Youth and Education News
2007 Issue 176 Volume 4
"Because woman lives so close to our first mother, the Earth, she emanates the strength and harmonious nature of all things." Larry P. Aitken, Chippewa
Arctic Explorer to Highlight Global Warming With Baffin Island Expedition
Minnesota: Dogsledder Will Steger has joined Inuit hunters and others on a three-month expedition across Nunavut's Baffin Island. The trip will demonstrate how global warming is destroying the wildlife and the lives of Inuit families. The six men and women will travel 1,930 kilometers, stopping to interview Inuit families in five villages. Every day, updates for students will be provided online. Afterward, Inuit hunters and their families will travel to Washington, D.C., and testify in Congress about global warming. "Everyone had a story about how global warming was affecting their hunting and their lives," said Steger of an earlier expedition. "The ice is forming later and later and breaking up earlier. A lot of them are not able to get out for a lot of their hunts, especially for walrus. In a lot of these villages, 80% of their food comes from the land." The expedition will travel by dog team from Feb. 23 to about May 10.
Daily updates from the Will Steger expedition: http://www.globalwarming101.com/
46 Nations Back New Environmental Body
France: Forty-five nations answered France's call for a new environmental body to slow global warming and protect the planet. The charge is being led by French President Jacques Chirac after the release of a grim scientific report from hundreds of scientists and officials. The report said said:
*Global warming is "very likely" caused by mankind;
*Climate change will continue for centuries even if heat-trapping gases are reduced;
*The worst disasters - huge sea level rises and catastrophic storms and droughts - could be avoided with immediate and fast action.
The document has been approved by 113 nations, including the United States. But the Bush administration is against imposing cuts on US carbon emissions, despite the fact that the U.S.. creates nearly 25% of the world's greenhouse gases. Chirac has warned that the United States could face carbon taxes on exports if it does not sign global climate accords. Without naming the U.S., Chirac was frustrated that "some large, rich countries still must be convinced." They are "refusing to accept the consequences of their acts."
Among the comments:
"The debate has clearly shifted from a battle over the science to fighting over the scope and design of the solution." Jason Grumet, National Commission on Energy Policy
"We are at a tipping point. We must act, and act swiftly ... Such action requires international cooperation." Al Gore, Past Vice President of the United States
"The so-called and long-overstated 'debate' about global warming is now over. It is time now to hear from the world's policymakers." Tim Wirth, United Nations Foundation
"It is our responsibility. The future of humanity demands it." Jacques Chirac
Corn-based ethanol has fish, wildlife officials worried
Iowa: Growing numbers of people across the country are worried about the affects of corn-based ethonol on farmland conservation. The problem is that corn-based ethanol requires more corn production. And more corn production means far less wildlife habitat for pheasants, ducks, songbirds and other wildlife. It also adds pollution to our waterways. While corn-based ethanol is a cleaner fuel than gasoline, policymakers have not looked at other costs to the envornment. Biologist Todd Bogenschutz, who has presided over the writing of two federal farm bills, will preside over this year's new bill. He knows what an enormous impact this bill could mean for wildlife conservation. "It's huge," he said. "No question about it. It's a really big deal." To acquire more land, farm interests will demand phasing out the nation's premiere wildlife initiative, The Conservation Reserve Program. The 20-year-old program has preserved nearly 37,000,000 acres nationwide. "CRP is very popular, and its benefits are tremendous and well documented, but let's not throw the baby out with the $3-a-bushel corn," said Bogenschultz. "If we do, the landscape will look a lot different than it is now."
* The nation's estimated 110 ethanol plants used 2,150,000,000 bushels of corn in 2006;
* In 2006, 78,600,000 acres were used to grow corn;
* In the last 20 years, Iowa has lost 30% of its potential upland habitat from hay and small grain fields (adequate wildlife habitat) to row crop;
* More demand for corn-based ethanol means farmers will be forced to plant in environmentally fragile areas that should never see row crops;
* To meet 2007 demands, farmers need to plant 6,500,000 extra acres;
* U.S. farmers must increase corn acreage to 90,000,000 acres by 2010 to be able to produce 12,000,000 gallon of fuel.
One hope for the future is cellulosic ethanol -- ethanol made from fibrous materials like switchgrass. In fact, recent research suggests that prairie grasses could fuel our energy and conservation needs.
Conservation Reserve Program: http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/crp
Native American beading embodies symbolism
Oklahoma: Shirley Barbone, a full-blooded Choctaw Indian, has been beading for 40 years. She learned to bead from her grandmother while helping her make headdresses and jewelry. Barbone says Native Americans put their God above all else and that shows in the work. “My grandmother told me to always thank the Creator for the talent that was given to me,” she said. “Before all of my projects I pray and ask for God, or the Great Spirit, to guide my hand." Beading is used in many things, from ceremonies to home decor. Barbone says beading is a way to thank her ancestors. “I enjoy keeping the Indian culture alive and more interesting for the younger generation,” she said. She also shared another of her grandmother's teachings. “We intentionally put flaws into our work. My grandma told us that if you make a piece perfectly it means you have nothing to look forward to,” she said.
Native American marching band distracts a new generation from blight
California: - A century ago, dozens of Indian tribes had bands that played John Philip Sousa music and other patriotic anthems. These bands were part of the government's effort to erase Indian cultures, religions, and languages. Today, only a few bands survive. The oldest is the Fort Mojave Indian Tribe Band. "A lot of tribes dropped their bands because they were symbols of the boarding-school experience," said Melissa Nelson from San Francisco State University. "The Mojave made it their own music, and it helped them survive." The band has played many roles for the 1,200-member tribe. It has been a tool to fight bigotry, build pride in the face of unemployment and poverty, and keep young people from drinking and drugs. As the Fort Mojave band recently paraded through the village, people watch from lawn chairs and the beds of pickup trucks. One bystander, Betty Barrackman, talked about her late husband, Llewellyn, who helped the band survive through the 20th century. "He lived for the band," she said. "He didn't ever want to let it die."
Globe Newspaper Company
Native radio/Web program launched
Connecticut: ''Indigenous Politics: From Native New England and Beyond,'' was launched February 5 from Connecticut's Wesleyan University. Aired on Mondays, the new weekly radio program and webcast is produced and hosted by J. Kehaulani Kauanui, a Native Hawaiian and assistant professor at CWU. ''Indigenous Politics'' interviews leaders, activists, and scholars. Alyssa Mt. Pleasant, Tuscarora, hails the program as a new arena for American Native stories and analysis. ''Kauanui's radio show brings important American Indian and indigenous voices to Connecticut's airways, providing crucial commentary rooted in the scholarly research and activism of Native people and their allies. This couldn't be more timely,'' Mt. Pleasant said. Future program topics include Hawaiians and federal recognition; environmental issues, language revitalization, Indian mascots; land rights, and indigenous youth movements.
WESU 88.1 FM: www.wesufm.org
Native American Activist's Life Story Released To Honor Angelina Jolie's Mother
Angelina Jolie's mother, Marcheline Bertrand, passed away earlier this year. Marcheline was executive producer of Trudell, a documentary about Native American poet and activist, John Trudell. In 1979 Trudell burned an American Flag in front of FBI headquarters in Washington, DC, to protest the U.S. government's policy on American Indians. Following the protest, Trudell's pregnant wife and three children were killed in a suspicious arson fire on a Nevada reservation. Trudell then spent four years driving across America, grieving for his family and surviving through his poetry and music. Shown at the Sundance Festival in 2005, Trudell has received superb reviews. To honor Marcheline Bertrand's commitment to "Trudell," Jolie put a rush on a DVD release of the documentary. She is also helping to produce Trudell's current album, Bone Days.
World Entertainment News Network
Edmonton girl makes hockey history, singing anthem in Cree
Alberta: A 13-year-old Alberta girl became the first person to sing O Canada in Cree at a National League Hockey game. Akina Shirt is originally from the Saddle Lake First Nation near Edmonton. She learned the Cree version of the anthem a year ago. "I had to work extra hard in learning the words and practising it and I eventually memorized it and it just comes natural," she said. Akina has gained a reputation as a lucky charm -- each time she has sung the anthem for the Saddle Lake Junior B Warriors, the home team has won. And sure enough, the home team Calgary Flames beat the Vancouver Canucks 4-3.
Navajo Elite Runners to 2008 Summer Olympics?
Brandon Leslie and Alvina Begay are training to earn a spot on the 2008 Olympic Team USA. But training to compete in the Olympic Games is very expensive -- coaching, equipment, travel, and living expenses run as much as $30,000 a year. Only 5-7% of the U.S. Olympic Committee's revenues go directly to athletes to pay living and training expenses. To help raise funds to support Brandon and Alvina's goals, a new website called Nideiltihi Navajo Elite Runners has been launched. The website was established through the efforts of Karletta Chief, a former Miss Navajo. "I can't help them with a lot of money," she said, "but I can offer them my technical and organizational knowledge." Chief explained how she and a colleague came up with the name "nideiltihi." "When our people used to go to war," said Chief, "there would be scout that would run ahead of the war party and so of course he had to be a fast runner. So that's where the name comes from."
Learn More: Nideiltihi Navajo Elite Runners: http://navajoeliterunners.or
Illini retire mascot after tribe complains
Illinois: The University of Illinois has decided to retire its 81-year-old Native American mascot, Chief Illiniwek, after this season's last home basketball game. The move is hailed by the Oglala Sioux Tribe whose leaders said, "the antics of persons playing 'Chief Illiniwek' perpetuates a degrading racial stereotype that reflects negatively on all American Indian people." Joe Garcia, President of the National Congress of American Indians, also praised the UI's decision to retire Chief Illiniwek. "This should be an example to other institutions to respect American Indian culture by not promoting stereotyping through the use of racist images and mascots," he said. "NCAI encourages other educational institutions to follow suit in discontinuing the use of Native American mascots that are derogatory and offensive to Native people. NCAI hopes to work with the University of Illinois in furthering awareness and education about Native cultures and traditions." The Oglala Sioux also called on the university to return the Lakota buckskin regalia worn by students portraying Chief Illiniwek. The University of Illinois will still use the name Illini because it's short for Illinois. The schools will also keep the term Fighting Illini because it simply refers to the team's competitive spirit. It is unclear whether the school will get a new mascot.
Alberta's Northern Cree shares fashion secrets for Grammy gala
Alberta: After repeated trips to the Grammy Awards, Northern Cree has picked up a few tricks on how to rub shoulders with A-list celebrities. The group of aboriginal drummers and singers says the key to turning heads is the right outfit. "The first year that we went, we all dressed in penguin suits and we were invisible," recalls Northern Cree founder, Steve Wood, noting that most other nominees appeared in tuxedoes, too. Two years later the group wore traditional ribbon shirts and vests. Wood wore a fully beaded vest and a buckskin jacket adorned with traditional beadwork. The stars were intrigued. "We were at this one Grammy party and out of the crowd comes a little tiny woman and she comes up to the biggest guy in the group and goes, 'Wow, nice shirts. Where'd you guys get them from?' " says Wood. That woman was Britney Spears. "Now I know. You go as yourself, not somebody else," Wood said. This year, Northern Cree's "Long Winter Night," was among Grammy's 2007 choices for the best Native American music album.
2007 Grammy Award Winners
Best Native American Music Album
(Vocal or Instrumental.)
Voice Of The Drum
Heart Of The Wind
Robert Tree Cody & Will Clipman
American Indian Story
Long Winter Nights
Northern Cree & Friends
Dance With The Wind
[Silver Wave Records]
Best Hawaiian Music Album
(Vocal or Instrumental.)
Grandmaster Slack Key Guitar
[Rhythm And Roots Records]
The Wild Hawaiian
Hawaiian Slack Key Kings
Chris Lau & Milton Lau, producers
[Rhythm And Roots Records]
Legends Of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar — Live From Maui
Daniel Ho, George Kahumoku, Jr., Paul Konwiser & Wayne Wong, producers
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