Youth and Education News
December 1, 2007 Issue 182 Volume 3
"The hearts of little children are pure, therefore, the Great Spirit may show to them many things which older people miss." Black Elk (Hehaka Sapa) Oglala Lakota
The Cost of the 12 Days of Christmas Up 4.1%
Every year, PNC Wealth Management figures out the cost of presenting one's true love with items from the song, The Twelve Days of Christmas. This year's grand total -- from a partridge in a pear tree to 12 drummers drumming -- is $78,100. And, if you shop online, expect to pay $128,886. The items' prices are up 4% from 2006, which PNC says mirrors today's economic trends. Those eight maids-a- milking now earn $47 compared to $41 last year. It's their first raise in wages since 1997. Higher food and gold costs also affect price increase. But not every item has gone up over last year. The price for partridges, turtle doves and French hens has remained steady, as have swans and ladies dancing.
Guatemala's New President Will Assume Great Burden
Guatemala: Guatemala is among the most troubled societies in Latin America. Organized crime has wormed its way into government institutions, and thousands of citizens migrate to the U.S. to find work. Guatemala's new president, Alvaro Colom, knows an entire country of poor and desperate people is depending on him. "The people of Guatemala voted for change. We will do everything we can to give it to them," said Colom, 56. Colom said he is making serious efforts to improve the lives of Guatemala's poorest residents, the Maya population, who voted overwhelmingly for him. One of his first meetings as president-elect was with the Council of Elders, a group of Maya leaders. "We have a historic debt with our indigenous people," Colom said. "Our government will be one with a Mayan face." Colom also plans to reach out to the millions of Guatemalans living in the United States. "The level of civic activism of the Guatemalans in the United States is much higher than it is here," Colom said.
ASU grad nominated for U.S. attorney
Arizona: President Bush nominated Diane Humetewa as U.S. Attorney for Arizona. Humetewa, a member of the Hopi Tribe, has served as a litigator and tribal liaison for the U.S. Attorney’s Office since 2001. If confirmed, she would become the first American Indian to serve as a U.S. attorney. Humetewa was nominated by U.S. Senators John McCain and Jon Kyl. “I believe her background as a prosecutor, crime-victims advocate, and years of public service make her an outstanding choice to become the next U.S. Attorney for Arizona," Kyle said. "I congratulate her and join with Sen. McCain in urging for her swift confirmation.”
Grants fuel 'awesome' growth for Potawatomi
Michigan: In the early 1800s, the U.S. government forced the Potawatomi to move from their homelands to Oklahoma and Kansas. But in 1840, six Potawatomi families returned to Michigan, purchased lands, and formed the Nottawaseppi Huron Band. For years, their Pine Creek Reservation had little to keep people there: dirt roads, no running water, and no jobs. Today, things are changing. Between 2002 and 2006, the tribe received more than $13,000,000 in grants and contract dollars. The money has paid for new houses, roads, a community center and a health center. "We picked out most critical areas to address," said Homer Mandoka, tribal vice-chairman. "The No. 1 want of the tribe was housing. At first, there wasn't an overwhelming number of tribe members who wanted to move back (to the reservation). Now that's growing." With their proposed Firekeepers Casino, leaders say the tribe can become economically self-sufficient, setting the stage for the community's rebirth. "When you get people some place they're proud of, some place they call their own, they'll want to stay and contribute," said Laura Spurr, tribal council chairwoman. "We hope this reservation will be that place."
Nottawaseppi Huron Band: http://www.nhbpi.com/
Solve a mystery: Quest for the Golden Book
Ohio: Featured at the Great Lakes Exposition in 1936, the Golden Book of Cleveland was 7 feet long, 5 feet wide and 3 feet thick. It held a half-million signatures, weighed more about 5,000 pounds, and included had 6,000 pages. Yet, it disappeared 70 years ago. Al Budnick, Jr., 70, says a mysterious doctor bought the Golden Book around 1952 and took it from Ohio to Tucson. Budnick first saw the book in a home his parents purchased in 1945. "There was this big crate in the garage. I remember ... seeing (the book), because I was fascinated by the Indian on the cover. I remember standing next to it. The thing came up almost to my chest." In the early 1950s, his father sold it to a doctor, whose name he can't recall. The doctor told them he was moving from Cleveland to Tucson — and taking the book with him. The next weekend the doctor returned with a flatbed truck with a pulley attached and about 10 men in two cars. They spent an hour moving the crate into the truck, then drove away. Since then, no one has found the located the doctor or the book. Guinness World Records says the record-holder for the largest book is the Super Book, created in 1976 in Denver. It was taller and wider than the Golden Book, 9 feet by 10 feet, but the Super Book had only 300 pages and weighed only 557 pounds. The Golden Book was thicker and heavier. And here's another mystery: The whereabouts of the Super Book also are unknown.
The Long Trail
Kansas: Deep underneath an industrial park in Lenexa, historians and archivists are unpacking and recording endless boxes of government financial records. To date, workers processed 40,000,000 pages relating to individual trust accounts managed by the federal government on behalf of Native Americans. Some documents cite an 1887 law allowing the federal government to seize Indian lands and then act as trustee for individual Native Americans. Elouise Cobell, a former treasurer of the Blackfeet Nation, has forced this historical reckoning through a lawsuit , Cobell v. Kempthorne. She claims more than $100,000,000,000 may be missing from the accounts owed to native people by the government, businesses or ranchers who leased 10,000,000 acres of Indian land. "There is nothing comparable in U.S. history where one sovereign took complete control of the assets of another group," says Melody McCoy from the Native American Rights Fund. "This isn't a pension fund. Tribes didn't voluntarily contribute to it." In March, 2007, the White House offered to pay $7,000,000,000 over 10 years to settle individual and tribal claims, pay for a computer-security upgrade, extinguish the Cobell (and 108 other) tribal suits, and prohibit any future trust-fund litigation. "The offer was seen by all tribes as an insult," said Michael Marchand from the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation. "It was a clear signal that the Administration has no interest in settling anything."
Eloise Cobell Magazine cover: www.reformpartyct.org
International Bad Products Awards
Consumers International has announced the winners of the International Bad Product Awards. The awards highlight failings of corporate responsibility and abuse of consumer trust. This year’s winners are:
Coca-Cola -- for continuing to market its bottled water, Dasani, despite admitting it comes from the same sources as local tap water.
Kellogg’s -- for using cartoon-type characters and product tie-ins aimed at children, despite the high levels of sugar and salt in their food products.
Mattel -- for not cooperating with investigations and avoiding responsibility for the global recall of 21,000,000 products.
Takeda Pharmaceuticals -- for advertising sleeping pills to children, despite health warnings about pediatric use.
"These multi-billion dollar companies are global brands with a responsibility to be honest, accountable and responsible," said Richard Lloyd of Consumers International. "In highlighting their short-comings, [we] are holding corporations to account and demanding businesses take social responsibility seriously."
Full details of each nomination: http://www.consumersinternational.org/
South Dakota: Often compared to Haiti, Crow Creek is the poorest American Indian reservation in America. Spread over 400 square miles, the reservation has Third World water problems from shallow groundwater and septic systems that federal contractors placed too close to wells. Surface water is contaminated with bacteria and minerals that makes people sick. Bottled water and filtration systems are too expensive. Two Missouri River reservoirs operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are nearby but the water is unavailable to Crow Creek. Among other problems on the Crow Creek Reservation:
It suffers from 80-90% unemployment;
Has serious medical issues including a high diabetes rate;
Students' education is two years behind public schools because the U.S. government has not provided funds to repair the fire-damaged high school;
Has substandard overcrowded housing;
Residents walk great distances --- few have vehicles and there is no public transportation.
Recently, several people came to Fort Thompson to support of the tribe. Multicultural Humanitarian Day provided healthcare, clothes, toys, books, bikes for Crow Creek Sioux Tribe thanks to Islamic Relief, the Crow Creek Longriders (a Minnesota motorcycle group,) other non-profits, and public support. The Native American and Islamic cultures have come together to help those facing severe poverty, unemployment and many other social issues. Founded in 2000, Humanitarian Day was turned to a nationwide event in 2005 by Islamic Relief USA. Thousands of volunteers observe Ramadan by organizing events in the poorest areas of 20 American cities.
Tribal chairman says 90 percent of Fort Berthold families still not hooked up to water project
North Dakota: Marcus Wells Jr., chairman of the Three Affiliated Tribes, has asked Congress for a large increase in funds to finish a water supply project on the Fort Berthold Reservation. The project would bring clean drinking water from the Missouri River to reservation homes and businesses. Senator Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., chairs the Senate's Indian Affairs Committee. "A lot of promises were not kept,” Dorgan said. He also noted that while President Bush objects to funding water projects here, he has funded 10-12 water projects in Iraq. Dorgan invited tribal leaders to Washington, DC to share information and learn if they received adequate and fair settlements.
Inuvik passes youth curfew
Northwest Territories: The town of Inuvik now has a curfew in place for people under 16 years of age. They hope the curfew will cut down on vandalism and break-ins. The curfew requires youth to be indoors after 10 p.m. on weeknights and 11 p.m. on weekends. RCMP and a town officer will enforce the new curfew. Parents whose children are caught outside after curfew will be fined up to $100 for repeat offences. Inuvik has nearly 3,500 residents.
TRIBAL PEOPLE AT RISK OF EXTINCTION FROM DIABETES
The impact of diabetes on tribal people is horrific. "Without urgent action there certainly is a real risk of a major wipe-out of indigenous communities, if not total extinction, within this century," said Paul Zimmet of the International Diabetes Institute. Survival's report, "Progress can kill", details rising diabetes rates among tribal people forced off their land. They gain sedentary lifestyles and their diets change from high-protein to high-fat foods -- both which lead to diabetes. This disease can cause blindness, kidney failure, strokes, heart disease and amputations.
Survival's report, "Progress can kill", is available at http://www.survival-international.org/campaigns/progresscankill
Higher Number of Native Hawaiians Labeled Obese
Hawaii: Hawaii has one of the lowest obesity rates in the nation. But the obesity rates for Native Hawaiians are almost twice as high the rest of the state. In 2006, more than 39% of Hawaiian Natives were obese compared to a 19% rate for whites, 16.8% for Filipinos and 11.8% for Japanese. Many believe factors causing these high rates are economic status, heredity, and personal lifestyles. To combat Native Hawaiian obesity rates, Hawaii is:
Encouraging employers to promote healthy food and physical activity,
Asking schools to serve more nutritious food;
Asking health insurance companies to offer lower rates for those involved in physical activities;
Creating more sidewalks, bike lanes and crosswalks.
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