Manataka American Indian Council                 Volume VII  Issue 5            MAY 2005


SMOKE SIGNAL NEWSLETTER

Manataka - Preserving the past today for tomorrow

                34 PRINTED PAGES IN THIS ISSUE 


 

Contents:                                

Upcoming Events 

Working with a Native Hand Drill

Featuring Otto Riollano Dávila

Maya Goddess Ix Chel - Rainbow Woman
Web Site Updates  Shoshone Grandmother Mary Dann Passes
Grow A Sunflower This Year BIA Grabs Energy Without Tribal Consent
Spring Space Clearing The Rainbow Diet
Ceremony Season Indian Child Welfare Act - Troubled Waters
Elder's Meditations Travel to Egypt -- the Indian Way
Virginia American Indians Fight

Healing Prayer Basket 

Will Rogers - A Cherokee Sage

Manataka Messages 

                              



UPCOMING EVENTS

May 13 - 15 - Women's Healing Retreat

 

May 27 - 29  -  Bear Dance - Buffalo, TX 

 

June 25 - 27 - Gathering at Manataka



The human heart feels things the eyes cannot see, and knows what the mind cannot understand.



International Leonard Peltier Gathering In Washington D.C.!

 

May 9th, 2005

From Dawn To Dusk!  

Front of the U.S. Supreme Court Building 

Washington, D.C. 20543

 

A PEACEFUL GATHERING FOR LEONARD'S FREEDOM!

 

This is a Monday which is decision day for the court and 

there will be news camera's. Spread the word far and wide.  

 

Bring Signs, Bullhorns, Drums, Cameras, 

Bring Family and Friends 

 

Carpooling can be planned at this website setup by

a Leonard Peltier Supporters and Friends

http://washingtongathering.croweagle.com/

This Gathering Has The Full Support Of Leonard Peltier and the LDPC.

 


Manataka Women's Council

Healing Retreat

 May 13 - 15, 2005

Gulpha Gorge Campgrounds, Hot Springs, AR

Ladies of all ages welcome.

Get away from it all. 

Strengthen bonds of 

friendship, peace and spirituality

 

 

Free — No Fee — except $10 camping fee — Donations welcome.

Local motel lodging also available.  No males allowed—big or small.

Bring food and camping supply.

 

No reservations required. 

Contact:  Becky Owl Woman Moore — 136 Waine Place, Hot Springs, AR

Jody French — morningflower@hotmail.com

Pat Carter — 501-760-1967  


 

PAST EVENT REPORT...

Manataka Encampment - April 22-24

 

The Elder of Manataka extends thanks to all the wonderful people who attended the Manataka Encampment at Bald (Eagle) Mountain Park & Retreat in Hot Springs on April 22-24.  Several campers arrived a few days early and many stayed well into the next week.  

 

The crowd was the largest ever and the facilities proved to be very satisfactory to serve bigger crowds in the future. Owner and operators of the park and members of Manataka, Rick Lewis and Crystal Harvey deserve our heart-felt thanks for preparing the new wooded campsite areas, showers, concession area, and Bear Dance location.  

 

The selection of the sweat lodge location by MAIC Chair Doc Davidson could not have been better.  The soft sandy beach next to the year-round creek was wonderful for the many who participated in sweat ceremonies -- some found it irresistible to roll out of the lodge and into the creek.  A children's sweat, women's sweat, Bear sweat and open sweats were held.   We are grateful for the many people who volunteered firewood, labor and love.

 

Children participated in games and activities sponsored by Manataka's Honored Grandmothers while the parents attended events or relaxed at the fire.  Two Trade Blanket sessions, led by Joe Quiet Wolf was enjoyed by many folks.  Some people got away with some really neat stuff!

 

Jim PathFinder Ewing's Sacred Drumming session and Magdala and Mario's inspirational presentations were, as usual, profound and well received.  Perhaps the highlight of the Encampment was the Bear Dance presented by members of the Arkansas Bear Dance Society. Manataka is grateful for the unselfish giving by members of the Bear Dance Society.  Six Bears were assisted by four Wingmen and eight drummers and singers. The Bear Dance was spectacular!... with one exception. Twyla Stormfire Warford fell during the 'link-up" dance and fractured her arm.  Manataka's first-aid station rendered aid but Stormfire required further medical attention the next day. 

 

Prior to the Bear Dance, Doc Davidson led ceremonies honoring Otto Riollano Dávila's appointment to the new post of Manataka Ambassador to Spiritual Elders of Latin America.  Many honors and gifts were bestowed on Riollano by all nine Elders of Manataka.   

 

We were particularly impressed with the condition of the grounds after the event.  Several adults and many  children volunteered for the Sunday clean-up sweep -- but had very little to collect as the campsites and open areas were left very clean by our wonderful members and guests -- who all showed great respect for the Earth Mother and Manataka.    

 

What do you think about having another Encampment in the early Fall?

   


 

Suppose one morning you never wake up, do all your family and friends know you love them?  I was thinking...I could die today, tomorrow or next week, and I wondered if I had any wounds needing to be healed, friendships that needed rekindling or three words needing to be said.   Let every one of your friends and family know you love them.  Even if you think they do not love you in return, you would be amazed at what those three little words and a smile can do.  And just in case Creator calls me home ........ I LOVE YOU!!!               --Doreen Clouser

 


 

INTRODUCING 

 

OTTO RIOLLANO CABALLO BLANCO DÁVILA

Manataka Ambassador to Spiritual Elders of Latin America

 

 

In February 2005, The Elders of Manataka took a momentous step with the unanimous appointment of Otto Riollano Dávila of Puerto Rico to the new post of "Manataka Ambassador to Spiritual Elders of Latin America."  

 

Otto Riollano Dávila traveled to Manataka in April for a week long stay and was formally installed to his new post during special ceremonies before the Bear Dance at the Manataka Encampment on April 23 by all members of the Elders Council. Led by MAIC Chair, Doc Davidson, Elders bestowed many gifts and honors on Dávila including a red ribbon shirt worn by the Elders, medicine stones, a book about Manataka, a framed Certificate of Appointment, and other gifts.

 

Dávila will work under the direction of the Elder Council to establish formal communication with indigenous tribes and nations in the South and help develop programs and projects to assist indigenous spiritual elders to serve the growing number people who demand their guidance.  

 

"Indigenous people of the South are leaving the authoritarian doctrines of organized international religions by the thousands and returning to their original spirituality.   Spiritual elders there are being overwhelmed by this joyful phenomena and Manataka hopes to lend our support," said Lee Standing Bear Moore.

 

By the grace of the Great Spirit,  Otto --- the subject of the story that follows --- has been blessed with many talents that have practical use for the benefit of others with his varied and rich seventy year life experience.   

 

"...These gifts have no other purpose at this time of [my] life but to put their worth for the benefit of others... individuals and communities which are, like this person, in a quest for increasing the level of consciousness and awakening spirituality,  mainly through selfless-service efforts and devotion, said Dávila.  

 

Otto Caballo Blanco Riollano Dávila is Puerto Rican by birth,  or borinqueño, and is devoted at the juncture of his third age to service projects orientated towards consciousness development and community self-sufficiency and empowerment.  Assisted by his  multidisciplinary academic training and management skills,  he has held executive positions in private business,  government and academia.  He has also worked as an independent entrepreneur in various private endeavors, including the production and direction of activities and products for the media, particularly film and TV.  He has always been deeply interested in philosophy and religion,  from a practical point of view, and has a penchant for whatever has to do with justice and peace,  through the tenets of  selfless-service, sharing  and tolerance.  Still very much a student at heart and mind, he is eager to continue learning and improve every aspect of his nature.  In these pursuits,  he has found a tremendous resonance and support  in indigenous people spirituality, particularly American Indian spirituality. 

 

By Blood and Spirit  

Otto Caballo Blanco Riollano is Puerto Rican by birth,  or borinqueño: -- that is, a native of Boriquén, which was the indigenous name of this Caribbean island before it was invaded and colonized by Spain.  His racial and cultural background is Puerto Rican, which is a nationality mainly made up of a mixture of Spaniards, Africans and Taíno Indians.  (Although the Taíno nation was exterminated as a body politic,  Taíno blood ancestry, spirituality and social traits constitute a very strong cultural undercurrent in the Puerto Rican nation.)  Spiritually,  Caballo Blanco [White Horse] feels he has a very high indigenous quantum:  a reality which unfolded slowly in the course of his life and has now become a very strong presence in his being.   

 

Academic Background

Otto's formal academic training has been multidisciplinary, and includes:  a Bachelors in Science degree in 1957 from the University of Puerto Rico, followed by a year of studies at the University of Puerto Rico School of Law.   He then pursued two years of graduate studies in Business Administration at City University of New York .  From 1971-73 took a two year Diploma Course in film-making at the London Film School.  Conducted independent studies of, and practiced, Catholicism, Hinduism and Shamanism.  In the last few years has developed a special interest in Indigenous America, including its history, culture,  and particularly, its spirituality. 

 

Work Experience

In general, Otto has held business executive jobs in government and private enterprises; --  was self employed as a management consultant and lecturer;  -- worked for a number of years in the media (film and TV) as a script writer, producer and director;  --  has been a promoter and manager of cultural events, and finally; -- worked at the University of Puerto Rico, where he held various positions, including;  Department Director of Cultural Activities;  Associate Dean of Student Services;  Assistant Dean at the College of Humanities and;  Special Administrative Assistant to the Chancellor.  As an interim job within this positions, was appointed Chancellor of the San Juan Technological College.  He retired form the University of Puerto Rico in 1999.   

 

Special Interests

Special current interests include:  consciousness awakening  projects, working in this endeavor with small groups;  -- community service projects focused on conservation practices and sustainable development; -- writing papers, proposals, essays and articles on subjects related to spiritual, social,  community development,  paradigm changes and other matters of human interest.   In these endeavors and writings have been increasingly inspired by various American Indigenous nations and cultures.  He feels that impulse to pursue these activities comes from a vision to do his share in the  promotion of good relations, understanding, respect, abundance, balance and peace. 

 

Personal 

Otto was married once (a good friendly relationship is maintained with former spouse),  is the father of two beautiful daughters and has five grandchildren.  He lives in the central mountainous part of the island, his home being a center of meditation, study,  hands-on learning, gardening, sharing, prayer and celebrations with spiritual brothers and sisters, family and friends.  He feels very enthusiastic and desirous to serve and help others, and in these efforts, is significantly inspired by the American Indian spirituality and life principles.  His home ---  a gift on loan from the Great Spirit --- is open to all people of a good heart who are in search of the Right Path or are already treading it.  The name of his home is Portal Monte,  or Portal del Remonte,  which means:  "a door to the path of awareness  and ascension." and is very close to the largest,  and now  well preserved, Taino ceremonial plaza in Boriquén.

 

A Future for All

Otto is profoundly convinced that his interest in that which is believed to be a "mythical state" perceived by so many in the deep recesses of the spirit and memory  -- the origins, or that ancestral state in which man was noble and pure -- is part of the mystery that has brought him back to the Rainbow Warriors of Manataka.  He feels his life vision,  and the impulse and desire to work and serve is a blessing from the Great Spirit.

 


The Elders of Manataka invite you to offer your prayers for the success of this important mission. We also invite you to read monthly reports from the White Horse himself as we together reach out to the Kogi, our big brothers in the Columbia mountains, the Maya of Guatemala, the great Inca of Peru and other indigenous people of the South.  

 


What you love you empower and what you fear you empower - What you empower you attract.


 

Grow a Sunflower This Year

 

Sunflowers are wonderful plants for kids (and the kid within us all) to grow. They tolerate just about all soils, love sun, grow fast, and are fairly drought tolerant. Best of all, they delight us with a huge flower and many seeds.

 

Many Native Americans grew sunflowers for hair oil and food. Sunflowers were grown all over the country, and still are. The Latin or botanical name for sunflowers is Helianthus (pronounced hee-lee-an’-thus). Helios is the Latin word for sun. Anthos means flower. Many Southwestern and Central American tribes use the sunflower symbol in their art and ceremonies.

 

Seeds and Planting

Sunflower seeds are inexpensive, usually no more than a dollar for a package of 25 to 35 seeds. They can be found wherever seeds are sold, often even in the grocery store this time of year. There are several varieties so read the package. You want a seed-type sunflower if you plan on feeding birds this winter or roasting a treat for yourself. You want an oil variety if you just want pretty showy flowers in your yard or to cut. Both grow easily and require similar care.

 

They can grow up to 8 feet tall so pick out a spot where they can stretch up high. They need sunlight, 5 to 6 hours a day. And depending upon where you live, you may need to water them every other day during the hottest part of the summer. It is best to plant more than one although they don’t need to be planted in a row. You can plant them in a circle or dotted around a garden as long as they are about 2 feet apart. Sunflowers don’t like frost, so wait to plant the seeds until after the last frost of  Spring.

 

Work up the dirt so that it is soft to the touch with no rocks or clumps. This part is always fun. Use your hands to break the soil up. Feel it, smell it. Dirt is Mother Earth. Thank her for growing your seeds! Water the soil until it is damp. Push a hole in the dirt with your finger no deeper than the second knuckle. For most kids that’s about an inch. For us adults, that’s about 2 inches J.

 

Place the seed flat in the hole, lightly cover with dirt, and wait. It should take 7 to 10 days to germinate. You’ll see the tiny young plant peeking up above the dirt. Keep your sunflowers moist but not wet. This time of year, Mother Nature will probably water them enough in most parts of our country.

 

Some people prefer to pre-start their seeds inside. Place a damp, not wet, paper towel on a plate. Spread the seeds on the plate and cover with a damp paper towel. Keep the towels damp but don’t keep standing water in the plate. Once the seeds germinate, gently place them about one half inch deep in your planting spot. Lay them on their side so you don’t break off the baby plant! Gently cover them with dirt and let them grow.

 

Summer Gold

Sunflower blossoms follow the sun. You will be able to watch them actually move with the sun, from east to west. The stalk will have a spiral design. Look for it! In about 90 days, the blossom heads will turn lemon gold and begin to droop. You will notice how heavy they are! Don’t pick the head yet. Gently remove a few seeds and split open the hulls. If the seeds are full on the inside, your plant has matured. If they are soft or not full, leave it for a week and test again.

 

Harvest Time

Leave about a foot of stalk attached to the head. Cut carefully. Kids, have an adult help you with this. It will require a sharp knife or small saw. Hang the head face down in a dry place away from birds. Tie a paper bag around the stalk, covering the head to catch the drying seeds. It will take about three weeks to dry the head. The seeds will pop out easily when they are dried. Keep the head dry. If it is too wet or humid, the seed head will mold, spoiling all of your seeds.

 

Dig up the remaining stalk and roots. Look at the roots. How did they grow? Straight down and deep or shallow and in a circle? Why do you think they grew that way?  Do you know of other plants that have roots like your sunflower?

 

Feeding Time!

Remove all the seeds from the seed head. Put them in a paper bag, in a dark place and let them dry for two or three days. They should be dry enough to store now, either as birdseed or maybe for you! Although raw sunflower seeds won’t hurt you they don’t taste very good. Once soaked and roasted, they are a real treat.

 

How To Roast Sunflower Seeds

Place 2 to 3 cups of dried seeds in 2 quarts of water with 1/2 cup of salt. Bring to a boil and simmer for two hours OR soak overnight. Drain well and dry them. Drying is easier with a colander or pasta strainer. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Spread the seeds out in one even layer on a cookie sheet. Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes. For extra taste, add some butter (about 1 teaspoon for each cup of seeds). Stir. Add extra salt if you like. Just remember, too much salt isn’t good for you!

-- Submitted by Manataka Correspondent Laughing Quail

 


Wisdom of Elders:

Traditional American Indian

Food and Recipes

 

This 70+ page, soft-bound cookbook is brimming with recipes, tribal profiles, authentic preparation methods, as well as colorful ideas for menu planning. Gain insight into age old traditions and read stories about the American Indians who prepared these tasty delights. Proceeds from the sale of this cookbook go to the National Society for American Indian Elderly.

Manataka highly recommends this book for those who are concerned about providing a healthy diet for their families.  Full course meals are colorfully displayed. It is difficult to decide whether this book belongs on the coffee table or in the kitchen. Sections on food preparation traditions make this book a valuable addition to any library.  Glossy pages are easily cleaned.

Order yours now for only $21.95

 

 

 


 

THINGS TO THINK ABOUT...

 

Zero Gravity

When NASA first started sending up astronauts, they quickly discovered that ball point pens would not work in zero gravity.  To combat this problem, NASA scientists spent a decade and $12 billion developing a pen that writes in zero gravity, upside-down, on almost any surface including glass and at temperatures ranging from below freezing to over 300 degrees C.  The Russians used a pencil.  Your taxes are due again--enjoy paying them.

 

Our Constitution

They keep talking about drafting a Constitution for Iraq.  Why don't we just give them ours? It was written by a lot of really smart guys, it worked for over 200 years and, heck, we're not using it anymore.

 

Ten Commandments

The real reason that we can't have the Ten Commandments in a Courthouse is that you cannot post "Thou Shalt Not Steal," "Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery" and "Thou Shall Not Lie" in a building full of lawyers, judges and politicians!   It creates a hostile work environment.

 


 

SPRING SPACE CLEARING AND CLEANING

Submitted by Sheri Burnett  

 

In the West, space clearing, or house clearing, is linked to having a good spring clean, or a housewarming party. There are as many different methods of space clearing as there are cultures of the world. What is usually consistent no matter what the culture are the following three steps involved in space clearing:  

 

The rituals that have been used around the world for space clearing include the use of herbs, chants, potions, symbolism, spiritual ceremonies, blessings sacrifices, gifts, fruits, plants, holy water and sometimes the timing of the event to coincide with planets or moon cycles. Space clearing can be drawn from the Native American medicine wheel, Celtic ceremonies, early Christian ritual, and Balinese methods.  

 

Step One
Firstly, it is vital to give the home a really good spring clean and, at the same time, remove all the clutter. Following on from this is the use of ritual to further purify the space. This can involve any of the four elements: Water--holy water, energized water or purified water; Fire--candles or an open fire; Earth--plants, flowers, crystals or salt; Air--essential oils, incense, feathers, Native American smudge sticks, bells, drums, music or chanting.  

 

Offerings are usually made by placing these elements in different parts of the home. A skilled practitioner will usually start at the front door, moving from room to room, using one of the Air elements, such as incense, drumming or chanting to move the energy, or chi.   

 

Step Two
The second step, once the space has been cleared, is to refine and uplift the atmosphere of the home. This is usually done with a good quality bell, or with music, clapping, prayer or chanting.   

 

Step Three
The third and equally vital step, is to set the ‘intention’ of the space. Once the space has been cleared, it has been raised to a higher vibrational level and, rather like a void, is ready to be filled. This moment provides an opportunity to set the tone of the new space. Chi energy will always follow intention. Some kind of ceremony is important now to establish this. This is often carried out by standing at the center of each room and allowing your energy to expand and fill the space while, at the same time, declaring your intention.

 

Submitted by Manataka Correspondent Sheri Burnett - Wolflady.


 

Authentic Indian Standing Tall

 

Authentic Indian, stand tall to be counted. 

Stand tall with your self-respect and dignity. 

Stand tall before your family and friends in your respect of nature. 

Stand tall in your respect of your culture, your spiritualism, justice, creativity, music, art, literature, sports, history and all those things that might define you as Native. 

Stand tall against racists and those detractors who show no respect for other human beings. Stand tall in your love, respect and appreciation of humanity. 

Stand tall with your ability to guide youth for they will learn, in their turn, to stand tall.

 

Authentic Indian, stand tall for you know who you are!

 

-- By Crow Eagle - March 6, 2005


Ceremony Season

Submitted by Kim Summer Moon


This excellent piece on Indian ceremonies was written by my friend Wickapi and originally posted at www.alt.native.com newsgroup. With her permission, I'm publishing it here. I hope that if you are interested in attending Indian ceremonies, or if you don't understand why Indians sometimes get tired of seeking privacy, you will read this and perhaps gain some more understanding of things on the other side of the blanket.

 


 

It's high ceremony season, at last...
Summer is the time for joyful meeting, for feasting, dancing, sacrifice and prayers, rebirth and renewal, by members of all of our many Nations. We have been waiting for many long, dreary winter months, and it's finally that wonderful time again!

And--yes-- now that the weather's good, it's also the time when many non-Indians want to attend our most sacred and high ceremonies. Not that there is anything wrong with non-Indians attending ceremony... there isn't, in my eyes. I don't see any problem at all, when it's done correctly. But there ARE right ways, and wrong ways, for non-Indians to conduct themselves at a high ceremony such as Sundance.

Every single year we Indians have encountered the same big problem with uninvited guests just "showing up" unaccompanied by knowledgeable Indian sponsors, acting however they want, saying or asking whatever they wish, and in general expecting everything to be handed to them on a silver platter by any Indian in sight. They say that they "deserve" things, that nothing should be kept secret from them, that they have a right to be here, and to learn whatever they want. They say entering an Indian ceremony should be the same as joining a church or some other non-Indian group, and that it should be open to anyone who wants to go. They come demanding things, not respectfully asking for them. They come with a built-in attitude, and often openly argue with those who defy meeting their demands. They come to tread over sacred boundaries that even Indians won't step over in that most holy of places, and they come to ask pointed questions that pry into the private affairs of the dancers, and they bring dogs, or hidden cameras or tape recorders or notebooks to write in, or else women will come when they are on their moon, since they don't believe in our customs.

These people come not understanding the ceremony, many times not respecting it, and demanding to be "taught everything on the spot." Sometimes they actually go so far as to ask if they can take an active part in the ceremony, such as drumming or singing or pouring a sweat, or even dancing in the ceremony. In camp, they irritate everyone by going around wearing eagle feathers or other Indian ceremonial adornments, or they dress in an inappropriate way, or they talk around a lot and claim to know this or that famous or popular Indian, or they brag about having a "little" Indian blood which the family has kept secret for generations, or they tell everyone within earshot how educated they are, perhaps in cultural anthropology or another related field as though that gives them instant credibility. Or perhaps their boyfriend/girlfriend is NDN and they believe that gives them instant respect and access to anything they want in the doings.

These uninvited strangers have a million reasons why we Indians OWE them, why we must give in to their demands for our most secret, profound knowledge, our sacred religion, our holy ceremony, and they believe they have a right to personally audience with any of us one-on-one even if we don't want to talk about anything with them. Because we are standing on sacred ground, in most cases we Indians must be polite to these non-Indian relatives. As much as we'd like to, we can't simply tell them that they are being major disrespectful PESTS, and that we wish they'd just GO AWAY and leave us alone so that we can practice our religion in peace.

As has been noted so many times on this, Indians are often charged by non-Indians of being "greedy" with our religion, or of being "seclusionist" when we try to protect our ceremonies or to keep them private from non-Indians whom we don't know. What they don't EVER seem to understand is that we will NOT respond to demands or charges. The door will remain tightly closed to this disrespect!!! We only welcome those into the sacred circle who have ALREADY earned our trust-- which DOES take time to develop, sorry, but no "instant trust" is available on the spot to strangers that we've never met before who want to come to ceremony to "learn" everything.

You see, in the past we have already had everything we held dear either stolen from us, vandalized, bastardized, slaughtered, or otherwise ruined or tainted by outsiders. Our seeming paranoia and over protectiveness regarding our precious religions and ceremonies is based upon twice-proven grounds! These days, our trust and our respect must be earned over a period of time before access to our hearts and our souls and our ceremonies can be openly given. Given past history, how can anyone possibly not understand this?

To those who still disagree: We do not apologize to you. We owe you nothing. You come here, a non-Indian stranger, uninvited and unwelcome, wanting and demanding everything. If you want something, you must go about your quest in the way WE want you to go about it, not in the way YOU think it should go. Those are the rules, set in cement! Get mad and cry racist or other things if you want, no one will really care, you will only be further shunned for this obnoxious behavior as it will prove to us beyond a shadow of a doubt that you have no respect and no honor for our traditions or for us as individuals. And whining around and saying that no one will teach you or that you do not have access to Indian culture where you live, will do you no good either. It's not OUR fault that you are in that particular situation, and it doesn't automatically mean that we MUST teach you or give you what you want just because you haven't been able to get it any other way. If this seems harsh, perhaps it is. The bottom line is that we don't owe you our religion or our ceremonies or even our company, WHATEVER your reasons are for wanting them, and we aren't going to apologize for that. You must EARN the right to them.

We Indians have come to this ceremony to pray in the ancient ways of our grandfathers and our grandmothers, and it took many hard years for us to learn these ways. We have come to this ceremony to walk a Spirit Path, to make personal sacrifices of ourselves, to make prayers to the Great Mystery in order that our voices will be heard as one, so that our Red People, and all of the other three colors of People, will go on living forever, and so that this blessed Mother Earth and all her sacred creatures will continue to be fertile and grow and thrive forever. As well, we come here to this ceremony to pray for very private and personal reasons which we don't wish to share with anyone else. We come here to this ceremony to pray with our people in a most sacred and beautiful way that has taken us many years to learn from our elders. We are not here at this ceremony to entertain you, teach you, welcome you into our religion, or to adopt you as one of us. There isn't time for that right now, and it's not why we came here anyway...

You want to learn something from us, then you will do it right, our way, come in here with respect, or come here not at all. If you wish to attend this sacred ceremony, then come with a sponsor, someone who already understands what the ceremony is all about, and who will act as your guide and your mentor, who will steer you clear of any trouble you could get yourself into by doing or saying the wrong things. Also, do not expect to leave here with all the answers to all your questions-- because even Indian participants who have been coming to these ceremonies for decades still do not have all the answers, and not even the elderly medicine people will claim that they do. You should come here not expecting ANYTHING. Come here to be respectful, to be quiet and non-intrusive, to support the dancers and the ceremony, and to be seen and not heard.

Above all, be prepared to earn respect and show humility by working in a community spirit by splitting wood, hauling water, carrying out trash, cutting brush, preparing camping sites, building a kitchen, cooking and washing dishes, or doing any number of other things where you will be most appreciated-- and most noticed as a good person who comes among us not to take from us, but to give us something-- yourself, your good heart, and your helping hands-- your true, loving self. And then, next year when you come here again, you will be most pleasantly surprised when some Indian comes up to the camp gate with a big smile and shakes your hand and says, "Well, hello, Jim and Sarah! It's good to see you again! Where are you camped? Are you hungry? We got a venison dinner goin'..."

New Potential Friend, even if you can't go to ceremony, you can still be a part of it. Just burn a little sage and make a couple of red prayer ties and say your prayers. The Great Mystery and the Tree of Life always hear you. The first of the season's ceremonies are happening even as you read this.

By Wicakpi

Many thanks to Wicakpi for this piece, and for her friendship and prayers.



 

Many Hats Passes

 

Larry Jacobs, "Many Hats", from the Eagle Singers Drum out of Green Bay area has passed over. He was an elder that many of us will miss but know that he and the Creator will be watching over all of us to make sure that we walk the right road. He was of the Mohegan Tribe. 

-- Submitted by Jeannie Herbert, President: Central Illinois One People Organization, New Windsor Pow Wow

 


Elder's Meditation

 

"When people live far from the scenes of the Great Spirit's making, it's easy for them to forget his laws." --Walking Buffalo, Stoney

 

Society today is way off track. Unfortunately, many Indian people are caught up in these modern times. The Elders are telling us we must wake up! We must come back to the culture because this is where His laws are. If we don't follow these laws, we will be unhappy. We cannot do things just because everybody is doing them. This does not make it right. We must follow what the Great Spirit says we must do. We need to pray hard for the courage to come back and live according to the culture. It will be difficult at first but worth it in the end. We must teach our children the culture. 

 

Great Spirit, today, let me listen to the warnings of the Elders.

 

 -- Elders.meditation@whitebison.org


 

VIRGINIA AMERICAN INDIANS SOVEREIGNTY
By Emma Schwartz, Times Staff Writer

KING WILLIAM COUNTY, Va. Nearly 400 years ago, British colonists came ashore near this verdant watershed of Chesapeake Bay, surviving the first brutal winter only with the help of the Native Americans who had lived on the land for centuries.

But as the Commonwealth of Virginia prepares for the commemoration of that 1607 arrival in Jamestown, the descendants of those Indians are embroiled in a fight over a different legacy of that year: acknowledgment of their sovereignty.  Though the first to greet British colonists, the tribes the Upper Mattaponi, Chickahominy, Eastern Chickahominy, Monacan, Nansemond and Rappahannock, with a total population of about 3,500 are among the last to gain official recognition from the U.S. government. Attaining that status would give the tribes control over their own government affairs and access to a gold mine of federal funding, including health, housing and governance grants for Native Americans.

Allocations vary widely across the nation's 562 federally recognized tribes. In 2002, for example, the Navajos with a population of 250,000 received more than $321 million, while the 1,055-member Morongo tribe of California got $560,000, according to federal budget figures.

The unique situation of the Virginia tribes is, in part, the result of the initial contact with the colonists. The tribes' only treaties with any government entity were with the British settlers, and those agreements were never formally acknowledged by the United States.

But the tribes' position worsened during the early part of the 20th century, when the state government essentially legislated the Indian race out of existence.  Eighty years ago, during the height of the eugenics movement a now-discredited science that believed, among other things, in preserving the superiority of the white race by prohibiting racial intermarriage the Virginia General Assembly passed the Racial Integrity Act, which defined racial categories as "white" and "colored." Indians were listed as colored.

Now that law is affecting the effort of the tribes to gain federal recognition and the government benefits that could follow.

In the absence of a treaty, the usual way of achieving federal recognition is through the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Among the documentation required is proof that a tribe has been in continuous existence since 1900 but because official paperwork in the early to mid-1900s expunged the tribal members' racial identity, such proof is difficult to come by. So the tribes have called on Congress for help.  "We want to be on an equal playing field," said Kenneth F. Adams, 57, chief of the Upper Mattaponi. "It's not about money. It's not about education. It's not about hospitals, even though those benefits come along with the recognition. It's about the proper dignity that's afforded with this recognition."

Though dozens of states had laws prohibiting racial intermarriage, none were as harsh as Virginia's, scholars say. Much of this was because of the firebrand tactics of Walter Ashby Plecker, head of the state's Bureau of Vital Statistics from 1912 until 1946.  Plecker conducted a "brutal, repressive and extra-legal campaign against Native Americans," said Gregory M. Dorr, a University of Alabama historian who is writing a book about the Virginia eugenics movement.

Plecker helped draft the law and was one of the most zealous enforcers of the policy, which covered birth, marriage and death certificates, school records and any other document filed with the state that designated an individual's race.  He sent letters to school officials, county registrars and doctors, Dorr said, threatening them with jail if anyone was identified as Indian, rather than colored. He even went so far as to list common Indian surnames that should be classified as colored. 

 

It was only through the influence of some of Virginia's most prominent families descendants of colonist John Rolfe and Pocahontas, a Powhatan Indian princess that individuals with 1/16th Indian ancestry or less were exempted from classification as colored. But that did not apply to most of the state's Native Americans.

"My parents and grandparents never talked about being Indian. Not until I was a teen. And when I asked, they had one simple reaction: 'We were trying to protect you,' " said Gene Adkins, 64, a member of the Eastern Chickahominy and president of the Virginia Indian Tribal Alliance for Life, which is overseeing the drive for federal recognition.

After Plecker retired in 1946, his legacy began to fade; in 1967, the Supreme Court struck down the Racial Integrity Act. By the 1980s, Virginia's tribes began winning state recognition, which gave them more of a say in state government affairs. Slowly, Indians began to officially reclaim their racial identity. In 1997, the Virginia General Assembly formally apologized for the 1924 law and offered to pay for Indians to have the race on their birth certificates corrected. 

 

That offer rejuvenated the tribes' interest in federal recognition, so they filed papers with the Bureau of Indian Affairs. The application is arduous, requiring hundreds of items detailing a tribe's members, autonomy, governance, continuous existence since 1900, and history.

But because of the Racial Integrity Act, the tribes could not use official records to prove their continuous existence. They would need to search for secondary documents, such as church registries or family papers, which probably would be scattered across many locations and might not still exist.

So with support from Virginia's Republican senators, George Allen and John W. Warner, and Democratic Rep. James P. Moran, legislation to grant federal recognition to the six tribes was introduced in the House and the Senate. The House bill remains in committee. The Senate version was approved by the Senate Indian Affairs Committee in May.

But fears about casino gambling have stalled the legislation. Although the measure would not change the fact that tribes must obey state gambling laws and current Virginia law prohibits casino gambling some people want a prohibition on casinos written into the federal legislation recognizing the tribes. Though the tribes say they have no interest in setting up casinos, they also say any conditions attached to federal recognition would undermine the point of sovereignty.  

 

So they have hired a lobbyist to help plead their case. They have garnered support from the Virginia General Assembly, Gov. Mark R. Warner, the National Congress of American Indians, and even the coordinators of the Jamestown 2007 commemoration.

And while the tribes help prepare for the anniversary celebration, many members say they are doing so grudgingly.

"It would be extremely ironic," said Adams, the Upper Mattaponi chief, "if we participate in this event that was the beginning of the United States as we know it today and not be properly recognized by the United States."


To read more, go to: http://www.latimes.com/archives

 


DID YOU KNOW....

 

Can you imagine working for a company that has a little more than 500
employees and has the following statistics:

*3 have done time for assault

*7 have been arrested for fraud

*8 have been arrested for shoplifting

*14 have been arrested on drug-related charges

*19 have been accused of writing bad checks

*21 are currently defendants in lawsuits

*29 have been accused of spousal abuse
*71 cannot get a credit card due to bad credit
*84 have been arrested for drunk driving in the last year

*117 have directly or indirectly bankrupted at least 2 businesses

Can you guess which organization this is?  Give up yet?

It's the 535 members of the United States Congress. The same group of idiots that crank out hundreds of new laws each year designed to keep the rest of us in line.




I AM WHO I AM

 

For the cute little girl with the red hair -- 

 

Be yourself...truthfully   Accept yourself...gracefully    Value yourself...joyfully  
Forgive yourself...completely Treat yourself...generously Trust yourself....confidently
Balance yourself... harmoniously Bless yourself....abundantly Love yourself...wholeheartedly
Empower yourself....prayerfully Give of yourself...enthusiastically Express yourself...radiantly

 

Remember the way people react to you is only a reflection of you!!!!   

 

--- Submitted by Romaine Garcia gogoro6871@yahoo.com


WILL ROGERS...

A Cherokee from Oklahoma, Will Rogers died in 1935 and was a great American sage

About Growing Older…

  • Eventually you will reach a point when you stop lying about your age and start bragging about it. 

  • The older we get, the fewer things seem worth waiting in line for. 

  • Some people try to turn back their odometers. Not me, I want people to know "why" I look this way. I've traveled a long way and some of the roads weren't paved.

  • When you are dissatisfied and would like to go back to youth, think of Algebra.  

  • You know you are getting old when everything either dries up or leaks. 

  • I don't know how I got over the hill without getting to the top. 

  • One of the many things no one tells you about aging is that it is such a nice change from being young.

  • One must wait until evening to see how splendid the day has been.

  • Being young is beautiful, but being old is comfortable.

  • Long ago when men cursed and beat the ground with sticks, it was called witchcraft. Today it's called golf. 

  • If you don't learn to laugh at trouble, you won't have anything to laugh at when you are old.


WORKING WITH A NATIVE HAND DRILL

Today it was warm and I went for a walk.  I walked past the place where my father used to live.  I thought back to another warm day when I walked this way to visit my father. I was a much younger man, but he was a very wise and old man by then.  It was not long after that day before he joined with the Great Spirit.  But that morning, I believed he would live forever. He was sitting at his front door, using an old fashion stick drill to make holes in small seashells he collected when we went on a trip to the beach. I asked him what he was doing.  He said he was making necklaces in the old style as gifts for his granddaughters and great granddaughters from the shells he collected.

I looked at him with surprise. The drill he used was a home made drill made from a stick, and cross bar of wood, some string and a nail. It was just as the ones his father and his grandfather used to make holes in shells so many years ago.  It was the same exact type of tool our people had used to drill holes in shells and rocks for generations before the white men came to this land.  (In the past they used flint or another sharp rock rather than a nail at the end.) 

I watched as his old and bony hands spun the string tightly around the shaft, then push the cross bar over and over again.  Each time he pushed the crossbar, the string unwound and the drill spun.  Then he let the crossbar go, and used his old fingers to spin the stick, rewinding the  crossbar up again and then pushing the crossbar down.  His old hands did this with such ease that the nail spun on the shell back and forth, making a hole in the center.  Still, it was slow and hard work, especially for his old, tired hands.

I pulled up a chair next to him and sat down.  I looked at the many shells that were waiting have a hole drilled in them sitting in a basket by his side.  Then I looked at the handful that were sitting in another basket with small holes neatly drilled in each.  Knowing my father's habits, I knew he had been working on his drilling since the early morning.  After a short time I asked him why he wasn't using a better, more modern drill to make the holes.  I suggested he use my modern drill, or even use the old hand crank drill, he had in his toolbox.  They would both be faster than the old hand made one he was using.

My father did not look up from his work.  He kept moving the crossbar on his hand made drill as he worked.  "This works as well as I need it to," he said.

"But," I argued with him, "there are many more ways that would be much quicker."

My father stopped his work and looked at me.  "What benefit would quickness be?" he asked me.

I didn't understand.  I answered him, "You would be done sooner."  

My father looked deep in my eyes and said, "This is exactly why I use this old drill.  Our people have been making this type of drill for hundreds of years.  It always works in its own time.  I could use a new type of drill and have all these shells drilled and strung by noon.  But then what would I do? 

"I am making a gift for my granddaughters and their daughters.  I am happy in making these gifts.  Making the gifts is as much joy to me as giving the gifts.  If I were to rush and make them with the tools you suggest, then I would be denying myself the joy that the effort gives me.  If I rush, I will not have the time to become one with the things I make."

Though I wanted to, I did not understand him.  I thought he was foolish, and maybe even a bit senile for taking all day, maybe longer, and putting in such an effort to drill the holes in the shells with an old stick drill. I believed my nieces and grandnieces wouldn't know the difference anyway.

Not long after that day, my father's spirit joined with the Great Spirit, but not before he had finished the necklaces and gave them to his grandchildren and their daughters.

When it came to be time to clean his home, I found, in his personal effects, a small package with my name on it.  I opened it up and found a hand made sheathe of leather.  The stitching was less than machine perfect, made by my father's brittle old hands.  On it was beaded a bird of Thunder  and a medicine symbol.  Inside the sheathe was a blade of shinning, hand sharpened and  polished metal.  The handle was made from a deer horn.  My name was carved on the base of the handle.   Its rough cut and shaped beauty was amazing to behold.

When I held the knife, I could feel the spirit and energy of my father in every inch of the knife and sheathe.  His being and his spirit were in this gift.  Inside the sheathe, along with the knife, was a note.  My father wrote, in his shaky hand, words that translate to: "My son.  Now I am dead.  An old piece of metal and a deer horn, like shells on the beach and a piece of string, tie this old man's heart to those he loves."

I could feel the wisdom of my father surround me.  I could feel my own ignorance and shame well up in me.  I knew then why my father used the old stick drill to work the shells.  I also understood then, that the fastest way to do something is not always the best.  Even if the end result looks the same, or better, it is the soul of the hands that make something that makes that item of value.

This day, when I walked past the place where my father lived, I am an old man.  I stopped and looked at the place where my father sat with the old drill and the shells, and I reached to my side to the sheathe and knife my father made which I wear on my belt every day of my life, and I remembered him and his wisdom.

Submitted by Manataka Correspondent Jennifer Whitefeather Attaway 


 

THE RAINBOW BLANKET LINK

"We make a path for the shining ones to fly through us." --Carol Perez Rainbow Runner Petersen 

 

"The scouts have been called rainbow warriors. They have traveled high in to the mountains and deep into the canyons following the North Star. They have left their signal etched on cliffs and painted on stones. This living language preserved by the rainbow runners mirrors the language of the heavenly prayers ladled with hope. It is a rainbow blanket."   http://www.corspirit.com/rainbow.htm

 


10 MYTHS about Global Warming

DISCOVER magazine has named Global Warming the number 1 science story of 2004.  Their January 2005 issue appeared on newsstands just as the climate change treaty members were meeting in Buenos Aires to begin actually putting the Kyoto Protocol into operation.  2004 was a year that was the fourth hottest on record, when Russia finally ratified Kyoto allowing the treaty to go into effect, when multiple weather disasters struck from the Caribbean to Japan, and when the Arctic was shown to be in dire (ice-free) straits from rapid warming

Don't believe these commonly heard statements:

*   It isn't really happening  (documented science overwhelmingly shows temperatures rising rapidly)

*   It's natural   (temperature increases, especially since the 1970's, are far above natural variations)

*   Any effects well be very gradual  (not only are severe storms getting stronger, but climate history shows sharp climate changes can occur  abruptly, in only a few years)

*   It does not affect the U.S.  (the U.S. is experiencing rising sea levels, more severe storms and droughts, die-off of forests, altered animal migrations, and loss of glaciers such as those in Glacier National Park)

*   It will be good for us (some areas may become more pleasantly warm, but the cost of negative effects will far outweigh any benefits; disease and heat deaths are increasing)

*   Agriculture will benefit   (CO2 may make some crops grow faster, but also will accelerate weeds, pests and droughts; crops may not grow well  where they once did as climate zones shift.)

*   It's being handled by our government   (The current U.S. Administration advocates studying, not dealing with, global warming;  its energy policy completely based on burning more coal &  oil.  Most state and local governments are unprepared for major changes)

[The federal government is the largest contributor to global warming by virtue of its self-serving, arrogant and repressive policies.]

*    It's not a big deal compared to national security   (Global warming is actually the most serious threat to the widest range of human  concerns.  Our national and world security is directly threatened by negative climate effects on weather, water supply, disease, agriculture, marine resources, and health)

*   Technology will solve the problem for us   (Massive "fixes" like burying greenhouse gases are very unlikely, but many smaller changes can make a difference AND are available now)

*    There's nothing to be done anyway   (Everyone can make a difference today -- SEE   BELOW...)

15  Very Important Things to Do about Global Warming...from the individual to the national

1.   Learn about it -- start with this website and see the References
2.   Sell the SUV and choose cleaner, more efficient vehicles
3.   Use efficient appliances, replace light bulbs, insulate
4.   Buy renewable energy, like wind and solar
5.   Organize the neighborhood and town for energy efficiency
6.   Use your vote and influence as a citizen to elect responsive leaders
7.   Encourage efficient transportation in & between communities
8.   Plant trees, expand open spaces
9.   Reduce sprawl and the paving of the landscape
10. Build for efficiency and solar power
11. Support sustainable farming and forestry
12. Reduce global deforestation
13. Develop an efficient energy policy, moving away from fossil fuels
14. Export new energy technology that uses renewable energy sources
15. ....and Start doing these things today

From www.worldviewofglobalwarming.org   Submitted by Sheri Burnett



 

The unique personality which is the real life in me, I cannot gain unless I search for the real life, the spiritual quality, in others.

 

I am myself spiritually dead unless I reach out to the fine quality dormant in others.

 

For it is only with the God enthroned in the innermost shrine of the other, that the God hidden in me, will consent to appear.  

Submitted by Romaine Garcia 



 

MAYAN GODDESS IX CHEL - RAINBOW WOMAN

By Magdala Rameriz

 

Ix Chel, the Mayan Goddess, Rainbow Woman has been a very powerful teacher for all women; there is a Rainbow woman inside each woman.   This is her story.

 

 

She was born with a twin bother, and her parents were both priests.  She was trained as a priestess to perform ceremonies and guide the people in spirit.

 

Her loved to sing and play the drum at the ocean side as the dolphins and whales jumped with her in song.  Love was in her heart as she began to listen to the spirit, the voice of love and wisdom.  

 

People came to her to ask what they should do in the ceremonies.  And, she always had the same answer.  "Put your heart in it; it is not about following tradition but to put your heart in the spirit."  This is how a ceremony should be performed.  She knew a ceremony without heart is empty.    

 

People were shocked by some of her answers to their questions.  They knew her brother was a good traditional priest, yet many people loved her most because they recognized her words came from a higher truth.  Others did not love her as much because she was too liberal and free.

 

Then a wonderful man appeared in her life and soon she fell in love and was married.  

 

When a woman like Ix Chel falls in love, water come out from continuously.  Water came out from Rainbow Woman's womb creating all sorts of beautiful flowers, medicinal plants, hot springs and rainbows everywhere she walked.  A great deal of healing came from her because of the great love that she had inside her.

 

Her husband was in a bad mood one day and asked her suspiciously, "Why are you so wet? Have you been with another man?  Have you betrayed me?"

 

Ix Chel replied, "I am always wet because I love you so much!  Just thinking about you the love inside me comes out as the water that never ends.  It is my medicine as a woman.  I would never betray you."

 

But her husband could not understand this kind of love, so the next day he jealously asked her again and she gave him the same answer.  Four times he asked and she replied the same four times, but he still could not understand the love and light that she was.  Then he angrily bit her eye.

 

Ix Chel was very sad and hurt that she said, "I will go to the moon and there I will guide my people from the heart.  I will only return when the man and woman are ready for love.  I will wait until that time.

 

So as the story goes, Ix Chel waited and waited with all the love inside her.  Then one day, she did return as promised and today she lives inside the human woman who loves with all her heart.

 

She is inside every woman that loves in this way.  She is inside every man who is waiting to be loved in this way -- with complete surrender and complete sacredness.  The water that comes from the womb prepares the woman for the most beautiful ceremony of love.  The water is sacred.  

 

That is why the waters we have are sacred.   We drink the water that comes from the Mother's womb -- the water that never ends.

 


 

Use what talents you possess. The woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best ~William Blake

 


Help Needed for Robert Passons

Have you ever heard of this man?  Anaheim Memorial Hospital is trying to find someone who knows an Indian man named Robert Passons.  He is a counselor of some sort. He was brought into the hospital in a coma and they are trying to find friends and family and a spiritual leader for the man.  If you know this person, please call Anaheim Memorial Hospital, 714-774-1450.

 

Contacts: Patricia DancingElk dduck@dcccd.edu,  Pearl Kapuscinski takkolo@yahoo.com

Submitted by Gray Beard
 


Western Shoshone Grandmother Mary Dann Passes

April 23, 2005.  Crescent Valley, Nevada (Newe Sogobia). With very heavy hearts, we regret to inform you that yesterday evening, April 22, 2005, Mary Dann, Western Shoshone grandmother and life long activist passed away.  

 

Mary was killed in an accident while working on her family's ranch. She died as she would have wanted – with her boots on and hay in her pocket.  Mary is survived by her sister, Carrie Dann, two brothers, Richard and Clifford, nieces, nephews, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.  Mary was an honorable, incredible woman who inspired people through her quiet strength and unwavering faith in the Creator.

Mary Dann will be sorely missed but she will never be forgotten.

Mary's ashes were returned to the earth on Saturday, April 30, 2005 at the site near the Dann ranch where she passed away.  

Carrie Dann, Western Shoshone Grandmother, activist and sister to Mary Dann is letting every one know that the family is strong and doing okay.  "We want to let people know that we are doing ok and we will be strong... Mary believed in living her life for the protection of her family, the life - the sacred (the land, the air, the water, the sun) and for the future generations... We must remember that Mary stood proud, strong, dignified, respectful against all types of racial discrimination, desecration of her spiritual ways by the BLM, Department of Interior (who claimed to be her "trustee").  She stood up against the mining industry, the nuclear industry, the energy industry.  Mary never took no for an answer but she stood her ground for what she believed in and for the Truth.  Not because she wanted to, but because she had to.  I will continue to do this, even with my sister gone.  I believe in these things also... We must always remember the future generations and protect the sacred things so that the little ones coming behind us will be ok.  The struggle will go on," said Carrie Dann.

Western Shoshone Defense Project, P.O. Box 211308, Crescent Valley, NV 89821,775-468-0230 www.wsdp.org

 

Submitted by Helen RedWing


 

TRAVEL TO EGYPT
Star Elders Pilgrimage and Conference
October 25 - November 6, 2005


Guest Speakers
Stephen Mehler, MA, author of The Land of Osiris
Shoshone Elder Bennie LeBeau, Sr.
Rocky Thunder Wolf Miller of the Wolf Clan of Arkansas
Egyptologist Ms. Soha Mahmoud.

Join Body Mind Spirit Journeys and The Native American Star Elders and share this incomparable experience with others of like mind!  Explore the ancient indigenous traditions of Egypt, the hidden mysteries of this great civilization that has left its imprint and impact on humanity forever. Participate in sacred ceremonies for world peace conducted by The Star Elders.

During your time on the Giza Plateau
your home base will be the 5* Mena House Oberoi Hotel, located in the shadow of the pyramids !  You will visit the Sphinx, the Great Pyramid & the Giza Plateau, as well as the ancient sites of Sakkara & Dashur, Cairo Museum, and ancient Khan El Khalili Market Place.

During the Nile Cruise 

You will visit sacred temples that lie along her banks from Luxor to Aswan.

SPECIAL OFFERING!
Private Closing Ceremony and meditation in the King's Chamber of the Great Pyramid.

Complete Information

www.BodyMindSpiritJourneys.com click on Body Mind Spirit Journeys, Egypt, October 2005 departure.

IMPORTANT: Please put the name Manataka as referring you the tour in the  "Referred by" space on this form. 

 


ENERGY COMPANIES PUSHING AMENDMENT TO FORCE 

ENERGY RIGHTS-OF-WAY WITHOUT TRIBAL CONSENT


Under current law (25 U.S.C. §324 and the regulations at 25 C.F.R. §169) the Secretary may not grant approval of a right-of-way over tribal lands without the consent of the proper tribal officials. The New Mexico Oil & Gas Association and other energy companies are lobbying Congress to include a provision in this year's energy legislation that would allow the Secretary of Interior to approve an energy right-of-way over tribal lands without tribal consent. 

 

The energy companies are making the argument to Congress that a tribal consent requirement is unfair because tribes are charging too much for rights-of-way and creating an impediment to energy transportation.  They would like to give the Secretary of Interior the authority to issue a right-of-way over tribal lands without tribal approval and tie the valuation method to historically low rates. The energy companies claims are simply without basis and should be vigorously opposed by Congress.

Rights-of-way on Indian lands have been historically undervalued by the Department of Interior  which often set rates at agricultural levels for high-value energy corridors and has deeply discounted the value of tribal lands as compared to private lands. In recent years tribes have been negotiating for themselves and moved to economic valuation of rights-of-way. This has increased the cost of tribal rights-of-way, thankfully, and it has corrected a lot of abuses of the past.

The energy industry proposal would tie the valuation of rights-of-way to a fair market value which is generally appraised by looking at comparables. This would unfairly tie the rates to the historic undervaluation levels established by the Department of the Interior.

Unilateral control over rights-of-way by the Secretary would lead to abuses and create a lot of trust litigation against the federal government. The history of tribal trust land is that when the Secretary of Interior has absolute control over trust decisions, tribal interests are generally manipulated and abused. Energy rights-of-way are very high value assets that should be negotiated in arms-length transactions are not by politicians.

Energy companies have freely pillaged tribal lands for over a hundred years expropriating huge quantities of natural resources at rock bottom prices, often with the assistance of the Department of Interior. Today tribes are able to negotiate for market rates  and through-the-looking-glass this
appears unfair to the energy industry. 

The funds that tribal governments receive from rights-of-way are used for governmental purposes  to supplement vastly under-funded federal programs like law enforcement, education and health care. Undercutting the tribes ability to negotiate fair rates for rights-of-way would shift more burden onto the federal government to fund these programs.


Tribal lands make up less than 2% of the U.S., so a right-of-way can go a different way. If the energy company does not want to pay the tribe, it can go around the reservation. The tribal consent requirement is simply not a serious physical impediment to the energy industry.

Tribal lands were reserved for the use of Indian tribes for their people and their culture are not as cheap industrial corridors. Energy rights-of-way are often very destructive of surrounding land and limit its potential uses. Way too often tribes have been forced to sacrifice their lands, their cultural sites, and their safety and health. Tribes should retain their right to consent and never be forced to unfairly bear the costs of industrial corridor development.

NCAI would urge tribes write and to contact their Senators and Representatives in Congress and ask them to oppose any amendment to the energy legislation that would strip tribes of their right to consent to the granting of rights-of-way.
 
Contact information for your Senators and Representatives:
http://www.congress.org/congressorg/dbq/officials/ 


-- Submitted by Manataka Correspondent Jennifer Whitefeather Attaway


The Rainbow Diet

By Kay Star


"Let food be your medicine"  - Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine: 

 

 

The Rainbow Woman lovingly blesses those who know the wisdom of the Rainbow Diet for it can keep her precious children alive and well.    

I believe when people join together and eat only the foods provided for us by the Earth Mother, we will be taking the Rainbow Medicine that will unite us in good health and peace.

 

A Rainbow diet of fruit, vegetables, grains and can help people reduce the risk of cancer, reverse heart disease and even slow down the aging process.  Within weeks after a changing to the Rainbow Diet, many have joyfully reported seeing gray hair replaced with new hair growth in its natural color and thickness.  Wrinkles are gradually eliminated and new, smoother, youthful skin created.  Men and women have gone from looking old to looking young again. 

 

I have collected a number of Rainbow Diet success stories from books, health magazines and the Internet, along with "before and after" photographs while researching a book I am writing called "Age Defying Diet.com."  Currently, I offer a free monthly newsletter.  Send me an email to sign up KayStarCA@aol.com

 


The Produce for Better Health Foundation recommends eating five to nine servings of fruit and vegetables each day.  The program encourages people to "Eat Your Colors Everyday to Stay Healthy and Fit" and says diets rich in fruits and vegetables may reduce the risk of some types of cancer and other chronic diseases. http://www.5aday.com  ©2005 Produce for Better Health Foundation. The 5 A Day Friends fruit and vegetable characters are the copyrighted property of Dole Food Company, Inc.


ICWA hearings turn emotional
© Indian Country Today. All Rights Reserved
 
PINE RIDGE, S.D. - A series of listening sessions by the Governor's Commission on the Indian Child Welfare Act found the heat turned up on emotions, frustration and anger as witness after witness asked that their children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews be returned home.

''You take out children out of our lands by usurping our laws. It is like a military action, it's a form of assimilation so that we will forget the treaties,'' said Cornell Conroy, a member of the Brave Heart Society. ''The Brave Heart Society is to protect the children. The U.S. government abrogated our right to protect our children.'' 

He told the commissioners that when a child is born into a Lakota family the child is taken outside in full view of a rising sun where prayers are said.

''God you gave me this child, I thank you. I will be responsible, not with a whip, but with reasoning. That is the prayer,'' he said. ''You have a total disregard for our way of life. Our children are looked at like dollar signs. You beat the Indian out of the child. We must be given the right to exist our way,'' Conroy said.

At a recent meeting of the governor's ICWA commission Conroy set the tone that would continue throughout the day in two locations.

The charge to the commission is to submit a report at the end of the year so the state legislature can decide what action to take.

The state's Department of Social Services has frequently come under strong criticism from the American Indian community over its treatment of American Indian children without regard, as the critics argue, to the federal ICWA laws.

''We will go to every reservation for a listening session to find out how we are not in compliance,'' said Janine Kern, South Dakota Circuit Court Judge, and co-chairwoman of the commission.

Testimony before other legislative committees has taken on much the same emotional tenor with anecdotal information from families present at the listening sessions. Complaints that ICWA was ignored are supported with testimony about lack of contact with the tribes or with extended family members when placement of a child is in question.

A bill introduced in the 2004 legislature that would strengthen the federal ICWA law in the state was sidetracked by the governor and instead the study commission was formed.

An independent research group is also in the process of searching through court and DSS case files selected at random to assess compliance with the federal law.

One of the most asked questions is why extended and nuclear family rights are terminated when parental rights are terminated. No answer to that question was available at the listening sessions. A reminder from those testifying is that in the Lakota culture the extended family is very important to the children's future. Questioned was why the grandparents or aunts and uncles of a child also lost rights to see the child after the parental rights were terminated.

Some parental rights were terminated even after the parent completed court ordered alcohol treatment and parenting classes, and in some cases in excess of what was required.

Monica Titus told the commission that when her son was taken away from her, her mother applied to take the child, but when Titus' rights were terminated, so were the grandmother's. Titus' mother is a licensed foster mother, has children under her care and was willing take her grandson, Titus said.

Oglala Tribal President John Steele told the commission that the tribe, with a new charter would take charge of child welfare on the reservation. The new program will not be connected to the tribal government.

''The state hires some of us and then they made us resign. There are a lot of non-Indians that work in the system. White social workers can't put themselves in our moccasins. They don't know how our families work.  We can handle our own kids,'' he said.

When the DSS holds an interview with a family they may find two or three families living in one home; children may be sleeping on mattresses on the floor, boys and girls together. That's how it is in the Oglala culture, Steele and others said.

''We need 4,000 new homes to meet the backlog.'' He said that with a younger population, 50 percent of the population is under the age of 21, and there will be more need for homes.

The ICWA bill introduced in the state legislature in 2004 was supported by all nine tribal chairmen. The tribal leadership worked hard to have the bill implemented.

''It would be worth saving one child that is sent to the system, but we are talking about a lot of children,'' Steele said.

When American Indian youths are placed with non-Indian foster families, trauma sets in and eventually anger, and bad behavior, many people testified. Some spoke of abuse and neglect of the children at the hands of the foster parents. 


James Ellenbecker, secretary for the Department of Social Services, attended the listening sessions. He said some of the children who were put in foster families were damaged before they arrived. He also admitted that more training for the social workers would be helpful. 

''It is good the Oglala Sioux Tribe will have the charter. We want to work with the tribes. It's good if they have their own welfare system,'' said Ellenbecker

Nancy Fleming, a former childcare worker for the state said it was an all-white system and in a position of power the people may go too far. ''Everything should happen at the tribal level,'' she said.

One story about a 3-year-old boy, who was taken into custody after his father was arrested for a DUI, explained the trauma children experience. The father was released, but the child stayed in the hands of child welfare. The grandmother said she fought all weekend to have the child returned. She had to undergo an inspection of her home and a background check.

''When I saw my grandson he ran from the DSS worker into my arms, he was scared,'' she said.

Later the young boy was riding in the car to Rapid City with his two older sisters and told them to not move, because a policeman would take them away.  

 

Please visit the Indian Country Today website for more articles related to this topic. 

The world's largest Native American Indian news source, shipped internationally.


 



HEALING PRAYER

BASKET

 

Ammerman, Kelle - Young lady diagnosed with fast spreading cancer.  Submitted by Juli Maltagliati

Baker, Alida -  Mother of Henrietta EagleStar.  Getting much better, now having more problems.  

Baugh, Sharon Kamama - Diagnosed with cancer. Doing much better after surgery. Sharon was chair of the Manataka Women's Council for many years and is now enjoys Most Honored Grandmother status.

Black, Mother of Charles Lone Wolf Black -  Diagnosed with cancer.  Holding up well.  

Brown, Jerime - Prayer for a warriors protection needed. 

DeJarnette, Delsin David Windwalker - 3-year old having a difficult time with asthma and bronchitis.  My younger sister's (Ethel) husband; Adam, age 41; died of a massive heart attack.  Submitted by Lynn Gill.  

Devereaux, Jesse William - My oldest son and my youngest son, Mark Kenneth Devereaux. Thank you for praying for my family.  Submitted by Eagle Star.

Douglas, Rebeccas - Niece of Leo and Flora Causey has cancer.

Dunn, Marian -  Smyrna, TN suffered a severe stroke. Remember her in your prayers.  - Helen Red Wing.

Goodson, Brian - Bear's been praying for him daily for three weeks but needs yours too.  Ruth King.

Greason, James - Suffered with stroke.  Prayers from Manataka has him healed and back to work. 

Fowler, Sarah, 9 yr old girl with a gastrointestinal disease needs prayers now.  Paul & Teressa Fowler. 

Irons, Larry Zink Hota Irons - Michigan:  Diagnosed with cancer. 

King, Jeremy -  12 yr old broke an upper leg bone.  Prayers and healing needed please.  Send a card to:  Jeremy King  555 Dabneys Road,  Raphine, Va 24472     Submitted by Grandmother Ruth King

Love, Tommie -  A 4 years old with 2 large brain tumors  - untreatable at Barnes Children's Hospital of St Louis. I ask for prayers for her healing and prayers for her family. From Alison Klose

Marie, Anne - A 19 yr. old daughter of a friend in Scotland has a tumor. It is wrapped around a main artery. The mother has asked to put her in your prayers. Submitted by Eagle Star.

McAdams, Frances -  Hospitalized with cancer.

Monahon, Qua Ti Si - Recent surgery with TMJ. She is talking and smiling. Expected to make a full recovery.

Pierce, Sheila Grandmother Wolf - Back was hurt in an auto accident. Now walking a bit but needs prayers.

Powell, Bobby - friend of Kimberly Stronczek stricken with crippling arthritis.

Runninbear, Bobby Joe - Hospitalized with a heart attack.  This is a wonderful Cherokee who loves his people and walks the good red road in a good way.  Pray for this honored brother.  Submitted by BabblingBrook. 

Smiddy, Amanda - daughter of Memi K. Smiddy involved in car accident and in great pain.

Helen RedWing Vinson - Was having problems with neck and back pain - rotator cup misalignment.  Walking better without a cane some.  Pray for this wonderful Mama Bear.

 

Did you submit a prayer request above?  If so, please send us an update.  We are reluctant to remove anyone without knowing if more prayers are needed. 

 


 

MANATAKA ORGANIZATION MESSAGES

 

ELDER COUNCIL MINUTES

A short meeting was held during the annual Encampment at Bald (Eagle) Mountain Park.  All nine Elders were present.

1.    Betty Winter White Moon Frey delivered the Treasurer's Report for the 2004 and the first quarter of 2005 and reported that books of MAIC are "...balanced to the penny..."

 

2.    A motion by David Quiet Wind Furr to approve a proposal from Gary Frischer was passed with one abstention.  The proposal authorizes Frischer to recommend MAIC legal counsel for 2005.

 

3.    A motion by Jim Pathfinder Ewing to file letters from Spiritual Elders with the county clerks office was approved with one abstention.

 

4.    A motion by Jim Pathfinder Ewing to authorize the payment of $100 per week for the reimbursement of office facilities was approved with one abstention. 

 

5.    Committee Reports: None were delivered. 

 

The next meeting of the Elder Council will be May 15 prior to the regular membership meeting.

 


 

ANNOUNCEMENTS & NOTICES:

 

NOTICE 1:     FOOD BASKET NEEDED NOW!  people are hungry often throughout the year.  Please bring or send non-perishable food items. Gift cards for food from Walmart, Safeway and other stores are great. 

 

NOTICE 2:    REGULAR MEMBERSHIP MEETINGS - 11:30 a.m., 3rd Sunday of each month at Gulpha Gorge - bad weather at Phil's Restaurant on E. Grand.  

 

NOTICE 3:    WOMEN’S COUNCIL MEETINGS - 11:30 a.m., 1st Saturday each month.  Contact: Judy

 

NOTICE 4:       PAID YOUR DUES?
Now is a good time to support the many programs, services and events of MAIC. We can always use a small donation. Now you can pay by check or credit card online. It's easy, secure and fast!   Click Here  Or...

 

NOTICE 7:      MATERIAL DONATIONS NEEDED BY MANATAKA

1.  Computer needed.  No key board, monitor or mouse are needed.

 

2.  Reams of ink jet paper

3.  Postage stamps

4.  15 - 30 gallon plastic storage boxes with lids

 

5.  LAND -  Donate land to be used as financing leverage for to build a cultural center. Any size or location is  acceptable. Certain tax benefits may apply.

 

6.  MEMORIAL GIFTS - When a friend or relative passes, honor their memory and send a tax deductible  contribution to MAIC and we will send the family a beautiful letter and memorial certificate in your name.

 

THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO DONATED STAMPS, PAPER AND OTHER SUPPLIES!

 

Betty Winter White Moon Frey and John Shooting Star Fire Kirby donated a new computer printer!

 


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Manataka American Indian Council
PO Box 476
Hot Springs, AR 71902-0476
501-627-0555
manataka@sbcglobal.net
http://www.manataka.org

 

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