Manataka American Indian Council           Volume XII  Issue 3 MARCH 2008


SMOKE SIGNAL NEWS

Manataka - Preserving The Past Today For Tomorrow 

 

    

PAGE 2

 


Contents:              

Legends of Old: Origin of the Ghost Dance
Feature Story: George Caitlin`s Creed

Letters to the Editor:

Likes and Dislikes...
Organic Consumers: Dark Side of Ethanol and Biodiesel Subsidies
Elder's Meditations: Wallace Black Elk, Lakota

Member Recognition:

Becky Flaming Owl Woman Moore
Health: Cloning of Animals for the Livestock Industry
Plant Medicine: Sumac - Indian Medicine and Food
Fluoride: Fluoride-Gate, naming names at CDC
Animal Rights and Wrongs: A On Thin Ice
Endangered Sacred Sites: Ancestors Warehoused in UC Berkeley Mourned Yucca Mountain to Become a Nuclear Dump

 


LEGENDS OF OLD:

 

 

Origin of the Ghost Dance

A Winnebago Legend

 

 

A man was to learn from the spirits. He fasted and he would sleep four times. In the evening he would stand with both hands full of tobacco.  Earthmaker made Waterspirits and put them in charge of the spirits, as many as there are above, all that are on the earth, they and all below the earth.


Then the man cried pitifully -- he made himself thirst to death; he made himself hunger to death. He cried to the spirits. After awhile, he would sleep six times. After awhile, he would sleep eight times, then ten times he would sleep, and then the spirits there are above [blessed him], the chiefs that are below the earth, all of them, they blessed him.

 

The spirits that there are, everyone he went to, in a space plumbed by spans of the earth. He was thirsty, thereby he killed himself, therefore, that man had nothing.

He became omniscient, so he made a war bundle. So the one in charge of ghosts blessed him. He said, "I am he who is in charge of ghosts. Human being, I bless you," he said to him, "not of anything will you fail to know. With wars I bless you. I bless you with life. I bless you with the possessions of the people. As I am in charge of this village, I bless you with everything.  With my Dance I shall bless you for as long as your root shall be, that long shall I bless you. Whenever the people [perform?] this dance, they should  have you start it.

 

Those who lie sickly shall get well. And so I will come back to place the souls in all that which is frail. If my servants come, they too will take souls back home. They will come." He would always remember tobacco and hot water.

The man knew of a great thing. Right away now he wanted to do it. The thing that he did was to fix the war-date. He went to war taking very many along with him. By victories he came back triumphant. So he was a dreamer that they might know. Then he started the Ghost Dance (Wanâghí Wací) and a life there was in it he thought, so in this way he acted. He gave a great feast. He boiled for those who are in charge of ghosts.

 

Having offered the Ghost Chief tobacco, he set on kettles reaching far into the distance. He said, "Grandfather, you said you would come, so this I ask for: war powers, life, and clothing for the people; place the souls back with us in all that is frail. He boiled and gave tobacco for the Wanâghí Mónâtc who roamed about visiting with them. "You also, my friends, added minds for me. You said to me what you blessed me with, and it is these things that I ask for: wars, long life that we may live, so tobacco I fill for you, so that the humans will have all that. Everyone thought that the Ghost Dance was sacred, so they were attentive.

 

For the dance the people made four of them dance leaders so that they would be able to dance. That is where men and women are to obtain life, to obtain war powers.

 

Narrated by R. G., Ghost Dance, in Paul Radin, [unpublished] Winnebago Notebooks, #79 (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, 1909?) 1-5
Submitted by Blue Panther Keeper of Stories.

 
 


 

FEATURE STORY

 

 

George Caitlin`s Creed

about American Indians...

(1796-1872)

 

 
George Catlin (July 26, 1796 - December 23, 1872) was an American painter, author and traveler who specialized in portraits of Native Americans in the Old West.  

"I love a people who have always made me welcome to the best they had. I love a people who are honest without laws, who have no jails and no poorhouses.

 

I love a people who keep the commandments without ever having read them or heard them preached from a pulpit.  I love a people who never swear, who never take the name of God in vain. I love a people who love their neighbor as they love themselves.

 

I love a people who worship God without a bible, for I believe that God loves them also. I love a people whose religion is all the same [yet so different], and who are free from religious animosities.  I love a people who never raised against me, or stolen my property, where there was no law to punish for either.  I love a people who have never fought a battle with white men, except on their own ground.

 

I love and do not fear mankind where God has made and left them, for there they are children. I love a people who live and keep what is their own without locks and keys. I love all people who do the best they can.

 

And oh, how I love a people who do not live for the love of money!"

 

Submitted by Wilford Bates

 


 

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.

 

Likes Carol Elk Looks Back

 

Dear Manataka;

 

Thanking you kindly for this month's copy of the Manataka Smoke Signal News.  It resonated true with vibrations within Ms Carol Elk Petersen's article and a beautiful story of Little Wolf I loved it. 

 

~Elvina Jean
 

Likes Obama?


Dear Editor:


US Senator Barack Obama is the choice of the Native American Times to become the next president of the United States. This choice made before the all important super Tuesday election to get as many Native Americans to the polls as possible to push Obama to victory. This is not an anti-Hillary vote but a decision based on what is best for Native Americans.

Obama has started to aggressively reach out to Native Americans in word and deed. In his words he has put together a policy which truly addresses Native problems. In his deeds he has actually gone to Indian reservations to seek our votes. He is also the co-sponsor of the all important Indian Health Care Improvement Act. And he continues to seek the Native vote.

As he explains it, he says he understands to be treated differently and unfairly. Part of the change he proposes is one of justice and equality. He is also proposing sweeping changes in health care for Native Americans that include mental health. While the economy is the driving issue on the national stage its ‘Health Stupid, ’ in Indian Country. People are dying too soon, babies are not making it to adulthood, and diabetes is robbing our way of life in ways never imagined. It’s hard to worry about the paycheck when you are too sick to go anyway.

According to his advisors on Indian issues, he will address the nagging problem of criminal jurisdiction on Indian land. From runaway methadone use to domestic violence to murder the problems on Indian land should be the providence of Indian governments where they are able. It is a significant distinction because it is clear some in the federal government doesn’t believe Indian governments are legitimate or evolved enough to handle a more expansive role in criminal jurisdiction. It is part of the change this campaign has represented.

Perhaps more than anything, Obama inspires us to want and dream of more. Indian Country has been waiting for someone like Barack for a long time. Now is the time for positive change and now is the time to vote Barack Obama for President of the United States. Native Americans can make history next week if we all pull together and get behind the man who actually wants our vote.

Sincerely,

Kim Lyman
 

Does NOT Like HR2421 and S1870


Hello Manataka,

 

Congress is moving to seize control of all US water from bathtubs to baptismal fonts and the give Corps of Engineers control of all U.S. waters according to the Land Rights Association.

Having been slapped down by the U. S. Supreme Court's recent decision that the words "navigable waters" in the Clean Water Act limited federal agencies to regulation of navigable waters only. Democrats and liberal Republicans in Congress are striking back.

They are attempting to pass the Clean Water Restoration Act of 2007 (HR2421 and S1870) that would amend the 1972 Clean Water Act and replace the words "navigable waters" with "waters of the United States." Further, it defines "waters of the United States" with such breathtaking scope that federal agencies would be required to regulate use of every square inch of the U.S., both public and private.

The proposed definition states: "The term 'waters of the United States' means all waters subject to ebb and flow of the tides, the territorial seas, and all interstate and intrastate waters and their tributaries, including lakes, rivers, streams (including intermittent streams), mudflats, sand flats, wetlands, sloughs, prairie potholes, wet meadows, playa lakes [a flat dried up area, esp. a desert basin.] natural ponds and all impoundment of the foregoing, to the fullest extent that these waters are subject to the legislative power of Congress under the Constitution."

Contacts:

Tom Randall, Winningreen LLC, 3712 N. Broadway - PMB 279, Chicago, IL 60613  Phone: 773-857-5086.  trandall@winningreen.com   http://www.landrights.org
 
Call, fax and e-mail James Oberstar, Chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee at his personal office. Honorable James Oberstar, House of Representatives, Washington, DC 20515. Fax: (202) 225-0699. Send e-mail to Rep. Oberstar care of the following staff persons: bill.richard@mail.house.gov   john.schadl@mail.house.gov   chip.gardiner@mail.house.gov

 
Honorable John Mica (R-FL), Ranking Minority Member, House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, 2165 Rayburn House Office Building, House of Representatives, Washington, DC 20515. Minority Phone: (202) 225-9446. Minority Fax: (202) 225-6782. Send e-mail to John Mica and Don Young (R-AK) in care of: jon.pawlow@mail.house.gov 
geoff.bowman@mail.house.gov  john.anderson1@mail.house.gov


Don Parmeter and Linda Runbeck, American Property Coalition, 161 St. Anthony Ave., Ste. 935, St. Paul, MN 55103 (651) 224-6219  donp@americanpropertycoalition.org

Thank you.

 

Waya Glassman

 

Likes The Indian Land Tenure Foundation
 

Dear Manataka,

I have to share this with all Native parents and educators.  The Indian Land Tenure Foundation http://www.indianlandtenure.org/curriculum/ has put together a free and "native centered curriculum from head start to higher grades I am so impressed with the work they have done and will be sharing these lessons with my son.

Register at the above link and then you have access to the curriculum to download.

I can not tell you how happy I am to see this type of curriculum!? This will bring positive change to our children, teenagers, and communities.

For formal educators out there: Keep in mind, ILTF offers grants to colleges, schools and Headstart to implement the curriculum (in most cases the curriculum is modified to a local area and subject matter consultants are brought in to assist.

Pidamayaye,  Angelique "Wambdi"

http://www.indianlandtenure.org/curriculum/

 

Italian wants a pen-pal

Hello Manataka,

I would love to stay in contact by email and letters with anyone who likes to talk about American Indian culture.  I really hope to find an American native interested in keeping in contact with me through Manataka.   I have met indigenous people from  Australia, Russia, Africa, and South America. but I never had the honor to meet a American Indian.  I wish you a great time. Take care!  I hope to receive an answer. Thank you.

Franco Di Lazzaro

macawxe_02@yahoo.it

italia1980msn@hotmail.it

 

Questions about the Sacred Pipe

Hello Manataka,

Is there at Manataka a list of Pipe Keepers? And, is there somewhere a
correct description of the use of the sacred pipe?  May you all be blessed in the circle of light.

Jean
http://www.users.skynet.be/jeanvanhove

 


In the over 6,000 printed pages on our website will you not find a description of using the sacred Pipe.  Manataka does not maintain a list of Pipe Keepers -- for good reason.

There is no such thing as a "correct" use of the sacred Pipe.  To say otherwise is creating dogma (correct thinking) where no dogma exists.   It is time we stop putting sacred beliefs into neat little boxes that are easily defined and packaged for quick consumption.


Some may attempt to persuade us that their way is "the" way, but they  honestly do not know.  It is false ego, vanity that lures those to preach  dogma and doctrine over real spirituality.  They entirely miss the higher  meaning of the sacrament and the depth of its being.

We appreciate your desire to know the ways of the Pipe, but such things cannot be communicated by an off-hand manner of idle discussion, writing, or other mechanical means.  Have a wonderful day!
 

~Editor

Down Under is Grateful

Hello from my heart sacred brothers and sisters,

Momentous times, momentous energies, many tears and a huge sense of gratitude, relief and 'its about time' as today, at last, the Australian government, through our new Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd offered a "Formal Apology" to our sacred sisters and brothers  - the Indigenous Peoples of Australia, for what was done to them.

My brothers and sisters, Spirit is truly moving us all wherever we are to the knowing and BEingness of ONE peoples - the Creator's children regardless of our ethnicity, spiritual paths, gender or age ......... there have been many many tears shed today, much gratitude from our Indigenous Communities, and I feel a certain sense of humbleness from the wider community as many who didn't understand how important a National Apology IS, has revealed itself and they now see why this is the first HUGE step in the path of Peace and Reconciliation ...

Lynn  Dream Dancer Guy, Australia
 

 

 


 

 

SUSTAINABILITY ALERT:

THE DARK SIDE OF ETHANOL AND BIODIESEL SUBSIDIES

Americans now understand that climate-destabilizing greenhouse gases are a major threat to our survival. Unfortunately, large corporations have convinced Congress to ignore real solutions to the crisis (like significant advances in fuel-efficiency), while providing billions of dollars per year in subsidies to big-agribusiness for agrofuels.

More than a hundred U.S. based and international organizations, including the Organic Consumers Association, are calling for a moratorium on the more than $8 billion of annual government subsidies paid to large corporations producing agrofuels from industrial-scale genetically engineered crops. Family farmers currently receive only a small portion of annual funds allocated to agrofuels. While billions of dollars in subsidies for corn, soy and palm oil-based agrofuels, certainly result in higher profits for corporate giants such as Archer Daniels Midland, Cargill, and Monsanto, their overall contribution to reducing reliance on foreign oil and greenhouse gases is negligible (see facts below).

Government support for agrofuels in the U.S. costs taxpayers roughly $2 per gallon in subsidies at the gas pump. These misguided funding priorities have taken tens of billions of dollars of funding away from essential greenhouse gas reduction policies, such as energy conservation, solar and wind power, fuel-efficiency technologies, and mass transit. While the OCA supports the production of biofuels from recycled waste (such as used vegetable oil, manure or sewage) and biomass sustainably grown and harvested for the benefit of local communities, the current focus is a recipe for disaster. Learn more and sign the Agrofuel Moratorium Petition today:

QUICK AGRO-FUEL FACTS
  • Increasing fuel efficiency by just 3% would reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil more than all of the agrofuels combined.
  • The amount of grain it takes to fill an average gas tank with ethanol would be enough to feed a person for a year (source: Foreign Affairs)
  • If the United States stopped growing food and converted its entire grain harvest into ethanol, it would satisfy less than 16 percent of its automotive needs. (source: Earth Policy Institute)
  • The majority of U.S. biofuels are produced from pesticide intensive genetically engineered crops (soy, corn).
  • Monocultures of soy and sugar cane in Latin America and palm oil in Indonesia and Malaysia have led to massive deforestation and the loss of invaluable biodiversity.
  • Current methods of industrial-scale biofuel production worsen global warming by increasing deforestation and degradation of peatlands and soils, while also creating more nitrous oxide emissions from fertilizer use
WHAT IS THE FUTURE OF BIO-FUELS?
OCA's web forum provides an online discussion space for like-minded folks. Over 1500 people have registered to the forum and are posting thoughts about everything from organic gardening to food safety to sustainability issues. This week's feature topic is on bio-fuels. What's good about them, what's bad about them, and what role do they have in the future of the sustainability movement?
Click here to read what other people have to think and join in the discussions:

FOOD SAFETY ALERT:
UNLABELED ALLERGENS IN FOOD THREATEN CHILDREN'S HEALTH

In the last issue of Organic Bytes, we highlighted Robyn O'Brien as the activist of the week. Robyn's organization, AllergyKids.com, is working with the OCA to close a loophole in U.S. food labeling regulations that is allowing common foods to contain dangerous new allergens without labeling. Specifically, the U.S. Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act fails to highlight and require labels for the now commonplace foreign or "novel" gene-spliced proteins and allergens in soy, corn, canola and other food products. According to Daniel Sheehan, an FDA scientist, American children are part of "a large, uncontrolled and basically unmonitored human infant experiment." Contact your Congress-members to require labels on gene-spliced foreign proteins and allergens in food products, which are contributing to the epidemic of food allergies, autism, ADHD and asthma in our children.
 

WEB VIDEO OF THE WEEK:
SWEET MISERY - A POISONED WORLD

If you're still eating foods containing the artificial sweetener aspartame (NutraSweet, Equal, diet drinks, etc.), you need to watch this documentary. Aspartame was approved for widespread use in the U.S. in July of 1983. Within six months, brain tumor rates climbed 10%, diabetes went up 30% and brain lymphoma tumors skyrocketed 60%. Learn how this toxic chemical was scandalously approved by the FDA and is now one of the most widespread food additives in the U.S.
 

This article is brought to you by ORGANIC BYTES, from Organic Consumers Assoc. 
 

 

 

 


 

ELDER'S MEDITATION

 

"So don't be afraid. What we left behind, leave it back there. Try to do some good.  Let's try to take a step, try to think something good." -Wallace Black Elk, Lakota


Every day is a new day. Sometimes we make mistakes. We do not need to carry these mistakes along with us. Take the lessons and leave the mistakes behind. Look forward to today.  Today we can do something good. Today we can have good thoughts. Today we can think kind, uplifting thoughts about ourselves. Today I will think good about...


My Creator,
today I ask You to direct my thoughts.

By Don Coyhis

 


 

MEMBER RECOGNITION

 

 

Manataka "Spirit Award"

for exemplary volunteer service to the organization and community, this months'

award by unanimous decision of the Elder Council goes to the following member:

 

Becky "Flaming Owl Woman" Moore was unanimously selected to receive the Manataka Spirit Award for the month of March.  The month of March is a special time for the Moore family because Becky, 55, and her two daughters Andrea, 35, and Amanda, 21, were all born in March.   Becky has been the tireless and dedicated chairperson of the Manataka Women's Council since 2002. 

Becky receives Manataka visitors at her home most every day and is constantly preparing for events, trips and activities with a cheerful smile and a good word for everyone.  Becky enjoys working in the woods behind her home, where she loves feeding and caring for a menagerie of critters such as deer, rabbits, squirrels,  and dozens of varieties of birds. Becky Owl Woman is Mother Nature to all her little friends.

Becky learned the art of sewing from her mother and grandmother and today she creates Indian regalia in her spare time for her family and customers.  She earned two Associate of Arts degrees in the field of business from Garland County Community College in 2001 and served as a graphic arts editor for the Arkansawyer Magazine and the Aware Prevention Magazine between 1982 to 1990.

Becky loves Manataka and all its people.  She carries the spirit of Manataka in her heart.

 

Nominate someone you know who walks the path.

Spirit Award Nomination  

 


 

HEALTH WATCH... 

 

Action Alerts & Updates


Cloning of Animals for the Livestock Industry
 

In mid-January, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a ruling permitting the use of cloned animals for human food. Although the FDA asked that producers voluntarily maintain a moratorium, the agency clearly gave a green light to industry use of cloned animal progeny.


This decision flies in the face of what many animal protection and consumer advocacy groups, as well as the public, have long lobbied against. The FDA has chosen to favor industry interests while disregarding the 70% of Americans who have spoken out against cloning. At a time when the American public is increasingly concerned with factory farming’s effect on animal welfare and the environment, the FDA has blatantly omitted consideration of the impact cloning has on animals and opened the doors for more reckless expansion of factory farming and agribusiness.


Cloning is another mechanism by which to treat animals as production units rather than living, feeling and breathing beings. According to cloning studies, only five percent of cloning attempts are “successful” (even in the most optimistic scenario, no more than 20-30 percent of cloning attempts will succeed) and those who do survive, commonly suffer from deformities, stillbirths, heart, kidney, and liver disorders. The surrogate mothers used in cloning research often suffer from fetal overgrowth, repeated surgeries and pregnancy complications that have resulted in death.


Animal cloning is ethically and morally unsound—and once the technology gains a foothold, there is no turning
back. And unlike drugs approved by the FDA, cloned animal products cannot be recalled. Neither the FDA nor
the USDA plan to label cloned animal products.
 

Act Now
Sen. Barbara Mikulski introduced legislation in the Senate to urge further study of the cloned animal issue. While this issue has been voted on, and passed by the Senate, the House has yet to act. Please contact your federal representative (locate your representative at www.vote-smart.org) and urge him or her to vote “yes” on any legislation that places restrictions on cloning.

Regardless of pending legislation in your state involving cloned animals please contact your state legislators today to express your concerns about cloning.  Your voice and those of your neighbors, friends, family and coworkers are important. Please act on this critical issue today!

 

 


PLANT MEDICINE...

 

Sumac (Rhus glabra)

Other Names: Dwarf Sumac, Mountain Sumac, Scarlet Sumac, Smooth Sumac, Upland Sumac, White Shoemake, Vinegar-tree, Red sumac

 

Used extensively by Native Americans for food and medicine. Young shoots and roots are peeled and eaten raw. The fruit is also eaten raw, cooked or made into a lemonade-like drink.

 

Habitat
A deciduous shrub native to North America found in all 48 mainland states of USA and in southern Canada. Found growing in thickets and waste ground, open fields and roadsides. Cultivation is easy, root cuttings are best long taken in December, it prefers well-drained acid soil and full sun. Sumac is a shrub or small tree from 6 to 15 feet high, with large pinnate leaves, each leaflet is lanceolate, serrate and green on top whitish beneath. In the fall the leaves turn a bright red. Flowers bloom in June and July they are in dense panicles of greenish-red small five petaled flowers. The edible fruit is a large erect cluster of small bright red berries. Gather edible young shoots in spring, roots and berries in fall. Dry for later herb use.

Properties
Used extensively by Native Americans for food and medicine. Young shoots and roots are peeled and eaten raw. The fruit is also eaten raw, cooked or made into a lemonade-like drink. The active constituents in Sumac are being studied for use in many diseases some possible applications are in the treatment of TB, diabetes, and some cancers. The plant contains Calcium malate, Dihydrofisetin, Fisetin, Iodine, Gallic-acid-methylester, tannic and gallic acids, Selenium, Tartaric-acid, and many beneficial minerals. An infusion of the bark or roots is alterative, antiseptic, astringent, diuretic, galactogogue, haemostatic, rubefacient and tonic. It is used in alternative medicine for the treatment of colds, diarrhea, fevers, general debility, to increase the flow of breast milk, sore mouths and throats, rectal bleeding, inflammation of the bladder and painful urination, retention of urine and dysentery and is applied externally to treat excessive vaginal discharge, burns and skin eruptions.

 

READ MORE....

 

 


 

FLUORIDE WATCH...

 

 

Fluoride-Gate, naming names at Centers for Disease Control
By Dan Stockin, MPH

 

Americans' distrust of societal institutions continues to grow, and now comes evidence of yet another burgeoning scandal: Fluoride-Gate. A torrent of recent bad news about the safety of fluorides has brought key names to the surface from the murky alphabet soup of players in the fluoride game at EPA, CDC, FDA, NIDCR, USDA, ADA, and AMA. The inevitable questions have begun about who knew what, when, and why was certain information kept quiet.

 

The first ominous drumbeats started in 2006, when a National Research Council committee recommended that the Environmental Protection Agency lower the allowable amount of fluoride in drinking water - to an unspecified level. As if that wasn't unnerving enough, the committee specifically stated that kidney patients, diabetics, seniors, infants, and outdoor workers were susceptible populations especially vulnerable to harm from fluoride ingestion.

 

READ MORE....

 


FUNNY BONES

No offense intended for any individuals or tribes.

 

 

A Dog is a Dog...

 

On a hot summer day, a redneck came into town with his dog. He tied the dog under the shade of a tree and went into the bar for a cold beer.

About 20 minutes later a policeman came into the bar and asked who owned the dog tied under the tree. The redneck said that it was his.


The policeman said, "Your dog seems to be in heat."

The redneck replies, "No way dog's in heat---she's cool kawse I got 'er tied unner the shade tree."

The policeman says, "No! You don't understand-- your dog needs to be bred.
  .
"No way," the redneck says, "dog don't need bread, she ain't hongry, kawse I fed 'ER beef jerky this mornin'.."

Now the policeman gets mad and yells out; "NO! You don't seem to understand, your dog wants to have sex!"

The redneck looks at him with a long pause and says, "Go 'head I always wanted a police dog!"

 

 


 

ANIMAL RIGHTS... AND WRONGS

 

On Thin Ice
By Simon Boyle, The Guardian UK


Could "wild laws" protecting all the Earth's community - including animals, plants, rivers and ecosystems - save our natural world?

The 21 species of albatross are some of the world's most majestic birds. An adult has a wingspan of up to 3.5 metres and can circumnavigate the world in a single flight. Yet each year, 100,000 of them are killed by longline fishing, where nets up to 80 miles long with thousands of hooks are towed by fishing boats catching birds as well as fish. As a consequence of this indiscriminate slaughter, 19 of the 21 species are under threat of extinction.

The solution, as shown by the RSPB, is relatively simple and includes weighting the lines so they sink faster, and laying the lines at night, when the albatrosses are not feeding. Thanks to the work of the RSPB, changes are now under way. However, there is no law that protects these birds or looks after their interests. They can be slaughtered without a second thought.
 

READ MORE...
 


 

ENDANGERED SACRED SITES:

 

Native American Salt Song Singers will Travel from across the West to Mourn Ancestors Housed in UC Berkeley Basement

 

Award-Winning Singers from 14 Indian Bands to Perform Ancient Songs in UCB’s Sproul Plaza 

 

BERKELEY, Calif, -- Tribal leaders and members of The Salt Song Project, a program of the Native American Land Conservancy (Non-Profit 501.C.3), conducted a historic Inter-Tribal ceremony at noon on January 22, 2008 in UC Berkeley’s Sproul Plaza. The ceremony mourned the thousands of Native Americans whose remains are stored in drawers and plastic bags a few hundred feet away in the gym basement adjacent to the Phoebe Hearst Museum.

 

Traditional Salt Song singers from fourteen bands of Southern Paiutes and Chemehuevi will traveled from Arizona, Utah, Nevada and Southern California to sing the last four songs from a 142 song cycle. The Salt Songs are mourning songs that traditionally begin at sundown and are sung through the night and into the morning before sunrise. The last four songs are extremely important for the purpose of the ceremony, which is to send the spirits of the Hearst’s skeletal remains back to their homelands and bring closure to their time here on Mother Earth. The desecration of Native burial sites by archaeologists has violated Native American ceremonial and religious beliefs about their ancestors.

 

“To me, the last four songs are the most important,” said Vivienne Caron Jake, Kaibab Paiute, who co-founded the Salt Song Project with Matthew Leivas, Sr., Chemehuevi. “The songs sing about the inevitable death and also the excitement and desire to get to the other side and how these individuals on the other side are waiting. The spirit that will soon join them is drooling at the mouth in excitement and just tasting what is referred to as the happy hunting grounds or heaven."

 

READ MORE...


 

Yucca Mountain Sacred Site to Become a Nuclear Waste Dump

 

Yucca Mountain has been and continues to be a sacred and beloved site for thousands of years to the Native Shoshone tribes. It is an herb gathering site, for rituals, and as a part of their stories. Yucca Mountain is known in Shoshone language as Snake Mountain.  It is said that the snake was headed north when it froze where it is.

It is also said the mountain will move again and "flip around". Geologists say that there are thirteen different fault lines running through the mountain.

Using the Yucca Mountain site to 'dispose' of nuclear waste is a very risky and therefore an unacceptable choice as a nuclear waste repository. There are serious risks associated with the 'disposing' and transportation of nuclear waste. One of the most deadly waste materials on earth, nuclear waste should be stored on-site, in retrievable casks, and not transported across the country.   There is an extremely high likelihood that there will be adverse impacts to the drinking water supply, impacts from truck transport of nuclear waste,  socioeconomic impacts, impacts to cultural resources, and environmental justice issues.

A nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain is illegal and in violation of human rights. There is ongoing litigation involving the United States' violation of the 1863 Treaty of Ruby Valley with the Western Shoshone which clearly defines territorial borders for  their nation of Newe Sogobia as well outside the proposed land withdrawal.  This treaty was fully ratified by Congress, and is legally "the supreme law of the land".  In April of 2004, the United Nation's Committee to End Racial Discrimination upheld the Shoshone claim in a record decision, and their declaration clearly identifies the Yucca Mountain Repository as one of several ongoing serious human rights violations by the United States against the Western Shoshone Nation. Corbin Harney condemned the government's actions, particularly the Department of Energy saying, "It is with blatant disrespect that the DOE continues to violate our Mother Earth as well as disregard the Treaty of Ruby Valley." The truth "from the beginning," he once said, is that "the people are going to have to wake up to the problem and get a cleaner source of power, wind or solar, that doesn't have waste.

 "The eyes of the elders are on us.  The fate of the unborn is rolling toward the cliff, the voice of Corbin Harney is ringing in my ears, "It's on your shoulders now...".  ~ B Dyken.
 


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