A small Washington tribe has cleared a big hurdle towards moving its coastal village out of a tsunami zone. The US House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly Monday to transfer 785 acres of Olympic National Park to the Quileute tribe. The park surrounds the tribe's tiny coastal reservation and blocks its desire to expand to higher ground.
What's love got to do with it? Not much, especially if you say the words "I love you" in the Menominee language in front of a certain Wisconsin teacher. Seventh grader Miranda Washinawatok, Menominee, found this out. Miranda speaks two languages: Menominee and English. She also plays on her basketball team. However, two Thursdays ago she was suspended for one basketball game because she spoke Menominee to a fellow classmate during class.
A group of Latin jazz musicians are planning to hold a concert in Los Angeles on the same night as the Grammy Awards to protest the decision that eliminated 31 categories from this year’s awards, protest organizers announced Monday. The concert will follow an afternoon rally on Sunday to be held on a street corner outside the Staples Center, where pop music’s royalty will be assembled for the flashy annual Grammys bash. Last April the academy slashed the categories from 109 to 78, eliminating separate trophies for male and female performers and getting rid of individual awards for genres like Latin jazz, Hawaiian music, zydeco, traditional blues and American Indian music.
It was a complete no-brainer, but props to the Atlanta Braves for placing a new crossed tomahawk logo on the sleeve of their new weekend alternates. The cream-colored throwbacks — which the baseball world learned about a few weeks ago — are based on the uniforms that the team first wore after moving to Atlanta in the 1960s.
Police fired tear gas Sunday to clear blockades of the Pan-American highway by indigenous groups protesting changes to the mining law. One person was killed and 39 injured in the resulting clashes. Security Minister Jose Raul Mulino said police broke up the blockades after members of the Ngobe-Bugle tribe in western Panama refused calls for dialogue. Protest leader Liborio Miranda said a 26-year-old indigenous man was shot dead in the chest.
Think about this: Anthropologists and linguists say that every two weeks a unique language disappears with its last surviving speaker. As we celebrated our entrance into the 21st century, about half of the world's 7,000 human languages were not being spoken or taught to younger generations. Can you imagine this happening to your own language -- to your own people or culture? But that's just the tip of the iceberg. Along with language, also disappearing are the arts, crafts, vocational skills, folklore, and customs of many traditional and indigenous peoples. National Geographic Society's Explorer-in-Residence Wade Davis calls this the "erosion of the ethnosphere."
The Seminole Tribe of Florida could stop paying tens of millions to the state if legislators move ahead with a bill to regulate electronic sweepstakes operations known as Internet cafes. There are as many as 1,000 of the operations in Florida but there have been questions about whether they are illegal under the state's gambling laws. The Legislature is considering legislation to either regulate Internet cafes or ban them altogether. Gov. Rick Scott has called for them to be shut down. A Feb. 1 opinion provided to the Seminoles says any effort to regulate and keep open Internet cafes - which have been branded "storefront casinos" by critics - would violate a 2010 compact the tribe signed with the state.
The White Mountain Apache Tribe’s chief judge has asked federal authorities to intercede in a governmental showdown that has divided the Native American nation near Show Low. Judge Reagan Armstrong Sr. said he has gone to the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the U.S. Attorney’s Office, asking that they enforce his court orders to suspend tribal Chairman Ronnie Lupe and postpone a tribal election. Those directives have been ignored by Lupe and other Whiteriver officials, including police Chief Raymond Burnette. Armstrong, a tribal judge for 14 years, said he came to Phoenix this week hoping to persuade U.S. government officials to prevent anarchy and violence on the Fort Apache Reservation.