Manataka American Indian Council                                                                      Volume XIII Issue 03 March 2009


SMOKE SIGNAL NEWS

Page 2 of 3 Pages

 

 

 

 

Contents of Page 2              

Legends of Old: Power of the Plant
Feature Story 3:

Indian according to the B.I.A.

Census 2010

Letters to the Editor:

Web of Life, Cherokees, Cahuilla Friend
Organic Consumers: Consumer Alert, Demands, and Victory
Elder's Meditations: Cecilia Mitchell, Mohawk
Plant Medicine: Solomon's Seal
Fluoride: Fluoride Spots Harm Kids’ Self-Esteem
Animal Rights and Wrongs: A

Forced Animal ID - A Conspiracy of the Government and Big Corporations

Endangered Sacred Sites: Pauline Whitesinger Continues to Defy Bureau of Indian Affairs

 

 


 

LEGENDS OF OLD:

 

Power of the Plant

By, Gerardo Atkinson,

Honorary Elder of the Arawak Nation, Venezuela

 

Over five hundred years ago, a primitive yet perhaps a sophisticated culture was rendered dormant following the arrival of the Spaniards to the shores of Wayana-Kah (South America).

 

Before declining into its dormant state however, three very important aspects of this culture were blended into the culture of today’s Creole society.  The name of which the Arawaks identify themselves.  ‘Wai-Ko-Locono” meaning, “We the People” illustrates a form of democracy that existed among these primitive people that guaranteed them perpetual freedom.

 

According to the oral history of the Arawak people, it was this kind of freedom that motivated the Spanish colonists years later, to rebel against the Crown of Spain.

 

Hence, it may be said with conviction, that the form of democracy that rules the world today, is an aspect of the Culture of the Red Race.

 

Long before Columbus appeared on the scene, the Arawaks and their brothers had evolved from a fruit and nut collecting people, to an agricultural and commercial people.  At the time of his arrival, Columbus and his sailors were treated with great hospitality.  They ate and drank to satisfaction Arawak agricultural products.

 

Today, many of these products not only decorate the table of Creole society, but also form a vital source of economy throughout Latin America and other parts of the world.

 

Another important aspect of the culture of the Red Race is the medical science, which hails from indigenous knowledge of the plants.  Plants which are found only in the jungles of the South form the solution to many malignant diseases that plague Mother Earth and her inhabitants.

 

To justify this belief, let us take a look at one of their legends.

 

The Legend of the Hiaro-Shimara

 

Eons and eons ago, there lived in the jungle a lonely warrior whose name was Hashiro which means Giant Otter.  Hashiro’s everyday life was occupied with farming, fishing and hunting.  As his days went by, the hazards of living alone made him bored and restless, so on his hunting and fishing trips, he wandered farther and farther away from his hut. 

 

One day, however, when he returned from one such trip, he found his hut all tidied up, his meal that consisted of freshly baked Kassavah and a well-known yucca beverage, Pai wari was all prepared.  Hashiro thought passers-by must have done this good turn for him.  The next day, he again went fishing and when he returned, he once more found his hut was in neat order, his meal was cooked and Piwai was expertly brewed and sitting on the table.

 

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FEATURE STORY

 

The following letter was sent to the Cherokee Phoenix newspaper and the Cherokee National Council on March 03, 2007 in response to the Travis Snell article published in the Cherokee Phoenix, Unrecognized Cherokee tribes flourish,” (Jan. 07, 2007) and the Robert Conley book: The Cherokee Nation – A History. 

 

This article is a timely and important comment on the most recent developments of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians campaign to disenfranchise members of over 200 Cherokee organizations across the country.  Read "Who is Cherokee?: Will the REAL Cherokees Please Stand Up?

 

 

 

Indian according to the B.I.A.

By Paul Thomas Vickers, Author of Chiefs of Nations

 

 

O’siyo to my Friends of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma,

 

I take this occasion to both state my concern’s regarding your recent article in the Jan. issue, and  hopefully provide enough light to illuminate an understanding concerning  this current issue.

 

This whole problem is due to the accumulated knowledge that is and will continue to be ingrained and relished  in the minds of the federally recognized Cherokee people. The false history that has been circulating not only projects a view that has and will continue to propagate ideology’s such as what was written by Mr. Snell: as demonstrated in this thesis, it undermines the Cherokee Nations sovereignty, defames and demoralizes the most sacred people of the Cherokee – Keetoowah people; it also discriminates against people in Arkansas and Southern Missouri that are truly of Cherokee blood. This recurrent attitude, if the history is portrayed accurately, is unfounded. 

 

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FEATURE STORY

A Reprint by Request

 

 

Census 2010 

 

WHY THE 2010 CENSUS IS IMPORTANT TO ALL AMERICAN INDIANS

Should I Identify as Native American in the 2010 Census?

 

 

 

 

It is absolutely critical that all “non-enrolled” Native Americans, and those people that can prove lineal descent from a Native American ancestor, self-identify as “Native American in Combination with One or More Races” when completing their 2010 Census questionnaires! Get the message out – pass this along to your family members and other Indian friends.

 

Results of the 2000 Census

For the first time ever, the 2000 Census measured “Native Americans in Combination with One or More Races,” That number totaled 4,119,301. The number of Americans that reported themselves “Native Alone” was 2,475,956 (these are considered predominantly enrolled members of a federally recognized tribe. The difference between these two numbers equals 1,643,345.  This is significant because this 1,643,345 represents the number of persons that self-identified as “mixed-blood”

 

It must be pointed out that the 2000 Census was “flawed” - in that it did not provide a method to distinguish what percentage of the 1,643,345 were enrolled members of a federally recognized Indian tribe that chose to identify using this category only. However, it is generally accepted that the vast majority of these (perhaps exceeding 90%) are “non-enrolled” members of a federally recognized Indian tribe.

 

Many of them are likely to be direct lineal descendents of an “enrolled” member that do not qualify under tribal membership policies that impose a “Content of Degree of Indian Blood” (CDIB) requirement, yet they feel strongly tied to their Indian ancestral heritage. (Example: The great-grandchildren of a ‘full-blood’ Indian will not meet a 25% CDIB).

 

The 2010 Census will correct this flaw to obtain accurate measures. This is due to the importance these numbers have related to funding formulas directly linked to the federally recognized tribes.

 

Reasons for Self-Identifying as Mixed Blood Indian in 2010

There are several reasons why “non-enrolled” Native Americans, and those people that can prove lineal descent from a Native American ancestor, should self-identify as Mixed Blood Indians:

  1. The 2010 Census can accurately enumerate the number of mixed blood Indians in America that still feel strongly linked to their Native American ancestry.

     

  2. It can be used as an indicator that identifies “unmet need” for the Native American population that is “not served” or “underserved.”

How will this benefit Mixed Blood Indians in the United States?

The Census is the single most important event in America that drives all Federal  “Formula” and “Need-Based” funding decisions for the next 10-year period. Mixed bloods must not miss this opportunity to document the need!  Various American Indian organizations will use these Census 2010 figures over the next 10 years to apply for charitable services and grant programs to meet the needs of non-enrolled Mixed blood Indians. While most federal dollars are earmarked only for use by ‘federally recognized’ tribes – there remains millions of dollars that are “set-aside” to serve Native American Indians that live off reservations. These funding opportunities are made available to “organizations that serve Native Americans.”

  • Housing, housing assistance, and homeless programs.

  • Education and education assistance projects.

  • Economic assistance and employment assistance programs.

  • Scholarly cultural and heritage research about the Metis Nation.

  • Health and wellness, substance abuse, and social justice funding.

  • Financial literacy, entrepreneurship, and business financing loans.

IT ALL BEGINS WITH THE 2010 CENSUS

  • Identify as Native American in Combination with One or More Races

  • Get the word out quickly – pass this website link along


 

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR...

 

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.

 

The Web of Life

Dear Manataka,

 

In a hoop, no one can be in isolation, everyone exists in community. All of life, when left to itself, exists in communities. Birds, plants, insects, Standing Ones, animals, humans, stones, fish - all created beings exist in communities. Really, nothing that I can think of exists alone. If it does, it dies.

Planets exist as part of a group. Our solar system - we all orbit the sun. We travel in circles, seasons and time are cyclical. Things have hard angles when they are cut off, or meant for cutting. Communities have curves.

Everything was designed to exist with everything else. Each living thing has its place - it was created that way. To take one thing and put it where it doesn't belong, is to disrupt the natural order of things. I think I understand a little now of some Hopi teachings about this, maybe not much - but why we must not disrupt the way Creation was designed to work together.

Everything that exists, everything that lives, is part of the Web of Life. Even if we think we are completely alone - we are part of the Earth Mother, part of the solar system, the stars, the universe. To think that we are alone, is to have disordered thinking. It is to accept someone else's reality and internalize it ... and all sorts of bad things follow. We cannot be alone in the Web of Life, because it is all around us. We are PART of the Web of Life - the Universe itself is that Web, and the Creator spins it.

To learn the Creator's rules of community, I am told to look at the way community grows together, naturally. Follow the natural order of things, the way Creator designed everything to be - and the Web of Life flourishes and everything knows its place. Go against that natural order, and problems happen. Disordered thinking happens. Illusions take over.

Seeing all of this, understanding these connections - was like being told from many directions that I am loved and cared for, that I exist within this hoop, I am part of this Web, and that I am never alone. I had to pull over to write these things down.

I have to get back to work now. But I wanted to 'get this down' before I forgot all the connections. I know I left some things out, but some things are also in my paper journal. I just hope I don't have to learn this again the hard way.

~ Kim Summermoon

 

Cherokee Stands Up
 

O'siyo Manataka!

 

I was reading your page tonight on how the CNO has disenfranchised many. It is part of their history to do so. We get ignored because we are not in "just" one state, but cover the southeastern USA.  It is difficult some days to consider that our own relatives deny us.  But our ancestors are on rolls.  They  and we have Cherokee blood.  We understand the frustration you speak of. May it be resolved well for you.   Dohi,

Anidohi, public relations secretary,
Constitutional Cherokee

 

Searching for Old Cahuilla Friend

Dear Editor,

 

A number of (actually quite many) years ago I met a lovely, wonderful Cahuilla silversmith and jewelry designer ( I think in Sun Valley, LA  area) who went only by the the name of Cahuilla Margaret. We sat on the curb outside of her store and watched a small town parade mostly of horses which I learned to appreciate even more because of her knowledge of them. To this day I treasure the amazing earrings she later made for me and would love to know where she is and if she is still creating jewelry and if her son is now also making jewelry as I think she told me that he was learning at that time. If you can provide any info or tell me how to contact Margaret I would truly appreciate it. I still think of her as a person I enjoyed meeting and would again love to have in my life.  Many thanks,
 

Rosemary West
 

Hope for Manataka

Hello Manataka,

 

I was deeply saddened to learn how the park rangers keep you from going to Manataka, but happy to hear that you go anyway!  The federal government owns all national parks and they are all on sacred lands!  This is the first time I have heard of Manataka and it is a beautiful sad story, but hopefully a light has come into the world to change things around!

 

On 2/14/09 at 7:25am, the Daughter of God was born and this time and date is very important as it is the beginning of the Age of Aquarius (the Golden Age) which coincides with your Awakening/Ascension.

 

Please continue to go as I know it helps us all!

 

Bless you,

Shirley Johnson

 

False Shamans

Greetings Manataka

 

I would like to bring your attention on a certain reality that we "Helpers" are facing out here in Eastern Canada.  There is a big fraud when some persons say that "Helpers" should not ask for money when doctoring someone.  Maybe because these persons were not taught certain facts by "Medicine" people. So here are some facts:

 

You offer a tobacco bundle in order to ask the Helper's assistance. If he/she accepts the bundle, you would receive their help.

 

Then you offer something in exchange for the help.  According to my uncle, Gabriel Du Sault, who taught me "The Medicine Way" for 10 years, some would give us game meat, hides, pelts, not only whatever they could give, but also proportioned to the service rendered. My uncle Gabriel is not the only one who told me that, William B…, Ken L…, Ray P… also told me the same thing. Further more, I had to pay to get some of the teachings.

 

Years ago before the European settlers arrived, things were not the same. To build a house, you would ask your family’s help (manpower) and then give tobacco to some trees and that was it. You were hungry? You would go hunting and trap and go fishing and cultivate the Three Sisters (corn, beans and squash). Try to go hunting around Montreal or build yourself a house in the Adirondacks see what will happen. So nowadays money is received for the help. Being a Helper is not a part time job, it is a state of being so I have never refused anyone for their lack of money but I have refused a lot of people because of their arrogance. There is a big discrepancy in the person’s  “we don’t have to pay Helpers” rhetoric because in Healing Lodges, such as the Kahnawake Shakotiia'takehnhas Community Services, the Helpers are paid by the Band Council and so was I when I was shakotisnien:nens (One who helps the Healing) for Waseskun (Healing Lodge for incarcerated Aboriginal men). So now all of a sudden because I receive people in my home, where my wife and daughter are sleeping, eating, living, and ask to be paid after I’ve spent 4 consecutive days doctoring someone from 9:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., I become a renegade?

 

It is the Welfare mentality that we are fighting against, the “rez” mentality, in other words, the unconscious behavioral pattern known as victim that makes some of us sit on our donkey and complain just about anything. Those of us who do this will disempower everybody else by projecting our failure, or lack of will to cope with reality onto those who have found the courage and the energy to live a happy life.

 

Greed is another reality. If you do “Medicine” in order to get rich, you have fallen into the “paper people tribe’s trap” and there are a lot of apples (me, Indian, do sacred ceremony but pay up) doing unscrupulous things in order to get money. You either have faith or fear. If you have fear, you think there is not enough for everybody so you do Bull Schlitz….If you have faith, you just know the Maker of all Things is taking care of you, so you take what you need, what you don’t, you leave. 

 

 

Of course some people are liars and pretend to be someone or something they are not.  You have a physician (M.D., G.P.) who will call himself Doctor even though he never completed a PhD thesis and who basically just sells drugs which he hopes will not make the person get any worse (considering the adverse effects of each drug). You also have those who are Old Indians but no Elders. They will talk somebody else’s walk and they will answer when asked to expand on the Teaching: “That’s the way …”

 

But it is all good, for people who got taken for a ride created that for themselves because that’s what they needed, and have asked the Maker of all Things one way (consciously) or another (unconsciously). Otherwise, they would not have had that experience, and since the Maker of all Things does not judge, neither should we.

 

In Peace and Friendship

 

Pierre Iieweras Pagé, One who helps the Healing

 


 

 

 

Maggie's

 

 

SOAP NUTS

 

A Great NEW Gift IDEA for the Holidays

THE SOAP THAT GROWS ON TREESTM

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CONSUMER ALERTS

Alert of the Month:

Stop NAIS - Protect Your Right to Farm and to Eat Local Food
 

The USDA has proposed a rule to require all farms and ranches where animals are raised to be registered in a federal database under the National Animal Identification System (NAIS) for existing disease control programs. The draft rule covers programs for cattle, sheep, goats, and swine. It also sets the stage for the entire NAIS program to be mandated for everyone, including anyone who owns even one livestock animal, for example, a single chicken or a horse.

It is critical that the USDA and Congress hear from the hundreds of thousands of people who will be adversely affected by the NAIS program. This includes not only animal owners, but also consumers who care about local and sustainable foods, taxpayers who object to wasteful government programs, and advocates for a safer food system.

Consumer Demand of the Month:
Good Jobs, Green Jobs

 

The U.S. system of petroleum-based, biotech, and chemical-intensive agriculture produces an enormous amount of relatively inexpensive food. Of course, that's ignoring the huge hidden costs to taxpayers and damage to public health, the environment, and climate stability (not to mention the routine exploitation of farmers and laborers).  Our leaders in Washington are currently looking at making some major policy changes, so there's no better time to let our elected public officials to create jobs in the food and farming sector that help, rather than undermine public health; that conserve and rejuvenate the environment; and that guarantee workers living wages, safe working conditions, and the right to organize. Energy-efficient, carbon-sequestering organic agriculture is the only system with the potential to turn back global warming, create millions of green jobs, and produce healthy, affordable food.

Consumer Victory of the Month: 
Yoplait Goes rBGH Free!

 

Yoplait, a leading brand of yoghurt, and the 19th largest dairy producer in the U.S., has announced, that as of August 2009, it will no longer purchase milk from dairies injecting their cows with Monsanto's controversial genetically engineered synthetic hormone, recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone (rBGH). Yoplait's rejection of rBGH-tainted milk comes in the wake of a consumer campaign organized by the Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility, the OCA, and dozens of allied public interest organizations. Yoplait's action is amplified by a growing number of mainstream companies who have recently turned their backs on rBGH, including Starbucks, Caribou, Cabot cheese, and Subway. For over ten years, OCA and our allies have led the charge against rBGH and other genetically engineered foods and food ingredients. Although rBGH is not allowed on organic farms and is banned in most of the industrialized world because of its threats to both animal and human health, this cruel and dangerous drug is still injected into approximately 10% of U.S. dairy cows--to force them to produce more milk. With your help, OCA and its allies will continue our campaign until Monsanto's rBGH is driven completely off the market.

Top 2008 Organic & Green "Tips of the Month"

Join Wendell Berry & Take a Stand Against Coal at the Nation's Capitol On March 2, 2009

Join Wendell Berry, poet laureate and intellectual leader of the organic movement, and thousands of others in a multi-generational act of civil disobedience at the Capitol Power Plant, the utility that powers Congress with dirty energy and symbolizes a past that threatens our future. Let's use this as a rallying cry for a clean energy economy that will protect the health of our families, our climate, and our future.

Brought to you by ORGANIC BYTES, from Organic Consumers Assoc. http://www.organicconsumers.org/

 


 

ELDER'S MEDITATION

 

"To me, if you're Indian, you're Indian. You don't have to put on your buckskin, beads, and feathers, and stuff like that."  --Cecilia Mitchell, Mohawk

 

The most important thing that determines who we are is on our insides, not our outsides. If we are Indian inside, that's all that matters. Being Indian means to think right, to be spiritual and to pray. Feathers and beads don't make us Indian. Being Indian means to have a good heart and a good mind.

 

Great Spirit, today, let me think Indian.

By Don Coyhis

 



 

 

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Herbal control solutions and natural remedies for what ails you.

         

 


PLANT MEDICINE...

 

 

Medicine for the People

By Jim McDonald, http://www.herbcraft.org/index.htm

Solomon's Seal

Polygonatum biflorum

 

I learned about Solomon's Seal early on; identifying it (along with Cleavers) from Lesley Bremness's Herbs Eyewitness Handbook as I was sitting with friends after a woodland wedding in Hastings.  A few months later I read about it in Matthew Wood's Book of Herbal Wisdom, and that fall I harvested some roots to make tincture.  Not much later that Autumn a woman I knew slipped and fell, wrenching her knee quite badly while I was over at her place.  I went out into the woods behind their house, dug some roots up, simmered them for a bit in oil and had her use that topically.  She went to the doctor the next day, and was referred to an orthopedic specialist the next day, who said it was quite a bad injury and would likely require surgery.  A day after that I dropped off some of the tincture I had made, and then next time she went in to the orthopedist (a couple weeks later), she was told that she had healed phenomenally well and there would be no need for the surgery after all.

 

So that was my first experience using it, and since then I've just kept racking up more and more cases typically exhibiting marked and even drastic recoveries.  I don't think there's a single other plant I use that so reliably produces such story-worthy results, and as there is far too little information clearly elaborating on Solomon's Seal's remarkable virtues, I figured I should help remedy that... 

 

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FLUORIDE WATCH...

 

Fluoride-Induced Spots on Teeth Harm Kids’ Self-Esteem, says Dental Journal

 

New York – April 14, 2008 -- Fluoride exposure is rising and causing children’s tooth imperfections, ranging from white spots to brownish discolorations and pitting (fluorosis), dentist Elivir Dincer reports in the New York State Dental Journal. (1)

 

“Such changes in the tooth’s appearance can affect the child’s self-esteem which makes early prevention that much more critical,” writes Dincer.

 

Children, aged 2 to 7 years, can swallow about one-quarter milligram of fluoride with every brushing because their swallowing reflexes are not fully developed, reports Dincer.

 

“Children from the age of 6-months to 3-years should not have more than one-quarter milligram of fluoride per day. Brushing the teeth of a 2-year-old twice a day will expose the child to about one-half milligram, exceeding the allowable [daily] limits” [from toothpaste alone], writes Dincer.

 

Intentionally swallowing the toothpaste which is likely, given the pleasant flavor of children’s toothpaste, increases children’s fluorosis risk, Dincer reports.

 

Fluoridated water, supplements, mouth rinses and/or foods add to daily fluoride intake.

 

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FUNNY BONES

No offense intended for any individuals or tribes.

 
A Pine Ridge guy walked into the local welfare office to pick up his check. 
 
He marched straight up to the counter and said, 'Hi. You know, I just HATE drawin' welfare. I'd really rather have a job.'
 
The social worker behind the counter said, 'Your timing is excellent. We just got a job opening from a very wealthy old man who wants a chauffeur
and bodyguard for his beautiful daughter. You'll have to drive around in his Mercedes, and he'll supply all of your clothes. Because of the long
hours, meals will be provided. You'll be expected to escort the daughter on her overseas holiday trips and you will have to satisfy her sexual
urges. You'll be provided a two-bedroom apartment above the garage.  The salary is $200,000 a year.'
 
The guy, wide-eyed, said, ' You're kiddin' me! '
 
The social worker said, ' Yeah, well ...... you started it.'
 
~Submitted by Runninbear

 


 

ANIMAL RIGHTS... AND WRONGS

 

 

Oppose the USDA's Mandatory Property

and Animal Surveillance Program 

By Mary Zanoni, Ph.D. (Cornell), J.D. (yale), Executive Director of Farm for Life

 

For several years, the USDA has been working with the largest-scale animal industry organizations (for example, the National Pork Producers, Monsanto Company, and Cargill Meat) to develop a mandatory "National Animal Identification System" ("NAIS"). 

 

However, most small-scale livestock producers, people who raise animals for their own food, and people who keep horses or livestock as companion animals, do not know about the USDA's plans. 

 

The NAIS will drive small producers out of the market, will make people abandon raising animals for their own food, will invade Americans' personal privacy to a degree never before tolerated, will violate the religious freedom of Americans whose beliefs make it impossible for them to comply, and will erase the last vestiges of animal welfare from the production of animal foods. 

The Problem: On April 25, 2005, the USDA released "Draft Program Standards" ("St.") and a "Draft Strategic Plan" ("Plan") concerning the NAI8. If you think the description below sounds too bizarre to be true, please go to http://usda.gov/nais  and read the Standards and Plan, and check the citations. 

 

In January 1, 2008, the NAIS became mandatory. (Plan, pp. 2, 10, 17.) Every person who owns even one horse, cow, pig, chicken, sheep, pigeon, or virtually any livestock animal, will be forced to register their home, including owner's name, address, and telephone number, and be keyed to Global Positioning System coordinates for satellite monitoring, in a giant federal database under a 7 -digit "premises 10 number." (St., pp. 3-4, 10-12; Plan, p. 5.) Every animal will have to be assigned a 15-digit 10 number, also to be kept in a giant federal database.

 

The form of 10 will most likely be a tag or microchip containing a Radio Frequency Identification Device, designed to be read from a distance. (Plan, p. 10; St., pp. 6, 12, 20, 27-28.) The plan may also include collecting the DNA of every animal and/or a retinal scan of every animal. (Plan, p.13.)

 

The owner will be required to report: the birth date of an animal, the application of every animal's 10 tag, every time an animal leaves or enters the property, every time an animal loses a tag, every time a tag is replaced, the slaughter or death of an animal, or if any animal is missing. Such events must be reported within 24 hours. (St., pp. 12-13, 17-21.)

 

Third parties, such as veterinarians or county assessors, will be required to report "sightings" of animals. (St., p. 25.) In other words, if you call a vet to your property to treat your horse, cow, or any other animal, and the vet finds any animal without the mandatory 15digit computer-readable 10, the vet may be required to report you.

 

If you do not comply, the USDA will exercise "enforcement" against you. (St., p. 7; 
 

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See an amazing film about Austrailia's Aboriginal peoples.

Traditional Whale Dreamers http://www.whaledreamers.com

 


 

SACRED SITES:

 

 

 

Protesting is not Resisting, Resistance are based on profound manifestos 

Ancient Big Mountain

Supreme Ways Dictates Dineh Resistance

 

Pauline Whitesinger Continues to Defy Bureau of Indian Affairs and Police Harassment

By Bahe Y. Katenay, Sheep Dog Nation Rocks

 


 

Sweet Water Stronghold, Big Mountain. March 1, 2009 - Dineh elder resister of the traditional lands of Sweet Water is bundled up for the chilly winds as she takes some hay out to her sheep and goats. The herds need a little extra feed before going out to graze. The non-Indian, volunteer supporter is dressed warm and ready to follow the sheep as he chops some wood for grandma, Pauline and while the herds nibble on the scattered hay on the ground. Not many non-Indian volunteers do occasionally make themselves available from their busy lives to come out for short stays and help traditional, elder resisters. Very few traditional elder residents are now left throughout such regions affected by the harsh relocation laws of 1974.

When asked, "How is everything out here?" The well-outfitted supporter says, "Just a lot of babies, and that is why I'm carrying this!" He wears a large, hand-sewn canvas bag which he referred to is to be used in case any of the sheep or goats have "babies." Soon the sheep and goats are done feeding and they head towards the great pristine canyon of Sweet Water, and the supporter suddenly quits all chit-chat, grabs his stick and runs off toward a herd that is disappearing into the juniper forest.

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