Native Traditions

Debate About Allowing Hopis to Use Golden Eagle Hatchlings

October 29, 2000

Source: The New York Times

On October 29, 2000, The New York Times reported that "the Department of the Interior has decided that Hopi Indians should be allowed to use golden eagle hatchlings collected at a national monument in Arizona in an annual, ancient rite in which the birds are smothered. Department officials say they are trying to tread a difficult path to protect wildlife, the park system, the rights of American Indians and religious freedom. But critics say the legal reasoning used by the agency to justify its position, detailed in a rule the...

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Native American Mascot Discussed at San Diego State

October 10, 2000

Source: Los Angeles Times

On October 10, 2000, The Los Angeles Times reported that "the controversy over whether San Diego State University mascot Monty Montezuma should be banned as racist has spread far off campus, with Web sites, petitions, news conferences and now even a vote scheduled today by the county Board of Supervisors. Two supervisors announced Monday they will ask their three colleagues to join them in pleading with university President Stephen Weber that 'it's extremely important to us to continue the proud tradition of the Aztec mascot.'...

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Landfill to go in Sacred Space

September 27, 2000

Source: The San Diego Union-Tribune

On September 27, 2000, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported that, "Davis Veto Clears Way for Landfill in Canyon / Pala Indians Say Site is Considered Sacred."

Tepee Offends Some on College Campus

September 22, 2000

Source: The Associated Press

On September 22, 2000, The Associated Press reported on a University of North Dakota fraternity is that is "drawing criticism for a tepee members erected in their front yard. The Sigma Alpha Epsilon house put up the tepee Wednesday as part of a fund-raising activity, and never intended to offend anyone, said an apologetic Nick West, president of the fraternity. The tepee has since been taken down. Merry Ketterling, an enrolled member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and secretary for UND's Indian Studies Department, said the...

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Fire Spreads to Sacred Land

July 30, 2000

Source: The Denver Rocky Mountain News

On July 30, 2000, The Denver Rocky Mountain News reported that some Native Americans believe a recent wildfire to be the result of the spirits taking revenge. "Deer and elk sensed the wrath of spirits deep in the Earth, fleeing Mesa Verde National Park before a wildfire raced through the heart of the nation's largest archaeological preserve...From quietly watching and listening to natural signs, other Indians believe the fire was predestined. They believe spirits have controlled the fight to put out the blaze,...

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Rock Art Protected

July 30, 2000

Source: The Houston Chronicle

On July 30, 2000, The Houston Chronicle reported that recent restrictions at Hueco Tanks State Historical Park have left many climbers looking elsewhere. A professor from the University of Texas at El Paso commented that, "As far as rock climbers are concerned, Hueco Tanks has ceased to be a rock climbing destination." The restrictions are to protect the area's rock art. "In September1998, Texas Parks and Wildlife restricted visitors at the 860-acre park, 32 miles east of El Paso, to protect the rock art and sacred American...

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American Indian Art and Artifacts

July 23, 2000

Source: The New York Times

On July 23, 2000, The New York Times published an article about the restoration and relocation of more than 800,000 "objects and artifacts that comprise the bulk of the one million items in the permanent collection of the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of the American Indian...The move is the last stage of the federal takeover of what was once an independent New York museum, founded by Gustave Heye, a financier. Mr. Heye spent his life acquiring as many Indian items as he could, and single-handedly amassed most of the...

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American Indian Art and Artifacts

July 23, 2000

Source: Star Tribune

On July 23, 2000, the Star Tribune published an article about an exhibit of Native American religious art that recently opened at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. The heart of the exhibition, "Symbols of Faith and Belief," could very well be a leather box created by the "late Harding Big Bow, a Kiowa artist and Native American Church leader who initiated the exhibition and encouraged the writing of an accompanying book, Peyote Religious Art: Symbols of Faith and Belief. The box depicts a couple bowing beside a ceremonial...

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Mine on Sacred Land Could Close

July 19, 2000

Source: The Arizona Republic

On July 19, 2000, The Arizona Republic published an article about the White Vulcan Mine in the San Francisco Peaks that has been "denounced by Native Americans as a scar on sacred soil and by environmentalists as an eyesore." The mine could be closing soon. The "Interior Department and Phoenix-based Tufflite Corp., the mine's owners, have been quietly negotiating to close the pumice operation, which is located in an area holy to 13 Indian tribes." Mine manager Art Morgan said that he would be willing to close the mine if...

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Learning Center Opens

July 19, 2000

Source: Star Tribune

On July 19, 2000, the Star Tribune published an article entitled "Language is Path to World of Ojibwe; A New Learning Center in Rutledge, Minn., Immerses Participants in the Ojibwe Tongue and Culture." When Larry Smallwood "saw a group of people trying to carry out an Ojibwe ceremony even though they couldn't speak the language," he knew what he had to do. "The creator gave us each an assignment, and mine is to teach language and culture," he said. "The ceremonies are supposed to be done in the language given to us, and that's not...

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Debate About Allowing Hopis to Use Golden Eagle Hatchlings

July 5, 2000

Source: The Christian Science Monitor

On July 5, 2000, the Christian Science Monitor published an article about a debate in Arizona on whether members of the Hopi tribe should be allowed to "kill young golden eaglets taken from a nest near the Wupakti National Monument for use in traditional ceremonies." At issue is whether the "right to practice native-American religion should take precedence over the role of parks as sanctuaries." A verdict is expected soon from the Department of the Interior on this sensative issue. If the request is granted, "dozens...

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Preserving Native American Heritage

December 26, 1999

Source: The Indianapolis Star

On December 26, 1999, The Indianapolis Star published an article on Native American youths and the preservation of their Native American identity. According to the U.S Census, as of October 1999 there are 2,031,000 people reporting American Indian descent, which is less than 1 percent of the population. Allison Codynah, a 13-year-old Indian from Indianapolis, stated: "Staying in our own race is basically the only way you can keep it alive...My grandma and grandpa always said, 'Marry your own race, especially if you have kids....

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Navajo Prayer

October 18, 1999

Source: The Arizona Republic

On October 18, 1999, The Arizona Republic published an article by a Navajo journalist who reflected on Navajo prayer and the loss of the Navajo language. For Navajos, words uttered during a prayer of protection are powerful, but the author recollects a recent event when she couldn't remember a certain Navajo word because her language was slipping. "Many urban Navajos are losing their language as they move to cities and speak English. Nuances, meaning, and pronunciation that once came easily evaporate as one becomes fluent in...

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