Youth and Education News
June 15, 2005 Issue 154 Volume 3
“I have my community. Not to say that it is a
developed community, but it is true that we all live like the five fingers in a hand, which know how to join with each
— Panchito Ramírez
The American Indian IQ Quiz
The American Indian College Fund has posted an online test to determine your knowledge of American Indian Issues. The "American Indian IQ Test" asks the following questions:
x 1. Do Indians receive a free education from the government?
x 2. How many tribal colleges are currently served by the American Indian College Fund?
x 3. When did the majority of American Indians become American citizens?
x 4. What are the Five Civilized Tribes? And why were they considered civilized?
x 5. Do American Indians serve in the armed forces?
x 6. How many Indian people reside in the U.S.?
x 7. How many federally recognized tribes are there in the United States and Alaska?
x 8. What role did Harvard and Dartmouth play in Indian education?
x 9. Can individual American Indians own casinos?
x 10. What were George Washington's agreements in the first treaty signed with the Delaware Indians?
Find the answers: http://www.collegefund.org/
Red tape? What red tape?
The National Association of Tribal Historic Preservation Officers has identified the best way for tribes and federal agencies to discuss issues involving places of religious and cultural significance. That information is outlined in a report completed by state, local, federal and tribal officials. According to the National Historic Preservation Act, “tribal consultation is required by law and this study provides the legal background, as well as a model protocol to follow for when federal agencies consult with tribes on projects that will affect them,” said Sherry Hutt, one of the report’s authors. “Regardless of the desired result -- to build bridges of communication or to proceed smoothly into a project -- this study shows that if tribal consultation is not early and informed, a meeting is not consultation.”
Read the study: : www.nathpo.org/special_projects-Best_Practices.html
Native American Times
PELTIER HEARING TO ADDRESS LAKOTA NATION SOVEREIGNTY
South Dakota: In 1975, Leonard Peltier and fellow warriors responded to a call to protect Oglala Lakota people on the Pine Ridge Reservation. After a shootout with the FBI, Peltier was blamed for killing two FBI agents for which he is now serving two consecutive life terms. Despite evidence from documents, witnesses, or FBI cover-ups that attest to his innocence, Leonard remains in prison. Now Leonard's defense team has been granted a hearing to correct his illegal sentencing. Their motion claims the United States District Court lacked jurisdiction under the statutes upon which Mr. Peltier was convicted and sentenced. The statutes in question require that the crime take place "within the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States." Since the agents died on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation which is neither "within the special maritime [or] territorial jurisdiction of the United States," the Peltier defense team is asking the Court to grant Mr. Peltier's motion and vacate the illegal sentences imposed upon him. The hearing takes place June 15.
Read Leonard's latest public statement: Statement to Supporters June 10, 2005
Poor Little Rich Country
Bolivia: Quechuans in colorful ponchos are taking control of highways, and tens of thousands of Aymara Indians are on the march. An American Indian majority is standing up to the light-skinned, European elite and its corrupt relationship with the world. McDonald's closed its outlets here; demonstrators in bowler hats forced out water privatizers; an income tax was blocked, and former president Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozado was ousted over his plan to export Bolivian gas to California. Many are calling the remarkable protests in Bolivia a war against globalization. Today the country is paralyzed by blockades and protests to force president Carlos Mesa and corrupt officials to resign. Highland and Amazon peoples compose almost two-thirds of Bolivia's population, the highest proportion of Indians in the hemisphere. Yet still today,, Bolivian apartheid continues. Indians are barred from swimming pools at some clubs, they are still "peones" on eastern haciendas, and Indian women are pushed off city sidewalks. But as one Quechua said: "Our cultures have been blocked for 500 years. This is our only voice."
Native Leader Tells Prince 100-year-old Agreement Is Not Being Respected
Ontario: England's Prince Edward met with First Nations leaders to mark
the 100th anniversary of The James Bay Treaty. The historic treaty, signed by Prince Edward's great-great grandfather,
created a peaceful alliance between the British Crown and First Nations people across much of Ontario. "It is a
great honour to be here in the centenary year of that treaty, basically a treaty from my family to the peoples of
the First Nations," Grand Chief Stan Beardy of the Nishnawbe Aski Nation told Prince Edward that treaty is
not being respected. "Our forefathers made treaty on a nation-to-nation basis to co-exist peacefully in our
homelands," Beardy said. He said that while the treaty generated prosperity and wealth in parts of Ontario and
Canada, many indigenous northern communities suffer from terrible poverty, illiteracy and suicide rates.
"I think (Ontarians) need to know what's happening to us, their treaty partners..." he said. 'My
people are suffering. Some of my communities are still using outhouses. This is the year 2005. We've had people
walk on the moon and yet my people are still using outhouses. A lot of them can't even access basic education. That has
to change." The United Nations ranks living standards in the region as "squarely in the Third World
category," with extremely low levels of literacy and "terribly high" levels of suicide.
St. Catharines Standard Group Inc
State senators call for action at Whiteclay
Nebraska: Fifteen Nebraska senators told the Oglala Sioux Tribe in South Dakota that Nebraska needs to do more about the alcohol problems in Whiteclay. Alcohol is banned on the 5,000-square-mile Pine Ridge Reservation, home to 15,000 Oglala Sioux. Whiteclay, which borders Pine Ridge, has only 14 residents and 3 liquor stores which sell thousands of cans of beer each week to the Sioux. Today, the reservation has one of the nation's highest alcoholism-related mortality rates. Nebraska's lawmakers said people who purchase and consume alcohol in Whiteclay must take responsibility for their actions. "We also recognize the state of Nebraska's contribution to the misery caused in Whiteclay by its licensing of alcohol sales within 200 feet of a reservation which allows neither the sale nor consumption of alcoholic beverages upon its lands," the senators said. Tribal police will now help patrol the streets of Whiteclay.
Talking elder issues
Oklahoma: Gary Kodaseet, a Kiowa elder from Oklahoma City, is the former Executive Director of the National Indian Council on Aging. Kodaseet, 69, recently answered questions about elders' issues.
What is the gap in funding between what the Indian Council on Aging asked for and what it actually received?
The National Indian Council on Aging asked for at least $100,000,000. Currently, the budget is $27,000,000. Many tribes don't receive services because they must have 60 elders that are 55 and older, and a lot of tribes don't have that.
What are things that can be done to help Native American elders, who are traditionally held in very high regard?
There needs to be more money for eating programs. Transportation is also a big problem. Many elders can't get to the services they need, and the services can't come to them.
Are there enough groups lobbying only for Native American seniors?
We only have the National Indian Council on Aging. Some Indian organizations have partnered with the NICA, including the Indian Health Board and also the National Congress of American Indians. Some people are lobbying Congress to increase funding for tribal programs. One thing under President Bush is the Medicare prescription drug benefit which requires seniors to get their medicines at regular pharmacies and not the Indian Health Service. We need to have more education for the elders on how to apply for the new service.
What can AARP can do to help elders?
AARP has information centers. An elder should visit them, see what different programs are available, and request printed information.
Do you find that Indian young people are doing enough today to take care of their elders?
As far as long term care, elders are taking care of the young people. Grandparents are raising their grandchildren because their children are having problems. With the high cost of childcare, grandparents have a needed role in the family.
Home could be foundation for Navajo enterprise
New Mexico: Mary and Kee Augustine are an elderly Navajo couple living on the Navajo Reservation. For years they have applied--and been denied--housing assistance, even though their home was literally falling apart around them. Now, thanks to an Arizona State University project, the Augustines will receive a new home with the cooperation of the Stardust Center for Affordable Homes. A home will be designed and built from FlexCrete — an energy-efficient, aerated concrete made from fly ash. Aerated FlexCrete has a lower compression strength than concrete, thus making it easier to cut, cheaper to build and much more efficient than a traditionally constructed home. The Navajo Housing Authority donated more than 1,500 blocks to construct the Augustines’ home, along with a week’s worth of labor to assist in laying the block. The home is designed like a traditional hogan, with a typical Western rectangular design coming off the round structure to complete the home. A dedication ceremony for the Augustines’ new FlexCrete home is set for July 3.
Mni Wiconi deadline looms
South Dakota: As Mni Wiconi project crewswork to deliver Missouri River water to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, officials worry that Congress won't provide enough money to finish the project. Last fall Congress approved $25,000,000 for construction during 2005, and this summer's work will begin soon. For 2006 the U.S. House on passed a bill providing $22,000,000. But the $22,000,000 for Mni Wiconi includes $7,000,000 for operation and maintenance, meaning less than $15,000,000 is available for actual construction. "That's ugly," said Mike Kurle, manager of West River/Lyman Jones Rural Water Systems. "If it stays at $15,000,000 for construction, it will set this project back four years." Oglala Sioux Rural Water Supply System will operate Mni Wiconi's core line and water treatment. Head engineer Mike Watson said about $285,000,000 has been spent on Mni Wiconi so far. He estimates the project needs about $142,200,000 to be completed by the 2008 deadline. However, if the project is not finished by then, Congress must reauthorize it before more funds can be provided. Once completed, Mni Wiconi will deliver Missouri River water to about 50,000 people on three Indian reservations and nine counties. The project is now about 67% complete.
Klamath Fisheries Facing Closure
California: The Hoopa and Yurok tribes face drastic cuts to their annual salmon harvest from the Klamath River. Over the past several years, they have harvested 30,000-70,000 fish--half the total salmon population. This year, however, the total fish populations are only about 16,800 fish. In addition, up to 80% of the fish are diseased. Mike Orcutt, Hoopa Valley Tribe's director of tribal fisheries, said the tribe will likely only harvest enough fish for subsistence and ceremonial purposes and all but shut down any commercial fishing. Many problems are blamed for the sharp decline in salmon including a five-year drought, and federal management of the river which allots too much water to farmers. The Bush administration has been roundly criticized by tribes, fishermen, and environmentalists for keeping the water flowing to the farmers at the expense of the salmon and other fish species.
Indian Country Today
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