Youth and Education News
January 26, 2005, Issue 145 Volume 3
“Why have we as a people been able to continue to exist? Because we know where we come from. By having roots, you can see the direction in which you want to go." Joênia Wapixana
State of Indian Nations to be delivered February 3
Washington, D.C.: The third annual State of Indian Nations Address will be delivered on February 3 by Tex Hall, President of the National Congress of American Indians. According to the NCAI, the address will focus on promoting strong tribal self-governance and developing healthy economies for tribal communities. The address will take place at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.
National Congress of American Indians - http://www.ncai.org
Historic headdress stolen from Sitting Bull Library
North Dakota: Officials are offering a $1,000 reward and immunity to whoever returns an "irreplaceable" eagle-feather headdress. The more than 100-year-old headdress was stolen from the Sitting Bull College Library. The headdress, believed to have originated in the Hunkpapa Village of Little Eagle, S.D. in the late 1800s, was insured for a minimal amount. "The money is nothing to us -- it's the meaning of it," assistant administrator Tracy Maher said. "It's more of a sacred thing." A library door was broken to gain entry, and the headdress's glass display case also was smashed. The Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are looking into the burglary.
Canadian Aboriginals Serving In U.S. Military
Winnipeg: Canadian Armed Forces may not be officially in Iraq, but many Canadian men are fighting there. It's not known how many First Nation people from Canada are in Iraq. The Pentagon estimates 2,000 North American Indians are currently deployed there, but does not break down the number between Canada and the U.S. But from interviews with Canadian aboriginal leaders and families, one can estimate there are at least several dozen Canadian aboriginal people fighting beside U.S. soldiers. Why do Canadian aboriginals join the U.S. military? One reason is, it's easier for them. Their treaty status gives them dual citizenship so they don't have to live in the U.S. and have landed alien status to enlist.
Senate Approves Bill Creating Federal Native Hawaiian Office
Hawaii: The U.S. Senate has approved legislation to establish and fund a federal Office of Native Hawaiian Relations. While this acknowledges a special relationship between both nations, it does not extend federal recognition to Native Hawaiians. The Akaka Bill stems from the 1993 apology resolution, in which the U.S. government apologized for the 1893 overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy.
The Associated Press
Heating costs leave people in the cold
South Dakota: Maureen Last Horse and her four children stayed warm during the Christmas holidays by huddling near the open oven of her electric kitchen. With a broken furnace, the red glow of the heating coil is the only heat available in her home. Last Horse joins 2,400 other Pine Ridge Reservation families who signed up for the $600,000 worth of energy assistance provided by the Oglala Sioux tribe. Robert Running Bear, the Oglala tribe's energy director, expects that as the winter deepens, 900 more families will sign up for assistance. But with rising fuel and electrical costs, the tribe's energy assistance programs have strained already tight budgets. Because of the need, the Winter Heating projects for the Elderly has been established.
Lakota Aid: http://www.lakota-aid.co.uk
Fuel Voucher Program for the Elders: www.friendsofthelakotapeople.com
The Role of Traditional Knowledge in Public Health
The United Nations University-Institute of Advanced Studies is sponsoring a research project called “The Role of Traditional Knowledge in Public Health”. The project hopes to incorporate traditional medicines with public health systems in a respectful way. The research supports the importance of traditional health care and acknowledges that traditional medicine may supplement or replace modern medicine.
Food of the Americas
Chocolate: Cacao beans, the basis for chocolate, were used by the Aztecs as currency. Only the highest levels of society were permitted to grind up the beans and make a beverage flavored with chocolate. Chocolate is not naturally sweet and it is used as a seasoning in many Mexican dishes, such as mole poblano.
Chia: Chia, also known as desert sage, was an important food used by Native Americans. A thick, nutritious drink is made by steeping the seeds in water. Parched or ground seeds, pounded together with wheat and sugar, makes pinole.
Saguaro: The saguaro is so important to the Tohono O’odham that they begin their calendar year with the first fruit harvest in late June or early July. The fruit, high in carbohydrates, is made into juice, syrup, jam and wine. The black seeds, high in protein, are separated from the pulp, parched and ground into meal. The saguaro juice is allowed to ferment into a wine traditionally used during prayer ceremonies for rain.
Jojoba: Jojoba nuts, an important food item for Native Americans and early settlers, taste like hazelnuts. Today the nuts are exploited for their liquid wax suitable for high-temperature applications. Attempts to produce jojoba in commercial quantities have not been successful.
Amaranth: Amaranth grain's high content of lysine makes it a nutritious addition to other grains. The roasted seeds are ground into a sweet-flavored flour used for bread, cakes and mush. Amaranth grains can also be popped, then coated with honey for a snack.
Gina Glaczko, Heard Museum
Alaska: Lillian McGilton has moved to Bethel to start a job that no one in Alaska has ever had: a dental health aide trained to X-ray the mouth, fill cavities and remove teeth. As rural areas struggle to find dentists, villagers need care for the epidemic of tooth decay caused by traditional Native diets being replaced by a sugar-filled diet. In Alaska, the rate of cavities among Native children is more than twice the national rate. To help villagers prevent tooth decay, Alaska is creating unique health-care positions called "dental health aides." These midlevel providers are trained togive medical care to patients, but with a doctor overseeing their work. Some aides will focus on prevention and teach people the proper use of toothbrushes, fluoride and sealants. Others will work alongside dentists, performing simple cleanings and placing fillings after the dentist has prepared the tooth. More than a dozen such aides now work in Bethel and surrounding villages. "We're going to be watched everywhere in the state." McGilton said.
Anchorage Daily News
American Indian and Alaska Natives have highest smoking rates
For Native Americans, tobacco is considered a sacred gift and it is used during religious ceremonies and as traditional medicine. However, recreational tobacco abuse is a problem in Indian Country.
2002 the prevalence of smoking was
American Indians/Alaska Natives -- 40.8%;
Non-Hispanic whites -- 23.6%;
Non-Hispanic blacks -- 22.4%;
Hispanics -- 16.7%;
Asians/Pacific Islanders 13.3% .
rates among AI's and AN's per region:
Alaskan Natives -- 45.1%;
Northern Plains tribes -- 44.2%;
Southwest tribes -- 17.0%
Heavy smoking (more than 25 cigarettes per day) is highest in the Northern Plains --13.5%.
Light smokers (fewer than 15 cigarettes per day):
American Indian and Alaska Native -- 60.9%
Whites -- 43.8%
smoking during pregnancy:
American Indian and Alaska Native 19.9%
Non-Hispanic white -- 15.5%
Non-Hispanic black -- 9.1%
Rates for youth ages 12-17:
American Indian and Alaska Native -- 29%
Whites -- 13.4%.
American Indian/Alaska Native -- 32.1%
White -- 43.5%
American Indian and Alaska Native lands are sovereign nations and are
not subject to state laws prohibiting the sale and promotion of tobacco products to minors. As a result, American Indian
and Alaska Native youth have access to tobacco products at a young age.
Group Says Kids Shouldn't Use Mobile Phones
Studies in Sweden and Germany suggest cell phone radiation is a potential health risk for children under 8-years old. The reports suggest radio waves can ''interfere with biological systems'' and a recent paper suggests ''possible effects on brain function may result from the use of (next-generation) phones.'' Sir William Stewart, chairman of Britain's National Radiological Protection Board, said there's no conclusive evidence showing a clear danger. However, these reports support a growing amount of research that shows that mobile phone use may have health implications on young children. He advises one to adopt a ''precautionary approach,'' particularly with children. ''I don't think we can put our hands on our hearts and say mobile phones are safe,'' Stewart told a news conference. ''When you come to giving mobile phones to a 3- to 8-year-old, that can't possibly be right.''
Her donation will help children who have undergone chemotherapy
Ohio: Recently, Starr Flores cut off three feet of the long, dark hair that took her eight years to grow. Instead of selling her hair, Starr donated it to Locks of Love, a Florida-based organization that uses donated hair to make wigs for children who have undergone chemotherapy. "I am part Native American, and so my hair is very dark, very healthy and very straight," Flores said. Stylist Karin Bernard, who cut Flores' hair, said her hair was perfect for a Locks of Love donation. "Her hair was ideal for donating because it has never been treated with any chemicals, and Locks of Love will only accept hair that has never been chemically treated," Bernard said. Flores' donation to Locks of Love could result in as many as three wigs.
Fox Custom Cosmetics Announces Cosmetic Line Customized For Women Of Color
Ohio: Native Americans are among the women of color embraced by Fox Custom Cosmetics. Beginning with a one-on-one beauty consultation for each individual consumer, Fox creates unique beauty products that embrace and brighten the natural skin tone for each consumer. All ingredients are plant-based, cold-pressed or steam distilled to preserve their botanical properties. The products are created by a small staff whose primary goal is the health and spiritual well-being of its customers.
Unexpected! No. 1 Driving Distraction
A Virginia study about the cause of traffic accidents shows the top 15 driving distractions are:
Rubbernecking (looking at a crash, vehicle, roadside incident, or traffic): 16%
Driver fatigue: 12%
Looking at scenery or landmarks: 10%
Passenger or child distraction: 9%
Adjusting radio or changing CD or tape: 7%
Cell phone: 5%
Eyes not on the road: 4.5%
Not paying attention, daydreaming: 4%
Eating or drinking: 4%
Adjusting vehicle controls: 4%
Weather conditions: 2%
Insect, animal, or object entering or striking vehicle: 2%
Document, book, map, directions, or newspaper: 2%
Medical or emotional impairment: 2%
62% of the crashes involving driver distraction occurred in rural areas.
Top distractions in rural areas were driver fatigue, insects, animals, and unrestrained pets.
Top distractions in urban areas were rubbernecking, traffic, other vehicles, and cell phones.
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