Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Massive Population Drop Found for Native Americans, DNA Shows

NatGeo: Massive Population Drop Found for Native Americans, DNA Shows


The number of Native Americans quickly shrank by roughly half following European contact about 500 years ago, according to a new genetic study. The finding supports historical accounts that Europeans triggered a wave of disease, warfare, and enslavement in the New World that had devastating effects for indigenous populations across the Americas. Using samples of ancient and modern mitochondrial DNA—which is passed down only from mothers to daughters—the researchers calculated a demographic history for American Indians. Based on the data, the team estimates that the Native American population was at an all-time high about 5,000 years ago

NYTimes: On Facebook, NYC Police Maligned West Indian Paradegoers


They called people “animals” and “savages.” One comment said, “Drop a bomb and wipe them all out.” Hearing New York police officers speak publicly but candidly about one another and the people they police is rare indeed, especially with their names attached. But for a few days in September, a raw and rude conversation among officers was on Facebook for the world to see — until it vanished for unknown reasons. It offered a fly-on-the-wall view of officers displaying roiling emotions often hidden from the public, a copy of the posting obtained by The New York Times shows. Some of the remarks appeared to have broken Police Department rules barring officers from “discourteous or disrespectful remarks” about race or ethnicity.


Democracy Now: Indigenous Activists From Canada Protest Tar Sands Oil at Durban Climate Change Summit


This morning in Durban, South Africa, a group of youth and indigenous activists from Canada gave delegates to the U.N. climate talks mock gift bags containing samples of fake tar sands along with tourism brochures for Canada and Canadian flags. Kandi Mossett, one of the activists participating in the action, says Canada’s reliance on tar sands oil “is the largest catastrophic project that I am aware of on earth right now.”


AP: Indian claim over Park City land set in Kansas


The legal fray over the Wyandotte Nation's efforts to build a casino in Park City will now be played out in a Kansas courtroom in a case that pits American Indian sovereignty against the state's own economic interests in gambling. The Wyandotte Nation initially filed its federal lawsuit in Washington, D.C., seeking to force the Interior Department to accept into trust a tract of Park City land the tribe bought in 1992. The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act allows tribes to conduct gambling only on Indian lands, defined as land within its reservation or held in trust by the United States.



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