Category Archives: Animals

U.S. and Canadian Natives Join Forces to Protect The Grizzlies!

“U.S. and Canada-based Native American tribes are expected to sign a treaty on Friday that urges protections be maintained for grizzly bears in and around Yellowstone National Park. The Canada-based tribes are signing the measure to show solidarity with tribes based in the United States, as they are all united by cultural and religious ties to grizzlies. The treaty is the latest sign of growing American Indian activism tied to tribal rights and the environment and just the third such cross-border agreement in 150 years.” L. Zuckerman, Reuters

Grizzly-mom-and-cubs

Grizzly-mom-and-cubs

treaty-signing October 2, 2016.

treaty-signing October 2, 2016.

Excerpt: Native American tribes in Canada, U.S. to sign treaty to protect Yellowstone grizzlies L. Zuckerman, Reuters

“The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said earlier this year that Yellowstone-area grizzlies had come back from the brink of extinction and it proposed stripping U.S. Endangered Species Act protections from the population of about 700 bears. The move would open the way for hunting bears that roam outside the park’s borders in Wyoming, Montana and Idaho.

crow-prayer-for-bear

crow-prayer-for-bear

The treaty, expected to be signed by Piikani Nation and other tribes in the western Canadian province of Alberta on Friday, declares support by more than 50 tribes for protecting grizzlies from random killing and preserving their habitat against development.

zuni-bear-fetish

zuni-bear-fetish

The planned ceremony comes two days before representatives of other tribes mostly in and around the U.S. Rocky Mountain West are expected to sign the same treaty during a ceremony in Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming.

Grizzly family in yellowstone-

Grizzly family in yellowstone-

photo-chief-stanley-grier-piikani-nation

photo-chief-stanley-grier-piikani-nation

Chief Stanley Grier of the Piikani Nation and representatives from such tribes as the Blackfeet Nation in Montana and the Shoshone-Bannock of eastern Idaho, argue grizzlies are too sacred and culturally important to be killed by hunters.”

“There should be no doubt that delisting and trophy hunting the grizzly bear on ancestral tribal and treaty lands threatens irreparable harm to those sites and to tribal sovereignty and religious freedom.” ~Chief Stanley Grier, member of the Piikani Nation~

Category: Animals

Help Save The Horses of the Salt River

Soon after federal officials announced the imminent capture of 100 or so horses within the boundaries of a national forest near here [Arizona Salt River] — to be sold at auction, “condemned and destroyed, or otherwise disposed of” — a resourceful cadre of self-appointed guardians issued a desperate call for action.” F. Santos, The New York Times

Beautiful Salt River Horses. Photo: facebook

Excerpt: Threat to Arizona’s Salt River Horses Spurs New Battle…  By Fernanda Santos NYT

“The response was broad and fast, stunning the guardians, as well as officials at Tonto National Forest, to whom the horses are a nuisance and a risk. Some 200 volunteers organized on July 31, the same day the notice of the planned capture appeared in a local newspaper, offering to stand between the horses and whoever tried to catch them. Dozens more gathered for a rally at a recreation area by the Salt River, holding signs and chanting, Wild and free, let them be, despite oppressive 112-degree heat.

Wild horses of Salt River out for a swim. Photo-protectmustangs.org

Wild horses of Salt River out for a swim. Photo-protectmustangs.org

With pressure mounting, the Forest Service hit pause. Last month, Neil Bosworth, the Tonto National Forest supervisor, suspended any planned roundups for four months.

We have explored, and continue to explore, alternatives to address the horses.  The statement highlighted the service’s discussions with cattle owners, American Indians, state groups and horse advocates to seek a collaborative solution with the input of the public and interested parties.

The horses that roam along the Salt River in Tonto National Forest, as well as in the neighboring Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community and Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation, have no owner, or at least none who has stepped forward since news of the plans for their removal. The problem with the horses is that they pose a risk of collision for visitors on the busy, narrow roads leading to the river, forest officials said.

Between Jan. 1, 2013, and Aug. 4, the authorities in Maricopa County received 26 complaints of horses on or near these roads and responded to four collisions, which caused no serious injuries to humans but resulted in one horse’s death. If they are eventually rounded up, some of the horses might end up on farms. Others might be taken to Mexico or Canada for slaughter — a practice that is not currently allowed in the United States. If their supporters have their way, the horses might end up in sanctuaries — or stay right where they are.

On a recent afternoon, south of where visitors finish rides along the Salt River on tubes that rent for $17 a day, a band of horses dipped their heads in the water, feasting on clumps of eelgrass. Ahead, Anne Dougherty, 60, knelt in the east bank of the river, submerged up to her waist as she admired a mare and her foal resting under the shade of a willow tree. This is their land,” said Ms. Dougherty, who lives in Apache Junction, on the southern edge of Tonto National Forest. “Why don’t we leave them alone?”

For more information visit : Save The Horses of the Salt River

Salt River Horses. Photo-newsofthehorse.com

Salt River Horses. Photo-newsofthehorse.com

A special “Wado” to K. Houpt

“A Horse never runs so fast as when he has other horses to catch up and outpace.”~Ovid~

Category: Animals

Fierce Rez Yorkie Saves Man from 200lb. Bear!

“Vietnam War veteran Larry Yepez, 66, says he has his Marine Corp training and his 10-pound pet Yorkshire terrier name Benji to thank for surviving a vicious bear attack that left him covered in stitches.” Floridanewstime

Lucky to be alive- Vietnam War veteran Larry Yepez, 66, says he has his Yorkshire terrier Benji to thank for helping him escape a vicious bear.

Lucky to be alive- Vietnam War veteran Larry Yepez, 66, says he has his Yorkshire terrier Benji to thank for helping him escape a vicious bear.

Excerpt: Vietnam vet Larry Yepez fought off a bear with help from Yorkie named Benji – Floridanewstime

“The bear mauling took place outside Mr Yepez’s home in rural Midpines, California, not far from Yosemite National Park, at around 4am last Thursday.
The decorated war veteran said he got up to use the restroom located outside when he heard a noise coming from his front porch and went around to check.
As he rounded the corner, Yepez said he came upon a 200-pound black bear rummaging through his garbage in search of food not 10 feet away. The bear apparently got spooked by the homeowner and charged at him.

Before the attack Yepez and Benji went everywhere.

Before the attack Yepez and Benji went everywhere.

Yepez grabbed the first thing he could get his hands on – a plastic flower pot – and hurled it at the bear, hoping to scare it off, but the animal was already on top of him, clawing at his chest and abdomen, and mauling his hand.
The hardened combat veteran, who was awarded a Purple Heart during the war after he was shot two times and wounded by shrapnel  punched the bear in the head with his right hand and tried to hit it with his left, but the woodland beast clamped down its jaws on his limb.

Larry Yepez and Benji talking to the Daily News at the Occupy Wall Street protests in November 2011.

Larry Yepez and Benji talking to the Daily News at the Occupy Wall Street protests in November 2011.

Describing himself in that moment like a little rag doll pinned beneath the bulk of the bear’s body, Yepez said he looked into the animal’s eyes just inches away from his face and realized it was going to kill him unless he acts fast.

As Yepez was being mauled and clawed by the hulking beast, his dog Benji, which tips the scales at only 10lbs, came to his defense.

As Yepez was being mauled and clawed by the hulking beast, his dog Benji, which tips the scales at only 10lbs, came to his defense.

As Yepez was making futile attempts to kick the bear away, help came suddenly from an unexpected source: his 10-pound Yorkshire terrier, who was able to distract the hulking animal by barking and nipping at its fur.

Residents in the Yosemite Park area are and being urged to be on the lookout for the bear (not pictured) - -tiff

Residents in the Yosemite Park area are and being urged to be on the lookout for the bear (not pictured) –

Residents in the Yosemite Park area are and being urged to be on the lookout for the bear. As of Tuesday afternoon, it has not been located.”

“Wado” to KAB!

“A dog is the only thing on earth that will love you more than you love yourself.”

~ Josh Billings~

Category: Animals

Still Protecting The Eagle Feathers

“For hundreds of years, Native Americans have used eagle feathers for religious and cultural purposes. But the government closely regulates the ability to obtain such feathers, sometimes leading to black market activity.” M. Fishler-Cronkite News

Magnificent Golden Eagle landing. Photo- desktopnexus.com

Magnificent Golden Eagle landing. Photo- desktopnexus.com

 

Excerpt: Navajo zoo to provide protected eagle feathers Meryl Fishler-Cronkite News

“We use a lot of the eagle feathers to help us with our spirituality,” said Anderson Hoskie, a Navajo medicine man. The Native American community can legally obtain eagle feathers through a federal depository, but it’s an arduous process. The Navajo zoo, the only Native American zoo in the U.S., is part of a pilot program to legally release golden eagle feathers molted from its live birds to the Navajo people. The problem: The zoo only has four eagles. That’s not a lot of feathers to be able to supply the whole Navajo Nation with the necessary needs for eagle feathers…It’s also expensive to keep the golden eagles.

Zuni pueblo Eagle sanctuary on

Zuni pueblo Eagle sanctuary on

Feeding one costs $1,000 a year, said Elden Brown, the legal instruments examiner for the southwest region of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Even with multiple outlets, some people turn to illegal measures to obtain feathers. “There is a back market for (eagles). They are highly sought after,” said Phillip Land, a special agent in charge for the southwest region of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. “A full tail fan could go anywhere between $1,000 and $1,500,” Makisic said. The illegal activity affects the long term viability and sustainability of the golden eagle and other migratory bird populations on the reservation.”

“The most amazing lesson in aerodynamics I ever had was the day I climbed a thermal in a glider at the same time as an eagle. I witnessed, close up, effortlessness and lightness combined with strength, precision and determination.”
Norman Foster

Category: Animals

Wampanoag Essay Winner: Whales Are Important

“Each year the Young Native Writers Essay Contest encourages Native American students to write about their experiences as a member of the Native community and the culture that inspires them…Womsikuk James, Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) wrote about the whales of Noepe, which are seen on the tribal seal of the Aquinnah Wampanoag.” ICTMN

The Aquinnah Wampanoag tribal seal.

The Aquinnah Wampanoag tribal seal.

Excerpt: …Whales of Noepe Will Always Be Important By Womsikuk James,ICTMN

“The seal of my tribe, the Aquinnah Wampanoag, depicts a giant named Maushop holding a whale and standing on the sacred cliffs of Gay Head. The image of the whale is a part of the tribal seal because whales have been extremely important to the Aquinnah throughout their history.

The Aquinnah believe that Maushop created their island and the other islands off the coast of Cape Cod by shaking sand out of his massive moccasins. Sometimes, Maushop would give a drift whale to the people when they went hungry. Maushop and his wife, Squant, taught the first people of Noepe (Martha’s Vineyard, MA) how to hunt for whales, and instilled in them the value of using every part of them. Prior to the arrival of Europeans, whales were plentiful, and it was common for them to approach the shores of Noepe. Sometimes my ancestors hunted them using special spears and dugout canoes called mishoon.

Whales were a source of awe and would have been an important source of food for the people. Archaeologists have found ancient images of whales in effigies and portable petroglyphs carved by Native peoples throughout present-day coastal New England. Maushop was always hungry, and would often pick up whales and cook them on an eternally burning fire. The whales’ blood stained parts of the Gay Head cliffs red, and the ashes from the roasted whales made parts of the cliffs black. For millennia, the people of Noepe have made pottery from the multicolored clay found there.

Photo- Aquinnah Cliffs

Photo- Aquinnah Cliffs

 Another landmark event also occurred in 1851: Herman Melville published Moby Dick, which is considered one of the greatest Americans novels ever written. Moby Dick was based on Melville’s own experience on the whaler Acushnet and tales he had heard of the whaler Essex. One of the characters in Moby Dick is an Aquinnah Wampanoag harpooner named Tashtego. While the character of Tashtego is fictional, perhaps Melville came across an Aquinnah whaler during his journeys.

Photo- Isifacts.com

Photo- Isifacts.com

Today, my people continue to consider whales to be important, and the elders continue to tell young people tales of Maushop and the whales. The image of a whale, whether on an ancient effigy, a work of scrimshaw, or the Aquinnah tribal seal, is a unifying image for my people, and it provides visual reminders of what our culture was in the past and is today.”

“The legends teach me that we have always been here. Just take the Maushop legend for example. It says that Maushop led our people to Aquinnah to take us away from the fighting on the mainland. While he was leading us there he dragged his toe and broke off that piece of land that became Noepe. The fact that he created that island tells me that we have always been there, ever since that place was an island. Ever since that place was created.” ~Tobias Vanderhoop~Aquinnah Wampanoag

Category: Animals

Our Four-Legged Sheep Herders

“The Navajo Nation doesn’t have a shortage of dogs, but there is one type of dog that is sought after by many – sheep dogs.The sheep dogs found on the rez have the ability to take care of those wooly creatures the Navajo people have relied on for survival, as the furry herder is usually seen trailing behind them.”  S. Silversmith, Navajo Times

Dog trainer Shawna Davis works with her five-year-old Australian shepherd Gauge during a sheep dog demonstration at Navajo Technical University’s Veterinary Hospital last week. Times photo – S. Silversmith.

Dog trainer Shawna Davis works with her five-year-old Australian shepherd Gauge during a sheep dog demonstration at Navajo Technical University’s Veterinary Hospital last week. Times photo – S. Silversmith.

“But how do those dogs herd sheep? Is it instinct or perhaps training? Those were questions the staff members at Navajo Technical University’s Veterinary Hospital wanted to be able to answer, so they brought in a professional.

Little guardian-in-training. Rearing this Great Pyrenees pup with sheep creates a bond that will be important in determining the dog’s future success as a protector.Photo- nal.usda.gov

Dog trainer Shawna Davis visited NTU last week to lead a sheep dog demonstration where she showed people the basic techniques needed to train a dog.
Twyla Zoey Benally, veterinarian at NTU, said they wanted to offer this demonstration to the community because surveys from their sheep workshop last year showcased it was an area of interest.

Navajo Technical University Veterinary Teaching Hospital offered a free class on training and using dogs to herd sheep. Kob News

Navajo Technical University Veterinary Teaching Hospital offered a free class on training and using dogs to herd sheep. Kob News

Benally said this demonstration was just a way to help those sheep owners who aren’t able to watch their livestock all the time. Sometimes you don’t have folks around to help you. If you have a dog it will make it quick.

To protect large numbers of sheep on open rangeland or pastures, more than one dog may be required. These two Great Pyrenees guard a large rangeland flock. nal.usda.gov

To protect large numbers of sheep on open rangeland or pastures, more than one dog may be required. These two Great Pyrenees guard a large rangeland flock. nal.usda.gov

The training approach Davis introduced is called ICE, which means instinct, connection and enjoyment.
The whole point is to have fun and the dog gets to work, Davis said, and once that is understood you won’t have to walk all over the place to get your livestock.
You’ll have a working partner with what you’re doing…Davis wanted people to know that pet obedience is not the same as training a dog to herd sheep because basic obedience is sit, laydown and come.
Davis said when you are training you have to remember that “dogs understand touch and they understand sound.”

Category: Animals