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 4

Most destructive project on Earth: Alberta's oil sands
Alberta:  Alberta's oil sands contain the richest petroleum deposits outside the Middle East.  Now
Aboriginal leaders say the government  is covering up "the most destructive project on Earth. " Their anger stems from a new report called Canada's Toxic Tar sands: The Most Destructive Project on Earth.  Leaders are claiming:
Stripping tar from sand to create artificial crude oil requires extreme amounts of energy; 
Excavating the oil sands is producing huge amounts of greenhouse gases and poisoning water supplies;
The federal government has not enforced laws to clean up oil extraction from tar sands;
Greenhouse gas emissions could double to 80,000,000 tons per year by 2020. That would wipe out gains from industries in other provinces, such as British Columbia or Ontario.
Chief Allan Adam, Athabasca Chipewyan, said one doctor had his medical license revoked for sounding alarms about rare cancers in many living downriver from the projects.  Locals are angry, saying the physician was doing his job.   "If that's the case of how they do their business..." said Adam about government officials, " that sense, we feel that there is a cover-up on health issues and on environmental impacts in our region."
Read "Canada's Toxic Tarsands: The Most Destructive Project on Earth:"
photo: Garth Lenz

Indians gather to save the planet
Chiapas, Mexico: More than 200 leaders from 71 North American Indian nations met near Palenque's ancient Mayan pyramids to discuss how their traditional wisdom could help save the planet. The lessons are simple and  are simple - based on reviving Indian notions about ownership, use, compensation and respect. Leaders said that even Indian cultures battled environmental abuse -- in fact, deforestation might have led to the collapse of the Maya. The Palenque conference began with a pre-dawn ceremony that included fire, copal incense, chants in Lacandon Maya and blasts from a conch shell.  Among the elders' teachings:

"Our Mother Earth is being polluted at an alarming rate, and our elders say that she is dying. The way the weather is around the world ...  a cleansing is needed."  Raymond Sensmeier, Tlingit
"Part of our role is to wake up the world.  It is very obvious to us all that the climate is changing."  Bill Erasmus, indigenous representative, North West Territory
"I sometimes talk to scientists and they compartmentalize things, put things in boxes and disconnect them, and doing so promotes disharmony and imbalance."  Raymond Sensmeier, Tlingit
"The planet-wide stress on the environment today means that collaborative efforts ...  are not just good things." Elin Miller, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
"... the indigenous communities can become the natural guides to restoring balance and harmony in the world. " Juan Elvira Quesada, Mexico's Environment Secretary.

[Indigenous Peoples Literature] Digest Number 3158

NZ dolphin rescues beached whales
  New Zealand: When two whales became stranded on a New Zealand beach, humans tried in vain to get them to sea. After many failed attempts, both they and the humans were tired and ready to give up. Then Moko the dolphin showed up, communicated with the whales, and led them to safety. "I don't speak whale and I don't speak dolphin," said conservation officer, Mike Smith, "but there was obviously something that went on because the two whales changed their attitude from being quite distressed to following the dolphin quite willingly and directly along the beach and straight out to sea."  He added, "The dolphin did what we had failed to do. It was all over in a matter of minutes." The bottlenose dolphin, called Moko by local residents, is well known for playing with swimmers off Mahia beach. "I shouldn't do this I know, we are meant to remain scientific," Mr Smith said, "but I actually went into the water with the dolphin and gave it a pat afterwards because she really did save the day."
Moko video here:


Wildlife preservation taking strong roots in Indian Country
Federally recognized Indian tribes within the lower 48 United States have a reservation land-base of 52,000,000 acres -- 81,250 square miles. These lands are home to hundreds of thousands of animals.  Because of income from tourism and gaming, tribes everywhere are going head-to-head with government agencies, spending tribal funds and overcoming the obstacles to protect wildlife on their tribal lands.
The Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs are tagging Kohanee salmon to learn why the salmon population is declining;
The Red Lake Band of Chippewa are restoring fish to their lake;
*  The Jicarrilla Apaches are managing elk and mule deer populations;
The Iowa and the Zunis are providing homes for injured eagles;
The Nez Perce are introducing the gray wolf population to Idaho and bringing back their beloved Appaloosa horse;
The Hoopa Valley Tribe is protecting northern California spotted owls;
The Salish/Kodenai people are building wildlife structures that run under Montana's highways so  bear, cougar, elk and there animals can avoid getting hit by cars;
The Gros Ventre, Assiniboine and Chippewa-Cree tribes may restore cougar populations;
*  About 57 tribes are working together to bring back bison; others are reintroducing the prairie dog.
While the real work has just begun, rising awareness and countless success stories are triggering more involvement. “It’s important for us to take care of our lands and animals," said Victor Roubidoux, Iowa.  "This is what Indian people did in the past. Today we are doing great work.” 
animations: Camilla Eriksson:

Gray Wolf Hunts Planned After De-Listing
Idaho: Good news for gray wolves in the northern Rocky Mountains: they've been removed from the Federal Endangered Species Act in Idaho. The bad news? The state has only has 800 gray wolves and Idaho will allow hunters to kill between 100-300 to prevent the wolves from killing livestock. Earth Justice plans to sue the federal government next month to continue wolf protections. An Earth Justice attorney, Doug Honnold, said wolf populations should be 2,000 - 3,000. before they're removed from federal protection.
See a video of Yellowstone wolves:
Take action:

Tribal Wildlife Grants Awarded to Support 38 Projects
The U.S. Department of the Interior's U.S. Fish &Wildlife Service has awarded more than $6,200,000 in grants to support conservation projects in Indian Country. The 2008 Tribal Wildlife Grants are:

Native Village of Tetlin $198,396: Moose Management and Restoration Project on Tetlin Tribal Lands
Aleut Community of St. Paul
$199,804: Establishing Long-term Trends of Winter Seaducks, Gulls and Beach-cast Birds on the Pribilof Islands
Sitka Tribe of Alaska
$180,316: Stock Identification of Pacific Herring in Sitka Sound
Native Village of Chickaloon
$199,491 :Matanuska Watershed Salmon Habitat Restoration and Research Project
Poarch Band of Creek Indians $200,000: Gopher Tortoise Reintroduction in Restored Longleaf Pine Habitat and Red Cockaded Woodpecker Safe Harbor Agreement
Colorado River Indian Tribes $82,967: Mesquite Resource Assessment and Mesquite/Wildlife Integrated Resource Management Plan
Big Valley Rancheria Band of Pomo Indians $49,791: Big Valley Rancheria Clear Lake Hitch Study
Habematolel Pomo of Upper Lake
$48,498: Clear Lake Hitch Study and Recovery Project
Karuk Tribe of California $
100,000; Bluff Creek Habitat Protection Project
Yurok Tribe
$200,000: Yurok Tribe Condor Release Initiative
Robinson Rancheria
$194,936: Clear Lake Hitch Study
Miccosukee Tribe of Indians $199,938:  Implementation of the Miccosukee Fisheries Management Plan
Sac and Fox Tribes of the Mississippi in Iowa (Meskwaki) $195,195: Meskwaki Buffalo Herd and Prairie Restoration
Nez Perce Tribe $200,000: Restoration of Bighorn Sheep and Habitat along the Main Stem Salmon River
Idaho and Nevada
Shoshone Paiute Tribe - Duck Valley Reservation $199,469: Restore Habitat and Monitor the Impacts of West Nile Virus on the Duck Valley Reservation's Greater Sage-grouse Population
Aroostook Band of Micmacs $48,957: Aroostook Band of Micmacs Wildlife Habitat Enhancement Project
Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians
$114,645: Aquatic Habitat Study of the Meduxnekeag Watershed
Grand Portage Band of Chippewa Indians $199,944:  Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia (VHS) Surveillance and Detection in Grand Portage Waters and within the 1854 Ceded Territory
Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe
$200,000:  Assessment of Double-Crested Cormorant Predation Effects on Selected Fish Species and Colonial Waterbird Management on the Pelican Island Complex in Leech Lake
Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians
$196,015:  Gray Wolf Inventory, Monitoring, and Management Plan Development
Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes $197,000:  Restoration of Swift Fox on Fort Peck Indian Reservation and Northeastern Montana
Crow Tribe
$200,000: Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout Conservation and Restoration Program
New Mexico
Mescalero Apache Tribe $186,762:  Comprehensive Habitat Inventory for Restoration of Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout on the Mescalero Apache Indian Reservation
Pueblo of Jemez
$196,836:  Developing Management Plans for Critical Species on Jemez Pueblo of Picuris $199,941:  Developing Wildlife Management Capabilities and Baseline Assessments for Key Species on the Pueblo of Picuris
Pueblo of Santa Clara
$199,785:  Riparian Wetland Restoration at the Black Mesa Oxbow
Moapa Band of Paiute Indians $65,397:  Muddy River Habitat Enhancement Project
Iowa Tribe $62,604: Development of a comprehensive management plan for the Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma’s Wildlife Conservation Area
Burns Paiute Tribe $11,554:  Elimination of Fish Loss within a Burns Paiute Tribe Irrigation Site
Rhode Island
Narragansett Indian Tribe $199,931:  Indian Cedar Swamp Brook - Riparian and Wetland Restoration
South Dakota
Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe $133,890:  Black-footed Ferret Habitat, Recovery, and Monitoring
Lower Brule Sioux Tribe
$200,000:  Research and Management for Black-footed Ferret and Prairie Dog Populations; Balancing Culture, Conservation and Conflict
Oglala Sioux Tribe
$200,000:  Kit Fox (Swift Fox) Society
Cowlitz Tribe $199,700:  Establishing a Cottonwood Island Sub-population of Columbia White-tailed Deer
Lummi Indian Nation
$200,000:  South Fork of Skookum Reach Restoration Project
Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe
$168,745:  Establishing Baseline Ecological Information on the Indian and Elwha Valley Elk Herds of the Olympic Peninsula
Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation
$199,831:  Meadow Habitat Restoration Project

20th Arctic Winter Games close in Yellowknife
Northwest Territory: More than 2,000 athletes and supporters from the circumpolar North have returned home after the 20th Arctic Winter Games in Yellowknife. Alaska won the most medals -- 202, but Team Nunavut won the Games' top prize: The Hodgson Sportsmanship Trophy. The Hodgson Trophy is awarded to the team that showed the most fair play and team spirit. "I think our athletes exude that excitement, that they're here playing, and it's just great," said Frank Tootoo from Nunavut. 


Top Honor
Hodgson Sportsmanship Trophy
Won by Team Nunavut


 The arctic Winter Games

Basketball Badminton Arctic Sports Biathlon Cross Country Skiing
Dene Games Dog Mushing Figure Skating Gymnastics Hockey
Snowboarding Snowshoeing Speed Skating Table Tennis Volleyball
  Curling Indoor Soccer Wrestling  

Medal Standings



Alaska 74 55 73 202
Yamal-Nenets 44 32 16 92
Northwest Territory 34 41 36 111
Alberta North 29 37 24 90
Yukon 26 25 30 81
Nunavut 15 27 25 67
Greenland 12 14 18 44
Nunavik, Quebec 9 7 8 24
Sami 5 5 6 16

The 2010 Arctic Winter Games will be held in Grande Prairie, Alberta.
Watch videos from the games: and wikipedia

 Tribal stickball game makes a comeback
Oregon: Shinney, a rough and loud stickball game once played by American Indians, is growing in popularity. Shinney was invented centuries ago among Northeastern U.S. tribes. It taught the players warrior skills, tribal unity and endurance. Some games lasted for days on courses that were miles long.  Shinney has no boundaries, protective equipment or rules. Players use curved fir sticks to hit or kick a ball (actually two tennis balls joined by a 9-inch thong) through the opposing team and their goalie. A point is scored if the ball lands on the goal stick.  Shinney unites both players and spectators in good fun because the wacky ball is unpredictable.  "Indian games are different. ... Instead of rules, there's a certain amount of respect for other players," says Tessa Lake, who's in charge of first aid.  "The games have a spiritual strategy.  The ball is unpredictable so it takes concentration and strength of spirit to be of 'no mind' and know where it's going."  Shinney teams are now starting up at the University of California at Davis, Portland State University, the Grand Ronde Reservation, and elsewhere.  "There's a lot of running, like soccer, but also a lot of full-body contact, says Dan Wahpepah. "Some people do get hurt.  We do ask for no cleats because they can hurt.  It's very cardiovascular and fun, fun, fun."  Shinny was the model for the modern lacrosse.

Legend Come to Life
Oneida Reservation, New York: A group of young animators is saving and sharing ancient Oneida legends through animation. The Four Directions Production studio has released its feature, 'Raccoon and Crawfish." "'I can remember my grandmother telling me this story," recalled Dale Rood from Four Directions.  "My goal is to preserve the Oneida culture, the legends that have been played out from generation to generation.  What better way to do that than to bring them to life through animation?'  A team of four animators spent a year creating and drawing the characters, performing the voices, and polishing the work. "Raccoon and Crawfish"  has won many film festival awards and has even been screened in a theater made of ice in Finland.

Watch the Trailer: http://www.myspacecom/raccoonandcrawfish

The struggle of identity
Arizona: At the 2008 Heard Museum art show, Marcus Cadman's artwork startled many people.  Some disapproved of his use of money and the bible in some of his art and said,  "the feds will get you." Some reacted with gasps and said, "What is that? That is scary!"  Cadman understands. "They're not used to seeing this kind of art," he said. "I try to paint what's going on today. It's not the typical historic romanticized images, I guess. It's much more personal and people can see that."  Cadman began developing his art in 1992 at Diné College. It took him five years to "find his niche," as he put it. "I like to use symbols and metaphors, with speckles of what I know about the traditional world from what I learned from books and friends." While Marcus's work is disturbing to some, others find it inspiring. Judy Coady, a former curator at the Smithsonian Institution's American Art Museum, saw Marcus' work several years ago and quickly snatched up a painting. "Here was a Navajo painter incorporating methods like that of Jasper Johns, Keith Haring, and Andy Warhol," she said. "I just found his artwork really stunning. His use of mixed media, all these things are happening in non-Native work... he's hip, he's with it."   Cadman says his work revolves around one primary theme: identity.  He is Kickapoo on his mother's side, and is Fish and Thunder Clan. His father is Tl'‡‡shch (Red Bottom Clan).  His and paternal grandparents are Kinlich’i'nii (Red House Clan).  Cadman also has strong ties to the Catholic church.
Artwork: Two Worlds, One Soul:

 Volume 3 

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