Youth and Education News
June 9, 2004, Issue 135 Volume 3
"We need to save those Elders who cannot
speak for themselves -- the trees."
--Haida Gwaii, Traditional Circle of Elders
The Draft will Start in June 2005
$28 million has been added to the 2004 Selective Service System (SSS) budget to prepare for a military draft that could start as early as June 15, 2005. Twin bills--S 89 and HR 163--are being pushed through Congress, and the Pentagon has quietly begun a public campaign to fill all 10,350 draft board positions and 11,070 appeals board slots nationwide. Congress brought the bills forward this year, "to provide for the common defense by requiring that all young persons [age 18--26] in the United States, including women, perform a period of military service or a period of civilian service in furtherance of the national defense and homeland security, and for other purposes." These active bills currently sit in the committee on armed services. (And for those hoping to dodge the draft: college and Canada are not options.) Selective Service must report to Bush on March 31, 2005 thatthe system, which has lain dormant for decades, is ready for activation.
Indian turnout in South Dakota shows dramatic gains
SOUTH DAKOTA: More than twice as many Indians voted in South Dakota's recent primary election than in 2002:
Shannon County, Pine Ridge Reservation: voter increases was 212% from 682 voters in 2002 to 2,127 in 2004;
Todd County, Rosebud Sioux Reservation, voter increase was 149%, from 788 voters in 2002 to 1,959 in 2004;
Corson County, Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, grew by 76% voter increase;
Dewey County, Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation: voter increase was 68%;
Ziebach County, Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation: voter increase was 75%;
Buffalo County, Crow Creek Sioux Reservation, voter increase was 36%.
The increase benefited Democrat Stephanie Herseth, who won the special U.S. House election by just 2,981 votes. Indians voted overwhelmingly for Herseth over her Republican rival . "The Native voice was heard loud and clear," said Herseth, 33. "I will always remember why I am here," she said. "In the language of the Lakota people, pilamaya." Despite the gains, turnout on the state's reservations still fell far below the state average of 56%. At Pine Ridge, 30% of eligible voters went to the poll, and at Rosebud the turnout was 39%. Indians make up about 9% of the state's population.
Anniversary gets sparse recognition
Eighty years ago the U.S. Congress granted all American Indians their full citizenship, bringing an end to their exclusion from the American political community. The 1924 Indian Citizenship Act helped most Indians gain access to the same rights and entitlements as other U.S. citizens. "We are an important part of this country," said Rep. Norma Bixby, D-Lame Deer. "We need to remind ourselves and the nation." The citizenship of Indians was gained, in part, due to former U.S. Vice President Charles Curtis, Kaw, and Dolly Cusker Aker, Fort Peck's former tribal president and Montana's first Indian state legislator. This year, Montana was the only state officially recogning the bill's 80th anniversary. Eight flags flew over the state capital, and the governor issued a proclamation recognizing the significance of the act to America's first inhabitants.
Holden emancipates York, the slave who accompanied Lewis and Clark
Missouri Gov. Bob Holden has signed documents delivering York, the only African-American member of the Lewis and Clark expedition, from slavery. As a member of the 1803-1806 expedition, York traveled through what today's Missouri, which was admitted to the union as a slave state in 1821. "This recognition is long overdue," said Holden, who described York as an equal member of the expedition. "Today we're realizing that that everybody needs to be equal partner in life."
Oldest area home, Richardville's, to open for tours
INDIANA: The Richardville home in Fort Wayne, IN, will soon open for public tours. Built in 1827, the home was once owned by Jean Baptiste de Richardville, a Miami Indian chief. As a young man, he fought in battles under the command of Chief Little Turtle, then later became a Miami civil chief, focusing on the business of the tribe. When the U.S. government forced the Miami to give up their ancestral homelands, Richardville negotiated small reservations for each of the nine Miami chiefs and their families, including his 3,000 acre homestead. The remaining tribal members were forced to march west, first in 1846 to a reservation in Kansas and later to their current reservation in Miami, Okla. When the Richardville home opens on June 26, the Miami Nation of Indians of Indiana will serve as one of the lead interpreters.
GPS used to save lives
SHIPROCK, AZ: Students at Career Prep High School want to improve emergency response times on their 27,000 square-mile reservation by using GPS--Global Positioning Satellite. The teens gave elders living in remote areas the exact GPS location of their homes and hogan so an emergency helicopter, also equipped with a GPS system. could quickly find them and fly the victim to the nearest hospital. Many elders did not understand GPS technology until they saw satellite images of the earth, said student Dareita Yellowhorse. She added that the elders were very emotional that someone cared about them.
Study finds widespread contamination of "certified" conventional crop seeds
A study has found that the U.S. supply of "certified" conventional crop seeds is now contaminated with DNA from genetically engineered crops. More than two-thirds of 36 conventional corn, soy and canola seed batches contained DNA from genetically engineered crop varieties. Scientists warn of a potentially "serious risk to human health" because crops engineered to produce chemicals and drugs may now be poisoning crops grown for food. "Seed contamination is the back door to the food supply," said microbiologist Margaret Mellon. "The realization that some seeds may already have been contaminated by pharm crops is alarming and could pose a serious risk to human health".
Snuffing Out a Smoky Way of Life in the Canadian Arctic
NUNAVUT: Public health officials in the Canadian Arctic hope to impose smoking bans similar to others across Canada. In Nunavut, where smoking is integral part of life, anti smoking measures are an extraordinary experiment in the social lives for a people heavily addicted to tobacco.
EPA officials laud tribal air quality program
MINNESOTA: Top officials with the Environmental Protection Agency visited the the Bois Forte Reservation, Minnesota, to tour a national pilot project on indoor air quality. The project is working to detect mold and other air quality problems in homes and buildings on the Bois Forte and other reservations. “It’s a great example of a successful tribal program,” said C. Darrel Harmon, a senior Indian program manager with the EPA. “It’s one of the best indoor air quality programs of any tribe in the country.” A recent study indicated that up to 60% of reservation homes in the Great Lakes area may have problems with mold. Reservation homes tend to have more problems because they are often designed for drier and warmer climates than found in the Upper Midwest.
Season of the saguaro has arrived for O'odham
For the Tohono O'odham, June is the first month of the new year and the time to harvest saguaro fruit. They use two poles to pull the ripe fruit from a 20-foot cactus, then catch it in baskets before it hits the ground and bursts. Some harvesters eat the saguro on the spot--it has the satisfying sweet crunchiness of a fig. Others sit in the shade of a ramada, splitting the fruit open and scooping the juicy pulp into a bucket to soak for several hours. The pulp is cooked over an open fire, then strained to separate fibrous pulp. The sweet juice will be cooked until it become sitol, a thickened syrup. In the meantime, the strained pulp is sun-dried, then beaten to remove the seeds. The Tohono O'odhams then store it or add it to the cooked syrup to make jam. The seeds become flour, chicken feed, or when ground and mixed with syrup, a sweet snack. Empty husks are placed on the ground, red-side up, to hasten the summer rains.
Tribe's fears prompt officials to remove endangered panther
Florida: Wildlife officers removed a Florida panther from Big Cypress National Preserve after the Miccosukee Tribe complained the cat was lurking near homes and occupying the site of the tribe's annual Green Corn Dance. Conservation groups worry about what they see as a decision based on fear rather than science. The young male panther had made no threatening moves, and since its relocation to Hendry Country, the panther may be killed by an established male. "It's being moved to another area that's panther territory," said Karen Hill, vice president of the Florida Panther Society. "If there is a male out there, it's going to be immediately competing with this older male, so he could be killed. Now it's losing habitat to fear. They've been here a long time, why all of a sudden are the Miccosukees afraid?"
See Florida's endangeredanimals: http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/local/southflorida/sfl-gladesendangeredgallery.gallery
Chimps Could Be Extinct in 50 Years--Study
Humanity's closest relative, the chimpanzee, could be extinct in 50 years because it is hunted for meat and threatened by deforestation and disease. "The situation is much more critical than we thought," said Norm Rosen, an anthropologist at California State University-Fullerton. Rosen's study -- which estimates that 10 chimpanzees in the wild are killed for every orphan that reaches a sanctuary -- predicts that the Pan troglodytes chimps will become extinct in the next 17-23 years. The other three chimpanzee are expected to disappear in 41-53 years. "The numbers at the sanctuaries don't lie. You don't get the kind of steady stream of orphaned chimpanzees we're seeing without a devastating drop in the wild population," Rosen said. Chimpanzees are found in western, central and eastern Africa. 19 Pan African sanctuaries currently care for approximately 670 chimpanzees, a number that has risen by more than 50 percent in the last three years.
Wampum Belt: http://events.mnhs.org/timepieces/Index.cfm
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