Native Village Youth and Education News
December 1, 2008 Issue 192 Volume 3

Crow version of the Nativity
by Fr. John Giuliani 

 "When a child is born, it is kept indoors for four days. Then it's taken outside and presented to the Creator and is given a name. At Christmas time, the same is done with the baby Jesus."
                               Rebecca Martin, Acoma Pueblo


Arizona: Ten tribal governments were honored by Harvard during it's 2008 Honoring Nations awards program.  Honoring Nations identifies, celebrates, and shares exemplary tribal governance programs among the 560+ Indian nations in the United States.  “Our destiny in is our hands. Being capable of directing our own future and defending the futures of our children and the futures of our nations is profoundly important," said Chief Oren Lyons, Faithkeeper of the Onondaga Indian Nation. "Honoring Nations understands this – and is a very, very positive program in Indian Country.”

2008 “High Honors” Programs (Each receives a $20,000 award)
Muscogee Creek Nation: Muscogee Creek Nation Reintegration Program*
Osage Nation: Osage Nation Governmental Reform Initiative
Navajo Nation, Ramah Chapter: Pine Hill Health Center
Choctaw Nation: Project Falvmmichi
Tohono O’odham Nation: Archie Hendricks, Sr. Skilled Nursing Facility and Tohono O’odham Hospice
Honors” Award Recipients (Each receives a $10,000 award)
Chickasaw Nation: Chickasaw Press
Ak-Chin Indian Community: Community Council Task Force
Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians: Intercultural Leadership Initiative
Ohkay Owengeh: Tsigo bugeh Village
Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan: Ziibiwing Center of Anishinabe Culture and Lifeways

Honoring Nations web site:

23 INDN's List Candidates Won
President-elect Barack Obama's victory was not the only historic moment in November's general election. With the backing of INDN's List – the Indigenous Democratic Network – 23 American Indian candidates from 11 states and 16 tribes won state and local elections:
Denise Juneau, Three Affiliated Tribes,  the first American Indian woman elected to statewide office in Montana

Bruce Curnutt, Choctaw, sheriff, Oklahoma
Scott Walton, Cherokee, sheriff, Oklahoma
Richard Lerblance, Muscogee Creek, representative, Oklahoma
Ken Luttrell, Cherokee, representative, Oklahoma 
Jerry McPeak, Muscogee Creek, representative, Oklahoma 
Anastasia Pittman, Seminole, representative, Oklahoma
Kevin Killer, Oglala Sioux Tribe, representative, South Dakota
Ed Iron Cloud III, Oglala Sioux Tribe, representative, South Dakota
Albert Hale, Navajo, representative, Arizona
Chris Deschene, Navajo, representative, Arizona
Lena Fowler, Navajo, board of supervisors, Arizona
  Barbara McIlvaine Smith, Sac & Fox,  representative, Pennsylvania
Todd Gloria, Tlingit-Haida,  city council, California
Suzanne Williams, Comanche, representative, Colorado
Karen White, Muscogee Creek, representative, Colorado
Sharon Peregoy, Crow/Chippewa Cree, representative, Montana
Jonathan Windy Boy, Chippewa Cree, representative, Montana
John Oceguera, Walker River Paiute, assemblyman, Nevada
John McCoy, Tulalip, representative, Washington
Jeff Morris, Tsimshian, representative, Washington
Patrick Goggles, Arapaho, representative, Wyoming
Woodie Salmon, Chalkyitsik, representative, Alaska;

Launched in 2005, INDN’s List is a national grassroots organization that mobilizes American Indian voters and recruits, trains, and helps elect American Indian candidates. INDN's LIst has had a resounding success: since the 2006 election cycle, 45 of its 65 endorsed candidates have been elected.
INDN's List:

Obama appoints Native officials to transition team
Washington D.C:  President-elect Barack Obama has named six Native people to his transition team:
Mary Smith, Mary McNeil and Yvette Robideaux are assigned to work on justice, agriculture and health issues;
Attorneys John Echohawk, Keith Harper and Robert Anderson  will advise Obama on proposed changes within the Interior Department.
The three  Indian law experts could inspire important changes to the Indian trust fund system which has faced chaotic litigation during the 12 years-long Cobell vs. Kempthorne suit.  “This is our last big chance to get a lot of things done,” said Elouise Cobell from the Blackfeet Nation and lead plaintiff in the case.  “It's like a broken record every time we have a hearing. Nothing really happens. Maybe if we get the right people in these positions, we can all work together: the tribes, Congress and the administration.”
From Native Village: Barack Obama: Full Partnership with Indian Country

Federal court to hear Inuk's legal challenge for Inuit parity
Alberta:  In 2001, Kiviaq — also known as David Charles Ward — began working on a lawsuit against the Canadian government. This lawsuit would define Inuit status in Canadian law and give them the same rights as other aboriginal peoples. Last week, the 72-year-old retired Inuk lawyer learned that his case will be heard in an Edmonton federal court this month.  "In their statement of defense that they filed, they try to say that I wasn't Inuit to begin with. So that's one of my arguments: they haven't defined us in law," Kiviaq said. "So how can I define myself as an Inuk or an Eskimo if they don't have a definition in law in Canada what an Eskimo is?"  Kiviaq, who is battling cancer, wasn't sure he'd live to see the case go to court.  "The only thing I could think they'd do is just to stall and stall and stall, and hope that I will die of cancer and nothing will come of this at all," he said.  Zacharias Kunuk, who filmed Kiviaq's life story in the 2007 documentary Kiviaq vs. Canada, is happy with the news. "I'm so happy for Kiviaq that it's happening in his lifetime,"  Kunuk said. In addition to being a lawyer, Kiviaq has been a boxer, a city councilor, and a halfback for the Edmonton Eskimos football team.


New York: On November 12, 2008, early-risers in NYC were delighted to learn that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan had ended while they slept.  That is, if the early-risers had read a "special edition" of that day's New York Times.  In an elaborate scheme that took 6 months to plan, 1,200,000 exact replicas of the New York Times were written, printed, and passed out by volunteers at designated locations, including Grand Central Station. The special edition headlined several other topics:
The establishment of national health care;
The abolition of corporate lobbying;
A maximum wage for C.E.O.s;
A recall notice for all cars that run on gasoline.

The NYT special edition, which was post-dated July 4, 2009, also describes the Obama Administration's gains after eight months in office.  "It's all about how at this point, we need to push harder than ever," said Bertha Suttner, one of the newspaper's writers. "We've got to make sure Obama and all the other Democrats do what we elected them to do. After eight, or maybe twenty-eight years of hell, we need to start imagining heaven."
See the Issue:

California tribe donates $100,000 to blizzard aid
San Manuel Reservation, California: The San Manuel Band of Serrano Mission Indians has given $100,000 to help South Dakota reservations recover from an early November blizzard that devastated the area. Officials at the Black Hills Area Chapter of the American Red Cross will use the funds for immediate assistance and future emergency services. "When the tribe was made aware of the situation at Pine Ridge and at Rosebud, we knew we had to assist our brother and sister tribes," said San Manuel Chairman James Ramos. Wildfires in California galvanized his tribe's efforts to help the Lakota, he said.
Native Village adds our support:
Link center foundation

Jury awards $2.5 million to teen beaten by Klan members
Kentucky: A jury awarded $2,500,000 in damages to a Kentucky teenager beaten by members of the Ku Klux Klan. Jordon Gruver, then 16, was targeted by Klan members at the Meade County Fair in Brandenberg.  They taunted him for being Hispanic (Jordan is Native-American and American of Panamanian descent), spat on him and doused him with alcohol. Two Klansmen knocked Gruver to the ground and repeatedly struck and kicked him. "All I could see was a bunch of feet," Gruver, now 19, told the jury. "As they were kicking me, I prayed to myself. I said, 'God, just please let me go. Please let me make it home.' " When the blows stopped, Gruver had a broken jaw, broken left forearm, two cracked ribs and cuts and bruises.  He now suffers from permanent nerve damage and psychological trauma, seldom leaves home and has difficulty sleeping because of nightmares.  "The people of Meade County, Kentucky, have spoken loudly and clearly," said Morris Dees, Jordon's attorney from the Southern Poverty Law Center.  "And what they've said is that ethnic violence has no place in our society, that those who promote hate and violence will be held accountable and made to pay a steep price. "  Also revealed during testimony: an alleged Klan plot to kill attorney Morris Dees.

Gallup IHS opens traditional hogan

New Mexico:  Indian Health Services officials have opened a new hogan at Gallup Indian Medical Center. GIMC is also constructing two sweat lodges and establishing a separate Office of native Medicine. A traditional Navajo practitioner has already  joined the staff.  “We’re bringing traditional medicine to collaborate with Western medicine,” said  Bennie C. Yazzie. “For the longest time, people were asking for a facility like this. The main reason is that there’s a concept in the Navajo tradition that a hospital where people get well and others die is not a good place to have your practitioner to be working on the patient. ”  Michael Arviso, a member of the traditional medicine committee, says the hogan helps him reconnect  to his culture.  “For me, being a younger person, I see it as a good thing to get back to our culture and not losing that part of ourselves that is instilled in us since we were born,” he said.
Navajo Hogan photo:

Naval Hospital honors Lumbee Indians
North Carolina: The Camp Lejeune Naval Hospital saluted the Lumbee Tribe of North during its "Living in Many Roles" monthly observance. "Each month we (honor) different ethnic and racial heritages that make us strong," said commanding officer, Capt. Gerard Cox. Officer Stephanie Burleson also said  American Indians have participated in U.S. military actions for more than 200 years.  She estimated:
  More than 12,000 American Indians served in the U.S. military in World War I;
  More than 44,000 of our country's 350,000 American Indians served between 1941 and 1945 in World War II.
" It is well recognized that, historically, Native Americans have the highest record of service per capita when compared to other ethnic groups," she said.

National American Indian Housing Council News Release
Washington D.C.: President Bush signed into law H.R. 2786 that amends and reauthorize NAHASDA (the Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act).  Enacted in 1996, NAHASDA created a single, formula-based block grant program available to tribes.  The new NAHASDA amendments give tribal authorities more control and flexibility to use the housing  monies in ways that best meets their tribe's needs and goals.  "Given the great need for improvements in housing stocks for Alaska Natives and Indian tribes nationwide, these changes offer the hope of substantially increasing the availability of quality housing to Native people in the near future,” said Lisa Murkowski from the Senate's Indian Affairs Committee.

The first ever Native American establishment receives top dining awards

Gila River Indian Community, Arizona:  Kai Restaurant has been named by Zagat Guide, OpenTable, and AAA as being one of the best places to eat nationwide.  Kai, the Pima word for seed, opened in 2002 and is the very first Native owned or themed establishment to receive the coveted AAA Five Diamond Award and the Mobile Four Star Award.  Directed by  the talents of Chef Michael O’Dowd, Chef Jack Strong, and consulting Chef Janos Wilder, Kai calls its food  “Native American Cuisine with Global Accents.”  Kai is located at the The Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort and Spa on the Gila River Indian Community.
Kai's menu is divided into groups:
The Birth, The Beginnings, The Journey, The Experience, and Short Story. Kai's offerings include:
Lettuce Hand Picked by Local Farmers & Children of Gila River Crossing School
Seared Hudson Valley Foie Gras with Chestnut & Hazelnut Lacquor
Big Game Loin of Rocky Mountain Elk
Grilled Tenderloin of Buffalo from the Cheyenne River Tribe

Kai Menu:

Native American Christmas Cookie Recipes

Bean Cookies
Step 1
2 cups great northern beans
4 cups hot water
2 cups hot water
1/8 tsp. butter
Step 2
3/4 cup shortening
1 cup bean puree (see Step 1)
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
Step 3
1 1/4 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup cocoa
1/8 tsp. dry mustard
1/3 cup dry milk
1/2 tsp. soda
1/2 tsp. salt
Soak beans in 4 cups hot water for 1 hour. Add 2 cups hot water and butter.  Simmer for 1 1/2 hours. Drain.  Puree while hot in food processor. Cool.
Cream the Step 2 ingredients together.
Sift the Step 3 ingredients and add to creamed mixture
Drop teaspoons of dough on greased cookie sheet.  Bake at 350º for 10 minutes
Don't tell anyone about the ingredients until after they've tried them! They look and taste just like brownies!


 Cranberry Cornmeal Cookies   

1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups butter, softened
2 eggs
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup cornmeal
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sweetened dried cranberries, chopped
Combine sugar and butter in large mixer bowl and beat at medium speed until creamy.
Add eggs, cornmeal syrup, and vanilla and beat until well mixed.
Add flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt; reduce speed to low and beat until well mixed.
Stir in dried cranberries by hand.
Roll teaspoons of dough into balls and roll in sugar.
Place 1 inch apart onto ungreased cookie sheets; flatten slightly with hand.
Bake at 350°F for 9-13 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.
Yield: 7 dozen cookies


Feast Day Cookies
The Pueblo Indians make these for Christmas, kiva parties, Kachina or Corn Dances, weddings, the pueblo's Saint's Day, and field parties for planting or harvesting crops.

2/3 cup plus 1/4 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup lard or vegetable shortening
1 egg
2 cups unbleached flour, sifted
4 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon aniseed
1/3 cup milk
1/2 cup piñon (pignoli), chopped
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

In a mixing bowl, cream 2/3 cup sugar and lard.
Add egg and blend thoroughly.
Stir in flour, baking powder, vanilla extract and aniseed. Blend thoroughly.
Gradually add milk until a stiff dough is formed. Mix in the piñon nuts.
Roll out dough to 1/2-inch thickness. Cut into 2-inch cookies with a cookie cutter. Sprinkle tops with the remaining sugar and cinnamon (mixed).
Bake on well-greased baking sheet at 350°F for about 15 minutes, or until golden.
Cool on a rack.
Yield: 2 dozen 2-inch

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