Bethlehem celebrates historic landmark

Think of it as Bethlehem’s French Quarter, or its Williamsburg.

Like those historic destinations, Bethlehem’s collection of 18th-century Moravian buildings was celebrated Tuesday afternoon for its induction as one of 200 historic landmark districts in the nation.

Punctuated by the pageantry of a trumpet and trombone quartet, the Covenant Brass, local dignitaries gathered at Main and Church streets to celebrate the designation, awarded in 2012, with the unveiling of a bronze plaque.

The plaque, for now on display in the sanctuary of Central Moravian Church, commemorates that the 14.7-acre religious commune, which began as a mission community of German-speaking settlers in 1741, tells not only Bethlehem’s story but also a national one.

“With its intact core buildings, the district preserves some of the most important structures on the site relating to the Moravians here in the New World. The Moravian village buildings in our district are outstanding examples of urban heritage, Colonial Germanic architecture … ” said Charlene Donchez Mowers, who worked on the designation for more than a decade as president of Historic Bethlehem Museum Sites. “Historic Moravian is the physical manifestation of the artistic, architectural, cultural, educational, religious and industrial attributes that set the Moravians apart from other Colonials.”

Mowers remarks came during a 30-minute unveiling that drew more than 100 people, including Bethlehem Mayor Robert Donchez, Congressman Charlie Dent, Discover Lehigh Valley President Michael Stershic and other guests, including 28 Moravians visiting on an 18-day pilgrimage from the Republic of Suriname, a South American country north of Brazil.

National recognition for the district will help historians put the buildings into context, giving visitors a fuller story of Bethlehem, from the Colonial days on.

The district features the Colonial Industrial Quarter, God’s Acre cemetery, the Sun Inn and buildings of the Central Moravian Church, the city of Bethlehem, Historic Bethlehem and Moravian College. The district includes two buildings — the Waterworks pump house and the Gemeinhaus community hall — that are already recognized as historic landmarks on their own.

Those buildings played key roles in Bethlehem’s religious, scientific, architectural and political history.

The Gemeinhaus, birthplace of scientist Louis David von Schweinitz, is the nation’s largest 18th-century log structure in continuous use. The Waterworks tapped the Monocacy Creek for the first pumped municipal water system in America.

Landmarks are sites, structures and objects that represent an outstanding aspect of American history and culture. There are eight landmark districts in the state and approximately 200 in the country.

Mowers read a letter from Harold Closter, national director of the Smithsonian Affiliations Program, that said historical figures such as George Washington recognized Bethlehem for nourishing “the bedrock principles of equality, education and public service.”

“With its wonderful universities, museums and cultural amenities, Bethlehem continues to serve as a source of inspiration,” Closter wrote. “Today’s designation of the Moravian historic district as a national historic landmark is a fitting tribute to the many who have contributed to Bethlehem’s character and an important reminder that our future rests on the accomplishments of those who have gone before us.”

Bishop Hopeton Clennon, senior pastor of Central Moravian Church, said the plaque recognizes that ordinary people — more than 200 years ago — were going about their lives promoting equality, industry and a hard work ethic as part of their mission, all of which are still valued by the community today. About 8,000 Moravians live in the Lehigh Valley, with more than 800,000 throughout the world, many in Africa and South America.

“Today’s congregation appreciates [the historic designation] because it is validation and recognition of the same qualities that we believe and the qualities that we value as a community today,” he said.

The district is already part of a National Historic District, a lower designation that also enables historic structures to qualify for tax credits and grants.

The landmark district also lies within the Central Bethlehem Historic District, the state’s first local historic district, where buildings must be maintained to strict historic standards.

The National Park Service, a branch of the Department of Interior, endorsed the landmark designation and it was awarded in October 2012.

The designation provides the property owners and nonprofits that manage them — Historic Bethlehem, Moravian College, Central Moravian Church and the city of Bethlehem — higher standing when competing for grants and other funding, said Cynthia MacLeod, superintendent of Independence National Historic Park in Philadelphia.

Mowers said Bethlehem’s national recognition will help with the next designation she is seeking for the district: a spot on the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization World Heritage list.

Article source: http://www.mcall.com/news/breaking/mc-bethlehem-national-historic-district-landmark-20140422,0,6607376.story

Towards an Action Plan for World Heritage in Latin America and the Caribbean …

The World Heritage Committee,

1.  Having examined document WHC-13/37.COM/10A,

2.  Recalling Decisions 32 COM 11D, 34 COM 10B.2, 35 COM 10B and 36 COM 10C adopted respectively at its 32nd (Quebec City, 2008), 34th (Brasilia, 2010), 35th (UNESCO, 2011) and 36th (Saint Petersburg, 2012) sessions,

3.  Expresses its sincere appreciation to the States Parties from Latin America and the Caribbean for their efforts in preparing and submitting their Periodic Reports and thanks especially all focal points and site managers for their effective participation and commitment;

4.  Notes with satisfaction that all the 32 States Parties from Latin America and the Caribbean have participated actively in the Periodic Reporting exercise and 29 Section I questionnaires and 122 Section II questionnaires were successfully submitted;

5.  Reiterates its satisfaction that at the moment of the launching of the second cycle, 116 draft retrospective Statements of Outstanding Universal Value were submitted and welcomes the final submission of 66 Statements for adoption by the World Heritage Committee at its 37th session;

6.  Thanks the authorities of Argentina, Barbados, Brazil, Chile, Dominican Republic and Mexico for their support in successfully organizing regional and sub-regional meetings, in collaboration with the World Heritage Centre and UNESCO field offices;

7.  Takes note of the successful use of the special electronic platform as an indispensable tool in providing the comprehensive documentation, gathered in the World Heritage Centre database for future monitoring and follow-up of the Action Plan and acknowledges the importance of this tool in developing the thematic working groups and their related programmes;

8.  Welcomes with satisfaction the synthesis report and endorses the proposal to develop the Action Plan to be submitted to the World Heritage Committee at its 38th session for evaluation;

9.  Requests the World Heritage Centre to develop the above-mentioned Action Plan, in collaboration with the States Parties of the region, the Advisory Bodies, the focal points, site managers and the World Heritage related-Category 2 Centres in the region and other partners;

10.  Also takes note of the significant progress made concerning the Retrospective Inventory for the region, both in terms of clarification of boundaries and minor boundary modifications and also requests the States Parties to continue participating actively in this regard, especially when clarifications or modifications of boundaries have been requested by the World Heritage Committee in relation to the evaluation of the state of conservation of the respective properties;

11.  Also thanks the Government of Spain for financing the translation of the Report containing the results of the Second Cycle of the Periodic Reporting into Spanish, further requests the World Heritage Centre to widely disseminate the Report among all stakeholders in the region, encourages the publication of the report in the World Heritage Papers series and calls on the international community to support the request;

12.  Decides that the significant modifications to boundaries and changes to criteria (re-nominations) requested by States Parties as a follow-up to the Second Cycle of the Periodic Reporting Exercise will not fall within the limit of two nominations per State Party per year imposed by Paragraph 61 of the Operational Guidelines , while they will still fall within the overall limit of forty-five complete nominations per year. This decision shall apply for the 1 February 2014 and 1 February 2015 deadlines for the Latin America and the Caribbean Region, after which time the normal limit established in Paragraph 61 will be resumed;

13.  Encourages the States Parties and all other World Heritage partners and stakeholders, including the UNESCO Category 2 Centres in the Region, to actively cooperate and to take the necessary actions to follow-up, in a concerted and concrete manner, towards the development of the Action Plan;

14.  Also encourages UNESCO Category 2 Centre for World Heritage of Zacatecas (Mexico) and the UNESCO Category 2 Centre Lucio Costa of Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) for heritage management, when appropriate, to coordinate their activities and the development of learning tools in Portuguese and Spanish to implement the capacity-building strategy and associated programmes, also welcomes the establishment of an observatory for heritage management foreseen in Brazil, and calls for a close cooperation with the Caribbean Capacity building Programme (CCBP);

15.  Recognizes the valuable role played by local communities, including indigenous peoples, in the management of cultural and natural heritage properties and further encourages programmes at Latin America and the Caribbean World Heritage properties to also focus on the active involvement and participation of the local communities in their implementation and derivation of direct benefits;

16.  Also calls on the States Parties to cooperate with technical and financial resources at the national level to implement the Action Plan, and on the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies to provide support for its implementation.

Read more …

Article source: http://whc.unesco.org/en/events/1160/

12 UNESCO sites most Americans will never see

Sure, plenty of people visit the UNESCO World Heritage sites of London, Paris, Rome, the Taj Mahal, Yosemite, but far fewer U.S. travelers seek out equally fascinating cities, monuments and attractions in widely overlooked parts of the world? For World Heritage Day, here are a few spots that you should consider — if only to go somewhere in the world with very few Americans. Follow the links to the UNESCO World Heritage list.

Historic Centre of Riga Despite having been under Soviet or German rule for most of the 20th century, Riga is a 12th century walled city with plenty of history of it’s own. (Photo: Spud Hilton / The Chronicle)

Curonian Spit The Curonian Spit is a strip of forest, Baltic beaches and artsy holiday villages that stretches 85 miles along the coast of Lithuania and an isolated portion of Russia. While it is a popular summer spot for German and Russian tourists, it has never been on the radar of America travelers. (Photo: Spud Hilton / The Chronicle)

Dinosaur Provincial Park Most U.S. travelers are unaware that the same geologic forces that created the badlands in Utah, Wyoming and Montana also created similar features north of the Canadian border. Dinosaur Provincial Park in Alberta is among the richest dinosaur fossil beds on the planet, but is widely unknown in the U.S. (Photo: Spud Hilton / The Chronicle)

Historic Centre of Lima  Lima tends to be looked at only as a transit point for travelers headed toward Cusco and Machu Picchu, but the city offers a wealth of history — and culture that is far more representative of today’s Peru. (Photo: Spud Hilton / The Chronicle)

Historic Centre of Évora The town has been a stronghold for every invading force, from the Celts forward, so it’s not uncommon to find walls laid by Roman workers inside a shop selling fine port. (Photo: Spud Hilton / The Chronicle)

Historic Town of Guanajuato and Adjacent Mines Because of it’s seemingly inexhaustible silver mines, Guanajuato is Mexico’s most European city — and the most important city in the overthrow of European rule. Because of it’s site in the center of the country, far fewer U.S. tourists come here than to the popular beach resort cities. (Photo: Spud Hilton / The Chronicle)

Old Havana and its Fortification System Tremendous amounts of Spanish colonial architecture and a vibrant culture, but so long as the ridiculous antiquated embargo continues, U.S.. travelers only see Havana if they shell out a small fortune for the educational tours or if they go illegally. (Photo: Spud Hilton / The Chronicle)

Aflaj Irrigation Systems of Oman The ancient alfaj irrigation canals have been running through Oman for millennia, but the friendly attraction-filled country is widely overlooked by U.S. travelers. (Photo: Spud Hilton / The Chronicle)

City of Valletta The tiny island of Malta has been one of the most sought out Mediterranean strongholds for centuries, which has left a culture based on dozens of influences. (Photo: Spud Hilton / The Chronicle)

Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto (Kyoto, Uji and Otsu Cities) Kyoto has so many temples that are important to Japan’s history and culture, the UNESCO site covers most of them in this former capital. (Photo: Spud Hilton / The Chronicle)

Vilnius Historic Centre The capital of Lithuania is a hotbed of history from medieval times on up, but as a part of the former Soviet Union, U.S. travelers assume it’s gray and ugly. (Photo: Spud Hilton / The Chronicle)


Jesuit Block and Estancias of Córdoba It’s Argentina’s second largest city and the cradle for several of the country’s revolutions, but it gets less than half the foreign traffic of popular Buenos Aires. (Photo: Spud Hilton / The Chronicle)

Article source: http://blog.sfgate.com/travel/2014/04/18/10-unesco-sites-most-americans-will-never-see/

Best places to experience Native American culture – KPAX

Apr 15, 2014 8:44 AM by Dana Joseph – for CNN

Think Native culture has been completely co-opted by casinos, twisted by lousy and inaccurate films, relegated to the rez or buried with arrowheads in the dirt of expansionist history?

No chance.

American Indian culture is alive and thriving in modern galleries, powwows, museum exhibits, film festivals and restaurants.

Here are some of the best places in the United States to experience Native America (arranged in a roughly east-to-west geographic order).

The National Museum of the American Indian George Gustav Heye Center (New York)

The George Gustav Heye Center in New York is part of the National Museum of the American Indian.

“The Heye Center began as the personal collection of George Gustav Heye, a wealthy investment banker who collected nearly a million items that became the largest collection of American Indian items in the world,” says NMAI director Kevin Gover (Pawnee).

Heye’s will stipulates that his collection always be made available to the people of New York, and since 1994, it’s been on view for all to see in Lower Manhattan across from Battery Park, in the historic Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House.

Highlights of the collection include 10 headdresses from different Native tribes and duck decoys from Lovelock Cave, Nevada (at ca. 400 B.C.-A.D. 100, they’re the oldest known in the world).

Nursing moms will especially appreciate the Yup’ik jacket that holds junior on Mom’s back till feeding time, when the jacket can be ingeniously turned forward.

Elsewhere in New York City, which, by the way, has the largest indigenous population of any city in the country, the Queens County Farm Museum holds the Thunderbird American Indian Mid-Summer Pow Wow, the city’s largest and oldest (July 25-27, 2014).

National Museum of the American Indian (Washington, D.C.)

The National Museum of the American Indian is the Smithsonian Institution’s great national repository of American Indian art and culture on the National Mall.

“Our world-class collection covers cultures from North, Central and South America and totals more than 800,000 items,” says museum director Kevin Gover. “Our Mitsitam Native Foods Cafe was the first Zagat-rated museum cafe in Washington and has a devoted following.”

The museum presents a full calendar of public programs, including concerts, festivals, symposiums and theater, along with one-of-a-kind temporary exhibitions featuring the likes of esteemed Native artists such as Fritz Scholder, George Morrison, Brian Jungen and Allan Houser.

It’s Native inside and out: the design of the grounds has reintroduced a landscape indigenous to the Washington area before “contact.”

Oklahoma

You might know it as the Sooner State, but the state name Oklahoma is Indian, from the Choctaw words “okla” and “humma,” meaning “red people.”

The entire state is rich with American Indian culture.

Makes sense: Oklahoma has 39 federally recognized tribes and the second greatest percentage of Native Americans in the country.

If you know about the forced removal of the Cherokee in 1838-1839 along the Trail of Tears (now a National Historic Trail) to reservations in Indian Territory in what is now southeastern Oklahoma, you’ll appreciate Tahlequah, the capital of the Cherokee Nation.

At the Cherokee Heritage Center there’s a re-created ancient Cherokee village and a permanent Trail of Tears exhibit.

You can tour the Tahlequah Original Historic Townsite District, where the street signs are written in English and Cherokee.

More Cherokee-related museums include the John Ross Museum, the John Hair Museum and Cultural Center and the Cherokee Supreme Court Museum.

In Muscogee, you can learn about the art, culture and history of the Five Civilized Tribes (the term refers to the tribes considered most able to assimilate: the Cherokee, the Choctaw, Muscogee/Creek, Chickasaw and Seminole) at the Five Civilized Tribes Museum.

In the Osage Hills, 10 minutes from downtown Tulsa, the acclaimed Gilcrease Museum houses the world’s largest, most comprehensive collection of art and artifacts of the American West and an unparalleled collection of Native American art and artifacts.

You’ll want to allow time for the museum and its acres of gardens.

In Oklahoma City, lots of the almost 40,000 indigenous residents turn out for the three-day Red Earth Festival every June (in 2014, June 5-7).

It kicks off with a parade and keeps right on kicking with dancing, singing, storytelling, poetry, music and art.

In Shawnee, The Jim Thorpe Native American Games bring together athletes representing 70 different tribes from across the country.

The Games honor Jim Thorpe (Sac and Fox), the athletic legend who was born in Indian Territory near the town of Prague, Oklahoma, and went on to become a pro baseball player, pro football player and an Olympic Gold medalist in record-setting wins of the pentathlon and decathlon in the 1912 Olympics.

Inaugurated in 2012 to honor the man often called The Greatest Athlete of the 20th Century, the Native Games host thousands of athletes competing in 10 sports.

The 2014 Games will be held in Shawnee June 8-14.

And coming to Oklahoma City in 2017, the $10 million American Indian Cultural Center and Museum.

Santa Fe, New Mexico

Experiencing Santa Fe’s rich American Indian culture requires more than a couple of days — and many return trips.

American Indian vendors line the historic Plaza, selling authentic silver and turquoise jewelry and other Native crafts.

Galleries like Shiprock on the Plaza, Blue Rain on Lincoln and the many along Canyon Road are a gateway to a life-altering addiction to Native arts, from painting and sculpture, to textiles, pottery and jewelry.

The city is also filled with world-class museums: The Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian, Museum of Indian Arts and Culture and Museum of Contemporary Native Arts.

For a one-fell-swoop approach, you can hit Santa Fe during August’s world-renowned Indian Market, when the parking is horrible but the historic center overflows with booths devoted to Native arts and eats.

“This is the biggest and the best venue for we Native American artists,” says sculptor Upton Greyshoes Ethelbah (Apache). “Collectors arrive for the two-day show by the tens of thousands (estimates range from 80,000 to 100,000).

“Visitors to the Santa Fe Indian Market are treated to the best diverse Native American art in the country, with over 10 different classifications, from stone and bronze sculpture, which is my specialty, to pottery, beadwork, jewelry, painting, weaving and even filmmaking.”

The Indian Market is an opportunity to share cultures not only with visitors unfamiliar with Native differences, but among different tribes as well.

“There are over 562 different tribal groups in the U. S. with different languages, ceremonies and traditions,” he says. “Everyone benefits by experiencing the great variation of artwork that emerges from these many tribes and nations. Virtually every individual item offered to the collector by over a thousand Indian artists originates in tribal tradition or symbology, and artists are eager to share with the collector the inspiration and the historical or spiritual meaning of their work.”

The Inn and Spa at Loretto is an architectural re-creation of the famed Taos Pueblo.

As soon as you see it, you’ll know why it’s one of the most photographed buildings in the country.

Gathering of Nations (Albuquerque, New Mexico)

The fourth weekend of April, Native America flocks to Albuquerque for the Gathering of Nations.

Billed as the world’s largest Native American cultural event, it’s a tribal extravaganza in all its flying fringe and bodacious beading.

Where else but North America’s most prominent powwow are you going to find the crowning of Miss Indian World and more than 700 tribes doing their thing?

“The Gathering of Nations strives to be a positive cultural experience that is exhilarating for everyone,” says Derek Mathews, founder of the event, which marked its 31st year in 2014. “The powwow features thousands of dancers performing different styles from many regions and tribes, offers the finest in Native American arts and crafts in the Indian Traders Market, a delicious variety of Native American and Southwest cuisine and the best in contemporary entertainment performances.”

The Grand Entry is special — thousands of Native American dancers simultaneously enter the University of New Mexico’s arena in full regalia to the beating of hundreds of drums.

Between Albuquerque and Santa Fe, the Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort and Spa is located on the sacred lands of the Santa Ana Pueblo.

The resort offers golf, pools, spa, restaurants and all the usual upscale amenities but distinguishes itself with American Indian cultural experiences.

There are Pueblo bread-baking demonstrations by tribal members using a traditional oven called a huruna, flute and tribal dance performances on certain weekends, a cultural museum with personal tours hosted by a tribal member, hiking and riding (horses or bikes) through cottonwoods along the Rio Grande on trails used by the Tamayame people for centuries and creation stories told under the stars by a Native American storyteller (followed by s’mores).

In the city, you can stay at the funky, artsy Nativo Lodge (American Indian meets modern meets retro boutique hotel/motel) and make an extra day of the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center and Petroglyph National Monument.

Taos, New Mexico

Taos is crazy with galleries and museums highlighting Native American culture.

The Millicent Rogers Museum is one of the best — it houses important collections of Native American arts, including pottery and jewelry.

Just outside of town is the Taos Pueblo — a settlement of adobe dwellings and ceremonial buildings that dates to the late 13th century, the pueblo is still a living community.

It’s both a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a National Historic Landmark and open to the public for guided walking tours, shopping and fry bread eating. (Check ahead for hours and entry fee.)

The Rio Grande Gorge is located just outside of Taos.

You can cross the famous long-span bridge over the incredible 600-foot-deep gorge.

Shiprock, New Mexico/Monument Valley

With more than 17 million acres, the Navajo Nation encompasses the entire northeast quarter of Arizona, and spills into New Mexico and Utah.

Shiprock, which is much easier to pronounce than its Navajo name, Tsé Bit?a?í, is located in the northwest corner of New Mexico.

The “rock with wings” or “winged rock,” which is said to have brought tribes here from the north, rises 1,583 feet from the plain and looks every foot the sacred and mythological heavyweight it is in Navajo culture.

The approach is practically a religious experience.

From Shiprock, it’s two-and-a half-hour drive to Monument Valley, on the Arizona-Utah border.

One of the world’s most famous film locations for its miles and miles of mesas, buttes and rock spires sculpted by eons of water and wind, Monument Valley is also a tribal park of the Navajo Nation.

The 17-mile scenic drive takes in Mitten Buttes, Merrick Buttes and other iconic formations. Navajo guides (compulsory if you want to get off the road) can take you into some of the park’s 92,000 acres.

At the Navajo-staffed The View Hotel you can watch the sun rise over the Mittens.

Phoenix

Arizona is home to 22 federally recognized tribes, and Native history and landmarks are found throughout the state, from “Sky Island” mountains and rock formations in Chiracahua National Monument to urban centers like Phoenix, which is home to almost 45,000 indigenous people.

Haven’t heard of The Heard? As in the Heard Museum?

It’s only one of the Phoenix area’s earliest and best cultural attractions, and a terrific destination for learning about American Indian arts and cultures.

“The Heard Museum offers a unique and memorable visitor experience with 11 galleries that present the best of American Indian traditional and contemporary art,” says museum director of curation and education Ann Marshall. “Within a year, six to eight new exhibits are presented, so return visits always bring something new.

The museum’s annual Indian Fair and Market in March (Arizona’s largest) features more than 700 Native artists.

Just outside of downtown Phoenix, the Pueblo Grande Museum and Archaeological Park sits on a 1,500-year-old site, which includes a short trail through a prehistoric Hohokam archaeological village complete with a partially excavated platform mound, ball court and replicated prehistoric houses.

In December, an Indian Market features music and dance performances, artist demonstrations, children’s crafts and, naturally, fry bread.

Arizona is home to a number of highly regarded American Indian restaurants.

As a 2013 Boston Globe story noted, “Talented [Native] chefs are returning to local, old-fashioned ingredients (think tepary beans, Saguaro cactus seeds, sumac and chollo buds) and adding creative twists to the traditional dishes of indigenous peoples, spurring a hot, new culinary trend.”

The Globe’s three top recommendations for American Indian dining in Phoenix: the Fry Bread House, which, despite being “no-frills,” was “one of only five restaurants nationwide to win the 2012 James Beard American Classics Award, and the only Native American restaurant ever to receive it”; the “five-star, five diamond” KAI; and the “health-focused” Desert Rain Café.

Mesa Verde (Colorado)

The ancestral Puebloans who lived at Mesa Verde from A.D. 600 to 1300 left behind some of the best-preserved sites in the country.

An interpretive tour of their ancient cliff dwellings and mesa-top sites is the way to get the most out of this stunning setting.

Afterward, you can get a nice meal with an incomparable view at the lodge’s Metate Room restaurant.

With rooms starting at $106, the Far View Lodge inside the national park has spectacular vistas and stargazing opportunities.

Denver, Colorado

The Denver Art Museum is internationally known for its holdings of American Indian art, with permanent collections and exhibitions showing everything from ancient ceramics to 19th-century Arapaho beaded garments to contemporary glasswork.

The museum puts on the Friendship Powwow and American Indian Cultural Celebration, which celebrates its 25th year in September 2014.

There are American Indian dancers, drum groups, artists, vendors, and, need we say it, fry bread.

The Mile High City is also home to the Denver March Powwow — second largest indoor powwow after Albuquerque’s Gathering of Nations — celebrating its 40th year March 20-22, 2015, at the Denver Coliseum.

Who cooks all the Indian tacos at the Denver March Powwow?

It just might be Tocabe: An American Indian Eatery — you can try their tacos anytime at Tocabe’s Denver restaurant.

Partners Ben Jacobs and Matt Chandra call it “fast, casual,” sort of the community-minded Chipotle of Native American food.

The shredded bison American Indian taco is a fan favorite.

Bison ribs is another signature dish.

“We’re trying to showcase American Indian cuisine in the 21st century,” Chandra says. “This is food that speaks to tradition but also shows that it can progress and have the ability to adapt and become a part of mainstream cuisine.”

Crow Fair (Montana)

Parade cars draped in serape blankets and 1,500 tepees under Montana’s Big Sky — it could only be Crow Fair.

Every third week of August, Crow Agency (60 miles south of Billings off I-90) becomes the Tepee Capital of the World when it hosts the largest modern-day American Indian encampment in the nation, and the largest gathering of the year for the Apsaalooke Nation.

Daily parades, evening powwows, All Indian rodeo, Indian relay horse races, the closing Dance Through Camp — the Crow Fair is a week of incredible displays of Native American culture.

Attractions in the area include Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument (where the Sioux and Cheyenne famously defeated the U.S. Army’s 7th Cavalry); Custer Battlefield Museum; and Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area (must-do: Devil’s Canyon Overlook).

American Indian Film Festival (San Francisco)

Seeing American Indian life through the lens of Native filmmakers is one of the best ways to understand the modern Native experience.

One of the best places to do that (aside from the indie film category on Netflix) is the American Indian Film Festival in San Francisco.

It’s the mission of the American Indian Film Institute to empower American Indian media artists, and the AIFI’s annual film festival has been bringing Native stories to a growing audience for nearly 40 years.

“There are other American Indian film festivals around the country,” says festival founder and president Michael Smith. “But the AIFI festival in San Francisco is the longest-running and has the most content. Last year, there were more than 85 films.”

The 39th annual American Indian Film Festival takes place November 1-9, 2014.

If you’re lucky, you might catch filmmaker Chris Eyre (Cheyenne, Arapaho), an AIFI and Sundance favorite since his debut film, “Smoke Signals,” won honors at both festivals in 1998.

It’s hard to imagine from modern American Indian film subjects and the festival’s Bay Area setting that the lands south of the Golden Gate Bridge were once home to the Ohlone, or Costanoan, tribe, and north of the bridge, especially in what’s now Marin County, to the Miwok tribe.

For a small taste of what the region was like when American Indians inhabited it centuries before high-tech modernity, you can visit the Marin Museum of the American Indian in Novato’s Miwok Park.

It’s on the site of an actual Miwok village, in a peaceful and pristine setting that’s about as far from the influence of Silicon Valley as you can get in these parts.

The Salish Sea (Pacific Northwest)

As much as it might now be about coffee and grunge culture, the Pacific Northwest is also formline art, totem pole, longhouse and dugout canoe country.

Puget Sound, the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the Strait of Georgia are all part of the Salish Sea.

You could do all sorts of things in the region to get a feel for the richness of its tribal past.

Blake Island has its Tillicum Village, where you can take in a Northwest Coast Indian dance performance with a traditional salmon bake dinner.

You can pay your respects at Chief Seattle’s gravesite and learn about the longhouse tradition in Suquamish, Washington, on the Port Madison Indian Reservation, where the great chief lived and died.

And you can immerse yourself in the history and culture of the Puget Sound Salish Tribes (particularly the Suquamish) at the new and niftily designed Suquamish Museum and Cultural Center.

Just across the water/border in Vancouver, Canada, you can get intensely ethnographic at University of British Columbia’s Museum of Anthropology with its a vast collection of Aboriginal art and artifacts, including traditional canoes, masks, jewelry, carvings, longhouse replicas and totem poles.

Not to be outdone, the Royal BC Museum in Victoria on nearby Vancouver Island has one of the most comprehensive collections of First Nations cultural material, from ceremonial and utilitarian objects to artistic masterworks.

Back in Vancouver’s Stanley Park, there are the much-visited totem poles, tribal dance performances, Aboriginal foods and storytelling, a Spirit Catcher Train through the forest and activities at the Klahowya Aboriginal Village.

There’s more to experience at Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, where you can top off First Nations cedar chiseling demonstrations, Totem Park, and the displays and weaving and beadwork demonstrations at Kia’palano First Nations cultural center with views of the Pacific Northwest rainforest from the bridge over the Capilano River.

TM © 2014 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

Article source: http://www.kpax.com/news/best-places-to-experience-native-american-culture/

Chile fire in Valparaiso kills 12 and forces thousands to evacuate



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Gideon Long reports from Chile

More than 10,000 people have been evacuated from Chile’s port city of Valparaiso to escape a moving fire that has killed at least 12 residents.

Some 1,200 firefighters are battling the large blaze, which has destroyed hundreds of homes since Saturday.

President Michelle Bachelet put the army in charge of the evacuation after declaring the city, 110km (70 miles) west of Santiago, a disaster zone.

Security forces are on the streets to maintain order and prevent looting.

Earlier, the authorities said 16 residents had died, but it turned out that one family had been counted twice.

One official said it was the “worst catastrophe” he had ever seen.

“We fear that the fire will spread to the centre of the city, which would increase the severity of the emergency,” regional governor Ricardo Bravo, a life-long resident of Valparaiso, said.

The old centre is a Unesco World Heritage Site, packed with old buildings that are vulnerable to fire.

Difficult job

Strong Pacific coast winds have pushed the fire deeper into the neighbourhoods of Valparaiso, hampering the battle to contain the blaze.

The city is built on a series of steep hills, separated by narrow winding streets, making the job of firefighters all the more difficult, says the BBC’s Gideon Long in Santiago.

Large parts of Valparaiso are without electricity, and residents were said to be suffering from smoke inhalation.

It was an apocalyptic scene as the flames covered the city in a bright glow

The blaze forced thousands of residents to evacuate and leave most of their belongings behind

Some residents returned to discover that their homes had been destroyed

Refuges have been set up to house residents who were forced to flee

President Bachelet is in the city to oversee an emergency committee’s response.

“The people of Valparaiso have courage, have strength and they aren’t alone,” she said during a tour of the worst-hit areas.

“In some places the fires have started again so we’re working on this and people will continue to be protected,” the president added.

Temporary shelters have been set up for residents who were forced to flee.

The Chilean Red Cross has appealed for donations, such as food and other basic supplies, to help those who were left homeless.

“We will send all of this to the people because they lost everything,” a Red Cross volunteer told the BBC.

The fire started on Saturday, and most of the damage was done overnight.

‘Hell’

Those residents who managed to return to their homes discovered that they had been destroyed.

“It’s all burned down. My sister’s house also burnt to the ground,” Rosa Guzman told the Reuters news agency.

Another resident said the blaze felt as if “hell encircled my family”.

“The fire raced down the hills and destroyed everything in its path,” Miguel Ramirez told the AFP news agency.

This is the second emergency that President Bachelet has had to face in the first month of her second term in office, after an 8.2 earthquake hit northern Chile on 1 April.

Fires are frequent in central Chile, where summer sends temperatures soaring.

The Chilean Red Cross has appealed for donations to help those who were left homeless

The fire began on Saturday, with most of the damage done overnight

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-27007884

Toward a World Heritage Action Plan for Latin America and the Caribbean 2014 …

The World Heritage Committee,

1.  Having examined document WHC-13/37.COM/10A,

2.  Recalling Decisions 32 COM 11D, 34 COM 10B.2, 35 COM 10B and 36 COM 10C adopted respectively at its 32nd (Quebec City, 2008), 34th (Brasilia, 2010), 35th (UNESCO, 2011) and 36th (Saint Petersburg, 2012) sessions,

3.  Expresses its sincere appreciation to the States Parties from Latin America and the Caribbean for their efforts in preparing and submitting their Periodic Reports and thanks especially all focal points and site managers for their effective participation and commitment;

4.  Notes with satisfaction that all the 32 States Parties from Latin America and the Caribbean have participated actively in the Periodic Reporting exercise and 29 Section I questionnaires and 122 Section II questionnaires were successfully submitted;

5.  Reiterates its satisfaction that at the moment of the launching of the second cycle, 116 draft retrospective Statements of Outstanding Universal Value were submitted and welcomes the final submission of 66 Statements for adoption by the World Heritage Committee at its 37th session;

6.  Thanks the authorities of Argentina, Barbados, Brazil, Chile, Dominican Republic and Mexico for their support in successfully organizing regional and sub-regional meetings, in collaboration with the World Heritage Centre and UNESCO field offices;

7.  Takes note of the successful use of the special electronic platform as an indispensable tool in providing the comprehensive documentation, gathered in the World Heritage Centre database for future monitoring and follow-up of the Action Plan and acknowledges the importance of this tool in developing the thematic working groups and their related programmes;

8.  Welcomes with satisfaction the synthesis report and endorses the proposal to develop the Action Plan to be submitted to the World Heritage Committee at its 38th session for evaluation;

9.  Requests the World Heritage Centre to develop the above-mentioned Action Plan, in collaboration with the States Parties of the region, the Advisory Bodies, the focal points, site managers and the World Heritage related-Category 2 Centres in the region and other partners;

10.  Also takes note of the significant progress made concerning the Retrospective Inventory for the region, both in terms of clarification of boundaries and minor boundary modifications and also requests the States Parties to continue participating actively in this regard, especially when clarifications or modifications of boundaries have been requested by the World Heritage Committee in relation to the evaluation of the state of conservation of the respective properties;

11.  Also thanks the Government of Spain for financing the translation of the Report containing the results of the Second Cycle of the Periodic Reporting into Spanish, further requests the World Heritage Centre to widely disseminate the Report among all stakeholders in the region, encourages the publication of the report in the World Heritage Papers series and calls on the international community to support the request;

12.  Decides that the significant modifications to boundaries and changes to criteria (re-nominations) requested by States Parties as a follow-up to the Second Cycle of the Periodic Reporting Exercise will not fall within the limit of two nominations per State Party per year imposed by Paragraph 61 of the Operational Guidelines , while they will still fall within the overall limit of forty-five complete nominations per year. This decision shall apply for the 1 February 2014 and 1 February 2015 deadlines for the Latin America and the Caribbean Region, after which time the normal limit established in Paragraph 61 will be resumed;

13.  Encourages the States Parties and all other World Heritage partners and stakeholders, including the UNESCO Category 2 Centres in the Region, to actively cooperate and to take the necessary actions to follow-up, in a concerted and concrete manner, towards the development of the Action Plan;

14.  Also encourages UNESCO Category 2 Centre for World Heritage of Zacatecas (Mexico) and the UNESCO Category 2 Centre Lucio Costa of Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) for heritage management, when appropriate, to coordinate their activities and the development of learning tools in Portuguese and Spanish to implement the capacity-building strategy and associated programmes, also welcomes the establishment of an observatory for heritage management foreseen in Brazil, and calls for a close cooperation with the Caribbean Capacity building Programme (CCBP);

15.  Recognizes the valuable role played by local communities, including indigenous peoples, in the management of cultural and natural heritage properties and further encourages programmes at Latin America and the Caribbean World Heritage properties to also focus on the active involvement and participation of the local communities in their implementation and derivation of direct benefits;

16.  Also calls on the States Parties to cooperate with technical and financial resources at the national level to implement the Action Plan, and on the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies to provide support for its implementation.

Read more …

Article source: http://whc.unesco.org/en/events/1160

Why the Heritage Foundation’s Jim DeMint Doesn’t Understand Basic American …

Article source: http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2014/04/jim_demint_american_abolitionism_and_constitutional_conservatives_why_the.html