Youth and Education News
March 3, 2004, Issue 129, Volume 3
'You've got a President who says global warming is a hoax and across the Potomac river you've got a Pentagon preparing for climate wars. It's pretty scary when Bush starts to ignore his own government on this issue." Rob Gueterbock, Greenpeace
In 1986, David Henry exposed the biggest governmental fraud in American history: the Bureau of Indian Affairs squandering of up to $500,000,000,000 of Native American money.Henry, then an accountant for the BIA, was fired, ridiculed, received death threats. He spent the following years trying to get his story out, and even wrote a book, but the media, watchdog organizations, governmental agencies and lawyers ignored him for fear of repercussion. Years later, when the story finally became public, most newspapers never printed it on first page. So Henry recorded his information on CDs and hands it out wherever it goes. He also encourages people to duplicate it and pass it on. For coming forward with his story, Henry has won the respect and gratitude of thousands of Native Americans, many of whom rely upon government checks for basic necessities. Today, Henry is an honorary member of the Whistling Water clan of the Crow Indians
BIA head Anderson speaks to tribal youth
Dave Anderson's first appearance as the head of the Bureau of Indian Affairs was before the United National Indian Tribal Youth. A member of the Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Ojibwe from Wisconsin, Anderson urged Native youth to stay free of drugs and alcohol as they lead tribes in the next century. Among his comments:
"As Native youth, you are the leaders of tomorrow. You are the leaders of Indian Country."
"There is no reason for you, as Native people, why you should live lives of mediocrity or just being average."
"Become solution conscious, not problem conscious."
"Don't go your tribe and say, 'Where's my free housing?' Every one of you should be thinking, 'How can I become a homeowner?'"
Resourceful business defies sagging economy
Rez Dog Clothing Company sells men's, women's and kids' clothes at pow wows across the nation. Despite a sagging economy, the company is growing. Rez Dog's clothes--T-shirts, sweatshirts, caps and other casual wear -- are embroidered or silk screened with edgy, humorous slogans about modern reservation life. "We're a niche business," explained owner Keith DeHaas, a Standing Rock Sioux. "When Indian kids walk up to our booth at a pow wow, they get the sayings right away. Many white people are mystified." Keith and his wife, Mary, also sell spa products called Native Naturals. To develop it, they heeded a Rez Dog rule: Buy Indian. Their suppliers are either Native-owned or have a large percentage of Indian employees.Their manufacturer, Cosmetic Specialty Labs, put together an all-Native team just for them. "We work with a Native chemist and others," said Mary. "The company also has its own aloe vera fields, and we wanted aloe vera-based formulations." Rez Dog's products are available on the Web at http://www.rezdog.com
Indian Country Today
More Than a Million Requested to Help Border-Area Tribe
The Interior Department has asked Congress for $1,400,000 to help the Tohono O'odham Nation deal with illegal immigration on its sprawling reservation on Arizona's U.S.-Mexico border. Assistant secretary Aurene Martin said the numbers of drug seizures and illegal immigrant apprehensions are staggering. "I think that [ the Tohono O'odham Nation's] story is a very compelling one and I do know that it has received an increasing amount of attention in Washington," she said. "I think they can make, and they have made, a very strong case for the necessity of receiving that money." The Tohono O'odham reservation is the route of choice for many illegal immigrants after the U.S. Border Patrol focused its efforts in neighboring states several years ago. On any given day, about 1,500 undocumented immigrants cross the Tohono lands, according to tribal officials.
The Associated Press State & Local Wire
Police Clase With Protesting Indians in Ecuador, at Least 17 Injured
Riot police firing tear gas clashed with hundreds of Indian protesters in Quito, Ecuado. At least 17 people were injured and 19 arrested as protestors demanded more roads and better education for isolated Andean communities. Ecuador's powerful Confederation of Indian Nations asked protestors to stop and regroup but agreed to support any demonstrations by smaller Indian groups. Ecuador's 4,000,000 Indians account for about 33% of the country's population.
The Associated Press
Indians invade Brazilian ranches
Thousands of Brazil's indigenous Indians have invaded farms in an attempt to reclaim ancestral land. Members of the Guarani and Kaiowa peoples with painted faces and bearing traditional weapons have seized at least two farms. 2,000 Indians had also set up camps at the main entrances to other farms in the region. Brazil's National Indian Foundation says farmers moved onto the traditional land to support their large-scale cattle-ranches.
First Nations, Inuit Peoples Still Live Shorter Lives Than the Overall Canadian Norm
A new study says life expectancy for First Nations and Inuit peoples is 5-10 years shorter than other Canadians, and infant mortality rates are 2-3 times the rate of other Canadians. It does suggest that childhood obesity over the past 20 years may have stabilized, but with 9%-10% of youth obesity, there is little to celebrate. The study is titled "Entitled Improving the Health of Canadians"
Indian health care in cash crunch
The Indian Health Service is the principal health-care provider for approximately 1,500,000 American Indians and Alaska Natives. The United States is legally responsible to provide health care for Indian people through numerous treaties, laws, Supreme Court decisions and executive orders. The Bush administration has asked for $3,000,000,000 in 2005 for the Indian Health Service--a 1.6% increase over 2004. But President Bush's proposed $46,000,000 increase does not begin to keep pace with medical costs. Indian leaders and health care providers estimate $19,400,000 is needed each year to adequately fund Indian health. Problems with President Bush's budget:
The amount falls to about $1,500 per Indian, less than the government spends on federal prisoners;
Health care costs have grown 7% in the last year, and Medicare and Medicaid changes add $3,700,000,000 to the IHS's costs;
The inflation rate in pharmaceuticals more than 14%;
Of the proposed $46,000,000 increase in Indian Health Service funding for 2005, $36,000,000 will cover the increased cost of federal employee pay and to allow tribal health programs to provide comparable pay raises to their employees;
This leaves less than a $10,000,000 increase to cover other costs.
Girl: cat saliva cleaner than dog drool
Lacey Lafromboise, a fifth-grader at Turtle Mountain Elementary School , N.D, will be traveling to the Native American Science Fair in Albuquerque, N.M. Lacey earned the trip by proving that her two dogs have more bacteria in their mouths than her two cats. Lacey said she will probably improve on her experiment before heading to Albuquerque. She may also retest her pets and make a new display board.
Housing campaign seeks to build 100,000 homes
The National American Indian Housing Council has launched a major plan to help tribes build 100,000 homes in the next 10 years. The "Housing First for First Americans." will address low home ownership rates and other issues. These issues include overcrowding, which happens 6 times more often for Native Americans than the general population. At least 200,000 homes are needed in Indian Country. Only 33% of Native Americans own homes.
Gay unions accepted as routine in cultures for centuries
The current debate over same-sex marriage reflects a relatively new tradition of fear and hatred of gays in American culture. Homosexuality only appeared in European medical literature in the late 1860s and reached the United States by 1892. However, same-sex partners have been together since time immemorial. Many cultures integrated men and women with transsexual natures into their societies. French Jesuit missionaries mentioned finding Iroquois men who dressed and acted as women. William Clark told one of his journal editors that Hidatsa boys who showed "girlish inclinations" were raised as women and married men. "American Indian languages had a variety of terms to identify a person who has both male and female spirits within," notes Lakota scholar Beatrice Medicine. Those terms include:
|lhamana (Zuni)||nadleeh (Navajo)||hemanah (Cheyenne)||kwid-(Tewa)||tainna wa'ippe (Shoshone)||dubuds (Paiute)||winkte (Lakota)|
Today, many scholars now prefer the term "two-spirit."
10 WAYS TO FIGHT HATE
Act: Do something. In the face of hatred,
apathy will be interpreted as acceptance — by the haters, the public and, worse, the victim.
Decency must be exercised, too. If it isn't, hate invariably persists.
2: Unite Call a friend or coworker. Organize a group of allies from churches, schools, clubs and other civic sources. Create a diverse coalition. Include children, police and the media. Gather ideas from everyone, and get everyone involved
3. Support the Victims: Hate-crime victims are especially vulnerable, fearful and alone. Let them know you care. Surround them with people they feel comfortable with. If you're a victim, report every incident and ask for help.
4. Do your Homework: Determine if a hate group is involved, and research its symbols and agenda. Seek advice from anti-hate organizations. Accurate information can then be spread to the community.
5. Create an Alternative: Do NOT attend a hate rally. Find another outlet for anger and frustration and people's desire to do something. Hold a unity rally or parade. Find a news hook, like a "hate-free zone."
6. Speak up: You, too, have First Amendment rights. Hate must be exposed and denounced. Buy an ad. Help news organizations achieve balance and depth. Do not debate hate mongers in conflict-driven talk shows.
7. Lobby Leaders: Persuade politicians, business and community leaders to take a stand against hate. Early action creates a positive reputation for the community, while unanswered hate will eventually be bad for business.
8. Look Long Range: Create a "bias response" team. Hold annual events, such as a parade or culture fair, to celebrate your community's diversity and harmony. Build something the community needs. Create a website.
9. Teach Tolerance: Bias is learned early, usually at home. But children from different cultures can be influenced by school programs and curricula. Sponsor an "I Have a Dream" contest. Target youths who may be tempted by skinheads or other hate groups.
10. Dig Deeper: Look into issues that divide us: economics, immigration, homosexuality. Work against discrimination in housing, employment, education. Look inside yourself for prejudices and stereotypes.
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