Saturday, April 11, 2009

Pimu Island Archaeological Field School: In Collaboration with Tongva/Gabrielino Tribal Members

Pimu Island Archaeological Project
Catalina Island, California
July 15 - August 19, 2009

is an important hub for the intermingling of people and the exchange of ideas and objects. Surrounded by rich marine and lithic resources, the Santa Catalina (Pimu) Island peoples were contributors to an extensive trade network throughout southern and central California and the Southwest.

The Pimu Catalina Island Archaeology Field School is an innovative course that uses cutting-edge scientific tools in a collaborative research project with Tongva/Gabrielino tribal members, the Santa Catalina Island Conservancy and the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology at UCLA. The field school is part of the ongoing Pimu Catalina Island Archaeological Project (PCIAP), which is working to assess and protect archaeological sites on Catalina.
Santa Catalina Island California
The field school provides students with practical working knowledge of survey, excavation, lab and cataloging methods while immersing them in the 9,000 years of cultural history of the Tongva (Gabrielino) nation with lectures given by local experts, Tongva tribal members, and California officials. Students will also learn about how to apply cultural resource laws to public sector archaeological work.

Partial scholarships are still available. Please see

Desiree Martinez MA and Wendy Teeter PhD
Co-Directors Pimu Catalina Island Archaeology Field School

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Friday, April 10, 2009

Bocas Authorities in Panama and the Persecution of Indigenous Leaders


Local authorities in Bocas del Toro Province have started a persecution against Naso and Ngobe indigenous leaders since last Friday, March 27. A few days before, during World Water Day on March 22, there were massive public demonstrations with hundreds of indigenous peoples blockading roads at several points around the province to show their rejection of hydroelectric, mining and tourist projects affecting their land and way of life.
Panama Authorities Violate Indigenous Peoples Human Rights
On Thursday afternoon, a group of indigenous leaders peacefully met with the province Governor, Esther Mena de Chiu. Her response, however, could not have been less conciliatory. Hundreds of police units have been sent to several indigenous communities with orders to bring their leaders and spokespersons to the Police Station. Today, March 30, more than a hundred policemen have been sent to the San San Durui Naso community to demolish homes in an area currently disputed with a ranch company, Ganadera Bocas. We have also received notice that another group of policemen is headed towards Bonyik, in order to force the construction of the hydroelectric dam developed by Empresas Publicas de Medellin (EEPPM). The current events resemble those of previous events in April 2005, June 2006, November 2007 and January 2008, all of which have had claims filed in the correct national authorities and with international human rights institutions like the Inter-American Human Rights Commission and the United Nations Rapporteur of Indigenous People.

We are extremely surprised by the arbitrary actions of the Bocas del Toro authorities, which have taken place only one week after an Ombudsman report was released, recognizing human rights violations in the construction of Chan 75, the hydroelectric project developed in this province by AES Panama. Also, just a few weeks ago, both Naso and Ngobe indigenous leaders asked the World Bank Inspection Panel to review the impact of the National Land Administration Program (PRONAT) on indigenous lands.

For all these reasons, we believe that Governor Esther Mena de Chiu must be held accountable for what is happening. We are making a plea to the national authorities, particularly the General Attorney (Procuradora General), to start investigations in order to state the liability of each party involved in the abuse of authority and the excessive use of force ongoing in Naso and Ngobe territory since 2005. We want to remind the provincial authorities that with 3 months remaining until elections, people from all around the world are watching what is happening in Bocas del Toro right now. We truly hope that the current authorities will not go down in history as those who sanctioned the repression and plundering of indigenous territories.

Read the original bulletin in Spanish here.

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Thursday, April 9, 2009

American Indian Scholarships Available for Crow Canyon Archaeological Center

Full scholarships are available for American Indian students who attend the Crow Canyon Archaeological Center's summer archaeology camps or field school in Cortez, Colo. These programs offer opportunities for students to learn about the cultural chronology of the Four Corners area, participate in archaeological field and laboratory work and visit archaeological sites. Any American Indian student from any tribe in the United States can apply.

Scholarships will be awarded for High School Field School, a three-week program to be held July 5 - 25; High School Archaeology Camp, a one-week program held July 26 - Aug. 1; and Middle School Archaeology Camp, a one-week introduction to archaeology held June 21 - 27.
Crow Canyon Archaeological Center
The scholarships are provided by Crow Canyon and cover the full cost of tuition and room and board for the program. Scholarship recipients will be responsible for their own travel costs.

Students enrolled in Crow Canyon programs will work on ancestral Pueblo (Anasazi) sites within the Goodman Point Unit of Hovenweep National Monument. They will excavate these sites, uncover ancestral Pueblo artifacts, and analyze materials in the laboratory. In accordance with Crow Canyon's human remains policy and current research design, the center does not seek out human remains as objects of study.

Contact Debra Miller for application information at (970) 564-4346 or (800) 422-8975, ext. 146, or e-mail her at


The Crow Canyon Archaeological Center, located in southwestern Colorado, is dedicated to understanding, teaching, and preserving the rich history of the ancestral Pueblo Indians (also called the Anasazi) who inhabited the canyons and mesas of the Mesa Verde region more than 700 years ago. The area has one of the densest concentrations of well-preserved archaeological sites in the world, attracting the interest of archaeologists, and capturing the imagination of the public, for well over 100 years.

Crow Canyon's campus-based programs allow you to participate in actual archaeological research, making exciting discoveries in the field and laboratory that add to our collective understanding of the Pueblo past. The Center’s award-winning research and education programs are developed in consultation with American Indians, whose insights complement the archaeological perspective and add a unique cross-cultural dimension to your experience.

In addition, Crow Canyon offers educational travel programs throughout the greater Southwest and around the world—tours that provide additional opportunities for the study of native cultures, both past and present.

Crow Canyon is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization and a licensed cam

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Wednesday, April 8, 2009

April 1-7, 2009: Five Key Indigenous Peoples Issues

Five Key Indigenous Peoples Issues for the Week of April 1-7, 2009

India: Charenamei Stressed On Indigenous Rights

The indigenous people of Manipur have every right to their land and must not be replaced by community or society, stated Mani Charenamei, sitting Member of Parliament (MP) and candidate of the People’s Democratic Alliance (PDA) for the 15th Lok Sabha elections. He was addressing a campaign meeting of the party at the Chandel headquarters Monday afternoon.

With the election campaigns of various political parties in the state hitting its zenith with the elections of the Outer Manipur Parliamentary constituency barely days away, the PDA Monday visited the hill district of Chandel in Manipur seeking the support of the people.

Addressing the gathering attended by hundreds comprising of village heads, civil society leaders and student leaders, the candidate, highlighting the problems of the indigenous people of the state asserted the people had every right to their land. He also called on the people to protect their land and not be replaced as the Red Indians were in America with no rights today.

The MP also emphasised on the “Right to Education” and added education was the “need of the hour”. Pointing out there is no ‘right to education’ as a Fundamental Rights, the PDA candidate asserted he would do all he can to make it a fundamental right stating education is a must in the peace and development of a society. He also cited the United College, Chandel (UCC) as a good example and initiatior of education. Read more about the rights of Manipur indigenous people here....

Malaysia: Sabah Folk Hope New PM Will See To Their Needs, Too

GLUED to their television sets, the people of Sabah witnessed Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi hand a thick blue file to "newly-minted" Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak at the nation's seat of administration in Putrajaya, across the South China Sea.

Some saw it as a day that would go into the history books, others viewed it as a dawn of good things to come, and the not-so-optimistic were overheard saying they would wait until promises were translated into action before giving their score.

Sabah is still working at reducing poverty, bridging regional imbalances along the way; it is seeking concrete solutions to the long-standing illegal immigrant menace; and its people continue to hope for a larger slice of the economy and better positions in the public sector.

Former deputy chief minister Datuk Tham Nyip Shen said Sabah was one of the top states when it helped form Malaysia in 1963, but is now among those at the bottom.

"The new prime minister has to shoulder this. A few things have to happen for Sabah to move ahead. Business has to be more friendly and unfair pricing of essential commodities has to be addressed. Sabah must be given more opportunities.
"We have some good migration policies and yet we have a problem with illegal immigrants and stateless children. We need some real action. I hope some of the solutions offered in the past will be continued or renewed," Tham said. Read more about Sabah and indigenous people here....

Australia: Indigenous Groups Attack Cape Wild Rivers Ruling

Cape York Indigenous groups say the Queensland Government's decision to protect three areas under 'wild rivers' legislation will perpetuate the cycle of Indigenous disadvantage on the Cape.

The Government announced on Friday it would protect the Stewart, Lockhart and Archer River Basins in far north Queensland.

Gerhardt Pearson from the Cape York Development Corporation says the legislation covers 13 rivers and large sections of native title-held land, and will prevent vital development on the Cape.

He says the legislation will make it even harder for Indigenous groups to create industries and jobs.

"You cannot allow a situation where we are under-resourced as a group of people on Cape York, that we do not have the capacity to plan for the future, and that by having legislative regimes that in fact impact upon our livelihood, is denigrating, is in fact relegating us to stay at the bottom rung of society's ladder," he said. Read more about the Wild Rivers ruling here....

Peru: Oil Rush Accelerates, Government Weighs New Reserves For Uncontacted Tribes

The head of Peru's state oil company has announced that it will auction off up to twelve new "lots" for oil and gas exploration, according to reports. The announcement was made by Perupetro's chairman, Daniel Saba, who has previously said that companies can even explore in reserves inhabited by uncontacted indigenous tribes.

Almost 75% of the Peruvian Amazon has already been opened up for exploration, the most of any Amazonian country. Some of this area—where companies such as Perenco, Repsol-YPF, Petrolifera, Pluspetrol and Petrobras are working—is inhabited by isolated tribes. Saba had previously said that the existence of uncontacted tribes is an "absurd" idea, before later saying that Perupetro would try and contact them in order to "consult" them. This was vigorously denounced by Peru's indigenous peoples' organization, AIDESEP.

Survival International's director, Stephen Corry, said, "We strongly urge Mr. Saba and Perupetro not to include any uncontacted tribes' land in any of the new lots. Doing so breaks international law and violates the UN Declaration on Indigenous Peoples, and it could have catastophic consequences for the Indians who live there." (Survival International, March 27)

Peru's indigenous affairs department (INDEPA) held a meeting March 31 in Iquitos to discuss the creation of five new reserves for uncontacted tribes in the remote rainforest. One of the proposed reserves is where the Anglo-French oil company Perenco is currently working. Perenco is believed to be sitting on the biggest oil discovery in Peru in 30 years and claims no uncontacted tribes live there. Read more about Peru's oil exploration here....

International: Experts Hail Australia’s Backing Of UN Declaration Of Indigenous Peoples’ Rights

Three United Nations experts today welcomed Australia’s endorsement of the United Nations landmark declaration outlining the rights of the world’s estimated 370 million indigenous people and outlawing discrimination against them.

Australia, along with Canada, New Zealand and the United States, originally voted against the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples when it was adopted by the General Assembly in September 2007, a move that followed more than two decades of debate.

A non-binding text, the Declaration sets out the individual and collective rights of indigenous peoples, as well as their rights to culture, identity, language, employment, health, education and other issues.

The Declaration emphasizes the rights of indigenous peoples to maintain and strengthen their own institutions, cultures and traditions and to pursue their development in keeping with their own needs and aspirations.

It also prohibits discrimination against indigenous peoples and promotes their full and effective participation in all matters that concern them, and their right to remain distinct and to pursue their own visions of economic and social development. Read more about the Declaration here....

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

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Tuesday, April 7, 2009

New Website Tracks Stimulus Money for Native American Indians

Following up on last weeks story on how the global economic crisis is impacting indigenous peoples, I'm excited to see the below article by Mary Annete Pember about the launch of Indian Country Works.

A new online resource explains how the stimulus funds will be dispersed to Indian County: which projects are eligible and how tribal governments can apply.

After weeks of intense lobbying for tribes to be included in the American Economic Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), representatives at the National Congress of American Indians realized that tribal leaders needed information about accessing the new funding. With the help of a team of legislative and policy experts, was born. The website provides tribal governments vital information about funding streams available in the stimulus act.
Native American Indian Country Works and Stimulus Money
Stimulus funding for tribes will first be directed to federal agencies and other organizations that serve them. Monies will then be directed to tribes through existing programming.

Many other organizations serving Indian Country including the Indian Housing Council, National Indian Health Board, National Indian Education Association, the National Center of American Indian Enterprise Development and others, are collaborating on the website.

“Organizations are excited about having a central place to send information for use by tribal governments," says Dante Desiderio of the Sapony tribe. Desiderio, an economic development policy specialist with NCAI, has been working intently on the website since early February.

The site is constructed with the unique needs of tribal governments in mind. The Frequently Asked Questions area of the site offers basic information about the stimulus act, explaining how tribes can apply and which types of projects and programs are eligible for funding. Indian Country Works is a central clearinghouse for information on all areas of ARRA, including transportation, housing, law enforcement, education, health, energy and other infrastructure needs. Read more of the article here, or visit Indian Country Works to see how the stimulus money will be used in Indian Country.

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Monday, April 6, 2009

Conference on Dakota, Lakota, and Nakota Language and Culture

Dakota Iapi Teunhindapi Consortium
2nd Annual Dakota Iapi Omniciye

Victoria Inn, Brandon, Manitoba
June 23, 24, 25, 2009

Tuesday, June 23, 2008
Keynote: Leo J. Omani
“Dakota Oyate in Canada Since Time Immemorial”

Wednesday, June 24, 2008
Keynote: Ryan Sense Wilson
“Cultural/Language Integrity in Education and Intellectual Sovereignty

Thursday, June 25, 2008
Keynote: Stephanie R. Charging Eagle
“Mitakuye Owasin”

Morning session to include keynote speakers and afternoon
sessions to include workshops for students, elders, community
members, educators, and leadership.

Dakota Iapi Akinicapi (Dakota Student Language Bowl)
Wednesday, June 24, 2009.

Registration Contact Person: Diane Taylor
1-204-855-2536 for information
Fax registration form to 1-204-855-3204

Registration form

Dakota Iapi Teunhindapi Consortium

The goal of our organization is to develop an effective networking system that will allow for building capacity in the area of language revitalization and produce fluent speakers. The organization will assist in curriculum development with current and new templates to be shared at minimal cost or no cost.

The vision of the Dakota Iapi Teunhindapi Consortium is to assist communities in creating a network of human resources and resources that will produce Dakota, Nakota, Lakota speakers for the future. The foundation of our nations is built on our sacred languages given as a gift from the Creator to conduct our lives in a good manner and honor our respective nation’s.

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Sunday, April 5, 2009

A Native American History of Utah and America: We Shall Remain

From the award-winning PBS series American Experience comes We Shall Remain, a provocative, multi-media project that establishes Native history as an essential part of U.S. history. Unprecedented collaborations between Native and non-Native filmmakers place Indian voices at the heart of five heartbreaking yet inspiring stories.

From KUED comes a powerful five-part-series on the five American Indian Tribes of the Great Basin Region we now know as Utah

Read the Project Description to learn more about the most ambitious project KUED has ever undertaken with in broadcast, web and new media, mentoring program, educational curriculum and events with more than 20 community partners.

Project Description

KUED has been selected as a national pilot station to develop a comprehensive community-wide outreach project in conjunction with the national PBS series, We Shall Remain, scheduled for broadcast in Spring, 2009. KUED has formed a community coalition of more than 20 partners that has led to the development of a large-scale, multi-media series of productions, exhibits, film series, lectures, discussions and educational programs.

Project Goals

  • Provide Utah’s American Indian population with a voice and create avenues for that voice to be heard.
  • Increase understanding and awareness among the general population and policymakers of American Indians in Utah, their history, culture, and current issues.
  • Ensure long-term access to We Shall Remain programs and educational resources for Utah citizens and particularly for young people, through the state’s public libraries and schools.

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