Youth and Education News
Aug 1, 2006 Issue 169 Volume 4
" People need to understand who we are today, and the struggles we’ve had to go through just to remain who we are, just to live our culture. We’re part of mainstream America but we still have to live in two lives" Chief Steve Adkins, Chickahominy
Fate of ancient hunters may hold
clues for northerners today
Siberia: Scientists are hoping to learn what happened to a population of hunters and gatherers who lived thousands of years ago at Lake Baikal in Siberia. Canadian and Russian researchers are focusing on a small valley between two mountains where people suddenly stopped using formal cemeteries between 7000 and 6000 BC. When cemeteries began to be used again, the hunters and gatherers buried there belonged to a different cultural group. "What we are seeing here, with this gap of 1,000-1,200 years in the use of formal cemeteries, is a profound culture change," said Andrezej Weber. "It's something that is unique to this area, and I haven't seen anything of this kind elsewhere in the world." The scientists hope their work provides clues to the possible impacts of climate change in the north today.
Regionwide Tribal Coalition Embraces Kyoto Protocol
New York: Members of the United South and Eastern Tribes have endorsed the Kyoto Protocol. That means 24 federally recognized tribes now support the international environmental treaty rejected by the Bush administration. The tribes joined 140 countries and mayors from more than 160 communities and 35 states in their support. The agreement is a worldwide effort to reduce the emissions of carbon dioxide and five other greenhouse gases.
First Half of 2006 Is Warmest on Record
The first half of 2006 was the warmest on record for the United States since record keeping began in 1895. Among the climate change statistics:
The average temperature for the 48 lower states from January - June was 51.8° Fahrenheit, or 3.4° above average for the 20th century;
No state was cooler than average. Five states - Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, and Missouri - experienced record warmth for the period;
Much of the Northeast experienced extreme rainfall and flooding;
Many other areas continued below normal rain and snowfall;
As of June, 45% of the contiguous U.S. was in moderate-to-extreme drought, an increase of 6% from May;
Dry conditions spawned more than 50,000 wildfires, burning more than 3,000,000 acres;
Worldwide, it was the sixth warmest year-to-date since record keeping began in 1880.
The Associated Press
Indigenous Environmental Network Conference Brings Regeneration For Warriors
Minnesota: The 14th annual Protecting Mother Earth Conference was recently held on Ojibwe tribal lands n Cass Lake. Casey Horenik Camp, Ponca, was one who attended the conference, which was sponsored by the Indigenous Environmental Network. Like too many Native tribes, the Ponca live on land saturated with toxins and residues of oil production. "We have kids and families with high levels of asthma," Camp said, noting that the fossil fuel industry disregards his people's health. "This is a human rights issue ... something has to change." The Ponca in Oklahoma live near the ConocoPhillips crude oil refinery, one of the largest in the country. For decades, ConocoPhillips has released toxins into the air. In the late 1980s the company's oil tank farms caused major groundwater contamination. Conoco's oil refinery also burns petroleum sludge which creates a powdered substance called carbon black. Those tribal members living near the toxic carbon black facility have high rates of asthma, respiratory problems, and a child was born with cancer. Other Indigenous people are also defending the earth by fighting governments and corporations. Maine's Passamaquoddy Nation has formed Ntulankeyutmonen Nkihtaqmikon, which means "we take care of the homeland". They are opposing a proposed liquefied natural gas terminal to be built in a pristine bay area on tribal reservation lands.
Indigenous Environmental Network: http://www.ienearth.org
Iowa Tribe's Aviary Keeps, Rehabilitates Eagles
Oklahoma: According to Iowa tribal traditions, eagles are the only ones privileged to see Gods' face because they fly so high. This special teaching has prompted the 500-member Iowa Tribe to seek funding for Bah Koh-Je Xla Chi, its Grey Snow Eagle House aviary. Opened in January, the facility is licensed to keep four eagles at a time. Grey Snow is also licensed to rehabilitate injured birds. "We have heard that since the birds came off the endangered list, when a bird cannot be let back into the wild, they are euthanized," said Victor Roubidoux, tribal wildlife manager. "That doesn't make sense to us, so that was another reason we worked to get the grant." Roubidoux is referring to a $250,000 Tribal Wildlife Grant to help injured eagles. It came from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. "This (aviary) is something that more is needed of in Indian Country," said John Antonio, tribal liaison for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. "I'm hoping other tribes will do the same."
New Mexico storyteller, santero honored with fellowship
New Mexico: Folk artist Charlie Carrillo and storyteller Esther Martinez are among those receiving a 2006 National Heritage Fellowship. Both were chosen for their artistic excellence, cultural authenticity and contributions to their fields. Carrillo's career began in 1978 as a santero, or carver and painter of images of saints. This art form dates to the 18th century in some New Mexican communities. Martinez, also known as Aunt Esther, has been a storyteller, linguist, teacher, and a major conservator of the Tewa language. She also helped translate the New Testament of the Bible into Tewa. Other recipients of this year's fellowships were awarded to:
Bluegrass singer Doyle Lawson of Tennessee;
Weaver Delores E. Churchill of Ketchikan, Alaska;
Blues piano player Henry Gray of Baton Rouge, La.;
Instrument maker Diomedes Matos of Deltona, Fla.;
Hula master George Na'ope of Hilo, Hawaii;
Lap-harp player Wilho Saari of Naselle, Wash.;
Gospel and rhythm and blues singer Mavis Staples of Chicago;
The Treme Brass Band of New Orleans.
The National Heritage Fellowships, awarded by the National Endowment for the Arts, are the highest honor in folk and traditional arts.
2006 Indigenous Games wrap up in Denver
Colorado: Nearly 10,000 Native athletes from the United States and Canada recently competed in the 2006 Indigenous Games, an Olympics-style sporting event benefiting the indigenous people of North America. Youth and adults from more than 1,000 tribes competed in 16 different sports, all hoping to bring home bronze, silver or gold medals. Thousands of spectators also traveled to Denver for the games, art, and cultural events. This year's events were hosted by the Ute and Southern Ute tribes. The next Indigenous Games are tentatively planned for August of 2008.
Medal winners in 2006's NAIG: http://www.naig2006.com/resultsf.asp
Oklahoma: The annual All-Indian Fastpitch Tournament is among the biggest sporting events for American Indians. Some years, over 100 teams participated, but this summer's gas prices kept a lot of teams from making the trek. Still, teams from across the nation managed to play in this year's three-day tournament held in Oklahoma City. "This is the who's who of fast-pitch softball," said Skeet Bemo, a 35-year old Creek. "Everybody out here has a good time, regardless of their shape and size," said Nolan Willis, a tournament organizer. "They just enjoy playing ball." Player included Sonny Perkins, a Choctaw-Navajo and the only American Indian on Team USA men's fastpitch team. After competing on an international level, he still gets butterflies at the Oklahoma City event. "Playing in Eggeling Stadium on Sunday night in the championship game in front of a packed house is the biggest thrill," he said.
Kiowas win Native American Times golf tourney
Oklahoma: The first annual Native American Times Golf Tournament was held to help raise money for Indian youth scholarships. Held at the Bailey Ranch Golf Course in Owasso. 64 golfers from several tribes squared off into teams of four and competed for a series of prizes. The Kiowa Tribe emerged victorious, winning the grand prize dinner at Jamil's Steakhouse in Tulsa. “It’s important because we are here for the youth. We need them to be more active in higher education and in sports. They need to go to college,” said event coordinator Adam Proctor. This tournament was the first annual, with similar events planned for the future.
Group hopes to launch first American Indian cable channel
Virginia: Jay Winter Nightwolf, a Washington-area radio personality, has joined several Virginia broadcast journalists and media professionals to launch Native American Television. By the year's end, the group hopes to launch NATV on cable. NATV would feature programming for and about America's Native people. Programming would include news specials, cooking shows, films and historic documentaries, video of drumming, powwows and even stand-up comedy. "It's gonna run the full gamut,’ said Nightwolf, a Cherokee Indian and weekly host of "The Nightwolf Show." "We can see the culture, the history, the issues, the everyday life the smiles and the frowns of Native Americans." Two other Native programming efforts are also underway: Indian Country Today, a televised version of the popular Indian newspaper, and Native American Television Network which would include reality TV and talk shows.
Considered to be among the top fifty guitarists of all time, Steve Salas has gained the attention of musicians around the world. A self-taught Mescalero Apache guitar prodigy, Steve has developed his own style and has played with classic rockers like Mick Jagger, George Clinton, Billy Gibbons, Zakk Wylde, Billy Idol, Rick Neilson, and Rod Stewart. Stevie’s first solo outing, Stevie Salas: Colorcode (1990) shows heavy classic rock influences. His second CD, Back from the Living (1994), outran big guns like the Stones and Aerosmith on the Japanese music charts. Today, Salas's music resumé lists 18 solo albums and many contributions to other works as a guest artist.
Read an interview with Steve Salas and listen to his music:
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