Native Village Youth and Education News

"Could I once see the day that whites and reds were all friends, it would be like getting new eye-sight."
   Piamingo, Chickasaw

May 1, 2008   Issue 188   Volume 3

 Most racist' article attacked Native peoples in Paraguay
Paraguay:  The Most Racist Article of the Year Award for 2007 goes to a La Nacion of Asuncion, Paraguayan newspaper.  La Nacion that published an editorial describing Native people as ''a cancer'' and as having ''filthy habits.'' Survival International, which sponsors the award, gave the winner a certificate inscribed with a quotation by Luther Standing Bear, Lakota:. ''All the years of calling the Indian a savage has never made him one.''  SI's award is a new feature of its ''Stamp it Out'' campaign, which aims to challenge racist depictions of tribal people in the world's media.

Native American Tribal Leader Not Allowed to Testify in Committee
Oklahoma:  Chad Smith, Principle Chief of the Cherokee Nation, was barred from speaking to a State House committee about an English-only language policy included in  the Senate Bill 163.  “The bill, unfortunately, is more about politics than policy,” said Representative Jerry McPeak.  "... The author claims that he is not aiming this bill at Native Americans. Then who is his focus?"  Committees are the only part of the Legislative process that permit public testimony. Yet, while Chief Smith was denied a voice in committee, foreign Iraqi nationals were pr emitted to speak on the House floor,.   "I find it absolutely outrageous that Principal Chief Smith was not allowed to speak in a committee," McPeak said.  Representative Mike Brown agrees. “This is reprehensible,” he said.  “ To not allow the leader of one of the great native nations who has contributed so much to our state is inexcusable. Our Native American tribes are some of the biggest and most philanthropic entities in Oklahoma.  ... to disrespect the leader of a nation like that is unacceptable."

NCAI President Joe Garcia Statement on Racist Broadcasts
Washington, D.C.: Recently, radio hosts on two radio programs, "Bob and the Showgram" (Raleigh N.C.) and "Woody and Wilcox" (Anchorage, Alaska) made racist and insensitive remarks about Native Americans. Joe A. Garcia, president of the NCAI (National Congress of American Indians) issued a statement in response to the slurs. He said the NCAI condemned the remarks, and that these ignorant and hurtful comments have no place on America's airwaves.  While some defend the broadcast as humorous, Garcia said he "had yet to hear from an American Indian or Alaska Native who sees humor in these insulting and derogatory remarks".  Garcia said such negative stereotypes cannot be tolerated and  praised sponsors who pulled their support from these programs. He also encouraged radio stations to work with tribal members to repair the damage these remarks caused.
NAMAPAHH First People's Radio

Florida:  An American Indian Nations gathering will be held at Disney World from August 20-23.  Some 3,000 Indians will celebrate this event in meetings and conferences, then later with dance, song, food, and sports. The event will include prominent leaders and native celebrities from indigenous nations through the Americas.  Also attending are major U.S.  firm such as Lockheed Martin, Wal-Mart, IBM, Marathon Oil, UPS and BNSF. And, in what may be a first for Indian Country, the presidential candidates will speak about Indigenous issues. “Given the many challenges facing the American Indian and Alaskan Native today – unemployment, poverty, education, housing, contaminated lands – it will be important for our next president to clearly speak to an agenda which will address these needs,” said Carroll Cocchia from Houston's Native American Chamber of Commerce.  All of the Disney World profits will go to education and native achievement centers.
Inquiries can be addressed by email to Carroll Cocchia:
Houston's Native American Chamber of Commerce

Tribal court rules against hog farm
Yankton Sioux Reservation, S.D.: A Yankton Sioux Tribal judge has issued a ruling which prohibits workers from traveling across the tribe's lands to reach Longview Hog Farm the construction site. While the farm is on deeded land, it's surrounded by the Yankton Sioux reservation. "To be able to get to their deeded land, they would have to cross the Yankton Sioux Reservation to get there ..." Judge Abourezk said,   " they're now prohibited from being on reservation land, and that can be enforced by tribal law enforcement." Patrice Kunesh, an assistant law professor at USD, says the situation may be similar to other American Indian jurisdiction cases.  While tribes can't regulate non-Indians on non-Indian land, there are important exceptions.  "As a matter of federal Indian law, the power of a tribe to exclude people from its reservation has been absolutely upheld at all levels of the federal courts. That's one of the inherent powers of tribes that has never been taken away, the power to exclude."

Arrest reported at hog farm protest  
Yankton Sioux Reservation, S.D.: Gov. Mike Rounds says seven people were detained and one arrest made during a protest at the Longview Hog Farm site near Wagner. ''We had one individual who was observed standing behind a vehicle that was not moving, falling down and then apparently claiming that the vehicle had hit them - although the vehicle, according to our officer on duty ... did not move,'' Rounds said. Yankton Sioux tribal members with environmental concerns over the proposed farm  were trying to block machinery digging an access road. John Stone, tribal vice president, said the Highway Patrol and county authorities escalated things at the protest.  ''When the Highway Patrol sent 30 officers in, it escalated into something we never intended ... It's just absurd to think there would not be any impact to our lives, our health or our property. Even the odor would be a concern to people driving by, Stone said.

Suit filed in federal court to stop work on hog farm

Yankton Sioux Reservation, S.D.: A group from the Yankton Sioux Tribe has filed a lawsuit asking a federal judge to stop construction of a large-scale hog farm west of Wagner. Those suing are parents of children attending the tribe's Head Start School only two miles away. The lawsuit which says“Our children are protected under Federal Environmental Laws,” lleges that Longview Farms:
Has not met federal environmental requirements;
Has failed to follow federal law requiring a search for historic and cultural resources on the construction site;
Has violated federal regulations dealing with children’s health;
Owned by 11 Iowa farmers, Longview Hog Farm could average 3,350 sows  producing 70,000 pigs a year.  While the farm is located on private land, it's surrounded by tribal lands. The Yankton Tribal Court issued a ruling to halt developers from traveling across Yankton reservation land to get to Longview. However, construction continues.  More than a dozen protesters were arrested when they tried to stop a truck headed to the farm.  Tribal members are calling for supporters to come to the scene. The American Indian Movement and Native leaders are joining in support.

Video recommended by supporters:
Updates and videos of Hog Farm Standoff:
For more information and to help, contact:
Oitancan Mani (Walking Leader) Zephier
PO BOX 192
Marty, South Dakota 57361
(605)454-8355 and Oi Zephier

Katrina, Rita and the Houma: A Nation in Recovery
Louisiana: Louisiana may be many things, but it's also Indian Country, land of the mostly forgotten. This includes the United Houma Nation who live in the state's southeastern parishes [counties].  With 17,000 enrolled members, the Houma are the largest tribe in Louisiana. When Hurricanes Katrina and Rita hit the state in 2005, nearly 8000 Houma became displaced when their homes were destroyed or flooded. "Our people suffered a lot, and many people don't know that," said Brenda Dardar Robichaux, principal chief of the Houma Nation. "We're still recovering, and it's been a slow process."  While most attention is focused on New Orleans, the Houma Nation's suffering is also severe and dramatic --just not as visible.  For generations, the Houma have lived along Louisiana's southern marshes, bayous and the open sea areas. They worked land and water, traveled  in pirogues, and used palmetto leaves and cypress plants for their crafts and weapons and homes. "We were here before the French. We were here before the Spanish, and we were here before the Americans," said Michael Dardar, Houma Nation vice principal chief.  "We'll be here after they're all gone." Other coastal tribes suffered in the hurricanes, including the Bayou Lafourche, Grand Caillou/Dulac and Isle de Jean Charles bands of the Biloxi-Chitimacha as well as the Pointe-au-Chien tribe.

Landmark Report Highlights Urban Indian America
Washington: The National Urban Indian Family Coalition has released an important publication “Urban Indian America; the Status of American Indian &Alaskan Native Families Today”. The report is the first in a series of projects about urban American Indian and Alaskan Native people today.  Over 60% of Native people in America reside off reservation, yet they remain a nearly invisible population in city life. Among the findings:

In 2000, 4,300,000  people identified themselves as American Indian and Alaska Native alone or in combination;
In 1970, 38% of Natives lived off the reservation.  Now, 61% live in large urban centers;
The poverty rate for urban Indians is 20.3% compared to 12.7% for the general urban population;
The unemployment rate for urban Indians is 1.7 times higher than non-Indians in urban areas;
Urban Indians are 1.7 times less likely to have a high school diploma than non-Indians;
The number of Native people residing in cities is much lower than other populations;
The earliest urban Indian centers opened in the 1940s and  1950s. They included  Phoenix Indian Center, Chicago Indian Center, and The Intertribal Friendship House in Oakland;

Tribal leaders and Native people say urban Indian organizations serve as a powerful “tribal embassy.”  Joseph Podlasek, Ojibwe, is President of the NUIFC. He says  “We are not a new or different type of people, we are one and our people have always lived across mother earth to live from her and protect her. This is the beginning of that story."
Read the report:

Study Says Humans Neared Extinction
Washington, D.C.: A genetic study says human beings may have faced extinction 70,000 years ago after drought reduced the human race to small isolated groups in Africa.  At the time, only 2,000 humans are believed to have survived.  This and other genetic studies suggest:
Modern humans can be traced to a single "mitochondrial Eve," who lived in Africa about 200,000 years ago;
The world migrations of humans from Africa began about 60,000 years ago. Little is known about earlier humans;
The Khoi and San people in South Africa may have diverged from other people between 90,000 - 150,000 years ago;
East Africa experienced severe droughts between 90,000 - 135,000 years ago. This may have contributed to population changes;
Early humans lived in small and separate populations.  During  the Stone Age they came together, increased in numbers, and spread to other areas;
Today more than 6,600,000,000 people inhabit the globe.
"This study illustrates the extraordinary power of genetics to reveal insights into some of the key events in our species' history," said Spencer Wells from the National Geographic Society. "Tiny bands of early humans, forced apart by harsh environmental conditions, coming back from the brink to reunite and populate the world. Truly an epic drama, written in our DNA."

Fighting cancer with Native foods
Alaska: Dr. Nora Nagaruk is an Inuit Eskimo who, at age 29, was diagnosed with acute leukemia in 2004.  The next day she was on a plane to Seattle for treatment and eventually, a stem-cell transplant. With her weak immune system, the foods she ate and how they were handled became critical to her survival.  "Lots of restrictions," said Nora, who was diagnosed during her residency as a family practice physician.  "The rule was, if it wasn't clear or understood, don't risk it. So I had to avoid a lot of the stuff I like to eat -- dried fish, seal and berries." That's why Nagaruk, as both a cancer survivor and a physician, is grateful for the new "Traditional Food Guide for Alaska Native Cancer Survivors." The guide proves what subsistence eaters have known all along:  wild foods are rich in nutrients. Christine DeCourtney of the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium spearheaded The Traditional Food Guide. The book presents subsistence foods in a simple format and weaves in stories from Native people about why these foods matter.  The colorful 142-page guide shares the nutrition in foods such as musk ox, muskrat, wild celery, fiddlehead ferns, fireweed and other subsistence plants. It also explains serving sizes and includes recipes. 
Excerpts from "Traditional Food Guide for Alaska Native Cancer Survivors."

Moose and Caribou Parts
Eat parts of the body and head.
The lower lips are taboo for all except old men.

(Bird eggs (Gull, Tern, Goose, Duck, Murre)  
Native Names: Kayangu (Yup'ik), K'eghaya (Dena'ina), K'wat' (Tlingit)
To test if an egg is good to eat,  put it in water. If it sinks, it is good to eat. If it floats, it is about to hatch and is not good to eat.
Bird eggs can be prepared and used like chicken eggs.
Gull and goose eggs are great in cake mixes.
Use one gull egg to replace one chicken egg.
Boil eggs in water for at least 20 minutes for hard-boiled eggs.

Fireweed, (Wild Asparagus)
Native Names: Chiilqaaq (Yup'ik), Lool (Tlingit), Cillqaqtaq (Alutiiq), Pamiqtaq (Inupiaq) Chikayaasix (Unangam Tunuu-Atka dialect)
Traditionally, all parts of this plant have been eaten in a variety of different ways.
Fireweed is ready to pick when the stem is violet colored, the leaves are dark purple, and they are 2 to 4 inches tall.
The best time to pick fireweed is in the spring.
Fireweed flowers and leaves are used in salads, soups, casseroles, teas, jams and honey.
Stems and shoots can be boiled, steamed and covered with a cream sauce like asparagus.
Fireweed shoots can be bundled and hung to dry for a few days.
Wilted fireweed can be preserved in seal oil.

Native Names: Keviq (Yup'ik), Qutsaghil'iy (Dena'ina), X'oon (Tlingit) Isux (Unangam Tunuu)
Seal is a delicacy among Alaska Natives.
Seal is the fattest and renders the most oil in early spring.
Seal meat can be cooked in any regular meat dish, stewed, fried or eaten plain.
Almost every part of the seal is eaten.

Mouse Food (Roots)
Native Names: Anlleq (Yup'ik), Nivi (Inupiaq)
Mouse caches are an easy way to gather roots such as Eskimo potato, or masru. Mouse caches are found in soft spots in the tundra. Only the larger roots are taken; the smaller pieces are left for the mouse to survive.
The root must  first cleaned by removing any non-edible roots.
They can be eaten raw, boiled, baked, or fried.

The TRADITIONAL FOOD GUIDE is distributed  free to Alaska Native cancer patients and is also available for purchase.


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