Report from the 34th Annual Conference of the IITC
Guatemala: The 34th annual gathering of the International Indian
Treaty Council (IITC) was held last June in Guatemala. Nearly 275
indigenous delegates from across the world attended the 4-day
Among the main concerns discussed by IITC delegates were:
Human rights and implementation of the UN Declaration on the Rights
of Indigenous Peoples;
Land and Treaty Rights;
Impacts of pesticides and toxics;
Community organizing in response to mining;
The International Indian Treaty Council also adopted several
resolutions. Among them were:
Resolution on the Protection of Indigenous Sacred Sites, Burial
Places and Spiritual Rights;
Resolution on the Dakota/Lakota Treaties of 1805 and 1868;
Resolution on land, territories and natural resources, Treaties and
the Implementation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous
Resolution on the protection of the environment and biodiversity:
climate change, mining, oil, water and natural resources;
Resolution on economic justice, fair trade and economic self
determination for Indigenous Peoples;
the effects of "free trade"
and migration and workers' rights;
Resolution on the position of CANZUS relating to the United Nations
Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples;
International Indian Treaty Council:
Bush signs bill to provide billions for reservations
President Bush has signed legislation that calls for
to help tribes:
for water projects on Indian reservations;
for detention facilities;
for tribal police and tribal courts;
for federal investigations and prosecution of crimes in
for contract health services, health facilities and
safe drinking water and sanitation facilities.
"There are reservations in this country where conditions are as dire
as any place in the world," said Senator John Thune, S.D. North
Dakota Sen. Senator Byron Dorgan worked with Thune to secure the
Paz, Ariz., Population Is Nation's Oldest County
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2007:
La Paz County, AZ, home to the Colorado River Indian Reservation,
has the country's oldest population: 32% are 65 or older
Webb County Texas -- the youngest population: 12.8% are younger than
Populations for American Indian and Alaska Native
Los Angeles County -- largest population of American
Indians and Alaska Natives in 2007: 146,500
Maricopa County, AZ-- largest increase of Native residents: 2,300
Shannon County, S.D -- Largest percent of total population who are
American Indian or Alaska Natives: 87%
Los Angeles County -- the largest minority population:
71% of the 7,000,000 residents are minorities
Maricopa County, Ariz -- increase in minority populations: 79,000
new residents between 2006 and 2007
Starr County,Texas -- the highest proportion of minorities: 98%
Populations for Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific
Honolulu County, HA -- largest NA/PI population:
Clark County, NV., and Maricopa County -- largest NA/PI
increases: 800 and 700, respectively.
History's Greatest Gadgets
Mankind has been making technology since the dawn of time. Here's
ten of the most wonderful gadgets from centuries—and millennia—past.
Blood drive slated for American Indian girl with life-threatening
bone marrow disorder
Oklahoma: “Labor of Love” bone marrow and blood drive will honor
Tallie Anderson, a 10-year-old American Indian girl of Choctaw and
Irish ancestry. Tallie is battling aplastic anemia, a rare,
life-threatening bone marrow disorder. Citizen Potawato-mi Nation
FireLake Enterprises is organizing the drive for the Andersons, who
hope to find a donor match. They also want to encourage American
Indian people join the National Marrow Donor Program registry.
There is a critical need for donors from all racial and ethnic
backgrounds because both are critical in finding a donor matches.
For Tallie’s full story and to view photos:
kids' well-being lags behind other races
- Every year the Annie E. Casey Foundation offers its Kids Count
data reports. The reports are broken down by race and ethnicity.
From 1995-2000, child well-being improved for all races. Since 2000,
the rate of improvement has declined. This year's report indicated
American Indian children score poorly on indicators of well being,
American Indian children are the only group that collectively lost
ground since 2000. Every other group improved.
Nationally, the child death rate for children aged 1 - 14 is 9% less
than in 2000. It has gone up 15% for American Indian Children.
Nationally, the teenage death rate went down by 3% since 2000. For
American Indian and Alaska Natives, it went up 7%.
Nationally, idle ''at-risk'' teens -- those not in school or working
-- went down by 11%. It increased by 6% for Natives.
Preventable deaths correlate with good medical care, a problem in
many Native communities. Auto accidents involving old cars,
bad roads and drinking may also be factors.
More data, by state, is available online at
Wyoming tribe mourns 3 teens, loss of cultural ties
Wind River Reservation, Wyoming: Three teenage girls in the Beaver
Hills housing complex died in early June. All three were members of
the Northern Arapaho Tribe. Tribal leaders say the deaths may be
related to the reservation's drug and alcohol problems and the
evaporation of Arapaho culture, native language and traditional
ways. "At this point, it seems that we're losing it," said Harvey
Spoonhunter, co-chairman of the tribe's governing body. "I think the
youth, from 12 to 18, are kind of lost. They don't know their place
in the tribe." Wind River youth say drugs and alcohol are prevalent
and children need more supervision. Among the comments:
"At this point, it seems that we're losing it. I think the youth,
from 12 to 18, are kind of lost. They don't know their place in the
tribe." Harvey Spoonhunter, tribe's governing body.
"We need more parental supervision. We need more guidance. We need
more activities out there that will keep kids involved. " Whitney
Sun Rhodes, 16.
"We need a recreation area around here, where kids can play
basketball. Kids drop out of school, and don't finish their
education." Margaret Washington, grandmother of deceased.
"I think my daughter tried a little too hard to try to fit in, she
was an impressionable age. That seems to be like a normal thing on
the reservation, like drugs and alcohol. And she was exposed to it
more, and I don't know that she knew how to handle it." Loreal Bell,
mother of deceased.
"Lives are filled with despair ... a complete identity loss. A
social dysfunction." Sergio A. Maldonado, Sr., director of tribal
education for the Northern Arapaho.
9.9% of American Indians and Alaska natives have drug and alcohol
problems. The rate among whites is
The reservation's dropout rate is
Northern Arapaho youth were forced to attend government boarding
schools which forbade them to speak their language.
people fluent in the Northern Arapaho
language are now about
60 years old;
a time, the federal government banned the celebration of the
tribe's Sun Dance, the tribe's main religious ceremony;
Average age of death on the Wind River is
years old, the same life expectancy as someone in Africa.
Navajo Tribe Bans Commercial Tobacco Use
Navajo Reservation, New Mexico: The Navajo Nation Council has banned
smoking and chewing tobacco in public places on the Navajo
Reservation. This includes events such as rodeos and fairs. The
council approved the ban on a vote of 42-27. It does not, however,
affect tobacco used in traditional and religious ceremonies. Dr.
Patricia Nez Henderson testified for the measure and calls its
passage a landmark. ``I'm still pinching myself,'' Henderson said.
The legislation stemmed from the anti-tobacco efforts of
the Southwest Navajo Tobacco Education Prevention Project. The SNTEPP is backed by the tribe's Division of Health and a group of
medicine men, the Hataalii Association Inc. Henderson says the
ban will decrease the number of tribal youth starting to smoke, help
those who want to quit, and protect others from secondhand smoke.
Navajo Nation President Joe Shirley Jr. has 10 days to decide
whether to sign or veto the law.
Broccoli may undo diabetes damage
England: People with diabetes are far more likely to develop
cardiovascular diseases such as heart attacks and strokes. Now
researchers at the University of Warwick say eating broccoli could
reverse the damage caused by diabetes to heart blood vessels.
Researchers say the key may be sulforaphane, a compound found in the
vegetable. Sulforaphane may help reduce high levels of molecules
that cause cell damage. It also boosts the production of enzymes
which protect blood vessels. Both heart attacks and strokes are
linked to damaged blood vessels. "In future, it will be important to
test if eating a diet rich in brassica vegetables has health
benefits for diabetic patients," said Dr Iain Frame, director of
research at Diabetes UK. "We expect that it will."
broccoli art: http://blog.wfmu.org
Native Americans 'walk the walk' for health
Maine: Terrol Dew Johnson and his family are walking from Maine to
their Arizona homelands to raise awareness of Native American health
issues. The walkers, who are members of the Tohono O'odham
community, are on an 18-month journey of self exploration. They will
visit native communities to promote the use of traditional native
foods and fitness to create wellness. The walkers did not train for
their 3,000-mile journey because they wanted to show others that
anybody can take a walk and experience health benefits. "It got to
the point, well, instead of just talking, start walking the walk,"
Johnson said. The traveling party started slowly and suffered
plenty of blisters. But the pace is improving. They are up to eight
or 10 miles a day.
To learn more, visit: website, www.thewalkhome.org
University opening new integrative medicine center
New Mexico: The Center for Life at the University of New Mexico now
offers "complementary medicine." Complimentary medicine combines
modern medicine with traditional treatments from other cultures.
Some of these practices and treatments may go back thousands of
years. "The uniqueness of our program is that we not only embrace
Eastern and Western philosophies, but we try to integrate the
traditions of New Mexico," said Dr. Arti Prasad, the center's
director. Thus, Native American healers and Hispanic curanderas are
invited to work with patients at the clinic.
About the Center for Life:
The clinic is located miles from the university's hospital. This
tends to reduce the anxiety many patients feel in a hospital
People enter through a reception area with a water fountain. "The
sound of water is very soothing and healing," Prasad explains.
Vibrant, sherbet-tone colors were chosen specifically for healing,
giving a sense of joy and liveliness.
Music plays throughout the clinic and in the rooms — which are
called treatment rooms, not examination rooms.
Instead of numbers, the rooms have names: Heal, Hope, Calm, Relax,
Instead of examination tables and fluorescent lights, they have
small water fountains, massage tables and cushy furniture.
Prasad acknowledges that some doctors don't support the idea of
integrative medicine, but said more patients are demanding options.
"It's here because our consumers are wanting it. Our consumers are
asking these questions so we have to go out and find the answers for
them," she said.
The Associated Press
Denny McAuliffe described a delicious meal he had at a National
Indian Gaming Association event. All ingredients came from tribes or
Native-owned businesses. They included wild mushrooms, sweet potato
puree, king crab legs, poached shrimp, pine nuts and tomatoes,
cactus and pepper salad, herb-crusted buffalo rib-eye, sweet corn
polenta. The food was termed ''modern traditional,'' as opposed to
frybread and other lard and flour foods developed during the
Modern traditional recipes:
Stuffed Corn Tortillas
1 dozen corn tortillas
1 cup each: Monterey Jack and Cheddar cheese, shredded
1 4-oz. can chopped green chiles, drained
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
Corn or vegetable oil for frying
Combine the cheeses. Fill half of each tortilla with cheese. Leave a
1/2-inch border clear. Sprinkle each with a few chiles and cilantro
and fold over the tortillas. Heat 4 tablespoons of oil in a large,
heavy skillet. When hot, but not smoking, fry a few tortillas for
about 2 - 3 minutes per side. Remove and drain on paper towels.
Serve with salsa and sour cream.
1/2 dozen cooked ears of corn, kernels removed
1/2 large red onion, cut in small cubes
1 each: red and green bell pepper, chopped small
1 large tomato, cut in small cubes
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
1/4 teaspoon dried chili flakes
Combine all ingredients in a ceramic or non-reactive bowl.
least 2 hours before serving.
3 tablespoons butter (or substitute)
1 small onion, chopped
1-1/2 cups each: lima beans and corn kernels, fresh, frozen or
1/2 cup water or broth
1 cup low-fat cream (optional)
Salt and fresh ground black pepper
Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and
cook for 3 minutes or until translucent. Add beans, corn, water and
pepper. Cook covered for 10 - 15 minutes.
Quinoa and Roasted Peppers
2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
2 tablespoons orange zest
1 cup quinoa, white or red
2 green or red peppers, roasted, seeded and chopped
1 stalk scallion, minced
2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
Bring the stock and orange zest to a boil; add the quinoa and stir.
Simmer for 5 minutes and remove from heat. Saute the peppers and
scallion in butter or olive oil until tender. Combine with quinoa
and fluff with a wooden spoon. Top with parsley.
graphics: Heather's animations