It's all spirit and it's all
connected." -Grandfather William Commanda,
If everything is connected, we cannot not disconnect.
To disconnect is not a real choice.
This is why we are always spiritual no matter what
we do. Every alcoholic is spiritual. All our brothers and sisters are
spiritual. We may not be behaving correctly, but nevertheless, we are
spiritual. Our choice is to live out of
harmony with spiritual ways or in harmony with
spiritual ways. Everything is spiritual.
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Stirring music. Intense,
emotional and beautiful. Hear the legends of the Place of
Peace. A Moving Experience.
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CAROL ELK LOOKS BACK PETERSEN MEETS
WITH SLOVENIAN PRESIDENT DRNOVSEK
L to R is Slovenia President Drnovsek, Amawta Valentin Mejillones, Carol Elk
Looks Back Petersen.)
The temple of the Sun in Tiwanaku
is represented by the stone caving being presented by Don Valentin
Mejillones of Bolivia. He is Aymara and the chief coordinator of the
Spiritual Ancestors of South America. As you may remember we have been
asking for synchronistic sun portal celebrations bringing down the Rainbow
Medicine Blanket during the solstice and the equinox.
Carol Elk Looks Back presented to President
Drnovsek as a clan Mother of the Sacred Soto Band of the Anishinaabe Nation
an eagle feather to President Drnovsek.
Manataka member and tireless
ambassador for cross cultural understanding, Petersen travels to visit with
heads of state in many foreign countries to open cross cultural
understanding. In 2005, Petersen presented Manataka with the Rainbow
Flag -- Aymara (pictured below)
gifted by Valentin Mejillones, Aymara Spiritual Guide of El Alto, La
Paz, Boliva. (pictured above). Petersen currently serves as the
Coordinator of the Spiritual Elders of South America and Consejo del Saber
Qulla (council of knowledge) in Latin America. Also in 2005, Petersen
represented the Manataka American Indian Council during a major gathering of
spiritual elders of many countries in Latin America.
Sacred geometry in Slovenia
"We were invited by President Drnovsek to
go to many vortexes in his country and to "feel the energy".
Everywhere we stopped the towns people came to visit with us and to
introduce us to the center of the vortexes at goddess temples.
A sacred spring produced a bio field corresponding to all the
centers in the human body. Slovenian's are proud
of their land and each home has a garden patch and flowers bloom out
of every window," said Elk Looks Back.
"Today we continue to prosper with a newly
formed foundation. It will continue to foster and enrich our
common cultural relationship to the land in a harmonious way."
Manataka is proud of our powerfully
dynamic friend and member.
Toxins in Electronics**
Every year, hundreds of thousands of old computers and mobile
phones containing toxic chemicals, such as brominated flame retardants (BFRs)
and the plastic polyvinyl chlorine (PVC), are dumped in landfills or burned
in smelters. Thousands more are exported, often illegally, from the Europe,
US, Japan and other industrialised countries, to Asia. There, workers at
scrap yards, some of whom are children, are exposed to a cocktail of toxic
chemicals and poisons. This is the dark side of a trend for cheaper, more
A Chinese child sits amongst a pile of wires and e-waste. Children can often
be found dismantling e-waste containing many hazardous chemicals known to be
potentially very damaging to children's health. Photo from Greenpeace
By removing the toxic chemicals, companies make it
cleaner and easier to recycle their products. Companies that take
responsibility for the whole lifecycle of their products from cradle to
grave ensure that their products last longer and cause less pollution.
Greenpeace's vision for the industry is one that produces cleaner, longer
lasting, more sustainable products that don't contribute to the growing tide
of toxic, short lived products currently being dumped in Asia.
The electronics is a fast moving, innovative
industry that can respond quickly to users wishes and new trends. But this
years hottest gadget shouldn't end up being next years e-waste being taken
apart by a Chinese child. Some companies are making positive moves and a
Greenpeace survey shows that users want a cleaner industry and are willing
to pay extra for it.
Take Action--Suggestions from
Greenpeace and The Green Guide:
Avoid buying new computer equipment
unnecessarily; whenever possible, upgrade your current machine.
If buying a new monitor, flat-panel screen models
are an easy greener choice; they lack the five to eight pounds of lead found
in conventional CRT monitors.
Look for Energy Star certified machines; they
consume 70 percent less electricity than computers that lack
Even after buying a new machine you might want to hang onto the old one
instead of tossing it. Consider networking the two computers, or use the old
computer to play MP3s or serve some other specialized function, such as
acting as a Linux platform.
4) Return your equipment to the
manufacturer when you have finished with it. Ask about consumer
take-back programs like the Electronics Recycling Shared Responsibility
Program, which includes Panasonic, Sharp, and Sony.
5) Re-Cycle old electronic equipment to
If you live in California or Massachusetts, you
MUST recycle CRT monitors and TVs, or clutter up your garage, as these two
states have banned the landfilling of these items due to their lead content.
In general, be sure to avoid recyclers that use
incineration (sometimes called "thermal recycling") as well as ones that
ship waste overseas for processing.
** excerpt from the article "Dell promises
greener computers but users want more"; to read the whole article:
Additional reading: "What's in electronic
Strange as how we need to
identify things by naming them. I never could understand the need to
name Hurricanes with human names when they are far from human.
Along the coast of Maine we
at times got the aftermath or ends of some tropical storms. They would
be described as touching down or coming inland. We seldom actually got a
full blown hurricane so we did not pay much attention to the weather
man. The fishermen on the other hand heeded the warnings for high seas
that would be in effect during such storms.
this particular morning I woke up and felt the heaviness in the air that
had not been there last night. All morning as I went about getting
morning chores done I felt this sense of expectation. My husband use to
think me quite out of my mind when I would batten down the hatches after
a storm warning; I felt it better to be prepared then not.
We would draw water into
big pots for cooking drinking and washing. We usually filled the bathtub
with water and made sure we were supplied with plenty of lamps and
candles also the cooking stove or wood supplies put inside. We always
made sure we had packed a back pack in case of an emergency evacuation.
Also food for such a move was loaded into the old truck.
I mostly lived in
wilderness places where you never left home without a good warm blanket,
extra clothes, food and supplies for break down in your truck. You
dressed for the weather and covered all emergency needs. The elements
are powerful and most people who live close to the earth respect them.
After we had secured the
emergency supplies, we would go out in the yard and see that all lose
items were latched down or put away so that they would not fly up and
hit a window or cause other damage. My kids helped me with this work and
it was no time before we were zipped up and ready.
Bikes went into sheds and
lawn mowers put away all flying objects were under wraps so to speak.
My husband would only shake his head and go off to work or ignore me and
my efforts at storm preparation. This particular storm was called
Bob, such an every day name for what turned out to be a terrible
That morning as I said we
made preparations for this storm to touch inland. Needless to say my
husband did not share my Native ways and thought that they were a bit
much. In later years he came to open his eyes to some things, but still
held out his own private thoughts.
The air was heavy and still
that morning, as I went out and made my tobacco tie offerings to the
land and the storm. I offered tobacco to the four directions of my land
and tied prayer ties in the old maple trees that lined the property. As
I was making the prayers the sky got all yellow and gray. The birds were
suddenly silent and nothing moved, not even the leaves on the trees.
Later that day the storm
made land fall and the winds swept the coastal area. From my living room
window I watched as the trees across the street were bent nearly double
and snapped like match sticks. Many things were destroyed that night
from the powerful wind and rain that hit our area. The electricity went
out and it grew dark, still the wind howled for hours more. I lay down
fully clothed on my bed and tried to get some sleep. I must have finally
fallen asleep because I did not hear a sound.
I got up at 5am and went
out into the yard to see what damage had been done to the land. I saw no
trees down on my land but many bent and broken smaller ones across the
street. Mostly the pines were uprooted and tipped over leaving their
roots pointed to the sky.
When I looked across the
street from my front yard was when I saw the clear cut pass to the River
Road. It was about 100 feet wide and reached down the hill a quarter of
a mile, all the way to the River road the ran from Westbrook to
Windham. At first I had to look twice to understand the amount of damage
and the distance between me and the clearing.
The storm had crossed the
river behind the house and taken out some others trees and damaged
property. Then it jumped over my house and land and took cut this pass
that was directly opposite my house only 20 yards from my front door.
The huge old maple , oak and pines were twisted and splintered, it was
as if some huge hand had ripped them up carelessly and tossed them to
the side. The power of such a wind must have been at least 100 miles an
hour to have caused such damage. I had no knowledge of this as my
family slept safely only a few yards from the devastation.
Our land was the only land
in the neighbor hood that had no damaged trees or buildings. We were
spared this and were certainly grateful for the Creators hand that
protected us all.
We made breakfast and
prayed for others who were less fortunate then we went door to door and
offered to help anyone who needed it. We made pots of food and fed the
ones who were not able to cook or did not prepare for such a emergency.
We helped cut trees and tarp roofs that were damaged.
We powered up the generator
and finally saw on TV what this mildly named storm had done to the East
coast line. It was devastating and was considered a disaster area for a
As for us we thanked
Creator for protecting the land and saving the trees around us. To this
day it is a mystery how the storm jumped that area and landed across the
road. I question nothing that Creator does in this life only give thanks
and offer prayers.
After that some of my
family who had thought me a bit daft in my ways found more
understanding. Perhaps we want to believe in the power of prayer or
ritual but we fear the reprisals from others. Never let judgment from
others stops you from believing in the way you pray or offer prayers.
Look around you and see that we are so connected to this earth and all
that lives or grows here. This knowing or feeling of the land will help
you to survive if you only listen. Yes you will be shaken, but you
will survive all things if you focus and keep your connection with the
The ability to see and
understand is between you and your Creator, the thread or reed must
always be connected to the sacred Tree of Life. We must have an open
hollow reed in order to live a good and full life.
Love and blessings. Waynonaha
Waynonaha Two Worlds. Copyright (c) 2006 by Waynonaha Two
Worlds. All publication rights reserved.
From Grandmother Selma
RECLAIMING "SQUAW" IN THE NAME OF THE ANCESTORS
I write to you as an alnobaskwa,
an Abenaki woman, questioning the motionto gut our original language in the
name of political correctness. Over the past few decades, in my travels as a
traditional storyteller and historical consultant, I have met many
indigenous speakers and elders who are concerned at the efforts of otherwise
well-meaning people to erase all contemporary uses of the word "squaw."
And yet, there are people who
refuse to believe that "squaw" could have originated in an Algonkian
language, or that it could ever have had any meaning but a pejorative one.
Some seem to believe that Europeans invented the word, and placed it on maps
all over the country, with the sole intent of insulting Native women. Sadly,
the misunderstanding of traditional languages runs so deep that contemporary
Americans cannot distinguish between modern insults and traditional words.
For many activists, the word "squaw" has come to symbolize the systematic
rape and abuse of Indian women by white conquerors.
By way of explanation to readers
on this issue, I have never supported continued use of the word as an insult
directed at Native women, and I am not opposed to the concept of changing
place names with the word "squaw" in them. But I do wish to provide some
background documentation on the actual linguistic origins of the word in
Algonkian languages, and the relatively modern historical and social
processes by which it morphed into an insult. I ask that people try to
understand, and respect, the difference between pejorative uses and
indigenous contexts, between different Native languages, and between
historical uses of Native words, past and present. I also ask that people
not promote fictional word origins, or use traditional words in ways that
are insulting to our ancestors and our elders....
Submitted by Selma
Founder of Redbird
At a Cultural Sensitivity seminar in Los
Angeles for counselors working in minority communities, the teacher offered the
Three good friends were out hunting with their
favorite dogs, boasting about their hunting ability. “Watch this” said the
English man. “Rover, go seek!” Immediately his dog took off at a full run,
darting all through the brush, until he came to a bevy of quail. The dog froze,
pointing with his front leg and standing like a statue, marking the spot where
the quail stood.
“That’s very impressive” said his French
hunting partner, “but watch this.” With a series of shrill whistles he directed
his dog to search. The French man’s dog sped off and soon found the location of
an animal, hidden in the brush. The dog barked furiously and spun in circles,
marking the location of the hiding animal.
Both the English and the French man then turned
to their Native American hunting partner. “What can your dog do?” they asked.
The native man motioned to his dog with his chin, sweeping the surroundings with
a motion of his head. The native dog looked around, sat down, and pointed
toward another patch of brush with his lips.
Predictably, the native people in the audience
laughed out loud.
Most of us, regardless of our heritage, have
been taught that it is rude to point at a person, but few people will go to such
great effort to avoid pointing as indigenous people of the western hemisphere.
For native people, it isn’t just people that you shouldn’t point at, but also
trees and animals, homes, graves, regalia and medicine items. Why?
Read Related Story: Indian Sign
Language September 2006 Issue
Today Is a Good Day to Die -
Today, R. Lee Standing Bear Moore is a peaceful warrior -- a rainbow warrior.
He rises up on two legs with arms stretched wide only when his family, friends
or sacred mountain are threatened. Most days he spends quietly talking
with members and visitors, performing ceremony, counseling those in need, or
walking peacefully on the Manataka Mountain.
But, there was a time when peace and quiet were not a part of his vocabulary.
Bear was a real warrior who risked his life in combat for the sake of his
brothers. After leaving the military nearly forty-years ago,
Standing Bear was a successful concert and event promoter who brought
entertainment and laughter to crowds across the country. But, battles with
performers, agents, record companies, venues, stage workers and vendors consumed
over twenty-years of his life. Then he founded a drug and alcohol abuse
awareness organization that spread across seven states and helped thousands of
families recover from the ravages chemical abuse. But, battles with drug
abusers, enabling families, treatment institutions, law enforcement, politicians
and others were constant.
If this were not enough, Standing Bear fought more insidious battles against
personal fears and anger for many years. He
finally won -- to a large degree. Nowadays, it is difficult to ruffle the fur on
the back of his neck. The journey from angry warrior to a man of peace is
a fascinating story...
(Read Part I)
"...I cannot remember when it was the first time I
heard the Indian phrase, “Today is a good day to die.” The phrase was used in
the context of a warrior’s desire to die an honorable and brave death. For
many decades I accepted this idea...but it changed drastically..."
Today We Proclaim a New Day!
Today we proclaim a new day in heaven and on earth for all beings and all things
who shall live in equal respect and dignity for each other.
Today we live joyously for the future as we respect the past.
A world filled with fear, anger and hate must find peace within itself.
As history teaches us, this cannot be done using conventional government,
religion and commerce based initiatives for achieving peace. Governments
begin wars for imperialistic, religious and commercial reasons.
Today we live in a world in transition where the dynamics of the connection and
interaction in human relations are at its highest vibration in history.
Billions of people are talking to each other across imaginary political
boundaries as never before. This is good.
Communication between individuals across the globe has brought about renewed
respect and tolerance of all. Tolerance has brought about higher
understanding and compassion for our brothers and sisters. It has
increased the love between us. Communication has also increased hate
between us. Increased communication between government, church and
commercial leaders have increased wars and the possibility of wars.
Can we increase the vibration of love between us so that the relevance of
government, religion and commercial interests in the peace making process is
negligent? You know this is the only way it will ever happen -- by the
grace of the Creator of All Things.
Today we live in a world with humans who have eyes in the backs of their
We know and understand history as never before. Everyday there are dozens
of new discoveries that increase our insight into the past. Subjects such
as anthropology and archeology were not even part of academic study until the
late 19th century. We can see behind us very well -- as never before in
At the same time, we have eyes all around our heads. The
internet, television and cell phones allow us to see and speak to every part of
the globe simultaneously. Some humans have eyes with 360° vision.
Humans also have the ability to peak around the corner of time -- eyes in the
middle of their forehead.
By assembling all the prophesies of all the religions and ancient knowledge
across the earth and distilling them down to chronological patterns, themes and
impact, we discover they are very agreeable with each other in many respects.
The multitude of ideologies appeared to be far apart in the past by reason of
language barriers, geography and political/ religious jealousies. Today,
hundreds of prophesies in many languages point to the same future. An eye into
tomorrow courtesy of all the races, religions, and spiritual knowledge of humans
-- dove-tailing into a single moving picture!
To know the future, we can also read the newspaper, watch television, read
magazines, internet information to see the political, religious and economic
upheaval worldwide. The rate of global ecological degradation promises to
bring about extinction. When will this giant rubberband break?
Is there a reason why humans have so many eyes? Is there a reason
why our global collective consciousness has been sat down in the front row seat
of time, full of eyes and ears, for major event the human experience?
As humans sit in the front row awaiting the Big Spectacle, we are filled with
great sadness at all our mistakes, pain and fears. At the same time, we
are joyous at the prospects for a new day!
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A Catawba Story
But the Catawba have a different tale of those days. When this world was
still new, they say, all of it was sharp rocks and steep hills, high cliffs
and jagged peaks-except for one small valley hidden deep in the mountains.
There, it was always summer. A clear stream ran through its green meadows.
The deer and the wolf drank from it side by side. Beavers built a dam to
make a pond, and fishes swam in it. Flowers bloomed on the banks and did not
die. Trees flowered and bore fruit, and then flowered again. Bluebirds and
buntings sang in the branches. Bees hummed. Blackberries, raspberries, and
gooseberries, huckleberries, serviceberries, and mulberries ripened all the
year round. The little valley was the best of all places.
Once the Great Spirit had made the valley, he shaped a new creature to live
in it. He made this new being to stand on two legs, much like himself. He
gave it dark hair and eyes and a dress made of large round leaves of galax,
and set her down in the grassy meadow. "You are First Woman," said the Great
Spirit, "and this is your home to live in and to rule." Then, when he had
said it, he went away and left her.
First Woman was happy at first. She found a cave to shelter her from the
always-summer rains, and made it her home. She ate berries with honey, and
pawpaws and persimmons and fish. She swam with the beavers and ran with the
deer, and neither she nor her valley grew old. Every day was the same as
every other day, until she began to wish that it was not.
One day, as First Woman sat at the opening of her cave, she saw a bright red
butterfly flutter by. She had never seen such a thing before, and so she
rose and followed it. Down across the valley it flew, and up into a narrow
ravine. First Woman climbed after it a long, winding way until it led her to
the foot of a waterfall. But then it vanished. First Woman turned back, but
took the wrong path, and wandered farther and farther out of her way At
nightfall, cold and weary and frightened, she curled up on the ground to
sleep. A little before dawn she awoke to find a dark shape bending over
her-not a wolf or panther, but a shape much like her own. Yet she was the
only human being in this world.
"What are you?" she asked in fear. It was larger than she, its face fiercer.
Its shirt and leggings were made of cloud, as if it had just stepped down
from the sky.
The Sky Man reached down to help First Woman to her feet. "I was on my way
from the evening star to the morning star," he said. "When I looked down, I
saw first that you are very beautiful, and then that you were lost. I wish
to help you find your way, and so I have come down to your world, even
though the Great Spirit will be angered." "Will He be?" First Woman asked
"Yes," said the Sky Man, "for He has commanded that the People Above do not
come down to this world unless He sends them. His anger is terrible, and I
fear it." But he smiled at her. "Indeed, I would rather stay here with you
than return to the World Above and His anger." First Woman's heart filled
with happiness, for she had been lonely and not known it. "Come," she said,
and she took his hand and went with him down to her beautiful valley.
There they lived together as wife and husband, and in time First Woman bore
a child. Only then did they begin to think of the times to come. First Woman
knew that from their children and their children's children would come a
people who would overflow the valley and fill the world. How would they
live? The world outside was harsh and bare. Sky Man feared that their
children would suffer even more because he had disobeyed the Great Spirit's
command, and he was unhappy. Together, they prayed to the Great Spirit for
his forgiveness. In the World Above, the Great Spirit heard, and knew that
their hearts were good. He lifted his hand, and a great wind rose. He moved
his hand, and the great wind pushed mountains closer together and made space
for other valleys, and for prairies. And all this world was made beautiful.
When the work was done, the Great Spirit leaned down from the World Above
and told First Woman and Sky Man that all this world was theirs. But he told
them, too, that because Sky Man had disobeyed him, from that day they must
work for their food. He told them that life would no longer be all summer.
Now there would be winter, and with it bitter cold. He told them that there
would come a time when they would see in the water of the beavers' lake that
their hair had grown white. He told them that in time they must grow old,
and die. And First Woman and Sky Man looked at the beautiful world, and at
their child, and still were glad.
Taken from the book The Wonderful Sky Boat and Other Native American Tales
of the Southeast retold by Jane Louise Curry
From Blue Panther Keeper of Stories
TO THE EDITOR...
I am saddened to see that Bear Butte is
being destroyed by so many people whose only vision is that of the almighty
I have loved the
sacredness of the Butte ever since I was a child. I can remember climbing
near the top and feeling such a rush of exhilaration and the presence of the
Spirit. What can be done? In some ways, I feel that I must have been a
Native American in a past life. I’ve always wanted to be named as such, but
since I don’t have enough Native American blood in me, I’m thinking that it
is probably out of the question in this lifetime.
Please, oh please, we
must stand strong to save the Butte. While I have an aunt that lives in
view of Bear Butte, that ranch has been there for as long as I can remember
and there was and has been respect for the land. Evil people have crossed
that land many times and when my Uncle was alive, it was not uncommon to
feel a bullet come whizzing by one’s ear. I am here in California, but my
heart still remains there on the Butte. I pray that we can stop the
craziness and keep the land sacred for now and for future generations.
Hi every one. This
[message] is very significant. It affects everyone on the
planet. Please support local sustainable agriculture. Here in Rapid
City there is Breadroot co-op. The single most important thing any
of us can do to make a difference in our world is to support local
sustainable agriculture. This includes buying fair trade organic
items whenever you can. Also try having a home cooked meal with your
family. Turn off the TV. Try it. You might like it. Your body and
your planet thank you.
TO THE EDITOR...
Hi, I am sending
messages that will be part of a booklet I and a Pomo activist friend
(Robinson Rancheria) are putting together on the subject of 19th century
massacres in Northern California, specifically in Lake County (Bloody
You could use it
as an article or as a letter to the editor. The story involves approximately
150 men, women, children, toddlers and elders were butchered (the young
children "brained" against tree trunks, a common practice in those days)
without cause but to have access to their land, with the blessing of
California politicians and officials.
The history of
Native people in Northern California is not well known, (not like Wounded
Knee or Sand Creek), because the dominant society here still calls it a "can
of worms" that should not be disturbed!
My friend (whose great-grandmother survived the massacre as a little girl by
hiding under water in the lake and breathing through a tulle) and I are
planning to cause a major disturbance with this illustrated booklet, as the
truth is always disturbing in a ocean of lies and denials!
It would be great
if I could send the booklet to you for review when it is completed and
published, perhaps you could sell it on your site...Let me know to whose
attention I should send it. The story will be very straightforward and
entirely facts-based, with plenty of explicit illustrations, to tell it like
'The Indians are coming! The Indians are coming!' Are the
Indian Wars Not Over?
By Mike Graham
It's a flash back to Paul Revere's famous ride all over again, only this time
the cry is about American Indians. Politicians across the country (mostly
Republicans) are rallying the troops against Indians. They are telling anyone
that will listen that the Indians are back and they mean business! "Indians are
going to take over." they cry.
Well, the meaning business part is right. Indian nations are moving ahead in
many business areas like mom and pop neighborhood stores to forming Internet
companies. American Indians have come a long way from the days when city
storefronts had signs in the window stating "No Dogs - No Indians" allowed.
This new "Indian war" is playing out in our nation's courts to include
anti-Indian legislation formed to hold Indians back economically . State and
federal politicians are spending a lot of their time (and taxpayers' money) to
put the Indians back in their place, in other words, "back on the reservation".
Behind the scenes these same politicians are doing all they can to steal Indian
land. This action is backed by big business giants and their lobbyists. Each
year Indian tribal governments have to spend millions of dollars defending their
rights before U.S. courts because U.S. politicians are filing frivolous lawsuits
against them. This money should be going for Indian health care, education and
ending poverty. "But this is war" cry the politicians. "
Indian governments are not playing fair! They're using our U.S. courts and laws
to regain their land and civil rights. They even want us to apologize for the
holocaust we committed against them. What's the world coming to?" they ask.
During the past year our elected representatives in their "War against Indians"
have introduced more anti-Indian legislation than they have toward the war
against foreign terrorists. Forget the U.S. border problem, illegal aliens
problem, gangs or energy crises. They say that "The Indians are coming for their
land and their legal rights under our U.S. laws." Politicians are working fast
and hard re-writing laws to stop the Indians!
State officials are taking the "Indian War" one step further. They want to offer
state tax dollars to local city governments to fight this new "Indian war".
They're also pumping out press releases geared to build anti-Indian sentiment
like newspaper reports did back in the good old days of Custer. Their main
talking points are Indian gaming, tribal solvencies and reclaiming land under
Obviously these government officials long for the good old days of their
forefathers when they could just sit down with an Indian Chief with a gun to his
head, get his x on a treaty written in English, and tell him where his
Our federal and state Politicians kept their mouths shut as long as Indians were
enslaved on reservations living in poverty. Now that Indians are finally
standing up for their rights again, and moving up the economic ladder, they have
to deal with all the hate propaganda their ancestors were confronted with during
the Custer years.
Still today, three of the five most impoverished counties in America are
predominately populated by Indians located on reservations. Corporate America
avoids Indian reservations like the plague. They hope Indians will abandon their
land. If this happened, you would see a Wal-Mart go up overnight, along with
banks and all the business that comes with them.
American Indians claim in part that the holocaust committed against them still
continues today. Through the federal government's mishandling of the Indian
trust fund, ten to forty billion dollars are missing. The federal government
says it has no idea where the money went, all the while shredding documents and
spending millions of your tax dollars each year fighting Indians in U.S. courts
to make sure no one does!
The Indian trust fund was set up in 1887. The federal government (by choice) is
responsible for collecting royalties from gold, oil, gas, timber, coal and other
economic goods removed from Indian land held in federal trust. Over five hundred
thousand American Indians have accounts associated with the Indian trust fund.
On top of all this, Indians have to deal with trust fund payments that are not
being paid. The Indian trust fund issue is at the forefront of the new Indian
war. You will not hear about this issue on Fox or CNN News!
The federal government does not "give" Indians free money. It owes the Indians
money from treaties made with them under U.S. law, and for the economic goods
taken off their land. If the federal government paid up what it owes Indians,
they would be the richest (cash wise) group of Americans in the nation.
American Indians now call America the "rented country", and say that the federal
government is a bad tenant!! www.IndianTrust.com
Politicians waging this new "Indian War" are finding members of their ranks
running for the hills (no pun intended) in fear of not getting re-elected.
Another big problem these politicians are having to confront is that Americans
today are not falling for the wolf cry "The Indians are coming". The vast
majority of Americans know Indians got a raw deal from the beginning, and
support them today in their quest to regain what is theirs.
Mike Graham is a member of the Oklahoma Cherokee Nation and
founder United Native America.
Submitted by Andre Cramblit
CONFERENCE IS CHANCE TO IMPROVE FUTURE
Virginia tribes hope three-day event will highlight
past adversity, present plight
By Andrew Petkofsky, Richmond Times-Dispatch
WILLIAMSBURG Members of Virginia's
state-recognized Indian tribes hope a three-day conference to showcase their
history and culture will enlighten the general public and help Indians
achieve a brighter future.
They also hope to show that Virginia,
self-proclaimed as the birthplace of democracy, is also the birthplace of
policies that damaged the lives and cultures of Indians throughout what is
now the United States.
"The first laws concerning Indian tribes
originated in Virginia, and the first forced displacement of Indian tribes
to reservations occurred in Virginia," said Upper Mattaponi Chief Kenneth
Adams. "You don't just talk about Virginia Indians; you talk about all of
them because the exact same thing happened all across the country
The conference, "Virginia Indians: 400 Years
of Survival," will run Oct. 5-7 at the Williamsburg Lodge and at tribal
centers across Virginia. It's a signature event in the 18-month
commemoration of Jamestown's 400th anniversary.
The conference will start with a free, all-day
symposium at the Williamsburg Lodge featuring Indian speakers and other
experts from Virginia and around the country. The second day will include
events at tribal centers in eastern Virginia, and the third day will take
participants to the Monacan Indian Nation's annual homecoming event in
Adams and other organizers say Indians have
embraced the opportunity to teach the public their story from a perspective
that often has been overlooked.
There is also some hope the conference will
help the non-Indian public understand the events, laws and policies that
have inspired an ongoing campaign by six Virginia tribes to win the same
federal recognition, as sovereign peoples, granted to many Western tribes.
Although the state recognizes eight tribes, none of them is recognized by
the federal government.
The issue has been so important to some
Virginia Indians that they advocated refusing to participate in the
commemoration of Jamestown's anniversary as the first permanent English
settlement in America.
The idea of helping to celebrate Jamestown's
history while Congress has yet to act on legislation that would grant the
Virginia tribes recognition is controversial among Indians, even those
participating in the conference.
But many have chosen the pragmatic view that
Indian participation may serve to educate the public and fan support for the
"It's a vehicle for us," said Powhatan Red
Cloud Owen, a Chickahominy Tribe member working as a liaison between the
anniversary organizers and the tribes. "It's our history. Why should we let
someone else tell it?"
Wayne Adkins, a Chickahominy leader and
president of Virginia Indian Tribal Alliance for Life, the organization
working for federal recognition, expressed a similar perspective.
"To me, anything that raises the profile of
the tribes is a step toward recognition," he said. "But the recognition
itself is the most important thing. . . . Hopefully, this will lead to more
pressure in Congress to do something."
Although relations between the Indians and
Jamestown settlers were at times friendly, the pressure of colonization cut
Virginia's native population by 90 percent within 100 years of Jamestown's
founding in 1607, said Adams, the Upper Mattaponi chief. And over the next
300 years, the same thing happened across the continent, he said.
Many history books say little about Virginia
Indians after the mid-1700s. But Indian communities and individuals
survived. Laws and policies in Virginia made their lives challenging into
the 20th century. For example, in the 1920s, a state official, Walter A.
Plecker, denied that Virginia Indians still existed and required that all
Indians be classified as black.
Panel discussions, including "Indian Law and
Culture Through History" and "Government Policy as it Relates to American
Indians," may broaden public knowledge of the Indian story in Virginia and
elsewhere in the country.
The list of participants includes nationally
known experts such as Tex G. Hall, a former president of the National
Congress of American Indians; and the Rev. Robert J. Duncan Jr., president
of Bacone College, an Oklahoma school where many Virginia Indians attended
high school between the 1940s and 1990s.
Adams predicted that the discussions will be
enlightening to Virginia Indians and to members of the broader public.
"I think we have a superb, an absolutely
dynamite, lineup of speakers," Adams said. "I think people will walk away
from this event thinking this was a chance of a lifetime."
Helen RedWing Vinson
MONTANA DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND GAME ADVISORY ON BEARS
Bennie E. "Blue Thunder" LeBeau
Sr., an enrolled member of the Eastern Shoshone Nation, Wind
River Indian Reservation, Ft. Washakie, Wyoming
is a MAIC Newsletter Correspondent. His "Teton
Rainbow" and Earth Wisdom columns are regular features on these pages.
This is a message
to all wisdom keepers within the Indigenous Nations of the
have been asked to spread the word of White Eagle, a sacred Holy
One who is working from the East-bringing message towards the
west with sacred messages for peace. As an Eastern Shoshone
messenger, a Peacemaker I pray that leaders within the
Dakota/Lakota Nations, Navajo Nations, Shoshone Nations, Chumash
Nations will take this message to the heart, Including all
other Indigenous Nations that receive this message with a
This is to be given to all Leaders/Advisors and Spiritual
Leaders within the Indigenous Nations of the America's. Please
forward this to those influential individuals that you know far
and wide. I thank you all on Behalf of White Eagle and White
Thunder as Peacemakers from the past, a spirit that brought
peace to the America’s. This Peacemaker was recognized by many
names in the Tribal Nations of the America's.
May the Great Spirit Continue to Bless Each and Everyone in
Wisdom and Knowledge for Mother Earth as the Great Spirit
intended within the Central Sun, the Creator our Father.
meaning many thank yous for your help in sending this message
for peace, within the America’s for the world at large. Those
Chiefs that receive this message I respectfully request that you
contact me. ~
©Copyright by Bennie LeBeau, 2006
Fifty Ways to Help
Save the Planet
What you can do
The problem is so vast and the urgency so great that advice which suggests you
turn off the tap while brushing your teeth or switch off lights and standbys
when they are not needed or go vegetarian for one day a week seems, well,
Global warming is probably the
greatest threat our species has ever faced. The sheer scale of the processes
under way in the atmosphere and the oceans makes it hard not to view anything an
individual does to reduce emissions as being too little too late.
Not true. The astonishing fact is that
each of us can have an immediate impact on the production of greenhouse gases,
and if enough of us act together in these minor ways, the cumulative effect will
be dramatic. That's because so much of the way we live our lives is wasteful
and, to put it bluntly, thoughtless. It takes nothing to switch off a lamp,
unplug the phone charger, take a shorter shower, cook without pre-heating the
oven, skip the pre-wash part of the dishwasher cycle, or, often, walk or bike
instead of drive. And they all save money, which is one of the rather striking
things about reducing your carbon footprint—the standard way of measuring the
CO2 emissions each person is responsible for.
Some of the suggestions that follow may involve a little more effort—recycling,
ditching plastic bags, and fixing leaky faucets and toilets; others require you
to spend money—insulating your home, installing solar panels, or buying a
fuel-efficient car. Even with these, however, there is almost always an eventual
payback in terms of reduced bills.
The overwhelming and heartening point about the ideas here is that, if adopted
by large numbers of people, they will have an immeasurable effect. When it comes
down to it, the continued rise in carbon emissions is a matter of individual
conscience: each of us can and should do something, however small. In 5 or 10
years' time that thought, together with everything written here, should be
second nature to us. Ladies and gentlemen, this little booklet is the future—a
more ingenious, more satisfying, and less wasteful future. Welcome to it.
READ ALL 50
WAYS TO SAVE THE PLANET
This is the time of awakening to
the inner father and the inner mother. Without this
we will receive no high
initiation; instead we get initiated into darkness. That's because any
investigation or revolution without God leads, not to freedom, but to
more slavery." -Willaru Huayta
Honor the Father and the Mother. Father stands
for wisdom and Mother stands for feelings. Inside each of us is the
Father and the Mother. If we do not honor both, we will not grow in
balance. To honor both the Father and the Mother helps our masculine and
feminine sides grow. The winter season is a good time to focus on this.
This is our season of reflection. Honoring both sides allows us to see
the Creator is both Father and Mother.
Great Spirit, Father Sky, Mother Earth,
Let me experience balance.
WONDERS OF NATURE...
Elephant Point, Florida
Jack Rabbit Bay, California
Kitty Kat Mountain, Utah
Submitted by Lila Weeks
CONFUSED ABOUT WHICH ECO-LABLES
YOU CAN TRUST?
That weekly trip to the grocery store is getting to be as much of a cranial
work-out as a day at the library. Ethically-minded consumers everywhere are
spending ever-increasing time trying to grind through aisle after aisle of
ingredient and product labeling mumbo jumbo. It seems there are constantly new
labels and certification logos showing up on products. But what do they all mean
and which ones can you trust? That bottle of "Cruelty Free, Bird Friendly, All
Natural, Hypoallergenic" wonder-goo may not be as great as it claims to be.
Learn more about the different types of humane and eco-labels here:
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From Crystal Harvey, MAIC Correspondent
Fluoride Action Network media release
use of sulfuryl fluoride as a fumigant in facilities
such as this rice and soybean storage and processing
plant near Stuttgart, Ark., is a growing concern.
fluoride was first added to water supplies in Grand
Rapids, Mich., in 1945 to prevent tooth decay, the
practice has been controversial. Some claim it does
little or nothing to prevent tooth decay and is
dangerous for health. Others, including most
dentists and public health officials, say it
significantly lowers rates of tooth decay and
presents no important health risks. About two-thirds
of the U.S. population drinks fluoridated water, and
in recent years, when towns and cities across the
country have held voter referenda on fluoridation,
its use has been rejected about half the time.
of the long-running debate over fluoride use and
exposure was the subject of a citizens' conference
held at St. Lawrence University, Canton, N.Y., on
July 28-30. The meeting was organized by
Paul Connett, emeritus professor of chemistry at
St. Lawrence and executive director of the
Action Network. Three members of the
National Research Council (NRC) committee that
wrote a fluoride report released in March 2006 spoke
at the meeting. In addition, J. William Hirzy, an
Protection Agency scientist, and Donald R. Taves,
a retired toxicologist who did extensive research on
fluoride at the University of Rochester, as well as
several other scientists, participated.
450-page NRC report on fluoride did not evaluate the
safety or benefits of water fluoridation, which
generally involves the addition of hydrofluosilicic
acid or sodium silicofluoride to drinking water at
levels of about 1 mg/L, or 1 ppm. It did
specifically address the current maximum level of
natural fluoride EPA allows in drinking water-4
mg/L-and concluded unanimously that fluoride at that
concentration harms teeth and bones.
"Humans could not survive without plants and animals but animals and plants
could survive without us."
--Sweetgrass Delcourt, 15
Animal Rights... and
An Interesting Day at the Rainbow Bridge
The Rainbow Bridge is a place of both peace and anticipation as departed pets
await their beloved owners. There are plenty of things to keep them
contented while they wait: trees you can't get stuck in, endless meadows,
splashing streams, thickets perfect to hide in for pounce-attack games.
But one day the residents noticed some rather unusual newcomers arrive.
The koalas and the kangaroos slipped in rather quietly, but then came the
bearded dragons, the skinks and the goannas. The influx of snakes startled
an entire family of cats up a tree. Pythons, cobras, tiger snakes, brown snakes
and even fierce snakes. There were so many at one point, it seemed the ground
itself was alive with writhing. A burly wombat shouldered his way through the
crowd and plopped down in a shady spot, barely missing a Jack Russell terrier
who yapped indignantly as he abandoned his position.
And then the crocodiles showed up.
Finally, a Great Dane managed to get up enough nerve to approach one of the
"Um....excuse me," he said hesitantly. "But why are you all here?"
The croc dropped her jaw and laughed. "Same as you, mate," she said. "Waitin'
for someone who loved us."
The dogs, cats, gerbils and other "typical pets" looked at each other in
confusion, then at the plethora of weird, ugly and downright deadly creatures
assembled. Who on Earth could possibly love some of those faces?
"I see him!" shouted a green mamba from his vantage point in one of the trees.
A cacophony of squeaks, hisses, bellows and roars erupted as the mob surged
forward toward a lone human walking across the field toward the bridge.
The other animals managed to catch a glimpse of him before he was overwhelmed by
"CRIKEY!" he shouted joyously right before he was bowled over by the wombat.
"Well I'll be," said a Persian as she tidied up her fur. "It's that Aussie my
human liked to watch on TV. Had to be the craziest human on the whole planet."
"Oh, please," remarked a echidna as he hurried by. "Is it really that crazy to
passionately love something God made?"
"No, it's not," they heard a voice say from their crowd. "You see, I, too,
was with him, at his side, as he caught the crocs, the snakes, and the spiders
and spoke on the importance they have in life. For you see, I am his mate, his
dog Sui. To you ordinary animals he may seem crazy, but to me he is simply
known as a Best Friend."
And with that comment, as the animals looked on with surprise, she ran barking,
clearing a path to him, and jumped in his arms, licking his face as he cried, "Sui,
my mate, my friend. How I've missed you so." And with that, they all crossed
the Rainbow Bridge together.
Animal Rights... and
The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go
outside, somewhere where they can be quiet, alone with the heavens and
— Mahatma Gandhi
tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out
that going to the mountains is going home; that wilderness is a
necessity; and that fountain parks and reservations are useful not only
as fountains of timber and irrigating rivers, but as fountains of life!
— John Muir
Animals have these advantages over man: they
never hear the clock strike, they die without any idea of death, they
have no theologians to instruct them, their last moments are not
disturbed by unwelcome and unpleasant ceremonies, their funerals cost
them nothing, and no one starts lawsuits over their wills.
Inspirational Quotes taken
Submitted by Sheri Awi Anida Waya Burnett
Feather by Nancy Pafford
Feather, along with her family, was taken from the mountains to walk the
Trail of Tears, eventually to return to her homeland years later."
I met Mrs. Pafford in
Cherokee, NC. She was in Bearmeat's Indian Den (a wonderful Cherokee
owned shop with really nice handmade stuff) signing her books for
people. She is very nice and singed our books as she had good things to
say about Manataka. I read the entire book in about a day while on
vacation. The book is reads easily and is historically sound. Nancy
spent a lot of time among the Cherokee researching her books. White
Feather beautiful romance set in a historical time frame.
Buy White Feather Now! $12.99
I must have liked it enough
because I just ordered her just published follow-up book titled, "Cherokee
Rose." "Cherokee Rose, great granddaughter of White
Feather, faces a similar trail as she, an orphan, learns of her Cherokee
Heritage, and in doing so discovers a new destiny."
Buy Cherokee Rose Now! $12.99 dfasdfdasfasfdasdfasdf
Song" by Marge Bruchac, Paintings by William Maughan
Based on the true story of "Rogers' Raid," a deliberate attack by the
British on Qubec's St. Francis Abenaki community in 1759, this book
tells recounts the event through the eyes of a young Abenaki girl in
both English and the Abenaki language. Many illustrations. Young Malian
lives contentedly with her parents and extended family in an Abenaki
village near Montreal in the mid-eighteenth century. One night, Malian's
life changes abruptly. Silently, her father carries her off to the
woods, blanket and all, and orders her to run to their tribe's winter
camp. Malian obeys, but not before she turns to watch her father slip
back to the village through the trees. She never sees him again.
"Malian's Song" is based on the true story of a deliberate attack by
English Major Robert Rogers on Quebec's St. Francis Abenaki community in
1759. Malian's account of "Rogers's Raid," passed down through
generations of Abenaki oral tradition, reveals that many Abenaki people
survived the attack that destroyed their village, in direct contrast to
Rogers's journal accounts. Jeanne Brink, a descendant of Malian living
in Vermont, told the Vermont Folklife Center the little-known Abenaki
version of the brutal attack. In this first Abenaki and English picture
book, pre-eminent Abenaki historian Marge Bruchac and illustrator
William Maughan portray Malian's story of a people's strength and
fortitude in the face of unspeakable loss.
loved this children's book! I bought a copy for myself and two more
copies for my nieces! It is excellent for all children (and adults) not
just Abenaki or Native American. The paintings are also well done and
truly capture the time and place in history in each painting. The
website is also fantastic, I listened to the audio of Jeanne Brink,
explaining the story. She also described the way Abenaki
story-tellers tell their stories so the listener remembers certain
parts by repeating them over and over. You can also hear the story told
in the Abenaki language as told by Jeanne's grandmother, Elvine
Obomsawin Royce. It is also an important part of history told from the
rare Abenaki side instead of the English version! It's importance in
history should not to be overlooked! Rogers own account says he killed
about 300 but in reality the village had nearly emptied before the
army arrived so only about 32 (women and children) died, not 300."
Buy Now! $21.99 + s/h. adsfasdfadsfdsafasdf
~ by Bonnie Two
Owl Feathers Delcourt)
SACRED SITE WATCH:
Spiritual Leader Issues Call to Sacred Pipe Carriers and to Humanity
Speaks on the Birth of Wisconsin White Buffalo Calf
By Stephanie M.
Schwartz, Freelance Writer - Member, Native American Journalists Association
To nearly all
the American Indian Nations and Canadian First Nations, white buffalo calves
are considered highly sacred. To the Lakota, Dakota, and Nakota Siouxan
Nations, they play a primary role in their traditional beliefs and
Since the rare
birth of the white buffalo calf, Miracle, on the Heider Family farm in
Janesville, Wisconsin in 1994, numerous white buffalo calves have been born
across the country. Interestingly, like Miracle, most of these calves have
been born on farms owned by non-Native American people. Additionally, as a
symbol of hope for peace, people from many cultures have come to know about
and honor these creatures.
unexpectedly in 2004 of natural causes at only ten years of age; an event
which created shock across the indigenous nations and around the world.
sacred white buffalo, named Miracle’s Second Chance by Valerie Heider, has
been born on the same farm in Wisconsin during a lightning storm on August
Teton Oglala Lakota traditional spiritual leader from the Pine Ridge
Reservation, spoke today on the significance and message he sees in this
believes that the name for this calf was actually part of the message. He
said, “The name is right, it is no accident, the birth of Miracle’s Second
Chance is yes, a second chance for all humanity.” And since, to his
people, lightning represents the destruction of evil, Swallow feels the
message is the strongest yet.
Swallow went on
to explain that, “It is not the normal average person or even the normal
government people who bring such danger and destruction to the world. It is
those who walk in greed and envy who feed the prophesied many-headed serpent
who is foretold to consume its supporters.”
explained that the traditional stories of his people tell that the Sacred
White Buffalo Calf Woman came at a time of great need and great strife and
war to bring the people back to peace, to living in a good way. She
initially appeared to two men. In this first encounter, one of the men was
honored, the one who showed respect and right spiritual action. The other
was consumed and turned to dust because of his evil intentions.
so it will happen in our world again today, “The birth of this calf
symbolizes this, that evil will be destroyed,” he said.
His words spoke
that, “It is time that the white nations and all mainstream cultures return
to living in a good way, in peace and harmony with each other and with
Grandmother Earth. Only by doing so, will life continue in our world.”
But Swallow was
clear that there was also a message for the indigenous nations as well. He
pointed out that the Sacred White Buffalo Calf Woman had brought the sacred
c’anunpa, the sacred pipe, to his people that they might use it to pray in a
good way so that their sincere prayers might be heard by the Divine.
Swallow issued a
call to all those who carry a c’anunpa. He said, “The Sacred Pipe carriers,
whether they are Native American or not, need to get their sacred c’anunpas
out and use them every day to pray for peace and harmony to return to our
world in a good way. Pray that the “money” people will wake up and stop
destroying Grandmother Earth for profit and that her health will return.
You can make a difference, a very real difference. The c’anunpas need to be
used for this purpose by all who carry them. They need to do this every day
and to walk with these prayers in their hearts”
continued, “My English is not good. I have to be careful because sometimes
I use the wrong words and am misunderstood. But everyone needs to
understand this clearly: We all need to pray, whether you have a c’anunpa
or not, whether you are American Indian or not. We need to pray because it
will only be by prayer that the world will be saved. It will only be by
prayer that the hearts of those who are destroying the world can be
Swallow ended by
saying, “I have said this is our second chance for humanity. I pray that
people will wake up and hear the message. Our lives and our world depend on
it.” “Ho hecetu yelo, I have spoken.”
may be re-published free of charge as long as the author gives permission,
retains the copyrights, and the article stays unaltered with proper
By Stephanie M.
Schwartz, Freelance Writer - Member, Native American Journalists Association
© September 18,
2006 Brighton, Colorado Stephanie M. Schwartz
& HOLLER COLUMN
News and Notes From Indian Country
Five hundred and sixteen
years ago, Christopher Columbus and his men "discovered" the New World.
Within hours of that "discovery", Indigenous People began to die. Before
all was said and done, millions upon millions of innocent men, women and
children perished in the name of God and Greed.
Yet we still celebrate Columbus' achievements - even in this day of
enlightenment. This leads me to believe that there are two kinds of
victims - those worthy to be mourned and those who merely became "cannon
fodder" for the greater good.
While we are encouraged to mourn those who died on 9/11, in what is said
to be the most horrible act of terrorism on American soil, I can think
of thousands of massacres and cruelties perpetrated against the
Indigenous Peoples of this continent that make 911 pale in comparison.
I will not honor Columbus and when November rolls around and Indians are
in much demand to celebrate "Native American Month", I hope that all the
"token Indians" who are asked to visit schools and talk about our
culture and heritage will be brave enough to tell the real story. Even
if it goes in one ear and out the other, this is the time of Balance and
the truth will be told and even understood by some.
In the spirit of Balance I ask that you remember:
The 50,000 Native People who died within months of the establishment of
the first Spanish colony on the island of Espanola. The soldiers held
contests to see who could cut the most heads off with one blow. Women's
breasts were cut off for sport while their babies were fed to the
The 24 million people who perished at the hands of the conquistadors in
Central Mexico who held contests to see whose dogs could tear apart the
most people. Babies were thrown into the air for the dogs to fight over;
The 95% of the People in Western and Central Honduras who perished in
less than 50 years;
In Western Nicaragua the population fell from more than a million to
less than 10,000 in only 60 years;
In Peru, Chile and Brazil the population decreased from 14 million to
500,000 in less than a century. The soldiers, it was written, kept "the
quarters of Indians hanging on porches to feed to the dogs." While many
of the deaths were from diseases spread from the filth which permeated
the "Old World" many of our People were simply worked to death. It was
cheaper to work the slaves until they died than to feed them. There were
always more slaves to be had.
These are but a few of the atrocities that led to the development of The
New World. Were they unworthy victims? You decide.
"Genocide In the Americas" by David E. Stannard
Examining the reputation of
By Jack Weatherford
Christopher Columbus' reputation has not survived the scrutiny of history, and
today we know that he was no more the discoverer of America than Pocahontas was
the discoverer of Great Britain. Native Americans had built great civilizations
with many millions of people long before Columbus wandered lost into the
Columbus' voyage has even less meaning for North Americans than for South
Americans because Columbus never set foot on our continent, nor did he open it
to European trade. Scandinavian Vikings already had settlements here in the
eleventh century, and British fisherman probably fished the shores of Canada for
decades before Columbus. The first European explorer to thoroughly document his
visit to North America was the Italian explorer Giovanni Caboto, who sailed for
England's King Henry VII and became known by his anglicized name, John Cabot.
Caboto arrived in 1497 and claimed North America for the English sovereign while
Columbus was still searching for India in the Caribbean. After three voyages to
America and more than a decade of study, Columbus still believed that Cuba was a
part of the continent of Asia, South America was only an island, and the coast
of Central America was close to the Ganges River.
Unable to celebrate Columbus' exploration as a great discovery, some apologists
now want to commemorate it as the great "cultural encounter." Under this
interpretation, Columbus becomes a sensitive genius thinking beyond his time in
the passionate pursuit of knowledge and understanding. The historical record
refutes this, too.
Contrary to popular legend, Columbus did not prove that the world was round;
educated people had known that for centuries. The Egyptian-Greek scientist
Erastosthenes, working for Alexandria and Aswan, already had measured the
circumference and diameter of the world in the third century B.C. Arab
scientists had developed a whole discipline of geography and measurement, and in
the tenth century A.D., Al Maqdisi described the earth with 360 degrees of
longitude and 180 degrees of latitude. The Monastery of St. Catherine in the
Sinai still has an icon - painted 500 years before Columbus - which shows Jesus
ruling over a spherical earth. Nevertheless, Americans have embroidered many
such legends around Columbus, and he has become part of a secular mythology for
schoolchildren. Autumn would hardly be complete in any elementary school without
construction-paper replicas of the three cute ships that Columbus sailed to
America, or without drawings of Queen Isabella pawning her jewels to finance
This myth of the pawned jewels obscures the true and more sinister story of how
Columbus financed his trip. The Spanish monarch invested in his excursion, but
only on the condition that Columbus would repay this investment with profit by
bringing back gold, spices, and other tribute from Asia. This pressing need to
repay his debt underlies the frantic tone of Columbus' diaries as he raced from
one Caribbean island to the next, stealing anything of value.
After he failed to contact the emperor of China, the traders of India or the
merchants of Japan, Columbus decided to pay for his voyage in the one important
commodity he had found in ample supply - human lives. He seized 1,200 Taino
Indians from the island of Hispaniola, crammed as many onto his ships as would
fit and sent them to Spain, where they were paraded naked through the streets of
Seville and sold as slaves in 1495.
Columbus tore children from their parents, husbands from wives. On board
Columbus' slave ships, hundreds died; the sailors tossed the Indian bodies into
Because Columbus captured more Indian slaves than he could transport to Spain in
his small ships, he put them to work in mines and plantations which he, his
family and followers created throughout the Caribbean. His marauding band hunted
Indians for sport and profit - beating, raping, torturing, killing, and then
using the Indian bodies as food for their hunting dogs. Within four years of
Columbus' arrival on Hispaniola, his men had killed or exported one-third of the
original Indian population of 300,000. Within another 50 years, the Taino people
had been made extinct [editor's note: the old assumption that the Taino became
extinct is now open to serious question] - the first casualties of the holocaust
of American Indians. The plantation owners then turned to the American mainland
and to Africa for new slaves to follow the tragic path of the Taino.
This was the great cultural encounter initiated by Christopher Columbus.
This is the event we celebrate each year on Columbus Day. The United States
honors only two men with federal holidays bearing their names. In January we
commemorate the birth of Martin Luther King, Jr., who struggled to lift the
blinders of racial prejudice and to cut the remaining bonds of slavery in
America. In October, we honor Christopher Columbus, who opened the Atlantic
slave trade and launched one of the greatest waves of genocide known in history.
Jack Weatherford is an anthropologist at Macalaster College in St. Paul, Minn.
His most recent book is "Indian Givers." He wrote this article for the Baltimore
~Submitted by Gray Beard Vinson
Is it really true? Seventy or
eighty years is all we have here on our 'Mother, The Earth?
Today many people live to be
much older then those in the past. Perhaps it is the life style they
help prolong a persons life, avoiding
such things as excessive use of alcoholic beverages, misuse of drugs,
illicit sex and gluttony.
Many scientists are still
looking for ways to help people live longer. A simple thing like taking
a short walk around your neighborhood for exercise can help but only if
you live in a neighborhood that is safe otherwise it may shorten your
I have a habit of visiting
nearby nursing homes talking to the older folks who have no one to visit
them. It is no surprise that they recall the time when they could do
all sorts of things but now are so old that these things are just
memories. Why is it that the giant Sea Turtle can live to be well over
five hundred years old? Some Parrots survive to be over one hundred
years. If we use our time well, If we teach what we know to others, we
can help to keep our culture alive and perhaps even add a few years to
our own lives. ta wa do gi
©Copyrighted by Daniel J. Hawk Hoffman Sr. ~Seven Hawks
For all of us who are married, were married, wish you were married, or wish
you weren't married, this
is something to smile about the next time you see a bottle of wine:
Sally was driving home from one of her business trips in Northern Arizona
when she saw an elderly
Navajo woman walking on the side of the road.
As the trip was a long and quiet one, she stopped the car and asked the
Navajo woman if she would like a ride.
With a silent nod of thanks, the woman got into the car.
Resuming the journey, Sally tried in vain to make a bit of small talk with
the Navajo woman. The old woman just sat silently, looking intently at
everything she saw, studying every little detail, until she noticed a brown
bag on the seat next to Sally.
"What in bag?" asked the old woman.
Sally looked down at the brown bag and said, "It's a bottle of wine. I got
it for my husband."
The Navajo woman was silent for another moment or two.
Then speaking with the quiet wisdom of an elder, she said:
Submitted by Sheri Awi Anida Waya Burnett