Idle No More protest: Her name is Ta'Kaiya Blaney, she is 11 years old, she will steal your heart away

Ta’Kaiya, 11, lives in North Vancouver and is from the Sliammon First Nation. Ta’Kaiya is also known for singing “Amazing Grace” in the Sliammon language, translated by her grandfather.

Ta’Kaiya began working with Aileen since the age of 5 and has performed at large events in both BC and Washington State. She also sings and plays the violin at various coffee shops in Vancouver and North Vancouver. Ta’Kaiya has also recorded the songs “Carried Away,” “Watching Over Me,” and “Wonderful, Beautiful” in June 2011, and “Ajoomish Gloklas” (Amazing Grace) in spring 2012.

A homeschooled student entering Grade 6 this fall 2012, Ta’kaiya particularly enjoys studying about the oceans and marine life. When Ta’Kaiya was in Grade 3, she studied about otters and learned the greatest cause of death to otters was from oil spills.

She then read about the Northern Gateway Pipeline and had the idea to write a song about a future where an oil spill happens. When Ta’Kaiya and Aileen began writing “Shallow Waters,” it was to raise awareness about the proposed Northern Gateway oil pipeline planned between the Alberta Tar Sands and Kitimat, BC. By the time the song was almost finished, the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico suddenly happened.

The message from the song “Shallow Waters” is urgent because an oil spill in the northwest coast could tragically end the traditional way of life for many coastal First Nations. It would also devastate all marine and coastal life and habitat.

She was chosen as one of 20 “We Canada” Champions ( an organization created to put pressure on Canada to show leadership at the UN Earth Summit 2012 in Rio De Janiero. This Earth Summi’st purpose was to review and set goals for s future that is sustainable and promotes social justice. See her “We Canada” statement on her blog. (Source)

VIDEO Idle No More Courtenay BC

Native to Central America and Northern South America,the Kadupul flower blooms rarely and only at night -- mysteriously, the flower wilts before dawn.

In 1909, C. A. Purpus collected a slightly different type in St. Ana, Orizaba, Mexico. It has carmine red outer petals and the flowers have an unpleasant smell, rather than being fragrant.

It was originally named Phyllocactus purpusii, but does probably not deserve any botanical recognition. The Chinese chengyu (four character idiom)(tan hua yi xian) uses this flower (tan-hua;) to describe someone who has an impressive but very brief moment of glory, like a "flash in a pan", since the flower can take a year to bloom and only blooms over a single night.

Therefore someone described as "曇花一現" is generally understood to be a person who shows off or unexpectedly gains some achievement and is thought to be an exception or only lucky. The flower also has a rich history in Japan, where it is known as the (Gekka Bijin) or "Beauty under the Moon"

It can be found from Mexico to Venezuela, as well as Brazil. It also can be found, cultivated in parts of America with warmer temperature such as Texas or California. Epiphytic or lithophytic. 75-2.000 m alt. Widely cultivated and escaped in many places and its true origin has never been fully understood. Linked to the Legend of "BAKAWALI" in most S.E. Asian countries.

An easily cultivated, fast growing Epiphyllum . It needs compost containing plenty of humus and sufficient moisture in summer. It should not be kept under 10°C (50°F) in winter. It can be grown in semi-shade or full sun. Extra light in the early spring will stimulate budding. It flowers in late spring or early summer; large specimens can produce several crops of flowers in a season. This is the most commonly grown of the Epiphyllum species, and it is known under several common names including Night-blooming Cereus, Dutchman's Pipe, Queen of the Night, Wijaya Kusuma (Indonesian), (Nishagandhi in Hindi and Marathi), Gul-e-Bakavali (in Urdu) and (Kadupul in Sinhala).

Stems erect, ascending, scandent or sprawling, profusely branched, primary stems terete, to 2--6 m long, flattened laterally, ligneous at base, secondary stems flat, elliptic-acuminate, to 30 cm x 10--12 cm, thin; margins shallowly to deeply crenate and ± undulate. Flowers produced from flattened portions, to 30 cm long, 12--17 cm wide, nocturnal, very fragrant.

The principal odor component in the aroma is benzyl salicylate; pericarpel nude, slightly angled, green, bracteoles short; receptacle 13--20 cm long, 1 cm thick, brownish, arching, bracteoles narrow, ca 10 mm long; outer tepals linear, acute, 8--10 cm long reddish to amber; inner tepals oblanceolate to oblong, acuminate, to 8--10 cm long and 2,5 cm wide, whitish; stamens greenish white or white, slender and weak; style greenish white or white, 4 mm thick, as long as inner tepals, lobes many, pale yellow or white. Fruit oblong, 12 x 8 cm, purplish red, angled.

VIDEO Amazing Wijaya Kusuma Flower Time Lapse I


In the Northwest, some Native Americans celebrate New Year earlier than the rest of the western world. In fact, tribal New Year is December 20 . The Umatilla tribes of eastern Oregon hold their ceremony just before the winter solstice.

Armand Minthorn is the spiritual leader of the tribes that live on the Umatilla Reservation, on the dry side of Oregon. The celebration is called kimtee inmewit .

"This goes back to when the world was new," Minthorn explains. "The first food that was created was the salmon. We call nusux. The second food was the deer. We call the deer nukt. The third was the bitter root we call sliiton."

Minthorn explains that Indian New Year is the time to celebrate the return of the sacred foods.

These foods will come back to the Indian people as the sunlight hours begin to stretch again.

To honor these sacred foods the tribe sings, drums, dances, prays and shares a meal together at the longhouse.

Photos Source : Confederated Tribes of Umatilla Indian Reservation.

In the community kitchen some elder women prepare meat stew and Indian fry bread. Lynn Sue Jones is tiny with a soft, round face. She kneads a mass of tacky bread dough to a loose rhythm.

"We can be able to face our demons and take care of our health a little better," she says. "Just want to see another year to begin with."

Lynn Sue Jones is 62. She is taking on new responsibilities this year -– raising two granddaughters –- three and five.

"I just want to ask the creator to give me the strength to do right by them," Lynn Sue says. "I want to teach them the longhouse way."

The tribes' children sing to the elders during the community meal. Lynn Sue Jones' sister, Linda Jones, listens nearby as she stretches small balls of dough. She flattens each one, then floats them in the sizzling oil.

Tribal elder Linda Jones teaches younger women and girls how to gather the traditional foods for the tribes. Every year she goes out to the mountains and bluffs to harvest the wild celery, bitterroots and huckleberries.

Jones says the foods are sacred because they nourish the people, but also, "When our elders pass on and go back to the ground; this is how they come back to take care of us, in these foods."

Some of Linda's long, long hair is silver. She worries not enough young people are living the tribes' traditions. Sometimes she has to gather the sacred foods — alone.

"Everything is passed by word of mouth and that's how we were brought up and that is how we do things," Linda says. "Whoever will listen. It ends up coming down to that — who's going to listen."

Jones hopes to kindle enough interest in the ancestors' teachings, so the Umatilla tribes have enough hands to bring in the sacred foods this year and in the years to come.

On the Web:

Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Reservation:

Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Reservation Cultural Center:
Source Northwest News Network


Mexico City orders prison in animal cruelty cases

Mexico City lawmakers have approved prison terms for animal cruelty, previously considered a civil offense sanctioned with fines and detentions.

The capital's legislative assembly unanimously agreed that people who intentionally abuse and cause animals harm will face up to two years in prison and pay up to $500. If the animal is killed, they can face up to four years in prison and a $2,000 fine.

Antonio Padierna, president of the assembly's law enforcement and justice committee, said late Friday that if animals are killed for food, the death must be quick and not cause pain.

The lawmakers agreed current administrative laws weren't doing enough to end animal cruelty. In Mexico City, animals are sometimes killed by being burned, beaten or shot. (Source)

Do You Believe Animals Deserve Basic Legal Rights?

Deprived of legal protection, animals are defenseless against exploitation and abuse by humans. Through the Animal Bill of Rights, the Animal Legal Defense Fund is working to show Congress a groundswell of support for legislation that protects animals and recognizes that, like all sentient beings, animals are entitled to basic legal rights in our society.

More than a quarter-million Americans have already signed the Animal Legal Defense Fund’s Animal Bill of Rights.

Sign on your support and speak out to your lawmakers today!


Wild Dolphins Giving Gifts to Humans Is a Real Thing That Happens

While it's already well-known that dolphins rank among the most intelligent creatures on the planet, new research is suggesting that they just might be one of the most magnanimous too.

A team of biologists recently published a study examining dozens of fascinating cases of inter-species generosity between dolphin and human, all taking place along the shore of Australia's Tangalooma Island Resort. According to their findings, wild dolphins have been observed bearing gifts, such as dead "eels, tuna, squid, an octopus" to wading humans on 23 separate occasions.

In the report, which appeared earlier this month in the journal Anthrozoös, researchers describe the rare gestures as "an established but infrequent part of the culture of the provisioned dolphins at Tangalooma," yet the reasons for the gift-giving remain unclear. The wild dolphins are said to be frequent visitors to the resort and appear to be accustomed to receiving food from beachgoers; it has been speculated that the animals might either be giving in return, or consider humans too inadequate at hunting and in need of a free meal.

From the blog EarthSky likens this behavior of food sharing to that occasionally seen in our closest feline companions: "Domesticated cats that have a tendency to drop prey items at their owner’s feet. [But] inter-species food sharing in wild animal populations has not been widely documented in the scientific literature."

Although the true biological motivation behind this gift-giving behavior exhibited by the dolphins at Tangalooma haven't been pinpointed, it seems to suggest at least that the animals look upon us as not so different from themselves -- and that just might be the greatest interspecies gift of all.

Researchers found 23 occurences of dolphins giving humans gifts including fins and even an octopus 

Fred, the first dolphin recorded giving gifts to a human at the resort 

Tinkerbell and Storm, two of the dolphins found to be bringing gifts to human handlers at the resort 

The resort is well known for its dolphin encounters, where the wild animals come to the beach.

As First Nations Chief Theresa Spence’s hunger strike continues, the chief called for weekend solidarity protests from all Canadians to force Prime Minister Stephen Harper to meet with her and other native leaders angered by his policies.

 While Idle No More protests have been staged in various communities over the past two weeks — a movement aiming to repair existing violations to the treaty relationship — this is the Attawapiskat chief’s first time calling for action.

“Her condition continues to weaken every hour and the time has come for increased efforts to gain the support of Canadians and governments in forging this new relationship,” read a statement released late Friday.

After starting her hunger strike on Dec. 11th, the chief declared she is “willing to die” for her people.

Wawa First Nations holds solidarity protest

In the statement, Chief Spence asked all Canadians and indigenous people to stage ceremonies, events and rallies, calling on Harper to meet with her and “commit to a path of recognition and implementation of the treaty commitments and forging a new First Nations crown relationship.”

According to the statement, international and national events will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday.

First nation young aboriginal  dancer supporting cheif theresa spence

People from the Northern Ontario town of Wawa have already answered her call by staging an Idle No More protest Saturday afternoon, which was expected to last four hours, according to the movement’s Facebook page.

Some Michipicoten First Nation members planned to stage the protest at the junction of highways 101 and 17 in support of Chief Spence, wrote one of the event’s organizers, and because “so many of our lakes on Crown Land are no longer accessible to us.”

Police warned locals to expect traffic delays because of the protest, but said they hoped the organizers would ensure the demonstration did not interfere with emergency vehicle traffic.

Members of the Aamjiwnaang Nation and solidarity activists helped, to blockade a railway track that runs through their land, and marched through the streets of Sarnia, Ontario. They successfully shut down the 402, one of Canada's busiest highways, for several hours. Photo's by Mike Roy and Curtis Nixon

Chief Spence also issued an open house invitation to all MPs and Senators to visit her at her teepee on Sunday from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. She is expected to make a brief statement to the media at that time.

The NDP announced Saturday that a delegation of its MPs will visit the chief Sunday. The delegation will be led by Megan Leslie and Charlie Angus.

Aboriginal Affairs Minister John Duncan has offered to speak with Chief Spence and form a working group, but she declined his offer because she believes he isn’t the one who should be speaking on a nation-to-nation level.

Saturday marks Chief Spence’s 19th day without solid food, which she stopped eating in an effort to secure a meeting between First Nations leaders, the prime minister and Governor General over the treaty relationship.
Via (CBC News)

VIDEO Idle no more!! Yakima valley mall

Grant Bulltail leads a prayer and educates the audience about his ancestral ties to the mountain, encouraging the audience to work for the conservation of the Earth's divine beauty. (Photos)

Grant Bulltail is one of those remarkable people who ties us to previous generations and can paint a rich image of tribal traditions. His great grandfather, He Comes Up Red (1847-1947), was born a “buffalo Indian” but ended his life on the Crow Reservation. Bulltail was raised by him from 1940 to 1947, and during that time established himself in his great grandfather’s eyes as the child who could listen and remember.

Bulltail has been working for the past 20 years to build alliances with academics who can help keep his great grandfather’s stories alive for future generations. He has worked with archaeologists, anthropologists, folklorists, the Greater Yellowstone Historical Society, and a historian of religions (me) as well as video and documentary teams. His collected works are being archived at the Fife Folklore Library thanks to an alliance that includes members of the folklore department and the burgeoning Native American Teaching and Learning Center at Utah State University, in Logan.

Throughout the past years I have studied Bulltail’s work, particularly the history of Crow presence in the region developed by Peter Nabokov and Lawrence Loendorf in their book Restoring a Presence: American Indians and Yellowstone National Park. I have listened to his stories through hours of on-the-road and in-the-classroom video recordings. I have sung “Oh give me a home” while driving him from Crow Agency, Montana to Logan, Utah.

From this work, we are taking the most important ideas that Crow heritage offers for people living in our place and time. We’ve forged an alliance to bring those ideas to life on a mountain of great importance to the Crow, but from which they’ve been separated for 130 years since He Comes Up Red and other members of the southern bands of the Crow were removed from Wyoming to the Crow Reservation.

We are working to restore Crow presence to the landscape by creating an annual three-day Heart Mountain Festival that includes a seminar, field events, and a ceremony. The ceremony takes place on Foretop’s Father, known to the settler community as Heart Mountain, to remember with honesty the devastating impact on the Crow of settler conquest in what is now northwest Wyoming. The area was part of the southwestern quadrant of the territory designated for the Crow in the Treaty of Fort Laramie in 1851. With this three-day event we ask how 21st century Crow and settler descendants might re-invent our relationship with each other and with this fragile, semi-arid landscape in the face of climate change.

The ceremony is directed by Bulltail, and I am the emcee. It includes traditional prayers, drumming and dancing, and invited guest speakers. In June of 2011 and July of 2012, Wales Bulltail, Grant’s brother, led a spirited tipi raising for which he uses humans to represent each of the poles of a Crow tipi, describing the symbolism of each pole.

In 2012, Wales selected a woman from the audience to be the coyote pole, keeping watch over the tipi during the day, and selected a reverend to be the owl pole, to watch over the tipi at night, and the overall impact of the human tipi generated a great spirit of respect for the traditions. The ceremony concluded with dancing for which all of the participants were invited and instructed.

The ceremony is possible because ownership of Heart Mountain Ranch has passed into the hands of the Nature Conservancy who maintain it as a land trust, allowing day use by anyone who respects the conservation ethic that guides management of the property. Hence, the ceremony is not built on the return of sacred land to Crow tribal members, but rather on the space of the Nature Conservancy’s preservation of the ranch as a land trust. We’re restoring memory, and hoping that this first step will lead to broader efforts to restore Crow presence in the region.

As described in our commemorative bookmark, the Pipe Ceremony is “an alliance with Grant Bulltail, Nature Conservancy’s Heart Mountain Ranch, and Christ Episcopal Church to remember Crow heritage and collaborate in honor of ecological resilience.”

For many people, a highlight of the 2012 ceremony, held July 12-14, was when Linda Bulltail spoke. After describing the three mothers, the Earth, our biological mothers, and the tipi, Linda said: “Now I’m going to pray.” And with that she began to speak in Crow, and her prayer clearly transported her, and thus through her many of the people gathered, to a spiritual connection with the ancient presence of Crow tribal members on the mountain. As she spoke, tears ran down her cheeks. Others cried with her.

According to Crow cosmology, the Creator’s power is delivered in the “gift of tears” and it seemed that Linda tapped into that power. Through her prayer, she initiated the work of bringing healing across the forces that have divided the Crow from their cultural inheritance, and divided the settler and Indian communities. Afterward she told me that she could hear and feel people behind her. She thought at first that it was me coming up behind her, but she looked and I was out in the circle of people listening, so she knew that she had Crow ancestors arriving to be with her as she delivered her prayer.

Next year, the three-day festival will run from July 25-27. Our focus for the seminar will be on “tipi economy” and Dr. Laura Scheiber of Indiana University will speak about the “Talking Stones,” what she and her students are learning about tipis throughout the region. Also in the seminar will be Bulltail and John Mionczynski discussing the food and healing herbs known and preserved by the Crow. The field day will include a hike to examine the plants on the mountain. We will bring elders and children up to the tree line of the mountain to tell the creation story and the story of Foretop’s Father—the Crow name for the mountain, derived from the special relationship that their famous ancestor Foretop had with the mountain.

The ceremony will be held on the Common Ground Ranch, a certified organic beef ranch on the shoulders of the mountain, whose owners, Rod and Dr. By hosting the ceremony, they open the possibility for youth to sleep out, drum around the fire at night, and allow for a larger gathering than did the limited access on the Nature Conservancy land.


Wildlife Rescue Center has launched a new initiative to care for pangolins injured from the wildlife trade

Thai police on Tuesday rescued 42 endangered pangolins – commonly known as ant eaters – and arrested one endangered species wildlife smuggler in Thailand’s northeastern province of Nong Khai.

Pol Lt Thawan Suthawarat, an inspector specialist at Nong Khai provincial police station, said the detainee was identified as Sira Suwannakoon, 54, a native of Udon Thani. He was arrested while driving a van carrying the endangered species to Nong Song Hong checkpoint on Mitrapap Road, heading to Nong Khai.

The police search his van and found 42 of the scaly ant-eaters, contained in 12 plastic net bags.

Mr Sira told police that he was hired to drive van from Bangkok to deliver the pangolins to a customer in Nong Khai's Rattanawapi district.

The Lao national was to be waiting at Mekong riverside to transport the animals to that country, he said, adding that this was his second delivery of the endangered animal species.

Pangolin scales and pangolin flesh are in high demand in Vietnam and China as medicine although their international trade is banned.

The smuggling and sale of pangolins is prohibited under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, or CITES.

German aristocrat to reintroduce herd of eight to his private forest. They will be the first to wander in the wild in Germany since 1746

A forest-owning German aristocrat is to reintroduce bison into the wild in Western Europe for the first time in over 250 years.

Prince Richard of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg is set to introduce a herd of eight European bison to his 32,124-acre forest in North Rhine-Westphalia.

If the 79-year-old prince's plan works, Germany will be the first country west of Poland where animals, also known as wisent, will live in the wild once again.

However, there are fears the reintroduction of the wild, giant animals, which grow up to 6.5ft tall and weigh up to a ton, will scare away tourists and pose a hazard to hikers.

Nearly a decade in gestation, Prince Richard's plan is set to enter its critical phase after he was given final approval from the state Environment Ministry in Dusseldorf just before Christmas, Der Spiegel reports.

His 50sq/mile estate - roughly half the size of Manhattan - surrounds the city of Bad Berleburg and extends across many of the foothills of the Rothaar Mountains.

It is already home to about 300 wild sheep, 400 red deer, 600 wild boar and so many roe deer his seven groundsmen have given up trying to count them.

Now over the next few days workers will drive into Prince Richard's forest and take down the fence around an enclosure where his eight bison have been acclimatising to the environment since 2010.

Once that is done, the enormous bull, five cows and two calves will be free to roam. They will be the first of their species to wander wild in Germany since 1746.

But questions have been raised about the possible impact of the mammoth creatures. They will roam wherever the leader takes them, even along major roads and through nearby villages.

Officials and residents of Bad Berleburg, a city of some 20,000 people, have been largely in support of the plan, which they hope will bring tourists back following the decline of the German health spa industry.

However, residents of the High Sauerland region, just on the other side of the Rothaar Mountains, fear that the animals could wreck tourism, damage forests, and even interbreed with dairy herds.

Despite the backing of such an august individual as Prince Richard, the plan also met with scepticism from officialdom, with the state Environment Ministry putting together a long list of concerns that took scientists from four universities more than four years to answer.

Forestry economists eventually agreed that the bison herd could even be useful to forests, since they would keep ecologically valuable areas free from undergrowth - a task currently performed by forest workers.

And a doctoral candidate at the University of Siegen, Philip Schmitz, conducted a study which finally showed the flighty bison, despite their imposing size, posed little threat to humans.

After enlisting volunteers to approach the animals, he found they were far more likely to simply run away than make an attempt to charge people walking across their territory.


The final full moon of the year rises tonight to cap a year of amazing lunar sky shows. (Photos -Video)

While the bright moon will easily outshine other celestial objects, there is more than meets the eye to Earth's nearest neighbor.

The December full moon is also called the "long-night's moon" since it is the closest full moon to the northern winter solstice (when the nights are longest). And indeed tonight's full moon will be visible for the longest amount of time.

From New York for instance, moonrise on Thursday (Dec. 27) occurred at 4:17 p.m. EST and the moon sets at 7:12 a.m. this morning. So the full moon will indeed be in the sky for a long time: 14 hours and 55 minutes.

Lunar cycles

Here are some interesting lunar calendar facts that the famed Belgian astronomical calculator Jean Meeus has compiled concerning the phases of the moon:

All are cyclical, the most noteworthy being the so-called Metonic Cycle that was independently discovered by the Greek astronomer Meton (born about 460 B.C.). This is a 19-year cycle, after which time the phases of the moon are repeated on the same days of the year, or approximately so.

Take, for instance, Friday’s full moon. Nineteen years from now, in 2031, there’ll be another full moon on Dec.28.

Another moon cycle fact: After 2 years, the preceding lunar phase occurs on or very nearly the same calendar date. So in 2014, it will be the first quarter moon that occurs on Dec. 28.

After 8 years, the same lunar phases repeat, but occurring one or two days later in the year. Ancient Greek astronomers called this 8-year cycle the "octaeteris." Indeed, in 2020, a full moon occurs on Dec. 29.

Finally, in our Gregorian Calendar, 372 years provides an excellent long period cycle for the recurrence of a particular phase on a given date. Therefore, we know with absolute certainty that the same full moon that shines down on us on Dec. 28 of 2012 will also be shining on Dec. 28 in the year 2384.

So mark your lunar calendars and enjoy tonight's lunar display! (Source)


Native American Names For December Full Moon

Kaitvitjuitk (Inuit).
Cold Moon (Celtic).
Night Moon (Taos).
Respect Moon (Hopi).
Peach Moon (Choctaw).
Twelfth Moon (Dakotah).
Big Winter Moon (Creek).
Real Goose Moon (Kiowa).
Cold Time Moon (Mohawk).
Ashes Fire Moon (San Juan).
Big Bearâ Moon (Winnebago).
Popping Trees Moon (Arapaho).
Running Wolves Moon (Cheyenne).
Frost Fish Moon (Passamaquoddy).
Cold Moon, Long Nights Moon (Algonquin).
Snow Moon, Before Yule Moon (Cherokee).
Oak Moon : Full, : Snow Moon Dark (Janic).
Popping Tress Moon, Deer Horn Shedding Moon (Sioux).

Other moon names : Wolf Moon, Turning Moon, Heavy Snow Moon, Aerra Geola, Under Burn Moon, Big Winter Moon, Winter Maker Moon, Yellow Leaves Moon, Little Finger Moon, Mid-Winter Moon, Wintermonat, Small Spirits Moon.Bitter Moon (Chinese). Oak Moon (Medieval English). Long Night Moon (Neo-Pagan).

VIDEO December Full Moon 2012

Rescued Bobcat Kitten 'Too Nice' To Return To The Wild

A Northern California animal rescue group is trying to help an orphaned bobcat kitten with a problem: She's too nice.

The friendly baby bobcat was only a few weeks old and had burned paws and infected eyes when fire crews found her in August while battling a 75,000-acre fire in the Plumas National Forest. They named her Chips, after the wildfire.

Volunteers at the Sierra Wildlife Rescue in Placerville now are trying to toughen the kitten up, with plans to release her back into the wild next spring, The Sacramento Bee ( ) reports.

As part of her training regimen, Chips has had to start chasing down her own mice and rabbits for meals and stop sleeping on a soft bed like the one she'd grown accustomed to while she was receiving medical treatment.

She's also been introduced to two male bobcats, Tuffy and Sierra, that hiss and bare their claws at humans.

"If you have a friendly bobcat in the wild, that's not going to work," said volunteer Jill Tripoli, who squirts the kitten with a water bottle if she tries cuddling up to humans.

The firefighters who found Chips wandering in circles on Aug. 25 noticed right away that she was affectionate. She followed them as they went about their work and nuzzled the boots of a hand crew member every time they stopped.

They tried to locate a female bobcat searching for its baby, but had no luck and ended up taking the kitten to a Lake Tahoe animal shelter. She transferred to Placerville last month.

Forest Service spokesman, John Heil, said the bobcat was lucky to have survived given how intense the flames were in the area she was found.

"How it survived with the fire passing through is miraculous," he said.

Womens Fancy Shawl Prairie Island 2012 

This year's Prairie Island Dakota Days in Minnesota featured several competitive dances in a wide range of categories from Men's Grass to Tiny Tots. Watch as these remarkable women perform the beautiful Fancy Shawl Dance.(Via indiancountrytoday)
Fancy dance,Fancy Feather or Fancy War Dance is a style of dance some believe was originally created by members of the Ponca tribe in the 1920s and 1930s, in an attempt to preserve their culture and religion.

It is loosely based on the War dance. Fancy dance was considered appropriate to be performed for visitors to reservations and at "Wild West" shows. But today, fancy dancers can be seen at many powwows across the nation and even the world.

Men's fancy dance is flashy and colorful, but also highly energetic. It requires strength and stamina and is usually performed by younger men and boys. The drum can play a medium war beat, a ruffle, crow hop, and a fast beat. It is always expected that a fancy dancer should do a pose at each end of the beat. Some might do splits or stop in mid-air.

Male fancy dancers typically wear brightly colored regalia. Twin feather bustles are one of the hallmarks of modern fancy dance regalia, along with a beaded bodice, leggings or breech cloth and side tabs (most popular), bells just below the knees, Icelandic sheep hair or also known as "Goats", moccasins, a roach with two feathers (Most wear a roach rocker which rocks the feathers with the dancer's movements, beaded cuffs, beaded headband, and other feathered or beaded accouterments. The regalia often has a fringe of many colors. The old style regalia is making a comeback.

The women's fancy shawl dance represents the opening of a cocoon when the butterfly emerges. The shawl is usually the most extravagant piece. The fringed shawls are colorful and flashy, often featuring embroidery or ribbon work. The fringe on the shawl have a movement that coincides with the dancer. The dancers usually wear beaded or appliqued designs, and beaded hairpieces. Chokers, earrings, bracelets, and eagle plumes are usually worn as well. Elaborate moccasins and leggings complete the regalia. (Via Wikipedia)


Dog Crosses Eyes On Command (VIDEO)

The Labrador retriever is one of the most popular breeds in the world and for good reason. They are very intelligent and easy to train. They are also very good with people, make great family dogs and have a strong will to please their people. The video below shows an amazing trick that one such Lab named Olive learned with a little help from some treats. She does her trick with amazing gracefulness and ease. Enjoy!

The Labrador Retriever ~

The AKC describes the Labrador's temperament as a kind, pleasant, outgoing and tractable nature. Labradors' sense of smell allows them to home in on almost any scent and follow the path of its origin. They generally stay on the scent until they find it. Navies, military forces and police forces use them as detection dogs to track down smugglers, thieves, terrorists and black marketers.

Labradors instinctively enjoy holding objects and even hands or arms in their mouths, which they can do with great gentleness (a Labrador can carry an egg in its mouth without breaking it). They are known to have a very soft feel to the mouth, as a result of being bred to retrieve game such as waterfowl. They are prone to chewing objects (though they can be trained to abandon this behavior). The Labrador Retriever's coat repels water to some extent, thus facilitating the extensive use of the dog in waterfowl hunting.

Labradors have a reputation as a very even-tempered breed and an excellent family dog. This includes a good reputation with children of all ages and other animals. Some lines, particularly those that have continued to be bred specifically for their skills at working in the field (rather than for their appearance), are particularly fast and athletic.

Their fun-loving boisterousness and lack of fear may require training and firm handling at times to ensure it does not get out of hand—an uncontrolled adult can be quite problematic. Females may be slightly more independent than males. Labradors mature at around three years of age; before this time they can have a significant degree of puppy-like energy, often mislabelled as being hyperactive.

Because of their enthusiasm, leash-training early on is suggested to prevent pulling when full-grown. Labradors often enjoy retrieving a ball endlessly (often obsessively) and other forms of activity (such as agility, frisbee, or flyball).

Although they will sometimes bark at noise, especially noise from an unseen source ("alarm barking"), Labradors are usually not noisy or territorial. They are often very easygoing and trusting with strangers and therefore are not usually suitable as guard dogs.

Labradors have a well-known reputation for appetite, and some individuals may be highly indiscriminate, eating digestible and non-food objects alike. They are persistent and persuasive in requesting food. For this reason, the Labrador owner must carefully control his/her dog's food intake to avoid obesity and its associated health problems.

The steady temperament of Labradors and their ability to learn make them an ideal breed for search and rescue, detection, and therapy work. They are a very intelligent breed. They are ranked # 7 in Stanley Coren's The Intelligence of Dogs. The AKC describes the breed as an ideal family and sporting dog. Their primary working role in the field continues to be that of a hunting retriever. Source ~ Wikipedia



'Warriors, the healing has started': Native Americans ride for 16 days to remember 38 Dakota men killed in largest execution in US history

 Warriors wearing feathered headdresses rode for 16 days from South Dakota to commemorate 38 of their ancestors hanged 150 years ago in the largest execution in US history.

Hundreds of other Native Americans joined them at their destination - a new memorial in Mankato, Minnesota - including runners who had travelled 74 miles from Fort Snelling.

The 'Dakota 38' were executed in at the end of 1862's US-Dakota war, one of the bitterest land disputes in American history.

Dakota/Lakota leader Arvol Looking Horse said the vigil marked 'a new beginning of healing'.

Originally, 303 men were sentenced to be hanged, but President Abraham Lincoln granted all but 38 a reprieve. Some Native Americans believe he was wrong to order any hangings, however, and that several of the men were innocent of wrongdoing.

The names of those killed have now been inscribed on the new Reconciliation Park monument, along with a poem and a prayer.

Yesterday, 60 riders, including some tribe members who rode for 16 days from South Dakota, were among around 500 people on hand for the dedication of a new 'Dakota 38' memorial.

A traditional drum group sang a song composed for the 38 Dakota, to the pounding of a large drum.

Mankato Mayor Eric Anderson read a proclamation declaring this the year of 'forgiveness and understanding.'

Dakota/Lakota leader Arvol Looking Horse said: 'Today, being here to witness a great gathering, we have peace in our hearts - a new beginning of healing.'

Sidney Byrd, a Dakota/Lakota elder from Flandreau, S.D., read out the names of the 38 men who were hanged in the native Dakota language, according to The Free Press of Mankato.

'I'm proud to be with you today,' he said. 'My great-grandfather was one of those who paid the supreme price for our freedom.'

Byrd's great-grandfather was among the Dakota originally sentenced to death who were given reprieves by Lincoln. The men were sent from a prison in Mankato to one in Davenport, Iowa, where many died from squalid conditions.

The Dakota behind the new memorial and the 'ride and run' have used the mantra 'forgive everyone everything' to mark the 150th anniversary. Those words will be engraved in stone benches to be placed around the new memorial next summer.

'This is a great day, not only for the Dakota but for the city of Mankato,' said Bud Lawrence of Mankato, who helped start a reconciliation effort in the 1970s.

State Rep. Dean Urdahl, R-Grove City, who co-chairs a state task force commemorating the Civil War and US-Dakota War, said that while progress has been made through reconciliation and education, there remains a lack of understanding about what led up to the war and the problems that the Dakota suffered long afterward.

'Through understanding comes a healing that is still continuing today,' he said.

Richard Milda, of the Crow Agency in Montana, was among a small group of riders who made the entire trip from Lower Brule, S.D., to Mankato. It is the third year he has taken part in the ride.

He said he 'was attracted to its message of forgiveness and remembrance.'

An early morning fishing trip for a man who works the graveyard shift at Hill Air Force base turned out to be anything but routine on Tuesday.

That fisherman came across a bald eagle but it wasn't the majestic sight most of us are used to. Instead of admiring the bird, he was forced to rescue it.

It was a shocking sight for Courtney Short.

A bald eagle, so weak, it allowed the avid Ogden fisherman to pick him up and even cradle him like a baby.

Short rushed the eagle to get help. The eagle is still alive, but not doing well.

"Once an animal like this is debilitated far enough to get down to where they're able to be captured the survival rate is very very low,” says Dalyn Erickson, with the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Northern Utah.

To see this majestic creature slumped over in a cage is simply heartbreaking.

Erickson knew the problem right when the bird came in, lead poisoning.

"This is a huge problem not just for eagles but condors and grizzlies and all kinds of other animals,” says Erickson.

Erickson believes this eagle ate another animal that had been shot by a hunter with a lead bullet.

"If the animal does not die, if it survives the wounds and goes off and dies somewhere else, it becomes food for scavenger," she says.

They're injecting him with calcium, hoping it will filter the lead out of his system. The process could take months and even with the treatment he has a very slim chance of surviving.

Erickson says this is the second bald eagle they've gotten from this area this month who has suffered from lead poisoning.

She said the easiest way to keep tragedies like this from happening, is if hunters and fishermen stopped using lead.

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