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, 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

Monday, June 29, 2009

Expanded Job Board, Streamlined Tools at

Following IMDiversity's recent migration to a new jobs database and job tools format at, the editors have begun to restore a number of previously popular jobs quicksearch features including our jobs by location and jobs by occupation quicksearches, our $100K-Plus Featured Jobs section, and our weekly Featured Jobs section.

Just one one new improvement to our job tools is that jobseekers can now quickly and easily schedule a Saved Search from any search results page to send them a job alert email whenever any new jobs match their custom criteria. Jobseekers can "subscribe" to a Saved Search agent without opening a full job tools account, but they will enjoy improved tools for managing multiple alerts and posting employer-searchable resume by creating a quick Job Tools account first

We've also added a much expanded network job search, greatly extending the range and variety of the job postings searchable from one site.

Stop back for updates about the new jobs center in coming weeks.

Guidelines, applications for tax-exempt bonds now available

Filing deadline, 15 August.
Read the story in Indian Country Today

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Journalist Webinar Briefing: Closing the Racial Wealth Gap

The Media Consortium, the Insight Center

MC Contact: Tracy Van Slyke

America's most glaring economic injustice is the racial wealth gap: families of color have only 15 cents of wealth to the white family's dollar. The racial wealth gap has been caused by government policies from the expropriation of Indian lands and slavery, to many aspects of the New Deal like the GI bill and Social Security, to current policies like the Home Mortgage Interest Deduction and unregulated housing and financial markets. The Oakland-based Insight Center's Closing the Racial Wealth Gap Initiative has over 120 experts of color across the country who are resources to journalists and elected officials on federal, state and local economic stories and policies.

On Tuesday, June 16, this call will feature story ideas and investigative journalism proposals from:

Michael E. Roberts, President, First Nations Development Institute, on Closing the Racial Wealth Gap in Indian country

Avis A. Jones-DeWeever, Ph.D., Director, National Council of Negro Women, Research, Public Policy, and Information Center, on her new report Assessing the Double Burden: Examining Racial and Gender Disparities in Mortgage Lending, co-released with the National Community Reinvestment Coalition

Janis Bowdler, Senior Housing Policy Analyst, National Council of La Raza on the housing crisis and Latinos

Short presentations will be followed by Q&A.

To access ECON, the Experts of Color Network, visit For narratives on the racial wealth gap and proposals to close it, visit For more information on The Media Consortium, visit

WHAT: Journalist Webinar Briefing: Closing the Racial Wealth Gap
WHEN: 9 a.m. PST/12 p.m. EST, Tuesday, June 16 (40 minutes)
WHO: Insight Center Closing The Racial Wealth Gap Initiative and The Media Consortium

Please RSVP by Monday, June 15 at 3 EST.


About The Media Consortium
The Media Consortium, a network of the country’s leading, independent media outlets has formed to amplify our voices; increase our collective clout; leverage our current audience and reach out to new ones; transform our sector’s position in a rapidly changing media and political environment; and redefine ourselves and progressivism for a new century.

About NAM
New America Media is the country's first and largest national collaboration and advocate for more than 2500 ethnic news organizations. Over 51 million ethnic adults connect to each other, to home countries and to America through 3000+ ethnic media, the fastest growing sector of American journalism. Founded by the nonprofit Pacific News Service in 1996, NAM is headquartered in California with offices in New York and Washington D.C. NAM also partners with journalism schools to grow local associations of ethnic media around the nation.

Visit NAM's homepage for news and updates on our programs here.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Featured Job: Associate Director Heart of American Indian Center (MO)

Recently posted on our new job bank:

The Heart of American Indian Center of Kansas City, Missouri, seeks applicants for an Associate Director to provide support to the Acting Executive Director and serve the will of the Board of Directors. The Associate Director will perform administrative duties and will over see; operational, fiscal, personnel and program functions of the Heart of American Indian Center. This Position requires the ability to maintain confidentiality, exercise sound independent judgment and take initiative. Inquiries will be accepted until position is filled.

Read the full posting and apply here:
Featured Job: Associate Director Heart of American Indian Center (MO)

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Navajo Fashion Show at Trickster Gallery, IL

June 13th, 2009 Schaumburg, IL-The American Indian Center of Chicago s Trickster Gallery is excited to announce its very first Navajo Fashion Show. Up-and-coming Navajo designer, LeAnn Ward, along with her mother Lillian Bancroft from Arizona, will showcase their one-of-a-kind traditional and contemporary designs on the runway. Their beautiful fashions will be modeled by young Native American girls and boys, ages newborn to teens, from the Chicago area. This event is the first of its kind in Chicago.

I started sewing in mid-2007, but before that I always used to design my own clothing in high school and have my mom sew them for me. I knew that I always wanted to carry on the tradition of sewing, and once I became a mother, it was my calling to start, says designer LeAnn Ward. My mother Lillian Bancroft has been sewing since junior high. To this day she sews for her mother, my Grandma Nez Bancroft, whose naturally woven rug will be in the show as well. My Grandma is a rug weaver and pottery maker who speaks only Navajo.

The public is welcome to attend at 190 South Roselle Road in Schaumburg, IL. There you can enjoy music performed by the current Miss Indian Chicago 2009, Arissa Yolanda St. Germaine, as well as 2008 s Miss Indian Chicago, Jasmine Alfonso. On hand will be local Native arts and crafts vendors, with traditional Native American food being served.

Designs by LeAnn Ward have previously been exhibited as part of the Native American Women s Artists Guild and Spirited Daughters, which are both Chicago area organizations featuring Native American female artists. This is her and her mother s first show, and will represent three generations, as LeAnn s daughters will be modeling during the show. The designs will be on display in the gallery through the end of August and available for purchase.

In addition to the Navajo Fashion Show, Trickster Gallery will be opening two new exhibits June 13: The Office of Indian Education s 2008 student competition exhibit Circle of Empowerment: Education, Language, Culture, Tradition and its first multicultural show by 2009 graduates of the American Academy of Art in Chicago.

For additional information on the Navajo Fashion Show and other events, contact LeAnn or Monica, or visit

Trickster Gallery opened its doors in 2005, as an extension of the American Indian Center of Chicago s arts programming. The American Indian Center is the oldest urban Indian Center in the country, serving the Chicago area for almost 56 years. The gallery features contemporary art from Native artists from all over the country, and has featured award-winning Native performers. The gallery regularly conducts school and group tours, has film screenings every Friday, and Native American book club bi-monthly. Events include cultural workshops, powwows, concerts, Native arts market, book signings, artist talks, demonstrations and more.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Are Native Americans finally making inroads into journalism?

With cautious optimism, we can digest a recent India Country Today article that points to a slight rise in the pitifully low numbers of Indian journalists, and think that maybe the tide against the white male press establishment is beginning to change. Asians and Latinos have also gained in numbers, but the number of African American journalists has declined.
Here's the article.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Deadline: HBS Summer Venture in Management Program 2009

Release from Harvard Business School:

The Summer Venture in Management Program (SVMP) is a week of Harvard Business School instruction that exposes high-potential college students in the summer between their junior and senior year to the HBS MBA experience and the variety of opportunities a degree in management can afford. Participants from diverse backgrounds spend the week on campus living the MBA student experience - attending classes, analyzing case studies, and debating management issues with peers and faculty. This unique educational experience, in combination with a summer internship at a sponsoring company or organization, gives participants a broader understanding of the challenges business leaders face, the innumerable opportunities that exist in management, and the impact they can have on their community and the world through leadership.

In order to attend, a completed application is due by May 11, 2009. Click here for particulars on the application process.

For more information about this program, please visit the SVMP Website.

Best regards,
MBA Admissions
Harvard Business School

Sunday, April 26, 2009

More on imperiled Native languages

From the Seattle Times
This on a last-ditch gathering of Salish speakers from the Pacific Northwest.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Merrie Monarch Festival Winners for 2009 (w/ clip)

Posted by our sister site, IMDiversity Asian-American Village:

The results of the 46th Merrie Monarch Festival, held in Hilo, Hawai'i last week. The new overall winners were Ke Kai O Kahiki, and the Miss Aloha Hula 2009 honor goes to Cherissa Henoheanapuaikawaokele Kane.

The Merrie Monarch Festival was founded for "the perpetuation, preservation, and promotion of the art of hula and the Hawaiian culture through education. The festival is considered the world's premier forum for people of all ages to display their skills and knowledge of the art of ancient and modern hula."

To learn more, see:

The fate of imperiled Native languages

For many indigenous people world-wide, language is an endangered species, and when language dies, so, too, in many ways, does a people. I've seen it in more veiled, deceptive circumstances in the non-indigenous world, such as in Italy where the replacing of perfectly useful Italian words by English is a signpost for the Americanization of the whole society. The disappearance of Native American languages, though, is even more portentous, as it signals the absorption of a people into the culture that historically would rather have been rid of them completely.
Kara Brigg's article in India Today is both a perceptive analysis and a call to action.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Should Columbus Day be shunned?

The recent decision by Brown University to rename Columbus Day "Fall Weekend," and to rededicate the day to educating people about Columbus' legacy as a conquistador and the true history of Native American peoples has caused much controversy around town.
The article I've linked to, thanks much to Patty Talahongva's headsup, talks to the precarious position of the prestigious university, which, having taken the decision, finds itself in the midst of the debate between activist students and Italian-American supporters of Columbus.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Revitalizing Native Languages Campaign

After weeks of intensive advocacy by Cultural Survival, tribal leaders, the National Alliance to Save Native Languages, and leading Native American policy groups, the United States Congress has appropriated an additional $1.5 million over the enacted 2008 budget (which was $2 million) for the Esther Martinez Native American Languages Preservation Act. This means that there is $3.5 million in the 2009 budget for Native American language restoration, programs, or schools, in addition to the funds that the Administration for Native Americans makes available out of its overall budget for language revitalization. Cultural Survival and the National Alliance to Save Native Languages also pushed for $5 million in Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) funding in the federal economic stimulus package for "shovel ready" projects at Native language immersion schools desperately in need of repairs and renovations. The BIA's Office of Economic Development Workforce Construction Training Programs will be funded at $6 million, according to the best current estimates available from NCAI, but it is still unclear how much of this allocation will support local renovation projects at immersion schools. The National Alliance continues to monitor local language school construction projects. Read the Alliance's congressional testimony submitted to the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs summarizing immersion school facilities needs.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Scholarship Deadline March 1: Chemistry Majors

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, 2009, for the 2009-2010 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 full description, see the complete release published on our sister-site, THE BLACK COLLEGIAN Online: ACS Scholars Program Accepting Applications for Minority Students Studying Chemistry.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Notes from Antigua, Guatemala

I’m in Guatemala for a week, visiting a friend, staying mostly in Antigua, a jewel of colonial grace and comfort. Antigua is arguably the most prosperous of Guatemala’s cities. It is top-heavy with ladinos (Guatemalans—and other Central Americans--of Spanish or mixed European and Amerindian descent) and foreigners, come either to study Spanish or to stay as pensioners or workers in the many NGOs trying to make life bearable for the country’s overflow of orphans, war-wounded, battered women, and more.
Indigenous Maya weave through the town, come down from the nearby hilltowns, most of them women in multi-hued traditional dress. The cloth for their magnificent ancestral traje--a cotton poncho-like huipil, sometimes elaborated with embroidery, worn over a corte, or woven panel that gets wrapped in layers around the waist and secured under a yards-long cloth sash—is becoming harder to come by as the weaving is so labor intensive. Much of the tela found now is computer woven in Indonesia and recognizably inferior. They used to sell trajes on the streets and in the parques, but now most of the wares are smaller woven tourist items and trinkets.
Other indigenous women walk the streets or settle onto the narrow sidewalk, selling tamales or dulces (sweets) to native Guatemalans from checkered cloth lined baskets.
Antigua is an anomaly, its Western face and well-being contrasting unsettlingly with the grime the pollution and grinding poverty of neighboring Guatemala City and the insularity and, again, extreme poverty of the highlands.
I’d recently posted an AP story about the growing indigenous presence in the U.S. Mexican, Guatemalan, Ecuadorian and other Latin American indigenous have been arriving to work the fields in increased numbers. For the first time, we have to recognize folks from “Latin” America who have never learned Spanish nor adopted European ways of dress, food, and social structure. Some withstood the pressure to embrace Christianity, or have done so only half-heartedly.
These new indigenous arrivals may look like our accepted image of a Latino and bear a Hispanic surname (many do not), but their ethos is not Latin. Moreover they may have almost nothing in common with Native Americans, already having a hard time with inclusionism—is an Alaska Native or a Native Hawaiian an American Indian?—yet they are being tossed in together with all of North America’s First Peoples. Some day these new indigenous will compete with Hopi and Oglala and other “card carrying” indigenous groups for the benefits (or the crumbs) they’d fought so long to win.
When I sit in the parque central or go to the market, especially when I go out of town, I can’t help but wonder how difficult the decision must be to face the perils of coming north, and I imagine, despite their clear marginalization in their own land (a civil war that was essentially one of genocide endured from 1960 to 1996), how much more poignant and scary it becomes once they exchange their traje for farmworkers’ overalls and aprons.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Jodi Archambault Gillette (Standing Rock Sioux) gets key Obama post

She'll be overseeing Indian and tribal affairs. Gillette is the third Native American to be named to a top administration post. Indian Country Today reports that a fourth nomination is expected.
Read the article.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Carrie Billy, AIHEC president, shares her views on tribal colleges

Looking forward to better times with the new president and congress, Billy says she'll push for the expansion of renewal energy practices and programs on campus and for establishing more tribal colleges while enhancing those already existing.
Find the interview here.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Grassroots Indian groups push to be included in Obama's renewable energy efforts

American Indian groups are pressing for inclusion in the implementation of President-elect Obama's new, greener energy policies. About 250 grassroots tribal organizations are represented in a statement sent to the incoming administration, requesting that "old energy," such as coal, oil and nuclear be phased out in favor of renewable technologies and conservation.
From Indian Country Today