Posts Tagged ‘elders’

First Nations Day of Action in Saskatchewan Sept. 26

First Nations Day of Action in Saskatchewan Sept. 26


Posted 25 September 2011, by ICTMN Staff, Indian Country Today Media Network,


First Nations of Saskatchewan are holding a Provincial Day of Action on Monday September 26 to draw attention to the ills and issues that they feel are not being addressed adequately by the provincial government.

According to the Regina Leader-Post, a few hundreds people are expected at the event. It will start with a pancake breakfast at the Creeland Mini Mart in Regina, after which the elders, leaders and youth will walk to the legislative offices, the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations (FSIN) said in a media release.

The goal is to draw attention to a host of ills plaguing First Nations peoples, including the high rate of diabetes—four times higher the national average for women and 2.5 times that of men—as well as suicide rates that are five to seven times higher among First Nations communities than in the rest of the country, and an overall aboriginal unemployment rate of 18.2 percent, whereas non-aboriginals’ rate is just 4.2 percent, the FSIN said in a fact sheet.

“In Saskatchewan, First Nation and Métis youth are 30 times more likely to be incarcerated than non-Aboriginal youth,” the fact sheet said. “First Nations and Métis youth make up 20% of the Saskatchewan population aged 12- 17, but comprise 66% of the young offenders population.”

The sheet listed numerous other sobering statistics as well.

Chief Glen Pratt of the George Gordon First Nation characterized First Nations’ relationship with the current provincial government as “challenging,” the Regina Leader-Post reported. He said that for starters there needs to be more treaty recognition, and that First Nations communities should be included in revenue sharing and the economy in general.

“I feel like this government is treating us like we don’t belong to Saskatchewan,” Chief Glen Pratt of the George Gordon First Nation said at a September 20 press conference, as reported by the Leader-Post. “If we don’t do something now, we’re going to get left far behind – to the point where our people aren’t going to have a lot of hope left.”

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Block By Block, City By City

Block By Block, City By City


The resistance continues at Liberty Square, with free pizza 😉


Posted 25 September 2011, by , Occupy Wall Street,




09/23/11; Day before Mass-Arrests from JRL on Vimeo.






Navajo Council Angry: Navajo President slashes funds for elderly, children and green jobs

Navajo Council Angry: Navajo President slashes funds for elderly, children and green jobs

President’s Shelly’s vetoes target green initiatives, resource development, young people and the elderly


Posted24 September 2011, by Johnny Naize, Censored News,


Johnny Naize is the Navajo Council Speaker


Navajo Council Speaker Johnny Naize

WINDOW ROCK Ariz. — The Navajo Nation Council voiced anger at Navajo President Shelly’s line-item vetoes of portions of the FY2012 Tribal Operating Budget on Friday. Among the cuts in the $556.6 million budget included $111 thousand for the Little Folks Day Care Program, $161 thousand for five Navajo Area Agency on Aging offices in Shiprock, Chinle, Tuba City, Fort Defiance and Crownpoint, $352 thousand from the Navajo Green Commission, $130 thousand from the Resources Committee, and $838 thousand for legislative district staff for the 24 Council Delegates.

“The Council is very concerned for President Shelly’s lack of cohesive management on the direction he wants to take the Navajo People,” said Navajo Nation Council Speaker Johnny Naize. “The President says not to forget the elders but it appears he has. He has also said we need to nurture the youth because they are our future but instead has yanked funding that would do just that.”

“Additionally, at a time when other governments are looking for ways to build a green economy to reduce waste and become environmentally aware, President Shelly has decided that the Navajo people will not.”

“These vetoes were unnecessary after all the discussions we held in June between the three Branches and during the recent Budget Sessions which produced this budget,” continued Naize. “I unfortunately believe the President has suddenly decided on himself to rewrite all the work the Branches have done during the past three months.”

In the FY2012 operating budget, the Executive Branch was appropriated the bulk of the $556.6 million at a little more than $505 million for programs and set asides such as for Higher Education and Veterans. Next, the Legislative Branch was appropriated $16.6 million with the Judicial Branch receiving $15.4 million for their programs and set asides. Also included in the budget are $25.4 million for fixed costs and $4 million for chapter spending.

“These cuts are concerning because they appear to be made as a vendetta against certain programs, council members and committees,” said Naize. “But in the process of doing that he vetoed funds for Summer Youth Employment, and an elderly group home in Blue Gap. Our people are in need and even though the President says his Branch provides direct services to the people, these vetoes prove they won’t. That is not how a Natani leads his people.”

Earlier this month President Shelley vetoed $2.2 million for Youth Employment, $286,000 for the Hoosh Doo Dii To’ Home and $1 million for the Navajo Department of Transportation.

Also in these latest round of vetoes was funding for 24 Legislative District Staff for the 24 Council Delegates.

“In the past, the Legislative Branch has worked with a little more than 8 percent of the total Navajo Nation Operating Budget, said Navajo Nation Council Speaker Johnny Naize. “Not only do we need to remain at that level but we’ll also need some additional funds to address the increased workload for the 24 Council Delegates.”

At the district level there is a growing feeling of isolation as Council Delegates juggle up to 8 chapters and their work on their committees in Window Rock. The Legislative District Staff would assist the Delegates by attending meetings that otherwise may have been missed due to other commitments.

Although some thought a smaller Council would mean a smaller budget, the opposite has happened. The increase in Chapter representation has lead to an increase of meeting and on-reservation travel expenses. Speaker Naize and the Council are resolved in making sure the people don’t lose their voice just because President Shelly wants to ration and silence the Delegates ability to serve community needs and concerns.”

“Again, the Navajo People are becoming confused where President Shelly is taking us,” concluded Naize. “All these programs are for the people yet he refuses to acknowledge the need out there. For the last couple of months he has held numerous town halls to get community input yet for all the people’s efforts, he has decided to ignore them.”

“I want the people to know that the Council will not ignore them and will continue to work and make sure the business of the people gets done no matter how President Shelly tries to silence them.”


Harnessing healing power


Harnessing healing power


Posted 23 September 2011, by Staff (Cape Times), Independent Online (IOL),



ENIGMATIC performer Antoinette Pienaar can be seen in Kathleen Winter’s documentary, A Shaman’s Apprentice, with herbal healer Oom Johannes Willemse.

Filmed in the heart of the Great Karoo, it shows how a Griqua herbalist is teaching a white woman to heal people with herbs.

Oom Johannes, already in his 90s, was a little annoyed that it took the actress nearly 40 years to find him – he had been dreaming for decades that she would be the one to help him pass on his knowledge.

Willemse is known as a seer, herb doctor, healer, storyteller, and teacher. Born on Breekkierie farm in the Kenhardt district, the eldest of 12 children, he obtained his knowledge of Karoo herbs, and other wisdom and stories, from his grandfather, Hansie.

Since his descendants had no interest in furthering the herbal traditions, Willemse was especially relieved when Pienaar finally arrived, desperate to be healed and hungry to learn.

Pienaar, a Karoo child from Carnarvon in the Northern Cape, knew as a little girl that she would one day tell stories and learn about herbs. After studying drama, she made a name as a storyteller.

During a trip to Mali, West Africa, she contracted and nearly died of cerebral malaria. Seriously weakened, she went to live at her parents’ home in Beaufort West. During a coincidental visit to Theefontein farm, she crossed paths with Oom Johannes.

“Only now you arrive,” were his impatient first words to her.

Since then, Pienaar has moved into a workers’ hut opposite Oom Johannes’s, where she not only experienced complete healing but also slowly but surely learnt about herbs, veld-knowledge and peace.

Seven years later in 2008, her book, Kruidjie Roer My, became the first step in preserving the Karoo’s herb heritage.

At Theefontein, Du Toit learnt the art of living off the veld, its herbs and how to prepare herbal mixtures. She also discovered how previous generations lived and the wisdom that gave them endurance and longevity.

On a small rise near the farmhouse, she and Oom Johannes live in workers’ huts without electricity or running water. In Pienaar’s little white house, her stories roll out like river stones. Kruidjie Roer My was written on an old typewriter under her kitchen window.

Through their work and Pienaar’s Friday afternoon contribution to Amore Bekker’s Tjailatyd on radio station Radiosondergrense, they are dedicated to relaying centuries of valuable information, stories and remedies to present and future generations.

The documentary was filmed for SABC’s African Renaissance.

l The film will be screened at Wellington’s Die Bôrdienghuis at Breytenbachsentrum today at 10am (082 812 1112); Dorpstraat Teater at Summerhill tomorrow at 11am (021 889 9158); and at the Labia on Orange on Sunday at 6.15pm (021 424 5927). Winter will attend the screenings. Running time is 23 minutes.



Chicomoztoc and Origin Myths of Mesoamerica

Chicomoztoc and Origin Myths of Mesoamerica


Posted 23 September 2011, by , About (New York Times),


Chicomoztoc - Cave of Seven Niches. From the "Historia Tolteca chicimeca", ca. 1550 Photo of the image by Nanahuatzin

Textbooks and general public outreach articles about Mesoamerica often of necessity split Mesoamerica into discrete pieces: Toltec, Aztec, Maya, Olmec. It is plainly easier for us modern types to think of (and write about) these groups as separate entities, separate cultures with distinct cultural ethos.

But in reality, or at least as close to reality as archaeological research can take us, there were many points of interconnectedness. Much of this is visible in evidence of religious beliefs, the systems that people use to make sense of their world. How did we get here, what happens when we die, what is the meaning of life? These are questions that are universal to human societies. Because humans are social beings, when we create our own personal understanding of the way the universe works, we use what we understand of our ancestors’ and our neighbors’ belief systems to create our own.

An example of one of these interconnected bits is the origin myth of Chicomoztec, the mythical Aztec and Toltec “Cave of Seven Niches”. Chicomoztec is an origin myth that argues that people came out of the earth, a myth common to many groups in Central and North America.

Or get into the nitty gritty with’s

Photo of the image by Nanahuatzin


The Magic of Chickens


The Magic of Chickens


Posted 20 September 2011, by Robyn Lawrence, Care2,



If Harvey Ussery were stranded on a desert island and could bring only one thing, he would bring a flock of chickens.

“They would feed themselves by foraging over the island, keep me supplied with eggs, one of the most perfect foods,” says the Virginia homesteader and author of The Small-Scale Poultry Flock. “In the process, they would continually improve my island’s soil by working in plant covers and their droppings, increasing its productivity for whatever food crops I was able to grow. Hens who went broody would hatch out chicks to renew the flock each year.”

Harvey Ussery makes his chickens partners in food production. Photo courtesy of Harvey and Ellen Ussery/Mother Earth News

Harvey, a Mother Earth News writer who produces much of his own food on 3 acres, manages chickens holistically, enlisting them as partners for soil improvement, making compost, insect control and more. He’s been raising a mixed poultry flock, which he considers a key to greater food independence, for almost 30 years. “I am constantly reaching for new ways to integrate the flock with the work of food production, to make them happy and content, and to provide them more live, natural foods right on the homestead,” he says.

Harvey’s been experimenting for years to find new ways to convert organic “wastes” (chicken poop) into resources for greater soil fertility. “To truly imitate nature, we must banish all notion of ‘waste,’ remembering that in natural systems one critter’s waste is another’s priceless resource,” he says.

He’ll talk about this alchemy during his workshop, “Trash to Treasure: Bioconversion of Waste to Resources” at the Mother Earth News Fair in Seven Springs, Pennsylvania, on September 24. Harvey says he looks forward to “sharing ideas with people who are passionate about finding saner, more sustainable ways to produce our food.”

Harvey’s chickens are housed in a comfortable roost with room to roam. Photo courtesy of Harvey and Ellen Ussery/Mother Earth News

I was at the Fair last year, and I wholeheartedly agree with Harvey–there’s nothing quite like this opportunity to swap ideas and learn from masters. I can’t make it this year, but I’m having fun reading about the passionate, sane voices that will be heard there at the Mother Earth News Fair blog. Check it out to join the conversation–and possibly win free tickets if you live near Seven Springs. There’s just nothing quite like connecting with likeminded others in a beautiful mountain setting (and checking out chickens and livestock while you’re at it).

Robyn Griggs Lawrence writes the daily Natural Home Living blog for Mother Earth News, the original guide to living wisely. The editor-in-chief of Natural Home magazine from 1999 until 2010, Robyn’s goal is to help everyone create a nurturing, healthy and environmentally friendly home. Her book, Simply Imperfect: Revisiting the Wabi-Sabi House, introduces Americans to the 15th-century Japanese philosophy of simplicity, serenity and authenticity.


More on Birds (104 articles available)
More from Robyn Lawrence (31 articles available)





Orissa: People issue forest rights title in own name


Orissa: People issue forest rights title in own name


Posted  21 September 2011, by Pradeep Baisakh, Orissa Diary,



 Report by Pradeep Baisakh; Kashipur: After approaching the Tehsil office, Block office and Collectorate Office time again to know the status of the claims they have filed under Forest Rights Act and having failed to find any answer each time, the people decided to prepare the forest right title of their own in the same style the district administration has prepared.

In place of the signatories in the title like Divisional Forest Officer, District Collector and District Welfare Officer the self-styled title contains the signature and seal of President of Forest Rights Committee (FRC), Sarpanch of Panchayat and Secretary of FRC respectively. One of the title which is issued in the name of Sripati Majhi of Ranjuguda Village in Renga Panchayat of Kashipur Block in Rayagada District of Odisha contains the signature of Saiba Majhi the President of FRC, Sumitra Majhi the Sarapanch of Renga Panchayat and Anantaram Majhi the Secretary of FRC. The title recognizes right over three acres of Forest land which was claimed before the Administration.

Hundred and fifty such titles in Renga Panchayat and fifty titles each in Kashipur and Mandibisi Panchayat have already been issued to the claimants according to their claim after due verification by the FRC. Local Activist Nabin Nayak says that around 15,000 tribal people had undertaken a march in February 2011 to ventilate their grievance of inaction and apathy of district administration in recognizing their forest rights. Scenario did not change, so the people finally decided to issue their titles by equating their Sarpanch with the District Collector.

These titles are already in the knowledge of government officials who still remain silent to such novel form of protest of people.