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.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Job Hunting? A career change may be in order

With unemployment figures skyrocketing and businesses biting the dust, the picture painted is of a long-term crisis and much hardship if not anxiety for many of us. The promise of at least a partial recovery with the incoming administration notwithstanding, there are even today bright patches in the darkened sky.
A closely watched media reveals that optimism, as reports emerge on careers and industries where jobs are largely available or even go begging. Securing them will likely require a change of career, maybe even some training, but there is no question that, yes indeed, there are growth industries today.
We've posted on our career page a helpful article published last week in the Wall Street Journal. And I recommend that you find WNYC's Brian Lehrer show of the 23rd, Dec., or the podcast (Where the Jobs Are).
One of Brian's guests, Dennis Demp, author of Health Care Job Explosion, reports informatively and optimistically on those specific industries that can't help but grow. Health care, insurance and working for the feds (especially in the areas of IT, public health, the census) are examples that he expands on. Demp also gives us the useful website:
Check it out. Happy hunting! And may 2009 be brighter for us all.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Salazar at the Interior

Indian Country Today reports that Ken Salazar, Barack Obama's Latino pick to head the Departmet of the Interior, has been, will be, friendly to Native Americans.
Read it here.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Ending the Silence

Amnesty International's YouTube video of an Alaska Native woman's experience as a rape victim is straightforward, sobering and powerful.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A day of thanksgiving?

Though I’ve been holding down the fort (so to speak) of the Native American Village while we reorganize, I’m not of American Indian blood or culture. At the same time, for many years, probably since my college days, I’ve refused to celebrate Thanksgiving Day, creating for myself the illusion perhaps of solidarity with Native Americans. Yearly, I make a big deal over my boycott, protesting that we’ve made a charade and a big lie of the true history of our relations with the people whose land and lives the colonists stole as they usurped east and marauded west. To me, expressing thanks on that post-harvest day for the whole host of things—the bountiful meal, familial ties, material goods, good health—oftentimes a mere litany instead of conscious stock-taking, makes that much more glaring, by its omission, the shameful episode of our history that continues in its present-day guise of the mythologizing, patronizing, and neglect of native peoples. But mine is one wet blanket opinion, that of an admitted outsider with fears, even, of being patronizing herself.
Seeking authenticity, I wrote to the Native American Village’s new contributor, Patty Talahongva—about whom we’re just tickled! (see her first article for us)--and asked what Thanksgiving Day means to her. Here’s some of what she said:

"I'm amused at this time of year because it's when American Indians become 'popular' and 'visible' -it's like non-Indians are given some sort of special permission to consider American Indians. We are taken out of the box and dusted off, given some scant attention before we are put back in the box and stored away for another year. We aren't even special enough to warrant a china cabinet for special storage...just a box. (And of course we don't have a federal holiday either.)…
…do I celebrate Thanksgiving? Yes, but not for the origins of the holiday and not to 'commemorate the first Thanksgiving' but just the overall thankfulness of life's blessings, which for Hopi is everyday. We thank our Creator for waking us up to another day of light and life and ask that we make the most of it and not squander our day/life. So every day truly is Thanksgiving Day. Do I like the turkey, the stuffing, and the pumpkin pie- you bet!"

Here are a couple of links I’ve pointedly selected, perhaps to check out while digesting that turkey that missed the pardon. Food for thought, shall we say?
Native Americans Will Mourn Thanksgiving
Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States

May your day be peaceful and augur prosperity for us all.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Corporate Glass Ceiling for Women and Minorities is yet to be Shattered

It's same old, same old, says as they report on findings by the Calvert Group, a social investment fund, that found little advancement of women and minorities in corporate executive positions. Equally problematical, a second report finds, is that the corporate world is lax--perhaps better said, uncooperative--in disclosing Equal Opportunity information regarding diversity in their workplaces. You'd think they had something to hide, eh?
A possible remedy? Shareholder resolutions forcing the brass to get with it. Here's a perfect pitch for "spreading the wealth," no?

Friday, November 07, 2008

Indian country support aided Obama

Rob Cappriccioso reports for Indian Country Today that, in the final days of the campaign, John McCain's support among a host of traditionally Republican Indian leaders practically vanished, making way for a rush of support for Barack Obama amongst their constituents.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Check out these new board games for Native kids


Family, friends, home, school, community or church center, these games breathe positivity.

Monday, October 13, 2008

From Indian Country Today

Pre-emptive strike

Tribal historic preservation officers lay out priorities for new administration

By Rob Capriccioso

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Help Revitalize Native American Languages

Sign the Petition:

Your help is urgently needed to save and revitalize Native American languages. Among the more than 300 original languages once spoken in the U.S. only 155-175 are spoken today. Scholars estimate that only 20 of these remaining indigenous languages are being widely transmitted to today's Native children. Fully 70 languages could vanish within the next 10 years without immediate and significant funding for tribal language programs.

More here

Friday, August 29, 2008

Native Hawaiian Self-Determination Included in Platform Adopted by Dems

Day 2 of the Denver convention saw a step forward for the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act, or so-called Akaka bill.

The Democratic Party determined to include its support for Native Hawaiian self-determination and sovereignty in its platform formally adopted during the convention.

Barack Obama himself, who was raised in Hawai'i, had already expressed his support in january and promised to sign the bill that would allow Native Hawaiians to negotiate over control of land and assets.

John McCain, who had served as chairman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, has said he opposes the bill.

Colleen Hanabusa, a member of the Hawaii Delegation at the convention, praised the decision. The fact that you have Native Hawaiians recognized alongside Native Americans is really a major statement," she said in a report on KHON News.

For a concise background account of the bill, its status in the election season, and the two candidates' positions, see the Honolulu Advertiser's report.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

There is hope for the world!

From the Guardian:

Paraguay: Former slave gets cabinet position

Margarita Mbywangi, a tribal chief who'd been captured and sold into slavery, has become the first indigenous person to oversee ethnic Indian affairs in Paraguay. She'll serve under newly-elected progressive president, Fernando Lugo.


Friday, August 08, 2008

International Day of the World's Indigenous People

9 August

By resolution 49/214 of 23 December 1994, the General Assembly decided to celebrate the International Day of the World's Indigenous People on 9 August every year during the International Decade of the World's Indigenous People. In 2004 the Assembly proclaimed a Second International Decade by resolution 59/174. The goal of this Decade is to further strengthen international cooperation for the solution of problems faced by indigenous people in such areas as culture, education, health, human rights, the environment, and social and economic development.

In April 2000, the Commission on Human Rights adopted a resolution to establish the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues which was endorsed by the Economic and Social Council in resolution 2000/22 of 28 July 2000. The mandate of the Permanent Forum is to discuss indigenous issues related to culture, economic and social development, education, the environment, health and human rights.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

The Case for Diane Benson, first Native American women to run for Congress

Nation magazine editor, Katrina Vanden Heuvel, blogs her strong support for Diane Benson, waging a tough fight to unseat Repbulican representative Don Young for Alaska's at large Congressional seat, despite the fact the Young faces criminal allegations for bribery and extortion. But first Benson must defeat a Democratic challenger in the primary on August 26, Ethan Berkowitz. Berkowitz has got the Democratic establishment on his side. But Benson, who grew up poor, even destitute, has grass roots and progressive support.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Tough self love or self hate?

Writing for Indian Country Today, Charles E. Trimble (Oglala Lakota) is challenging Indian country to adapt on the reservations Bill Cosby's tough, self-policing script for what Trimble cites are a litany of ills--"gangs, drugs, epidemic alcoholism, violence and crime"-- remedied only by the most stringent self-cure.

It's a provocative piece, making a heavy indictment and throwing down a challenge that's sure to make many downright mad, a la Cosby's reception by segments of the black community for his tough talk.

Read it and respond. Let us know what you think!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Paula Gunn Allen: "A woman of great words"

MariJo Moore writes in Indian Country Today of the passing last month of Native literary lioness, Paula Gunn Allen. Gunn Allen was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in 2004. In this insightful life's review, the author links Gunn Allen's womanist writings to the history of her people, the Cherokees, and their pre-Columbian tradition of strong, powerful women.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Tribal Scholarships--Hurry! Deadline's Near

Thanks to Indian Country Today for this list which we’ve lifted from their on-line article of the 7th, May.

The following scholarships are available for the 2008 - 09 school year. Applications are due May 31. For more details about all scholarships, visit

Tribal college students

" The Cartwright Scholarship Program - for men based on financial need. Recipients receive $2,000 and are required to mentor other male students in their community by encouraging them to attend college.

" The Citi Foundation Scholarship Program - $4,000 scholarship to tribal college students in South Dakota.

" The Coca-Cola First Generation Scholarship - $5,000 for tuition, fees and unmet need for a student's first year in college. Students maintaining a 3.0 grade point average with strong participation in campus and community life can continue the scholarship throughout their academic career at a tribal college.

" The Ford Motor Co. Tribal College Scholarship - need-based scholarships for up to $5,000 to students majoring in math, science, engineering, business, teacher training or environmental science at a tribal college.

" The General Mills Foundation - need-based scholarships of $2,000 to outstanding tribal college students currently enrolled in Minnesota and New Mexico.

" The Lilly Foundation - one $8,000 Distinguished Scholar Award to a graduating valedictorian or salutatorian of their 2008 high school class, and one $8,000 Keepers of the Next Generation Award to a single-parent student demonstrating exceptional academic achievement.

" The Morgan Stanley Tribal Scholars Program - $2,500 annually to outstanding tribal college students currently enrolled with an interest in business and financial services.

" The Nissan North America Inc. Scholarship - $3,000 annually to outstanding tribal college students.

" The Sovereign Nations Scholarship Fund Endowment - a permanent endowment supported by American Indian Nations and American Indian-owned businesses. The American Indian College Fund awards $2,000 scholarships to tribal college students.

" The Time Warner Scholarship - $2,500 to outstanding tribal college students.

" The Winners for Life Foundation - $2,000 to young tribal college students based on academic achievement and unmet need.

Mainstream institution students

" Morgan Stanley Scholarships - up to $10,000 for outstanding students who have an interest in the business and financial services industry and attend a mainstream four-year institution.

" The Ford Motor Co. Scholarship - need-based scholarships of up to $10,000 for deserving students at mainstream four-year institutions who are majoring in accounting, computer, electrical or mechanical engineering, finance, information systems, marketing or operations management.

" The Nissan North America Inc. Scholarship - $5,000 to selected students attending a mainstream four-year institution.

" The Sovereign Nations Scholarship Fund Endowment - a permanent endowment supported by American Indian nations and American Indian-owned businesses.

Graduate students

" The Sovereign Nations Scholarship Fund - $2,000 scholarships to students pursing a graduate-level degree.

" The Vine Deloria Jr. Memorial Scholarship - for graduate students.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Is Evo Morales the Depak Chopra of the Global Indigenous?

Following is a digest of Bolivian President Evo Morales' speech at the UN, on April 21. In it, he offers 10 recommendations on "how to live well" in the face of "unbridled" development and the devastation of the environment. His suggestions are true to indigenous understanding and respect for Mother Earth. The digest was prepared by the UN's Department of Public Information and, from what I can gather after hearing snippets of the speech itself, is somewhat watered down. At the same time, the UN folks did not excise Morales' warning that the way to change is through "social movements, such as the indigenous people’s movement, which would not fall silent until it had brought about change."

EVO MORALES AYMA, President of Bolivia, said the Forum was to be viewed as a model for “living together” and was an extension of the decades-long struggle of indigenous peoples for equality and justice. It was also appropriate that the Forum focus on climate change and the role of indigenous peoples in tackling that problem, since indigenous peoples were human beings with the same rights and responsibilities as anyone else.

He noted that the indigenous movement had successfully organized itself to defend access to land and basic services, in the face of attacks and threats of extermination. That fight should continue for as long as needed. In the meantime, the Forum, along with similar bodies, could put forward alternative economic models to ensure the survival of indigenous peoples as they continued their quest.

In the context of finding solutions to environmental issues, including climate change, he said indigenous peoples had the moral authority to participate in those discussions, having lived closely with Mother Earth and defended it for ages. Indigenous peoples in Bolivia had “achieved the Presidency”, enabling it to proceed in the fight for justice and equality. It now fell to gatherings of indigenous peoples, such as the Forum, to work with other world leaders to encourage them to play their part.

He said indigenous peoples wanted to express “how to live well” within their vision of Mother Earth, which was the source of life. Living well was not possible under the current capitalist system, which sought to turn Mother Earth into a capitalist good. The conclusion had been reached in many circles that the authorities of many places were to be blamed for encouraging climactic factors that caused harm to peoples, which had brought floods and global warming. A conversation must be held with other communities on establishing a new model for living. World leaders must encourage more contact with indigenous peoples.

He offered a series of “ten commandments” that he thought should underpin the new model, beginning with the first: a call to end the capitalist system. The capitalist system was inhuman and encouraged unbridled economic development. The exploitation of human beings and pillaging of natural resources must end, as should wars aimed at securing access to those resources. Also, the world should end the plundering of fossil fuels; excessive consumption of goods; the accumulation of waste; as well as the egoism, regionalism and thirst for earning where the pursuit of luxury was taking place at the expense of human beings. Countries of the south were heaped with external debt, when it was the ecological debt that needed paying.

Second, the world should denounce war, which brought advantage to a small few, he said. In that vein, it was time to end occupation under the pretext of “combating drugs”, such as in South America, as well as other pretexts such as searching for weapons of mass destruction. Money earmarked for war should be channeled to make reparations for damage caused to the Earth.

Third, there should be a world without imperialism, he said, where no country was dependent upon or subordinate to another. States must look for complementarity rather than engage in unfair competition with each other. Member States of the United Nations should consider the asymmetry that exists among nations and seek a way to lessen deep economic differences. Moving along those lines, he said the Security Council -- with its lifelong members holding veto rights -- should be democratized.

Fourth, he said access to water should be treated as a human right, and policies allowing the privatization of water should be banned. Indigenous peoples had a long experience of mobilizing themselves to uphold the right to water. He proposed that they put forth the idea of forming an international convention on water to guarantee it as a human right and to protect against its appropriation by a select few.

Fifth, he said the world should promote clean and eco-friendly energies, as well as end the wasteful use of energy. He said it was understood that fossil fuels were nearing depletion, yet those who promoted biofuels in their place were making “a serious mistake”. It was not right to set aside land not for the benefit of human beings, but so that a small few could operate luxurious vehicles. It was also because of biofuels that the price of rice and bread has risen; and the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) were now warning that such policies must be prevented. The world should explore more sustainable forms of alternative energy, such as geothermal, solar, wind and hydro-electric power.

Sixth, he said there should be more respect for Mother Earth, and the indigenous movement must bring its influence to bear in fostering that attitude. The world must stop thinking of Mother Earth in the capitalist sense -- which was that of a raw material to be traded. For who could privatize or hire out his mother?

Seventh, he stressed the importance of gaining access to basic services for all. Services such as education and transport should not be the preserve of private trade.

Eighth, he urged the consumption of only what was necessary and what was produced locally. There was a need to end consumerism, waste and luxury. It was an irony that millions of dollars were being spent to combat obesity in one half of the globe, while the other was dying of hunger. He said the impending food crisis would necessarily bring an end to the free market, where countries suffering hunger were being made to export their food. There was a similar case with oil, where the priority lay in selling it abroad, rather than domestically.

Ninth, he said it was important to promote unity and diversity of economies, and that the indigenous movement should put forth a call for unity and diversity in the spirit of multilateralism.

Tenth, the world should live under the tenet of “trying to live well”, he said, but not at the expense of others.

He said the best way forward lay in social movements, such as the indigenous people’s movement, which would not fall silent until it had brought about change. He ended by greeting fellow South Americans in the room, acknowledging their role in the fight. In Bolivia, the provisions of the Declaration of Rights of Indigenous Peoples had been made into law, and he expressed hoped that other countries would do the same. He welcomed the attention, good or bad, he was receiving as a member of that movement, saying that perhaps it would lead to ideological clarity.

See a report of Morales' visit on the Native American Village home page.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Campus Lockdown: Women of Color Negotiating the Academic Industrial Complex

DATE: Saturday, March 15, 2008
TIME: 10:30 AM - 5:00 PM
LOCATION: Michigan Union, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
For more information & to register online:

Campus Lockdown: Women of Color Negotiating the Academic Industrial ComplexCampus Lockdown is organized by undergraduate and graduate students at the University of Michigan. Its aim is to promote dialogue on the politics of women of color scholarship in a post-Proposal 2 (anti-Affirmative Action) environment. Women scholars of color from universities across the country will participate in critical discussions of a host of issues relating to politics, pedagogy, and campus climate for women devoted to pubic scholarship. The conference is intended as an organized community forum space and all attendees are encouraged to contribute to the day's ongoing conversations.

Statement of University of Michigan students and faculty in support of UM Native American Studies Director Andrea Smith's tenure case. | Action alert.

Piya Chatterjee, University of California, Riverside
Angela Davis, University of California, Santa Cruz (via teleconference)
Rosa Linda Fregoso, University of Southern California
Ruthie Gilmore, University of Southern California
Fred Moten, Duke University
Clarissa Rojas, San Francisco State University
Haunani-Kay Trask, University of Hawai'I

CO-SPONSORS: University of Michigan Asian/Pacific Islander American Studies Program, Center for the Education of Women, Department of History of Art, Department of Women’s Studies, Division of Student Affairs, Michigan Student Assembly, Museum Studies Program, Office of Multi-Ethnic Student Affairs, Students of Color of Rackham Native Caucus, William Monroe Trotter Multicultural Center, Women of Color in the Academy Project

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Film Explores WWII Internment on Colorado River Indian Reservation

Cross-posted from our sister site, Asian American Village:

Following up on the Annual Day of Remembrance -- marking FDR's signing of Executive Order 9066 -- we feature a contribution by filmmaker Joe Fox, whose new film Passing Poston: An American Story, debuts in New York City tonight.

The filmmaker and writer discusses the inspiration behind the new film about Poston concentration camp, and about the film's exploration of connections between the Japanese Americans who labored there and the Colorado River Indian tribe, whose desert reservation served as its host.

As Fox states, "A filmmaker is nothing more than a storyteller. And one really searches high and low for those amazing stories to tell."

He and partner James Nubile have found an amazing story indeed. Learn more at

Monday, February 11, 2008

Johnny Whitehorse Wins 2008 Grammy for Best Native American Music Album

A nice note sent over from Silver Wave Records about the Grammy Awards:

Silver Wave Records is pleased and excited to announce that "Totemic
Flute Chants
" by Johnny Whitehorse (aka Robert Mirabal) is
the winner of the 2008 Grammy Award for Best Native American Music Album.

Mirabal and co-producer Larry Mitchell were honored with the prestigious
award on Sunday, February 10 in Los Angeles.

Thank you to all the fans, voters, retailers, distributors, radio, and
media people who have supported Johnny Whitehorse and Robert Mirabal. We
sincerely appreciate you.

For more about Robert Mirabal, see/hear the VoA report from last fall, "Musician Robert Mirabal Draws Inspiration from Land," on the Native American Village.

Friday, February 08, 2008

What Do American Indian and Alaskan Native College Students Want in a Career?

What Do American Indian and Alaskan Native College Students Want in a Career?:

2007 Diversity Employers survey finds flexibility, opportunities to serve, higher priority than just making money

By the IMDiversity Career Center Staff

A follow-up to last year's Diversity Employers survey finds flexibility, opportunities to serve, remain highest priorities for Native college students and MBAs, when compared with surveyed groups of other backgrounds. However, it also shows shifts within the Native student population from last year, and sees increasing common ground being built among Natives, African Americans, and Pacific Islanders, South Asian Indian Americans, and Latinos in particular.

Just for one thing, Healthcare has dropped fairly significantly as a top ideal industry since last year, while interestingly, Non-Profit work has risen. Also of interest is how the most common definitions of "diversity" have changed since last year's survey, among Natives and all ethnic groups.

Some survey highlights posted on the Village were extracted from a larger, illustrated report, the Top 100 IDEAL Employers - Diversity Edition 2007, presented by Universum and our sister publication from IMDiversity, THE BLACK COLLEGIAN Magazine.

We give our light take on it in the article on NAV, but are also really, really interested to hear how you might interpret the findings. We hope you'll leave us a comment letting us know your thoughts on what this comparative survey might say about our work values, commonalities and differences, not just between ethnic groups, but also possibly genders, tribes and generations.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Chippewa Designer Builds Vet Memorial in MT

We know, it's been a while since posting. We've been pretty hopping with other areas of the site, in particular reworking some parts of the IMDiversity job bank portion, which is getting some enhanced search features this season.

Meanwhile, we wanted to pass on this word sent in from a visitor, a Chippewa Indian who has designed and built "one of Montana's finest Veteran Memorials". Located at the Kiwanis Park in Dillon, Montana, the Beaverhead County Veterans Memorial allows people to purchase inexpensive bricks with three lines of text (14 spaces) or even some more complex graphics commemorating friends and loved ones who served and died in America's wars.

The Progress section of the site shows a photo essay of the memorial's construction, and a few sample bricks provide ideas for possible layouts. To apply for a brick, you have to download a form in Adobe PDF format from the site.

Designer Ron Lake writes that "What I'm trying to get is at least one brick from every state to go into the memorial."

"Any Veterans or Guard can get a brick," Lake says, but he suggests that the memorials can also be non-specific, such as:

Thanks Vets!
The Boys at

Well, we were happy to help him spread the word, and encourage visitors to view the site and the tasteful memorial design, and consider adding a brick of your own. Gift certificates are also available and can help complete the work.

For more information, contact Ron Lake (406)683-1269.