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.

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.