Youth and Education News
May 26, 2004, Issue 134 Volume 1
"We have to make knowledge important, make indigenous ideas and culture useful to society. We have to present it with integrity." Simon Ortiz
White bison born near Flagstaff
Flagstaff, AZ: A rare white buffalo has given birth to a white buffalo calf on the Spirit Mountain Ranch near Flagstaff, AZ. "The white buffalo is such a phenomenon because they are so rare," said Dena Riley, ranch owner. The birth of a white bison is meaningful for many Native American tribes, especially Plains Indians such as the Lakota. The white bison is a symbol of rebirth when the world's people are in troubled times.
Support our Troops
A letter from Rayma Lynne Adakai, Miss Indian New Mexico.
If you know of someone who would like to receive a care package, e-mails or letters, please e-mail their information to SupportOurTroops@AICCO.org and we will post their information. Please include their home town and tribal affiliation if you know it. Pictures are welcome!
For information on how to what can and cannot be shipped in care packages, how to package them, and ideas for what to send, please visit http://operationmilitarypride.org/packages.html
But before you send mail to someone you do not know please read this paragraph we took from the Department of Defense's website: (Note that emails are okay!)
Please do not flood the military mail system with letters, cards, and gifts.
Due to security concerns and transportation constraints, the Department cannot accept items to be mailed to "Any Service member." Some people have tried to avoid this prohibition by sending large numbers of packages to an individual service member's address. This clogs the mail and causes unnecessary delays.
The following are endorsed by the military
Operation USO Care Package will send a care package for you, but you cannot specify the recipient. http://www.usocares.org/home.htm
Operation UpLink will send a phone card to the recipient that you specify. http://www.operationuplink.org/
Defend America lists additional ways (e-cards, etc.) that you can show your support.
Post a message to an electronic bulletin board for service members to read at http://www.defendamerica.mil/support_troops.html
More about Rayma Lynne Adakai: http://www.aicco.org/SOT/images/Rayma_Letter.htm
Artifact thieves get a reprieve
Looters who ripped off Indian artifacts can return the stolen items without facing charges. The deal only applies in the “Four Corners:" New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona and Utah. The amnesty extends until August 18. “ This is our attempt to secure safe return of the objects and to separate the intentional wrong doer from those who may not know that is illegal to purchase or sell certain artifacts,” said attorney David Iglesias. Federal law protects sacred objects needed by religious leaders for the practice of Native American religion. It is illegal to display, sell, purchase, transport, or display the objects.
NATIONAL SORRY DAY / JOURNEY OF HEALING
Australia: On May 26, 1997, an Australian Federal report called Bringing Them Home detailed the painful removal of thousands of Aboriginal children from their families. It recommended that a 'Sorry Day" be held to help heal wounds within then nation. A year later over half a million people responded, signing Sorry Books and taking part in ceremonies on Sorry Day. In May 1999, this people's movement launched a 'Journey of Healing.' This year Australia will hold Sorry Day on May 26. All Australians are urged to join The Journey of Healing events focused on bringing home the stolen generations
France honors Lakota woman
On June 5, France will bestow the Chevalier de la Legion d'Honneur - Knight of the Legion of Honor - on Marcella LeBeau, 84, in a Paris ceremony. LeBeau, an Army nurse during World War II, will be among 100 former military personnel to receive France's most prestigious civilian honor. An enrolled member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, LeBeau was stationed in Minster, England, 60 years ago. She and other medical personnel received the first battle casualties from the Allied invasion of Normandy which began on June 6, 1944. "I would never want to take away from what our soldiers did," LeBeau said. "It was one of my greatest privileges and honor to have cared for those soldiers." She said her father served in the Spanish-American War and that his service became a tradition she followed. "I guess it kind of runs in our family," she said.
photo: news.bbc.co.uk/.../uk/newsid_217000/ 217816.stm
Red Lake woman named Miss Indian World
Delana Smith, a Red Lake Chippewa tribal member, was named the 2004-2005 Miss Indian World during this year's Gathering of Nations powwow in Albuquerque, N.M. "It was a dream of mine. I dreamed of it since I was a little girl," Delana said. Smith, a jingle dress dancer, applied for the contest in February. She had to write a five-page essay, submit a photo, proof of age and tribal enrollment and two letters of recommendation. Contestants were interviewed and judged on their essays, public speaking, dancing and a demonstration of traditional talent. "They asked me who inspires me and I said, 'My mom,'" Smith said. For her traditional talent, Delana shared the story of the dream catcher which tells of a spider who comes to Nookomis, the grandmother. Nookomis saves the spider and, in return, the spider bestows the gift of weaving.
Lakota woman praised for Boys and Girls Club work
At a White House ceremony, Leatrice "Chick" Big Crow received a National Promise of America Award from America's Promise. Leatrice, an Oglala Sioux from the Pine Ridge Reservation, S.D., founded the first Boys and Girls Club in Indian Country. "Chick Big Crow has created an important community center for young people in Pine Ridge. It was an honor to meet with her today," said Sen. Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) "Her efforts to provide a safe, positive environment for young people in Pine Ridge more than qualify her for this extraordinarily prestigious award."
Choosing customs over cash, Hopi Indian tribe votes down casino
Hopi voters have rejected plans to build a casino in northeastern Arizona. The referendum, which called for up to 500 slot machines on tribal trust land, was defeated 1,051 to 784. Some tribal members believe gambling goes against Hopi cultural customs and would add another social ill to a community already plagued by alcoholism and drug abuse. "Gaming is making money off other people's bad habits and the Hopi way says we should not use other people's bad habits to benefit," said tribal Vice Chairman Caleb Johnson. But other Hopis said gaming money is needed to offset expected losses from declining coal revenues.
Colors will join county display on area's history
Tuscon, AZ: On May 26, the flag of the Pascua Yaqui Tribe of Arizona will be added to a historic display in the Pima County Administration Building. "Most people think we are relative newcomers, but we had trade routes through this area going back to 550 A.D," said Robert Valencia, chairman of the tribe. "For us, adding our flag solidifies the fact that we are here, and we will continue to be here." The flag display includes six other flags representing the Tucson area's rich history - the 1500s Spanish flag of the explorer Coronado; the 1700s Spanish flag first flown over Tucson; the Mexican flag; the U.S. flag; the Arizona flag; and the flag of the Tohono O'odham Nation.
An explanation of symbols and colors on the Pascua Yaqui Tribe of Arizona flag:
Red--the blood shed to protect the Yaqui people, their land, their customs and their religion.
White -- purity of spirit.
Blue -- the sky where the Yaqui mother, Maala Mecha, and Yaqui father, Achi Taa'ah, reside.
Four stars--the cardinal directions of east, west, north and south.
The moon-- the Yaqui mother, Maala Mecha, the mother of all creation.
The sun -- the Yaqui father, Achi Taa'ah, the father of all creation.
A single black cross -- a memorial to all the Yaqui ancestors who died in wars protecting their people, their land, their customs and their Catholicism.
ARIZONA DAILY STAR
Signs spell out tribe's passion to revitalize native language
Cherokee, N.C.: 400 street signs written in the Cherokee language will soon appear on Eastern Cherokee's reservation streets. The new signs are part of a mission to return to the tribe's culture and language. "It reinforces what goes on in the school system," said Renissa Walker, from the Cultural Resources Department. "You see and hear it in your everyday life." Walker and Jean Bushyhead, the tribe's early childhood language program supervisor, say a new program that immerses Cherokee children in the language is also proving valuable. Almost 10% of tribal members speaks fluent Cherokee.
10,000-Year-Old Garbage Suggests Earliest Americans Hugged West Coast
San Luis Obispo, CA-- Rubbish dug in 1968 from an oceanside archaeological site may prove that some first Americans arrived on the west coast to reap the bounty of the land and the sea. The new, exhaustive analysis could support the idea that some Paleo-Indians did not arrive in North America through inland routes from Asia. "If you have, very early, people pursuing a life that's different from that of the big game hunters, that could suggest a different people and a different entry route," said anthropologist Terry Jones. When the site was first excavated, archaeologists found a rich assortment of animal and fish skeletons, stone tools, fish hooks, whistles and other artifacts stacked more than 12 feet deep. The 1968 researchers carried out only a basic analysis of many items before placing them in storage.
Lore tells of black chief in Montana
Montana: On a rock near the Yellowstone River southwest of Billings, there's a picture of a black war chief. Some believe it's York, William Clark's slave on the 1804-06 expedition. After the expedition--where York was considered an equal--he was kept in slavery by Clark, then later hired out to an abusive landowner. In 1832, Clark said he had eventually given York his freedom and a wagon and team of six horses. He also said York died in Tennessee, but no record has been found. There are, however, several accounts from the 1830s telling of a black chief named York living with the Crow Indians. One comes from a trapper named Zenas Leonard. In 1832, he wrote: "We found a Negro man who informed us that he first came to this country with Lewis and Clark -- with whom he also returned to the state of Missouri, and in a few years returned again with a Mr. Mackinney, a trader on the Missouri River, and has remained here ever since -- which is about 10 or 12 years." Crow historian Howard Boggess said he knows of no oral history within the Crow Tribe about a black chief 175 years ago. But he read the account of two Wyoming ranchers who ran cattle in Crow country at about that time. "They said there was a black man with the Crows who spoke English with them and could speak with the Crow in sign language," said Boggess. "They asked who he was, and he told them he had gone to the Great Water and come back." Although Boggess can't prove it happened, York's return makes a good deal of sense. "The Indian people looked at him as a god," Boggess said. "If I were that black man and returned to slavery and abuse again, guess where I'd go?
Trail of Tears Flowed Through Hopkinsville
Kentucky: Chief Whitepath and the Cherokees helped Gen. Andrew Jackson beat the Creek Indians in battle. Then, when Jackson became president, he made the Cherokees and other eastern tribes move to Oklahoma. Buried in Hopkinsville, KY, Whitepath was one of about 4,000 Cherokees who perished on the notorious Trail of Tears in 1838-1839. Historians say the Trail of Tears was like a death march for the American Indians. "The suffering of the Cherokees was beyond description," one white eyewitness wrote. Another said, "Even aged females, apparently nearly ready to drop into the grave, were traveling with heavy burdens attached to their backs, sometimes on frozen ground, and sometimes in muddy streets with no covering on their feet." The graves of Whitepath, Fly Smith, another tribal leader, and two unknown Cherokees are preserved at Hopkinsville's Trail of Tears Park. "We still have the original four limestone markers," said Midge Durbin, a park volunteer.
Indian tribes fear for way of life
Brazil: Xingu, Brazil's oldest and most successful Indian reservation, is 10,800-square-miles of pristine rain forest where 14 Indian tribes live much as their people have for thousands of years. Xingu has become surrounded by fields and pasture in the center of Brazil's fastest developing agricultural region. The Indians, whose numbers have grown to 5,000 since the reservation was created in 1961, say they are feeling the pressure. "Right now, we have to fight to maintain our traditions. The world won't be the same for our children and grandchildren, so we have to hold on to what we have as long as we can," said Kuiussi, chief of the Suya Indians. That includes fighting. "We taught [the Indians that] if they wanted to survive, if they wanted their children to survive, not to let anyone in. We told them if anyone came, to fight them," said Orlando Villas Boas, one of four brothers who fought to establish the reservation. On at least one occasion, Indians took the advice to heart. They killed 11 loggers who refused to leave, Mr. Villas Boas said. "No one even thought of coming here after that." Today, the Indians perform joint patrols with the Federal Indian Bureau and Brazil's environmental protection agency. But when no officials are around, the Indians aren't afraid to put on war paint and pick up bows, arrows and even hunting rifles to expel invaders.
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