Thursday, August 24, 2006
OKLAHOMA CITY American Indians have the highest incidenceof diabetes among racial groups but health officials say there's still time for prevention.Tribal leaders, health professionals and American Indian health specialists from across the country are attending the four-day Diabetes Prevention Conference that started Monday in Oklahoma City. Speakers say studies show that lifestyle changes including diet, exercise and weight loss significantly reduce diabetes risk in all populations. Experts project that a quarter of all non-Hispanic whites and 50 percent of all people of color born in 2000 will develop diabetes in their lifetimes. But Doctor Richard Hamman of the University of Colorado's Department of Preventive Medicine says one study suggests that for every two-point-two pounds of weight loss, there is a 16 percent reduction in diabetes risk. The conference is sponsored by the Indian Health Service and the Oklahoma Native American EXPORT Center. Copyright 2006 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. http://www.kten.com/Global/story.asp?S=5319562
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Projects are taking longer and costing more as developers navigate laws on such discoveries and negotiate with Indians concerned about their ancestors' spirits and remains.
"They're developing land that had been left alone previously," says Carole Wilson, historic preservation specialist for the Lancaster County Planning Commission in Pennsylvania. "Now, there's development pressures."
Federal, state and local laws generally require landowners who discover remains or artifacts to take some action, such as halting work and calling a coroner.
"It's happening more and more and more, simply because of development," says Larry Myers, executive secretary of California's Native American Heritage Commission.
The discoveries can lead to disputes. Some are resolved quickly. Others bring delays, added costs and bitterness:
-- In Washington state, the Chinook Indian Nation is negotiating over a stalled project to expand Station Camp State Park and realign a highway.
After a village site and the remains of about 10 people were discovered last year, the state halted construction and the tribe reburied its ancestors' remains.
Recently retired tribal chairman Gary Johnson says tribe members didn't want their ancestors' spirits disturbed. "It's a very personal thing, and a huge responsibility that we have to protect them," he says.
Canceling the contract and other costs have totaled nearly $600,000, says Sylvia Ross of the Washington State Transportation Department.
-- The Washington State Transportation Department reported this summer on a bridge project it abandoned in 2004 after the remains of about 335 people were found. It says the failed Port Angeles venture cost $87 million, including about $6 million for meticulous excavation and other archaeological work.
-- In Phoenix and Tempe, Ariz., archaeologists are working with construction crews on a new light rail line and transit center where human remains are beingturned over to Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indians for reburial elsewhere.
The opening of the Tempe transit center has been delayed from December 2007 to spring 2008, partly because the findings have slowed work, says Tempe spokeswoman Amanda Nelson.
-- New York City's plan to build the world's largest ultraviolet water treatment plant was delayed by 13 months after arrowheads, pottery and other artifacts were discovered on the Westchester County site last year, says Ian Michaels, spokesman for the city's Department of Environmental Protection.
Because of the delay, the contractor hired to prepare the site abandoned the project. The city hired another firm for $2.3 million more, he says, and construction resumed in June.
-- In Santa Fe, preliminary work on a new civic center and underground parking garage stopped for two months last year after the discovery of remains and artifacts, some dating to 1200.
In negotiations with the Tesuque Pueblo, the city agreed to reduce the size of the garage from 600 spaces to 512, "so it would be built around the most sacred areas," city spokeswoman Laura Banish says.
The redesign and other costs from the delay total about $500,000, she says.
California's Native American Heritage Commission names a "most likely descendant" when remains are discovered. That person or tribe has 24 hours to recommend what should be done.
Landowners can accept or reject the recommendations, says the commission's Myers. If they reject them, the remains must be reburied on another portion of the property that won't be disturbed.
Lalo Franco was named most likely descendant last year after remains were discovered in the Central Valley city of Tulare.
Franco, cultural and historic preservation director for the Santa Rosa Rancheria Tachi Yokut Tribe, says his recommendations are based on the tribe's spiritual beliefs. Among them: Spirits sometimes return to the spot where they were buried. "The spirit returns to the earth it loved tremendously to rest and to visit," he says.
Franco conferred with Charlie Boghosian, owner of the 19-acre housing development.
Initially, Boghosian was worried. "You're thinking, 'This could be the end of it, big trouble, and I could be shut down,' " he says. "Human nature is, 'Let's try to figure out how we can get around this.' "
After meeting with Franco, Boghosian says he came to "a realization that these are human beings." He offered to create a memorial and walking trail nearby, where Franco's ancestors will be reburied.
Recovery of the remains of eight people and about 2,000 bone fragments delayed construction by about a month and cost about $30,000, Boghosian says.
"This is Lalo's family," he says. "They lived here before us and they should be respected."
Another California dispute has not been resolved as amicably.
The Playa Vista development in West Los Angeles will have 5,846 residences, retail and office space. About 2,000 units have been built.
Earlier excavations unearthed Native American remains, so developers prepared for the likelihood of discovering more, says project spokesman Steve Sugerman.
They made a plan before breaking ground: When Native American remains were found, Sugerman says, they would be excavated, stored on the site and reburied elsewhere in the development.
The remains of 391 people were unearthed, he says.
Robert Dorame, tribal chairman of the Gabrielino/Tongva Indians of California Tribal Council, was named most likely descendant and agreed to the company's plan before the extent of the remains was known. Once he realized how large the burial ground was, he says, he asked developers to stop and relocate the project around it. "It's a sacred ground," he says.
The company says it couldn't redesign a streambed it needed for flood control and water treatment. So, Sugerman says, it excavated the remains sensitively and carefully.
"We spent many millions of dollars to do it," he says. "We really tried our best. This was a meticulous process."
Dorame says he still agonizes over removal of his ancestors' remains. He fears his ancestors' spiritual journeys have been disrupted.
Choking back tears, he says, "I was devastated."
Monday, August 21, 2006
I don't know if anyone else enjoys these YouTube musical pieces, but I hope that they make you feel at peace.