Youth and Education News
December 10, 2003 Issue 124, Volume 4
“There are lots of people who are poor and forgotten. We need to remember the elders and what they’ve done for us. We want them to know that we appreciate them.” Thomas Mentzer, Hopi High teacher.
Alien Life? Astronomers Predict Contact by 2025
According to the book Cosmic Company, earthlings could make contact with extraterrestrial beings by the year 2025. Authors and astronomers Seth Shostak and Alexandra Barnett say it's unlikely that aliens will visit earth, but they may be sending radio signals across space to let us know they exist. "It's a matter of statistics, really," said Barnett. "Many believe the universe is 12 to 15 billion years old. Humans have only been around for 40,000 years. We really are the new kids on the block. It would just be too tough a pill to swallow to believe that nothing else has evolved in all that time and space." While earth is in the Milky Way galaxy, more than 100,000,000,000 galaxies exist outside our own. "Planets really are as common as phone poles," said Shostak. "Right now, we know that there are planets out there [orbiting] ten or twenty percent of the stars we look at." In 2007, NASA will launch the Kepler Mission, a satellite probe able to detect smaller planets the size of Mercury, Mars, and Earth. The mission will search for planets considered the habitable zone: the distance from a star where liquid water can exist on the planet's surface. The Kepler Mission and the new Allen Telescope Array in California will enable astronomers to survey 100,000 stars by 2015, increasing the odds of making radio contact. As to what intelligent life would look like, Garnet and Shostak suggest a smooth gray humanoid bigger than a cat, but smaller than an elephant. The alien would have two eyes and more than one limb.
Great Apes in Great Danger, U.N. Says
Poachers shoot them. Smugglers sell their babies as exotic pets. Illegal loggers wipe out the rain forests where they live. And civil wars drive them away. The great apes -- gorillas, chimpanzees, bonobos and orangutans-are in danger of extinction. A recent 3-day talk in Paris drew representatives from 18 countries for the largest meeting ever to save the endangered animals which share more than 96% of their DNA with humans. At least $25,000,000 is needed to programs to save the species. "We may need a much larger sum, certainly in the hundreds of millions, if we're going to guarantee saving these animals," said Robert Hepworth of the United Nations Environment Program. "If we can't save these species which are so close to us ... do we have very much hope with some of the other particularly threatened species and ecosystems?"
The American Bird Conservancy has released a list of the highest priority birds in the United States and Canada.
The list is divided into three broad categories.
Species classified as being of the Highest Conservation Concern suffer from multiple problems and include many birds listed under the Endangered Species Act. Birds in this category include the
Golden-winged Warbler, and
The second and third groups are of equivalent concern to each other, but for different reasons. Moderately Abundant Species declining at alarming rates. They include:
Prairie Warbler, and
Species with Restricted Distributions or Low Population Size covers species limited by number or habitat range.
To view the entire Green List: http://www.abcbirds.org/greenlist.htm
National Congress of American Indians Debates Energy Bill
Leaders at the National Congress of American Indians convention described U.S. Energy Bill 2003 as corporate-welfare for the rich and corporate-rape of Mother Earth. During a tense debate, Alaskan Natives gained support from the lower 48 states to protect sovereignty and refuse tribal status for for-profit Alaskan Native Corporations. However, Ute Chairman Howard Richards, Sr. and Rosebud Sioux Chairman Charles Colombe argued in favor of the energy bill. It was Gwich'in elder Jonathan Solomon and Zuni Pueblo Gov. Arlen P.Quetawki who brought the debate full circle to the sacred. 'We need tribes talking to tribes, not corporate money,' said Solomon, 74. As for those who came to argue on behalf of the energy bill, Solomon said it was clear where the influence came from. "They are sent here by corporate money." Gov. Quetawki stood by his sacred trust to protect his peoples' sacred places and prevent anyone from taking coal, oil or gas from his Mother Earth. "I am not about to allow anyone to come in and take them from me." He said the true riches are the language, religion and culture. "If those run out where do you expect to be!"
Harvesting the truck farm
It’s a familiar eyesore for many tribes—wrecked and abandoned vehicles strewn across their reservations. But Blackfeet tribal officials are tackling the problem of junkers on their 1.6-million-acre reserve. They purchased a crusher earlier this year to flatten the vehicles and recycle them as scrap metal. Wrecked vehicles can fetch about $70 a ton at recycling markets in Canada, Seattle and Utah. Close 5,000 junkers will be recycled.
From December 3-5, San Diego State University conducted a student referendum on a proposed new university mascot. The 3-day vote, held on the Internet, was to decide whether to adopt the historically accurate Aztec Warrior as their team mascot. If the Aztec Warrior is approved by students, it will make San Diego State the only campus in the California State University system with a human mascot. Results will be announced Thursday, Dec. 11, 2003
View the photo of the newly proposed mascot: http://www.sdsu.edu/mascot/
SAVE OUR HISTORY: DEFINING DOCUMENTS
On December 20 at 8:00 PM EST, the History Channel will spotlight some of the country's most critical documents and the drama that surrounds them. Included on the list are Andrew Jackson's Removal Act, The Treaty of Fort Laramie, and The Dawes Act These documents caused hardship and suffering, but Native American tribes still managed to maintain their sovereignty. Finally, some of the tribes are reaping financial benefits due to their sovereign status.
Rod Rondeaux: From cowboy to stunt man
After more than 30 years of bull riding, steer wrestling, team roping, and raising and riding horses, Rod Rondeaux has called it quits as a cowboy. His final rodeo was in Fort McDowell, Ariz. Now he will pursue being a stunt man, which began by accident when he doubled for actor Michael Greyeyes in the TNT movie "Crazy Horse." Rod;s other feature film appearances include "Wild, Wild West" "The Scorpion King" "Skins" "Hidalgo" and "Pancho Villa." He just finished working in "The Missing" and is currently working on the new ABC TV series, "10-8." In 2001, the First Americans in the Arts gave Rondeaux an outstanding achievement in stunts award.
Indian Country Today
Native music on tap for GRAMMY awards
For the fourth year, the GRAMMYS will hand out an award for Best Native American Music Album. This year's list of nominees marks a return to the traditional pow-wow sound that dominated the category in prior years. Nominated are:
Black Eagle, a drum group from Jemez Pueblo, New Mexico, chosen for Flying Free, released on the SOAR label..
The Black Lodge Singers, based in Washington, are up for Brotherhood, produced on the SOAR label.
Northern Cree Singers, from Alberta, Canada, nominated for Still Rezin' from Canyon Records
Tom Bee, nominated for Reveal His Glory, Soar Records
R. Carlos Nakai, Navajo-Ute, was nominated for Sanctuary from Canyon Records,
The Native American music category was added in 2000 after heavy lobbying from Native music advocates. The GRAMMY ceremonies will be aired on CBS on February 8, 2004, from 8-11:30 p.m.
GRAMMYS - http://www.grammy.com
Whale Rider and the Fight for Indigenous Films
Whale Rider, a movie with native theme and an all-Maori cast, earned more than $20 million at American box offices. To encourage more indigenous films, a new National Geographic Society initiative, called the All Roads Film Project, will provide seed grants and venues for indigenous filmmakers around the world. "These are narratives that have the power to last for centuries, yet they are not being told," said Mark Bauman, who is co-directing the project. "Our goal is to reflect the rainbow of faces that make up our cultural universe, and inject a broader range of experiences into mainstream culture." All Roads reaches out to native groups in Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United States, and also to native filmmakers who are even more marginalized: African tribes, people of the Amazon jungle, and hill tribes in Southeast Asia.
SHOWTIME INDEPENDENT FILMS Launched
Showtime Network has begun financing independent films for the marketplace. "SHOWTIME INDEPENDENT FILMS" works with established specialty producers and directors to create low budget films for theatrical premiere. One film, EDGE OF AMERICA, is inspired by a true story. Directed by noted Native American Indian filmmaker Chris Eyre, the movie stars James McDaniel ("NYPD Blue") as an African-American high school teacher who leaves his Texas home to teach at a public high school on Utah's Three Nations Consolidated Reservation. There, he takes over as a coach of the girls basketball team which makes it to the state championship. The cast for EDGE OF AMERICA includes noted Native American actors Irene Bedard and Wes Studi. EDGE OF AMERICA was written by playwright Willy Holtzman. Both Eyre and Holtzman also serve as producers. The movie will be released in 2004.
Red Lake Project Preserve video wins New York film festival award
Creation of the “My Three Friends” video was the highlight of high school for seven Red Lake girls. "It was a chance to show we really had potential. We had good minds,” said Crystal Lussier, a member of the 2001 class which developed the video. During 2001, the girls collaborated with Equay Wiigamig (the Red Lake women’s shelter) on the production. The video deals with difficult issues such as date rape, teen pregnancy and family troubles. The story also emphasizes the importance of turning to counselors and other sources of professional help to work through times of trouble. “We chose all the stuff in the movie to try to help people,” said Selma Lussier. “You feel good that this was from the heart.” “My Three Friends” already has won honors at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. Now, the video has been selected from among 340 submissions for presentation at the 2003 Native American Film and Video Festival in New York City.
Tru Rez Crew Big Winners At Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards
The fifth annual Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards were held in Toronto. The 2003 Canadian Aboriginal Music Award winners are:
|Best Rap Or Hip-Hop Album: Tru Rez Crew — Ain’t No Turnin’ Back||Best Song Single: Tru Rez Crew — "I’m A Lucky One"||Best Rock Album: Burnt — Project 1 The Avenue|
|Best Album Design: Burnt (Maggie Ross and Dave Boulanger) — Project 1 The Avenue||Best Folk Album: Sandy Scofield —Ketwam||Best Producer/Engineer: Sandy Scofield and Sael Wrinch — Ketwam|
|Best Female Artist: Lucie Idlout — 770, My Mother’s Name||Best Male Artist: Jay Ross — Old Town||Best Songwriter: Chester Knight — "Cochise Was A Warrior"|
|Best Traditional Album Historical: Whitefish Bay Singers — Anishinaabe Meenigoziwin||Best Hand Drum Album: Young Scouts — Meet Ya At The Round Dance||Best Traditional Album Contemporary: Carl Quinn — Nehiyo|
|Best Instrumental Album: David R. Maracle — Natural Resources||Best Country Album: Mitch Daigneault — Keep On Believing||Best Group Or Duo: Remedy — When Sunlight Broke|
|Best Blues Album: Wolfpack — Every Lil’ Thing||Galaxie Rising Star Award: Kimberly Dawn||Keeper Of Traditions In Aboriginal Music: Phillip Betthale|
Music Industry Award: Elaine Bomberry
||Lifetime Contribution To Aboriginal Music: Winston Wuttunee|
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