Youth and Education News
November 12, 2003 Issue 122, Volume 3
"Why not teach school children more of the wholesome proverbs and legends of our people? That we killed game only for food, not for fun... Tell your children of the friendly acts of the Indians to the white people who first settled here. Tell them of our leaders and heroes and their deeds... Put in your history books the Indian's part in the World War. Tell how the Indian fought for a country of which he was not a citizen, for a flag to which he had no claim, and for a people who treated him unjustly. We ask this...to keep sacred the memory of our people. " Grand Council Fire of American Indians to the Mayor of Chicago, 1927
Court denies Peltier hearing
A federal appeals court has refused to grant a parole hearing for Leonard Peltier, the American Indian accused of killing two FBI agents on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in 1975.† Although serious doubts are raised about his guilt, Peltier, 59, has been in prison twice as long as required by federal guidelines.† "He's done more than 10 years over the time that he was eligible for parole," said Vernon Bellecourt from the American Indian Movement.† The case has become a rallying point for American Indian and human rights activists, who believe Peltier is a political prisoner.
Message to Iraq
The Navajo Nation worked late into the evenings to pack care packages so Navajo troops could receive them by Nov. 20. Leila Help-Tulley said President George Bush designated Nov. 20 as "Native American Heritage Celebration" day for military troops.† Leila's brother, Julius Tully, and 30 other Navajos in his unit were deployed to Iraq on November 26, 2001. The family has not seen him since. Their latest contact was an email from Julus about a week ago. He wrote about the shooting down of a U.S. Army Chinook helicopter that killed 15 American soldiers and wounded 21. "The attacks have definitely increased," stated Julius. "The enemy is now using sophisticated Iraq/Russian made anti-weapons more than ever before... The attacks donít really bother me anymore. Maybe itís because it happens so often. I know Heavenly Father is mindful of me each and everyday. And of course this has to do a lot with your prayers for me. Thank you. Please tell my loved ones and supporters that their prayers are being answered here. Keep the faith and always be worthy of your blessings." The care packages to the Navajo soldiers included food, music, letters and video prepared especially for them.† Enough traditional Navajo foods, such as niítsíid digoohi (kneel-down corn bread) and Navajo tea, is being sent for Navajo soldiers and their friends.† Earl Tully, Leila's husband, explained that niítsíid digoohi and Navajo tea were sent to Iraq because "itís soul food.† Itís a familiar taste for Navajos. Home is so far away from them (Navajo service people). Particular smells, taste carry them back home. Thatís the significance."
Albuquerque to host National Congress of American Indians convention
The National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) will hold its 60th annual convention in Albuquerque from Nov.16 through Nov. 21.† More than 3,000 American Indian and Alaska Native leaders from across the country are expected to attend the week-long event. Tribal sovereignty, economic development, health, homeland security and emergency preparedness are all major topics. Founded in 1944, the National Congress of American Indians is the nation's oldest tribal government organization. It works to ensure the tribal sovereignty of the nation's tribes. The NCAI counts more than 250 tribal governments among its members.
Time's Coolest Inventions of 2003
Time Magazine recently listed its coolest inventions of 2003.† Among the winners :
WATER PURIFIER a low-cost, low-power water purifier designed for the Third World. Designed by LEV GROSSMAN
LAP CAT: Some are recommending him for nursing-home residents and dementia patients who need pet's love. http://www.robotherapy.org
MINE SWEEPER--Robo-Lobster, a 7-lb., 2-ft.-long crustacean, detects and destroys mines buried in the surf zone. http://www.massa.com
THE NEW BLACK: Black paint absorbs only about 97.5% of visible light. Super Black absorbs 99.65% of visible light. www.npl.co.uk
JAVA LOG- Made from used coffee grounds, this log boasts a higher heat density than real wood, so it can burn hotter and last longer. http://www.robustion.ca
Napali kayak: Made of a clear plastic that allows for spotting sea turtles and dolphins, it folds into a bundle the size of a backpack. http://www.clearbluehawaii.com
Flu-Mist: New alternative vaccine for the influenza viruses. † http://www.flumist.com
Preschoolians shoes: See-through bottoms to help ensure proper fit.† http://www.preschoolians.com
Skini: Swimsuits made from commercial fish skins that usually get tossed or turned into chicken feed. http://www.skinilondon.com
No-Contact Jacket: If the wearer feels threatened,† an 80,000-volt electrical pulse through the jacket's material to knock away attackers. http://www. no-contact.com
The Complete List
Music + Fashion
iTunes Music Store
Luminex Glowing Fabric
BeoLab 5 Speakers
Snorkel FM Radio
Health + Safety
Nasal-Mist Flu Shot
Human Genome Gene Chip
Infrared Fever Screening System
The No-Contact Jacket
Hydrogen Fuel-Cell Generator
Gadgets + Robots
Toyota's Prius, a Hybrid Car
Remote-Controlled Golf Caddy
Light + Dark
The New Black
National Marrow Donor Program Salutes American Indian/Alaska Native Volunteers Who Save Lives
Genevieve Baldwin wanted to be a volunteer marrow donor, but it was hard convincing her mother that donating marrow would not compromise Navajo tradition.† When Baldwin's marrow matched that needed by a 12-year old boy, her mother relented.† "Once my mother realized I was not giving up part of my bones or organs, but donating replaceable marrow, she gave me her blessing too," Genevieve said.
Number of Hungry Families in U.S. Rising
Based on a Census Bureau survey, 3,800,000 families were hungry last year to the point where household members skipped meals because they couldn't afford them. That's an 8.6% increase from 2001, when 3,500,000 families were hungry, and a 13% increase from 2000.† Also, more families are unsure if they can afford to eat or don't have enough food in their cupboards. Margaret Andrews, a department economist, said hunger and food insecurity is tied to the poverty rate because they fluctuate together.† Despite stocked grocery store shelves and the country's struggle with overweight people (65% of adults and 13% of children), Barbara Laraia from University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, said hunger and obesity can coexist. She said many poor families tend to buy high-calorie foods that are low in nutrients. "They're dependent on foods that are going to make their bellies feel full, rather than on nutrients," Laraia said. "The diet is compromised."
Acorns: native staff of life
"And you women, strike out, gather wild onions, wild potatoes!
Gather all you can! Gather all you can!
Pound acorns, pound acorns, pound acorns!
Make some bread, make some bread!
So we can eat, so we can eat, so we can eat...
Make acorn soup so that the people will eat it!...
Don't talk about starvation, because we never have much!
There is nothing to it."
( Song of Chief Yanapayak, Miwok, from "The Way We Lived," edited with commentary by Malcolm Margolin, copyright 1981.)
The acorn was, and still is, a central staple of the indigenous peoples of California.† The acorn contains about 18% fat, 6% protein and 68% carbohydrates, many amino acids, and high amounts of vitamins A and C.† Although acorn soup or bread is not today's typical food, author Malcolm Margolin says this traditional, sacred food is being slowly revived. "Much of Native California culture has been lost," he wrote, "yet despite the savagery of the dominant society, Indian life is far from extinguished. Even today, dances are still performed, new roundhouses are being built, shamans still practice healing, baskets are being made, and teachings are being passed on. It is not unusual to find in the freezers of even the most acculturated -- along with the frozen peas and ice cream, a bag of acorn meal, saved for special occasions."
Blueberries Show Promise for Diabetes Control
Can blueberry plants and evergreen tree extracts control diabetes? There's a good chance they can, say Ottawa and Montreal scientists. Health Canada and the Institute of Aboriginal Peoples' Health have given the scientists $900,000 for researching traditional Cree medicine in modern labs.† Scientists say early results in lab animals show some plant extracts may help to control -- though not cure -- Type 2 diabetes. The money begins a new era in medical funding: one that recognizes traditional plant use still has a lot to teach us.† Diabetes is a major health problem among aboriginal people.
Hot Cocoa May Prevent Heart Disease
Studies have shown that hot cocoa has more disease-fighting antioxidants than tea or red wine. And the heat may help propel them into the bloodstream. A recent study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry shows:
Cocoa had 611 mg of phenols and 564 mg of flavonoids.
Red wine had 340 mg of phenols and 163 mg of flavonoids.
∑ Green tea had 165 mg of phenols and 47 mg of flavonoids.
Black tea had 124 mg of phenols and 34 mg of flavonoids.
"These results suggest that cocoa is more beneficial to health than teas and red wine in terms of its higher antioxidant capacity and ability to fight damage leading to heart disease and cancer," writes† researcher Ki Won Lee.
American-Indian Students Have Higher Smoking Rates
A new federal report shows that students at American Indian schools have higher smoking and drug use rates than other students:
88% of high-school students at schools funded by the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs smoked cigarettes, compared with 64% of 9th- to 12th-graders nationwide;
81% of American Indian high-school students consume alcohol, compared with 78% of students nationwide;
77% of Native American students use marijuana, compared with 42% of high-school students nationwide;
21% of Native American students use cocaine, compared with 9% of other students.
Lana Shaughnessy of the Bureau of Indian Affairs said greater poverty and social isolation could be behind the increased alcohol and other drug use among American Indian students.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5244a3.htm
College Diversity Cuts Binge-Drinking Rates
A study from Harvard University says college diversity lowers the rates of binge drinking among high-risk students. "If you have younger white males together and exclude other groups, you're going to have fewer role models for lighter or nondrinking behavior," said† Henry Wechsler, the study's lead author. Previous studies have shown that binge-drinking rates vary greatly among certain student subgroups. For example, African- and Asian-American, female, and older students have lower rates of binge drinking than do white, male and younger students. "That may explain why fraternities have had such a high level of drinking problems,"† Weschler said. 44% of students at four-year colleges can be described as binge drinkers.
BIA taking over tribe's child welfare program
The Bureau of Indian Affairs plans to take over the Northern Cheyenne Tribe's child welfare program. The BIA claims the Cheyenne are unable to provide adequate services. U.S. District Judge Richard Cebull denied the tribe's request to stop the BIA from moving forward with the takeover. The Northern Cheyenne were ordered to hand over records to the BIA.
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