Saturday, March 7, 2009

United Nations Must Revitalize Commitment to "Unfinished" Decolonization Efforts: Indigenous People Need to be Part of Process

With 16 Non-Self-Governing Territories still remaining, the United Nations must step up its decolonization efforts, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said, calling for greater cooperation between these areas and administering countries.

At the time of the UN’s establishment in 1945, 750 million people – almost one-third of the global population – lived in non-self-governing territories, compared to fewer than 2 million today.

“The United Nations can look back with a great sense of accomplishment at what has been achieved in the field of decolonization since the Organization’s founding,” Mr. Ban said in an address on 27 February at the start of this year’s session of the body formally known as the Special Committee on the Situation with Regard to the Implementation of the Granting of the Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples.
Non-Self-Governing Territories According to the United Nations
Decolonization “is an unfinished process that has been with the international community for too long,” he said in a message delivered by Muhammad Shaaban, Under-Secretary-General for General Assembly Affairs and Conference Management.

In the last two years of the Second International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism, Mr. Ban called for the acceleration of the UN’s work to “achieve concrete results.”

He told the body, also known as the Special Committee of 24, to continue its support of the “legitimate aspirations of the people of Non-Self-Governing Territories so they can exercise their right to self-determination.”

But the Secretary-General also stressed the importance of cooperation between administering Powers and the Territories in promoting decolonization.

He cited the example of New Zealand and Tokelau. In 2007, after a UN-supervised referendum fell 16 votes short of attaining self-government, it was decided that the territory of Tokelau – three small and isolated atolls in the Pacific Ocean – would remain a territory of New Zealand.

“Under the [UN] Charter, the administering Powers have a special obligation to bring the territories under their administration to an appropriate level of self-government,” he added.

Current Non-Self-Governing Countries include: Western Sahara, Saint Helena, Bermuda, Falkland Islands, Anguilla, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Montserrat, Turks and Caicos Islands, United States Virgin Islands, Gibraltar, American Samoa, Guam, New Caledonia, Pitcairn Islands, and Tokelau.

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Friday, March 6, 2009

Native American Journalist Association 2009 Scholarship

2009 Native American Journalist Association Scholarship

Each year NAJA offers scholarships ranging from $500-$5,000 to Native American students pursuing journalism degrees at a higher learning institution. To apply, students must be current paid members. Annual memberships cost $10 for high school students and $20 for college students.

  • Cover letter stating financial need, area of interest (print, broadcast, photojournalism, new media or journalism education) and reasons for pursuing a career in journalism.
  • A brief description of courses taken and grade level (college students only); as well as your anticipated term of graduation (for example Fall '09).
  • One copy of your FAFSA report. All applicants must file a FAFSA report regardless of income status.
  • Other financial reports citing miscellaneous income not listed on the FAFSA report.
  • An official school transcript (college or high school – transcripts must be sent to the NAJA office directly from the high school or college/university. The transcripts must be in a sealed envelope.)
  • Two letters of recommendation from people familiar with your professional or academic work, such as editors, producers, teachers/professors, academic advisors, etc.
  • Work samples or Portfolio (magazines or newspaper clips, tapes, etc.) if available, or other samples of your work, such as class essays.
  • Proof of enrollment in a federally- or state-recognized tribe. If not enrolled, please provide one of the following with your application: (1) Letter from a tribal official on tribal letterhead stating the applicant's status or relationship with the federally-recognized or state-recognized tribe; or (2) Documentation of enrollment from a family member who is a member of a federally- or state-recognized tribe AND a letter from the family member showing the applicant's relationship.
  • Scholarship Financial Profile

You must be a NAJA member to apply for scholarships. Sign up for membership on our membership page.

Application deadline: June 1st, 2009.

No late or incomplete applications will be accepted (Free Applications for Federal Student Aid or FAFSAs take several weeks to process. Your or your parents' tax statements will be needed before filling out a FASFA, so it's best to file taxes early in the year).

Winners to be announced: July 1st 2009.

All forms and application materials must be submitted for your application to be considered.

Get 2009-10 Scholarship Forms

For questions or inquiries about scholarships or other student-related programs, please contact NAJA national office at 405-325-9008 or email:

2008 Scholarship Winners

  • Russel Daniels (Navajo/Ho-Chunk/Nooch), University of Montana
  • Annie Greenberg (Eskimo), University of Missouri-Columbia
  • Ramona Marozas (Bad River Chippewa) St. Cloud State University (MN.)
  • Povi Lomayaoma (Hopi/Tewa) Fort Lewis College (CO.)
  • Ann Marie Taylor (Choctaw) University of Oklahoma
  • Bryan Dugan (Cherokee) University of Oklahoma
  • Andrea Murphy (Navajo) New Mexico State University

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Thursday, March 5, 2009

Native American Youtube: RezKast Announced by Coeur d'Alene Tribe

PLUMMER, Idaho — What do Native Americans wear on weekends? Hopeedee asked a series of white people.

Feathers, furs and buffalo skins, were the replies.

What do Native Americans do on weekends? Hopeedee, a 35-year-old Indian woman, asked.

Run buffalo off cliffs, one person offered.

The videotaped comments were from Hopeedee's recent posting on RezKast, a sort of YouTube for Indians operated by the Coeur d'Alene Tribe.

RezKast offers a mix of the silly and the serious, including videos of Indian religious and cultural ceremonies, comedy bits, sporting events, travelogues and music videos, all from a Native American perspective.

It's part of the Coeur d'Alenes' commitment to making their people computer-savvy, said Valerie Fast Horse, director of information technology for the 1,900-member tribe in northern Idaho.

"There are very few tribes doing this," Fast Horse said. "I have very few peers in Indian country."

Rezkast was launched last July and has about 200 active posters, including Indians from across the United States and Canada, Fast Horse said.

Recent comedy offerings include a raunchy television weather report from a forecaster named "Red Cloud," a promo for a false television show called "C.S.I., Regina," and a video ad for "Indian Wal-Mart," which turned out to be a series of garbage trash bins. There was also a version of the "Twelve Days of Christmas" sung to the pounding of Indian drums and featuring "six Indian tacos."

A regular poster to RezKast is Hope Mathews-Herrera of Oklahoma City, who said she goes there when she gets a "powwow Jones."

Read more of the article about RezKast here.

Or check out RezKast yourself.

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Wednesday, March 4, 2009

February 25-March 3, 2009: Five Key Indigenous Peoples Issues

Five Key Indigenous Peoples Issues for the Week of February 25 - March 3, 2009

Australia: Committee Told Indigenous Youth Prefer Detention To Home

The ACT Department of Community Services says many of the young Indigenous people in the new Bimberi Youth Justice Centre prefer to be in detention instead of at home.

Representatives from the Department have told an Assembly Committee that five of the 11 young people in the new centre identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.

Department chief executive Martin Hehir says some indigenous elders have told them that the offenders are happier in Bimberi.

"Many of the young people who end up in Bimberi have come from fairly chaotic circumstances, they probably wouldn't be used to being fed on a regular basis, they probably wouldn't be all that used to positive respectful relationships and that's what they get in Bimberi," he said.

"That applies quite broadly to many of the occupants, it's not just the indigenous people." Read more about ACT Department of Community Services statement here....

International: Rights-Based Approach For Indigenous Land

Land is important to indigenous people as it forms a part of their culture, tradition and religion, and land ownership has passed down through generations based on native customary practices.

This leads to the indigenous people striving to protect their ancestral land, which is vital for their livelihood and life in dignity.

Prof Bas De Gaay Fortman, the Coordinator of the UNESCO Chair in Education for Peace, Human Rights and Democracy, highlighted these points in his presentation entitled "Land and Indigenous Peoples: Pursuing a Rights-Based Strategy" on the second day of the ISB Borneo Global Issues Conference VII held at the International Convention Centre.

Prof Fortman said the meaning of rights is a provision of protection for the rights-holders in respect of their claims and hence, rights can be seen as protection of interests by law. Hence, he said human rights manifest legal protection of interest and is meant to protect fundamental human interests based on human dignity.

Prof Fortman, who is also a Dutch politician and scholar, said human rights are often violated especially the rights of the poor, including indigenous people.

This has led to the affirmation of a declaration on indigenous people's rights by the United Nations (UN), the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, he said. Read more about the rights based land approach here....

Hawaii: Akaka: Bill May Have A Shot At Law

Nine years after it was first conceived, a bill giving self-determination to Native Hawaiians may finally have a shot at becoming law, according to the office of U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka.

But instead of bringing consensus, the passage of time seems to have only deepened divisions over whether the so-called Akaka Bill is the right thing for Hawaiians. Both sides say they want Native Hawaiians to govern themselves, but while supporters believe the Akaka Bill will give them the tools for self-determination, opponents call the measure a "fraud."

Akaka's Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act of 2009 was introduced Feb. 4 in both chambers of the 111th Congress, said Jesse Broder Van Dyke, Akaka's press secretary. Senate Bill 381 was referred to the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, while the accompanying H.R. 862 was referred to the House Natural Resources Committee.

The Akaka Bill would do a number of things, including provide a process for Native Hawaiians to attain self-determination and self-governance; enable Native Hawaiians to be recognized officially as the indigenous people of the Hawaiian archipelago; and affirm a trust relationship of Native Hawaiians and their eventual governing entity with the U.S. government. Read more about the Akaka Bill here....

Borneo: Royal Call To Preserve Indigenous Cultures

Being aware of various indigenous cultures which provide mankind with key links to the past having served as milestones in the development of civilisations over the ages is important, observed Her Royal Highness Paduka Seri Pengiran Anak Isteri Pengiran Anak Sarah in a Sabda on the occasion of the opening of the seventh International School Brunei (ISB) Borneo Global Issue Conference at the International Convention Centre (ICC) yesterday.

Her Royal Highness being the Royal Patron of the meeting said the conference theme 'Cultural Survival: Rights and Aspirations of Indigenous Peoples', is particularly significant in encouraging all of us to value other people, their cultures and their societies.

"I also feel that the theme captures the plight of many indigenous cultures who are at crossroads, where their elders are struggling to preserve their traditional ways of life, as they watch their younger generations discard much valued old ways to embrace a modern future," added HRH.

Meanwhile, Her Royal Highness also observed that, "The young citizens of Brunei Darussalam, Malaysia and Indonesia should be particularly proud of cooperative initiatives taken by their governments, to realise a common conservation policy for Borneo's natural resources, especially its precious indigenous people, the 'Faces in the Heart of Borneo'".

HRH then highlighted that it was indeed crucial that we instil in our young people the importance of helping those who need our compassion and deserve our respect.

HRH said, "In the past conferences, I was impressed by the dynamic and proactive efforts of our youths in concerning themselves with some of the real issues facing world leaders today." Read more about the call to save indigenous cultures here....

Philippines: Lumads: Militarization Is Number One Problem

Twenty three years after the dismantling of the Marcos dictatorship, leaders of regional organizations of indigenous peoples (IPs or Lumads) in Mindanao say militarization remains their number one problem. “Sa pagsumada namo.. sa kasinatian.. mas una ang militarisasyon,” (Summing up, based on our experience, militarization tops) the problems confronting the Lumads, Dulphing Ogan, secretary-general of a Mindanao-wide alliance of regional Lumad organizations told a press conference Friday, Day Two of the five-day 1st General Assembly of Kalumaran or Kusog sa Katawhang Lumad sa Mindanao (Alliance of Indigenous Peoples in Mindanao).

Kalumaran comprises Pasaka in Southern Mindanao, Kasalo in Western Mindanao, Kalumbay in Northern Mindanao, Kaluhhamin in Socsksargen and SGS in Western Mindanao and was organized in January 2006 during a conference on mining in Dipolog City.

Lorna Mora, Kaluhhamin Secretary-General; Kerlan Fanagel, Pasaka Secretary-General; Norma Capuyan, Kalumaran vice-chair; Jomorito Gumaynon, Kalumbay chair and Genasque Enriquez, representing the Caraga region, took turns in narrating their region’s experiences, each similar to the other: military operations allegedly preceding the entry of so-called “development projects” such as mining operations, expansion of plantation; and the military’s alleged recruitment of Lumads into the military and paramilitary. Read more about the indigenous Lumads struggles here....

Last weeks Five Key Indigenous People's Issues can be found here.

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Native American Film and Video Festival: March 26-29, 2009

2009 Native American Film and Video Festival in New York

Organized by the Film and Video Center of the National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI), the Native American Film + Video Festival celebrates the creative energy of Native American directors, producers, writers, actors, musicians, cultural activists, and all the others who support their endeavors.
Native American Film Festival
Founded in 1979, the festival is celebrating its 30th anniversary. The Film and Video Center’s (FVC) mission is to serve indigenous media throughout the hemisphere through extensive exhibition and information services. The FVC could not achieve what it has been able to do without the colleagues and partners who help us define and further our work. We are very fortunate to be both a part of the world of indigenous production and the field of independent film and media. On this occasion, as we reflect on how much we have learned during the past three decades, we wish to express to those we have worked with our deep gratitude for what we have accomplished together.

We are most appreciative of the work done by the 2009 festival’s guest selectors. Nanobah Becker, Chris Eyre, Fred Rickard, and Zezinho Yube, who brought their wide-ranging experiences and expertise to bear in the creation of a rich and diverse festival program. From the more than 350 entries received, 60 award-winning shorts, features and documentaries are being screened, representing indigenous media artists from Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Paraguay, Venezuela, and the United States.

Themes sounded in these films–honor to elders and hope for youth, courageous community action, the survival of Native languages, and many others–speak of the Native realities of the 21st century. Throughout this week the festival presents Native storytelling at its best–wrenching at times, engrossing, risky, ironic, hilarious and experimental.

And now to the festival! The selectors and staff of the 2009 Native American Film + Video Festival look forward to your presence and welcome your comments and responses to all the exciting works being screened.

- Elizabeth Weatherford, Founding Director, Native American Film + Video Festival

How to Attend the Festival

All festival programs are free. For daytime programs in the Auditorium and Diker Pavilion, seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. For programs in The Screening Room, which has limited seating, tickets will be distributed at the Will Call Desk starting 40 minutes before each showtime.

Reservations are recommended for evening programs at NMAI. No more than 4 tickets can be reserved by any one person. Pick up reserved tickets at the Will Call Desk starting 40 minutes before showtime. Tickets not picked up by 15 minutes before showtime are released to the Wait List. NMAI members are given priority for reservations until March 11. To reserve call 212-514-3737 or email

Please note: All visitors to the NMAI Heye Center are required to go through a security check and magnetometer. No sharp or metal items will be allowed into the museum.

All programs are wheelchair accessible. To request assistance for the hearing impaired, contact the festival no later than March 11 at

For directions, enter here.

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Tuesday, March 3, 2009

New Book Released on Tribal Colleges and Universities

A volume in the series: Educational Policy in the 21st Century: Opportunities, Challenges and Solutions.

Series Editor(s): Bruce Anthony Jones, University of Missouri - Kansas City

This volume of The David C. Anchin Research Center Series on Educational Policy in the 21st century: Opportunities, Challenges, and Solutions focuses on tribal colleges and universities. As a new member of higher education community, tribal colleges and universities provide a unique perspective on higher education policy. Policies and structures rely increasingly on native culture and traditions and yet provide the framework for academic rigor, collaboration, and relevance.
Native American Indian Tribal Colleges and Universities Book
Tribal colleges and universities have played an integral role in the growing numbers of students who attain the bachelor’s degree. These colleges and universities experienced a five-fold increase in student enrollment between 1982 and 1996. Today, approximately 142,800 American Indians and Alaska Natives age 25 and older hold a graduate or professional degree, and tribal colleges and universities have been integral to this graduate level attainment.

With this edited volume, Dr. Linda Sue Warner and Dr. Gerald E. Gipp, and the contributing scholars have provided a comprehensive explication of the phenomenal history of tribal colleges and universities in the United States and the policy issues and concerns that they face.

Order Online at Information Age Publishing or from Amazon.


  • List of Contributors. Series Foreword, Bruce A. Jones.
  • Introduction, Linda Sue Warner and Gerald E. Gipp.

  • The Story of AIHEC, David M. Gipp.
  • Tribal Colleges and Universities: Supporting the Revitalization in Indian Country, Wayne J. Stein.
  • Montana Tribal Colleges, James Shanley.
  • Growth by Degrees, Douglas Clement.
  • The Implementation of a World Indigenous Accreditation Authority, Ray Barnhardt.

  • Understanding American Indian Cultures, Richard Littlebear.
  • World View and Cultural Behaviors: Strategies and Resources Determination in the Tribal Academy, Rosemary Ackley Christensen.

  • Indigenous Governance, Linda Sue Warner and Kathryn Harris Tijerina.
  • Oklahoma Tribal College Expansion: Later than Sooner Comanche Nation College, John W. Tippeconnic III.
  • Student Retention Initiatives at Tribal Colleges and Universities and Strategies for Improvement, Robin Williams and Cornel Pewewardy.
  • Leadership in American Indian Higher Education, Gerald E. Gipp.

  • Succession of the Tribal College Presidency, Phil Baird.
  • The Role of the Tribal College Journal in the Tribal College Movement, Marjane Ambler and Paul Boyer.
  • Technology at the TCUs, Carrie L. Billy and Al Kuslikis.
  • Tribal Colleges and Universities: From Where We Are to Where We Might Go, Cheryl Crazy Bull.
Order Online at Information Age Publishing or from Amazon.

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Monday, March 2, 2009

Coalition for American Indians in Computing Summer High School Student Scholarship

Program for Native American high school students in grades 11 and 12 who are interested in computing.

The Coalition for American Indians in Computing offers a 2-week computer summer camp at Humboldt State University in Arcata, California, this July. All expenses are paid for the participants. We are a coalition of Humboldt State's Computing Science Department and Local Native Tribes, and funded through a grant from the National Science Foundation. We also have on-going scholarships up to $1000 per semester for Native American Computer Information Science majors and minors enrolled at Humboldt State University (Northern California).

A .pdf flyer and applications can be found here.

More information can be found on the Coalition for American Indians in Computing website here.


The Coalition is a cooperation among American Indian Tribal Communities and the Computing Science Department of Humboldt State University (Northern California), with funding support from the National Science Foundation. Its goal is to increase the numbers of American Indian students who are prepared to undertake careers in fields related to Information Technology. Parents, teachers, advisors, students, Tribal Information technology workers, Tribal education directors, Tribal leadership, HSU faculty and HSU staff participate collaboratively in attempting to realize this goal. Any self-identified Native American or Alaskan Native high school Junior or Senior is eligible to apply for participation in CAIC Summer Program. The CAIC Scholars Program is for College Students.

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Sunday, March 1, 2009

Diplomacy Training Program Call for Applications: Asia-Pacific Indigenous Community Advocates

The Diplomacy Training Program (DTP) is calling for applications for its 2009 Asia-Pacific regional training program for Indigenous community advocates. The program will be held in partnership with the Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education (BIITE) and the Fred Hollows Foundation. The training will be held at BIITE, about 100kms south of Darwin, NT, Australia from 4-13 May. The program aims to strengthen the capacity of Indigenous advocates to respond effectively to the human rights challenges they face.


This program is open to Indigenous advocates from Asia-Pacific countries and Indigenous Australia who work for and with non-government and community-based organisations. Applications from individuals working with National Human Rights Institutions and governmental and inter-governmental agencies will also be considered.


Participants will gain knowledge and understanding of human rights standards and UN mechanisms most relevant to Indigenous Peoples. They will explore the relationship between human rights standards and issues such as land rights, self-determination, poverty, the environment and corporate accountability. Participants will also learn about accessing and interacting with UN and intergovernmental forums and processes and will gain other practical advocacy skills through internet and media training.


Application forms can be downloaded from the DTP website or can be requested from All applications must be received by DTP by 6 March 2009. Applications will be acknowledged on receipt. For further information please contact the Diplomacy Training Program by phone: (612) 9385-3549 or by email:

Applications are now available for the 2009 Indigenous Peoples, Human Rights and Advocacy Program: A Training Program in Human Rights and Advocacy for Minority and Indigenous Advocates in the Asia-Pacific Region. Apply Now! Application form - Brochure


The Diplomacy Training Program (DTP) is an independent NGO which seeks to advance human rights and empower civil society in the Asia Pacific region through quality education and training, and the building of skills and capacity in non-governmental organisations and for individual human rights defenders and community advocates.

The DTP was founded in 1989 by HE Jose Ramos-Horta, 1996 Nobel Peace Laureate and current President of Timor-Leste. Since January 1990, the DTP has conducted an 'Annual Regional Human Rights and Peoples’ Diplomacy Training Program'. This three week program has been hosted in Australia, Timor Leste, Thailand, the Philippines, Fiji, Sri Lanka, Nepal and New Zealand. Since 2003, the Diplomacy Training Program has also conducted shorter, specialised, thematic training programs in Australia, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Indonesia, Cambodia, the Philippines and Fiji. DTP also occasionally conducts specialised programs in response to a particular issue or to assist a specific community, in addition to occasional country-specific training when requested.

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National Museum of the American Indian Vast Collection Now Online

The National Museum of the American Indian is putting its collection online!

This vast new online archive, Collections Search, is one of the most exciting and significant undertakings in the Museum's history and we have already uncovered a wealth of new information in the course of building this critical resource.

It's almost as if the Museum was being created all over again, as objects that have been known and labeled as simply as "beaded saddle, Chippewa" take on rich and fascinating new meaning.

National Museum of the American IndianOur mission - to preserve the cultural richness of Native American heritage and make it accessible to the widest possible audience - demands we take this next logical step. Collections Search will open our collection to millions who have never had the opportunity to see it in person.

Explore and share the collection today here.

Every object has a story. And beyond the rudimentary facts about material, tribal origin, and age is the deeper level of information that can truly reveal an item's "histories and mysteries." The hard work and resources we're investing in Collections Search is helping us capture the lost, forgotten, and incomplete histories of our collection before they disappear forever.
Wiyot Native American Indian Bear Mask
Because of the unlimited access of the Internet, Collections Search has virtually no limitations. Eventually, Collections Search will contain nearly all 800,000 of the Museum's objects and 65,000 historic photographs, including those that are too fragile to display.

This new way of looking at, and learning about, the Museum's collection will further our mission in profoundly important ways.


Today the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian launched its collections online. The ever-expanding digital access to the museum’s 800,000-plus items includes more than 5,500 photographs; eventually it will be one of the largest Native American online collections. It is available here. The launch is a milestone in the museum’s “Fourth Museum” project to bring the collections to those who may not have the opportunity to visit the museum’s three buildings in New York City, Suitland, Md., and Washington, D.C.

The launch is also in keeping with Smithsonian Secretary Wayne Clough’s strategic planning initiative to serve the Smithsonian’s growing number of virtual visitors and fulfill its mission to increase and diffuse knowledge. “As the museum on the National Mall approaches its fifth anniversary (Sept. 21), our promise to reach out to tribal communities, schools, libraries, museums, indeed to all throughout the world is being realized,” said Kevin Gover (Pawnee/Comanche), director of the museum. “Though we have a long way to go before completing this project, I am pleased to offer the first phase of our fourth museum—our museum without walls.” The goal of the project is to include as many items as possible on the Web. As staff research is completed, items will be published online.

During the course of the project, curators unearthed new evidence about the collections’ origins. Though George Gustav Heye (1874-1957) is often credited with building the museum’s collections (approximately 85% were acquired during his lifetime), thousands of previously unidentified individuals including farmers, missionaries, soldiers and teachers contributed. Their stories provide fascinating details behind the objects and open up new research possibilities for investigating the relationships between Native and non-Native people and the political, economic and social histories throughout the Western Hemisphere.

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Please send it along and we will do a feature. Email it to the Editor, Peter N. Jones: pnj "at"

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