Youth and Education News
October 5, 2005 Issue 158 Volume 3
"What we have is because someone stood up before us. What our Seventh Generation will have is a consequence of our actions today." Winona LaDuke, Annishnabe
Mayor's note heats Columbus Day spat
Colorado: Each October, Denver holds a Columbus Day march, and each year Native Americans and their supporters protest the parade. "We're sick and tired that there's a national and state holiday celebrating the annihilation of Indian people," said Glenn Morris of the American Indian Movement of Colorado. To help ease tensions, Denver's mayor John Hickenlooper renamed the 2004 parade Festival Italiano instead of Columbus Day, but the new name raised anger among many Italians. "He doesn't have the right to replace anybody's day," said George Vendegnia, founder of the Sons of Italy-New Generation and a Columbus Day parade organizer. This year, Hickenlooper raised the ire of both sides when he sent them a letter regarding Columbus Day. "Frankly, I am sick and tired of this entire costly, frustrating and potentially dangerous situation that does nothing but generate ill will," Hickenlooper wrote. He was surprised when Morris called the letter "paternalistic," and Vendegnia said the letter was "very insulting." "I didn't intend to upset either side, much less both sides," the mayor said. "I intended to present a fair and balanced framing of the issue." Meanwhile, Vendegnia said the Columbus Day Parade will continue, and Morris promised he and other activists will protest it, despite new city ordinances making it illegal for protesters to disrupt lawful assemblies or obstruct of public passageways. The parade will be held Oct. 8, 2005, in Denver.
Read the note sent by Mayor Hickenlooper: http://extras.denverpost.com/pdf/ColumbusDay_09.28.05.pdf
Aboriginal Taiwanese Visit the UN
New York: Sixty Aboriginal Taiwanese people made a historic visit to the United Nations. The Taiwanese visitors were led by Legislator KaoChinSuMei, one of the first Aboriginal Taiwanese women elected to the Taiwanese Parliament. During a speech to the UN, they addressed the need for justice after Japan's brutal treatment of Aboriginal Taiwanese during Japan's 50-year colonization (1895-1945). The group also visited the Flying Eagle Woman Fund and American Indian Community House.
Learn more about Aboriginal Taiwanese: http://www.indigenouspeople.net/taiwan.htm
Department of Interior releases status report on Indian trust accounts
A new report released by the Interior Department defends its accounting of Indian trust fund accounts. They claim:
*Records exist and can be located for a high percentage of individual accounts and transactions;
*Differences between records and transactions are few in number, small in size, and not widespread or systemic;
*There is no evidence that historical records have been altered or that hackers have tampered with electronic records;
*There is ample evidence that monies collected for individual Indians were distributed to the correct recipient.
Bill McAllister, a spokesman for the group suing the government, disagrees. "Record keeping? Many leases were never recorded and records were destroyed by the thousands. There are photographs of barns filled with rotting trust records [that are] on file in the courts...," he said. "The trust program today is nowhere near meeting the standards of major trust companies."
Read the report: http://www.doi.gov/indiantrust/iimaccounting.pdf
BIA records found discarded at Archives
Washington, DC: Federal investigators are wondering how National Archives documents of interest to Indians suing the Interior Department were thrown in trash bins outside the National Archives building. Other documents were also found in a waste basket at the Main Archives. Taken together, the two dumping incidents "may be intentional acts aimed at unlawfully removing or disposing of permanent records from the Interior Department," wrote inspector general Paul Brachfeld. Dennis Gingold, who is representing Indian plaintiffs suing for lost royalties, said the discovery represents "the same repugnant, desperate actions we've come to expect" from the Interior Department. In 1994, Congress found problems with how the Interior administered 260,000 Indian trust accounts containing $400,000,000. Two years later, Elouise Cobell, Blackfeet, and others filed suit. They allege the department cheated about 500,000 Indians out of more than $100,000,000,000 by mismanaging oil, gas, grazing, timber and other royalties since 1887. They have offered to settle for $27,500,000,000
Mapuche leader denied presidential candidacy
Chile: Chile's government has denied Aucán Huilcamán his bid to become a presidential candidate. The Mapuche leader, representing the Popular Indigenous Network, had collected 39,100 signatures—nearly 4,000 more than needed to comply with article 13 of the Chilean constitution. However, the law also requires signatures to be authorized by notaries, a directive that Huilcamán was unable to complete. "The notaries denied authorizing signatures for me, they charged me excessively high prices, and they only allowed me a period of one hour to collect the signatures," Huilcamán said. After meeting with officials from different political parties who offered their support, Huilcamán will fight for a unique law that would allow him to become a candidate. The new law would be similar to one used by the Christian Democratic Party in 2001. "We are not asking for anything exceptional," Huilcaman said. "It’s been done before. If the Christian Democrats could participate thanks to a national agreement, why not the indigenous? I don’t want to believe that in this country there exists apartheid against the indigenous."
Venezuela offers low-cost gasoline to tribes
Venezuela: Venezuela's president Hugo Chavez has offered to bring low-cost gasoline to America's poor, including American Indian tribal communities. "There is an offer on the table for low-cost heating oil and gasoline for poor communities in the United States," said Robert Free Galvan, who is contacting tribes in the United States with Venezuela's offer. "Hopefully, Indian tribes and Native entities will take advantage of this opportunity to become stronger in the global community." Venezuela owns CITGO Petroleum Corp., which has eight refineries in the United States. CITGO has set up 10% of its refined oil products to be sold directly to organized poor communities and institutions in the United States without intermediaries.
Dalai Lama blesses family hit by tragedy
Idaho: The Dalai Lama, spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhists, blessed an Indian family whose father and daughter lost their lives in a recent car accident. Daryl Dewayne Jack, a 2000 graduate of Haskell Indian Nations University, and Maliah Jack, 4, were killed in a car crash on August 10. The accident occurred near Butte, Montana, as the family was going home after attending a powwow. Mother Willow Jack, 24, and son Nakeezaka Jack, 6, survived the accident. Willow said the Dalai Lama told her that "Everything is going to be OK from now on."
Police officer honors daughter's plea "to do more' for Indian youths"
Minnesota: Bill Blake, a member of the Red Lake Nation, is a Minneapolis police sergeant who spent years giving presentations to officers and students about gang problems. Despite his busy schedule, his 20-year-old daughter, Erica Rae, told him, "You know, Dad, you have to do more." Then came February 2003 when Erica, a college student majoring in social work, was at a reservation house party in Wisconsin. As she came down the stairs, a teenager shot her with a gun he didn't know was loaded. Gang members lived in the house, but the shooting was ruled an accident. For the past year, Blake has worked on a project to honor his daughter's memory: The Native American Law Enforcement Summit. The two-day conference provides training for law enforcers and lawyers on issues ranging from Indian prison gangs to substance abuse. Its goals: to improve relationships between tribal and non-tribal officers and slow down the crime that cycles between urban and reservation populations. But not all are receptive to the idea. "One officer was afraid we'd put our families at risk because people in the community would be angry," Blake said. "Doing nothing will get your family killed. To not address the situation is irresponsible."
GAO: American Indian health care lacking
Washington, DC: The Government Accountability Office reports many government-funded Indian Health Service facilities do not provide adequate health and dental care. "Most of the facilities we visited lacked the equipment necessary for certain ancillary services and had few medical specialists on site," the GAO said. The report said many American Indians and Native Alaskans are not able to travel long distances to IHS facilities. Long wait times between scheduling an appointment and medical service are also a problem. Byron Dorgan, the chairman and ranking Democrat of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, said the IHS is "dramatically underfunded" by Congress. "It's not surprising, but it's still a big disappointment," Dorgan said of the study results. The IHS provides health care for American Indians and Alaska Natives in 35 states with an annual budget of $2,600,000,000. Native Americans living in areas served by the IHS have shorter life spans than the U.S. population as a whole.
General Accounting Office: http://www.gao.gov
Let's Hear It for Costco!
Did you ever wonder how much it costs a drug company for the active ingredients in generic prescription medications? Some people think it must cost a lot, since many drugs sell for more than $2.00 per tablet. Sharon L. Davis, a budget analyst from the U.S. Department of Commerce, worked on an independent investigation to learn how much profit drug companies really make. She was amazed to learn that it's often the pharmacies which charge such outrageous prices. In many cases, they make over 20,000% profit. So, when a pharmacist might tell you a generic equivalent would cost $80 instead of the $100 "name-brand" price, you might think you are "saving" $20. What the pharmacist is not telling you is that those 100 generic pills may have only cost him $10!
|Consumer Price/100 tabs||Cost of General
|Celebrex 100 mg||$130.27||$0.60||21,712%|
|Claritin 10 mg||$215.17||$0.71||30,306%|
|Keflex 250 mg||$157.39||$1.88||8,372%|
|Lipitor 20 mg||$272.37||$5.80||4,696%|
|Norvasc 10 mg||$188.29||$0.14||134,493%|
|Paxil 20 mg||$220.27||$7.60||2,898%|
|Prevacid 30 mg||$44.77||$1.01||34,136%|
|Prilosec 20 mg||$360.97||$0.52||69,417%|
|Prozac 20 mg||$247.47||$0.11||224,973%|
|Tenormin 50 mg||$104.47||$0.13||80,362%|
|Vasotec 10 mg||$102.37||$0.20||51,185%|
|Zestril 20 mg||$89.89||$3.20||2,809%|
When Steve Wilson, a Detroit television anchor, aired a report about
these drug prices, he was asked whether or not there were any pharmacies that did not adhere to this practice, He
said that Costco consistently charged little over their cost for the generic drugs.
To Preserve Their Health and Heritage, Arizona Indians Reclaim Ancient Foods
Arizona: The Pima and Tohono O'odham tribes are saving their health and heritage by rediscovering the traditional desert foods of their tribe. Since they've begun eating the modern North American diet, almost half the Pima and Tohono O'odham (formerly Papago) Indians have developed diabetes age of 35. This rate is 1,500% higher than for Americans as a whole. Yet, before World War II, diabetes was rare in this population. Studies now show that people who evolved in these arid lands are best suited to the wild and cultivated diet of their ancestors. By changing back to the beans, corn, grains, greens and other ancestral plant foods, the tribal members can normalize blood sugar, suppress between-meal hunger and probably also foster weight loss. Among the traditional foods:
|Tepary Beans||Cholla Cactus||Mesquite Tree|
Desirable food ingredients are found in edible
parts of the mesquite (mes-KEET) tree, prickly pear cactus, tepary (TEP-a-ree) beans, choa (CHEE-a) seeds.
One tablespoon of buds from the cholla cactus has as much calcium as eight ounces of milk, helps regulate blood sugar, and is full of fiber.
The fruits and pads of the prickly pear are rich in soluble fibers that help to normalize blood sugar.
Unlike most corn grown today, the hominy-type corn of the traditional Indian diet has little sugar and mostly starch that is slowly digested.
The mesquite pods and seeds provide protein and nutrients.
Oak acorns are among the 10 best foods in regulating blood sugar.
The tepary bean is rich in fiber, protein, iron, and calcium.
Raw tepary bean greens are high in vitamins A and C and iron.
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