Youth and Education News
November 26, 2003 Issue 123, Volume 4
"Popular culture seems to represent Native Americans as these mythical beings of the past and the Heritage month activities are trying to break down those stereotypes. People should know that we aren't a monolithic group of people. We are comedians, authors, singers, and our cultures are very much alive today." Nickole Fox
Yellowstone Buffalo Protection Act
Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) and Rep. Charles Bass (R-NH)have introduced H.R. 3446, titled the "Yellowstone Buffalo Preservation Act". The bill is designed to protect Yellowstone bison from hazing (chasing bison with helicopters, snowmobiles, horses and ATV's), capturing, and killing. Under the bill, bison would also be allowed to roam in relatively small portion of lands on the west and north sides of Yellowstone National Park where they now migrate with fatal consequences. The bill further establishes that the National Park Service has sole jurisdiction over bison inside Yellowstone National Park.
Bison on California's Santa Catalina Island sent to new home in South Dakota
Nearly 100 bison on Santa Catalina Island, CA, were recently sent Indian reservations. The bison were removed so the island could regrow native plant life damaged by the growing herds. In South Dakota, Sioux tribal members greeted the bison with a traditional blessing. Karen Sussman from the Cheyenne River Reservation, said their arrival on the South Dakota reservation fulfills a prophesy that predicted the animals' return to the plains. "They really are coming home," Sussman said. "That's the exciting thing about this, to see that they're coming home." Bison have lived on Catalina Island since the 1920s when 14 animals were brought in for a movie called "The Vanishing American."
Nature Body Warns of Wildlife Extinction Threat
The Swiss-based World Conservation Union has listed 12,259 varieties of animal, plant and water life described as critically-endangered. According to the organization, which works with civil society groups and scientists around the globe, humans are causing the problems. "Places such as the Galapagos, Hawaii and the Seychelles are famed for their beauty, their diversity of plants, animals and ecosystems," said IUCN Director General Achim Steiner. "But the Red List tells us that human activities are leading to a swathe of extinctions that could make these islands ecologically and aesthetically barren." Their findings are listed in IUCN's Red List - the key reference for biologists tracking the state of the planet's health.
Among the findings:
J Highest number of endangered birds and mammals: Indonesia, Brazil, China and Peru;
J Highest number of endangered plants: Ecuador, Malaysia and Sri Lanka;
The IUCN said the downward spiral could be stopped - exemplified by governments and peoples who have joined to save species like the Arabian oryx and the white rhino. "By working together, we can help conserve what remains of the earth's biodiversity," said Red List compiler Craig Hilton-Taylor.
Fiji Plans to Give Tribes Coastal Control
Fiji's government will give indigenous tribes control of thousands of miles of coral lagoons, beaches and reefs. At a meeting with the Great Council of Chiefs, a powerful group of tribal leaders, Attorney General Qoriniasi Bale said the government would pass ownership of lagoon areas in 2004. Fiji's economy depends on the millions of dollars tourists spend at the nation's plush resorts. Tourism officials fear the decision will lead to clashes with tribes over rights to swim, fish, dive, sail, surf and picnic along Fiji's coast. Some Fijian tribesmen are already demanding payment for people using the crystal-clear water.
Heard Museum observes Day Without Art/World AIDS Day, Dec. 1, 2003
The Heard Museum will observe "Day Without Art/World AIDS Day" on Monday, December 1, 2003. The day is meant to raise the awareness of AIDS and HIV's impact on the Native American community. The Heard Museum will also distribute educational brochures that share sources of information about the disease. The Heard Museum's signature sculpture "Earth Song" by Allan Houser, Chiricahua Apache, will be draped in a black shroud displaying the latest AIDS statistics among Native Americans and the general population.
Native Artist Wins GG Literary Prize
Being illiterate has not stopped 75-year-old Allen Sapp from winning a Governor General's literary award. Sapp, a Cree-speaking Indian from Saskatoon, is a descendant of legendary Prairie leader Chief Poundmaker. Sapp never learned to read and write any language, but he learned to draw and paint as a child on the Red Pheasant Reserve. Sapp has been honoured by Gov. Gen. Adrienne Clarkson for his illustrations in the children's book, The Song Within My Heart.
Wood Carver Brings Cherokee Little People to Life
Little People are part of Cherokee mythology, just as leprechauns are a part of Celtic mythology. Some Cherokee believe Little People are simply fables; others claim to have seen them running through the woods and hayfields of Cherokee County. Dean Smith creates carvings of them for a living. "I've got four "U-s-dis" [u-s-di is a Cherokee word denoting something small ] and two Old-Timers here," said Cheek, as he removed the plastic wrapping from a couple of his hand-carvings. "I'm waiting for a ride to town to send five of them to North Carolina." In 1977, Smith began carving Little People out of firewood. Today he uses buckeye, cedar, oak, walnut, and even rock . "Usually, style changes come when some material runs out," Cheek said. According to "Myths and Sacred Formulas of the Cherokee" by James Mooney, three kinds of Little People exist.
The Laurel People play tricks and are a bit mischievous, sometimes hiding stuff from humans. They teach us that we shouldn't take things too seriously.
The Rock People are meaner, and do things like steal children and exact revenge. They teach us that mean acts will come back on us.
The Dogwood People are good and take care of humans. Dogwood People teach us that, when we do something for someone else, we should do it out of the goodness of our hearts.
Local chef, native cuisine to be featured in PBS series
Loretta Barrett Oden, a world-renowned chef, will be featured in a 13-part series on PBS that explores the history of native foods and American Indian cuisines. "I take old traditional recipes and ingredients and just kind of update them to suit today's palate," Oden said. "It is new and it's old and it's innovative and it's healthy. " Production will begin in February. The first shoots include the salmon runs in the Northwest and covering the wildlife harvest at Minnesota's Leech Lake. "Since we are shooting on location, it's 13 different reservations or tribal areas where this food has been for thousands of years."She said the series will probably begin airing in mid to late 2004, perhaps debuting around Thanksgiving.
Why the Protest of Viroqua High School’s “Little Mary Sunshine”?
A recent high school production of “Little Mary Sunshine” brought Indian educators, college students, and Wisconsin tribal members to Viroqua, Wisconsin. They came in protest of the play's disrespect for Native culture and the stereotypes in promotes. According to one protester, Little Mary Sunshine performers sat cross-legged “Indian Style,” spoke broken English and incorrect Lakota, and greeted each other with “How." Students also portrayed characters with names like “Chief Brown Bear” and “Yellow Feather." One scene suggested that some Indian people thought alcohol was sacred.
Member of Tuscarora Nation inducted into hall of fame
At Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pa., family members of Olympian Franklin P. Mt. Pleasant presented the college with two trophies Mt. Pleasant won during his years at the college. Mt Pleasant was a member of the 1908 Olympic team and competed in the long jump and triple jump. He placed sixth in the triple jump despite a ligament injury. Later that year, he set records in the Paris Games by defeating the Olympic long jump champion. After the Olympics, Mt. Pleasant enrolled in Dickinson College where his talents as captain of the school’s football team set records for scoring, punting and field goal kicking. He also set set the college record for the long jump, a record that remained unbroken until 2000. Mt. Pleasant has also attended Carlisle Industrial School from 1904 - 1907 where he ran track and played baseball, basketball and football with teammate Jim Thorpe. In 1973 Mt. Pleasant was inducted into the American Indian Athletic Hall of Fame at Haskell Indian Nation University. In 1998 he was inducted into Indiana University’s Hall of Fame.
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