Native Village 

Youth and Education News

February 1, 2008 Issue 184  Volume 1

"It's important to teach people, both tribal members and other communities, about our history because we want our culture to continue. I think all cultures should share like that; they'd become less intimidating to each other."  
Barry Phillips, Potawatomi      

Boulder may spark big fight
Kentucky: An Ohio historian and a team of divers pulled an 8-ton boulder from the Ohio River near South Shore, KY. last fall. Then they took it to their state.  Now some Kentuckians want it back.  The boulder, known as Indian Head Rock, is about 4 1/2 feet tall and 6 feet wide.  It's was named for a "smiley face" etching which may have been carved by ancient prehistoric Indians.  Besides the carving, names of Portsmouth (OH) families from the early 1900s also are inscribed on it. The rock's historical significance to Portsmouth is one reason the Ohio city wants to preserve and display it.  "We've saved a piece of history," said historian Steven Shaffer who was involved in the find.  But Kentuckians aren't persuaded. "What we have here is  the theft of property that belongs to every Kentuckian," said Rep. Reginald Meeks.  Some are talking of criminal charges: stealing a registered artifact is a Class D felony, punishable by 1- 5 years in prison. Indian Head Rock  is currently being stored in Portsmouth.

Archaeologists find major site of Caribbean tribe
Puerto Rico: The Taino Indians are part of the Arawak people who settled the Caribbean. They may also have traveled by canoe to nearby islands and South America. Now a major discovery may help us learn more about these early Caribbean inhabitants -- a very large Taino ball court, ceremonial site, burial grounds, petroglyphs, and trash mound have been uncovered by archaeologists. "Suddenly it went from a very good site to an extraordinary site," said archaeologist Chris Espenshade.  "Part of what makes it extraordinary is that we have everything here: the midden (refuse) mound, the baty (ceremonial site), the house patterns, the burials and the rock art."   Puerto Rico is currently deciding how to manage the area.  In the meantime, the site will be reburied with armed guards posted to protect the artifacts from looters.

Mongols Reached America Before the Europeans, Mongolian Scholar Claims

Mongolia: A Mongolian history professor is claiming that the Mongols reached the American continent before European invaders.   "About 8,000 to 25,000 years ago, Mongols with stone tools crossed the Aleutian Islands and arrived in America first," said Sumiya Jambaldorj, who teaches at Chingis Khaan University.  Jambaldorj bases his claim on place names in America and their similarity to names in the Mongolian language.   "More than 20 place names of the Aleutian Islands belong to the Mongolian language ... ," Jambaldorj said.  He added that one American Indian language contains some Mongolian words, such as "hagaan," which also means ancestor, or 'khan' in Mongolian.   Jambaldorj also points to stone tools found in the Aleutian Islands. Those same tools have only been found one other place:  the Gobi desert area of Mongolia.

Ancient mask from Alaska ghost village returned to descendants more than a century later
King Island Native Community, Alaska:  King Island holds a mystical pull for former inhabitants and their descendants. The island was abandoned 40 years ago but its crumbling homes, still perched on stilts, cling to the steep, rocky terrain.  Little remains of the island, an old Inupiat Eskimo village, except for artifacts, traditions, and memories. Recently, Marilyn Lewis contacted the relocated Kings Island Community. She told them she had an ancient mask a relative brought home more than a century ago.  On the back was a faint inscription: "Taken from a medicine man's grave on King Island."  Marilyn said she wanted to return the wooden mask to its rightful owners.  Two weeks later, Marilyn traveled from Washington state to hand-deliver the artifact.  It is now on display at the Carrie M.  McLain Memorial Museum in Nome.
H-Amindian Listserve

Atayal woman revives full facial tattooing tradition

Taiwan: For the first time in nearly a century, an Atayal woman has tattooed her face in the traditional way.  "Facial tattooing is an old cultural tradition of the Atayal tribe. I feel very proud to have a tattoo on my face," said Shayun Foudu, 33.   The custom of tattooing faces dates back about 1,400 years and was practiced by several of Taiwan's Aboriginal tribes. Atayal tattoos are especially well-known because it was widely practiced and the tattoos covered nearly the entire face. Japanese colonial rulers banned the traditional custom 95 years ago, but now it's no longer outlawed.  While the tattooing tradition is rapidly disappearing, some Atayals are reviving the tradition before the older generation dies.  Foudu hopes her actions will help society adopt an open mind about facial tattoos.
photo and article:

Lumbees celebrate routing of the KKK
North Carolina: The Lumbee Tribe will honor surviving American Indians who chased the Ku Klux Klan from Robeson County in 1958. I am excited [to] honor the Lumbee warriors who helped rid the county of a message of bigotry and hate, said Tribal Chairman Jimmy Goins.  I hope everyone brings their children so that the oral tradition and stories will be passed on. From 1957-1958, the KKK threatened Lumbee Indians by leaving burning crosses in their yards. One was a Lumbee woman they claimed was having an affair with a white man.  When Klan leader James Cole planned a rally at Hayes Mill Pond, city and government officials and Lumbee Indians asked the Klan to hold the rally elsewhere.  They refused, predicting that 5,000 Klansmen would be at the rally. However, only 50 showed.  As Cole began to speak, a Lumbee man shot out the bulb providing the light. Then dozens of American Indians fired weapons into the air.  The Klansmen fled into the woods, leaving behind their public address system, unlit cross and various regalia.  Cole was later arrested for inciting a riot and appeared before Lacy Maynor, the only Indian judge in Robeson County.  He was sentenced to a year in prison.  The incident received national television and print coverage, including coverage in Life magazine.
photo and article:

Tribe Members Come From Across Nation to Reunify in Robstown
Texas: If you thought the Lipan Apache Tribe was extinct, it's not. About 200 tribal members from Texas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Alaska and New Jersey recently gathered in Robstown. The homecoming was the largest gathering of Lipan Apache in South Texas since 1873. Tribal members logged into the tribe's roll book and declared themselves a unified nation. Organizers hope that Nueces County will become home to the tribe's new corporate headquarters.

Tribal groups call Indiana home
Indiana:  Many don't realize that nearly 42,000 Indiana residents are American Indians. Almost 3,000 reside in Northwest Indiana, and about 6,000 belong to the Miami Nation, the Wea, and the Upper Kispoko Band of the Shawnee Nation. Some members of the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians, which is based in Michigan, also live in northern Indiana.  "People don't know we exist," said Brian Buchanan of the Indiana Native American Indian Affairs Commission. "There are gaps of educational knowledge about Native Americans ... We have different needs than what society has provided in the past."  Buchanan is also chief of Indiana's Miami Nation tribe.

Landless tribe waits federal recognition

Montana: Almost 100 groups across the United States are seeking federal recognition from the Federal Government.  One is the Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa. They have been trying for more than 100 years. "I worked on the Little Shell petition in the '80s, and most of the people that I worked on it with are now dead," said Jack Campisi who has helped dozens of tribes with recognition petitions  .Federal officials cite rigorous standards and a lack of resources for holding up progress. "The process is in place. It is what it is," said Nedra Darling.  Federal recognition is a long process with barely one decision being made each year.  It gives tribes access to federal health care, affordable housing and education grants. It also gives new focus to peoples pulled apart by time, distance and repeated rejection.  To speed up the recognition process, some members of Congress are calling for an end to current methods, saying they are a "black hole" that swallows petitions for decades.
Learn More: Mandatory criteria for Federal acknowledgment of an Indian Nation,file=print,nid=17507.html

Maroon Indigenous People Seeking Autonomy in Jamaica
Jamaica: The Maroons are indigenous peoples from Jamaica. Descended from runaway slaves, they are celebrating their 270th anniversary of freedom from British rule. The Maroons now want to establish their own autonomous state in the community of Accompong.  Head of the maroons, Colonel Sidney Peddie, said the group is formalising their idea to be sent to the United Nations to consider.

Chickasaw tribe honors original enrollee
Chickasaw Nation, OK:  The Chickasaw Nation recently honored Daisy Blackbird at her 105th birthday party.  Blackbird, who is among the tribe's original enrollees, was born in Tupelo, Indian Territory, in 1903.  A former teacher, Daisy is also the widow of former Oklahoma Chief Justice W.H. Blackbird who served the state from 1952-1971.  Chickasaw Nation Governor Bill Anoatubby was among the guests at Blackbird's party.

Wapato's Elyse Umemoto is runner-up in Miss America competition
Washington: 23-year-old Elyse Umemoto from Wapato, WA was named second runner-up in the 2008 Miss America Pageant.  Elyse, who is the reigning Miss Washington, is an enrolled Yakima but jokingly refers to herself as a "quad:" one-quarter Yakima as well as German, Hispanic and Japanese. Had she won the crown, Elyse would have been the first Native American to become Miss America. And the first Hispanic. And the second Asian.  The new 2008 Miss America is Kirsten Haglund from Michigan.

Marietta man leads tribe, works to revive its culture
Delaware Nation, Oklahoma:  Kerry Holton, 42, moved to Oklahoma from Marietta, Georgia, to become president of the Delaware Nation.  Holton now leads the tribe of about 1,400 people. He can spot his members by the tribe's emblem a turtle on their license plates. "I have the same problems that President Bush does," Holton said. "I do the same things: try to provide economic development, employment, social programs for children and the elderly."  He's also trying to right old wrongs. Holton is trying to make the federal government honor a 1778 treaty.  It promised Delaware Chief White Eyes that if his people helped Americans in the Revolutionary War, the tribe would establish a 14th state and have a seat in Congress.  "They were hoping no one would ever come back and try to make the claim," Holton said. "Here I am." The Delawares, also known as the Lenape, are considered the original tribe in the Northeast. When Holton meets with tribes such as the Iroquois and Powhatans, they don't call him "Chief." They call him "Grandfather." "It's kind of weird, but it's a sign of respect," Holton said.


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