Youth and Education News
November 16, 2005 Issue 161 Volume 3
"Native American history is important to each and every one of us ... It’s important that we get to know and respect and honor. There is much wisdom for you to gain." Michael Rao, President, Central Michigan University
Garcia elected NCAI President
Oklahoma: Joe Garcia has been elected as President of the National Congress of American Indians. Garcia, the Governor of New Mexico's San Juan Pueblo, defeated Harold Frazier, Chairman of the South Dakota-based Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, and Osage Nation Principal Chief Jim Gray. "President-elect Garcia will be a great leader for NCAI," said outgoing NCAI President Tex Hall. "He has proven to be a successful Governor for the San Juan Pueblo and I know that will translate into effective, progressive leadership on the national stage that will benefit Indian people for generations."
Other NCAI election results:, was elected
First Vice-President: Jefferson Keel, Lt. Governor of the Chickasaw Nation of Oklahoma
Recording Secretary: Juana Majel-Dixon, the Pauma Band of Mission Indians of California
Treasurer: W. Ron Allen, Chairman of the Jamestown S'Klallam tribe of Washington
United Nations Presses Canada To Repeal A Discriminatory Section From The Canadian Human Rights Act
New York: The United Nations Human Rights Committee is calling on Canada to immediately repeal section 67 of the Canadian Human Rights Act:
*The Committee says section 67 excludes some First Nations people from protection under the Act;
*They also raised several issues regarding Aboriginal rights in Canada, saying that section 67 allows discrimination as long as it can be justified under the Indian Act;
*The Committee is also concerned that discriminatory effects of reserve memberships for some Aboriginal women and their children has not been remedied;
*They also point to the issue of matrimonial real property on reserve lands which has not been properly addressed.
Learn more: http://www.chrc-ccdp.ca/proactive_initiatives/section_67/TOC_TDM-en.asp
On the U.S.-Canada border, a Mohawk tribe waits for help
N.Y. Andrew Thomas is the tribal police chief who patrols
the St. Regis Mohawk reservation lands spanning the American and Canadian border. The Saint Lawrence River and
several islands fall in between, making these 12 miles among America's most popular smuggling areas. As the
U.S. tries harder to secure its borders, Thomas and his officers -- three per shift -- are America's first line
of defense. For their efforts, they get $5,000 in homeland security money a year.
"Pennies," Thomas says. At night, the St. Lawrence River hums with the sounds of
smugglers slipping from one side of the reservation to the other in their stripped-down boats. They
carry marijuana, Ecstasy, money, and human cargo. The tribal police, too, have a boat, but not enough people to operate
it. "An expensive paperweight in the parking lot," Thomas calls it. Derek Champagne is
district attorney for Franklin County which surrounds the reservation. Champagne prosecutes all county crimes, on
the reservation and off. "I'm slowly pulling my hair out," he says. "If we're gonna have a
border, it should really mean something." In a videotape of the St. Lawrence River filmed last winter,
trucks drive freely over the now-frozen border while in other parts of St. Regis, land roads connect the U.S. and
Canada with no checkpoints and no questions. Earlier this year, Champagne showed the tape to a state
terrorism conference in Albany. "People said, 'That's our border?' " he says. Like
other tribes that live along 260 or so miles of U.S. border with Canada and Mexico, the St. Regis
can't get homeland security money directly from the U.S. government. Money comes once it's filtered
through the states. A bill to give certain border tribes, including the St. Regis, direct money
is pending in Congress.
$1 million bounty to be offered for live capture of Bigfoot
Maine: Loren Coleman, a University of Southern Maine professor, said a $1,000,000 bounty would be paid by an unnamed company for a photograph that leads to the live capture of Bigfoot. Bigfoot, or sasquatch, is said to be a huge, hairy humanlike creature with long arms. Coleman, a cryptozoologist, is considered one of the world's leading experts on Bigfoot. "We don't want people running around with guns trying to kill something to get the money," Coleman said. "It's not a contest, either. It's a very specific bounty that depends on the permanent capture of a live specimen, with emphasis on 'live.'" The cultural histories of many Native American and First Nation peoples include stories and beliefs about non-human "peoples" of the wild. Many of these descriptions bear a striking resemblance to the hairy man-like creatures reported today. The unnamed company is also offering rewards for live captures of the abominable snowman and the Loch Ness Monster.
Physicians call for end of an Inuit tradition
Nunavut: Health officials are asking Inuit to end the tradition of letting babies less than one year of age sleep with the parents in bed. Doctors fear that the practice, which goes back to the Inuit's nomadic times, could be a risk factor for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. The cause of SIDS is a mystery, but evidence indicates babies should not be put to sleep on their stomachs or sides. Today's Inuit beds and bed covers have changed into softer beds, making it easier for a baby to roll over on their stomachs or sides. ""We would certainly advise that babies under one year have a crib of their own, maybe once in a while sleep with mom or dad," said Dr. Sandy MacDonald. Annie Buchan, a Pauktuutit Inuit raised in an Igloo, said babies never slept between their parents, and were often on a slightly raised platform. She believes if parents have a firm mattress and tight covers, the choice of whether or not to sleep with a baby should be a personal one. "I think it's up to individuals. You know it's an Inuit tradition, then a lot of mothers would like to sleep with their babies," she said. " ...if they take proper precautions, then it shouldn't be dangerous." Since 1999, over 25% of Nunavut's infants who died under under 1 year of age died from SIDS.
Court advocate program seeks to recruit Alaska Natives
Alaska: Sue Marsh. a volunteer with the Fairbanks Court-Appointed Special Advocates program, relies on her personal experience as a mother as she advocates for abused and neglected children. But Sue has one other valuable characteristic: she is an Alaska Native. More than half of the roughly 1,700 children in state custody are of American Indian or Alaska Native descent. Marsh, 47, is the only Alaska Native CASA volunteer in Fairbanks. Now a new recruitment campaign is attracting Alaska Native people. "It's important to have someone who is objective and who is able to bridge cultural gaps," Atkinson said. September 30th statistics show:
1,753 Alaskan children are in state custory;
1,038 are Alaska Native Heritage;
630 were listed as white;
156 were black;
30 were Asian, Hawaiian or Pacific Islander;
37 were of an undetermined race;
Some children are listed under more than one race.
Yakama Nation Relay For Life earns coveted American Cancer Society awards
Washington: Yakama committee and tribal members were honored for last summer’s American Cancer Society Yakama Nation Relay on the Rez. They were presented with both the national and Great West Division “Heart of Relay for Uniting Communities” awards. “This was the first youth-driven Relay in Indian country, held on a Native American reservation,” says Cheri Stoker from the American Cancer Society. “That is what makes winning these awards so special.” The Relay was totally planned and presented by Yakama Native American SpeakOUT youth on the Yakama Nation Indian reservation. Their relay raised more than $14,000. “These young people mobilized their tribe in the fight against cancer, and through that, they mobilized the entire Indian world,” Stoker says. “They had national Indian media covering both the Relay’s kick-off rally and the Relay itself. The Yakama Indians are leading the nation in mobilizing the tribes in the fight against cancer.”
NAMAPAHH First People's Radio
Listen to our youth before it is too late
Washington DC: On March 21 on Minnesota's Red Lake Indian Reservation, 16-year-old Jeff Weise killed a security guard, a teacher and five students at the high school before killing himself. Earlier, Weise had killed his grandfather and his grandfather's companion. "That devastated our community and brought into focus just how important it is to reach out to our young people," Red Lake tribal chairman Floyd Jourdain told others at the recent NCAI convention. He played a video that highlighted October's "Honor the Youth" spiritual run at Red Lake. The event was sponsored by the Native Crisis Hotline, which reports that Native youngsters, ages 15-24, have a 3.3 times higher suicide rate than the national average. "Young people, they need someone to talk to, they need someone to be there for them. Our tribal leaders need to be there for them," Jourdain said.
The Native Crisis Hotline number is 651-251-1601
Third World Water Plagues First Nations
Ontario: Ontario's Kashechewan First Nation was recently evacuated due to contaminated drinking water... On the Grand River reserve of the Six Nations, residents have been on a boil-water advisory since the late 1990s. Study after study has shown the water in up to 80% of their 2,700 wells is contaminated with everything from rats to E. coli... Now experts say Canada must spend nearly $5,000,000,000 to prevent further water crises on other reserves. Federal officials say more than 100 First Nations are drawing drinking water of a quality commonly found in the Third World.
Study raises warnings about toxic chemical buildup in humans
Ontario: An organization called Environmental Defense tested blood and urine samples from 11 volunteers across Canada. Participants were tested for 88 chemicals which included suspected carcinogens and chemicals that may cause reproductive disorders, harm the development of children, disrupt hormone systems or are associated with respiratory illnesses. The tests showed a total of 60 chemicals, with an average of 44 found in each volunteer. David Masty, a Cree chief from northern Quebec, had the most toxins (49), and the highest levels of PCBs and mercury. Masty was alarmed at the results. He thinks the high levels are due to his traditional diet of fish and seal contaminated by pollutants that travel up from southern Canada. "Canadians expect their country to be a leader in environmental protection and in protection for human health," said Rick Smith, executive director of Environmental Defence. "The reality is that Canada is lagging behind Europe and the United States when it comes to regulating pollution and reducing the number of toxic chemicals in our environment."
Shadow Wolves Find and Arrest People Trying to Bring Illegal Drugs Into the U.S.
Arizona: The Shadow Wolves are an all-native group of border patrol agents who track down drug runners. The Wolves were created in 1972 by members of Arizona's Tohono O'odham Nation whose land includes a section of U.S.-Mexico border. Using traditional tracking techniques and modern equipment, they have seized more than 101,000 pounds of drugs. The Shadow Wolves are part of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, an agency of the Department of Homeland Security. Today members from other tribes have become Shadow Wolves.
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