Saturday

Nicknamed the Siberian ‘Snow White’ because of her stunning pale hair and fair complexion, Nariyana lives in Yakutia, Siberia.

Out of her whole family, she is the only one with white hair and the first albino from both sides of the family. “She is the most unusual person I’ve met,” photographer Vadim Rufov said. But even though Nariyana has received multiple offers from modeling agencies, her mom doesn’t want her to pursue a modeling career just yet.

“We have already got many offers from modeling and advertising agencies but I don’t want her to work yet,” she said. “When she grows up, she’ll choose who she wants to be for herself.” Though it seems Nariyana already has a pretty good idea… “When I ask her now, she says she wants to be a model.” But for now on, even though the camera loves her, Nariyana is just a regular kid who likes dancing and drawing in her free time!

Yakut people are native population in eastern Siberian region who mainly live in Sakha/ Yakutia Autonomous Republic.

It is believed that Yakuts originated from Turkic people from south Siberia 800-1000 years ago. In the past, due to the threat of their enemies they fled from Central Asia to the north. Russians made first contact with Yakut people only in 17th century (Yakutsk fort was founded in 1632 by Russian Cossacks), but Russian settlers didn’t move to the area of Sakha/ Yakutia Republic until late 18th century.

Yakuts who are living in Siberian region have to survive extremely cold winters, where the temperature might drop down to -60°C (-76.0°F).

Photos Credit: Vadim Rufov

The northern Yakuts were largely hunters, fishermen and reindeer herders, while the southern Yakuts raised cattle and horses.









Sakha (Yakut) people

Friday

As high schools prepare for graduation ceremonies across Montana, Gov. Steve Bullock has signed a bill allowing Native American students to wear traditional regalia while marching to get their diplomas.

The bill signed Friday prohibits schools and government agencies from interfering with students who wish to wear eagle feathers, beads and other items of cultural significance.

In the past, some Native American students expressed disappointment and outrage after being told they couldn't wear beaded mortar boards at graduation.

Not all Montana schools banned the practice but it was left to school boards and campus officials to decide whether to allow Native American regalia.

The bill sponsored by Democratic Sen. Jen Gross of Billings and supported by the Legislature's Native American caucus sought to bring uniformity to the rules.

"I'm very proud of where I came from and my name," she said. "As Native people, it's important we have an opportunity to represent ourselves with regalia. For many Native Americans, graduation from high school is huge because of so many challenges in life."

 Photo Latonia Andy

Tia Welzenbach, who graduates in May from Sidney High School in Montana, sought approval from her principal before classes last fall if she could bead her cap. The principal turned down her request. So her mother took it up with the superintendent, who then took it up with the school board. In the end, the school board decided to allow the senior to march with a beaded mortar board.

Principal Sue Anderson said it was the first such request she had ever gotten. Welzenbach and her mother were told that students weren't allowed to make changes to graduation attire.
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Photo: Tom Bauer

High school senior Kelly Charley is developing a solar heater for the thousands of homes in the Navajo Nation that don't have access to electricity.

Many people, including Kelly's grandparents, heat their homes with coal, which researchers believe may be a major cause of respiratory illnesses in the Nation.

Nearly half of the Navajo Nation lives below the federal poverty line. Years of mistreatment by the U.S. government, forced (and ineffective) integration and post-war uranium mining that lasted till the late 1980s marginalized and deteriorated the health of the population.

Today, those who live off the grid often rely on kerosene lanterns for indoor light.

The cost of kerosene consumes a large portion of household budgets, while the smoke — released directly into the indoor environment — contributes to a high incidence of respiratory problems, which are exacerbated by the extreme temperature shifts between day and night in the desert climate (as evening descends, homes are shuttered against the cold, preventing ventilation).

The Navajo Nation has an elected government that includes an executive office, a legislative house, and a judicial system, but the United States federal government continues to assert plenary power over all decisions. The executive system manages a large law enforcement and social services apparatus, health services, Diné College, and other local educational trusts.


The population continues to disproportionately struggle with health problems, unemployment, and the effects of past uranium mining accidents.


VIDEO

Thursday

These images show the heart-rendering moment a loyal dog stayed by his friend’s side after being hit by a car.

He tried to wake his companion before realising that he was dead and keeping watch over him in the middle of the road.

Shao Xiuqing captured the scene on Monday morning in Zhejiang, China.

‘The dog was reluctant to leave his friend who was dead,’ said Shao.

‘He had a sad expression and from time to time was making what sounded like a sobbing sound. He kept pushing his companion with his paw like he was trying to wake him up.’

Eventually, the owner arrived at the scene to take the lifeless pet away and apparently, his loyal companion followed.


Some people are sceptical over the emotional capacity of animals. But if you ever needed proof that they do indeed feel deeply connected to other beings, then this is it.





VIDEO

Energy Transfer Partners, the pipeline’s developer, has argued that keeping information regarding spill risks from the public is essential.

 Energy Transfer Partners previously argued in court that keeping such information private was essential, as it could be “useful to vandals and terrorists” or others “with malicious intent to damage the pipeline.”

The Standing Rock Sioux and Cheyenne River Sioux indigenous American tribes, whose primary water sources are directly threatened by the pipeline, have argued that the disclosure of such information is essential, as it would strengthen their call for a more extensive environmental review of the project.

Boasberg rejected the tribes’ arguments, stating “the asserted interest in limiting intentionally inflicted harm outweighs the tribes’ generalized interests in public disclosure and scrutiny,” despite that fact that pipeline safety experts have repeatedly found the environmental review of the Dakota Access pipeline to have been “seriously deficient.”

This latest court case mirrors the back-and-forth that took place between Energy Transfer Partners and indigenous tribes last year, resulting in an intense public protest where indigenous people were supported by environmental and social justice groups.

Encampments were formed in areas where the pipeline was set to cross under the Missouri River, with the intention of preventing the pipeline’s full completion and forcing the company to reroute the pipeline around the primary water source for the Sioux and millions of others who rely on the river for drinking water.


These camps united the tribes, military veterans and foreign activists, but were met with opposition by private security officers hired by Energy Transfer Partners, as well as state police. By the time this latest court hearing was under way, 750 anti-pipeline protesters had been arrested. Despite the words of politicians and assurances from Energy Transfer Partners, oil spills in North Dakota are commonplace, with the Center for Biological Diversity estimating that the state has averaged around four major pipeline spills annually since 1996. This latest ruling is set to create even more risks for those who stand to lose the most in the event of more spills.
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