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 4

Montana:  An unidentified man is perched on a platform over the Horse Butte buffalo trap has made it impossible for Department of Livestock agents to capture buffalo.   A large banner hanging from the platform reads, "I called, I wrote, and no response...This is my response."   The protest is in reference to local and national call in days protesting the slaughter of Yellowstone Buffalo, the last wild and genetically pure buffalo herd left in the United States. "Thousands of wild bison advocates from around the world have made calls, written letters, and attended public meetings to strongly speak out against the slaughter of America's last wild bison," said Stephany Shea from the Buffalo Field Campaign.   "Unfortunately we have been completely ignored, put on hold, or otherwise disregarded by these decision-makers, revealing that our public officials are not interested in the public interest.  Sometimes people, after exhausting every other means of public participation, have no other choice than to take direct action to stop the slaughter and have their voices heard." According to a statement made by the man occupying the platform, "Until bison management in Montana is guided by sound science and fiscal responsibility with input from every interested party, I choose this stance.  In the past few years I have tried every conceivable method of redress.  I have written, I have called, and I have gotten absolutely no response.  I have nothing left but to put my own life and freedom on the line.  The bison are that important."
[Editors note: Shortly after this article was written, Nathan Drake, 26, was forcibly removed and arrested  by state and federal agents.  He was charged with three misdemeanors: obstruction, trespassing, and resisting arrest.  He was released on $5,000 bail, reportedly the highest yet for bison-related direct action protest.

See photos of the protester:
Visit Buffalo Field Campaign:

South Daytona may expand Earth Day Festival
Florida: South Daytona's City Council is considering turning their popular Earth Day Festival into a Native American Earth Day Festival, complete with craft booths, food vendors and activities for children.  The festival would be held in conjunction with the Florida Muskogee Creek Tribe and Deep Forest Native American Programs. The event is scheduled for April 19-20.

Potentially Habitable Planets Are Common, Study Says
Massachusetts: A new study suggests more than 50% of our galaxy's sunlike stars might have terrestrial planets able to sustain life.  "Our observations suggest that between 20 percent and 60 percent of sunlike stars form rocky planets like our solar system's," said Michael Meyer, an astronomer at the University of Arizona.  Scientists also speculate that our solar system holds hundreds, or even thousands, of dwarf planets hidden from view by the Kuiper belt. The study will appear in an upcoming edition of the Astrophysical Journal Letters.
Interactive map of the solar system.

The U.S. World Heritage Tentative List 2008
World Heritage Sites are designated under the World Heritage Convention. This international preserves natural and cultural   heritage sites of global significance  here are 851 sites in 140 of the 184 signatory countries. Currently there are 20 World Heritage Sites in the United States already listed.  The United States has 10 years formally nominate the locations below to the World Heritage Site list. These most recent selections sites may be considered over the next 10 years for a formal nomination by the U.S.
These Cultural Sites include:
 1. Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks, Ohio (1,000-2,000 years ago):  Nine archeological sites containing more than 40 monumental ceremonial earthworks in precise geometric shapes reflect the Native American Ohio Hopewell culture. They are located within three archeological preserves: Fort Ancient State Memorial; Newark Earthworks State Historic Site;   the five sites in Hopewell Culture National Historical Park. These are among the largest non-military earthworks in the world and contain large deposits of finely crafted artifacts. The Great Pyramid of Cheops would have fit inside the Wright Earthworks, four Colosseums of Rome would fit in the Octagon, and Stonehenge would fit into a small auxiliary earthwork circles adjacent to the Octagon.
2. Poverty Point National Monument and State Historic Site, Louisiana (1700 - 1100 years ago):  This vast complex of earthen structures is on a bayou near the Mississippi River. The complex includes 3-4 earthen mounds, 6 huge concentric earthen ridges, a large flat plaza, and several borrow areas. In its prime, Poverty Point was the largest and most elaborate settlement in North America. It was built by a society of hunter-gatherers, not a settled agricultural people. It may be the largest hunter-­gatherer settlement that has ever existed, and its design was absolutely unique.
3. Serpent Mound, Ohio 1120 AD:  Serpent Mound is the world's largest documented surviving example of a prehistoric effigy mound. This earthen embankment more than 1200 feet long. It includes an oval feature at one end which could be the serpent's eye, part of its head, or an egg  grasped in its open jaws. It's believed Serpent Mound was built by the Fort Ancient Culture. It embodies spiritual principles of an ancient American Indian culture and is astronomically aligned to mark the seasons' passage.

1.  Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument, Hawaii:  This 1,200-mile-long string of islands and waters is the longest, clearest, and oldest example of island formation and atoll evolution in the world. Native Hawaiians reached these islands at least 1,000 years before any other people and planted settlements on some of them. The islands retain great cultural and spiritual significance to Native Hawaiians.  One of them, Midway, became the focus of battle in June 1942--the turning point of World War II in the Pacific.

1. Fagatele Bay National Marine Sanctuary, American Samoa
2. Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, Georgia
3. Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona
4. White Sands National Monument, New Mexico

Recycling in N.W.T. reaches national heights
Northwest Territory: In the past two years, NWT residents have recycled:
50,000,00 beverage containers (82% of all beverage cans and bottles sold);
387 774,000 pounds of aluminum;
578,000 pounds of plastic;
Increased recycling depots from
8 centers to 24 centers (a 300% increase);
Serviced with a local contractor to collect containers from those without depot access.

Squirrels (and Chipmunks) Are the Real Threat
Wisconsin: Eau Claire faces a new war on terror against a different kind of enemy.  At Forest Hill Cemetery, dozens of American flags on veterans' tombs have turned up missing.  At first, people blamed local youth.  Then groundskeeper Dave Ender discovered the true root of the problem. "I was mowing, looked up out into the distance, and something caught my eye," said Ender.  He drove his riding lawnmower to a nearby street to get a closer look. "Low and behold, I found the missing flags."  In a nearby tree, ripped into small pieces, the flags were serving as insulation for a squirrel's nest. No one has ever seen a squirrel with a flag in its mouth.  Investigators believe they are committing the terrible acts of thievery by night.

Bringing the songs home
Alaska:  Laura Boulton spent much of her career traveling across the world recording traditional music.  In 1946, she visited Barrow. There she recorded about 120 traditional drum-dance songs and oral narratives including seven male performers and four children's songs.  Later, she sold the song rights to others. Today, Chie Sakakibara and Aaron Fox are seeking to repatriate  both the recordings and the ownership rights to the performers and their Native American communities. The University of Oklahoma has provided funds for a project to locate the descendents of those who performed in Boulton's recordings.
Hear Sound Samples:

Mirabal Wins Grammy
On February 10, 2008, Robert Mirabal won his second GRAMMY Award the Best Native American Album of the Year. “Johnny Whitehorse Totemic Flute Chants,”  was produced by  Mirabal and Larry Mitchell.  In 2006, Robert won a Grammy for his work on "Sacred Ground,"  Both are distributed by Silver Wave Records.

Global slate of volunteers on board for Arctic Games
Northwest Territory:  The Arctic Winter Games in Yellowknife will have a full slate of volunteers -- almost 2,500 people including a few from Brazil, Malaysia, and Nigeria.  They will join thousands of athletes, coaches, sports officials, performers and visitors from circumpolar regions in Yellowknife from  March 9-15.  "Some of these people, it sounds as though they've got a lot of experience volunteering for international sporting competitions," said volunteer co-chair Shena Shaw, "so that's good because it's nice to have a bit of international flavour."
[inuitindianart] Digest Number 1988 

2008 Arctic Winter Games finds money to go ahead
Northwest Territories:  The Arctic Winter Games has raised almost 8,000,000 in donated and government funds to operate the week-long international event. Thousands of athletes from countries and regions within the circumpolar North will converge upon Yellowknife for the bi-yearly events. The 2008 games will be held March 9-15 in Yellowknife.

 2006 Arctic Winter Games Results:
Teams Team 1st Place Team 2nd  Place Team 3rd Place Team Total
Alaska 80  64  47  191
Alberta North 42 45 41 128
Northwest Territories 28 41  36 105
Yukon 17 20  44 81
Nunavut 13 24 38 75
Yamal-Nenets 22 21  7 50
Greenland 20 17 11 48
Nunavik Québec 13 6 8 27
Saami 5 6 10  21

University to Retire Indian Mascot
Arkansas: Arkansas State University's "Indian" nickname, mascot, and Indian family were officially retired in a halftime ceremony at the ASU/Louisiana-Monroe men's basketball game. The current "Indians" name for ASU's 16 NCAA Division I sports teams will remain in effect until the conclusion of the 2008 school year.

Gala Fundraiser to Launch Catherine Bauknight's Documentary
Hawaii: "'Hawaii - A Voice for Sovereignty," is a 10-minute film about the struggle of indigenous Hawaiians to preserve their ancestral islands. The film shares many issues and problems created by  the takeover by the United States in 1893. In rare and moving interviews, native Hawaiians reveal their fears about threats to their endangered culture and ancient, sustainable way of life.  Producer Catherine Bauknight hopes to bring this film to the world stage by theatrical release, screenings at international film festivals, and television programming.
H-Amindian Listserve

Writing is a dance
California: Larissa FastHorse is gaining notice as a  playwright.  Her first play, "Average Family," is about an urban Native American family and a rural white family on a TV reality show set in the 1840s. "Average Family"  has been produced by the Children's Theatre Company of Minneapolis, the country's leading theater for youth.  "We're already talking to her about the next piece," says Peter Brosius, CTC's artistic director.  "There's a freedom, almost a filmic sense, and a freshness of sensibility" to her work.  FastHorse's second play, "Teaching Disco Square Dancing to Our Elders: A Class Presentation," opened at the Autry National Center.  FastHorse not only wrote Teaching Disco, but she also choreographed it.  Her newest project in is the works -- a full-length musical commissioned by the Los Angeles History Project.",0,1355963.story

Afro-indigenous Tradition of Maracatu Becomes Increasingly Popular in Brazil's Carnival
Brazil: Nearly every region of Brazil has its own carnival traditions including the celebrated festival in Rio De Janero. But many revelers are turned off by Rio's glitz  and are seeking out more homegrown celebrations.  One tradition benefiting from the attention is maracatu, a  secret, semi-religious ritual born among former slaves whose roots include African and indigenous cultures. Maracatu music consists of a capella verses answered by trumpets, trombones and percussion instruments. Dancers fancy themselves Indian warriors. Anthropologists say the origins of the ritual are mysterious. Maracatu was disappearing in the 1980s, in 1989, only 11 groups remained in Pernambuco. But then an association was formed that promotes the tradition, and authorities cracked down on maracatu groups who attacked rivals to steal their costumes.  Maracatu was also boosted by "Maracatu Atomico," a huge video hit on MTV Brazil.  Artists Chico Science and Nacao Zumbi, who dressed as maracatu lance-bearers in their video, helped restore Brazilian music's reliance on traditional rhythms rather than American pop.

Volume 3 

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