Manataka American Indian Council                                                                      Volume XIII Issue 12  DECEMBER 2009





Page 2 of 3 Pages





Contents of Page 2              

Legends of Old: Gift to the Hummingbird
Feature Story 3: The Shores Within - Chapter 8 - Seeing

Letters to the Editor:

Selling of Sweat Lodge Healing
Organic Consumers: Will Obama Walk His Talk on Organics?
Elder's Meditations: Pontiac, Odowa
Plant Medicine: Gifts from Mother
Fluoride: Water Main Cartoon
Animal Rights and Wrongs: A Sarvey Wildlife Care Center
Sacred Sites: Prison time, felony charges rare for artifact looters



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Gift to the Hummingbird

Mayan Legend

Tzunuum, the hummingbird, was created by the Great Spirit as a tiny, delicate bird with extraordinary flying ability. She was the only bird in the kingdom who could fly backwards and who could hover in one spot for several seconds. The hummingbird was very plain. Her feathers had no bright colors, yet she didn't mind. Tzunuum took pride in her flying skill and was happy with her life despite her looks.

When it came time to be married, Tzunuum found that she had neither a wedding gown nor a necklace. She was so disappointed and sad that some of her best friends decided to create a wedding dress and jewelry as a surprise.

Ya, the vermilion-crowned flycatcher wore a gay crimson ring of feathers around his throat in those days. He decided to use it as his gift. So he tucked a few red plumes in his crown and gave the rest to the hummingbird for her necklace. Uchilchil, the bluebird, generously donated several blue feathers for her gown. The vain motmot, not to be outdone, offered more turquoise blue and emerald green. The cardinal, likewise, gave some red ones.







Finding Beauty In Our World

by Terry Tempest Williams

An environmentalist committed to showing man's impact on the land.


"I watched prairie dogs every day rise before the sun and stand with their paws pressed together facing the rising sun in total stillness for up to 30 minutes," says Williams. "And then I watched them at the end of the day take that same gesture 30 minutes before the sun goes down; they would press their palms together in perfect stillness. I don't mean to anthropomorphize, but when you look at a creature that has survived over the millennium begin and end each day in that kind of stance, it causes one to think about one's own life and speed and the rapidity in which we live."









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The Shores Within

By Boe Glasschild

& Laughing Dog Red Feather


Free Online Lessons on the Medicine Way

Eight lessons plus a glossary, bibliographic notes and more.


The Medicine Way has been exclusively an oral tradition for centuries. Now, Choctaw Spiritual Elder Boe Many Knives Glasschild, Bvshpo Lawa,  puts these teachings in writing for all to read and understand.   This is the fifth installment of ten monthly installments of the book entitled, "The Shores Within" covering the entire book from April to December 2009.  Each chapter contains links to a glossary of definitions to various Medicine Way terminology. 





Navajo Nativity Scenes







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.


Hydro Therapy Thanks


Dear Manataka,


Thank you for your article on Hydrogen Peroxide  I have been researching cancer for 7 years and have successfully treated several cancers with a herbal formula I created. I have not been to successful with stage 4 cancers however, and am just taking on a late stage breast cancer young lady. I needed an edge, a bigger boost and I think this could be it. I have given all my clients time though and to some that is precious.  Best wishes. ~Bonnie Evans


Selling of Sweat Lodge Healing

Dear Editor,


This "selling" of sweat lodge healing has been a pet peeve of mine for many years. I want to emphasize that I don't know of anyone doing this here in Montana at this time, but I respect the sentiment expressed in the following letter, and so I wish to share it with brothers that have shared my sweat lodge, and with whom I have done sweats elsewhere. Please don't interpret this as anything resembling an accusation, gentlemen. I'm just passing information along to responsible leaders, that I personally know, that are also concerned. Brothers, please forward this to other interested parties, or to anyone you know of that needs to hear it.


Obviously, one issue here is the ethics of incorporating the sweat lodge and any associated ceremonies in any events or retreats that are paid for (as opposed to cost-shared), and where the leaders are being paid to conduct.  As I have long ago ceased to attend these kind of paid events, I simply offer this message in the spirit it is intended, that of respect for the traditional sacred ceremonial way of life, and as a formal "request to stop the exploitation".   BTW, for what it's worth, Jews don't appreciate non-Jews (i.e. Christians, etc) co-opting Chanukah and Pesach (Passover) either.  Shalom.  ~Quincy OrHai, Bozeman, Montana


Smoke Signal News

Hello Manataka,


Thank You for your news letter.  There is much knowledge that it offers. God Bless each everyone of you.  ~Tarri Otterlee



To whom it my concern,


THANK YOU!!!  Over the last three months I have had some very challenging things come in to my life. Just before all this all happened you reconnected with me with the news letter and messages from the elders.  Your posts in my e-mail in box have been an incredible guide post in my life. The messages from the elders have been right on with what I need to hear and blessings from our GREAT CREATOR. THANK YOU... THANK YOU.... THANK YOU!!! You are a gift and a blessing. You have helped me through a very tough time. Much Love ~Karen Hamburger


Imposter Discovered In Southwestern PA



I would like to report a man to you! He is a non native posing as spiritual leader in this area. He is pouring water for the people and has caused a young lady harm in one of his sweat baths he called a "Healing Lodge". She spent 4 day's in the hospital. Also he is lying about his military service record. Here is some of what this man is doing here! In light of the recent tragedy in Sedona, AZ, it has become our job as a Native American Non Profit to expose fakes, phonies and charlatans that are hurting people in Native American Sweat Lodges. We have our own James Ray here at Nemacolin Woodlands posing as a Native American Indian/ Spiritual Leader. Not only that but he is also a Persian Gulf War imposter. He claims people must be hurt in his lodges to be healed. We need your help to expose this Man for what he is. ------ ------- AKA  -------- is an imposter and we have the proof needed. For more info please contact me at 724 547 2470 Robert Steck Executive Director of Wakiyan Ka Wakizi a supporting Non Profit Organization for the betterment of Native Americans and Non Native people in the Southwestern PA area.  11-15-10


Response from a Reader:


All of this information is wrong, and can easily be seen as slander. The individual who wrote it has a serious problem, and your publishing it gives credence to malicious lies, innuendo and gossip. Please remove this information about me immediately. Buffalo Messengers has prosecutorial legal counsel on our Board of Directors. We will deal with Mr. Steck in that regards, as it appears the only way to get through to him. We would prefer not to have to deal with you in the same regards. I understand this is a "Letter to the Editor", however, you are responsible for reprinting it. This is not research, nor does it have educational value. It is rumor mongering and character assassination. If you have any further questions, contact me at 724 516 2751.  Michael Spisak, AKA Hawk Good Fire; AKA Thunder Hawk; AKA _____________. 01-14-10



From the Editor:

For nearly two months the name of the accused was not publicly known until his response.



What are True Sweats?

Dear Manataka:


I have just come from a sweat in Iowa this was quite a wonderful experience. As I look around the country, how do I know who are true healers and what are true sweats?  Shantideva.  ~Victoria Gillotti


Hello Victoria,


How do you tell if you found a good doctor?  How do you tell if you found a bad lawyer? 


Discernment:  Ask questions before you engage.  References from trusted sources.  Watch 'em closely. It is not only your physical well-being that is at stake.  It is your spiritual and emotional well-being as well.  If the Purification Lodge leader charges money or requests/demands a donation, walk away. Regular visitors to a particular lodge know to bring food, smudge material, wood or whatever is needed.  Money need not enter the question. Read: Sacred Ceremonies for a Price?  ~Editor


Deaths Attributed to Greed and Ignorance

To whom this may concern,


I send you a note to say thank you for your article title Sweat Lodge Deaths Attributed to Greed and Ignorance”.  I personally come from a white heritage. Back in 1991, after a painful divorce, I found myself searching for something that made sense. At that time, I found that Christianity was not working for me.  And like so many times in the past, I had found that my world was in shambles. I knew then I needed something different in my life. It was the beginning of the summer of 92 and I found myself walking into a shop called Earth Child. The owners both were Native American and found an instant friend. Not too long after that, lead to my wonderful experience with the Sweat Lodge.


The owner of Earth Child had just gone to his first sweat and invited me to next one. Needless to say, I went and continue this for about a year. The Sweat was run by a man who was half Sioux. Not only did he invite me in his home, he welcome me in to the lodge. From him, I Incorporated the Native American Spiritual Path into my being. I like what Iron Head said, “You do not charge for Spirit”. He always welcomes me when I came, and I always brought him a gift of sweet grass. But he never charged a dime for the Sweat. It was his church. By the way, he always ran Family Sweats. In my journeys, I have experience the type of sweat that you have talked about twice. Both times, Spirit has told me not only to leave the lodge itself but not to return. Needless to say, when I heard about what happen with this Man (who charges $9,000 for healing) I was a little bit angry to say the lease. Like Iron Head said, you cannot charge for Spirit and you cannot charge what the Universe gives for free. You are so very right; it is going to cost this guy more than what he has made from his Practice. His trials are about to come.

Thanks so very much not only for the article, but a Spiritual Path as well. ~Steven Fields



Hello Editor,

I love receiving your magazine every month. Thank you.  The first thanksgiving.  It is my understanding that the Iroquois have celebrated Thanksgiving for a thousand years or more. The Plymouth was one "tragic" Thanksgiving.  You should investigate this and report accurately. Because to teach children about thanksgiving as according to Plymouth story is the same as going back and finding some massacre and associating a day with it when things are much bigger.  To spend the day, Thanksgiving, in anger, instead of touching ones feet to the ground in thanks.  I personally fast the whole day and pray for the earth.  Thank you for listening.  Linda Justice


More Thanksgiving...


Hello Manataka,


I want to thank those who took the trouble and researched the story, because too many people are not aware of the part played by Native American Indians in what we celebrate today as THANKSGIVING.  It is an onerous task at best, best after all the trouble that has been taken, all I can say is THANK YOU VERY MUCH my brothers and sisters the Native American People. ~Kenneth T. Tellis, Canada





The loss of the Earth Ways effects us all

Dear Editor,


I write this in response to a couple of articles in the November Smoke Signal which sadden my heart.


We are at a time when great changes are occurring on our Planet, our Mother Earth.  Everywhere the People, the Five-fingered Ones, are searching for a connection with Spirit and with the Earth.  Everywhere people suffer from Spiritual Disease because they have had their connections with Mother severed as children.  Without the connection to the Life of the Mother, without awareness of our connection to each other and all our Relations, the souls of our children wither and die.  We see this in the violence and disrespect for Life, all Life, that dominates in the urban wastelands that Western society has created.


The loss of the Earth Ways effects us all.  I say to my ALL My Relations - I AM you.  We cannot refuse to assist each other in Healing and expect to rise with the Seventh Sun.  The Spiritual Elders that I am led to -- who teach Turtle Island spiritual ways, African spiritual ways, South American Spiritual ways, Celtic Spiritual ways, North European Spiritual ways -- do not request money for their teaching or their ceremonies.  They all, regardless of race or geography, share freely.  And they all have said, in one way or another, ''if you do not share the Wisdom, I have wasted my time on you". 


We are in a time where pulling away from our Relations of different colors and cultures and claiming exclusivity on Spiritual Earth Ways can only result in more disconnection.  We must bring the Earthways together.  We have lost so much of the Spiritual technologies that give us contact with out Mother already and we continue to loose more every day.  And if we don't share what we know, share what Spirit has given, we are not doing our part. 


The Women of the Earth, the Mothers and the Grandmothers, we know this.  Our hearts ache for the future of our children, the Five-fingered children of Mother Earth who are given to us to teach so that they might heal the Earth.   The color of their skin does not matter in this mission.  All Children are Her Children and all Her Children are our Children.  We must embrace them all and give freely of what we have to give. 


We are all indigenous to this planet.  We are all our Mother's children. 


In this Life that I walk on Turtle Island, I am in white skin.  I do not claim to be an Indian in a prior life.  But my great, great grandmother, she walked Turtle Island in a red skin.  My great, great, great aunt, she walked Turtle Island in a black skin. I have sisters and brothers, cousins, aunts and uncles who have black hair, dark skin, curly hair, brown skin, red hair, pink skin -- both genetically and spiritually.  All of my ancestors for the past two hundred years and many for the past 400 years, have walked the Earth here, on Turtle Island.  The Spirits that speak to me and walk me, they are the Spirits of Turtle Island.  the Spirits of the Wind and Water, the Earth and the Fire are here, on Turtle Island, where I am.  I am a part of this land in this time and space.  My ancestors and those I love have returned to the elements here, on Turtle Island.


We are a Rainbow Colored Tribe of the Five-fingered Race.  And the more of us who are teaching and sharing in Spirit, the more healing we can bring.  It is sad that many use the Hunger of the People as a target for their greed; it is even sadder that these people are so diseased in their own spirit they value money above their own healing.  But we cannot let the greedy cause division among us who Walk the Red Road in a good way, regardless of our colors. 


We face great challenges in the times to come.  It is Our Ways, the Ways of Mother Earth, that offer hope for Her Children.  We must share and be open to the sharing of others so we can prepare our Mother's Children for the times to come.  This is not my word.   This is the word of Spiritual Elders around the globe; this is the Word of Our Mother Earth and the Word of Spirit.  Aho. 


~Linda VanBibbler, Bear Heart Woman Speaks




Get on the ball! 

Sign me!


The Manataka American Indian Council supports:

Quote of the MONTH

Will Obama Walk His Talk on Organics?

"I was just reading an article in the New York Times by Michael Pollan about food and the fact that our entire agricultural system is built on cheap oil. As a consequence, our agriculture sector actually is contributing more greenhouse gases than our transportation sector. And in the mean time, it's creating monocultures that are vulnerable to national security threats, are now vulnerable to sky-high food prices or crashes in food prices, huge swings in commodity prices, and are partly responsible for the explosion in our healthcare costs because they're contributing to type 2 diabetes, stroke and heart disease, obesity, all the things that are driving our huge explosion in healthcare costs."  -Barack Obama, campaigning for the Presidency, during an interview with Joe Klei in TIME, October 23, 2008  

Alert Update of the MONTH

National Organic Standards Board Votes to Crack Down on Labeling Fraud

Victory on Organic Body Care and Cosmetics Products

In a milestone victory after years of work by the OCA and the organic community to demand an end to blatant labeling fraud in the organic marketplace the National Organic Standards Board voted 12 to 1 at their November 2009 meeting to direct the USDA National Organic Program to enforce the law for organic personal care products - just as they do for organic food. This means that shampoos, body care products, and cosmetics that claim to be organic but are not certified would be forced to drop their organic label and advertising claims, or else reformulate their products (getting rid of petrochemicals and problematic synthetic ingredients) to meet "USDA Organic" or "made with organic ingredients" standards.

The Organic Consumers Association is initiating a letter-writing campaign asking the USDA to take quick action on the NOSB recommendation. While we wait for the USDA to begin enforcement actions, we're calling on consumers to boycott fake, falsely labeled organic body care brands, and instead to buy only USDA certified organic products.

Call to Action OF THE MONTH

Get GMO Vaccines out of Organic

Vaccines are allowed in organic animal husbandry, but genetic engineering is excluded from organic. There is one exception: genetically modified vaccines. Under current law, genetically modified vaccines must be petitioned for use and reviewed by the National Organic Standards Board to be included on the National List of allowed substances. The problem is, the USDA National Organic Program hasn't been enforcing the law. Instead of asking the USDA to enforce the law, the National Organic Standards Board is instead recommending that the USDA change the law to remove the GMO vaccine review requirement. The recommendation they passed would require non-GMO vaccines to be used whenever they are available, so it's not quite as bad as it could have been, but it would still allow any type of GMO vaccine to be used without review, as long as a certifier could be convinced that there were no non-GMO alternatives.

The Organic Consumers Association is taking action to prevent this misguided recommendation from being adopted by the USDA. We're calling on the USDA to enforce the current law, and to disallow GMO vaccines, unless there is absolutely no other alternative to saving the animal's life. The USDA should train certifiers on identifying genetically modified vaccines and preventing their use. 





"My children, you have forgotten the customs and traditions of your forefathers. ...You have bought guns, knives, kettles, and blankets from the white man until you can no longer do without them; and what is worse you have drunk the poison firewater, which turns you into fools. Fling all these things away; live as your forefathers did before you."  --Pontiac, Odowa


We need to think as our forefathers did. They knew the culture and the customs. The culture taught them how to live in harmony with each other. We need to think like this again. We must because God-reliant. We don't need the firewater. This liquid is very destructive to our native people. It kills our spirit. Our Indian people are happiest when we are spiritual. When we depend on anyone or anything else, we get off track. We need to talk to the Elders and find out what the old ways were. We need to ask them to teach us the culture, the tradition and the customs. This will help us become whole again.


My Maker, guide my path as you did my ancestors

By Don Coyhis






Medicine for the People

By Walks With Hawks Harvey



Gifts from Mother

Ever since I became active in our Tribe I have strived to make homemade presents and items of interest to the Native American way of life.  Since my karma is to use what Mother Earth gives us as plants, herbs, and other items that we can use. I have always enjoyed accepting these gifts from Mother Earth and trying to use them to help others and especially my friends in life; even the animals I enjoy watching and visiting with. To others these were called homemade presents or gifts from nature.


At first they were little simple crafts considered cute or brought a lot of laughter when opened. I especially loved the economical practicality of making my own presents. I always thought that it would be helping the world to grow more “green”. Especially thinking of the atmosphere, smog and other chemicals the large factories were emitting into the air for us to breathe trying to make all our wishes for us commercializing Christmas.


I thought by giving my own presents from herbs which is grown locally by Mother Earth would be a great way of thanking her by using them to help others. This could impact Mother in a positive way and not contaminating her by using the items produced through mass production and the mess that would be left in the air. Does that make any sense to you? I liked the idea and hope you can follow some of them as I continue to write for the Smoke Signal News.


Here are some tips and advice that might help you to go “green” also.   Although I don’t think much of commercial holidays but some do so I try to help you along the way with giving which is the Native way called “The Great Give Away”.  This was practiced in most of the tribes many years ago. Some humans gave away everything they had and depended on others to help them.


Here are some things that you can do to participate in the great  “Give Away”. this season.













No offense intended for any individuals or tribes.



Never trust little old Indian women

A little old Indian woman went into Chickasaw National Bank with a sack full of money. She plopped it onto the desk of the American Indian bank president as she had wrangled her way into his office.


"Where did you get money like this?" he asked her.

"Well, you see."  She answered him. "I make bets."

"Bets?"  He wanted to know.

"Yes."  She replied. "For instance, I'll  bet you $25,000. you are not brown all over."  "I bet that under your shorts you are white."

"The Indian president of the Bank told her, "Well, I will take that bet."  "I am brown all over."

"Okay,"  the wily old lady agreed.  "However, tomorrow when we close the bet, I want my attorney with me. He is Indian too.

"Okay! Okay."  The president of the bank was agreeable. When he went home though he double checked to see if he was brown all over. After all $25,000. was at stake.

The next day when the little old Indian lady came in with her attorney, the president was ready for her.

The little old Indian woman told him. "I am not going to take your word for it." "I want to see if you are brown all over."

The president thought for a moment and decided since it was, after all, $25,000 he would, indeed, drop his pants to show the little old Indian woman he was brown all over, which he did.  He looked over at the Indian attorney who was banging his head against the wall.

"Why is he doing that?"  The bank president asked.

The little old Indian woman answered, "Because I bet him $75,000 that the president of the Chickasaw National Bank would drop his pants for me.









See an amazing film about Austrailia's Aboriginal peoples.

Traditional Whale Dreamers





Prison time, felony charges rare for artifact and relic looters

By Mike Stark, Salt Lake City, Utah (AP)


 Jeanne and Jericca Redd

Stepping into the afternoon sun during September, Jeanne Redd and her daughter Jericca walked away from a federal courthouse with probation papers – not prison time – for their role in the theft and illegal trafficking of Indian artifacts.

Some, including one of the Salt Lake City’s daily newspapers, expressed frustration that the judge didn’t come down harder on the duo from southern Utah.

History however says the punishment for the Redds, who pleaded guilty to several felonies, was fairly typical. Despite high-profile arrests and indictments, most people convicted of illegally digging up, collecting and cashing in on artifacts in the United States don’t go to prison.

And for those that do, most are in for a year or less, according to a 10-year analysis of prosecutions under a 1979 law meant to punish those that foul the country’s cultural resources.





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