This Week in Native American News - June 3, 2016

This Week in Native American News - June 3, 2016

Catamaran-style Canoe Traveling the Globe

Kala Tanaka on the Hokule'a. Photo credit: Claire Harbage/NPR

Kala Tanaka on the Hokule'a. Photo credit: Claire Harbage/NPR

The Hokule'a (ho-koo-lay-ah), Hawaii's famous 16-foot voyaging canoe, built in the double-hulled style used by Polynesian navigators thousands of years ago, has finished 26,000 miles in its journey around the globe, but the 12-man crew still has another year to go.

But this journey isn't just a fun trip around the world. The boat, itself, embodies (and sparked) a resurgence of pride in the Native Hawaiian culture.

In 1976, a group of Native Hawaiians and anthropologists, and Mau [a Micronesian wayfinder], bet their lives that they could sail from Hawaii to Tahiti without any modern-day navigational equipment... And when the team safely reached its destination, after more than a month at sea, its triumph sparked a revival of Hawaiian identity and culture. Soon after, Native Hawaiians demanded that the state begin teaching the Hawaiian language in schools again. A group occupied the uninhabited island of Kaho'olawe, in protest of the U.S. Navy's use of it as a target for bombing practice. Read the full article here.

The Hokule'a is currently in New York City. You can track her voyage here.


Follow up regarding Paris' Auction of Native Items

A Puebloan Kachina Huhuwa mask at a 2014 Paris auction. Photo credit: Thomas Samson/AFP/Getty Images

A Puebloan Kachina Huhuwa mask at a 2014 Paris auction. Photo credit: Thomas Samson/AFP/Getty Images

Last week, we told you about the auction scheduled to take place in Paris which featured hundreds of Native artifacts. Protesters and advocates had asked to cancel the auction and return the artifacts.

The auction did take place on Monday, May 30th, and auctioned 313 lots with disappointing sales, but one piece was missing - a Pueblo mask which the French auction house removed just prior to the sale. It wasn't the result most protestors were looking for, but Crystal Worl, a member of the Tlingit Indigenous Community, is optimistic.

"Today, one item being able to be repatriated is a small step but a necessary step to the bigger picture," Worl said. Read the full article here.

Gathering of Nations to Stay in Albuquerque

Gathering of Nations Grand Entry. Photo credit: Gathering of Nations

Gathering of Nations Grand Entry. Photo credit: Gathering of Nations

After the conclusion of this year's Gathering of Nations in April, the University of New Mexico, where the event has taken place for the last 30 years, stated it would no longer host the event due to "long-standing operational issues."

After much controversy about whether or not the Gathering of Nations would stay in New Mexico, they have announced that a new venue has been secured in Albuquerque at EXPO New Mexico's Tingley Coliseum. Read the full article here.

Next year's event will take place April 27-29, 2017. Book your hotels now!


Inuit Village Builds 'Family House' for Displaced Children

Kangiqsualujjuaq village playground. Photo credit: Catou MacKinnon/CBC

Kangiqsualujjuaq village playground. Photo credit: Catou MacKinnon/CBC

Kangigsualugguaq, a small village of 900 people, had the largest number of children in foster care in all of Nunavik, which consists of the northern third of Quebec. Twenty-seven children, ranging from infant to teen, were displaced from their homes by the Quebec Youth Protection Act and put into foster care.

"It was heartbreaking [to find out this statistic]," [Mayor Hilda] Snowball told CBC. "As Inuit we share, we work together — and when something happens, we try to fix it as families." 

So, Snowball and village leaders came up with the plan to open the Qarmaapik Family House to educate parents and take care of the village's children. 

While parents learn new skills at the front of the house, there are four bedrooms at the back. If children have to be taken out of a home because their parents are fighting, intoxicated or in crisis, they'll stay at Qarmaapik. Read the full article here.

The ultimate goal of Qarmaapik is to prevent the youth protection agencies from having to get involved in the first place. 


Native American Owned Cannabis Store Opens on Washington Reservation

Elevation cannabis store opens on Squaxin Island Tribal Land. Photo Credit: Tracy Rector/Guardian

Elevation cannabis store opens on Squaxin Island Tribal Land. Photo Credit: Tracy Rector/Guardian

The first tribal-owned-and-operated cannabis store is open for business on the Squaxin Island Reservation, across the street from the tribe's Little Creek Casino. 

The Squaxin Island people, known for being trailblazers in the Native world, signed a compact with the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis board giving them the sovereign right to sell cannabis on their lands.

Opponents think it unwise to sell drugs in a native community where alcohol and drug abuse are prevalent, but many other tribes are signing up to open similar stores. Read the full article here.


Amazonian Tribes Using Tourism to Help Their Communities

Tribal member teaches about flora. Photo credit: G Adventures

Tribal member teaches about flora. Photo credit: G Adventures

G Adventures provides tours of traditional Amazonian tribal villages. According to their website: 

G Adventures gently wades into these waters, making sure that visiting an indigenous community is a beneficial and respectful experience for everyone involved. Groups don’t enter places they don’t have permission to visit. G Adventures pays a fee when they do visit — that money benefits local families and is used to care for local attractions. Having a local source of income — tourism — helps keep the people living in these remote areas close to home. Sometimes, there are crafts for sale, and you can be sure that they were made by local people. And the experiences here are personal — visitors are given the opportunity to eat a home-cooked meal with the residents of the places visited on tour. Interacting with the people of the Amazon basin isn’t just drive-by tourism, it creates the opportunity for cultural exchange rather than exploitation. The takeaway can be a deeper understanding of the relationship between the people of these lesser-mapped regions and the environment upon which they depend.

Lutheran Indian Ministries doesn't work in South America (at least not yet!), but it's an interesting concept and worth knowing about.