Native Village 

Youth and Education News

July 1, 2006 Issue 169  Volume 3

"The Canada-U.S. border is not the creation of the First Peoples of this land.  Historically, our people moved freely throughout our territory and across what is now the border. We recognize that border security is a key concern for all North Americans, and [we must] address those concerns while ensuring that the rights of First Nations on both sides of the border are respected and protected."  Phil Fontaine, Assembly of First Nations National Chief

Free chapter added to saga of e-books
Project Gutenberg is putting as many as 300,000 books online, where they will be available for free download. Called the World eBook Fair, the program will last a month -- July 4 to Aug. 4 -- and will be repeated annually. The catalog of works includes fiction, nonfiction, and reference books, mostly those that are no longer protected by copyright. ``It will include the oldest books in the world, including every author you have heard of in your life, other than current ones," said Michael Hart, Project Gutenberg's founder. "Our stuff is all free. We want people to take these bookstand use them, to keep them in their PDAs. Our mission is to help break down the walls of ignorance and illiteracy."  The fair also will offer classical music files, both scores and recordings, as well as films.
Project Gutenbert World eBook Fair:

Mexico:  Several thousand police recently attacked teachers' protesting in the state of Oaxaca . Entering the teacher's camp at 4.40 am, police fired tear gas and brutally beat strikers, killing several. Some believe the attack was an attempt by Oaxaca Governor Ulises Ruiz Ortmz to crush the more than 50,000 striking schoolteachers who called for his resignation. According to teachers, Ortmz has spent millions of pesos on unnecessary buildings and siphoned money to his business. Moreover, strikers allege that some 900,000 pesos have disappeared into PRI (Institutional Revolutionary Party) funds. The lengthy teachers' strike more than a dispute over teachers' salaries. The National Education Workers' Union has attracted massive support for its demands:
Equal pay throughout the state. Oaxaca is now divided into three salary zones based on  cost of living;
An increase for students receiving grants, which now amount to 450 pesos per month (that's $40 U.S. dollars);
Decent schools, classroom supplies, and government funding for uniforms, which poor  families can't afford, so kids stay home. 
The National Education Workers' Union has attracted massive support for its demands. Teachers in Mexico are usually very underpaid but highly popular in their local communities. They have long been a center of militancy and the social movements.
Videos available:

National Indian Education Association Urges Congress to Pass Native American Language Immersion Legislation 
Washington, D.C.:  NIEA President Ryan Wilson calls for Indian Country to rally around pending legislation that supports Federal funding for Native American Immersion Programs. "We owe our children an opportunity to express themselves in the languages used here since the beginning of time," Wilson said.  "Our generation truly has a date with destiny ...  We will speak together with one voice, saying that Native languages have a place in Indian Education and Indian Education is incomplete without inclusion of our languages.”  Native language revitalization has become Native education's number one priority. The subject is scheduled to be addressed July 12 on Capitol Hill.   The assembly will feature Congressional guests, a special presentation for the Code Talkers, and advocacy materials on the pending Immersion Bills.  “Here’s a mission we actually can accomplish.  It’s time for Indian Country to show the rest of the Nation just how proud we are of our culture.  We can do this by getting Congress to pass a Native American Language Protection Bill," said Joe Garcia, President of the National Congress of American Indians.  The Summit is free, and elders, educators, tribal leaders, cultural practitioners, youth, veterans, and all those concerned with the future of Native Languages are urged to attend.
Read the testimony submitted to Congress:
For more information, email:

Australian leaders visit Navajo Nation 
Arizona:  In June, Navajo Nation officials welcomed several of Australia's most notable indigenous leaders to the Navajo reservation.  They met to discuss international advocacy  and promote international laws for indigenous peoples. During the meeting, Lawrence Morgan explained the Navajo Nation government, its issues, and the three-branch system under which the Navajo Nation operate.  ''It was exciting to have these discussions with our visitors,'' said Morgan. ''We have learned that as indigenous peoples, we face many of the same issues.''  The Australian leaders included Tanya Hosch from the National Indigenous Youth Movement of Australia.
Indian Country Today

Moran Says Jamestown Celebration Needs to Help Indians, Too
Virginia:   The Godspeed, a replica of one of three ships carrying the first English settler to Jamestown, is sailing along the coast to promote Jamestown 2007, a year-long celebration of colony's 400th anniversary.  Now Congressman Jim Moran is calling for support for his bill that would grant federal recognition to six Virginia Indian tribes. "Virginia's tribes have long been used as a prop for Jamestown.  Now it's time that we used Jamestown as a prop for the tribes, " Moran said.  "It's been nearly 400 years since Native Americans greeted the English who traveled aboard the Godspeed.  Yet the federal government still denies their existence."  Moran's legislation has been stalled by critics who fear it would open the door to casino gambling. 
H-Amindian Listserve

Jobs That May No Longer Exist by 2014
In today's changing world, certain occupations are becoming obsolete. By 2014, the Bureau of Labor Statistics expect these jobs to seriously decline: 

Occupation Jobs In Jeopardy Why are they endangered?
Farmers and Ranchers 155,000 The consolidation of farms into fewer and larger farms will displace small independent farmers.
Stock Clerks and Order Fillers 115,000  Computerized inventory and new, automated equipment will replace stock clerks and order fillers.
Sewing Machine Operators 93,000  More imports, offshore assembly and new automation will contribute to additional job losses.
Mail Clerks and Mail-Machine Operators 59,000  Electronic communications technologies and private delivery companies threaten these jobs.
Computer Operators 49,000 Computers now cost less, are smaller, and have more ability to store data and process automation.
Secretaries (Except Legal, Medical and Executive) 48,000 Automated equipment is redistributing work. Professionals and managers are doing more of their own word processing, data entry, and correspondence.
Telemarketers 42,000 More people are opting out of receiving telephone calls and as blocking technology improves.
Meter Readers  22,000 Advances in computer, optical-scanning and voice recognition technologies and growth in automated, electronic business processes will reduce demand.
Parts Salespeople 16,000 Electronic ordering and reordering automates much of the work. 
Telephone Operators 14,000 Communications technologies, including the Internet, email, and voice recognition systems  provides alternatives to telephone

Rare Disease stalks Oklahoma Choctaw Indians
Oklahoma: Native Oklahoma's Choctaw Indians face a rare disease of unthinkable suffering.  Scleroderma can cause a thickening, hardening or tightening of the skin, blood vessels and some times internal organs. It is horrible disease which some say turns the afflicted “into stone.” Oklahoma's Choctaw suffer from scleroderma at the very highest rates of any ethnic class in the world. Symptoms include swelling, ulcers or sores on their fingers or toes, hair loss in affected areas, changes in skin color, shiny skin, poor blood flow to extremities and digestive heart, lung and kidney problems. The disease is chronic, painful, and there is no known cure.  A newly formed Choctaw Scleroderma Foundation was created as a resource for American Indians battling this disease. CSF has also joined Harvard medical School to create a best practices model for private healthcare in Native American communities. Both are conducting research to find a cure and help alleviate the suffering.
The Choctaw Scleroderma Foundation:


Teens Get Unusual Punishment for Vandalism at Native American Village
Wisconsin:  A judge has awarded five Wisconsin teens an unusual punishment for vandalizing the Waswagoning Indian Village.  The five, who pleaded no contest to burglarizing, damaging and setting fire to the property last July,  must:
Present an oral report on their role in the crime;
Describe their prejudices against Native Americans;
Describe how they'll change their attitudes.
  They must read five books, including one titled "And Don't Call Me a Racist."

After that and serving some probation, the burglary charges will be dropped.

Bird flu scientists in northernmost U.S.
Alaska: Scientists are stationed in Barrow, the nation's northernmost city, to look for early warning signs that migratory birds are carrying the bird flu virus to North America. The virus has led to the death or slaughter of millions of birds in Asia, Europe and Africa. It's also killed more than 128 people who had close contract with sick birds. The testing is part of an effort to sample 75,000 -100,000 birds across the nation, many of which migrate through Alaska. However, for Inupiat Eskimos, subsistence hunting is a vital source of food in a community where grocery store prices include $35  for a steak and  $7.50 for a gallon of milk.   A public information campaign has eased their fears by instructing hunters to thoroughly cook game birds and use rubber gloves when handling and cleaning their catch. Frances Leavitt, a 41-year-old Barrow housewife, says that after the initial concerns about bird flu wore off, the subject became a joke among the hunters in her family. "They would say to each other, 'Are you going to go bird flu hunting now?'" she said.

 Superhero flying to the rescue of native youth
British Columbia:  Suicide is a scourge among young aboriginals.  But a new superhero, with eagle feathers in his hair and a red, white and blue suit that hugs his strong body, is flying in to the rescue. His name is Wesakechak, named after the mythical shape-shifter and protector in Cree legends  Today's Wesakechak,  updated for the 21st century, has a  flying motorcycle, superhuman strength and his own comic series for aboriginal youth. "We wanted to find a way to get through to young people," said Sean Muir, founder and executive director of the Healthy Aboriginal Network, a non-profit society. Sean had helped a suicidal relative find his path, and the experience motivated him to create the stories.  "In the past, this sort of stuff has often been done with lots of text and pamphlets.  We thought a comic book might be a better way of reaching out."  More than 33,000 comics were distributed at the World Urban Forum. 
photo: CBC

A Song for a hurting world  
Washington: On May 20th, 2,500 crowded into Mark Taper Auditorium to hear the world premiere of ''The Healing Heart of the First People of this Land."  The symphony was inspired by the thunder spirit power song of Sealth (Chief Seattle), the 1800s leader of the Duwamish and Suquamish people.  Performed by the Seattle Symphony, the symphony was commissioned by Vi Hilbert, an 87-year-old Upper Skagit woman whose Lushootseet name is Taqwsheblu (Talk-shapblu). Hilbert  invited composer Bruce Ruddell to her home and introduced him to Sealth's songs.  She advised him ''to take the compassionate spirit from those songs and write a symphony to heal a world that is sick,'' adding that he could not directly use the songs. Hilbert then raised money to support the project and succeeded ''because I'm a bossy old  lady," she said.   She said the symphony was a gift to the world from the First Peoples of the Seattle region.  Johnny Moses, a Coast Salish storyteller of Duwamish ancestry, agrees. ''This is a historic event for all of our First People and for our chief, Sealth,'' he said. Noting that the concert hall was built next to a sacred Duwamish burial ground, he added, ''[The ancestors] are happy to know we are still here.''

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