Native Village 

Youth and Education News

January 1, 2007 Issue 174  Volume 4

"In school, I learned that my people were savages. But now I see I come from people who were beautiful and intelligent. I see the sacredness of being Indian." Carol Welsh, Sisseton-Wahpeton

Tribal elders urge young people to fight for native rights
Oregon: Native American activists Billy Frank Jr. and Hank Adams blazed the trail to protect Indian fishing rights and natural resources.  Frank was arrested more than 50 times while defending his community's right to fish. Adams found legal and political ways to protect Indian rights. But more work needs done, and the men are urging young people to continue the fight.  "We are still allowing permits to pollute," said Frank. "We haven't stopped the bleeding."  Both elders agree that salmon are a casualty of  pollution and habitat degradation. The decline is devastating to native peoples. "From the time you are born, you are eating salmon," Frank said. "You eat salmon all year round. The salmon is in your bloodstream. Ceremonies are all about the salmon. We talk to the salmon.   When the river smells of salmon, you know that is a healthy watershed."
Start speaking out here:

Antarctica:  Researchers are alarmed about the changes in Antarctic's  freeze-dried landscape. The polar desert of the Dry Valleys was once thought to be sterile and lifeless.  But researchers have learned that nematodes and bacteria live in the nearby streams and frozen lakes. Diana H.  Wall from Colorado State University and a team of colleagues return each summer to study the nematodes, which are tiny roundworms.  Nematodes occupy the top rung of the food chain in this pared-down ecosystem. The "worm herders," as they call themselves, know little about how these soil organisms function. But one very small nematode, called a Scottnema lindsayae, plays a critical part in the landscape. One scientist compares the role of Scottnema to that of buffalo on the grassland.  Buffalo go around and graze on grasses, controlling productivity of grasses and returning waste to the soil, which then alters soil fertility, he said.  That cycling of carbon is the basis of life, and Scottnema is a veritable carbon factory. Scottnema grazes on the yeast, bacteria, fungi and the microscopic life in the soil and provides a critical role in the Dry Valleys ecosystem.  But due to climate change, the Scottnema population has shrunk by 65% in the past 10 years.  Now soil studies are being conducted in 30 locations by scientists from 20 countries. They hope to learn more about nematodes and how to protect them.

Sacred seeds of black ash trees put on ice  for future generations
Michigan: So far, the emerald ash borer has killed more than 14,000,000 ash trees in southeastern Michigan.   Chemicals can only slow down -- but not stop --the pests as they spreads across the state.  Within 10 years, as many as 400,000,000 trees may die.  Today, those trees' futures could be inside a Soaring Eagle Resort freezer where dormant ash tree seeds are being protected.  "The seeds are now suspended in time," said Sally Kniffen from the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe.  Black ash trees produce seed only once every seven years.  2006 was the seed year for the trees in mid-Michigan, and than 20,000 black ash seeds were collected. The goal is to plant those seeds at some time in the future, after it's safe again to plant.   By then, experts predict only 10% of the seeds may still be alive. "It's not good odds," Kniffen said.  "But our basket-makers say it's about what you get in nature, anyway."  The ash is hugely important to Anishinabe culture.  Its wood provides the splints to make ash baskets, and knowledge of how to make those baskets has been  passed down for generations. The Tribe's cultural experts and basket-makers are carefully documenting what it takes to make black ash baskets.  "They're going to have to go on memory," said basket-maker Renee Dillard. "By the time [future trees] gets big enough to harvest, I'll be gone."  Experts continue to look for some kind of control for the beetle, but no one knows when, or if, they'll be successful. 
Interview with Michigan basketmakers:

Agency Will Re-establish Relationship With Tribes on Bison Range
Montana:  The U.S.  Fish and Wildlife Service has reversed a decision to end tribal involvement in managing the National Bison Range.  The Confederated Salish and Kootenai may once again work with federal officials in caring for the range lying within the Flathead Indian Reservation.  A 5-year range operations plan will be drafted.  The government will also appoint someone to work at the range and assist in resolving management  problems.  Tribal chairman James Steele Jr. and the  Salish-Kootenai are surprised and pleased about the department's reversal.  They believe they should manage their historic lands, and that they are best prepared to tell visitors about the bison and American Indians. 
H-Amindian Listserve

Cherokee National Youth Choir Bring 'Comfort and Joy' to the Holidays
Tennessee: The Cherokee National Youth Choir consists of students, ages 12-17,  from Oklahoma's Cherokee Nation.  The choir has received many Native American Music Awards and is among the top native language choirs in America. On December 12,  the Cherokee Nation released the youth choir's latest CD.   "Comfort and Joy," is the group's  fifth release and second Christmas album.  "Our greatest mission is to share the Cherokee spirit with everybody," said Chad Smith, Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation. "We are extremely proud of the Cherokee National Youth Choir and the work they are doing to help preserve the Cherokee culture."  The collection of Christmas favorites have been translated and recorded in the Cherokee language. In addition to "Silent Night," "Away in a Manger,"  "Deck the Halls," and other, the choir added new arrangements of "Jingle Bells," "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" and "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer." On some songs the youth choir is joined by young children from the Cherokee Nation's language immersion program. The Cherokee National Adult Choir also shares in a song.

The Nunavik Inuit Art Collection

.   Nunavuit:  Avataq is home to The Nunavik Inuit Art Collection, a continuously growing collection of over 1300 Arctic artifacts and visual art objects.  This collection,  held in trust for all Nunavik Inuit, began in the late 1980's with a large transfer of historically important works from Indian and Northern Affairs Canada.   Some of the pieces in this collection are featured in Avataq's traveling exhibit entitled "TUMIVUT / Our Footsteps".  Various other pieces have been displayed by cultural institutions in Canada and Europe.  Each year Avataq acquires new pieces from various sources and private donors.  Historical artifacts and works of art are important reflections of the Inuits' past.  These objects also hold immense significance for contemporary Inuit
The Nunavik Inuit Art Collection

Series on contemporary Indian issues coming to a TV set near you

A 13-part television series called “Indian Pride” will air on PBS stations nationwide in February.  Produced by Prairie Public Television, the series examines issues relevant to modern-day Native Americans. Topics include tribal sovereignty, treaties, spirituality, education and more.  “This unprecedented series is the first venture of its kind to be produced for a mass United States audience,” said producer Bob Dambach.  “Previous attempts to tell the story of American Indian culture have been limited to one or two-part episodes that have only been able to provide a small glimpse of the rich history and culture of our Native peoples.”  Each 30-minute episode includes three distinct segments:
Mini-documentaries shot on location on reservations and around other parts of Indian country;
In-studio discussions of current issues by nationally-known American Indian guests;
Original and cultural performances featuring artists and storytellers.

Young filmmakers shine at Native American Film and Video Festival
New York - There is a spectacular growth in the number of Native filmmakers and the quality of their productions. Some of the best shared their gifts at the recent Native American Film and Video Festival in New York City. Organized by the National Museum of the American Indian, the festival screened 130 films and shorts created by native talents, including several younger filmmakers in the United States, Canada and Mexico. ''It's an event that has embedded in itself all the seeds for a big flowering garden to continue for years afterwards," said one organizer. "... what we do through the festival is learn a great deal about the direction we're going to be taking for the next two or three years until the next one happens.'' The films were organized into themes such as ''Our Lands Are Not For Sale,'' ''This is Who I Am,'' and "Our Languages, Our Stories."  More than 10,000 people attended the screenings, which were free.
Learn more about the festival:

21st Century Skins calendar focuses on Native entertainers
Arizona: The 21st Century Skins calendar highlights Native men in the entertainment industry.  Last year was the first Skins calendar. 1,500 calendars were printed and sold out. This year, 3000 calendars will be produced. Among the men featured for 2007:
Native star Zahn McClarnon, a Standing Rock Sioux, is featured twice.  Among his credits are several appearances in ''Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman.'' He played in the film ''Skins'' and appeared in ''Into the West.'' Zahn can be seen this fall as Ermoke on the CBS show ''Comanche Moon.''
Also featured twice is Sean Wei Mah, Cree, from Canada.   He played in ''Into the West,''  in the horror movie ''It Waits'' and  in ''Dreamkeeper.'' Wei Mah is currently performing  Vancouver, British Columbia, and is pursuing a degree in nutritional science.
Nate Camacho, Pasqua Yaqui
from Arizona, is an aspiring model and professional dancer. His company, called Robot Friendly Productions,  provides graphic design and film editing services.
Marcos Akiaten, Chiricahua Apache of Los Angeles, will appear this fall as an Inuit father on the FOX Broadcasting Company miniseries thriller ''Beyond.''
Kyerin Bennett, Navajo,  is an aspiring actor and model who is studying anthropology.
Randy Boogie, Navajo, has been involved in the music scene. He is a disc jockey, producer and member of the hip-hop group, Foundations of Freedom.  He is also a graphic designer and runs Krazy Fresh, a clothing label and online store.
Lance Jensen, Navajo,  aspires to work as a model, but his ultimate goal is to obtain a Doctor of Pharmacy degree.  Lance is a full time student, works at the Boys and Girls Club, and is a volunteer basketball coach for 6- to 10-year olds.
Fernando Ross,  Navajo, works with Native fashion designers as a runway model and hopes to break into acting.
Billy Crawley II, Navajo and Osage, is a member of the Native metal band,  Ethnic Degeneration. Crawley has organized Ethnicology, a Native metal rock fest, for the past five years.
Bryan Mercier, Kalapuya/ Umpqua from the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde community, is a former semi-pro soccer player who currently works with the forest service.
21st Century Skins:

"Aboriginal Icon" winner rocks on
Alberta: No one is more surprised about where his music has taken him than W.T. Goodspirit.  The Cree high school teacher from the Goodfish Lake First Nation was among hundreds of First Nation, Inuit and Metis performers who auditioned for the ''Aboriginal Icon'' singing competition.  "Aboriginal Icon" is modeled after the television show ''Canadian Idol'' and draws aboriginal contestants from Canadian First Nations.  Goodspirit was named one of seven finalists on ''Aboriginal Icon,'' At the finals in 2005, Goodspirit sang Jack Green's ''Statue of a Fool'' and Alabama's ''Mountain Music.'' He won.  His grand prize was a recording contract with Sunshine Records.  ''Before 'Aboriginal Icon,' I only sang cover songs. After I won, I started to write music and brought out my true capabilities that I did not know I had. I realized that recording my own music was a dream come true,'' Goodfish said.

Creek Indian Crafts Longbows: Drawing back on tribal tradition
Oklahoma:  When Creek men roamed their Georgia homelands, they used longbows exclusively for hunting.  Bows can be made from, elm and hickory.  Mike Berryhill, Muscogee (Creek), prefers bois d'arc.  "A bow has to have heart," he said. "Bois d'arc is a wood with heart."  Berryhill's grandfather, Joe Berryhill, began teaching Mike the bow-making art when his grandson was 8-years old.  Mike has been making them ever since. "This is who we are; it's a part of our culture," he said. "Nowadays, we are taught how to make a living, and that's good, but back then it was survival, pure and simple."  Bowmaking the Creek way is a dying art form, he said.  "This is something I want to teach young people," he said. "Still, it's hard to get them interested in it because it's such a time-consuming process."
First, the right piece of wood must be found.  Selection and preparation are essential.
The tree is not cut down; only a branch is removed.  Timing is everything.  If the branch is cut when the moon is too full, the wood may be weak. Cold weather is the best time to cut, because the tree's sap has drawn down to its roots, making the wood easier to work with..
The wood must be cut and cured, which can take weeks or months.
Berryhill calls himself a tree-reader.  Like humans, Berryhill believes each tree has attributes and weaknesses. "We both come from the Earth," he said. "We also have different characters and colors. Like wood, some people are easy to work with, while others are gnarly."

50 Coolest Websites
Time Magazine has selected the 50 Coolest Websites for 2006. Finalists are selected among hundreds of candidates.

Entertainment, Arts, Media
Sundance Splinks
Wolfgang's Vault
Photo Muse
Podcast Pickle
The 9
Shopping LIfestyles Hobbies
Phone Scoop
Delicious Days
Not Martha
Shop Intuition
Mighty Goods
News and Information
The Morning News
Kevin Sites in the Hot Zone
Charity Navigator
Footnoted Tailrank
The Human Clock
Staying Connected
Google Spreadsheets
Yu-Gi-Oh Groove
Cute Overload
Jackson Pollock by Miltos Manetas
Number Logic
Travel and Real Estate
WEb SEarch and Services
Argali White &Yellow
Seamless Web
McAfee SiteAdvisor

Volume 3 

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