Native Village 

Youth and Education News

May 26, 2004,  Issue 134 Volume 3

"We have to make knowledge important, make indigenous ideas and culture useful to society. We have to present it with integrity." Simon Ortiz

Police memorial gets 17th-century addition
Springfield, MASS: Constable John Miller's name will be placed on the Springfield Police Department Memorial. The 17-century man is believed to be the first policeman killed in the line of duty in the Americas. Miller was killed in 1675 while defending the city against an American Indian attack. Three settlers were killed and 32 houses burned in the battle.

Aborigines form political party 'to oust Howard'
Australia: Aborigines are forming their own political party aimed at sweeping Prime Minister John Howard's government from office. The new party, Your Voice, was announced at a rally at the Victorian parliament house. More than 500 people attended.

Paper in Oneida claim stretches imagination
Imagine a stack of documents stretching from the shoulder of the Statue of Liberty nearly to the tip of her torch.  That's a lot of reading. This is the measure of the latest phase of the Oneida Indian land claim. As it crawls to trial, lawyers in the past year have swapped virtually every piece of paper ever collected on the case.

Total pages so far: 200,000. Total height: 67 feet.

Native American Business Alliance Honors DaimlerChrysler and General Motors
The Native American Business Alliance has announced the winners of NABA's "Corporation of the Year" and "The Advocate of the Year" of 2004.  For the first time, two companies shared "The Corporation of the Year" Award -- DaimlerChrysler and General Motors.   "Corporation of the Year" is awarded to companies that provide opportunities for Native businesses to compete fairly for business contract while educating communities about Native American culture.   "Advocate of the Year" honors went to Mr. Paul Schupmann, Senior Manager, Minority Supplier Diversity from General Mills. He was selected for his unfailing willingness to provide opportunities for Native American-owned businesses that wished to work with General Mills.

Loan boosts reservation Internet
South Dakota: A $4,200,000 federal loan will provide high-speed Internet access to homes and businesses across the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation. "We have some of the poorest counties in the country ... with a land area the size of the state of Connecticut," said J.D. Williams, manager of the tribe's telephone authority. "From Bridger to Blackfoot, we're going to provide the service." Bridger is a small community on the southwest edge of the reservation in west-central South Dakota, while Blackfoot is near the northeast border. The loan is part of a U.S. Agriculture Department initiative to improve telecommunications in rural America. Students on the reservation will gain access in their homes to the same high-speed Internet service available in most larger cities.

Campbell to protect Sacagawea dollar coin
Sens. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) and Ben Nighthorse Campbell (R-Colorado) plan to block legislation to remove Sakakawea from the golden dollar coin. Rep. Mike Castle (R-Delaware) had introduced legislation to replace the Indian woman with images of  U.S. presidents. A House subcommittee approved the measure. Production dropped from 558,000,000 Sakakawea coins in 2000 to 6,200,000  in 2003.  Rather than remaining in circulation, as the U.S. Mint hoped, the Sacagawea coin has become a collectors item

Native population uses seatbelts the least
ALBUQUERQUE NM: A word to the wise--if driving on Indian land, use a seatbelt. During the national “Click It or Ticket” campaign (May 24 - June 5), the Bureau of Indians Affairs and tribal police will aggressively enforce the use of safety belts. “ Many people are not using their safety belts," said Charles Jaynes, Program Administrator for the BIA’s Highway Safety Program. "We want these drivers and passengers to know that far too many of our tribes’ close-knit families are being needlessly torn apart for lack of wearing a safety belt. That’s why law enforcement officers would rather write them a ticket than see someone injured or dead in a crash down the road.”  Motor vehicle crashes are the third leading cause of death for American Indians and Alaskan Natives-- 250% higher than that for whites. Indians also had the lowest seat belt use rate.

Teenager's death helps steer youths toward sobriety
Lakota Rose Madison's death on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, S.D, is inspiring tribal youth to remain free of drugs and alcohol.  Rose, 17, was struggling to stay sober when she died after a drinking party in June 2001.  Her cousin then pleaded guilty to beating and drowning her and is currently serving nine years in prison.  Despite the tragic circumstances, Lakota Rose has become a symbol for Native youth on the reservation. They are wearing bracelets and promising to be drug, alcohol, and gang-free for one year. The bracelets are then passed on to another person. Friends of Lakota Rose have also started a foundation in her name. The group is fulfilling her dream to start a safehouse for Native youth.

Indian housing problems detailed
The youngest ethnic group in the country is American Indians, and the population explosion means affordable housing is becoming a top priority.  “Native Americans are the youngest minority population, meaning there are more and more Indian people preparing to enter the stage of life where saving for and buying a home are common goal," National American Indian Housing Council Executive Director Gary Gordon. "Past generations of Indian people have had few opportunities to own their own homes..."  The NAIHC said there are several glaring obstacles to Indian homeownership. They include:
=Oversight by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, which must approve a lease and process a report. The agency has a backlog that goes back a whopping century;
=Lack of tribal legal protection. Many tribes do not have adequate housing codes or an established court system;
=A lack of basic infrastructure on tribal lands, including water, sewer and roads, leads to increased costs;
=Lack of lender participation. Many lenders just do not deal with tribes because of tribal laws.
Gordon said the NAIHC is teaming up with Fannie Mae to solve those problems. Fannie Mae has supported NAIHC’s 10-year capacity-building campaign to build 100,000 homes in Indian Country through a $1,000,000 grant.

According to a new report by the Commonwealth Fund, huge numbers of American children don't get the medical care they need:
25% of all American children are behind on immunizations against serious childhood diseases;
25% do not receive regular dental care;
33% have uncontrolled asthma because he or she doesn't get the right medications;
75% of American youths who suffer severe mental health problems don't get evaluation or treatment.
The report says the United States lags far behind other industrialized nations in children's health care.

Discoveries Show How Obesity Kills
Research into the biology of fat has turned up new insights about how obesity kills: it's the toxic mischief of the flesh itself.  Roughly 25 different compounds  are now known to be made by fat cells. These fat-storage cells release hormones and other chemical messengers that fine-tune the body's energy balance. But when released in vast amounts by cells swollen  with fat, they assault many organs in ways that are bad for health.  The more fat cells someone has, the more chemicals the cells emit.  Scientists are trying to learn exactly what these excess secretions do that is so harmful. The answers will help explain - and perhaps offer solutions to - the real tragedy of the obesity epidemic and its disastrous effect on health.

Market grows for Inuvik venison
Rising interest in eating venison are prompting Lloyd Binder, an Inuvik-area herder, to slaughter nearly 800 of his 5,000 reindeer this year. Normally the antlers are the valuable part of the animal, but this year the market is growing for the animal's meat. After the skinned reindeer have been cleaned, they are inspected by government officials and the entrails are put in a pile. "Most of the trimmings are for dog mushers," said Peter Van Brabant, who is helping harvest the herd. "So most of it is being used in one way or another." The meat will be shipped to markets in  Canada and Colorado.

Healer taught by grandmother
California:  Dolores A. Flores, Yaqui, is a traditional healer and herbalist.  The 63-year-old healer, or curandera, is part of a team specializing in holistic treatments at the Alternative Health Care Clinic on the Pascua Yaqui Tribe's reservation. Traditional healers from Rio Yaqui, Sonora, have also gone to the clinic to see patients and share their treatment methods and knowledge. Flores said this makes her happy because there are few curanderos practicing here.  "I have offered to teach others, but there have been no takers," she said. "But if the tribe can utilize the knowledge of healers from Sonora, then maybe others will come forth eventually to learn the practice."  Flores said her grandmother, Carlota Tapia,l learned about alternative medicine and holistic practices from others and by studying books. Tapia passed on her knowledge to Flores.

From Nez Perce athlete to doctor
Dr. Kim Cunningham-Hartwig, a first year resident at Family Medicine-Spokane, is the very first female doctor from the Nez Perce Tribe. Since 7th grade, Kim knew she wanted to be a doctor, but the journey wasn't always easy. She typed medical technology words in typing class to expose herself to medicine. She spent high school summers attending programs to gain knowledge. She battled culture shock and homesickness when attending Washington State University, and almost left school. A professor, however, persuaded her to stay. Luckily, Kim met a group of elders who nourished her soul. Today, Cunningham-Hartwig hopes to return home to the reservation after her three-year residency in Spokane is completed.  "I know I want to work with kids," Kim said. "Kids are how change happens. Being involved in kids' lives is going to be important. I want to be a true family doctor the way doctors used to be thought of." In speaking to young people she said, "The support we have in our Native communities is unrecognized a lot. We sometimes don't realize that as we struggle in college."
Indian Country Today

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