Saturday, July 31, 2004

American Indians Expand College Hopes

NORTHFIELD, Minn. - Sometimes white people can seem really ignorant, says Alistaire MacRae, a 17-year-old Navajo high school student, noting the time he and his family vacationed at Yellowstone National Park and were soon surrounded by tourists snapping pictures of them, as though they were a herd of elk.

Still, Mr. MacRae wants a college education and knows that some good universities are predominantly white, far from his homelands in the Arizona desert, and hard to get into. So his parents paid $50 for Alistaire to join 50 other American Indian students this summer, meeting with representatives of Harvard, Stanford and 19 other schools for a crash course on how to apply to elite colleges.

Monday, July 19, 2004

Where Incas Ruled, Natives are Hoping for Power

Achacachi, Bolivia - After centuries of misery and discrimination, indigenous people across the region are flexing their political muscles, moving to wrest power from the largely European ruling elite but also dreaming of an independent state.

Such a state could look a lot like this bleak town in the highlands, where the police and central government authorities were chased out long ago, their offices destroyed by seething Aymara Indians. The Bolivian flag has given way to the seven-color Wipala, the flag of the Indian nation. Roads linking this landlocked country to the world were also blockaded frequently, a lever to prod the government to meet ever-tougher demands.

The political awakening has extended into Peru, where indigenous people have also closed highways and taken over some small towns. In Ecuador, groups of the Pachakutik movement have pledged to step up protests meant to force the resignation of President Lucio GutiƩrrez, whom they helped to put in power but who has fallen out of favor over his free-market policies.

It is in Bolivia, the most indigenous country in Latin America, where they hold the most influence. One crossroads for the two visions of Bolivia will come Sunday, when a referendum is held on the issue of how to use the country's abundant natural gas, either exporting it in the hope of conventional economic development, or keeping it for use at home. The outcome could ignite new protests unless President Carlos Mesa is able to finesse the issue through his complicated five-question ballot.

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Support Kalyn Free, Choctaw, For Congress

Kalyn Free, a member of the Choctaw Nation, is supported by in her run for Congress from the 2nd Congressional District in Eastern Oklahoma.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Roller-coaster life of Indian icon, sports' first star

July 15, 1912: Jim Thorpe reigns at Games

One was a well-to-do Scandinavian royal, the other an unassuming American athlete born in a one-room cabin in rural, destitute Indian territory. On July 15, 1912, in Stockholm, few could question who ruled the day.

"Sir, you are the greatest athlete in the world," said Sweden's King Gustav V.

"Thanks, King," Jim Thorpe replied.

Thorpe had just captured a gold medal in the decathlon, his second after winning the pentathlon days earlier -- remarkably winning eight of the two events' 15 individual segments.

Sunday, July 11, 2004

Major Indian burial site uncovered

Archaeologists are sifting through 80 sets of centuries-old human remains and artifacts discovered in a Lafayette construction site that could provide new insight into the lives of those who inhabited the region long before the Spanish arrived.

With at least as many Native American remains and artifacts -- including projectile points, stone mortars and beads -- still hidden beneath what soon will be two dozen upscale homes, experts say they may have discovered one of the region's last large, and largely intact, Indian burial sites.

Saturday, July 10, 2004

Thursday, July 08, 2004

A Native child left behind

"Cindy Sohappy was 16 when she died of acute alcohol poisoning at her boarding school in December of 2003.

After a six-month investigation and consideration of involuntary manslaughter charges against federal employees of the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs' residential school, the U.S. Attorney announced this week that no charges will be filed in the case.

Thursday, July 01, 2004

In Utah, Ancient Ruins Are Revealed After Long Wait

HORSE CANYON, Utah, June 30 — Archaeologists pulled aside a curtain on Wednesday to reveal what can only be called a secret garden: the pristinely preserved ruins of an ancient civilization that was long ago lost to the mists of time in the remote cliffs of eastern Utah, then resolutely protected over the last 50 years by a stubborn local rancher who kept mum about what he knew.

The ruins, called Range Creek, are spread over thousands of acres, much of it in inaccessible back country and reachable only through a single-track dirt road once owned by the rancher and recently bought by the State of Utah. Preliminary research dates the settlement from about A.D. 900 to 1100, during the period of the Fremont Indian culture.