Native Village News Articles For Grandmother Agnes baker pilgrim

[Below are several articles selected from Native Village News publications housed in our archives. The Grandmothers say that in the Spirit World, all time exists at once. To remind us of this, each article's publication date is omitted.] 
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Indian Group Blasts Meteorite Sale
Oregon: The Williamette Meteorite is sacred to the Clackamas Indians. The tribe holds an annual religious ceremony with the meteorite, named Tomanowas, in its home at the American Museum of Natural History. The meteorite -- the largest ever discovered in America -- was given in ancient times to the Clackamas people by the Sky People. Now a 30-pound chunk of the 10,000-year-old meteorite is up for auction, and the tribe is denouncing its sale. "We are deeply saddened that any individual or organization would be so insensitive to Native American spirituality and culture as to traffic in the sale of a sacred and historic artifact," said Siobahn Taylor of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde.  Darryl Pitt, who is selling the chunk, recognizes the Grand Ronde's concerns. "While I regret the Grand Ronde has taken offense, the bottom line is that a portion of the meteorite is simply changing hands," he said. Tomanowas was discovered in 1902 in the Willamette Valley by an Oregon miner who removed it from the land.  Today, the small chunk of the meteor will be auctioned at Bonhams Auction House in NYC on October 28.  Its pre-sale estimate is between $1,100,000 - $1,300,000.

Artifacts attest to Indian game’s antiquity
Washington: A 14,000-year-old set of 13 sla-hal bones were displayed on the Lummi Reservation. Pacific Northwest tribes who have played sla-hal since “time immemorial” continue the game today and are fiercely competitive.  Sla-hal  combines songs, spirituality, intense competition and guesswork and links today’s tribal members with their ancestors.  "We are still the same people we were 14,000 years ago and we’re playing the same game, ” said Michelle Kempf.  “Our elders, when we bring this out, they cry.  It is so deep inside of them.”  The story of sla-hal began when animals and humans were fighting it out and running out of food.  The Creator gave humans and animals a game to play — sla-hal — and said that whoever won the game could eat the other from then on. But humans were losing, down to their last stick, and begged the Creator to take pity on them.  So the spirit let humans win the game and gave them four laws to follow: turn away from greed, lust, hate and jealousy. “The spirit gave us a gift, to show the people who we are,” said Kempf. 
Play Sla-hal:

Billy Frank, Jr. A warrior with wisdom and an elder with courage
"I always thought Billy was the model for Billy Jack - the solitary guy who is everywhere protecting the people and their rights. You can’t begin to count the times he had been beaten and thrown in jail. Yet, in the end, he has become a senior statesman of the state of Washington, respected and admired by people all over the state who once called for his scalp. He shows what a few people can do when they stand up for principles."  Vine Deloria, Jr., Standing Rock Sioux, author, historian, and Billy's friend. Billy Frank, Jr., Nisqually, is being awarded Indian Country Today’s first Visionary Award. Chair of the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission for 25 years, Frank is a strong advocate, negotiator and peacemaker. He fought to unite many groups in efforts to preserve and protect salmon, shellfish, trees, endangered species and entire ecosystems. And he is equally successful within his family and community. "Billy is great with adults, but he’s even better with children," said Hank Adams, Assiniboine and Sioux. "He talks to a lot of students, from pre-school to college, and of all races. And for 50 years in a large family of relatives, he’s missed very few celebrations of birthdays for each of their children."  Billy had a comment for Adams. "That’s it," he said. "That’s our vision, educating ourselves, making our own people strong. They’re there, our Indian kids. Our little guys are talking their own language and teaching it to their parents. These younger kids are waking up and getting ready to take our place."

Mitsitam Café features regional Native foods
WASHINGTON - The cuisine at the National Museum of the American Indian’s Mitsitam Café (it means "Let’s Eat" in Piscataway) presents large selections of Native foods. Available at five permanent buffets are foods from South American, Mesoamerican, Northern Woodlands, Northwest Coast and Great Plains. That means quinoa and wild rice salads, buffalo chili, juniper salmon, tortilla and pumpkin soups, corn tamales, tacos, turkey and cranberry, blue cornbread and quahog clam chowder The café is also an opportunity for many Native food suppliers, including the Intertribal Bison Cooperative. ITBC’s Fred Dubray said the organization has a contract with the museum to provide approximately 5,000 pounds of buffalo meat every month, a considerable market for the ITBC member tribes.

Healthy Living - Native super foods and healing ways
Arizona: - A new book on ''superfoods'' encourages eating 14 foods to revolutionize a person's health, including traditional Native foods like beans, pumpkin and salmon.
The book, ''Superfoods Rx: Fourteen Foods That Will Change Your Life,'' recommends a diet packed with beans, blueberries, broccoli, oats, oranges, pumpkin, wild salmon, soy, spinach, tea, tomatoes, turkey, walnuts and yogurt.

Salmon Actions Indicate Shift
Oregon: The Bush administration has proposed a steep reduction in the miles of rivers and streams set aside for Pacific salmon. Bush also flatly rejected the possibility of demolishing Snake River hydropower dams to help restore salmon runs. Together, the actions warn of far-reaching changes in federal enforcement of the Endangered Species Act.  Conservation and fishing groups, including Native American tribes with treaty rights to salmon, are extremely concerned. "The tribes made treaties 150 years ago to carry on a way of life that depends on salmon," said Olney Patt Jr. of the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission.  "Now we see the federal government is turning its back on that obligation."
H-Amindian Listserv

Grand Ronde woodsman works on longhouses and master's degree
Oregon:  At the University of Oregon, Don Day is working on his master's thesis which includes building a traditional cedar longhouse using primitive technologies."... my ancestors - the Kalapuya people, a band that were here in the Willamette Valley - that's what they used for their houses, Western red cedar,''  said Day, a  member of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde. There's a regretful tone in Day's voice when he speaks of how he learned primitive wood and stone technologies. ''A white person had to teach me,'' Day said. ''I'm sorry that there's not an elder in my tribe that knows how to do this.'' But things are changing as he and other elders educate themselves about ancient arts. ''Over the past 10 to 15 years, we've been progressing more toward identification. Now people are saying things like 'oh these Native people, they lived here 11,000 years in harmony with the salmon as their mainstay.'''
Clatsop Longhouse: clatsop_longhouse.jpg

New Slide May Help Salmon Cross Dam

Washington: A removable spillway weir has been created  to help in the recovery of Pacific salmon. The steel device, which weighs 1,700,000 pounds, creates a slick waterside for endangered salmon. Government scientists and officials say the weir technology holds great hope for easing more fish safely through dams. The weir essentially creates a hole in the dam. The fish do not have to dive over the dam because the hole and the water flow are at about the same water level as the fish.  But getting fish to find the water hole is another challenge.  Many critics say that only blowing up the dams can save the salmon which are central to the lives and cultures of Northwest Indian tribes. "We see this as just more gold-plating to buy time to allow them to continue on with their operations," said Olney Patt, Jr., of the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission. "Somebody is benefiting, and it isn't the fish." The weirs are part of a $6,000,000,000 salmon recovery plan by the federal government that includes installing weirs or similar technology at all eight dams on the Snake and the Columbia Rivers. The plan has touched off bitter opposition from environmentalists, Indians, sports fishermen, and former Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt, who is one of the nation's loudest proponents of dam removal on the Lower Snake.
New York Times

Stocks of wild salmon retain legal protection
The Bush administration intends to continue protecting wild salmon under the Endangered Species Act.  25 of the 26 salmon and steelhead stocks currently protected under the law will continue to be guarded. The 26th species -- steelhead that spawn in the mid-Columbia River -- still is being reconsidered for protection.

Weak Salmon Run Shuts the Northwest's Fisheries
Washington: Tens of thousands of adult Chinook salmon expected to swim up the Columbia River this spring are missing. The numbers are so bad that Idaho, Oregon and Washington have ended commercial fishing, and the four Indian tribes with treaty rights to harvest the salmon did the same. Though tribal fishermen can still sell a limited catch to other tribe members, their subsistence fish harvest has been sharply curtailed. Most environmentalists are convinced that federal dams are causing the problem. The slow-moving, sometimes overheated reservoirs behind the dams confuse the salmon, who breed in fast, cold currents.  The dam machinery can also be lethal, particularly to outbound juvenile fish. "We need to figure out what happened," said Charles Hudson of the intertribal commission.  "But there is no question that year in and year out, the hydro system is the biggest killer of fish."

Judge Orders Heavy Spills For Salmon 
Oregon: U.S. District Judge James Redden has ordered the government to release heavy amounts of river water over four Columbia basin dams this summer. Redden called U.S.  efforts to protect salmon an exercise "more in cynicism than in sincerity."  The federal dams provide relatively low-cost electricity, irrigation water, and barge transportation across Oregon, Washington and Idaho. However, the big federal dams kill and injure federally protected fish, now comprising 13 populations.  Water spilled over dams to help juvenile salmon migrate to sea bypasses turbines and so can't be used to generate electricity. Bob Lohn from the National Marine Fisheries Service believes the government will appeal the court order.
The Oregonian

Youth awarded for environmental work
Seven activists, aged 15 to 21, have received Brower Awards for 2005.  This annual national award recognizes young people for their outstanding activism and achievements in the fields of environmental and social justice advocacy. Each winner is awarded $3000 in cash and flown out for the award night and a Yosemite camping trip.  Among this year's award winners are two Native youth: Erika Chase and Kayla Carpenter.  Kayla is a Yurok tribal member, and Erika is a Hoopa Valley tribal member. To them, tribal culture is an important component in their lives and drives them to help others. After the 2002 catastrophic fish kill in the lower Klamath basin that killed over 64,000 salmon, the girls knew something had to be done or a major part of their cultural lifestyles would disappear. In 2003, the girls started an annual 39-mile Salmon Relay Run to help promote awareness about their communities' water and fish issues.  "On a personal level, our environment has always been a priority in the minds of my people; therefore, I have established the philosophy that it is the youth of my generation who must take on this responsibility of ensuring the future," said Erika.

Hank Adams: American Indian Visionary
New York: The 2006 American Indian Visionary Award from  Indian Country Today will be given to Hank Adams.  Adams was born in 1943 on the Fort Peck reservation in Montana.  His mother later married a Quinault man and moved to Washington State, where Adams grew up. Adams, who is Assiniboine-Sioux,  is a lifelong activist and has helped negotiate peaceful ends to dangerous standoffs in modern Indian history.   He's been a crucial figure in the militant Indian revival of the last four decades.  Among his activities:
He began the long-range planning for preserving salmon and steelhead, leading to the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission;
Indian Country Today

Choctaw Author’s American Indian Health and Fitness Book Wins Gourmand World Cookbook Award
Kansas: American Indian author Devon Mihesuah’s latest book has won the Special Award of the Jury from the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards. Her book, "Recovering Our Ancestors’ Gardens" is a finalist for “Best in the World” along with books by Maya Angelou and Martha Stewart.  Devon, an Oklahoma Choctaw, teaches cultural studies at the University of Kansas.  Mihesuah's book contains indigenous recipes from  U.S.  and Canadian colleagues. The book also discusses today's poor state of indigenous health and why many Natives are separated from their traditionally healthy gardens, diets, and activities.  "Natives once gathered, hunted and cultivated foods that kept them physically strong."  Mihesuah notes.  "Now, many Natives across the Americas are sedentary ...  Boycotting the greasy, fatty, sugary and salty foods that are killing us in favor of the nutrient-rich and unprocessed indigenous foods of this hemisphere is greatly empowering.”   The "Best in the World" cookbook award will be presented in May, 2006 in Malaysia.   More than 6000 books from 65 countries were entered in this years contest.
Meat and vegetable kabobs
1 pound meat of your choice (elk, deer, buffalo, turkey or salmon)
2 red, yellow or green bell peppers, seeded and cut into squares
2 cups large whole mushrooms
2 zucchinis, cut into chunks
2 yellow crooked-neck squash, cut into chunks.
Marinate meat in either a plastic bag or covered bowl with marinade of your choice for at least four hours.  Preheat the grill by allowing coals to burn for 15 to 20 minutes.  Oil the skewers with vegetable oil, then thread meat and vegetables onto skewers and “paint” on a thick layer of olive oil.  Sprinkle with pepper and other spices.  Place the kabobs onto the rack and turn every eight minutes until the meat is done.

Tribal elders urge young people to fight for native rights
Oregon: Native American activists Billy Frank Jr. and Hank Adams blazed the trail to protect Indian fishing rights and natural resources.  Frank was arrested more than 50 times while defending his community's right to fish. Adams found legal and political ways to protect Indian rights. But more work needs done, and the men are urging young people to continue the fight.  "We are still allowing permits to pollute," said Frank. "We haven't stopped the bleeding."  Both elders agree that salmon are a casualty of  pollution and habitat degradation. The decline is devastating to native peoples. "From the time you are born, you are eating salmon," Frank said. "You eat salmon all year round. The salmon is in your bloodstream. Ceremonies are all about the salmon. We talk to the salmon.   When the river smells of salmon, you know that is a healthy watershed."
Start speaking out here:
Cooking show features Native foods, culture
Flathead Indian Reservation, Montana: Jody Perez spent a week at Traditional Living Challenge Camp. The food at the camp was delicious and plentiful, and Perez was sure she gained weight. But when she returned home and stepped on the scales, she had lost 6 pounds. “I really thought I was overeating all week,” Perez says. "There were buffalo and elk steaks, salmon, dried meat, vegetables, fruit - even camas that participants harvested, peeled, dried and baked in the ground with black tree moss wrapped in skunk cabbage leaves." Perez was sold on eating traditional foods and lost more weight -- 25 pounds in all. In the meantime, she stumbled on a new mini-career: along with Genevieve Kings, Perez now has a cooking show, "Rez Chef," aired on KSKC-TV, the public television station at Salish Kootenai College. Rez Chef weaves cooking and healthier lifestyles with Indian tradition and culture. Anita Dupuis, a SKC health director, came up with the idea and grant money for the show. “Historically, Native American genetics weren't made to properly digest and metabolize non-Native cuisine, i.e., sugar, flour and trans fat,” she said. “In order to be successful, an intervention in native communities must speak to who we are, must be based in and founded upon the traditional wisdom of our ancestors, and it must be learned by experience.”
Among the show's previous and upcoming segments:
Classic Shepherd's Pie with deer meat;
Pend d'Oreille tribal elder Stephen Small Salmon prepared an elk and vegetable stir fry;
Lance Hawkins from SKC created “the ultimate bachelor food,” crock pot chili;
Cultural committee member Vernon Finley and his children made family-fun tacos;
CharKoosta News editor Kim Swaney made braised chicken with broccoli, sun-dried tomatoes and couscous.

Yukoners blame Alaskan fishing industry for low salmon numbers
Yukon: Salmon watchers claim Alaskan pollock fishermen are to blame for dwindling chinook salmon stocks and poor salmon runs.  They say trawlers in the North Pacific are disregarding the international Pacific Salmon Treaty. Because of the very low salmon numbers coming from the ocean to the Yukon River, area fisheries were canceled last summer. "We had no commercial, domestic or recreational fisheries.  The aboriginal fishery was allowed to go ahead, but even it only caught about 60% - 70%  of what it normally takes," said Gerry Couture of the Yukon River Panel. "So it was bad, and it was bad because, in part, enough fish didn't enter the river and, in part, our Alaskan colleagues made a mistake in management." Pollock trawlers often catch thousands of chinook salmon as by-catch in their nets.  Biologists estimate that in 2006,  the Alaskans' total by-catch was more than 100,000 chinook. About 26,000 had been bound for the Yukon River.
Inuitindianart Digest Number 1922

Dam destruction brings hope to endangered species
The PPL Corporation will sell three dams on Maine’s Penobscot River to the state and federal governments, conservationists and the Penobscot Nation. More than 500 miles of habitat will be opened to the endangered Atlantic salmon whose numbers have dramatically dwindled since the dams’ construction.
Portland Press Herald

Court will investigate Leschi case
Washington: A Historical Court of Inquiry and Justice will rehear the 150-year old murder case against Leschi, chief of the Nisqually Indian tribe. During the signing of 1854's Treaty of Medicine Creek, Leschi objected to a reservation high on a cliff, far away from the Nisqually Valley and the salmon-rich river that sustained the tribe.  War erupted between the Indians and territorial forces, and a soldier in the Washington Militia, A.  Benton Moses, was killed.  Leschi was charged with Moses' murder. In 1854, the first territorial jury refused to convict Leschi after it was instructed that killing a combatant in a time of war was not murder.  A second court was convened, and that jury pronounced Leschi guilty.  The judge also refused to admit into evidence a map showing that Chief Leschi could not have traveled the distance necessary to fire at Moses.  After the U. S. army refused to execute him, Washington's Territorial Legislature passed a law allowing local authorities to carry out the execution. Chief Leschi was hanged Feb. 19, 1858. Today, after prodding by Tribal members, the 2004 Legislature has called upon the state's Supreme Court to reopen the case.
U.S. to recognize tribe for wetlands efforts today
Washington: Jamestown S'Klallam tribal members have been recognized by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for their wetlands restoration efforts.  The wetlands were restored in the Sequim Bay watershed. A wide array of wildlife including an endangered run of summer chum salmon, waterfowl, raptors and amphibians will benefit from the wetland restoration

 Innovators of Our Time
Every genius, said Danish writer Isak Dinesen, is doomed. She meant that geniuses, or those touched with a spark of it, had very little choice in life. Each one, she said, was powerless "in the face of his own powers," compelled to follow a certain path and to do a particular thing with instinctive flair and originality. The Smithsonian Magazine recently chose 35 innovators who make a difference, a contribution, and inspire.  Included on that list Is artist and architect Maya Lin is best known for her Vietnam Memorial. That accomplishment alone gave her a ticket for fame and a career of designing monuments with high price tags. Instead, she followed her heart. "People ask, 'If you’d never won the Vietnam Memorial award, where would you be?'" she says. "I reply that I'd be making things, same as I am now." Currently, Lin is working on the Confluence Project—a series of artworks that honor the timeline and explorations of the Lewis and Clark journey. But the monuments' text will not say: "Then the great explorers passed through the wilds of what is now Idaho."  Instead, she will name the Native American tribes who lived in the places the explorers passed: Nez Percé, Chinook, Shoshone, Sioux, Cheyenne, Mandan and others. She reminds us of a forgotten truth: this land was not unexplored. It was their land. At her monument along the Washington shoreline, Lin describes a visitor's point of view—that of a fisherman. "You're not coming here to see what I've done," she says. "You're coming here because you've always come here. You're coming here because you've just caught a king salmon that's two and a half feet long and you're going to cut your fish here. And then, maybe, you're going to start reading this and you’re going to say, 'What is going on here?' And maybe you'll get a hint that this was the sacred grounds of the Chinook tribe."

Mt. Hood huckleberries slim pickings for Warm Springs women
Oregon: Suzie Slockish, a member of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, took a month off work, without pay, to help harvest huckleberries. She is one of only 25% of the Warm Springs women that still picks this traditional food. 'We're not close to the Creator any more with the land and the water where our food grows naturally," she said. "That's what scares me, because our children aren't taking to the salmon and roots and berries like they should..." Slockish, along with other tribal members, is worried about the overgrown areas that kill off the berries.  "If we didn't have Safeway, we wouldn't have enough to eat because the food's been going away. That's why we have to go clear to Mt. Adams on the Washington side for huckleberries now.''

Klamath Fisheries Facing Closure
California: The Hoopa and Yurok tribes face drastic cuts to their annual salmon harvest from the Klamath River. Over the past several years, they have harvested 30,000-70,000 fish--half the total salmon population. This year, however, the total fish populations are only about 16,800 fish.  In addition, up to 80% of the fish are diseased.   Mike Orcutt, Hoopa Valley Tribe's director of tribal fisheries, said the tribe will likely only harvest enough fish for subsistence and ceremonial purposes and all but shut down any commercial fishing.   Many problems are blamed for the sharp decline in salmon including a five-year drought, and federal management of the river which allots too much water to farmers. The Bush administration has been roundly criticized by tribes, fishermen, and environmentalists for keeping the water flowing to the farmers at the expense of the salmon and other fish species.
Indian Country Today

Native youth seek roots, self through leadership camp
Alaska: About 40 Native youth attended this year’s Latseen Leadership Training Camp in Juneau.  “Our youth are no longer raised in the traditional way,” said Barbara Cadiente- Nelson, from the  Sealaska Heritage Institute. “This camp focuses on rooting them in place, reconnecting them to who they are in history. It is important to know your past in order to go forward.”  “Latseen” means “strength” in the Tlingit language.  Camp events focused on strengthening three Rs: rigor, relevance and relationship.   Campers began each day with a martial-arts-like “freedom dance” at 7 a.m. They also tended to graves at the Native Graveyard on Douglas Island, prepared meat, rendered seal oil, and learned the traditional way to cook salmon—wrapped in leaves and baked in the ground.  “Our scholars envisioned this camp to build up Native youth and train them to be tradition bearers,” said Cadiente-Nelson.
Students' comments:
“I’ve felt disconnected since I left. This camp helped me remember who I am, where I come from. It’s something I wish I could have participated in when I was in high school.”  Jennifer Hanlon,  21
“We’ve learned a lot from the elders ... how to carve a dagger and how to build a smokehouse. We dissected and smoked fish, and learned how to prepare other traditional foods.”  Tiffany LaRue,  15
Each student earned four college credits for attending the camp: one credit in Tlingit language, one in physical education, and two in Alaska Native history.

Tribal educator helps pass along lifetime lessons
Washington: Environmental educator Kaia Smith was hired by the Swinomish Tribal Council to bring environmental teachings to youth. Her position was created to influence young tribal members to maintain fishing habitats -- and fishing jobs -- for generations to come. Each week Smith addresses children at the tribe's Community Day Care about the perils of polluting the water. She uses a model program:  "Tox in a Box." TIAB is a program designed at the University of Washington to visually show students how pollution makes its way into Washington waters.  Hands-on activities teach children the effects of cars, animal waste, pollution, and other factors which affect the waters whose salmon used to sustain the tribe. Today, however, the number of wild salmon that complete their life cycle has fallen by 75% in the last 20 years.  "Our culture revolves around the environment," said State Indian Education Director Denny Hurtado. "A lot of our people still depend on the environment, whether it's animals or shellfish or berries. If we don't protect it, we will get sick."

Big Salmon Habitat Project Begins Tribes Arrange Construction of River Log jams
Washington: Construction has begun on a large salmon habitat restoration project where Hutchinson Creek flows into the south fork of the Nooksack River.  Engineers and excavators are creating log jams to provide deep pools of cool water to help restore dwindling stocks of spring chinook salmon and bull trout. The pools will provide the fish cover from predators as they rest on their way to their spawning grounds. Both species are listed as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act.  In 2005, only 120 wild salmon returned to the south fork to spawn, and a bull trout count was unavailable.  The project, coordinated by the Lummi and Nooksack tribes' natural resources departments, will cost more than $1,000,000.

25 Years Later; Nez Perce Tribe Marks Anniversary Of Crucial Standing-Off Over Salmon
Idaho: Twenty-five years ago, Nez Perce Tribal fishermen were willing to die for the right to fish.   Recently, 150 people gathered by the Rapid River to remember this pivotal point in the tribe's effort to protect its treaty rights.  "Today we sit here peacefully," said tribal fisherman Elmer Crow. "Twenty-five years ago, that wasn't the situation." Tribal members recalled how, on June 13, 1980, heavily armed state and federal officers tried to enforce a ban on salmon fishing.    In the midst of the tension, six Nez Perce fished anyway, earning them citations and, for some, jail time.  On that day and the weeks to follow, Fish and Game, state, county and National Guard officials surrounded the fishing grounds, handing out citations and seizing fish. "They were armed with sawed-off shotguns and grenade launchers, and snipers lined the hillside," Crow said. "All for a handful of Nez Perces."  In the end, 33 tribal members appeared before Magistrate George R. Reinhardt at the Idaho County Courthouse. They pleaded innocent, claiming their treaty rights superseded state law. The Nez Perce won.
Lewiston Morning Tribune