Native Village Youth and Education News
September 1, 2008 Issue 189 Volume 1

Fall Camp by Urshel Taylor, Ute/Pima

"If you do not stand with what is right, you become a collaborator in acts of injustice. We need the moral courage to stand and be counted. It is about the power of one. And when the power of one meets other powers of one, there is a collective voice."
Tome Roubideaux, Lakota


Happy Birthday Leonard!

The International Peltier Forum is sending Leonard Peltier a worldwide birthday card. It will arrive before or on his September 12 birthday.  Amnesty International has named Peltier the world's #1 political prisoner. Some call him "The Nelson Mandela of the United States."  Peltier, a citizen of the Anishinabe and Dakota/Lakota nations, is accused of killing two FBI agents in 1975 as he returned their fire in self-defense and to protect elders and children.  During Leonard's trial, key witnesses were banned from testifying, and important evidence was ruled inadmissible. The U.S. Prosecutor could not find a single witness naming Peltier as the shooter. And it was later discovered that the bullets which killed the FBI agents did not come from Leonard's gun. Still, the United States refuses to release him or give him a fair trial. Leonard has been imprisoned since April, 1977.
How you can celebrate with Leonard Peltier on his birthday:
To sign Leonard's birthday care, email your message with photo and/or graphic to peltier-bd2008@skynet.beDeadline: September 2, 2008
If you miss the deadline, mail a birthday card to:
Leonard Peltier  # 89637-132
UPS Penitentiary
PO BOX 1000
Lewisburg PA 17837

View the IPF card:
The Leonard Peltier Offense Committee:
Online Petition for Executive Clemency:

From Native Village: Messages to Youth from Leonard Peltier
Murder on a Reservation: American Justice TV Series:
Murder on a Reservation
graphic: Heather's animations

Longest Walk II reaches Washington
Washington, D.C.- After five months of walking across America, the northern and southern routes of the Longest Walk II joined in the nation's capital and were greeted by more than 1,000 people. The 2008 walk honored the 30-year anniversary of 1978's Longest Walk which protested the United States' refusal to honor Indian treaties. This year's theme was  "All Life is Sacred: Clean Up Mother Earth." Walkers shared warnings about universal issues like global warming as well as major problems affecting Native communities. After In Washington, a manifesto was written and delivered  to John Conyers, D-Michigan. "What we have come to understand alarms us greatly," the manifesto states.  "Many of the same issues that were presented to the Longest Walk in 1978 are ongoing issues that have not changed or have even worsened."

Researchers, led by UO archaeologist, find pre-Clovis human DNA
Oregon: Human DNA discovered in Paisley Caves is the oldest yet discovered in the New World. The DNA was found dried human feces (coprolites) and dates back 14,200 years   --  1,200 years before Clovis culture.  “The Paisley Cave material represents, to the best of my knowledge, the oldest human DNA obtained from the Americas,” said Eske Willerslev, who heads the Centre for Ancient Genetics at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark.  “Other pre-Clovis sites have been claimed, but no human DNA has been obtained, mostly because no human organic material had been recovered.”  The DNA indicates that the feces came from Native Americans in haplogroups A2 and B2 --both common to Siberia and east Asia.  "If our DNA evidence and radiocarbon dating hold up on additional coprolites [being tested]  at multiple labs, then we have broken the Clovis sound barrier, if you will,”said Dennis Jenkens from the University of Oregon who joined 12 other international scientists at Paisley Caves.  “If you are looking for the first people in North America, you are going to have to step back more than 1,000 years beyond Clovis to find them."

New podcasts guide tourists to Ohio's Indian earthworks
Ohio: A new set of podcasts will guide tourists through the impressive earthworks of southern Ohio. The podcasts were created by the Ohio Historical Society and the Ohio Valley Regional Development Commission. They provide directions to, and information about, 10 of the most important American Indian earthworks in the country. The selected sites are:

Adena Mound
Story Mound
Hopewell Mound Group
Mound City
Tremper Mound
Seip Mound
Portsmouth Mound
Fort Hill
Piketon Mound
Serpent Mound

The recorded self-guided tours are available for sale individually. The Earthworks website also offers information and free downloads.
EarthWorks of Southern Ohio:

Pequot museum team researching old battle site
Connecticut:  An area where colonial settlers massacred hundreds of Pequots may become a National Battlefield site. The Mashantucket Pequot Tribe and Research Center is searching  locations in Groton for artifacts from the 17th century Pequot War battles.  Groton is near the Pequot's Mystic Fort which was surrounded by colonists and American Indian allies in 1637.  More than 500 Pequots were killed in the battle. This began what amounted to a cultural extermination of the tribe, said Kevin McBride, the museum's director of research.  Researchers are also looking at land in Old Saybrook, Fairfield, Wethersfield and Dover Plains, N.Y., that lay within the bloody path of the Pequot wars.
Associated Press

Tribe holds its 333rd gathering

Narragansett Reservation, Rhode Island:  The Narragansett tribe has celebrated its Green Corn Thanksgiving on tribal lands for more than three centuries. “To be able to come back to the same spot … that our people have been gathering on since the 1700s” is special, said Wendi Starr-Brown, tribal historian.  For visitors, the powwow is a chance to experience the tribe’s culture and traditions. For tribal members, it is both a homecoming and reunion.  “People can see what’s changed or stayed the same,” said Wendi, who hasn’t missed a Narragansett powwow in her 38 years. This year’s festivities featured arts and crafts, social dances, drumming, children’s dance competitions, and traditional foods such as  succotash, quahog chowder, corn on the cob and jonnycakes.
Narragansett Tribe:

Alabama-Coushatta tribe linked with Texas history
Alabama-Coushatta Reservation, Texas: Thousands of people driving through Texas don't realize that the Alabama Coushatta reservation exists within the eastern pine forests. Spanish explorer DeSoto first referred to the Alabama tribe in 1541 when he encountered the tribe in Alabama. After the tribe moved to Texas around 1787, the Coushattas joined them. In 1836, when Sam Houston's army was pushed east by Santa Anna's Mexican Army, a U.S. delegation arrived at Long King's Village to ask Alabama and Coushatta warriors for help.  While the discussions were proceeding, the battle of San Jacinto was fought, and the Indians' services were no longer needed. But the tribe was generous in their efforts to feed and care for settlers who fled from Santa Anna's army. "We helped them with food, shelter and crossing the Trinity River," said Arnold Battise. who was born on the reservation. "Sam Houston was a friend to the Indians, so when he learned about our assistance, he became instrumental in having a reservation awarded to our tribe." The Alabama-Coushattas are the only native American group requiring members to be full-blooded. "We want to survive and maintain our culture," Battise said."  The tribe is working to maintain it's culture and offers native language classes for all 1,100 Alabama -Coushatta tribal members. "We've changed our perspective because of what's going on in the modern world," said Battise, "but we want to maintain our long-standing heritage and culture."

Nunavut celebrates 15 years of Inuit land claim
Nunavut, On July 9, 1993, Canada's Parliament passed the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement Act and the Nunavut Act. The Act granted Arctic Inuit their own territory and the right to form and run their own government. In 1999, Nunavut officially came into being.  Recently, Nunavut celebrated its 15 year anniversary of Inuit Land Claims. "We ... recognize the efforts of our past leaders of the years - you're looking at [a] 25-, 30-year span - and our Inuit leaders at that time that worked so hard to get the land claims underway and trying to get recognition for the Inuit of Nunavut," said Paul Kaludjak, president of Nunavut Tunngavik, Inc.  "It's been [an] uphill battle ...  It's not all glamour, and it's been difficult at many times."  The Nunavut Day Celebrations were kicked off by Kaludjak and Nunavut Premier Paul Okalik at Nakasuk School in Iqaluit. Those attending enjoyed a feast, scavenger hunt, craft show, chili cook-off and games. Inuit in Yellowknife also celebrated with a downtown lunch hour barbecue.

Leader of palace break-in could not locate throne

Old 'Iolani Palace   General
A rare photograph of the original Olani Palace, the grandest house of its time in Honolulu.   Today's Iolani Palace

Hawaii: Members of the Kingdom of Hawaii. a Hawaiian pro-sovereignty group, recently broke into Iolani Palace. One member, James Kimo Akahi, claims to be the rightful king of the Hawaiian Islands. He promised to chain himself to the king's throne, but couldn't find it.  23 KH members were arrested for the break in.  Other Native Hawaiian groups claim sovereignty over the islands, and some condemn Akahi's actions.  “That's atrocious, for him trying to sit on the throne at Iolani Palace,” said Charles Kauluwehi Maxwell, Sr.  “James Akahi is not the king of Hawaii.”  Another group, the Hawaiian Kingdom Government, has occupied the palace grounds since April and have permits to set up there each week.  The HKG claims to be operating a functioning government from the grounds.  King Kalakaua built Iolani palace in 1882. It was also the residence of his sister and successor, Queen Liliuokalani, the islands' last ruling monarch. Liliuokalani later was imprisoned in the palace after the monarchy fell.   Hawaiian activists long have used the site for protests against U.S. control of the islands.  They want the U.S. Senate to set up a Native Hawaiian governing entity similar to those of American Indians.  By doing so, Native Hawaiians can negotiate for control of natural resources, lands and assets.
Photos: Original Iolani Palace:                    Current Iolani Palace:

Devils Tower to open interpretive site, unveil world peace sculpture
Wyoming: Devils Tower is the nation's first national monument. It's also a sacred site for Native American tribes and a renowned attraction for visitors. This month the National Park Service will tie this all together with a new educational site at the monument.  The "Tribal Connections" area will feature programs discussing the tower's meaning and relationship for 20 affiliated tribes. It also will showcase "Wind Circle," the latest world peace sculpture by Japanese artist Junkyu Muto.  NPS Superintendent Dorothy FireCloud saidthe entire Black Hills community joined efforts for the peace sculpture.  The Crazy Horse Memorial donated the base stones, and Black Hills National Forest workers delivered the stones to the monument. The Wind Circle sculpture is the third of Muto's world peace projects. One is at the Vatican. The other is near the Bodhi Tree in Bodhi Gaya, India.

Native Americans and Paul McCartney
New Mexico:  Paul McCartney and girlfriend Nancy Shevell quietly attended the 87th Inter-Tribal Indian Ceremonial in Gallup. According to Sammy Chioda, ceremonial announcer, there had been a slight buzz in the crowd that McCartney was among the 6,000 in attendance.  But Chioda didn't believe it until he spotted him with his binoculars. "Nobody was hassling them," said Chioda, 53.  "At an event like that and a time like that you're not thinking about the Beatles or Paul McCartney." Chioda paid homage to McCartney while speaking. "I took lyrics from his first and second solo album and quickly incorporated those into what the ceremonial means," Chioda said.  "I used 'Maybe I'm Amazed' and 'Smile Away' from the 'Ram' album, like '..Maybe you will be amazed or won't be amazed but you will walk away smiling away...'  When I said that he looked up at me. Then he gave me a thumbs up ... and then the finger across the lip, not to say anything."

 Indian groups focus on saving languages

Pennsylvania: More than 300 American Indian languages flourished in North America at the time of Columbus. Each carried a unique way of understanding the world. Today, only half of those languages survive, and the pool of speakers has dwindled. It's not just words at stake -- native languages infer and express the traditions, religion, medicine and geography, as well different ways of seeing the world. Recently,  members from Indian tribes across the country met with linguists and other academics in Philadelphia to meet and join efforts. "We're talking about an emergency situation," said Richard Grounds, Euchee, speaker and co-organizer of the meeting,
Among the comments:

Richard Grounds, Euchee language, University of Tulsa: "It's not only about the use of [medicinal] plants, et cetera, carried in a language, but literally ways people have of knowing themselves,  The youngest person who grew up speaking Euchee as a first language is now 78. The rest are in their 80s."
Ryan Wilson, Oglala Sioux tribe, President of the National Alliance to Save Native Languages:  "The quality Oglala Sioux value most in a man is something like courage but includes a degree of independence and perseverance. It has no direct English translation. The loss of that one word would also kill the idea and reason it once mattered ... There is also a word similar to love that describes the feeling that you cannot live without someone. The word's essence is lost in a translation." 
Leanne Hinton, UCLA linguist: "Some languages don't give directions such as 'left' and 'right', because their speakers navigate with a less self-centered view of the world than we do. They think more in terms of local geography."
Daryl Baldwin, Director of  Myaamia Project, Miami [Ohio] University:  Daryl grew up in Ohio and was told that the language of his Miami tribe was extinct. So he dug up all available records and taught himself. "It changed the way I thought." The Miami language also contains wisdom about healthy foods  - something that could help Indians avoid being disproportionately affected by Type 2 diabetes.

Marcus Briggs-Cloud, Maskoke Nation of Florida, Harvard graduate student:
"In the Maskoke language, time and space are very different from Western perception. In English, time is more linear, whereas it's more cyclical in Maskoke. There's also a cyclical nature to space, and some ceremonies focus on the renewal of space."
Jacob Manatowa-Bailey, Oklahoma-based Sauk language: "In the next few years, my tribal community will either see our language restored to a new generation, or we will bury it forever in the grave of our last few elderly speakers."
Indian Language Usage
1970-2005 Indigenous Languages in Mexico,0,2277862.story

11th-hour effort to save a Native tongue
Hualapai Reservation, Arizona:  Several dozen Hualapai and Yavapai youth greet the dawn with raised hands as they stand atop a bluff to face the morning sun. The children are speaking Pai,  the language of their ancestors. Almost 40% of the 2,100 Hualapai tribal members speak their ancient language. Few of those tribal members, however, are under 18.  Pai was almost lost after U.S. boarding schools tried to strip Native children of their tribal languages.  "It was like brainwashing because when they were sent to Indian boarding schools, they were taught the language was wrong," said Lucille Watahomigie, Hualapai.  After leaving government schools, many Hualapai refused to speak their tribal languages because they hoped their children could better compete in an English dominated world.  Now, generations later, Pai's survival depends upon the elders passing on their knowledge to children willing to absorb it.   "A lot of people don't realize the implications," says Loretta Jackson-Kelly, a historian for the Hualapai Tribe. "Language loss means you lose your identity."
  Linguists hope modern technology and dedicated efforts will save the ancient languages, but they're worried.  "We have visions that there will still be the language a century from now. We have that truth," Watahomigie says. "But, being realistic, if things keep going the way they are, we won't have any speakers."
Youth comments:
"I want to learn the language. My grandma and my mom speak Hualapai. But it's dying out. Most young people don't know how to speak it and don't want to learn. They'd rather play around." Rivers Wilder, 14
"If we play a gourd, it has a spirit in it. And if we break it, we have to bury it. It's alive. You've got to take care of it and all that stuff." Johnathan Siyuja, 10

"Nyims thava hmado we'e."
Boys greet the morning sun.
"Nyima thava masi:yo we'e." 
Girls greet the morning sun.

According to the Indigenous Language Institute, only 20 of the 175 surviving American Indian dialects are expected to survive through 2050.
Another group, Cultural Survival, says 50 Native languages face immediate extinction: they have five or fewer speakers, all over age 70

Don Quixote translated into Quechua
Peru: Few people have worked toiled as hard Demetrio Tupac Yupanqui  to give Quechuan language a fighting chance to survive.  When students and visitors visit his Lima home, he greets them with his Quechua version of the opening words of "Don Quixote": '"Huh k'iti, la Mancha llahta suyupin, mana yuyarina markapin, yaqa kay watakuna kama, huh axllasqa wiraqucha." (Somewhere in La Mancha, in a place whose name I do not care to remember, a gentleman lived not long ago.)   Mr. Yupanqui, 85, says Quechua was once the lingua franca of the Incan Empire. "When people communicate in Quechua, they glow," he says. "It is a language that persists five centuries after the conquistadors arrived. We cannot let it die." Yupanqui's translation of "Don Quixote" into Quechua is a pioneering development for the language.  "If Latin is said to be the language of the angels, then Quechua is the language for expressing the subtleties of existence on Earth," Yupanqui said. "That is why it is still alive."  Nearly 5,000,000 Quechuan speakers live in Peru, while millions live elsewhere in the Andes, mainly in Bolivia and Ecuador. Quechua is the most widely spoken indigenous language in the Americas, but it's use is in decline. Other efforts to preserve the Quechua language are:
* Microsoft software in Quechua;
 * Google version of its search engine in Quechua;
* Two Peruvian legislators have begun using Quechua on the floor of congress;
* Peru's President, Alan García, signed a law prohibiting discrimination based on language;
* Bolivia's president Evo Morales wants a mandate that requires civil service workers to be fluent in Quechua or another indigenous language.

Volume 2
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