Native Village Youth and Education News

“We’ve gone away from the naturalistic way of life for the materialistic. We’ve forgotten about nature, to be thankful even for just the breath of life, for the sun coming up.”
Edna Gordon, Seneca

April 1, 2008   Issue 188   Volume 1

Mother Earth Water Walk
Michigan: Water is essential to survival and health.  An Anishinabe once prophesied that "In about 30 years, if we humans continue with our negligence, an ounce of drinking water will cost the same as an ounce of gold."  Now two Anishinabe Grandmothers and their supporters will complete the final Women's Water Walk around the perimeter of the Great Lakes.  The 1st Annual Women’s Water Walk took place in 2003. Several women from different clans walked around Lake Superior to warn others that its waters are being polluted by chemicals, vehicle emissions, motor boats, sewage, agricultural run offs,  leaking landfills, and residential usage.  Since then, the Great Lakes walks continued: Northern Lake Michigan in 2004; Lake Huron in 2005; Lake Ontario in 2006 and Lake Erie in 2007.  In April 2008, the Grandmothers will complete their lower Lake Michigan trek by walking its shorelines in Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin. The Annual Women’s Water Walk was chosen for Spring because it is a in time for renewal, re-growth, and re-birth.

Join the Anishinabe when they come through your area:

The Water Walkers  movie:

 America’s Stonehenge surrounded by condos and controversy
Florida: Right in the heart of Miami is the Miami Circle, possibly the most important Native American treasure trove on the continent. It  was accidentally discovered in 1998 by workers demolishing an old apartment building.  Today, the Miami Circle rests on  2.2 dusty acres surrounded by a chain-link fence.  It is a circle of pale limestone, 38 foot in diameter, pitted with what looks like 24 post-holes forming a perfect circle in the stone.  Artifacts such as shell-tools, stone axe-heads, and charcoal from fires have been found at the site along with  a dolphin skull, a complete carapace of a sea turtle, and a  5-foot long shark skeleton laid east to west.  Most experts believe the Miami Circle is the foundation for a structure built by Tequesta Indians who roamed southern Florida for centuries. Others believe the circle has celestial significance, similar to the complex Mayan calendar. Some suggest the holes were for standing stones or totem poles. Others claim its significance is similar to Stonehenge or has to do with aliens or Atlantis. Nearly 2,000 years old, the Miami Circle predates other known permanent settlements on the East Coast.

Indian ceremonial burn of home of deceased leads to calls
San Pasqual Indian Reservation, California:  The San Pasqual tradition of burning down a home after the owner dies led to a flurry of emergency calls as smoke filled the sky near Escondido.  Fire dispatcher Shannon King says the smoke prompted many calls to the fire emergency communication center. King says some San Pasqual members burn down a deceased person's home and contents so the person is free from earthly possessions and can continue on his or her spiritual journey.

Ohio State to return American Indian remains to West Virginia
West Virginia: Ohio State University will return skeletal remains from about 600 American Indians to West Virginia for reburial. A federal law lets tribes reclaim such remains, but those in OSU's possession don't belong to any one tribe. Instead, OSU and Putman County (WV) signed the agreement to return and rebury the remains on their own.

Chief's daughter takes recognition fight to Web
Schaghticoke Reservation, Connecticut:  24-year old Melissa Velky is the daughter of Schaghticoke Tribal Nation chief, Richard Velky. She spent much of her youth on the Schaghticoke's 300-acre reservation and is very involved with her tribe.  And while Melissa is adamant -- she is Native American, tried and true -- the federal government says otherwise. It refuses to grant the Schaghticoke federal recognition status, even though the Schaghticokes were mentioned by Europeans early as 1699. To Melissa, this is an injustice, and she hopes to convince young Americans to rally around.  "When we got our recognition reversed it was like my future being stomped on by the government," she said. Velky, who is a law student at Michigan State University, plans to launch "Students for Justice," an Internet-based campaign to help spread the word.
Schaghticoke Tribe:

H-Amindian Listserve


Yellowstone National Park: Miriam Wasser, 20, and Cat Simonidis, 22, locked themselves to a post inside Mammoth Visitor's Center to protest the National Park Services's slaughter of nearly 1,000 bison since February 8.  Police soon arrested the women and took them to jail.  In the meantime, other park rangers were capturing between 30-50 bison a few miles away.   Despite worldwide protest opposing these buffalo slaughters, Yellowstone continues hazing, capturing and killing bison. Yellowstone's buffalo are the last genetically pure buffalo of the once massive free roaming herds.  Some estimate those numbers were in the tens of million until  settlers, railroads companies, and other invaders slaughtered them for their hides or for fun.  Now, only a few thousand remain. Since 2000, almost 3,300 of the Park's American bison have been killed or removed from the last wild herds. During the current winter, well over 1,000 have been killed or captured by the government's  Interagency Bison Management Plan, as well as state and treaty hunts. The government says the buffalo must be slaughtered to prevent brucellosis from spreading from wild bison to cattle Yet, the government doesn't have any documented cases of bison giving brucellosis to cattle.
Learn more and Help protect the buffalo:

On the Warpath
Caiapo Reserve, Brazil: To the cabodos (rubber-tree tappers and Brazil-nut gatherers), the Caiapó Indians are bad medicine. "The best thing to do when you see a Caiapó is to shoot first," said one trader. To the Caiapó, however, the cabodos are part of a light-skinned tribe who threaten their tropical hunting grounds and may rightfully be attacked.  The Caiapó are supported by Brazil's Indian Protective Services, a powerful federal bureau.  Recently, Para State's Chamber of Commerce sent an angry telegram to Brazil's Congress about Caiapó threats and attacks. It noted: "at a time when Brazil needs its rubber for its economy, security and defense," rubber production has dropped 80% because cabodos refused to enter Caiapó territory.  The IPS responded: "When nuts and rubber pay good prices, white men invade Indian territory. From the position we take against exploiters and invaders comes the animosity against our service.",9171,890174,00.html?promoid=googlep

 Storm over missing Madoc plaque
Alabama: The Alabama Welsh Society is petitioning Mobile's mayor to return a monument to Prince Madoc that was removed 20 years ago.  Prince Madoc is believed to have landed at Mobile Bay in 1170 after he and his brother sailed from Wales following the death of their father, Owain Gwynedd. While there is much speculation about Madoc, his legacy is still strong in America where he and his group are believed to have settled among a Native American tribe. The plaque in question was placed near Fort Morgan in 1953 by the Daughters of the American Revolution. It read: "Prince Madoc, a Welsh explorer, who landed on the shores of Mobile Bay in 1170 and left behind, with the Indians, the Welsh language." According to Blanton Blankenship, site manager at Fort Morgan. the plaque was removed and placed in storage because Fort Morgan "focuses on the United States military presence. "
Alabama Welsh Society:

Cities at both ends of Trail of Tears may seek 'sister' status
Cherokee Nation, Oklahoma: During the 1830s, Cherokees from the Southeast states were forced to leave their ancestral homelands to begin a new life in Indian Territory.  It was called the Trail of Tears, and it was the biggest tragedy in Cherokee history.  The Trail of Tears refers to the ethnic cleansing in 1838 of the Cherokee Nation from their lands in Georgia to the Indian Territory. In the Cherokee language, the event is called Nunna daul Isunyi—“the Trail Where They Cried." The march resulted in 4,000 Cherokees deaths. Cherokee living near   today's Rome, Georgia, were among the first to leave. Their march ended in Tahlequah.  Now, in support of the Cherokee people, residents from both cities want Rome and Tahlequah to become "sister cities." The sister city concept would reconnect citizens to the importance of that period. Claudia Oakes, a museum director from Rome, said many area residents aren't aware of the Trail of Tears and the impact it had on both states.  “It’s appropriate that this part of Georgia is now embracing its native heritage,” she said.  “It’s become very much a point of pride in this he said.  “There’s a strong interest on both ends, and we are openly interest in exploring the possibility.”
Native News Digest 3578 and Wikipedia

 Distant Native languages bridge Bering Sea
Alaska:  Indigenous Siberians who speak the Ket language live a few hundred miles west of Alaska.  It's believed only 1,200 Kets are still living, and only 200 speak the Ket language.  Now linguists are hailing new research that shows the Ket language is an ancient relative of the New World's Na-Dene languages.  Na-Dene is a family of more than three dozen Native languages including:
Many Athabascan Tribes in Alaska,
The Tlingit and Eyak people;
Indian tribes from Western Canada;
Tribes from the American Southwest, including the Navajo and the Apache. 
It's long been assumed that North America's interior Indian languages are related to languages spoken in Asia. Other than Siberian Yupik along the Bering Strait, proof had never been found. Other studies only offered support for the theory such as lists of similar-sounding words. That, however, isn't enough evidence to prove a genetic relationship between an Asian and North American languages.  What makes the new study exciting is learning how Ket words morphed into Athabascan words, or vice versa --no one knows which language came first.  The Ket Language project was compiled by Edward Vajda who spent 10 years deciphering the Ket language. He was helped by four linguists from the University of Alaska who traced the patterns of the Na-Dene language.

Ahkwesáhsne woman translates Munsch books into native tongue  
Ahkwesáhsne Mohawk Reserve, U.S. and Canada: Six years ago Margaret Peters started working for the Ahkwesáhsne Board of Education.  One of her first projects was to translate "Love You Forever," written by Robert Munch, into the Mohawk language.  Margaret tailored it for the Mohawk culture by making it more repetitive and replacing the original song with "The Baby Song," written by Peters and a friend. Peters also sought Munsch's approval for the translation and for permission to do an audio form of the book.  Munsch approved. "The reason for the (audio book) was to help kids who have a hard time reading the story," Peters said.  "It helped them to say some of the phrases in the book because we want to get the kids speaking in Mohawk." Peters provided the narration, while her daughter, Teioswathe, and Henes Porter sang "The Baby Song."  Peters' husband played the audio form of "Love You Forever" on his radio show.  Listeners loved it and called in, wanting to find a copy.   "We had only planned to use it as a resource for our schools, but people wanted to buy the book with the audio narration," Peters said. Another call to Munsch followed. Not only did Munsch agree, he didn't ask for money or any legal-looping. "He just said yes," Peters said.  "There was no issue over the copyright.  He just said 'yes, you can sell it.'"   Peters has translated three of Munsch's books into the Mohawk language, and Munsch says he is happy with the translations.  In the meantime, Munsch has visited Ahkwesáhsne school and taken an active role in the effort to preserve aboriginal languages.
american_indians_news_source_tulanappes_list] Digest Number 1762

"Grandmother" of Indian country’s newest collection wins national award
Cattaraugus Reservation, NY: Edna Gordon  has spent her life exploring and expressing the voice within. The 86-year-old Seneca Wisdomkeeper is a writer, activist, and raging hawk for the welfare of her people. She has written 42 books -- some with her late husband, Edwin Hannibal Gordon.  Her newest collection, “Voice of the Hawk Elder,” was edited by Harvey Arden.  "Hawk Elder" won the Native American Studies category of the National Best Books 2007 awards. 
Among  Grandmother Edna Gordon's  quotes and wisdoms:

“I love poetry because it’s simple. Poetry brings out the beauty of man and the beauty of creation ... We lack communication, and this is why poetry is important, because communication is important.”
“We’ve gone away from the naturalistic way of life for the materialistic. We’ve forgotten about nature, to be thankful even for just the breath of life, for the sun coming up.”
“It’s important to know nature to relate to something, to see something (in nature) and look at the struggle that it faced in order for us to go on with life.”
“Life is simple. Man complicates it.”
“I want you to go on and build onto all that’s going on today because it makes the tomorrow.”
“We have to have the unity of one mind."
“Everybody expects us to pick up guns, and that’s the first thing they want the Indians to do — pick up their guns so they can come and bomb us. We don’t believe in that ... If you want peace, you have to work for peace. You cannot do it with a gun.”

 Volume 2

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