Manataka American Indian Council                                    Volume V Issue 9   August, 2003

2.  SIX (6) NOTICES             7.  KIT FOX WARRIORS
3.  KIOWA WOMAN...          8.  MARS IS COMING!



October 17-19, 2003
Gulpha Gorge Campground (Hwy 70B)
Hot Springs, Arkansas
11:30 a.m., SUNDAY, AUGUST 17


Chief Sitting Bull - History - Large Story
Chief Woableza Tragedy - Feature Story
Dance Regalia - Trading Post
Prison at Night - Feature Story
Sacred Heart Lessons - Medicine Lodge
Traveling the Spiritual Path - Medicine Lodge
Children of Hummingbird - Children's Story
Cookin' With Three Sisters - Women's Council
First Totem Poles - Children's Story
How Chipmunk Got Stripes - Children's Story
Iktomi Dakota Stories - Children's Stories
Menomini Plant Medicine - Medicine Lodge
Potawatomi Medicines - Medicine Lodge
Potawatomi Religion & Culture - History
Struggle for Religious Freedom - Feature Story
Teepees' Etc  - BUY A TEEPEE - CHEAP!
Teepee Making - Excellent Resource - Warrior Society


Do you have a story to tell or an article you would like to see appear on our website?
If so, please send it today. 
Our beloved spiritual leader and friend, Robert Woableza LaBatte, remains hospitalized after a brutal beating on the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians Reservation.  Read daily updates at:
Please offer your prayers for him, those who committed this horrendous act and the good Choctaw people.   Send any cards and gifts to:  Woableza Fund c/o MAIC, PO Box 476 Hot Springs, AR  71902 or give by credit card or check at:
Wheelchair bound Kiowa woman still stands tall
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma)

By Sam Lewin 

         If there is anybody in the world who has a reason to complain, its Cinda Hughes, the 41-year-old woman has been in a wheelchair her entire life, born with a birth defect that left her a quadriplegic, meaning she does not have use of her arms or legs. The most expensive doctors and the most advanced therapy will never change that.
        Think she's angry with her lot in life? Think again.
         There have been lots of obstacles and lots of challenges, but I realized there are two choices I can make regarding this journey. I can be bitter or I can use it as a means of teaching others about empathy and fair play, Hughes said.
        She credits her Kiowa grandparents with instilling this attitude. She says they gave her purpose and meaning.
         They were very spiritual people. My grandfather said there was a reason for my life and it was to show what people with disabilities can do.
        She took the advice literally, speaking out and educating a society ignorant about the issue. She recently won the Ms. Wheelchair Oklahoma contest. The national pageant is in Des Moines, Iowa later this month. She'll be the only Native American in the contest, once again cast in the role of outsider and filling the job of educator.
        Hughes says statistics show only 3 percent of people with handicaps are employed. She thinks that news will come as a surprise to people conditioned to believe everything they see on TV.
         I think by and large people have a cursory kind of knowledge. They see people with disabilities in Wal-Mart and the mall, but they don't know anyone like that personally.
        She thinks a change in attitudes and the passage of discrimination laws made life easier for people like herself. She can still recall the unpleasant memories experienced while growing up in Anadarko.  As a child I was greeted with a lot of negativity, but things have changed.
        Hughes is employed as a receptionist for the state senate in Oklahoma City. She has also worked as a radio host and was active in debate classes in school, but it's obvious the Ms. Wheelchair America Program is her calling. The winner is expected to travel, meet with lawmakers and make numerous media appearances. Right up her alley.
         I think it's a wonderful opportunity to change popular misconceptions about females in wheelchairs and disabilities as a whole.
        Just like her grandparents taught her.

Women's Council NOMINATIONS
Nominations are still open for the following positions:

Vice Chairman, Treasurer, Secretary - Email your nominations now! 

11: 30 a.m., Saturday, September 6, 2003
Gulpha Gorge Campground

Everyone is Welcome!    Bring your favorite dish or snack!   Much to talk about....

One day, some Cherokee children were playing outside, when a rattlesnake crawled out of the grass. They screamed and their mother ran outside. Without thinking, she took a stick and killed it.

Her husband was hunting in the mountains. As he was returning home that night, he heard a strange wailing sound. Looking around, he found himself in the midst of a gathering of rattlesnakes, whose mouths were open and crying.

"What is the matter," the man asked the snakes. The rattlesnakes responded, "Your wife killed our chief, the Yellow Rattlesnake today. We are preparing to send the Black Rattlesnake to take revenge."

The husband immediately accepted their claim and took responsibility for the crime. The rattlesnakes said, "If you speak the truth, you must be ready to make satisfaction." The price they demanded was the life of his wife in sacrifice for that of their chief. Not knowing what else might occur, the man consented.

The rattlesnakes told the man that the Black Rattlesnake would follow him home and coil up outside his door. He was to ask his wife to bring him a fresh drink of water from the spring. That was all.

When the man reached home, it was very dark. His wife had supper waiting for him.

"Please bring me some water," he asked her. She brought him a gourd from the jar, but he refused it.

"No," he said. "I would like some fresh water from the spring."

His wife took a bowl and stepped outside to get him some fresh water. The man immediately heard her cry. He went outside and found the Black Rattlesnake had bitten her and she was already dying. He stayed with her until she was dead.

The Black Rattlesnake then crawled out of the grass. "My tribe is now satisfied," he told the husband. He then taught the man a prayer song. The Black Rattlesnake told him, "When you meet any of us hereafter, sing this song and we will not hurt you. If by accident one of us should bite you, sing this song over the person and he will recover." And the Cherokee have kept this song to this day.
Submitted by Smoke Signal Correspondent Jennifer Adams

1.    Richard Gilbertson is in the V.A. Hospital in St. Paul, MN suffering from a stroke... 
2.     The elderly couple who spoke of in the last news letter suffered through a robbery, a flood and
       illness all within one month.  Prayers were answered! - a home is now being built for them and  
       many useful household items were donated. 
3.    Jeremy Atkinson, Chief of the Arawak Nation of Venezuela and head of the Indigenous
       Movement seventeen member nations of the Indigenous Movement in Guayana became very ill
       during a visit to the United Nations.  He is now back in Venezuela still in critical condition. 
       The people of Venezuela need this wonderful man.   May the Creator bless him.
4.    More Prayers Answered:  The young mother from the Fort Smith, Arkansas area who became
       homeless last month, now has a home and now awaits the return of her daughter.

A Good Story for Great Friends.....

There once was a little girl who had a bad temper. Her mother gave her a bag of nails and told her that every time she lost her temper, she must hammer a nail into the back of the fence.
The first day the girl had driven 37 nails into the fence.  Over the next few weeks, as she learned to control her anger, the number of nails hammered daily gradually dwindled down. She discovered it was easier to hold her temper than to drive those nails into the fence.
Finally the day came when the girl didn't lose her temper at all. She told her mother about it and the mother suggested that the girl now pull out one nail for each day that she was able to hold her temper. The day passed and the young girl was finally able to tell her mother that all the nails were gone. The mother took her daughter by the hand and led her to the fence.
She said, "You have done well, my daughter, but look at the holes in the fence. The fence will never be the same. When you say things in anger, they leave a scar just like this one." You can put a knife in a person and draw it out. It won't matter how many times you say "I'm sorry",  the wound is still there. A verbal wound is as bad as physical one.
Friends are very rare jewels, indeed. They make you smile and encourage you to succeed. They lend an ear, they share words of praise and they always want to open their hearts to us.
Submitted by Marty




or send to:   MAIC, PO Box 476, Hot Springs, AR  71902-0476

(August 7, 2003 - Norman, Oklahoma 

 By Jon Velie, Attorney at Law
    In a reversal of its earlier position, the Bureau of Indian Affairs has recognized an election that forbid the Black Citizens of the Cherokee Nation to vote for its tribal leaders and on a Constitutional amendment that would remove the President of the United States authority to approve Cherokee Constitutional amendments. The decision is in the face of earlier agency decisions, Treaty rights, recent federal decisions and a Supreme Court decision.

    An unsigned August 6, 2003 BIA memo reversed the signed July 25th memo from Regional Director, Jeanette Hanna of the Muskogee, Oklahoma office In the earlier memo, the Bureau stated that the 1970 Principal Chiefs Act mandated the Nation to submit election procedures prior to the election. The Cherokees did not present the procedures and held an election and precluded the Black Cherokees from voting. The second memo ignored the statute and the earlier position and recognized the election even though approximately 25,000 Black Cherokees, also known as Cherokee Freedmen, were not allowed to vote.

    The Black Cherokees citizenship in the Cherokee Nation is protected by the Treaty of 1866 between the United States and the Cherokee Tribe. Recent litigation occurred regarding a similar situation with the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma. When the Black Seminoles were ousted from the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma in one election and precluded from voting for Chief of the nation in a subsequent election, the Bureau of Indian Affairs took the position that the United States could not recognize the administration that claimed victory because the election did not permit the Black citizens of the Nation to vote.

    The B.I.A. cut off federal funds to the Seminole Nation as it reasoned could not provide them to an illegal government. The B.I.A. currently does not recognize the Seminole government elected under the illegal election. The cases that stemmed from the B.I.As determination to enforce the Treaty Rights of the Black Citizens were Seminole Nation of Oklahoma v. Norton, 206 F.R.D. 1(D.D.C. 2001) (CKK) and Seminole Nation of Oklahoma v. Norton, 223 F. Supp. 2d 122 (D.D.C. 2002).  These cases said in short, the Treaty of 1866 ensured Tribal Citizenship of the Black Seminoles and the B.I.A.s determination to not recognize the Tribe when citizens were not entitled to vote was appropriate.

    The B.I.A. has flipped its reasoning a number of times regarding the Cherokee April 24, election. A March 15, 2003 letter signed by then Secretary of the Bureau of Indian Affairs Neal McCaleb, stated in pertinent part, that the Cherokee Nation could remove the clause from its Constitution requiring United States Presidential approval for amendments to the Cherokee Constitution, provided the Cherokee Freedmen are entitled to vote in the election. An April 23, memo also signed by Mr. McCaleb, stated that he did not actually sign or authorize his signature of the March 15, memo and removed the provision that the Black Cherokees needed to be able to vote in the Cherokee election.

    The current situation means that Bureau of Indian Affairs has breached its duty to uphold the United States Treaty of 1866 as recently interpreted by the Seminole decisions. The effect of the determination strips the Black citizens of the Cherokee Nation from voting for their leadership and on a very important Constitutional amendment that would take out U.S. oversight.

    The Bureau of Indian Affairs has breached its duty as trustee by recognizing an administration elected in opposition to relevant United States law, and has acted in direct opposition to the Seminole decisions, a 1942 Supreme Court decisions that mandates it to protect the Tribe as trustee, Wheeler v. Dept. of Interior, 811 F. 2d. 549 (10th Cir. 1987) that the B.I.A. it cited in the July 25 letter requiring mandate compliance with the 1970 Principal Chiefs Act, has made numerous inconsistent decisions in this matter and is acting inconsistently with its current stance in the Seminole Nation.

    Jon Velie, Norman, Oklahoma attorney for the Cherokee Freedmen states, The BIA decision to recognize an election that forbid the participation of approximately 25,000 voters based on a racist policy is a giant leap in the worst direction. It undermines the basic tenet of democracy of both the Cherokee Nation and the United States of America. It exposes sovereignty for the Cherokee Nation and all Native Nations as it begs for litigation on whether treaties must be obeyed, it takes the decision of who rules away from the people and it exposes the actors of both governments as sleezy, backroom political puppeteers.

    Marilyn Vann, a Cherokee Freedmen, says, The stripping of my vote and identity as a Cherokee fills my heart with sorrow and rage. How can the United States recognize my Tribes government and fund millions of dollars of aid to it, when it denies me my most precious asset, the right to vote for my elected officials and decide major Constitutional reform. I not only feel less of a Cherokee today but less of an American. 

    Jonathan T. Velie    
    210 East Main Street, Suite 222
    Norman, Oklahoma  73069
    (877) 304-2525
    (405) 364-2587 fax

Gathering of Eagles - Spiritual Event - August 23-24
Pagosa Springs, Colorado
Sponsored by Debra & Warron Big Eagle ( or 970-731-0083


Kit Fox Warriors
By Dorreen Yellow Bird
(Black Hills, South Dakota, near old cabin of Sitting Bull) 
For several years, I have been aware of a group that comes each year to the Sitting Bull Camp in South Dakota where I camp. This year, I became acquainted with this society called Takola Akicita (Kit Fox Warriors). 
They are a Native and non-Native society that seemed to be a bridge between ceremonies of the Native Americans and non-Natives.  Society members come from all over the nation - big cities such as Dallas and New York. Places where the spirits of individuals are in masses,  and they live shoulder to shoulder. When they arrive in South Dakota, they begin to spread out and breathe deeply. The road to the camp starts with gravel, then turns to a graded dirt road that is best traveled before any rain softens the tracks into deep and mushy mud. From there, the road gets primitive and turns into a two-wheel prairie dirt road.

Finally, after what seems like miles across the rough prairie road, the trail drops off into a deep valley. Standing on top of the high cliff, you can see the Grand River winding among ash, willow and cottonwood trees.  Nestled in the trees below is the old log cabin of Sitting Bull. It is where he lived after returning from Canada. It is the place where he died at the hands of tribal police. They were afraid the old man might incite another incident such as the Little Big Horn.

It is here where the camp was established many years ago. I have made the journey to this camp for 11 years now.  When I was there, it was in the low 100s one day. The next day, the valley reached about 110 degrees. The grass was hot to the touch, and the sand burned your feet. It was like dancing on a stove stoked with hot, burning wood. Those days of too much heat rewarded us with cool evenings and a magnificent sunset of deep reds and purples. The early evenings were topped with the howling and yapping of the coyotes and a full moon.

I arrived Friday. Camp was just beginning to bustle. People were building fires and setting up their camps. The smell of burning woods, sweet grass, sage and cedar were mixed with the smell of coffee and stew cooking over an open fire.

As I sat there resting after putting up my tent, I saw a man scooting across camp in a wheelchair. He was looking for volunteers to help with camp. His name is Jimmy "No Legs." I was shocked at first and thought they were impolite calling him "no legs." He lost his legs in Vietnam, I was told. During the next six days at Sitting Bull, he was everywhere - taking down and putting up. He was more active than men with two legs. His last name is Dawson, and his Indian name is Red Hawk, but everyone calls him Jimmy No Legs, and he doesn't mind, one of his relatives told me.  That name was given to him by his 2-year-old nephew. 

He is a member of Takola Akicita. They mainly are Vietnam veterans like their founder, Sam DeCory. He began the society in the 1980s, with the help of "Grampa" Fools Crows, a Pine Ridge Lakota. DeCory incorporated other war veterans and expanded the group to included non-Natives. These non-Natives follow the "Red Road" or the Way of the Pipe, which means they live a good and honorable life.

Their role is to protect the people, environment, land (especially the Black Hills) and follow the ways of the Sacred Pipe, Jace DeCory told me.  She is Sam's widow. He died last year. The women also have a society called Katala Okalaki kiciyewinyan which means "protects the camp when the men are away." They are advised and mentored, she said, by elders Nellie Two Bulls and Florine Debray.

There have been stirrings in Indian Country this year that could disturb the society because the Takolas includes non-Natives. Meetings about protocol for ceremonies were held by spiritual leaders of Indian Country including Arvol Looking Horse, keeper of the Sacred White Buffalo Calf Peace Pipe. Those protocols suggest that non-Natives' role in ceremonies should be limited or banned.
I wondered how it would affect the Sitting Bull ceremony this year.  But the leaders of the camp held firm with their ways. It has been the policy of the leaders at this camp that skin color is not a  consideration. The Creator looks at people like water, they don't have a color, one of the leaders told us.
The Takola Akicita take a respectful, helping role in these ceremonies and seem to be a bridge between the non-Natives and Natives. 

Yellow Bird writes columns Tuesday and Saturday. Reach her by phone at 780-1228 or (800) 477-6572, extension 228, or by e-mail at
TN Indian Affairs (tn-ind) mailing list News, information & discussion re. Native Americans in Tennessee. [send admin requests & comments to:]
info at

Learn the Tsalagi language the easy way...  The See, Say, Write method works!

Cassette Tape and 211 page Book are designed to have you speaking Cherokee quickly and easily.

Reserve your set of Chief Jim Gray Wolf Hensons Cherokee language tapes and book today!

Send $40. Check/money order to MAIC, PO Box 476, Hot Springs, AR 71902-0476

This should be a sight to see!   And a long wait till next time.....

Mars. Never again in your lifetime will the Red Planet be so spectacular!  This month and next,
Earth is catching up with Mars, an encounter that will culminate in the closest approach between the
two planets in recorded history.  The next time Mars may come this close is in 2287.  Due to the way
Jupiter's gravity tugs on Mars and perturbs its orbit, astronomers can only be certain that Mars has
not come this close to Earth in the last 5,000 years, but it may be as long as 60,000 years.

The encounter will culminate on August 27th when Mars comes to within 34,649,589 miles and will be
(next to the moon) the brightest object in the night sky.  It will attain a magnitude of -2.9 and will
appear 25.11 arc seconds wide.  At a modest 75-power magnification Mars will look as large as the full
moon to the naked eye.  Mars will be easy to spot. 
At the beginning of August Mar will rise in the east at 10 p.m.  and reach its azimuth at about 3 a.m.
By the end of August when the two planets are closest, Mars will rise at nightfall and reach its      highest point in the sky at 12:30 a.m.  That's pretty convenient when it comes to seeing something
that no human has seen in recorded history.

So mark your calendar at the beginning of August to see  Mars grow progressively brighter and brighter throughout the month.  Share with your children and grandchildren.  No one alive today will ever see this again.

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Manataka American Indian Council
PO Box 476
Hot Springs Reservation, AR 71902-0476



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