Native American Village @ Blogspot

The blog companion to the Native American Village, the free community and careers site for indigenous peoples, part of the Multicultural Villages network.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Should American Indians and Alaska Natives buy their own health insurance?

Should Indian Country opt out, considering the failure of the Indian health system to bring to the res decent health care, and begin to choose their own health plans? There's a strong argument for doing so.
Read the AlterNet blog here.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Lessons at Navajo hospital about humane births

This article, from the NY Times earlier this week, is inspirational and should signal a turnaround in the assembly-line and callous way women are treated at this crucial juncture in their, their children's, and all of our society's lives. Would it be too much to hope that the Tuba City model be studied and replicated throughout the country?
Read here.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Is the future of Indian education now at stake?

With the death of Sen. Edward Kennedy, the retirement of his son, Patrick, and Hawaiian Rep. Abercrombie leaving his seat to run for governor, actual and potential booster of appropriations for Native Americans, especially in the field of education, seem in peril. Rob Capriccioso's account for Indian Country Today is comprehensive if not daunting.
Read it here.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Upcoming Scholarship Deadline: Native Chemistry Students

African-American, Hispanic/Latino, and American Indian students who are high school seniors, or college freshmen, sophomores or juniors are among those who can now apply for a scholarship from the American Chemical Society Scholars Program. Applications will be accepted through March 1, 2010, for the 2010-2011 school year.

Students must plan to major in or already be majoring in chemistry, biochemistry, chemical engineering or a chemically-related science, and they must plan to pursue a career in the chemical sciences. Scholarships range from $1,000 to $5,000, depending on college level and economic need.

For more details, see The American Chemical Society (ACS) Scholars Program accepting applications for minority students studying chemistry.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Adventures in Multicultural Living: Last chance to see the 'Native American Dioramas in Transition' exhibit at Univ of Michigan museum -

From Asian American Village Editor Frances Kai-Hwa Wang:

You don't have to spend more than a few minutes hanging around the Native American Dioramas in Transition Exhibit at the University of Michigan Exhibit Museum to see several children run up excitedly, thump up onto the ledge in their big snow boots, and squeal, “Ewwww, they’re naked! Why are they naked?”

A tired parent struggles to explain—or not—leaving the children to figure it out for themselves - “They must be really poor,” “They must not know any better,” or “That’s their culture.” There are no Native American doctors, lawyers, professors, engineers, architects, librarians, activists, or astronauts depicted.

It is not difficult to understand the hurt these diaramas must have caused Native American children seeing the exhibits with their classmates during the fourth grade Native American social studies unit, or how easily misperceptions and stereotypes are perpetuated.

I can feel it, too. Imagine if it was you and your family depicted there - tiny, naked, nerdy, weird, frozen in time. And all your friends and random strangers, looming giants overhead, pointing and laughing from on high about all the things that set you apart as different. (click on link for more)

Last chance to see the 'Native American Dioramas in Transition' exhibit at University of Michigan museum -

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Adventures in Multicultural Living: Creating our own multicultural Thanksgiving traditions -

From Asian American Village editor Frances Kai-Hwa Wang. Some interesting conversation in the comments about the ethics of celebrating Thanksgiving once you know the true history about Thanksgiving, with links to the National Day of Mourning and more...

My neighbor Lisa always celebrated two Thanksgivings while growing up in Ohio, a tradition she and her siblings continue every year. First, they have a traditional “American Thanksgiving” on Thanksgiving Day with turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and pumpkin pie. Then, on Friday, they have “Lebanese Thanksgiving” with hummus, kibbe, fattoush, grape leaves, hashwe rice pilaf, and meat and spinach pies. That makes for a lot of cooking and a lot of food, but with five six siblings and a ton of cousins, nobody misses a beat.

At Thanksgiving time, many families are caught wondering how to celebrate this quintessential American holiday — a holiday that is as much about the food as it is about family and giving thanks. Family is easy, everyone has family, as is the idea of giving thanks — especially for families that may have come to America because of war, oppression, poverty or lack of opportunity. However, celebrating a tradition that is not your own is more complicated than it looks.(click on link for more)

Creating our own multicultural Thanksgiving traditions -

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Some truths to ponder this thanksgiving season

From Organic Consumer's Association

75% of the World's Food

Seventy-five percent of the food and fiber we grow today was discovered and cultivated by the native farmers and hunter-gatherers of North, Central and South America.

These indigenous varieties include corn, beans, peanuts, cotton, potatoes, tomatoes, chili peppers, avocados, blueberries, cranberries, strawberries, squashes, black walnuts, pecans, chocolate, tobacco, rubber, sunflowers, and medicinal herbs and plants. Today, every one of these varieties are threatened by Monsanto, Big Pharma, and industrial agriculture, among others, who are privatizing and patenting seeds and the gene pool, eroding biodiversity, degrading the soil and water, contaminating the food chain, and destabilizing the climate.


What European colonists mistakenly described as wilderness was actually a human-created and nurtured landscape, providing food, medicinal herbs, bountiful wildlife, healthy, living soil, and clean water.

Native Americans "managed" the environment "organically," producing and/or maintaining for themselves and the future generations native animals, birds, fish, berries, nuts, greens, fruits, bulbs, corn, mushrooms, roots, basketry and cordage materials, firewood, hunting and building materials, herbal medicines, and plants for ceremonial use.

Many "wild" or commercial plants or varieties that exist today are in fact derived from ancient Native American seed saving and cross-breeding that produced better-tasting, climate adapted, and nutritional varieties.

The popular belief that pre-Columbian America was a "pristine wilderness" is false. This destructive myth is based upon essentially racist stereotypes that reduce the highly successful plant and animal husbandry of Native American rural societies to the instinctual behavior of wildlife or "noble savages."

Native American elders remember better times. "The white man ruined this country," said Southern Sierra Miwok elder Jim Rust. "It's turned back to wilderness. In the old days there used to be lots more game: deer, quail, gray squirrels and rabbits."

There are no "spontaneous Edens" on planet Earth. The New World Gardens of Eden spread across the Americas and the Caribbean, mindlessly exploited by the European conquerors, were the product of the wisdom, hard work, and perseverance of millions of Native Americans, caring for what they believed was a "sacred Earth" and an interconnected web of life that included all living things. In a similar manner, we must understand today that there will be no spontaneous organic or green revival, nor magical climate re-stabilization. An organic and healthy life for the present and future generations will require the dedicated work and perseverance of millions. In the near future we will either stop the deadly assaults on our biodiversity, our food chain, our health, and our climate, or else the biological carrying capacity of the Earth will collapse, along with "modern civilization" as we know it.


Millions of indigenous people continue to farm and raise animals the ancient way, the organic way.

4,200 Years of Farming on the Colorado Plateau

On the Colorado Plateau farming has been an unbroken cultural tradition for at least 4200 years. The Navajo, Zuni, Apache, Hopi, Paiute and Tewa have cultivated the most diverse annual crop assemblage in the New World north of the Tropic of Cancer.

The Wayana's Cultivated Eden

The farming system of the Wayana society of French Guyana is based on diverse and flexible cultivation, with characteristically high biodiversity. Organic agriculture and permaculture form a rich, biologically complex system of food production, complimented by wildcrafting, fishing, and hunting. In Wayana, there is no artificial separation between cultivated and wild areas, which is the basis for what we call permaculture.

The Milpa System and 20,000 Varieties of Corn

Few regions in the world have an organic farming system as sustainable and productive as the traditional milpa or "three sisters" organic corn fields of Mexico and Central America. The Mayan milpa tradition is the planting of heirloom varieties of corn in mounds or raised beds, intercropped with biologically complimentary species such as beans and squash, fertilized through natural processes, weeded, harvested and hulled by hand and tended individually. The ancient milpa tradition, in fact, has produced traditional varieties that are healthier and more pest-resistant than modern chemical and water-intensive hybrid and GMO varieties. There are over 20,000 varieties of corn in Mexico and Central America. In southern and central Mexico approximately 5,000 varieties have been identified. In one village in Oaxaca, researchers have identified 17 different micro-environments where 26 varieties of corn are growing. Each variety has been cultivated to adapt to elevation levels, soil acidity, sun exposure, soil type, and rainfall. Unfortunately Monsanto's genetically engineered corn - forced on Mexico by the Bush, Clinton, and Obama administrations - has begun to contaminate traditional Mexican corn varieties, while industry and consumer-induced global warming has spawned drought, pestilence, flooding, and killer hurricanes.

Andean Terraced Potatoes, With Thousands of Varieties

In the Andean region of South America, generations of farmers have domesticated thousands of potato varieties. Today, farmers cultivate up to 50 varieties on their farms. In the biodiversity reserve of the ChiloƩ archipelago in Chile, local people cultivate about 200 varieties of native potato. They use farming practices transmitted orally by generations of mainly women farmers. A long list of cultural and agriculture treasures from the Inca civilization has been carefully preserved and improved over centuries to guarantee living conditions over 4000 meters above sea level. Although grassroots opposition has stopped Monsanto's attempted invasion on the Andes and other regions of the Americas with its genetically engineered potatoes, constant vigilance and struggle will be required.

One of the most important and sustainable features of Andean agriculture is the terracing system used to capture water and prevent soil erosion. Terraces allow cultivation on steep slops and in different altitudes. From a range of 2800 to 4500 meters, three main agricultural systems can be found: maize is cultivated in the lower areas, potato mainly at medium altitudes. Above 4,000 meters the areas are mostly used as rangeland, but can still be cultivated with high altitude varieties as well. In the high plateau, around Lake Titicaca, farmers dig trenches (called "sukakollos") around their fields. These trenches are filled with water, which is warmed by sunlight. When temperatures drop at night, the water gives off warm steam that serves as frost protection for several varieties of potato and other native crops, such as quinoa.

Learn more about indigenous peoples in the Americas and their contribution to sustainable agriculture here!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Can we turn this daunting news linking Alzheimer's disease with obesity and diabetes into a wake-up call?

Indian Country Today once again comes up with cutting edge news about the Native American community that can't be ignored, relating the obesity and diabetes that have already been undermining Native Americans' health and advancement with increasing rates of Alzheimer's disease. To date, the association of Alzheimer's with obesity and diabetes in Native Americans has been empirical, but the Banner Alzheimer's Foundation in Pheonix and other organizations have pledged to further studies investigating the link and what can be done to stem the growing tide.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Sucker Creek First Nation--
Grand Chief Cardinal Gathers Support in Europe

 October 5th, 2009

Jaret Cardinal, Grand Chief of Treaty 8 Alberta and Chief of Sucker Creek First Nation is working in Europe to build strong international relationships when it comes to Climate Change discussions and implementation of the Treaties signed between the Queen of England and First Nations in Canada.
Before leaving for Europe, Cardinal attended the National Treaties "Honoring Our Ancestors" Gathering held at the River Cree Resort and Casino in Enoch, Alberta,
"The numbered treaties are international treaties signed with the Queen of England and a key outcome from this meeting was our need to begin building relationships at the international level," said Cardinal.
This is precisely what Grand Chief Cardinal is doing in Europe. On September 29 he attended the Annual Energy Roundtable Conference in London, England where he met national and corporate leaders from across Europe and Canada to discuss building a transatlantic energy partnership.
Discussions on industry consolidation, supply, regulation and investment issues in infrastructure and new energy technologies took place. Organized by the Canada-Europe Roundtable for Business (CERT), the conference was co-hosted by the Canadian High Commission.
"As First Nations, we are at a critical time in the continued development of conventional and renewable energy in Canada. These developments need to be done in an environmentally responsible and sustainable way that is acceptable to First Nations people."
On Monday, September 28, Grand Chief Cardinal met with the High Commissioner to discuss the critical issues facing Treaty 8 First Nations; the impact Climate Change is having on our traditional ways of live and to discuss how First Nations can be involved in the UN Climate Change Convention in Copenhagen.
"I sat with the Elders, before leaving for this trip; it is their messages I am bringing forward. We, as First Nations leaders, must listen to what our Elders have been saying. I have travel to England because this is who we need to talk with when it comes to implementing our Treaty. We signed the Treaty with the Queen."
Cardinal will be in Europe until October 9, meeting with many government and industry officials. 
"It is my hope that through these meetings the international community will begin to understand the role England and Her Majesty plays when our Treaties are discussed and people will begin to see we want our voices heard when the international community talks about climate change".

For more information, please contact: 
Grand Chief Jaret Cardinal 
(780) 523-7973 (Cell) 
(780) 523-4426 (Sucker Creek Office) 
(780) 444-9366 (Treaty 8 Office) - E-mail - SCFN Website

Friday, September 04, 2009

Johnny Whitehorse rides again

Hey music fans! Robert Mirabal's "other," mystical persona--also Grammy winning--is out with a new CD. Here's a rundown from his label, Silver Wave Records

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Things to Do in Denver When You Need Job Search Help

The Denver Indian Center Native Workforce Program has published its schedule of Career Development classes for the fall at

With a well-coordinated series of sessions focusing on different aspects of the search, application and interview process, this valuable service appears to be time well spent if you're looking for employment. Check for changes at the link above before contacting them, but so far their two classes or "clubs" are scheduled as follows:

Career Development and Exploration

Class Schedules:

Job Club 1
September 15, 2009, Tuesday 9 am pm to 12 pm Introductions/Overview
September 16, 2009, Wednesday 9 am to 12 pm, Job Search Class
September 17, 2009, Thursday 9 am to 12 pm, Job Search Class

Job Club 2
September 22, 2009, Tuesday 9 am to 12 pm, Application Workshop
September 23, 2009, Wednesday 9 am to 12 pm, Resumes
September 24, 2009, Thursday 9 am to 12 pm, Interview

Job Club 1
October 12, 2009, Tuesday 9 am pm to 12 pm Introductions/Overview
October 13, 2009, Wednesday 9 am to 12 pm, Job Search Class
October 14, 2009, Thursday

Job Club 2
October 20, 2009, Tuesday 9 am to 12 pm, Application Workshop
October 21, 2009, Wednesday 9 am to 12 pm, Resumes
October 22, 2009, Thursday 9 am to 12 pm, Interview

Attend the One Stop Career Centers for Resume, Interview, and Customer Service Workshops. Schedules can be downloaded from each County’s Workforce websites.

* Incentives for Job Search needs may be issued for scheduling a class with your local One-Stop for additional Job Search classes.
* Incentives may also be issued for attending Job Fairs and other networking opportunities.
* Incentives are issued for completing both weeks without absences.

Please contact :
Lynda Teller Pete, Workforce Specialist
303 936-2688 ext. 25

Friday, August 07, 2009

The Navajo go way green

Living on Earth independent media project reports on how the Navajo are looking for alternatives to mining on their reservation as well as minimizing dependence on fossil fuels. The Navajo Nation Council has approved green jobs legislation that will support economic growth and renewable energy based on traditional methods.
Download or read the transcript of the program.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

You go, Episcopalians!

Indian Country Today reports that, thanks to a little help from their friends at ICT, the Episcopal House of Bishops unanimously passed a resolution called "Repudiate the Doctrine of Discovery," renouncing the European settlement of the New World and its subsequent devastation of its land and peoples in the name of the Christian god. The document also urges the U.S. to endorse the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and encourages Episcopalian churches to support all indigenous peoples in their struggle for sovereignty and pursual of fundamental human rights.
The story here