Newsletter forNativeYouth 2005 vol. 3
American Indian Sign Language
Did you know that long ago Native Americans had their
own form of sign language?
American Indian sign language, also known as Plains Sign
Language, was used to help different tribes communicate
with one another. Each tribe has its own spoken
language, which may be hard for others to learn.
Therefore, a common sign language was created and used
by the Plains Indians. Even though no one can be sure
when the sign language was created, Spanish explorers
discovered Native Americans using signs during an
expedition of the southern plains in 1541-42.
The language was often used during war times when children to learn to sign before they could even speak.
keeping quiet was important. Allies would sign to each
other their enemies’ position and how many people they Plains Sign Language is not used much today in the 21st
were up against. Trading with other tribes became easier Century, although some tribes use it in storytelling,
as a result of sign language. There was no need for a rituals, legends, and prayers. In some tribes, there may be
translator anymore because the sign language was the an Elder who learned sign language at an early age.
same for every tribe. In many tribes, it was common for Ask your Tribal Elders if they learned sign language!
The Best Summer Ever
By: Karen Harden
Boys & Girls Club of Lac Courte Oreilles, WI
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Lac Courte Oreilles in
Northern Wisconsin, kicked off the summer with lots
of activities which has proven, by vote of their feet,
that they are off to “The Best Summer Ever!”
Working and living in the great northwoods of
Wisconsin leaves us with many blessings right in our
backyard. We can canoe, hike, and explore right here!
continued on page 7
EXTRA, Doing Very Special Things!
Extra, Amy Collman from the Boys & Girls Club of the Kenai Peninsula, Alaska was
named the Club’s 2005 Youth of the Year for good reason! Not only does she spend
countless hours volunteering with the Club, she is also a star student and takes
Read All part in many community activities.
Since the Club opened three years ago, Amy has served as a tutor to 4th - 6th grade
About students. She has also become a positive role model to fellow Club members.
This fall, Amy will begin her senior year of high school. She plans to keep up her
good grades so that she will be accepted into the University of Alaska-Anchorage,
Them!! where she has already received a scholarship. At school, Amy has served on the
Student Council, is a member of the National Honor Society, and has been a
school representative at many special events such as the State Geography Bee,
Youth Area Watch, and the National Oceanic Science Bowl. Amy was even invited
to go to England in 2003 through the People to People Student Ambassador
Amy is also involved in her community. She has volunteered with the Kenai River
Cleanup, Stream Watch through the U.S. Forest Service, Seward Little League, and
Seward Parent Teacher Student Association. She teaches Sunday School at her
church and also helps out with the music program there.
On top of all of this, Amy’s hobbies include karate, piano, writing music, and learn-
ing Spanish. She also loves to hang out with her friends.
Amy’s future goals are to pursue medicine at the Oregon Health and Science
University after graduating from college. Amy would like to become a Pediatric
Cardiologist -- a children’s heart doctor. This July, Amy attended the National
Youth Leadership Forum on Medicine. The 10-day event took place in Boston,
Massachusetts. At the Forum, Amy and other high school students from across
the country met with health professionals, and learned what it takes to work in
the medical field. The program focused on educational requirements, career
opportunities, clinical practice, and special problems facing the medical profes-
sion. Students talked about worldwide health problems, cures for life-threatening
diseases, and life as a resident.
This spring, Amy competed in the State Youth of the Year competition in Juneau,
Alaska where she came in runner up! It is clear that the
Club has a special place in Amy’s life. She says, “For me, the
Club is a place I go to make a difference in my community.
All in all, the Club is an exciting opportunity for me to be
involved in my community and to truly make a differ-
ence in someone’s life. The Club has made a difference in
Thanks for all of your work with the Club Amy, and
good luck in the future!
Statue Honors Native Woman
at the U.S. Capitol
On March 9, 2005, a dedication prisoners were not released and their
ceremony was held in the U.S. Capitol land was not given back as promised,
for the unveiling of a bronze statue of Winnemucca traveled to Washington,
Sarah Winnemucca, a Paiute Indian D.C. to plead the case of the Paiute
woman from Nevada. She was an people to Secretary of the Interior, Carl
educator, author, and champion of civil Schurz and President Rutherford B.
rights for American Indians during the Hayes. From 1883-1884, Winnemucca
late 19th century. traveled up and down the east coast,
giving more than 400 speeches in
Around 1844, Sarah was born
cities such as Boston, New York City,
“Thoc-me-tony Winnemucca” in
Baltimore, and Washington, D.C. to
Humboldt Sink, which is in present-
help raise support for Native issues.
day Nevada. The daughter of
Winnemucca II, the Paiute tribal chief, During 1886-1887, Winnemucca estab-
Sarah learned Spanish, English, and lished and operated a school for
three dialects of Native languages. For Northern Paiute children near
a brief time in her childhood, Lovelock, Nevada. Winnemucca is also
Winnemucca lived with a white family, said to be the first American Indian
where she adopted the name Sarah. woman to write a book. In her book,
Life Among the Paiutes: Their Wrongs Victor, a native of South Dakota.
During the mid-1870s, Winnemucca Senator Harry Reid called the statue a
and Claims, 1883, she describes the
served as an interpreter and upon the “beautiful sight,” and added that
troubles of her people and the wrongs
start of the Bannock War in 1878, she Winnemucca made “unique contribu-
they s u ffered. She died on October 17, 1891
also acted as a scout, aide, and inter- tions to our heritage and history.” The
in He n ry’s La ke, Idaho at the age of 47.
preter to General O.O. Howard. She statue is an important reminder to all
worked with General Howard to In January of 2005, Nevada’s Americans of the role that American
rescue her father and other tribesmen Congressional members introduced a Indians have played in the shaping of
from capture by the Bannock Indians. bill that would place the seven foot our country. Nevada joins North
bronze statue of Sarah Winnemucca in Dakota, Wyoming, Oklahoma, and New
Following the war against the
the National Statuary Hall in Mexico in having Native leaders repre-
Bannocks, Winnemucca and her
Washington, DC. The statue was sent states in the National Statuary
people were mistreated. When Paiute
completed by 26 year-old Benjamin Hall at the U.S. Capitol.
“Just Move It” Campaign
Your community could become a Just ■ Encouraging the idea that physical
Move It community! Just Move It is a activity is fun
nationwide effort to promote physical
■ Bringing together people of all
activity and healthy living among ages and physical abilities
American Indians and Alaska Natives
with the goal of getting one million ■ Building family a nd community
Native people moving! s u p port for great e r phys ical activi ty
A Just Move It event is a great way to Visit the Just Move It website at
get your community started on its www.justmoveit.org to learn how to
journey to a healthier lifestyle. The start a program in your community,
goals of a Just Move It event include: view a list of partner programs, write a
success story, and see events on the
■ Getting community members Just Move It calendar.
thinking and talking about being
more active Join the National Just Move It
campaign and help get one million
Native people moving. It’s up to you!
Check out these photos from the
Boys & Girls Clubs of Southcentral Alaska!
Reader’s Digest Notah Keeps his Promise!
Making a Difference As winner of the 2004 "Walk With Notah" competition, PGA Professional Golfer,
Notah Begay III, took time from his busy PGA Golf Tour schedule to visit the Boys
& Girls Clubs of Green Country in Oklahoma. Last year, Notah challenged T.R.A.I.L.
Diabetes Prevention Club sites to walk and exercise as he does each day. Boys &
Girls Clubs of Green Country met the challenge and gathered more miles than
THE READER’S DIGEST ASSOCIATION, INC.
any other Club. Their reward was a visit from Notah! Notah spent the day visiting
with Club members, staff, and community leaders, and signing autographs!
Thank you to Reader’s
Digest who recently
donated over 200 books
and videos to Boys & Girls
Clubs in Indian Country.
Thanks Reader’s Digest for
supporting Boys & Girls
Clubs of America and our
Native American Youth!
Club members with Notah
Notah admires the beaded golf club
presented to him by Club members
Club and community members walk with Notah
from the Nations
Mat Su Valley, Alaska Gila River Indian Crow Nation, Montana
Club member, Paige G. won in the Community, Arizona Club members from the Crow Nation
Movie Making category of BGCA’s Gila River Boys & Girls Club board took part in a 166 mile walk to fight
Pacific Region’s Digital Arts Festival member, Sylvia McCabe held the diabetes and encourage healthy
this spring. She then went on to win winning raffle ticket for a brand-new lifestyles. The “Spirit of the Four Winds
first place at the National Festival. The bus at Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s Walk” started in four different parts of
movie, “Teen Horror Night” won in the National Conference. Club members the reservation and ended in Crow
10-13 year old category. Watch out from the Gila River Indian Community Agency. Its goal was to spread the
Hollywood! were on hand to greet the Thomas word, especially to children, that
bus as it rolled into the parking lot diabetes is preventable through activ-
Yavapai Apache Nation, this summer. The bus features air- ity and healthy eating. Club members
Arizona conditioning and adjustable seatbelts. joined with their local schools to take
part in the program.
Club members from the Boys & Girls
Club of Central Yavapai, Middle Verde St. Regis Mohawk Tribe,
Branch, recently joined the Yavapai
Apache Nation’s new music program.
Instructors are Don Decker and The Akwesasne Boys & Girls Club,
Grammy and Nammy award winning located in New York, was recently
artist, Micki Free. Classes are held daily approved for membership into the
and are open to everyone, regardless Boys & Girls Clubs of Canada. Because
of experience. Participants can learn the Club serves the Mohawk Tribe,
to play the guitar, bass, or drums. which is located in both New York and
Club members enjoy their new wheels!
Members of the program hope to Canada, they have memberships in
present a show for their parents and both Boys & Girls Clubs of America and
the Yavapai Apache Nation youth later Boys & Girls Clubs of Canada. This
this summer. makes the Akwesasne B&GC the first
Club in North America with member-
ship in both national organizations!
continued on page 7
Diabetes Prevention Corner —
Making Healthy Choices!
Healthy Snack Idea Notah’s
Quick Bean Dip
Notes 3) Exercise with other
This issue of Notah’s Notes finds me people Find a partner or friends
Ingredients: with goals and rules like yours and
recovering from a setback in my
plan to exercise together. Working
1 cup fat free, vegetarian refried beans health. After the Byron Nelson Golf
out together makes it more fun and
/2 to 1 cup salsa Tournament in Dallas, I strained some
gives you a schedule to keep so you
muscles in my back. It is easy to take are sure to get your exercise. Even if
Directions: our health for granted, but when you you cannot always exercise
are sick or hurt, you remember how together, make a deal to exercise at
1. Combine the refried beans with
important it is to always take care of a certain time each day and make
salsa. Add more salsa until you
reach your desired texture. yourself and those around you. Your sure you and your partner keep
mind thinks, creates and learns better that appointment.
2. Serve with baked tortilla or pita when your body is healthy and strong.
chips, or use as a burrito filling. 4) Reward yourself Every
I know getting sta rt ed or retu rning to week you follow all your exercise
a hea l thy lifestyle can be boring and and good eating habit rules, give
fru s trati n g. I am going to tell you som e yourself a mini treat! This reward
Pudding Pops of the things I do to ma ke getting and
should be something you enjoy, but
does not ruin your hard work. In
Ingredients: s taying in sh a pe more enj oya ble.
other words, do not eat a w h ole
1 small package instant sugar-free 1) Set goals and rules chocolate cake! Pick out something
pudding mix Getting and staying healthy is like you like to do or eat and have fun.
a journey and you need to know
5) Keep it real You do not have
1 3/4 cup low-fat milk where you want to go. Where you
to be perfect. Set realistic goals and
want to go are your goals! Do you
rules. You want to be active but also
want to get faster, stronger,
make it something you can do
Utensils: bigger, smaller, improve at a sport,
almost everyday. Start out at an
play new sports or just exercise to
Popsicle sticks easy pace and every two weeks
be healthy, smarter and feel
make your rules just a little harder.
better? Write down your goals and
Popsicle molds Keep pushing yourself just a little
look at them every day. What rules
more each time.
will you have to follow to achieve
your goals? How will you exercise? A long time ago I started with the idea
Directions: Where will you exercise? How long th at I would be the first Native A m e rican
Mix as directed on package. Pour into and how often will you exercise? on the PGA Tour. People laughed at me
molds and add sticks. Freeze. What good foods will you eat as I worked cleaning bathrooms around
everyday? These are the rules you
the golf course to make money to hit
will have to follow.
balls. It did not happen over night, but
2) Keep a journal of everyday I took small steps toward my
healthy habits Get a small goals. While I did reach my goal of
notebook and write your goals on winning on Tour, I have had setbacks
the first pa ge. Eve ryday s pe nd a and many of you will also. Just remem-
few minutes wri ting w h atyou did ber that taking small steps everyday,
to exercise and eat well th at day. If
and following the rules to achieve your
you need help, get a frie nd or
goals, are the best plans for success.
family member to do it wi th you. If
you like using the computer, keep Stay strong,
your journal on l i n e.
Summer — continued from page 1 News — continued from page 5
Our New Post Site is located on one of afternoon canoeing down one of our Cherokee Nation,
the largest man-made lakes in many rivers such as the Brule,
Wisconsin. Seeing an eagle fly is an Chippewa, and Namekagon; nutrition Oklahoma
everyday occurrence! education; Baking Club; Kids in The Boys & Girls Clubs of Tahlequah is
Control; Money Matters; a rocking’ working with the Cherokee Nation on
Our Water Tower Site, the newest and
drum group called the Grindstone a cultural program this summer. Club
most active site for teens, is now open
Lake Singers who were honored when members are learning the Cherokee
every Friday night until midnight, all
asked to back-up host our biggest
summer long. With over 50 teens
pow-wow, “Honor the Earth”; reading
hitting the basketball court, which is
and storytelling – which has led to
lit up like an airport runway on those
each Club creating their own story-
Friday nights, it is clear to us we are
book this summer and will be
making a difference.
self-published by the Club with the
“The Best Summer Ever” includes Club kids as authors…. WOW! What a
monthly trips to an amusement park summer! Wish you were here.
or a State Park for swimming, picnick-
We wish to say thank you (Miigwetch)
ing, and hiking; a Club kid organized
to our many, many supporters.
pow-wow picnic at the main Club site; Tahlequah Club members taking part
in the cultural program
a weekly all-girl Hiking Club; Friday
language, history, and crafts. The Club
has also started a United States Swim
team. A Club parent who regularly
volunteers at the Club, is also an
Air Force Has Ties to Native Olympic medal winner. He has helped
start a team at the Club. With help
American History from the Cherokee Nation, goggles,
lane ropes, and other equipment were
The United States Air Force uses symbols and titles purchased. The team’s first swim
that come from Native American culture and history. meet took place on June 29. Good luck
For example, the title of “Chief ” comes from the Native American word Chieftain. this season!
This title is given to those who hold a position of high power and responsibility.
The first non-Native man to hold this title was General George Washington in
1775 when the Continental Congress named him “Commander-in-Chief.” Today, the
men in charge of each United States military branch are called the “Chief of Staff.”
All of the Chiefs of Staff make up a group called the “Joint Chiefs of Staff,” who
serve the United States President and Secretary of Defense.
In 1953, the Air Force’s official air demonstration team was started at Luke Air
Force Base in Arizona. Influenced by the Native American culture and stories in
the southwestern United States, the unit was named the “Thunderbirds”. In
Navajo culture, the thunderbird represents a guardian spirit who promises
success in war and a long life. This mythological creature is believed to be a giant
eagle or hawk that made the Earth shake when it flew in the sky as thunder
came from its wings and lightning shot from its eyes. The legend says that no
man or animal could challenge the bird. The thunderbird is believed to be a
source of protection for tribes against evil spirits.
The Thunderbird symbol is painted on the floor of the Air Force’s maintenance
hangar. Waxing the symbol is looked upon with the same pride and respect as
raising and lowering the American flag. The logo is 16-by-20 feet and protected by
a heavy rope supported by four brass poles so that no one can accidentally step
on the sacred symbol.
Hidden Word Search
Circle all the words in the list, then write the left over
letters in the spaces below to find the secret phrase.
beach hike skateboard
bike hot sun
camp outdoors swim
canoe park vacation
______ ___ __ ___
_ ___ _ ____
See if you can say these words from the
Tlingit language, spoken in parts of south-
east Alaska and Canada.
Let’s hear from YOU!
Send your artwork, letters, pictures,
articles, and any other
exciting Club news to:
8 c/o FirstPic/Boys & Girls Club Initiative
2127 Espey Court, Suite 302
Crofton, MD 21114