Tzunuum, the hummingbird, was created by the Great Spirit as a tiny,
delicate bird with extraordinary flying ability. She was the only bird in
the kingdom who could fly backwards and who could hover in one spot for
several seconds. The hummingbird was very plain. Her feathers had no bright
colors, yet she didn't mind. Tzunuum took pride in her flying skill and was
happy with her life despite her looks.
When it came time to be married, Tzunuum found that she had neither a
wedding gown nor a necklace. She was so disappointed and sad that some of
her best friends decided to create a wedding dress and jewelry as a
Ya, the vermilion-crowned flycatcher wore a gay crimson ring of feathers
around his throat in those days. He decided to use it as his gift. So he
tucked a few red plumes in his crown and gave the rest to the hummingbird
for her necklace. Uchilchil, the bluebird, generously donated several blue
feathers for her gown. The vain motmot, not to be outdone, offered more
turquoise blue and emerald green. The cardinal, likewise, gave some red
An environmentalist committed to showing man's impact on the
"I watched prairie dogs every
day rise before the sun and stand with their paws pressed
together facing the rising sun in total stillness for up to 30
minutes," says Williams. "And then I watched them at the end of
the day take that same gesture 30 minutes before the sun goes
down; they would press their palms together in perfect
stillness. I don't mean to anthropomorphize, but when you look
at a creature that has survived over the millennium begin and
end each day in that kind of stance, it causes one to think
about one's own life and speed and the rapidity in which we
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Eight lessons plus
a glossary, bibliographic notes and more.
Medicine Way has been exclusively an oral tradition for centuries. Now,
Choctaw Spiritual Elder Boe Many Knives Glasschild, Bvshpo Lawa, puts
these teachings in writing for all to read and understand.
This is the fifth installment of
ten monthly installments of the book
entitled, "The Shores Within"
covering the entire book from April to December
2009. Each chapter contains links to a
glossary of definitions to various Medicine Way
Manataka receives dozens of letters each week. Space does not allow us to
publish all letters but we make a concerted effort to print letters that are representative of a majority. Let us know if there is a
topic you feel needs to be addressed.
Thank you for
your article on Hydrogen Peroxide
www.manataka.org/page1640.htmlI have been
researching cancer for 7 years and have successfully treated
several cancers with a herbal formula I created. I have not
been to successful with stage 4 cancers however, and am just
taking on a late stage breast cancer young lady. I needed an
edge, a bigger boost and I think this could be it. I have
given all my clients time though and to some that is
precious. Best wishes. ~Bonnie Evans
Sweat Lodge Healing
This "selling" of sweat lodge healing
has been a pet peeve of mine for many years. I want
to emphasize that I don't know of anyone doing this here in
Montana at this time, but I respect the sentiment expressed in
the following letter, and so I wish to share it with brothers
that have shared my sweat lodge, and with whom I have done
sweats elsewhere. Please don't interpret this as anything
resembling an accusation, gentlemen. I'm just passing
information along to responsible leaders, that I personally
know, that are also concerned. Brothers, please forward this to
other interested parties, or to anyone you know of that needs to
Obviously, one issue here is the
ethics of incorporating the sweat lodge and any associated
ceremonies in any events or retreats that are paid for (as
opposed to cost-shared), and where the leaders are being paid to
conduct. As I have long ago ceased to attend these kind of
paid events, I simply offer this message in the spirit it is
intended, that of respect for the traditional sacred
ceremonial way of life, and as a formal "request to stop the
exploitation". BTW, for what it's worth, Jews don't
appreciate non-Jews (i.e. Christians, etc) co-opting Chanukah
and Pesach (Passover) either. Shalom. ~Quincy
OrHai, Bozeman, Montana
Thank You for your news letter. There is much
knowledge that it offers. God Bless each everyone of you.
To whom it my concern,
Over the last three months I have had some very challenging things come in
to my life. Just before all this all happened you reconnected with me with
the news letter and messages from the elders. Your posts in my e-mail
in box have been an incredible guide post in my life. The messages from the
elders have been right on with what I need to hear and blessings from our
GREAT CREATOR. THANK YOU... THANK YOU.... THANK YOU!!! You are a gift and a
blessing. You have helped me through a very tough time. Much Love ~Karen
Imposter Discovered In Southwestern PA
I would like to report a man to
you! He is a non native posing as spiritual
leader in this area. He is pouring water for the
people and has caused a young lady harm in one
of his sweat baths he called a "Healing Lodge".
She spent 4 day's in the hospital. Also he is
lying about his military service record. Here is
some of what this man is doing here! In light of
the recent tragedy in Sedona, AZ,
it has become our job as a Native American Non
Profit to expose fakes, phonies and charlatans
that are hurting people in Native American Sweat
We have our own James Ray here at Nemacolin
Woodlands posing as a Native American Indian/
Spiritual Leader. Not only that but he is also a
Persian Gulf War imposter. He claims people must
be hurt in his lodges to be healed. We need your
help to expose this Man for what he is.
------ ------- AKA -------- is an
imposter and we have the proof needed. For more
info please contact me at 724 547 2470 Robert Steck Executive Director of Wakiyan Ka Wakizi a
supporting Non Profit Organization for the
betterment of Native Americans and Non Native
people in the Southwestern PA area.
Response from a Reader:
All of this
information is wrong, and
can easily be seen as
slander. The individual who
wrote it has a serious
problem, and your publishing
it gives credence to
malicious lies, innuendo and
gossip. Please remove this
information about me
Messengers has prosecutorial
legal counsel on our Board
of Directors. We will deal
with Mr. Steck in that
regards, as it appears the
only way to get through to
him. We would prefer not to
have to deal with you in the
same regards. I understand
this is a "Letter to the
Editor", however, you are
responsible for reprinting
it. This is not research,
nor does it have educational
value. It is rumor mongering
and character assassination.
If you have any further
questions, contact me at 724
516 2751. Michael
Spisak, AKA Hawk Good Fire;
AKA Thunder Hawk; AKA
two months the name of the
accused was not publicly
known until his response.
What are True Sweats?
I have just come
from a sweat in Iowa this was quite a wonderful experience. As I
look around the country, how do I know who are true healers and
what are true sweats? Shantideva.
How do you tell
if you found a good doctor? How do you tell if you found a
Ask questions before you engage. References from trusted
sources. Watch 'em closely. It is not only your physical
well-being that is at stake. It is your spiritual and
emotional well-being as well. If the Purification
Lodge leader charges money or requests/demands a donation,
walk away. Regular visitors to a particular lodge know to
bring food, smudge material, wood or whatever is needed.
Money need not enter the question.
Sacred Ceremonies for a
Deaths Attributed to
Greed and Ignorance
To whom this may concern,
I send you a note to say thank you for your article title
Lodge Deaths Attributed to Greed and Ignorance”. I personally come
from a white heritage. Back in 1991, after a painful divorce, I
found myself searching for something that made sense. At that
time, I found that Christianity was not working for me. And
like so many times in the past, I had found that my world was in
shambles. I knew then I needed something different in my life.
It was the beginning of the summer of 92 and I found myself
walking into a shop called Earth Child. The owners both were
Native American and found an instant friend. Not too long after
that, lead to my wonderful experience with the Sweat Lodge.
The owner of Earth
Child had just gone to his first sweat and invited me to next
one. Needless to say, I went and continue this for about a year.
The Sweat was run by a man who was half Sioux. Not only did he
invite me in his home, he welcome me in to the lodge. From him,
I Incorporated the Native American Spiritual Path into my being.
I like what Iron Head said, “You do not charge for Spirit”. He
always welcomes me when I came, and I always brought him a gift
of sweet grass. But he never charged a dime for the Sweat. It
was his church. By the way, he always ran Family Sweats. In my
journeys, I have experience the type of sweat that you have
talked about twice. Both times, Spirit has told me not only to
leave the lodge itself but not to return. Needless to say, when
I heard about what happen with this Man (who charges $9,000 for
healing) I was a little bit angry to say the lease. Like Iron
Head said, you cannot charge for Spirit and you cannot charge
what the Universe gives for free. You are so very right; it is
going to cost this guy more than what he has made from his
Practice. His trials are about to come.
Thanks so very much
not only for the article, but a Spiritual Path as well. ~Steven
I love receiving your magazine every month. Thank you.
The first thanksgiving. It is my understanding that
the Iroquois have celebrated Thanksgiving for a thousand
years or more. The Plymouth was one "tragic" Thanksgiving.
You should investigate this and report accurately. Because
to teach children about thanksgiving as according to
Plymouth story is the same as going back and finding some
massacre and associating a day with it when things are much
bigger. To spend the day, Thanksgiving, in anger,
instead of touching ones feet to the ground in thanks.
I personally fast the whole day and pray for the earth.
Thank you for listening. Linda Justice
want to thank those who took the trouble and researched the
story, because too many people are not aware of the part played
by Native American Indians in what we celebrate today as
THANKSGIVING. It is an onerous task at best, best after all the
trouble that has been taken, all I can say is THANK YOU VERY
MUCH my brothers and sisters the Native American People.
~Kenneth T. Tellis, Canada
FEATURED LETTER TO THE EDITOR...
The loss of
the Earth Ways effects us all
I write this in
response to a couple of articles in the November Smoke Signal
which sadden my heart.
We are at a time
when great changes are occurring on our Planet, our Mother
Earth. Everywhere the People, the Five-fingered Ones, are
searching for a connection with Spirit and with the Earth.
Everywhere people suffer from Spiritual Disease because they
have had their connections with Mother severed as children.
Without the connection to the Life of the Mother, without
awareness of our connection to each other and all our Relations,
the souls of our children wither and die. We see this in the
violence and disrespect for Life, all Life, that dominates in
the urban wastelands that Western society has created.
The loss of the
Earth Ways effects us all. I say to my ALL My Relations - I AM
you. We cannot refuse to assist each other in Healing and
expect to rise with the Seventh Sun. The Spiritual Elders that
I am led to -- who teach Turtle Island spiritual ways, African
spiritual ways, South American Spiritual ways, Celtic Spiritual
ways, North European Spiritual ways -- do not request money for
their teaching or their ceremonies. They all, regardless of
race or geography, share freely. And they all have said, in one
way or another, ''if you do not share the Wisdom, I have wasted
my time on you".
We are in a time
where pulling away from our Relations of different colors and
cultures and claiming exclusivity on Spiritual Earth Ways can
only result in more disconnection. We must bring the Earthways
together. We have lost so much of the Spiritual technologies
that give us contact with out Mother already and we continue to
loose more every day. And if we don't share what we know, share
what Spirit has given, we are not doing our part.
The Women of the
Earth, the Mothers and the Grandmothers, we know this. Our
hearts ache for the future of our children, the Five-fingered
children of Mother Earth who are given to us to teach so that
they might heal the Earth. The color of their skin does not
matter in this mission. All Children are Her Children and all
Her Children are our Children. We must embrace them all and
give freely of what we have to give.
We are all
indigenous to this planet. We are all our Mother's children.
In this Life that I
walk on Turtle Island, I am in white skin. I do not claim to be
an Indian in a prior life. But my great, great grandmother, she
walked Turtle Island in a red skin. My great, great, great
aunt, she walked Turtle Island in a black skin. I have sisters
and brothers, cousins, aunts and uncles who have black hair,
dark skin, curly hair, brown skin, red hair, pink skin -- both
genetically and spiritually. All of my ancestors for the past
two hundred years and many for the past 400 years, have walked
the Earth here, on Turtle Island. The Spirits that speak to me
and walk me, they are the Spirits of Turtle Island. the Spirits
of the Wind and Water, the Earth and the Fire are here, on
Turtle Island, where I am. I am a part of this land in this
time and space. My ancestors and those I love have returned to
the elements here, on Turtle Island.
We are a Rainbow
Colored Tribe of the Five-fingered Race. And the more of us who
are teaching and sharing in Spirit, the more healing we can
bring. It is sad that many use the Hunger of the People as a
target for their greed; it is even sadder that these people are
so diseased in their own spirit they value money above their own
healing. But we cannot let the greedy cause division among us
who Walk the Red Road in a good way, regardless of our colors.
We face great
challenges in the times to come. It is Our Ways, the Ways of
Mother Earth, that offer hope for Her Children. We must share
and be open to the sharing of others so we can prepare our
Mother's Children for the times to come. This is not my word.
This is the word of Spiritual Elders around the globe; this is
the Word of Our Mother Earth and the Word of Spirit. Aho.
Bear Heart Woman Speaks
Get on the ball!
The Manataka American
Indian Council supports:
Quote of the MONTH
Will Obama Walk His Talk on Organics?
was just reading an article in the New York Times by Michael Pollan about
food and the fact that our entire agricultural system is built on cheap oil.
As a consequence, our agriculture sector actually is contributing more
greenhouse gases than our transportation sector. And in the mean time, it's
creating monocultures that are vulnerable to national security threats, are
now vulnerable to sky-high food prices or crashes in food prices, huge
swings in commodity prices, and are partly responsible for the explosion in
our healthcare costs because they're contributing to type 2 diabetes, stroke
and heart disease, obesity, all the things that are driving our huge
explosion in healthcare costs." -Barack Obama,
campaigning for the Presidency, during an interview with Joe Klei in TIME,
October 23, 2008
Alert Update of the MONTH
National Organic Standards Board Votes to Crack Down on
Victory on Organic Body Care and Cosmetics Products
a milestone victory after years of work by the OCA and the organic community
to demand an end to blatant labeling fraud in the organic marketplace the
National Organic Standards Board voted 12 to 1 at their November 2009
meeting to direct the USDA National Organic Program to enforce the law for
organic personal care products - just as they do for organic food. This
means that shampoos, body care products, and cosmetics that claim to be
organic but are not certified would be forced to drop their organic label
and advertising claims, or else reformulate their products (getting rid of
petrochemicals and problematic synthetic ingredients) to meet "USDA Organic"
or "made with organic ingredients" standards.
The Organic Consumers Association is initiating a letter-writing campaign
asking the USDA to take quick action on the NOSB recommendation. While we
wait for the USDA to begin enforcement actions, we're calling on consumers
to boycott fake, falsely labeled organic body care brands, and instead to
buy only USDA certified organic products.
Call to Action OF THE MONTH
Get GMO Vaccines out of Organic
Vaccines are allowed in organic animal husbandry, but genetic engineering
is excluded from organic. There is one exception: genetically modified
vaccines. Under current law, genetically modified vaccines must be
petitioned for use and reviewed by the National Organic Standards Board to
be included on the National List of allowed substances. The problem is, the
USDA National Organic Program hasn't been enforcing the law. Instead of
asking the USDA to enforce the law, the National Organic Standards Board is
instead recommending that the USDA change the law to remove the GMO vaccine
review requirement. The recommendation they passed would require non-GMO
vaccines to be used whenever they are available, so it's not quite as bad as
it could have been, but it would still allow any type of GMO vaccine to be
used without review, as long as a certifier could be convinced that there
were no non-GMO alternatives.
The Organic Consumers Association is taking action to prevent this
misguided recommendation from being adopted by the USDA. We're calling on
the USDA to enforce the current law, and to disallow GMO vaccines, unless
there is absolutely no other alternative to saving the animal's life. The
USDA should train certifiers on identifying genetically modified vaccines
and preventing their use.
you have forgotten the customs and traditions of your forefathers. ...You have
bought guns, knives, kettles, and blankets from the white man until you can no
longer do without them; and what is worse you have drunk the poison firewater,
which turns you into fools. Fling all these things away; live as your
forefathers did before you." --Pontiac, Odowa
We need to think as
our forefathers did. They knew the culture and the customs. The culture taught
them how to live in harmony with each other. We need to think like this again.
We must because God-reliant. We don't need the firewater. This liquid is very
destructive to our native people. It kills our spirit. Our Indian people are
happiest when we are spiritual. When we depend on anyone or anything else, we
get off track. We need to talk to the Elders and find out what the old ways
were. We need to ask them to teach us the culture, the tradition and the
customs. This will help us become whole again.
since I became active in our Tribe I have
strived to make homemade presents and items of
interest to the Native American way of life.
Since my karma is to use what Mother Earth gives
us as plants, herbs, and other items that we can
use. I have always enjoyed accepting these gifts
from Mother Earth and trying to use them to help
others and especially my friends in life; even
the animals I enjoy watching and visiting with.
To others these were called homemade presents or
gifts from nature.
first they were little simple crafts considered
cute or brought a lot of laughter when opened. I
especially loved the economical practicality of
making my own presents. I always thought that it
would be helping the world to grow more “green”.
Especially thinking of the atmosphere, smog and
other chemicals the large factories were
emitting into the air for us to breathe trying
to make all our wishes for us commercializing
thought by giving my own presents from herbs
which is grown locally by Mother Earth would be
a great way of thanking her by using them to
help others. This could impact Mother in a
positive way and not contaminating her by using
the items produced through mass production and
the mess that would be left in the air. Does
that make any sense to you? I liked the idea and
hope you can follow some of them as I continue
to write for the Smoke Signal News.
are some tips and advice that might help you to
go “green” also. Although I don’t think much
of commercial holidays but some do so I try to
help you along the way with giving which is the
Native way called “The Great Give Away”. This
was practiced in most of the tribes many years
ago. Some humans gave away everything they had
and depended on others to help them.
are some things that you can do to participate
in the great “Give Away”. this season.
No offense intended for any individuals or tribes.
Never trust little old
A little old Indian woman went into Chickasaw National Bank with a sack full of
money. She plopped it onto the desk of the American Indian bank president as she
had wrangled her way into his office.
"Where did you get money
like this?" he asked her.
"Well, you see." She
answered him. "I make bets."
"Bets?" He wanted to
"Yes." She replied. "For
instance, I'll bet you $25,000. you are not brown all over." "I bet that
under your shorts you are white."
"The Indian president of
the Bank told her, "Well, I will take that bet." "I am brown all over."
"Okay," the wily old lady
agreed. "However, tomorrow when we close the bet, I want my attorney with me.
He is Indian too.
"Okay! Okay." The
president of the bank was agreeable. When he went home though he double checked
to see if he was brown all over. After all $25,000. was at stake.
The next day when the
little old Indian lady came in with her attorney, the president was ready for
The little old Indian
woman told him. "I am not going to take your word for it." "I want to see if you
are brown all over."
The president thought for
a moment and decided since it was, after all, $25,000 he would, indeed, drop his
pants to show the little old Indian woman he was brown all over, which he did.
He looked over at the Indian attorney who was banging his head against the wall.
"Why is he doing that?"
The bank president asked.
The little old Indian woman answered, "Because I bet him $75,000 that the
president of the Chickasaw National Bank would drop his pants for me.
Sarvey Wildlife Care Center
was established in 1981 with a handful of patients from
the local neighborhood.
Within 6 years it became necessary to secure a more
spacious and appropriate location. Kaye Baxter,
director, purchased 5 acres just south of Arlington,
Washington, so thousands of rehabilitating animals a
second chance. With two ponds on the east side of the
property secured for recovering deer and waterfowl and
the clinic, educational building, eagle flight, and a
wide range of enclosures on the west half of the
property, the land retains it's rustic 'out in the
In 1995 Sarvey took in 992 animals and by 2006 Sarvey
was taking in over 4,000 patients annually. Sarvey does
over 120 education programs a year reaching 15,000 to
17,000 children and adults annually. There is a high
demand for our programs as we reach more and more
Prison time, felony charges rare
for artifact and relic looters
By Mike Stark, Salt
Lake City, Utah (AP)
Jeanne and Jericca Redd
Stepping into the afternoon sun
during September, Jeanne Redd
and her daughter Jericca walked
away from a federal courthouse
with probation papers – not
prison time – for their role in
the theft and illegal
trafficking of Indian artifacts.
Some, including one of the Salt
Lake City’s daily newspapers,
expressed frustration that the
judge didn’t come down harder on
the duo from southern Utah.
History however says the
punishment for the Redds, who
pleaded guilty to several
felonies, was fairly typical.
Despite high-profile arrests and
indictments, most people
convicted of illegally digging
up, collecting and cashing in on
artifacts in the United States
don’t go to prison.
And for those that do, most are
in for a year or less, according
to a 10-year analysis of
prosecutions under a 1979 law
meant to punish those that foul
the country’s cultural
Material appearing here is distributed without profit or
gain to those who have expressed an interest in viewing the
material for research and educational purposes.
This is in accordance with Title 17 U. S. C. section 107.
Reprinted under the Fair Use doctrine of international copyright