Issues & News From STSSA Friends
Taino News Peace and Dignity Run Begins in Borikén
From firstname.lastname@example.org on behalf of email@example.com
July 20, 2010
Borikén (Puerto Rico) – The Borikén 2010 Peace and Dignity Run began on the 17th of July with the sounding of many guamo (conch shell horns) at sunrise in the Yunke Rainforest. A spiritual event, the run is being undertaken to raise awareness about the condition of indigenous scared sites on the island as well as connect native Taino islanders with their mainland relations. At the special opening ceremony, runners received the blessing of elders and other community members as they began an historic journey that would take them to sacred sites all around the island.
The runners – who are representing community members residing on and off the island - have the responsibility to carry a number of sacred staffs representing the "prayers of the people".
Gabriel Saspe, a representative for "Peace and Dignity Journeys", traveled from Arizona to Borikén to connect the continental run with the islands. Peace And Dignity Journeys has been hosting spiritual runs since 1992. Saspe will receive a sacred Guaraguao (hawk) staff from the Taino community which will be added to the Peace and Dignity Journey's bundle of staffs from through the hemisphere. The Guaraguao staff was prepared by the Consejo General de Tainos Borincanos.
The participants of the Boriken 2010 Peace and Dignity Run have already completed runs in the east, south, and western regions of the island. The runners and supporters are now on their way north. After the northern area run, the group will begin their journey to the central region where ceremonies will take place in the towns of Jayuya and Utuado.
Indigenous delegates from Kiskeia (Dominican Republic) and Waitukubuli (Dominica) will join the Borikén Taino in solidarity to participate in the ceremonial closing events this weekend.
United Confederation of Taino Peoplehttp://www.uctp.org
The ancestors of our Taino Sisters & Brothers had the horrible misfortune of meeting Columbus
Online Advice for Parents of College-Bound Students- Deadline is June 30th!
Parents of deaf and hard-of-hearing African-American, Latino American and Native American students who are entering 7th, 8th, or 9th grade can get tips for preparing their students for college during live online parent workshops being held during Rochester Institute of Technology's Steps to Success Program on Sat., Aug. 7, 2010.
Parents can learn about financial aid and admissions from 10 a.m. to noon. From 1 to 3 p.m., deaf professionals will share their experiences attending college, graduating and going out into their chosen fields.
There is no charge or registration to watch the online live presentations, at www.rit.edu/NTID/STSvideostream. Visit the site in advance to be sure your computer can access the live video.
Dozens of students from across the country are expected to come to RIT's National Technical Institute for the Deaf to attend the three-daySteps to Success career exploration mini-camp for deaf and hard-of-hearing African-American, Latin American and Native American middle school students. Steps to Success is supported in part by the Sprint Foundation.
Although the live, online parent workshops are focused for parents of African-American, Latin American and Native American students, the information presented would benefit any parent of a deaf or hard-of-hearing college-bound child.
For more information, contact:
(585) 475-6217 V/TTY
More information at R.I.T. National Technical Institute for the Dead: http://www.ntid.rit.edu/media/full_text.php?article_id=1267
I just learned that immigration reform advocates in our area could make the difference in passing a key piece of immigration reform this summer. It’s called the DREAM Act.
Right now, nearly 1 million young people are caught in limbo, praying for this simple reform to pass. These young people were brought to the U.S. at a young age, and they have grown up American in all but paperwork. Right now, they have no way to fix their situation and become citizens.
We must act quickly to show our leaders in Washington how important this issue is to us.
Please sign this petition telling President Obama and Congress to pass the DREAM Act this summer!
Some of the young people who would benefit from the Dream Act are valedictorians, some are computer programmers, some are future nurses. The bipartisan DREAM Act would put them on a path to citizenship instead of wasting millions of taxpayer dollars rounding them up and deporting them to countries they do not know.
With Congress in gridlock over comprehensive immigration reform, it’s clear that our network of friends will be a key player in passing any major legislation to fix our broken immigration system this summer. Together we can leverage our collective voice to protect the future of America’s youth.
Click here to sign the petition!
Tribe, water district still at odds over site
By Steve Schmidt - July 21, 2010
San Diego, California - On the eve of a crucial court hearing, an East County water agency and local American Indians remain at odds over a pipeline and pumping station planned for a chalky slope near Lakeside.
The Padre Dam Municipal Water District calls the $20 million project imperative to serving a growing community; the Viejas Indians say it would desecrate a recently discovered burial site they consider sacred.
On Friday, San Diego County Superior Court Judge Judith Hayes will weigh their arguments when she considers extending a restraining order that limits construction at the site.
The case is a fresh illustration of the growing leverage that tribes have to safeguard their past, said Richard Carrico, an archeologist at San Diego State University.
“They have gone from very disenfranchised to highly franchised,” he said.
Since the 1990s, state and federal laws have mandated protection of sanctified Indian burial grounds, in contrast to the days when such locations were often treated in a cavalier fashion by developers and even scientists.
In San Diego County, the Kumeyaay Cultural Repatriation Committee works with government agencies and land owners to protect ancestral remains and sacred lands.
The panel was created about 15 years ago.
It’s a deeply sensitive subject to American Indians — and for good reason, Carrico said.
“To the Kumeyaay, the excavation of human remains and the artifacts associated with them is another assault on their values and culture for yet another project to make the lives of non-Indians better, easier and more productive,” he said.
Louis Guassac, a member of the repatriation committee, likened the destruction of an American Indian burial ground to disturbing Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery in Point Loma.
“It’s just like with your burial sites,” he said. “We still want to preserve the sacredness of where (our ancestors) are.”
Padre Dam officials said they have repeatedly consulted with tribal leaders about the site and didn’t encounter opposition until this year. Now the two sides are split over the site’s cultural significance. The vacant, 2.5-acre property is near Ridge Hill Road, south of Interstate 8.
Water district manager Doug Wilson pointed to a study by his agency that found parts of the site packed with ceramic shards, including pieces of prehistoric pots and bowls.
He said only 14 bone fragments have been found on the lot, each about the size of a coin. Tests show the fragments to be 800 to 2,000 years old.
The spot where the items were unearthed, Wilson said, “was like a kitchen area where they cooked and cleaned, as opposed to a place where they buried their dead.”
California’s Native American Heritage Commission disagreed and last month designated the immediate area a “sanctified cemetery,” spurring the state Attorney General’s Office to join Viejas in suing Padre Dam.
Viejas attorneys recently secured a temporary restraining order to block work on the most culturally sensitive portion of the site, and are now asking Hayes to make it permanent.
Wilson and other Padre water-district officials are frustrated because they believe they have developed the project to the letter of the law.
The agency broke ground in January, setting out to build a water tank, flow-control apparatus, pipeline and a pumping station that would be tied to a broader water-transmission network.
Before the earthmovers rolled, the district consulted Kumeyaay representatives and were told they could go ahead, even after the discovery of the 14 bone fragments in early 2009.
But the Kumeyaay band living closest to the lot — the Viejas, near Alpine — requested earlier this year that the water district drop the project in light of the human remains.
Viejas officials acknowledged that water improvements are critical to East County, but said they should be routed around the property near Ridge Hill and Lake Jennings Park roads.
The water district agreed to halt the work; it said the delay has cost about $750,000.
Neither side appears in a compromising mood ahead of Friday’s hearing.
Requests in the past week to interview Viejas tribal leaders were declined. Bob Scheid, a spokesman for the band, said water officials still don’t seem to fathom the sanctity of the site.
The water district’s officials said they have spent $3.5 million to develop the property. They call it integral to their plans to build a second water delivery system to Alpine, Harbison Canyon and Crest.
“We just can’t walk away. We have too much at stake,” said Wilson, adding that the project is critical to the long-term health and stability of East County.
Carrico said one option might be to cap the land with several feet of earth and allow Padre Dam officials to construct the project entirely above ground, leaving the sacred site untouched. He said state officials have allowed capping at other Indian sites, with careful monitoring.
But Wilson said an aboveground project is not practical and would raise safety issues, such as someone damaging the pipeline.
Another option might be to relocate the project, but water officials said that would cost $10 million more and wouldn’t sit well with ratepayers.
The bones found at this site were well over 200, not 15 as Wilson stated. For Wilson to call this sacred ground as a "kitchen" is absurd at best. Many are buried with pottery.
Medicine wheel event in Whittier reintroduces centuries-old spiritual tradition
By Damien Chambers - July 22, 2010
WHITTIER, Arkansas — In Native American culture, medicine does not come from a pharmacy. Instead, medicine can be anything that promotes balance in one's life and the lives of others, said Jacquelyn Dobrinska, Venus Rising Institute outreach coordinator......
If you can stomach it, visit the site to read more at:
What: Sun Bear's Medicine Wheel Gathering.
When: 7 p.m. Friday through 3 p.m. Sunday.
Where: Venus Rising Institute at Isis Cove, 112 Iris Lane, Whittier, near Cherokee.
Admission: $200, or $65 for ages 15 and younger. This includes camping space. Register online at www.winddaughterwestwinds.com orwww.shamanicbreathwork.org.
To learn more: Visit www.thepantherlodgemedicinesociety.org, contact Wind Daughter at firstname.lastname@example.org Venus Rising at email@example.com.
One day, a Republican operative offers $100 to anyone who'll punch me in the nose.
The next day, I get a death threat.
After Fox News spewed its usual clownish hatred about me yesterday, my office received a call. The caller told our receptionist - a young intern - that "10 people are going to kill the Congressman within 24 hours." We gave the information to the Capitol Police; they are investigating.
Fox. You'd think that they would have learned their lesson after Dr. George Tiller was killed. And they did learn a lesson: a lesson in killing.
And why? Because I told the truth: the truth that by stalling on unemployment insurance, right-wingers revealed themselves to be heartless, selfish wretches, who have been taking food out of the mouths of children.
Am I the only one who has noticed this? Because if you're with me on this, I'd like your support. I need your support.
First threatened assault. Then threatened murder. Do you see how they ratchet up the bullying, and try to cow us?
In his poem "The Second Coming," the Irish poet William Butler Yeats described a time like ours as the "widening gyre." A time when "the centre cannot hold."
A time when "anarchy is loosed upon the world."
A time when "the best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity." Up to, and including, death threats on Members of Congress.
But we have to stand up, and we have to fight back. Because what is at stake is . . . everything.
Please, support our campaign. Stand with me. Fight back.
Congressman Alan Grayson
TURNING and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
William Butler Yeats, "The Second Coming"