Youth and Education News
October 1, 2006 Issue 172 Volume 1
"The use of American Indian mascots as symbols in school and university athletic programs is particularly troubling. Schools and universities are places of learning. These mascots are teaching stereotypical, misleading and, too often, insulting images of American Indians. And these negative lessons are not just affecting American Indian students; they are sending the wrong message to all students.” Ronald F. Levant, President, American Psychological Association
3rd rare white buffalo born on Wisconsin farm
Wisconsin: The odds of a white buffalo are at least 1 in 1,000,000, according to Jim Matheson from the National Bison Association. Today a Janesville farm is considered sacred ground by many American Indians after a third white buffalo calf was born there. The new white calf follows the 2004 death Miracle, the Sacred White buffalo, born on Dave and Valerie Heider's farm in 1994. (The second white buffalo born in 1996, but it died after three days.) Dave Heider said he discovered this third white buffalo, a newborn male, after a lightening storm in late August. It is not related to Miracle. "There's got to be a reason that we're getting these white calves," said Heider who had refused a $1,000,000 offer for Miracle. About 50 American Indians held a drum ceremony at the farm to honor the new calf who was given the name "Miracle's Second Chance" by Valerie Heider. Floyd "Looks for Buffalo" Hand, a medicine man in the Oglala Sioux Tribe in Pine Ridge, S.D., said it was fate that the white buffaloes chose one farm. "That's destiny," he said. "The message was only choose one person." In American Indian prophecies, it is said such an animal will reunite all the races of man and restore balance to the world. In one version of the legend, a white buffalo, disguised as a woman wearing white hides, appeared to two men. One treated her with respect, and the other didn't. She turned the disrespectful man into a pile of bones, and gave the respectful one a pipe and taught his people rituals and music. She transformed into a female white buffalo calf and promised to return again. Mr. Hand said Miracle's Second Chance's fur might change from white to black, red and yellow, the colors of the various races of man, before turning brown again. The birth of a white male buffalo means men need to take responsibility for their families and the future of the tribe, he added.
Learn more: Sacred White Buffalos
Associated Press and http://www.kentucky.com/mld/kentucky/news/15517658.htm
Native American chief visits Suffolk
England: Chief G. Anne Richardson of the Rappahannock tribe recently visited Otley Hall, once the family seat of Captain Bartholomew Gosnold. Gosnold captained two expeditions to the New World: the first was in 1602 where he founded and named Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard and Cutty Hunk; the second in 1607 when he helped form Jamestown, Virginia. The first New World inhabitants to meet him were probably from the Rappahannock tribe. And now 400 years later, the Chief of the Rappahannock has completed a circular route in history by visiting Gosnold's family home in England. “In our tribal spirituality we have something called the circle of life. We believe that from the time we were born to the time we die that we take a journey of life and return back to that place," Chief Richardson said. “This visit is the fulfillment of the circle of what has taken place 400 years ago.” Chief Anne toured the 16th Century hall with its stunning late medieval architecture and sat at the great carved fireplace where Gosnold planned the trip to Virginia. She said, “He met my ancestors and my chief ... It puts it into perspective who we were. We have occupied our lands in the Rappahannock valley for 11,000 years, and you have been here for a long time."
City resident embraces Monacan heritage
Virginia: Ten years ago, Karenne Wood discovered documents proving her father was a Monacan Indian. Today, Karenne represents the Monacan tribe on the Virginia Council of Indians. Recently she traveled with other Virginia Indians to Gravesend, England, to commemorate the 1607 anniversary of John Smith’s voyage to Jamestown in the New World. It is one of the first official trips of Virginia Indians to England since Pocahontas traveled there nearly 400 years ago. For many English at the time, Pocahontas symbolized the possibility of “civilizing” Indians. “Our relationship with Pocahontas is really complicated,” Wood said. “She’s become a stereotype. It’s hard to know what her motives could have been, because no matter what she chose, it would have been wrong.” For the same reasons , many Virginia Indians had mixed reactions about participating in Jamestown's upcoming celebrations. “We thought, we can’t participate in an event that’s called ‘a celebration’ when  signaled a real decline in our culture,” said Chief Steve Adkins of the Chickahominy tribe. “We saw our heritage trampled on.” However, tribal members agreed the visit would provide a sincere forum to share their history and address popular stereotypes of their ancestors. “[Without] us, our story would be told and we wouldn’t have any input in it,” Adkins said. “We will strip away the myths and misconceptions about Indians ... It’s very real with us that in 1607, our numbers were at one level, and by 1690 our numbers had been reduced 90 percent. Some will find it uncomfortable, but that’s OK."
Video: VA Indians going to England (Enter "Indians" in search box]: http://usatoday.feedroom.com
Abenaki Corn Returned To Tribe
Vermont: The Abenaki People are called the "original Vermonters," but within the next few generations, their people and culture could become extinct. In their efforts to preserve Abenaki ways and traditions, the Koasek Abenaki tribe recently accepted the return their ancestral corn seeds. The corn, which had been out of Abenaki hands for more than three centuries, was given to them by Charlie and Sarah Calley. "This is the first time in 300 years our corn has come home to us," said Abenaki chief Nancy Lyons. As customary after receiving a gift, Lyons said, the Abenaki would give a gift in return. The Calleys also hope to sell the Abenaki a historic building for the tribe's planned Koasek Cultural Academy. Plans for the KCA include cultural exchange programs, historic preservation, and language preservation. "We only have a few left who can speak the original language," Lyons said. ‘I expect it will be extinct in the next generation, maybe two, if we don't start preserving it now."
Native American society holds women in high regard
New York: All eyes are on Iroquois Indian women when they hit the dance floor. Dancing is a way for women to show men how they are one with the earth. "You respect Mother Earth. It's the same with a woman. That's why we call it Mother Earth," said John Buck, Onondaga. He said women in their society are respected by men because they serve many important roles, including passing on traditions and encouraging children to dance. "You teach them: do not lose your culture. That's number one," Buck said. "Even way back to my grandparents, my grandmother always used to tell me, never lose your culture." Iroquois women also have the power to pick the male chief in their tribe. "They are the ones that give birth and give life and everything, and they are the ones that take care of the men. They are basically the backbone in the society for the native culture," said Dave Jones, of the Allegheny Seneca Tribe. The Iroquois tribe is comprised of the Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, and Seneca Nations. A sixth tribe, the Tuscarora, joined the Iroquois Nation in the 1700s.
Time capsule hopes to capture living history
Oklahoma: Elders of the Ponca Tribe of Oklahoma found a way to help preserve their declining culture for future generations. The tribe's new and unusual project is a time capsule. The stainless steel capsule-- eight feet long, six feet wide and four feet deep --was approved by the Smithsonian Museum to survive up to 500 years under water. The capsule was filled with Ponca songs and stories, dried foods, maps, photos, drawings, tools, clothing, a large ceremonial drum, an entire dance regalia and more. The vault also contained documents of Ponca language and history, as well as tribal government and enrollment documents. Finally, the air was replace with inert gas before the time capsule was buried on tribal grounds. ''Those of us over 50 were witness to the days when Ponca people dressed in their traditional clothing on a daily basis and spoke Ponca as their first and only language," said Dan Jones, Ponca tribal chairman. "We have the right and responsibility to pass on these gifts to the future - not those things that you might hand down to a direct descendant - but the things that will teach and enlighten, create wonderment and amuse. We have an obligation to carry the best of our old ways, which were left to us in trust by our elders, to future generations.'' The capsule is not scheduled to be opened until the year 2136.
Aborigines given ownership of Perth by judge
Australia: An Australian Federal Court has declared Aboriginal people the traditional owners of Perth. The landmark decision astonished Aboriginal groups and is being welcomed as an "absolutely extraordinary" decision. It also opens the way for similar claims over cities such as Sydney and Melbourne. The judge, Justice Murray Wilcox, granted the Nyoongar people "native title" over more than 6,000 sq kilometers of land, including Perth and its surrounding area. This means the Noongar people can use it for caring for the land, looking after sacred sites and traditional activities such as hunting, camping and fishing. The judgment will not affect homes nor businesses because native title doesn't apply to land owned on a freehold or long-lease basis. It is "neither the pot of gold for the indigenous claimants nor the disaster for the remainder of the community that is sometimes painted," Justice Wilcox cautioned. However, the state government of Western Australia will appeal, and it may be joined by the federal government. Prime Minister John Howard said his first reaction was "one of considerable concern."
Columbus: explorer or oppressor?
Guest editors at CayonCourier.com recently printed a "devil's advocate" conversation about Christopher Columbus and Columbus Day. Among the comments:
Hannah Hayes Speaks:
Kelly Weist Speaks:
Created by Columbus Day protesters, the “Transform Columbus Day,” states their coalition is based on “mutual respect,” and that they are “people of conscience.” This group insists that Christopher Columbus began all oppression against “indigenous peoples” and that honoring Columbus Day is contrary to established scholarship.
Transform Columbus Day Supporters are not scholars but activists whose agenda is to force American society to put them first. They envision becoming the arbiters of moral authority. It’s the new cultural warfare.
Genocide takes intent. You have to really want to erase people from the face of the Earth. So even if the charges they level against Columbus are true, which they aren’t, it isn’t genocide.
Italian-Americans have taken a minor holiday as their own in order to cut loose a little, and they are attacked, spit on and portrayed as racists for celebrating their history.
The history of Columbus and all explorers has been one of a clash of cultures.
Disease, war and famine visited the “discovering” cultures as well.
Activists want to rewrite history in such a way to as to force political correctness on all of us.
Indigenous in Americas: just say 'no' to papal bull
Indigenous people in the Americas are demanding that the Papal Bull Inter Caetera of 1493, and the 1496 Royal Charter of the Church of England, be rescinded. These ''doctrines of discovery'' led to the seizure of American Indian homelands and served as instruments of genocide. Indigenous leaders and NGOs signed the resolution during the recent Summit of Indigenous Nations in South Dakota. Among the content and comments:
'' ... the 'Doctrine of Discovery' is a legal and political fiction in violation of the rights of indigenous peoples and intellectual act of oppression which continues to ... suppress and repress the indigenous peoples in the Western Hemisphere.''
''These papal bulls [caused] extinguishments of aboriginal land title and the subjugation of indigenous peoples of Abya Yala [North and South America]. "
...The document pointed out that the U.S. had it's own "papal bulls" through the Supreme Court decision of Johnson v. M'Intosh . That law set the precedent for denying American Indians title to their lands in the United States.
''The Indigenous Nations have resolved ... that the Pope of the Catholic Church and the Queen of England and the Archbishop of Canterbury rescind these doctrines of discovery [which wrongly] justify and pave the way for the illegal dispossession of aboriginal land title and the subjugation of non-Christian peoples to the present day.''
The demands to rescind the papal bulls are not new. In 1991 at the United Nations in Geneva, Indigenous leaders issued a statement to then-Pope John Paul II: ''We demand ... a denunciation of the unilateral treaty of Pope Alexander VI as being contrary to the Universal Human Rights of Peoples. Whereas the year 1993 completes 500 years of ... conquest without clear rectification of this universal injustice ... we demand that the Papal Bull of May 3, 4, 1493 Inter Cetera be annulled.''
In May, at the United Nations in New York, a Continental Proclamation Abya Yala was presented to the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. This proclamation was ratified in 2004 at the Continental Summit of Indigenous Peoples and in 2005 in Argentina. The proclamation stated, ''That the Papal Bull Inter Caetera of Pope Alexander VI is hereby annulled, as well as whatever Doctrine of Discovery proceeding from which that pretends to deform the relationship of Harmony, Justice, and Peace of we the Indigenous Peoples of Humanity in its entirety.''
Learn More: Papal Bull, Columbus Day and European Invasion
Catawbas angered over development plans
South Carolina: Museum officials and developers will meet the Catawba Indian Nation and historic preservationists to discuss how to proceed with a 350-acre development planned in Fort Mill. Some experts say the land, which contains burial grounds and the remains of at least two 18th century Catawba villages, should be preserved. County and museum officials say they know of no ''substantiated'' burial grounds on the property, although they've never initiated a thorough search. The officials also say they've worked with the Catawba on land surveys. Tribal leaders disagree, saying museum and country officials have not contacted them in years, and they were never formally invited to participate in fieldwork. ''I personally feel it's a slap in the face to the Catawba people, a complete lack of consideration, respect and social responsibility,'' said Jason Harris, tribal councilman for the Catawbas.
Did a New York City museum have Eskimos on display?
Greenland: In 1897 explorer Robert Peary brought six Inuit from Greenland to New York so scientists could study them without fear of frostbite. Thousands of New Yorker's met Perry's ship to ogle the three men, a woman, a girl, and a boy. The Inuit were housed in the basement of the American Museum of Natural History where scientists, journalists, and others watched the visitors adapt to "civilized" life. Within a year, four Inuit had died from of tuberculosis. (One of the museum's living Inuit had returned to Greenland; the second -- a boy named Minik -- was adopted by a museum official.) Officials turned the bodies over to a medical school for dissection. The medical school then sent the remains to a "bone-house" to clean away remaining flesh. The bones were then shipped back to the American Museum of Natural History to be stored among their artifacts. Meanwhile, the museum failed to notify the Inuit families of their relatives' deaths, while arranging for a fake burial to fool the survivors. Minik later claimed to have found his father's skeleton in a display case and immediately requested the bones be returned to Greenland. However, the American Museum of Natural History kept the bones. By the 1990s, following lengthy bouts of bad press, the NMNH finally returned the remains to Greenland for burial. They were interred there in 1993, after almost a century in a drawer.
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