Manataka American Indian
Council Volume XIII Issue 09
- Preserving The Past Today
Page 1 of 3 Pages
"There are many people who could
claim and learn from their Indian ancestry, but because of the fear their
parents and grandparents knew, because of past and present prejudice against
Indian people, that part of their heritage is clouded or denied."
--Joseph Bruchac, Abenaki
There were many injustices done to
Native people. Sometimes I wonder; why am I connected to the past injustices
done to Indian people? Why am I so angry about the past? The Elders say our
ancestors are alive within each of us. Therefore, I may experience anger and
resentment inside of me because of the injustice done to them. The way I get rid
of these past feelings is to forgive. It may be necessary to even learn to
forgive the unforgivable.
Great Spirit, teach
me the path of forgiveness;
teach me the courage
to forgive; teach me to let go.
Give to me a
By Don Coyhis
Gatherings, Meetings, Conventions, Seminars
Down Under Matey!
Numinbah Valley, S.E. Queensland, Australia
YOU ARE INVITED!
September 26 - 28, 2009
MANATAKA Spring Equinox Gathering in
coincides with September School
holidays in Australia allowing
families to participate. Camp
Bornhofen is an easily accessible,
beautiful and well equipped facility
that will provide an excellent
opportunity for spiritual growth,
relaxation, and fun for the entire
Come join us
in ceremony and interactive events to promote peace and unity.
Doctrine of Discovery Begins to Crumble
Will others follow Episcopal Church’s lead?
By Robert J. Miller
its 76th General Convention in California, the Episcopal Church adopted a
resolution entitled “Repudiate the Doctrine of Discovery.” In adopting this
resolution, the church said the international law called the Doctrine of
Discovery has created “destructive policies. ... that [led] to the
colonizing dispossession of the lands of indigenous peoples and the
disruption of their way of life.”
The church also called on the United States to review its “historical and
contemporary policies that contribute to the continuing colonization of
Indigenous Peoples” and for Queen Elizabeth II to “disavow, and repudiate
publicly, the claimed validity of the Christian Doctrine of Discovery.”
Some people are
hoping the Supreme Court will reverse Johnson v. M’Intosh. That is
I hope this call to
action by the Episcopal Church will be adopted by other Christian churches
and governments around the world.
The Doctrine of Discovery is a tenet of international law that was primarily
developed by European monarchs and the Catholic Church in the 15th and 16th
centuries. Starting with a papal bull issued by Pope Nicholas V in 1455,
European Christians declared it was their divine right to own vacant lands
around the world and to claim lands that were occupied by “pagans and
enemies of Christ.” Europeans then began operating on a first-come,
first-served basis and the race was on to “discover” new lands.
In 1493, Pope Alexander VI further defined Discovery when he issued three
papal bulls and divided the world for Spanish and Portuguese claims over
indigenous peoples and lands.
READ MORE >>>
Ceremonies for a Price?
Grandfather Watches Over Us
We believe American Indian
spiritual beliefs and practice cannot be bartered or sold at any price.
It costs nothing to enter the
Sacred Circle because it does not belong to anyone, it is a gift of the Creator.
There is no admission fee to a Purification Lodge because the messages, visions
and teachings of the lodge are not owned by a human, but come directly from the
Great Mystery. There is no monetary price to pay for the honor of going on
a Vision Quest because the Spirit of God is there. When money and greed
present, the Spirit of the Creator is absent and thus there cannot be a Vision.
The spiritual connection has been broken.
Several years ago, this Manataka member
wrote in the article False Shamans
ceremonies, dances, songs and symbols are sacred. They must be protected from
theft, exploitation and desecration. We should encourage all people to seek
their own ways of spiritual expression, the ways of their ancestors, and not to
use American Indian ways to find spirituality within themselves..."
READ MORE >>>
Dog Red Feather
Free Online Lessons on the Medicine Way
Eight lessons plus
a glossary, bibliographic notes and more.
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.
READ MORE >>>
Dear Members and Supporters of Manataka
last year, you and I helped the National Resources Defense Council win a huge
victory for wilderness when a federal judge blocked the Bush Administration from
handing over 110,000 acres of Utah's Redrock Wilderness to oil and gas
those stunning wildlands -- and so many others across the West -- are
not yet protected. They are still vulnerable to exploitation
and destruction by drilling, mining and development.
President Obama's Interior Secretary, Ken Salazar, has the power to
change that -- by putting forth a new and bold vision for preserving
Please call on Secretary Salazar to lead the way by protecting our
natural heritage of wilderness lands.
Why does wilderness matter right now? It matters because I believe that
our last public wilderness areas, with their rugged beauty, uncharted
terrain and ability to test human strength, are essential symbols of the
But it also matters because we lost so
much ground during the Bush Administration.
long years, the Bush White House sacrificed so many wilderness-quality
lands to oil and gas drilling.
Once these wild landscapes have been altered by human development, they
can never become protected wilderness areas. They are lost to us
We are still feeling the aftershocks of Bush's short-sighted policies:
leasing, drilling permits and off-road vehicle plans continue to be
approved, destroying wilderness-quality lands in my home state of Utah
and across the West.
Places I once viewed as symbols of America, the "Promised Land," have
disappeared into clear-cuts, drilling fields and open-pit mines. Our
children will inherit nothing from this irretrievable loss except for
pictures of how it used to be.
We can do better. We must do better. Hopefully, Secretary Salazar will
craft a new vision for preserving and managing the public's wilderness.
He has spoken many times of his commitment to America's "treasured
Please ask him to single out and prioritize our wilderness areas as
quickly as possible.
You don't need to see Utah's Dark Canyon or Vermillion Cliffs to realize
that previous generations of Americans had amazing foresight to preserve
these natural treasures for those who would one day follow them here.
Please join me in asking Secretary Salazar
to lead the way by expanding our wilderness heritage. Thank you.
Natural Resources Defense Council
No offense intended for any individuals or tribes.
Indian and Genie
An Indian man has spent many days crossing Montana without water.
His horse dies of thirst. He's crawling through the grass, certain that he has
breathed his last, when all of a sudden he sees an object sticking out of the
ground several yards ahead of him.
He crawls to the object, pulls it out of the dirt, and discovers what looks be
an old brief case. He opens it and out pops a genie....
But this is no ordinary genie. He is wearing a Bureau of Indian Affairs badge
and dull grey suit. There's a calculator in his pocket. He has a pencil tucked
behind one ear. "Well, kid," says the genie. "You know how it works. You have
not falling for this." says the man. "I'm not going to trust a B.I.A. employee."
"What do you have to lose? You've got no transportation, and It looks like
you're a goner anyway!"
The man thinks about this for a minute, and decides that the genie is right.
"OK, I wish I were on a lush reservation with plentiful food and drink."
The man finds himself on the most beautiful rez he has ever seen, surrounded
with jugs of Rum and platters of delicacies.
"OK, kid, what's your second wish."
"My second wish is that I were rich beyond my Chiefs wildest dreams."
The man finds himself surrounded by treasure chests filled with rare gold coins
and precious gems.
"OK, kid, you have just one more wish. Better make it a good one!"
"Ok, I wish I would be desired and loved by everyone?" ***POOF***
He is changed into a crunchy chocolate bar.
The moral of the story? If the B.I.A offers you anything, for sure someone is
going to have to deal with some nuts.
Grandfather Grey Hawk Speaks
Meditation to Control Emotions
By Robert Gray Hawk Coke
How would you like to control depression, anger,
anxiety, fear, lingering grief, procrastination?
All of these are very complex emotions, which often
express themselves in other forms, such as weight gain,
sleeplessness, smoking, drinking, drugs, and general ill health.
Did you know that these emotional conditions can be
controlled through proper meditation? Habitual thoughts of hatred,
anger and revenge are replaced with intentional thoughts of
acceptance, cooperation, unconditional love and forgiveness. If your
meditations have not included this work, or if you have been
unsuccessful controlling these emotions, you may not have been
using the proper tools while in meditation. It is important to learn
how to do this in a deliberate way.
Research tells us that we have one mind to observe,
create, and overcome challenges. However, this mind has two basic
parts: the Conscious Mind, which is 12% of the mind, processes
current awareness and makes decisions. The Subconscious Mind, which
is the remaining 88%, contains our memories, habits, beliefs,
personality, and self image. It remembers every incident that it
experiences. (This is called “conditioning.”) The subconscious mind
is the storehouse of information, which includes ‘filters’ that
strain our awareness. It, also, contains a set of “predefined”
instructions that performs tasks, such as controlling body
functions. For example, the subconscious mind controls the number of
heartbeats, the blood flow, and makes needed adjustments. We do not
consciously control many things.
READ MORE >>>
SEVEN HAWK EYES SPEAKS
The End Of The
I get so frustrated with people who are inclined to believe that
the world is going to be destroyed. I have heard a lot of folks talking about
prophesies concerning ‘The End Of This World; I was raised as a Christian and
was taught that our Creator is a loving creator. Is it possible that our Creator
is tired of man running the earth? There have been many prophecies relating to
this subject. The Mayan Calendar, Nostradamus, as well as some modern ‘Gloom and
Doom’ preachers starting back in the late 1880’s making the statement that this
earth we live on will be destroyed in the year 2012 December 21, Why that date?
Why not December 31st?
I have read the Bible and it
clearly shows that our loving Creator made this place we call ‘Mother Earth’ to
be inhabited and also that when our Creator says something, as recorded in the
bible, his words do not return without results. Black Elk was a very
knowledgeable man and when he spoke about the end of times, he was not saying
that the earth would be destroyed but that there will be ‘A Big Change!
READ MORE >>>
Genetically Engineered (GE) Food Crops
FDA announces administration's support for
Obama administration is prepared to combat antibiotic resistance by setting
limits on the nontherapeutic use of medically valuable antibiotics in
agriculture, according to Joshua Sharfstein, the deputy commissioner of the
Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Antibiotics are added to the feed and
water of animals that are not sick to promote growth and prevent diseases
caused by overcrowded condition in CAFOs (confined animal feeding
operations), a practice that leads to antibiotic resistance. Dr. Sharfstein
announced the new FDA policy at a July congressional hearing on the
Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act (PAMTA) The
administration is considering ending the use of clinically valuable
antibiotics for growth promotion and feed efficiency and restricting
over-the-counter use of antibiotics. The announcement, which stunned the
animal agriculture industry, reverses decades of agency policy. UCS
scientist Margaret Mellon also testified at the hearing.
"The evidence connecting the
routine use of antibiotics in livestock with antibiotic-resistant illness in
humans is clear and compelling. This policy is very welcome news." ~
Margaret Mellon, Food and Environment Program Director
E crops grown in a third of southeast
Farmers are opting to grow genetically engineered (GE) crops on a third of
national wildlife refuges in the southeastern United States, in spite of
federal laws restricting the practice.
Canada, Europe resolve some GE trade issues
Some trade barriers limiting exports of GE crops from Canada to Europe have
been lifted, following a World Trade Organization ruling that Europe's
restriction on GE imports from 1984 to 2004 was illegal under a trade
agreement. The European Union (EU) has approved all GE seeds that were under
dispute and agreed to meet twice a year to discuss agricultural
biotechnology and market access. Canada has agreed to drop the trade
complaint that it lodged about GE exports six years ago. Though the
situation is not fully resolved, the EU hopes to work out similar
compromises with the United States and Argentina to further dissolve
barriers to GE exports to Europe.
Experts agree: If done right, biofuels bring
World experts from diverse fields assert that biofuels—fuels produced from
biological material like plant biomass—can have climate benefits if they are
produced under the right circumstances.
GE seed manufacturers stifle independent
A leading scientific magazine has criticized Monsanto and other major
producers of biotech crops for limiting scientists' work on GE varieties.
The editors of Scientific American recently spoke out against the
companies' user agreements that forbid anyone from using GE seeds for
independent research. The user agreements prevent anyone from assessing the
qualities of engineered seeds, determining whether they perform as
advertised, comparing them with other varieties, or evaluating their
possible impact on human health or the environment without permission from
the company. In many cases the companies blocked the publication of studies
that were unfavorable to GE crops after they had initially given permission
for the studies to be done.
American Indian activist Leonard Peltier once
again denied parole
By Associated Press, August 21, 2009 BISMARCK,
N.D. (AP) - U.S. Attorney Drew Wrigley says imprisoned American Indian activist
Leonard Peltier has been denied parole. Wrigley said Friday the next
scheduled hearing for Peltier is 2024, when Peltier would be 79 years old.
Peltier is serving two life sentences for the execution-style deaths of FBI
agents Jack Coler and Ronald Williams during a June 26, 1975, standoff on South
Dakota's Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. He was convicted in 1977. He has claimed
the FBI framed him, which the agency denies, and unsuccessfully appealed his
conviction numerous times. Peltier had a full parole hearing for the first time
in 15 years last month at the Lewisburg, Pa., federal prison where he is being
held. Defense attorney Eric Seitz declined to comment on the U.S. Parole
Commission decision, saying the Justice Department had not informed him.
Tribal Law and Order Act of 2009
Last month, Senator Byron Dorgan (ND) and Representative Stephanie Herseth-Sandlin
(SD) introduced the Tribal Law and Order Act of 2009 (S. 797 and H.R. 1924.) As
described in the Spring 2009
Indian Report, there is a public safety crisis in Indian Country.
The Tribal Law and Order Act takes several positive steps toward establishing
safety and security in Native American and Alaskan Native communities. The bill
would create more effective communication among tribal, state, and federal
authorities, and would address the need for tribal authorities to have more
control over their own public safety concerns. FCNL will be working both to
strengthen this legislation and to ensure its passage in the 111th Congress.
Please urge your representative and your senators to cosponsor the Tribal
Law and Order Act of 2009. Reference: FCNL's Spring 2009
Amnesty International's report, Maze of Injustice
Carcieri v. Salazar Supreme Court Decision
In 1991, the Narragansett Indian Tribe purchased a 31-acre parcel of land in
Charlestown, R.I., to build affordable housing for the elderly. In 1998, the
U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) moved to take the land into federal trust,
placing it largely under federal and tribal control. However, Rhode Island
officials opposed the move, claiming that the DOI lacked the proper authority
because the Narragansett tribe was not recognized until nearly 50 years after
the 1934 Indian Reorganization Act took effect. The Indian Reorganization Act allows the
Secretary of Interior to put lands into trust for federally recognized tribes.
The area of dispute arises with the definition of "Indian." The language states,
The term "Indian" as used in
this Act shall include all persons of Indian descent who are members of
any recognized Indian tribe now under Federal jurisdiction, and all
persons who are descendants of such members who were, on June 1, 1934…
Rhode Island officials held that the word
"now" in the phrase "now under Federal jurisdiction" meant "June 18, 1934" (the
date the IRA was enacted) rather than "currently." According to this literal
interpretation, all federal recognition of Native American tribes since 1934 is
invalid. The U.S. District Court for the District of Rhode
Island and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit both ruled in favor
of the Narragansett Tribe. The Supreme Court however, ruled in favor of Rhode
Island's interpretation of law. The Supreme Court's decision has caused an outcry from
Native American leaders. Both the House Natural Resources Committee and the
Senate Indian Affairs Committee have held oversight hearings on the Supreme
Court decision and have called for a legislative fix to the unfortunate ruling.
Racist Sports Mascots
Recently, FCNL and the General Commission on Religion and Race of the United
Methodist Church teamed up to host a roundtable strategy session on sports
mascots that are based on Native American themes or caricatures . Native
American activist Suzan Shown Harjo led the group in a discussion concerning the
movement to rid schools and community teams of racist images that are offensive
to Native Americans. Last week, the University of North Dakota's
school board voted 8-0 to get rid of the "Fighting Sioux" mascot. The hard
work of grassroots activists like Suzan has brought public awareness about the
inherent racism of "Native American" based mascots and helped bring about these
important changes. There's still more work to be done, though; right here
in Washington, DC, the Washington "Redskins" football team, owned by Fed Ex, is
a large presence and has been resistant to change. What can you do? Write
letters to the editor of your local publications, especially if you reside in a
town or city that portrays these racist images.
Larry Echohawk Confirmed to Lead Bureau of
The Senate recently confirmed
Larry Echohawk to head the Bureau of Indian Affairs - a position that has
been vacant for half of the last eight years. Echohawk served as Idaho's
attorney general from 1991 to 1995, and was the first American Indian in U.S.
history elected as a state attorney general. He is expected to face many
challenges as he works to negotiate federal and tribal interests.
ABOUT AMERICAN INDIANS
Teaching Resources for Educators
Here are resources if you've ever wanted classroom-teaching activities on
American Indians beyond the Thanksgiving holiday or the history of American
Indian Education or best teaching practices addressing American Indian learners.
Resources include books, magazines, articles, bibliographies, maps, etc.
Although often times there is overlap, these resources are organized in four
Teaching About American Indians
Culturally Responsive Pedagogy
for American Indian Learners
Researching American Indian
Just as the soft
rains fill the streams, pour into the rivers, and join together in the
so may the power
of every moment of your goodness flow forth to awaken and heal all
those here now,
those gone before, those yet to come.
By the power of every moment of your goodness,
may your heart's
wishes be soon fulfilled as completely shining as the bright full moon,
as magically as by
a wish-fulfilling gem.
By the power of every moment of your goodness,
may all dangers be
averted and all disease be gone.
May no obstacle
come across your way. May you enjoy fulfillment and long life.
For all in whose heart dwells respect of, who follow the wisdom and
compassion, of the Way,
may your life
prosper in the four blessings of old age, beauty, happiness and
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