Indian Country in the News: May 18 - May 25, 2012
This week's news highlights include a unique school in Venezuela that seeks preserve indigenous knowledge and culture; the Navajo interpretation of the upcoming solar eclipse; a ruling in Oregon to ban Native American school mascots; and a chilling account from the New York Times about rape and justice in Indian Country:
- Al Jazeera: Venezuela's indigenous university - "Pemon is enrolled at Venezuela's indigenous university - established to develop community leaders to safeguard lands, rights and ancient cultures. The native peoples of Venezuela comprise just two per cent of the country's 29 million people, and many communities have been established in the jungles, swamps and waterways along the Atlantic and Caribbean coasts for centuries. There, they worship the land, employ shamans, and use traditional healing."
- ABC: Arizona Tribes Talk Significance of Solar Eclipse - "Seven years old and lounging in a tree listening to the radio, Baje Whitethorne Sr. wasn't aware of the lesson he was about to learn. His grandfather called him down from the tree, saying it was time to go inside their home on the Navajo reservation and wait while the sun died and was reborn. There was going to be a solar eclipse. Whitethorne wanted nothing more than to eat, but he did what he was told. That day, he learned patience and a cultural teaching that he has passed on through a children's book he wrote about why Navajos shouldn't gawk at an eclipse like the one that will be visible Sunday in parts of the western United States."
- MSNBC: Oregon bans Native American school mascots, images - "Public schools in Oregon must discontinue the use of Native American names, symbols or images as mascots following a State Board of Education vote. Prohibited names include, "Redskins," "Savages," "Indians," "Indianettes," "Chiefs" and "Braves," the board said in a statement Thursday. The board by a 5-1 vote adopted the rule and gave schools until July 2017 to comply."
- NYTimes: For Native American Women, Scourge of Rape, Rare Justice - "One in three American Indian women have been raped or have experienced an attempted rape, according to the Justice Department. Their rate of sexual assault is more than twice the national average. And no place, women’s advocates say, is more dangerous than Alaska’s isolated villages, where there are no roads in or out, and where people are further cut off by undependable telephone, electrical and Internet service. The issue of sexual assaults on American Indian women has become one of the major sources of discord in the current debate between the White House and the House of Representatives over the latest reauthorization of the landmark Violence Against Women Act of 1994."