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 4

Half of Yellowstone Bison Herd Dies

Yellowstone National Park, Montana: More than half of Yellowstone National Park's bison herd have died since last fall, forcing the government to end its annual slaughter program.  More than 700 bison starved or otherwise died on the mountainsides during the very harsh winter. Another 1,600+ were shot by hunters or slaughtered when they wandered out of the park. "Bison are bison," said Mike Mease of the Buffalo Field Campaign. "Bison are nomadic animals.  Bison are looking for food.  Food is difficult and scarce to come by at the end of the winter.  They're leaving the interior of the park [and going] to lower places, in part, to look for food."   Government officials say the slaughter prevents a disease called brucellosis from spreading between bison and cattle. It can cause miscarriages, infertility and reduced milk production.  But critics call this an overreaction -- there are no documented cases of brucellosis passing from bison to cattle. "I mean, it's hype, it's a hysteria," Mease said.  "And it's not a fatal disease." Yellowstone is the only place in the lower 48 states with a bison herd whose ancestors roamed the same area in prehistoric times. Their herds once numbered in the millions; now only a few thousand remain. "There has never been a slaughter like this of the bison since the 1800s in this country, and it's disgusting," Mease said, referring to this year's kill.  He said  Montana cattle ranchers don't want bison competing with theircattle for grass, so they want the national forests and public lands all for themselves. "There's limited tolerance for bison outside the boundaries of Yellowstone National Park," Mease said.
Buffalo Spirit painting: George Flett, Spokane

Salmon Crisis on the West Coast
West Coast: Federal fisheries managers have closed the commercial salmon fishing season off the California and Oregon coast. They also severely restricted the catch off Washington State. The decision by the Pacific Fishery Management Council comes on the heels of a sudden and unprecedented decline in the numbers of Chinook salmon returning to California’s Sacramento River. Historically, this was  one of the largest wild salmon fisheries in the region.In 2002, 750,000 adult Chinook salmon came back to the river to spawn. Just six years later, in 2008, 54,000 fish returned. The devastation is blamed on several factors:  agricultural irrigation, habitat alterations, dam operations, construction and pollution. “For the entire West Coast, this is the worst in history,” Don McIsaac from the Pacific Fishery Management Council.

Who Knew? Octopuses Flirt, Hold Hands
California: The love lives of octopuses are far more complex than anyone thought.  Male octopuses usually search for large females. Then the creatures flirt, hold hands and usually mate several times a day. After the females lay tens of thousands in eggs inside a den, the male guards them by warding off other octopuses. He even strangles some who might get too close.  "If you're going to spend time guarding a female, you want to go for the biggest female you can find because she's going to produce more eggs," biology professor Roy Caldwell said. "It's basically an investment strategy."  Both parents die within a few months of mating, leaving the newborns to fend for themselves. Caldwell believes the behavior is common to many of the nearly 300 species of octopus. The research was conducted by scientists at the University of California, Berkeley.
Octi graphic: Kitty Roach

Top 10: Extreme Weather Destinations (Land Based)

Here are 10 of the most extreme places on the globe.

10 Wettest: Lloró, Columbia:
Lloró, near Columbia’s Pacific coast, claims an average yearly rain total of about 40 feet.

9 Most humid: Canadian Forces Station Alert, Ellsemere Island, Canada: 
The Arctic Ocean is proven to be more humid than the Amazon.

8 Snowiest: Mt. Baker, Washington:
 During the 1998-99 season, 1,140 inches -- 95 feet -- of the white stuff fell.

7. Driest: Arica, Chile: 
Known as the “city of the eternal spring,” Arica averages .03 inches of rainfall per year.

6. Most extreme temperature change: Browning, Montana
Between January 23- 24, 1916, temperatures went from 44° F to -56° F in 24 hours.

5. Lightest and Darkest:
Ny Alesund, Norway/Antarctica (tie): The year-round residents, together with the researchers in Antarctica, face long stretches of dark and light in multi-month doses.      

4. Windiest: Mt. Washington, New Hampshire:
On April 12, 1934, the wind blew in gusts up to 231 mph.

3. Hottest: El Azizia, Libya:
On September 13, 1922, the mercury rose to 136° F.

2 Most tornadic: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma: 
Well over 100 tornados have been recorded since recording began.

1. Coldest: Antarctica
Wind averages are 12 mph, but gusts can reach nearly 200 mph creating unbelievable blizzards and whiteouts;
There are extended periods of light and dark;
Winter temps range from  -40° F to -94° F;
On July 21, 1983, the temperature was -129° F, the coldest recorded temperature;
A "hot" summer day never reaches 32° F; 
Even well-prepared expeditions have experienced injuries and death while there.

Mysteries of "Sacrificial" Ma ya Blue Pigment Solved?
Mexico: An ancient clay bowl offers new clues about a blue pigment widely used by the ancient Maya. Maya blue is made by combining palygorskite and pigment from indigo leaves.  . However, the ingredients do not combine, and it was unknown how the Maya fused them.  A new study now suggests that copal was the bond.  "Our study suggests that heat and copal incense likely were key elements used to fuse the two components together," said one scientist.  Copal is a tree sap whose smoke the Maya believed nourished the gods. Indigo, palygorskite, and copal—all associated with healing—were used individually as medicines by the ancient Maya/

Legislature announces Folk Heritage and honors Native American artist
South Carolina: The Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Awards are presented by the state of South Carolina. This year, the recipient is Will Moreau Goins, Cherokee.  "I believe that there is no better choice for this high honor...Dr. Goins is one of South Carolina's most well-known and beloved Native American storytellers, singers and dancers" said Representative Gilda Cobb-Hunter.  An author, activist, educator, storyteller, recording artist, community leader, and crafts artist, Goins is active in the state's arts community. He is also well known both nationally and internationally.  Goins is very passionate about  American Indian Educational Programs and works with K-12 students and in Higher Education. His work reaches over 10,000 youth each year.  "As our most requested speaker, Dr. Goins reached thousands of South Carolinians, from students to senior citizens, presenting on a variety of folk heritage and humanities topics ... [He] is an excellent historian, a strong speaker, and a passionate advocate of the arts, " added Randy Ankers from the SC Humanities Council.

Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian Announces  New Recipients
Washington, D.C.: Kevin Gover, Pawnee/Comanche, has announced the first recipients of the NMAI's new Visual and Expressive Arts Grants program. Grants are made in two funding areas: Visual Arts: which supports publications, critical writing, and exhibitions and installations of modern Native American art; Expressive Arts : supports the creation and presentation of new works and collaboration.

Visual Arts Grants:
The Art Association of Jackson Hole will host the traveling exhibition “Marie Watt: Blanket Stories.”  Watt, who is Seneca, explores the symbolism of American Indian blankets past and present.  She will also  lead gallery talks, present a slide lecture and organize a family sewing circle.
The “Ili-ho: The Surface Within” exhibition which examines textile treasures from the Bishop Museum. Eight contemporary Hawaiian artists will explore these ancestral creations and create their own works.  The exhibition's curator is Native Hawaiian artist and professor Maile Andrade.
Cultural Resources Inc and the Maine Indian Basket Alliance, will organize the traveling exhibition “North by Northeast: Wabanaki, Akwesasne, Mohawk and Tuscarora Traditional Arts.” The exhibition will feature traditional arts of regional artists including David Mose Bridges (Passamaquoddy), Marlene Printup (Tuscarora), Henry Arquette (Mohawk) and Jennifer Neptune (Penobscot).
The Hallie Ford Museum of Art at Williamette University and the University of Washington Press will co-publish the exhibition catalog “Joe Feddersen: Vital Signs.” The exhibition celebrates  the work of multimedia artist Joe Feddersen of the Colville Tribe.  It willbe 112-pages of an extraordinary  full-color selections of the artist’s best works.  
The Nicolaysen Art Museum exhibition, “David Bradley: American Indian Gothic,” as part of its American Indian art series.  Bradley, who is White Earth Chippewa, paints political and social messages about Native life and culture with a folk-art style.  A 40-page exhibition catalog will also be published featuring essays.
"Stanley Park Environmental Art Project" brings together artists with ecologists, park stewards and educators to create site-specific artwork. Tania Willard (Secwepemc Nation) will create artwork combining elder's knowledge with new evidence of the park's Native history.  She will  work with other artists including T’Uy’Tanat Cease Wyss (Coast Salish), Peter Von Tiesenhausen and Shirley Wiebe.

Expressive Arts Grants
"Three Sides Native" is a trio of classical chamber musicians: cellist Dawn Avery, Mohawk, percussionist Steven Alvarez (Yaqui/Mescalero Apache/Upper Tanana Athabaskan) and violinist Tara-Louise Montour (Mohawk). They will join others to create a special program with narratives by Janet-Marie Rogers (Mohawk/Tuscarora), videography by Chris Bose (N’laka pamux) and a ceremony led by elder Jan Longboat (Mohawk).
Tsimshian artist and performer David Boxley will teach a Tsimshian dance to the Alaska Native Heritage Center dancers and oversee their first performance,. He will also produce a working box drum for ANHC performances, help with a  new Tsimshian play, and provide a mask workshop for staff.
“Cauyaqa Aiwa?  – Where is My Drum?” is a collaboration between Yu'pik storyteller, Jack Dalton, and Yu'pik singer and dancer,Stephen Blanche. Their story will trace the importance of the cauyaqa (drum) in Yu'pik history and culture.  Two versions will be made: one for the theater, and one for area school children.
“Home: Inside &Out,” is a series of vignettes which share the deep sense of belonging and identity that bonds Native Hawaiians to place, family, friends, values and emotions.  New dances will fuse traditional hula, creative movement and dramatic staging. The intergenerational project involved the Maui Arts and Cultural Center, lani Holt and others.
"The Witness Project" will be produced by choreographer Tom Pearson (Charlie/Creek/Eastern Band Cherokee), composer–performer Louis Offside (Hopi/Wintu) and performer Donna Amanda (Cherokee/Chickasaw).  These artists will visit the historic sites and communities of their respective Native tribes, then create vignettes that explore the issue their tribal identies and being mixed-race Native artists.
“Places, Memories, Stories and Dreams: The Gifts of Inspiration” at the The Stoma Indian Memorial Museum will use storytelling, music and digital media about the relationship between tradition and geography in Native culture.  Paulla Dove Jennings, Niantic-Narragansett, will visit her people's historic sites to videotape and audio record each story.  Music will be performed and recorded by the Nettukkusq Singer.
The National Museum of the American Indian’s Visual and Expressive Arts grants are made possible through a generous gift from The Ford Foundation.
Phil Konstantin's April 2008 Newsletter - Part 1

Players chalk up a fun time

Oklahoma: More than 300 American Indian pool players competed in the fourth annual Native American Eight-ball Pool Tournament. Hosted by Florida's Seminole Tribe and Magoo's of Tulsa,  players from Florida, Indiana, New Mexico, California, Canada and Oklahoma participated. "This is the biggest Native American pool tournament in the country," said Magoo's owner Jim McDermott.   The tournament's three divisions --open, masters and ladies -- ensured that amateurs and skilled pool sharks could play alongside each other

Native Americans Use Web Video to Keep Culture Alive in Wired World;
New York: Mya Littleboy is a full-blooded Cree from Alberta, Canada. Her husband, Jerry Geronimo Rubio, is an Apache from Arizona.  Together, the Rubios built their own online TV network, Native American Tube/  NA tube has changed the lives of tens of thousands of culture-hungry Native Americans wanting to remain connected to their tribes' cultures and traditions.
Native American Tube:

Inuit film industry renews talks about starting Nunavut TV network
Nunavut: A recent decline in Inuit-language programs on Canadian TV has prompted talks of a Nunavut-based television.  Delegates at the Nunavut Film Symposium began serious discussions on "TV Nunavut" and how to make it happen. Currently, Inuit Broadcasting Corp produces Inuktitut TV programs for national networks, but local Inuktitut programming is suffering. Delegates may tap into Nunavut's local cable systems. Isuma Productions has already broadcast live events within local communities. "It's a great feeling. People at home are watching as it happens," said filmmaker Zacharias Kunuk. "We have that system; if every community could have that, we have a network."

Aboriginal films from around the world hosted on new Canadian website
Quebec:  Zacharias Kunuk and Norman Cohn grabbed worldwide attention for Atanarjuat (The Fast Runner), a film that won a 2001 Cannes Film Festival medal. Now the Inuit filmaker and his co-producer have started a new service that could become the YouTube of aboriginal cinema. Their new website,, has already gathered 100 films and videos from four countries.  The offerings are free to watch online. They range from complete versions of Atanarjuat and The Journals of Knud Rasmussen to accounts of a Swedish Sami girl's efforts to learn her native language.  "[We] are an example of how you can actually succeed and find an audience in this world, but we're the only ones who have been able to do that," said Cohn.  There's also children's programming from Greenland as well as work from indigenous Mexico

All Time Favorite Native Films
Native Peoples Magazine has announced the "All Time Favorite Native Films" in it's May/June 2008 Issue These films were chosen for their commercial success at the Box Office in the U.S., Canada and around the world.  In January of 2008, Modern Native News also asked readers to vote for their favorite films.  The results of both polls are:

All Time Favorite Native Films according to NPM.

1) Atanarjuat
2) Smoke Signals
3) Flags of our Fathers
4) Powwow Highway
5) Maverick
 6) Whale Rider
7) The Missing
8) The Last of The Mohicans 
9) Apocalypto
10) Legends of the Fall 
11) Dances With Wolves
12) Windtalkers
13) One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest 
14) Windwalker
15) Jim Thorpe: All American. 
"All Time Favorite Native Films according to MNN

1) PowWow Highway 
2) Smoke Signals
3) Imprint 
4) Apocalypto
5) The Outlaw Josey Wales
6) Jim Thorpe: All American
7) Whale Rider
8 ) Thunderheart
9) Dance Me Outside
10) Dead Man
11) Little Big Man 
12) Skins 
13) Four Sheets to the Wind
14) Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner
15) Dances with Wolves

The Invisible Ones: "Our own Third World"
Canada: Filmmaker Richard Desjardins believes Quebec and Ottawa are ignoring the genocide of the Algonquin people living in third-world conditions. His recent documentary,  Le Peuple Invisible (The Invisible Nation) tells how the governments have helped decimate a people who once numbered 80,000. Today, only  9,000 are left.  The Algonquin are among the poorest aboriginal nations in Quebec; most live on less than $15,000 a year. "They are our own Third World.  We have to do something about it," Desjardins said. Desjardins directed the film with his longtime friend, Robert Monderie.
The Gazette (Montreal)

Volume 3 

 Native Village Home Page

Native Village is published with the generous help and support of friends, listserves, and online publications. Without you, Native Village would not exist.  Megwich to you all.

To join our mailing list and receive news update reminders, send email address to:
To contact Native Village staff, email:

Native Village Linking Policy
Our research, study and resource collections cover a lot of Internet territory! We do our best to screen all links and select only those we designate "kidsafe" and appropriate. However, Native Village does not control the content found on third-party sites, so we are not always aware when content changes. If you discover a link that contains inappropriate information, please contact us immediately.  In addition, please be aware that each linked site maintains its own independent data collection, policies and procedures. If you visit a Web site linked from Native Village, you should consult that site's privacy policy before providing it with any personal information.
For more information about keeping kids safe online, please read about the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).In accordance with Title 17
U.S.C. section 107, this material is distributed without profit or payment for non-profit research, archival, news, and educational purposes only.

Native Village © Gina Boltz
All rights reserved