of the growing health issues facing Native Americans,” said Sam McCracken, manager of Nike’s Native American Business program. “We are stepping up our commitment ... to elevate the issue of Native American health and wellness.” Dr. Kelly Acton from Indian Health Services is delighted with the results. She said Nike “bent over backwards” to design a shoe and respect public health needs. Air Native N7 will be distributed solely to American Indians. Tribal wellness programs and tribal schools can purchase the shoe at wholesale price then pass onto individuals, often at no cost. All sales profits will be reinvested in health programs for tribal lands.
Mattel's Toys Top 180 Times Lead Limit
Federal law allows just 0.06% lead in items sold to the public. But toys and items manufactured overseas have different standards. The Oriental Trading Company sold jewelry that was almost 100% lead. Some Tween Brands necklace clasps were more than 35% lead. And Mattel toy company recalled 9.000,000 toys with 180 times the amount of lead allowed by law. In all, 29 companies recalled toys and kids' jewelry with high lead content. "It's totally outrageous that products that are highly leaded, dangerous and can cause death are in the marketplace," says pediatrician John Rosen, who has treated more than 30,000 children with lead poisoning. A child who plays with a toy with up to 11% lead paint for 1-6 months could get "substantial, severe lead poisoning." A child who swallowed the jewelry could be killed. A House Energy and Commerce panel is investigating. "We want to get some reassurances that the children's toys the American consumer purchases are safe," says Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Ill. Among the toys recalled for lead paint:
Barbie® Accessory Sets
|GeoTrax™ Engine||It's a Big Big World™||Fisher-Price Toys||Pixar Cars Sarge|
For more details and a complete list of Mattel toy recalls:
More recalls: http://children.webmd.com/news/20070823/more-toy-recalls-due-to-lead-paint
Billboards aim to save lives
New Mexico: Children living along a 30-mile stretch of Navajo Route 36 are asking motorists to slow down and drive sober. Fifth-grade students from Nenahnezad Community School have plastered their pictures on highway billboards. Next to the pictures are sayings like "If you drink and drive, you're going to make someone cry," and "Slow down because I love you. " There were 30 car accidents on the road in 2006 -- 14 with injuries and one fatality. In the first eight months of 2007, there were 25 accidents — one fatal and two resulting in injuries.
Ten tribal sites selected to help expand national Amber Alert program
Washington, DC: 10 tribal sites will serve as pilot communities for the new Amber Alert in Indian Country Initiative. The expansion helps bridge the gap between tribal communities and state and regional programs. ''Tribes can play an important role in strengthening our Amber Alert network,'' said Regina Schofield, the National Amber Alert coordinator. ''The pilot sites will serve as models for other tribal communities working to develop Amber Alert plans so that children in Indian country can benefit from the Amber Alert network.'' The communities selected to participate in the initiative are the Acoma, Hopi, Laguna and Zuni pueblos; the Choctaw Nation; the Crow Nation; the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians; the Gila River Indian Community; the Navajo Nation; the Northern Arapaho Tribe; the Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Community; the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska; and the Yakama Nation.
"Last One Standing" On Discovery Channel
On October 4, the Discovery Channel will begin a 12-part series called "Last One Standing." Six British and American athletes will live and train with world's most remote tribes, then represent that tribe in raw and intense competition.
LAST ONE STANDING gives a view into parts of the world removed from civilization. The competitors travel to:
Kalapalo, Brazil (wrestling);
Zulu, South Africa (stick fighting);
Tarahumara, Mexico (endurance running);
Trobriand Islands (tribal cricket);
Sumi, Nagaland (Akikiti kickboxing);
Papua, New Guinea (canoe racing);
Brazil (Kraha log racing);
Peru (glacial challenge);
Java (martial arts); and
Vanuatu (canoe racing)
The diverse group of Americans and Brits are at the top of their games and come
from different regions and cultures themselves. Yet, despite competing with each
other, they found themselves forming a brotherhood and strong ties to their host
families. They were sometimes stunned by the culture shock, such as a Brazilian
rite of passage in which piranha teeth are scraped on the athletes' legs and the
open wounds are rubbed with salt and chilies. "It was searingly painful,"
recalls one contestant. "The scraping was bad enough, but the chilies brought a
new level of pain. However, it made me feel integrated and was a great boost
before the competition."
See slideshow from program: http://dsc.discovery.com/tv/last-one-standing/slide-show/slide-show.html
Me-Wuk woman carries on tradition
California: Basketweaver Jennifer Bates, a Tuolumne Me-Wuk, keeps generations of traditions alive by teaching others. "I have basket weavers throughout my family," Bates said. "I can trace my great-great- great-great-grandmother. Some of the baskets are on display in museums." Bates, 56, is a founding members of the California Indian Basket-weavers Association. She began weaving traditional Me-Wuk Indian baskets at age 17. "When it comes to making a basket, it helps to look at old baskets," she said. "I like to use willow, big leaf maple, bracken fern, red bud and deer grass." Jennifer learned about basketry from her grandmother and tribal elders, but for the most part was self-taught. She now teaches and mentors others on the intricacies of starting and stitching classic Me-Wuk patterns and styles of baskets. "At one time I was one of few, if not the only, Me-Wuk basket weaver," Bates said. "Now there are 30 to 50 weavers and I've had the privilege of watching that number grow."
Arctic Teens Speak Out In DVD Project
Arctic: Five teens are creating a DVD movie titled "The Lost Dances of Kotzebue." The 60-minute documentary examines Native dances and their connections between Russia and Alaska Natives in the Arctic. Until 30 years ago, the church and the Western world either discouraged or forbid these dances from taking place. Many thought the dances were lost. But the youth discovered these dances are very much alive on both sides of the Bering Straights. The students tell the story of the dances through the dancers. Then they tell the story of how they, themselves, see the dances in context to their own lives. A trailer for the film was shown at the Beringia Days Conference in Anadyr, Russia. The DVD is scheduled for completion in 2008.
All-Star event seeks to boost college prospects for American Indians
Oklahoma: Every year Carol Conner asks the same question of players in Oklahoma's Indian All-State basketball games: How many plan to attend college? In 1996, only one hand was raised. By 2007, each player had some sort of plans for college. Conner believe this shift has happened because American Indians now believe a postsecondary education is essential. One role model is Jenny Plumley who has blood ties to the Comanche, Otoe, Pawnee and Pueblo tribes. In her freshman year at Oklahoma University, she broke into the Sooners' starting lineup and immediately become an icon in the American Indian community. At a recent OU camp, "a little Indian girl asked to take a picture with me," Plumley recalled. "Her mom said they came all the way from Montana to attend the camp to see me ... Every time I talk to people, I have to realize what I'm doing," While basketball can be a tool toward paying for education, the most important thing is that the players stay in college, said Gina Marie Scarpa-Mabry. Scarpa-Mabry is a founder of the Native American Basketball Invitational, an event started in 2003 that has grown to include more than 1,000 players. "If they go on to play college ball, that's wonderful, but the most important thing we're accomplishing is the educational opportunity," she said. "We've had kids who came who had no plans (for college) who have now graduated."
Osage Nation Film Festival Features Original Footage Of Oklahoma’s Hominy Indians, 1927 NFL Champions
Oklahoma: Some say the greatest team in professional football was the Miami Dolphins team (17-0), Terry Bradshaw’s Pittsburgh Steelers, or Joe Montana’s San Francisco Forty-Niners. But according to some experts, the greatest professional football team was the Hominy Indians who, in 1927, defeated the New York Giants who were the National Champions of the NFL. Those attending the Osage Nation Film Festival in September watched original footage of the Hominy Indians. For 10 years, the team was a big time, all Indian Oklahoma team that played on everything from chalked off pastures to stadiums with 50,000 roaring fans. Were the Indians really that great? Well, George S. Halas, one of the grandfathers of the NFL, refused to allow his Chicago Bears to play the Indians. The reason is not known.
Photo: Arctic Sounder/AP
Jazz legend Hampton had bond with Nez Perce Tribe
Idaho: Jazz legend Lionel Hampton had a special relationship with the Nez Perce people. One of the people Hampton's music reached is musician Andre Picard, a Nez Perce musician whose family connected with Hampton. He was there when Hampton was made an honorary member of the tribe. He was there during Hampton's final shows on the reservation when the performer counted on band members to shout out the lyrics of "What a Wonderful World" because he could no longer remember. "Kids called him Grandpa Lionel," Picard said. "We all loved him a lot and when he passed on we were very sad." Picard and Lionel Hampton Big Band bass player Christian Fabian are creating a unique album that combines jazz and American Indian music. The album will contain about a dozen songs. They hope to have it completed by February 2008.
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