String of teenage suicide attempts turning into epedemic

The people of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation are no strangers to hardship or to the risk of lives being cut short. But a string of seven suicides by adolescents in recent months has shaken this impoverished community and sent school and tribal leaders on an urgent mission to stop the deaths.

On Dec. 12, a 14-year-old boy hanged himself at his home on the reservation, a sprawling expanse of badlands on the South Dakota-Nebraska border. On Christmas Day, a 15-year-old girl was found dead, followed weeks later by a high school cheerleader. Two more young people took their lives in February and two more in March, along with several more attempts.

Native Actors Walk off Set of Adam Sandler Movie

Approximately a dozen Native actors and actresses, as well as the Native cultural advisor, left the set of Adam Sandler’s newest film production, The Ridiculous Six, on Wednesday. The actors, who were primarily from the Navajo nation, left the set after the satirical western’s script repeatedly insulted native women and elders and grossly misrepresented Apache culture.

The examples of disrespect included Native women’s names such as Beaver’s Breath and No Bra, an actress portraying an Apache woman squatting and urinating while smoking a peace pipe, and feathers inappropriately positioned on a teepee.

Utah’s Navajos are leading a push to create the Bears Ears National Conservation Area

Even some Native Americans don’t know about the archaeological riches their ancestors left in Cedar Mesa.

A week ago, on a tour of the area, a member of the Hopi Tribe was shocked to find his family’s Flute Clan symbol in a rock pictograph.

“It was a very powerful, very emotional tour,” said Mark Maryboy, a Navajo elder. “A lot of them didn’t realize how much history and how much evidence their people left behind. There are many generations.”

Government returns confiscated eagle feathers to tribal religious leader after 9 years

The federal government invades a gathering of Native Americans, confiscates their property, and threatens to punish them if they resist. Sounds like tragic history from the 1800s, right? Robert Soto is living through it right now.

Mr. Soto is an award-winning feather dancer and Lipan Apache religious leader. In 2006, he attended a powwow – a traditional religious ceremony involving drumming, dancing, and Native American dress. But a federal agent cut the celebration short when he noticed that Mr. Soto and other American Indians possessed eagle feathers.

Consensus Classification of California Indian Languages

Here is a chart of the 88 languages indigenous to the state of California. Hypothesized MACRO-UNITS are in bold caps and italicized, FAMILIESin bold caps only, SUBGROUPS are in in small caps, individual languages in boldface, and dialects in italics:

Indigenous Languages Spoken in the United States by Location and Number of Fluent Speakers

Here is a chart of indigenous languages spoken in the US, along with the locations where they are spoken, and the number of fluent (first language) speakers for each language.

86 languages indigenous to California

There are 86 native American languages that are indigenous to the state of California, more than any other state.

Gwich’in Language

Gwich’in Language Online Gwich’in Language Translation Tool:  428 entries Courtesy of Freelang Dictionary GWICH’IN => ENGLISH : ENGLISH => GWICH’IN : Whole word

Choctaw Language

Choctaw Language Online Choctaw Translation Tool: (537 entries) Courtesy of Freelang Dictionary CHOCTAW => ENGLISH : ENGLISH => CHOCTAW : Whole word

178 indigenous languages in the US are endangered

Of the Native American languages of the U.S., 90% are not being passed on to a new generation. There were 312 American Indian languages in use when Europeans first arrived in North America; of these, 123 (40%) are known to have lost all native speakers. Of those that remain, all except two are endangered. Only 20 of these (13%) are being learned by children, and by fewer children each year.

Most of these languages will cease to be spoken in your lifetime, if language revitalization programs are not successful.

Customs agents lack cultural awareness and respect for Indian tribes along the US-Canadian border

In Montana, the 49th parallel marks a 545-mile-long line along which the state rises to meet three Canadian provinces. This International Boundary, commonly referred to as the border, distinguishes two nations and was born of negotiations that helped end the American Revolutionary War.

But to members of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes and the Blackfeet Nation, among others, the U.S.-Canada border is an arbitrary line demarcating ancestral lands, separating families and undermining tribal sovereignty.

Tribes prohibiting gay marriage

Below is a list of federally recognized Native American tribes that have laws either defining marriage as between a man and a woman or explicitly prohibiting same-sex marriages, along with excerpts of those laws. At least 10 other tribes recognize same-sex marriages, while many more are silent on the matter.

Are you related to the Aztecs?

For five centuries, North Americans have been fascinated and intrigued by stories of the magnificent Aztec Empire. This extensive Mesoamerican Empire was in its ascendancy during the late Fifteenth and early Sixteenth Centuries. The Aztec Empire of 1519 was the most powerful Mesoamerican kingdom of all time.

This multi-ethnic, multi-lingual realm stretched for more than 80,000 square miles through many parts of what are now central and southern Mexico. This enormous empire reached from the Pacific Ocean to the Gulf coast and from central Mexico to the present-day Republic of Guatemala. Fifteen million people, living in thirty-eight provinces and residing in 489 communities, paid tribute to the Emperor Moctezuma II.

Tribes Win Landmark Child Welfare Case

On Monday, March 30 a federal judge issued a landmark decision affirming that officials in South Dakota violated numerous provisions in the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) and denied Indian parents their rights under the Due Process Clause of the Constitution. Referencing widespread and systemic failure to protect the integrity of Indian families, Judge Jeffrey Viken issued a partial summary judgment in favor of the plaintiffs in Oglala Sioux Tribe v. Luann Van Hunnik on seven issues before the court regarding emergency removal hearings, also known as “48-hour hearings,” in Pennington County, South Dakota.