Native Village Youth and Education News


"Today we are fighting a great battle against the popular culture that surrounds [our children]. It's a battle for their hearts and minds. We need to work to inspire them to embrace their own history and culture. Without them, we Indians have no future."  
Floyd Crow Westerman, Sisseton-Wahpeton Dakota

March 1, 2008   Issue 185   Volume 3

Australia apology to Aborigines

Australia: Australia's government has formally apologized to the indigenous Aboriginal population for past wrongs done to them. Prime Minister Kevin Rudd apologized in parliament for laws and policies that "inflicted profound grief, suffering and loss". He singled out the "Stolen Generations" of thousands of children forcibly removed from their families. Canada's apology was beamed live around the country on TV. It was met with cheers, although many say the Aboriginals should have also been compensated for their suffering. Prime Minister Rudd also outlined a new agenda on Aboriginal issues: to close the 17-year life expectancy gap between Aborigines and other Australians within a generation, and to cut Aboriginal infant mortality rates in half within ten years. Australia's 460,000 Aborigines make up 2% of the population and are the country's most disadvantaged group.
Read Full Text: Australia Government Apology to Aborigines
Watch Parliament statement:

Hawaiian monarchy lands may not be sold
Hawaii: Native Hawaiians are cheering a Supreme Court decision preventing the state from selling large parcels of state land that once belonged to the Hawaiian monarchy. It affects 1,400,000 acres of lands taken after the 1893 U.S. overthrow of the Hawaiian kingdom. "These lands are the inheritance from our ancestors," said Charles Kaaiai, one of the plaintiffs. "I feel like I have a personal relationship not only with the lands, but with the government that preceded this one."
H-Amindian Listserve

Native Americans Testify on Abenaki Recognition Bill
Vermont: State lawmakers are considering an amendment giving lawmakers final say about recognizing state tribes. However, Abenaki leaders say American Indians should be the ones who decide whether Vermont clans, tribes and bands are officially recognized, not the Vermont Legislature. Several Abenakis recently addressed a state panel voicing these concerns. They also spoke about a 2006 law which recognizes Abanakis as a minority population, but not a tribe. They testified about how the Legislature should address the law, which didn't give Abenakis the authority to label their crafts as Indian made, as sponsors apparently intended.
H-Amindian Listserve

Court hearing regarding release of withheld FBI documents scheduled for March 11
Leonard Peltier v. Federal Bureau of Investigation
Case No. 07-1745MN
U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit
University of St. Thomas School of Law
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Minnesota: The FBI has refused to release nearly 11,000 pages of documents related to the case of Leonard Peltier. The FBI says releasing them would them violates informant confidentiality and endangers U.S. national security. Last June, attorneys for Leonard Peltier filed an appellate brief asking the Court to review and release these documents. The brief argues that:
*  The FBI's promises to its informants expired and were waived, anyway, when informants testified publicly.;
*  The unprecedented public interest in Leonard Peltier's case warrants careful review of the withheld documents;
*  The FBI's misconduct and misrepresentation in this case shows bad faith that require serious study.
*  It has been proven that the FBI knowingly withheld and manufactured evidence, forced witnesses, and shares responsibility for the firefight that led to the deaths of two FBI agents at Wounded Knee in 1974.
"The government again demonstrates that it does not now, nor has it ever, taken seriously any of the courts that have admonished it about the treatment of Leonard Peltier," said Peltier's attorneys.


Pee Dee Indian Nation of Beaver Creek opens new tribal office in Neeses
South Carolina: The new tribal headquarters of the Pee Dee Indian Nation of Beaver Creek has opened in Neeses. The new office features Pee Dee Indian pottery and other items used in the everyday lives of past tribal members. "We do still have a lot of struggles ahead of us here in South Carolina," said one member, "because there are problems that are unique to Native Americans. We're trying everything we can to get the same opportunities for our children that a lot of other people have. Our children do not get the quality of education they need to survive -- to learn about their heritage -- or to work out of the poverty they've been driven into. We did not even receive our religious freedom in South Carolina until 1978." The Pee Dee Indian Nation of Beaver Creek received official state recognition as a Native American tribe in 2007.

 Sisters in Switzerland to dispute U.S. report
Michigan: Twin sisters Fay Givens and Kay Givens-McGowan recently flew to Switzerland to address the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. The two women represented the National Indian Youth Council. The sisters, who are part Cherokee and Choctaw, disputed a U.S. report that prejudice in the United States is declining. "Let's start with equality. Let's start with when you have power and prejudice combined, it often results in racism," McGowan said. "We can talk about equality, but we have to make it real. It's time to end the lip service." The UN session in Geneva included representatives from Fiji, Italy, the United States, Belgium, Nicaragua, Moldova and the Dominican Republic. Each presented reports about their country's anti discrimination initiatives

 Centuries-Old Map Baffles Researchers
WASHINGTON DC: The only surviving copy of the 1507 Waldseemuller map is now on permanent display at the Library of Congress. The map -- the first to use the name America -- remains a puzzle for researchers. Why did Waldseemuller name the territory America, then change his mind later? How was he able to draw South America so accurately? Why did he put a huge ocean west of America years before European explorers discovered the Pacific? "That's the kind of conundrum, the question, that is still out there," said John Hebert from the Library of Congress. The map was created by the German monk, Martin Waldseemuller. 13 years after Europeans found the New World, a group of scholars gathered at a French monastery to create a new map of the world. The result, published two years later, is stunningly accurate and surprisingly modern. Given what Europeans are believed to have known about the world at the time, it should not have been possible for the mapmakers to produce it. The Waldseemuller map is a huge: 6-foot by 9.5-foot. It was purchased in 2003 from German Prince Johannes Waldburg-Wolfegg for $10,000,000. graphic

 Rez Got Game aims to break down communication barriers
Flathead Indian Reservation, Montana: One day when Leslie Hamerberg's 5-year old foster child misbehaved, she took away his toys. The next thing she knew, he had drawn a new game on paper to occupy his time. The game implied that he if made good choices, he'd have a safe place to live - and his toys returned - as a positive result. "When I realized the affects of a child actually having to live out their consequences, the idea for Rez Got Game was born," Hamerburg said. Rez Got Game is manufactured on the Flathead Indian Reservation and can be played by anyone, from young kids to adults. Each player draws a card, then are asked to think, feel and act out potential real life scenarios. Many say Rez Got Game helped them open up and "come to grips" with some of their own choices. They also gain empathy for others. Rez Got Game has gotten positive feedback from mental health experts, teen church groups, treatment facilities, and organizations such as the Boys and Girls Club. The game can also be adapted to address concerns of those from other cultures, regions, or for those in urban areas. Hamerberg hopes that by 2009, Rez Got Game will appear at family-friendly department stores like Wal-Mart.
Learn more:

[NativeNews] Digest Number 3563

Native Lights Native American–Themed Card Set
Washington: New Bella Sara Native Lights trading card set, virtual horses and online activities are available for girls ages 5 to 12. The set "represents an opportunity to introduce kids to Native American culture through images and stories, and to provide information about our current communities in the form of Web-based features,” said Tom Grayson Colonnese from the American Indian Studies department at the University of Washington. “Bella Sara Native Lights represents Native American stories, images and traditions in a responsible and sensitive manner.” The new horses include Osage, Chumash, Cheyenne and Navajo, and their animal companions such as butterfly, dolphin, eagle and snake friends. The new card set also brings new positive messages such as:
“Be free to change your mind.” Osage
“Relax and ride the waves of laughter that spread joy in the world.” Chumash
“See the beauty in both the shadow and the light.” Cheyenne
Each horse in Native Lights can be activated online and has a message designed to support healthy self-reflection among girls. BellaSara is distributed by Hidden City Games, Inc.
Check out BellaSara:

Blending French and Native American Cuisine
Arizona: A new course created at Classing Cooking in Scottsdale will blend Native American foods with traditional French cooking techniques.  Chef and owner Pascal Dionotwill be working with chef Nephi Craig, who creates dishes with ingredients from his Navajo and Apache cultures.   Craig, who founded the Native American Chef’s Association, wants to see more Native Americans go into this profession.  "I was absolutely fascinated about what he wants to do,” Dionot said.  Both men hope the new program will encourage more tribal members to follow in their foot steps.
H-Amindian Listserve

Cooking show features Native foods, culture
Flathead Indian Reservation, Montana: Jody Perez spent a week at Traditional Living Challenge Camp. The food at the camp was delicious and plentiful, and Perez was sure she gained weight. But when she returned home and stepped on the scales, she had lost 6 pounds. “I really thought I was overeating all week,” Perez says. "There were buffalo and elk steaks, salmon, dried meat, vegetables, fruit - even camas that participants harvested, peeled, dried and baked in the ground with black tree moss wrapped in skunk cabbage leaves." Perez was sold on eating traditional foods and lost more weight -- 25 pounds in all. In the meantime, she stumbled on a new mini-career: along with Genevieve Kings, Perez now has a cooking show, "Rez Chef," aired on KSKC-TV, the public television station at Salish Kootenai College. Rez Chef weaves cooking and healthier lifestyles with Indian tradition and culture. Anita Dupuis, a SKC health director, came up with the idea and grant money for the show. “Historically, Native American genetics weren't made to properly digest and metabolize non-Native cuisine, i.e., sugar, flour and trans fat,” she said. “In order to be successful, an intervention in native communities must speak to who we are, must be based in and founded upon the traditional wisdom of our ancestors, and it must be learned by experience.”
Among the show's previous and upcoming segments:
Classic Shepherd's Pie with deer meat;
Pend d'Oreille tribal elder Stephen Small Salmon prepared an elk and vegetable stir fry;
Lance Hawkins from SKC created “the ultimate bachelor food,” crock pot chili;
Cultural committee member Vernon Finley and his children made family-fun tacos;
CharKoosta News editor Kim Swaney made braised chicken with broccoli, sun-dried tomatoes and couscous.

Mayo doctor honored by Indian group
Minnesota: Dr. Judith Salmon Kaur, a Choctaw-Cherokee Indian, has been named 2007 Physician of the Year by the Association of American Indian Physicians. Karen is one of two Native American medical oncologists in the country. Kaur has been widely praised for her efforts to bring cancer prevention and care to natives peoples across the country. She directs a program called Native Web that trains nurses to perform breast and cervical cancer screenings. "I grew up on the reservation, and feeling out of place off the reservation is something almost everybody experiences," Kaur said. "Knowing a group of people in similar situations and seeing what they have done is inspiring." Dr. Patricia Clark, a first-year Mayo resident, said Dr. Kaur reaches out to students. "She's kind, but strong, very candid and honest. She has a very calming air about her, and she has an amazing talent of making people feel at ease," Clark said. ""I talk with her patients and they absolutely adore her." Dr. Kaur also oversaw the signing of a "Memorandum of Understanding" among the Indian Health Service, HHS and the Mayo Clinic. The joint effort offers improved health care, research and education among American Indian communities.

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