Native American Traditions

Debate About Allowing Hopis to Use Golden Eagle Hatchlings

July 5, 2000

Source: The Christian Science Monitor

On July 5, 2000, the Christian Science Monitor published an article about a debate in Arizona on whether members of the Hopi tribe should be allowed to "kill young golden eaglets taken from a nest near the Wupakti National Monument for use in traditional ceremonies." At issue is whether the "right to practice native-American religion should take precedence over the role of parks as sanctuaries." A verdict is expected soon from the Department of the Interior on this sensative issue. If the request is granted, "dozens...

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Preserving Native American Heritage

December 26, 1999

Source: The Indianapolis Star

On December 26, 1999, The Indianapolis Star published an article on Native American youths and the preservation of their Native American identity. According to the U.S Census, as of October 1999 there are 2,031,000 people reporting American Indian descent, which is less than 1 percent of the population. Allison Codynah, a 13-year-old Indian from Indianapolis, stated: "Staying in our own race is basically the only way you can keep it alive...My grandma and grandpa always said, 'Marry your own race, especially if you have kids....

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Navajo Prayer

October 18, 1999

Source: The Arizona Republic

On October 18, 1999, The Arizona Republic published an article by a Navajo journalist who reflected on Navajo prayer and the loss of the Navajo language. For Navajos, words uttered during a prayer of protection are powerful, but the author recollects a recent event when she couldn't remember a certain Navajo word because her language was slipping. "Many urban Navajos are losing their language as they move to cities and speak English. Nuances, meaning, and pronunciation that once came easily evaporate as one becomes fluent in...

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Plans for Native American Cultural Center Violate Zoning Laws in Seattle

September 16, 1999

Source: The Seattle Times

On September 16, 1999, The Seattle Times reported that plans for a Native American "People's Lodge" at Discovery Park in Seattle were ruled to violate city zoning laws. The proposed 123,000-square-foot center included a 5,000-seat arena and a 500-seat theater. Those who opposed the construction of the complex saw it as a great idea, but the wrong location. Peter Buck representing opponents of the construction stated: "This facility as envisioned simply cannot be built in a park." Meredith Getches, the Hearing Examiner, claimed in...

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Lawsuit Over Native American Courses at the Naropa Institute

September 10, 1999

Source: The Denver Post

On September 10, 1999, The Denver Post reported that Lydia White Calf, a former student at the Naropa Institute in Colorado, has filed a lawsuit against the school for allowing an unqualified teacher to inappropriately practice sacred Lakota rituals and ceremonies as part of a Naropa course. The teacher in question, Weston Aguila 'Eagle' Cruz, claimed to be a member of the Yaqui tribe, but tribal officials said that nobody under that name is a registered member. White Calf's lawsuit claims that she raised her suspicions about Cruz...

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Powwow Emphasizes Family and Sobriety

September 5, 1999

Source: The Denver Rocky Mountain News

On September 5, 1999, the Denver Rocky Mountain News reported that the 34th annual powwow of the White Buffalo Council, Denver's oldest Native American organization, took place on September 4th and 5th at the Tall Bull Memorial Grounds in Douglas County, Colorado. The powwow, with signs posted stating: "No Drugs or Alcohol Allowed on Grounds," aimed to be a family event. Cheryl LaPointe, a federal public health official and a Rosebud Sioux descendant, stated: 'The stereotype of drunken Indians is changing with...

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Native American and Black Connection Honored

August 8, 1999

Source: The Boston Globe

On August 8, 1999, The Boston Globe reported that 200 people attended a powwow on August 7th in Canton, Massachusetts. The powwow, held on the lawn of the Trinity Episcopal Church, honored the connection many African Americans have with Native Americans. Rev. Vernon Carter, a Black man with Wampanoag roots, organized the event to heighten the awareness of the "duality that goes unrecognized in the black community." Carter billed the event as the first powwow in New England of Blacks who have Indian heritage. William L. Katz,...

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Florida Moves to Preserve the Miami Circle

May 25, 1999

Source: The Miami Herald

On May 25, 1999, The Miami Herald reported that Governor Jeb Bush and the Florida Cabinet decided to make the Miami Circle, a 38-foot-diameter stone formation in downtown Miami that dates back to the Tequesta Indians, a priority for the state land purchasing program. The Circle became a controversial discovery when developers unearthed the site on land that had been purchased to build a large office complex. The fate of the Circle, which is on the south bank of the Miami River, is still in limbo. The county has sued the developer...

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Ancient Site Draws Attention in Miami

February 17, 1999

Source: The Atlanta Journal and Constitution

On February 17, 1999, The Atlanta Journal and Constitution published an article on a Native American ceremonial circle that was unearthed in the financial district of Miami. The Miami Circle, as it has come to be known, was discovered when an apartment building was knocked down to make room for a $100 million twin tower complex on the Miami waterfront. Robert Carr, the Miami-Dade County archaeologist, stated, "we've never found anything as profoundly unique as this. This is the only site of this type in all of...

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Sweat Lodge Approved For Inmate's Last Wishes

February 2, 1999

Source: The Arizona Republic

On February 2, 1999, The Arizona Republic reported on the granting of a sweat lodge to Darrick Gerlaugh, a Native American on death row for a murder committed in 1980. Gerlaugh, the first Native American to be executed in Arizona since the reinstatement of the death penalty in 1976 and the sixth Native American to be executed in the United States, was the first death row inmate to be granted a sweat lodge for his last rites. Each of the five previous Native Americans on death row were denied sweat lodges for security reasons....

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Native Americans Need Prayer Permits on Mt. Graham

August 15, 1998

Source: The Arizona Republic

On August 15, 1998, The Arizona Republic published an article about the new University of Arizona policy to require prayer permits of Native Americans if they want to cross near the university's $200 million telescopes on Mt. Graham, a 10,700 foot peak which is a part of the Pinaleno Mountains. The San Carlos Apaches and other native peoples hold the Pinaleno Mountains of southeast Arizona as sacred. Many Native Americans feel the permits are an attack on their religious freedom and some have planned unauthorized ascents of Mt....

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