Manataka American Indian Council                                                                      Volume XIII Issue 04 April 2009


Page 2 of 3 Pages





Contents of Page 2              

Legends of Old: Coyote Rides a Star
Feature Story 3: Uniting in Thought and Action
Feature Story 4:   New Healing Center Planned for Pine Ridge

Letters to the Editor:

Synchronicity, Monsanto, and Pen Pals
Organic Consumers:

Say Goodbye To Farmers Markets

Elder's Meditations: Frank Fools Crow, Lakota
Plant Medicine:

Spring Time Sniffles and Sneezes

Fluoride: Fluoride May Damage the Brain
Animal Rights and Wrongs: A Red Wolf In Peril
Endangered Sacred Sites:

Eagle Feather Possession Case

Family Sues For Return of Geronimo's Skull








Coyote Rides a Star

A Klamath Legend

The animal people celebrated the return of the salmon with a feast more splendid than any they had ever had before. Though often they thought Coyote a great nuisance, they had to admit that he knew how to use his wits. At the feast-after much arguing-they even gave him the place of honor next to Eagle, their chief.

Coyote was full of himself. "Who in the World is more clever than Coyote?"  he thought as he made his way home from the feast by starlight. "Who else could have snatched the Sun? Or sniffed out the stolen salmon? With my brains, I should be chief, not Eagle. I should have the best seat at the feast, and be served first. I, Ki-yoo the Coyote, should be honored above all others!"

Coyote gave a proud toss of his head, and as he did so, he spied the stars glittering in the dark sky above. A shooting star streaked overhead.

"Hai! How beautiful!" Coyote exclaimed. And suddenly he knew what he wanted most in the world to do.








Uniting in Thought and Action
The Power Of The Circle

There are many reasons for why a gathering of people in a circle is powerful. A circle is a shape that is found repeatedly throughout the natural world, and it is a symbol of perfection. We recreate this perfect shape when we join others to form a circle. Being in a circle allows us experience each other as equals. Each person is the same distance apart from the next participant, and no one is seated higher than or stands apart from others in a circle. From tribal circles to the mythical round table of King Arthur, the circle has been the shape adopted by gatherings throughout history.

The circle is acknowledged as an archetype of wholeness and integration, with the center of a circle universally understood to symbolize Spirit - the Source. When a group of people come together in a circle, they are united. This unity becomes even more powerful when each person reaches out to touch a neighbor and clasps hands. This physical connection unites thought and action, mind and body, and spirit and form in a circle. Because a circle has no beginning and no end, the agreement to connect in a circle allows energy to circulate from one person to the next, rather than being dissipated into the environment.

Like a candle used to light another candle, the connection with spirit that results when one person joins hands with another is greater than if each person were to stand alone. People who take part in a circle find that their power increases exponentially while with the group. Like a drop of water rippling on the surface of a pond, the waves of energy produced in a circle radiate outward in circular motion. While one person may act like a single beacon that emanates light, a circle of people is like a satellite dish that sends out energy. There is power in numbers, and when the commitment is made by many to face one another, clasp hands, and focus on one intention, their circle emanates ripples of energy that can change the world.


Daily Om

If there is righteousness in the heart, there will be beauty in the character.
If there is beauty in the character, there will be harmony in the home.
If there is harmony in the home, there will be order in the nation.
When there is order in the nation, there will be peace in the world.

                                                             - Sathya Sai Baba


"The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others"   - Mahatma Gandhi


Submitted by Xielolixii
(pronounced: tsee-ay-low-leet-see)



Take a look at the TOP 10 Space Photos - Spectacular!





New Healing Center Planned for Pine Ridge


Zintkala Oyate (Peter V. Catches) shares his vision of the Ceremonial House and Healing Center to be constructed on the Pine Ridge Reservation.  Manataka asks that you consider becoming a part of this dream.


Pete Catches Sr. (Petaga Yuha Mani - He Who Walks With Hot Coals) lived on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota throughout his life, and for decades healed and instructed both Natives and non-Natives near his home and off the reservation.  He is credited with reviving the Wiwangyang Wacipi (Sundance) among the Lakota in the early 1960's.  In 1964, he was named  Sundance chief by the Oglala Sioux Tribal Council, the only such distinction in tribal history. 


His son, Zintkala Oyate (Bird People), Peter V. Catches, Jr. is the descendant of 37 generations of medicine men, is recognized as the Keeper of the Spotted Eagle Way medicine, oral history, sacred rites, and experiential teachings.  For the past 30 years, he has conducted the Spotted Eagle Sundance near his home on Pine Ridge.


Both Lakota Spotted Eagle Medicine men had a vision of Oceti Wakan - Sacred Fireplace. It was in response to events that have devastated the Dakota Nation (Lakota, Nakota, and Dakota), the great Sioux Nation. 







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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.


Synchronicity In What I Am

Dear Editor,

For the purpose of Grandfather Grey Hawk's article - The Magic of Words Part 2.  It is with synchronicity in what I am into and always have been. 
For the purpose of the 'Just Do It' action and see how it feels. For the purpose of Self-Actuating the higher purpose in ones life.  For with this profoundness it is given our truth wisdom and knowledge. ~ Elvina Jean, Women's Lore Centre, Australia


Monsanto and FDA Team Up to Criminalize Local Farmers

Dear Manataka,

Who would believe that seed banking will be criminalized or manure made illegal or that seed cleaning equipment is already illegal this year? They are all on a short list of "sources of seed contamination" in an innocent looking document within the FDA (though the absence of pesticides or chemical fertilizers from that list is a tip-off of who has had a hand in this).

"If there is no substantial public outcry heard before March 15 of 2009, it will be difficult to impossible for Granny to have laying hens, for your daughter to have a pony, or the organic farm across the street to grow veggies. Only in the last decade have the demon doctors of big agriculture finally come up with a plan so devilish that it just might succeed in running farmers off the land for good. Can you imagine America with no family farms?

"Take a look at current House bills HR 814 and HR 875 (Senate version S.384). They are driven by Monsanto, a large corporation that has eyes on controlling all the world's agriculture. These bills will strangle family farms in red tape, and levy confiscatory fines, causing farmers to simply give up. Then the Big Ag corporations can grab their land, snapping it up at bargain prices."   ~Sean Gordon


Washington, DC Internship Opportunity

Dear Editor,


Hello my name is Sara-Jane Smallwood and I am a member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. I currently work with the Washington Internships for Native Students program at American University. This program brings in Native college students from all around to country to participate in a living/learning community for a semester in Washington, DC. Students are engaged in cultural activities, Federal Indian policy coursework and an internship component in the DC Metro area. I am an alum of the program and am pleased to be working with them in this capacity. Please let me know if you would like more information on the program as a student or as an employee sponsor. Our program hosts undergraduate and graduate students during the spring, summer, and fall semesters. Applications for students for summer are due around the first of February, but we encourage interested persons to still contact us even after the deadline. The deadline for employer sponsors is March, 1, but again, we still encourage those who are interested to continually contact us. We are always recruiting for students and employers. For more information, go to our Web site for more information and application forms.    Thank you,  Sara-Jane Smallwood

East Indian Wants an North American Indian Pen-Pal

Hello Manataka,


I have a theory that American Indians and the Asian Indian are linked in history.  I would like to correspond with an American Indian.  Please write to me at   Thank you.  Subhash Madiman


Wagon Wheel Cake?

Blessings Manataka,


Friends of ours were told of a "tradition" though they didn't say what nation, that for weddings it was common for a "wagon wheel cake" to be made. We have searched in books, the internet, etc, and cannot find any information.  Any references you might have?   Bill SilverEagle




Cakes in general are European in origin and therefore any American Indian 'tradition' regarding same is of recent invention (1700 - 2000).  There are several types of foods made with corn that are round, but mostly flat, not like a cake.  We are not aware of any American Indian wedding tradition involving a "wagon wheel" cake.  Our research reveals there are traditions involving the making of 'cake-like' treats but none bare that name or description.  The sacred Medicine Wheel resembles a wagon wheel in some respects.  But, we doubt the Medicine Wheel was used as a pattern for making cakes.  This would be considered in poor taste -- the making of an icon is a sacrilege.  May be one of our readers has some information on the subject.  ~Editor





Say Goodbye To

Farmers Markets, Community Supported Agriculture, and Roadside Stands

- By Linn Cohen-Cole - March 3, 2009



Stop HR 875, HR 814, SR 425, And Soon, HR 759
OR Say Goodbye to Farmers Markets, Community Supported Agriculture, and Roadside Stands


So called "food safety" bills in Congress were written by the nation-less corporations such as; Monsanto, Cargill, Tysons, ADM, etc.

These bills are all associated with the opposite of food safety. What is this all about then?


In the simplest terms, organic food and a rebirth of farming were winning. Not in absolute numbers but in a deep and growing shift by the public toward understanding the connection between their food and their health, between good food and true social pleasures, between their own involvement in food and the improvement in their lives in general, between local food and a burgeoning local economy.


Slow Food was right - limit your food to what comes from your region and from real farmers, and slow down to cook it and linger over it with friends and family, and the world begins to change for the better.


And as we face an unprecedented economic crisis, and it is hard to be sure what has value, one thing that always does is food. Which is why the corporations are after absolute control over it. But what obstacles to a complete lock on food do they face? All the people in this country who are "banking" on organic farming and urban gardens and most of all, everyone's deepening pleasure in and increasing involvement with everything about food.

Farmers markets. Local farmers. Real milk. Fresh eggs. Vegetable stands.





The Manataka American Indian Council supports:




"The one who wishes to be a true medicine person must be a person of faith, and they can only work successfully with those who also have faith." - Frank Fools Crow, Lakota


Medicine People are spiritual beings who have made a decision to seek the Red Road. They sacrifice and seek the way of the Creator. After many years of dedication, the Grandfathers teach them about power and about laws and about how to use the medicine. The Medicine People develop tremendous faith in their medicine and in the Creator. When we go to the Medicine People, we too must have faith so they can help us. We can only be helped if we want to be helped. Because the Medicine People know how to help - that is only one half of it. The other half is up to us. We must have faith that the medicine has powers to help.


My Creator, faith is belief without evidence.

Today, give me the faith.

Let me trust that You are running why life.

Let me know You are in charge of all things.

Let my mind not wonder; let me stand strong on Your path today.

By Don Coyhis






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Medicine for the People

By Jim McDonald,


Spring Time Sniffles and Sneezes

Surviving sinusitis

(and other catarrhal catastrophes)



I've had the opportunity, over the years, to play around with a number of different plants in addressing sinus troubles of all sorts, and will here offer what I've learnt, which, hopefully, will help out some troubled soul.


Fortunately, it hasn't been me who's had lingering sinus problems.  I think I've had sinus colds only three or four times, and they were completely dreadful experiences which taught me lots about how lousy chronic suffering must be.  Gratefully, though, I have a guinea pig at home whose been willing to let me try this and that on her, and share the results for me to share with you (someday, she plans to write a book called "my life as a guinea pig; tales of an herbalist's wife"... certain to be a best seller, eh?).  Several other friends, students, clients and passersby have likewise aided my understanding.



Anyways, back to the sinuses...

First, before jumping right into "take this or take that", let's acknowledge that sinus problems come in various guises, and so too should herbal treatment.  Most often, I've come across three variations of sinus troubles:  Leaky, stuffy and dry.  Different types of herbs are used in each case, and this is quite important to know.  Too many people play name association games with herbs: the kind where they simply associate a problem and the name of the herb that was written next to it in a book.  But trust me, you don't want to go giving drying herbs like Goldenseal to someone with dry sinuses, even though it's supposed to be "good for sinus problems".  It is good for sinus problems, but not that kind.


It’s also useful to recognize whether sinus troubles are chronic (all the time), episodic (they come and go and come and go and...) or acute (you got an inhalation full of some irritating substance and the irritation is the direct result of that).  Chronic problems require a dedicated, consistent, long term commitment to a herbal regimen, as well as making whatever lifestyle changes are called for.  Obviously, the issues that might require attention are myriad, and it’s not really feasible for me to try to list all the possibilities.  But it is safe to say pay attention to your diet, how much rest and relaxation you're getting and minimizing stress levels.  You may know or be told that dairy and wheat are especially bad for sinus sufferers, because they promote mucous production.  This is true, but I think mostly applies to the “plugged up stuffy” variety of sinusitis.  I know people who've successfully recovered from chronic sinus problems without totally eliminating wheat and diary, but they have been smart and steadfast enough to drastically reduce or eliminate it when their sinus troubles have flared up.  The "comes and goes" variety also indicates the need for focused attention, as it suggests the problem is coming and going as your body's resistance is ebbing and flowing.  Acute conditions, more often than not, can be treated acutely as well.  Take you herbs till it gets better, and then go on your merry way.


Leaky and Drippy...

The sinuses are leaky, dripping freely down the nose or the back of the throat.  Maybe there's a cough or sore throat from this drainage.  The eyes might be watery and red, there might be sneezing, and there's definitely lots of sniffling.  Hay fever is a good example, though this problem can arise from other causes.  Hay fever does offer, though, a good example to look at what's often going on with this condition...


If you have allergic rhinitis (respiratory allergies), you are much more likely to suffer from acute bacterial sinus infections and to develop chronic sinusitis.  Controlling your allergies is key to reducing sinus infections.

Ragweed pollen is miniscule, copious (there's lots) and wind-born.  The pollen itself looks like a mace - not the pretty red stuff surrounding nutmeg but those heavy metal balls with the spikes on them that you might associate with ogres (or perhaps certain government officials).  So when ragweed is blooming, pollination occurs not through pretty insects like butterflies and bumblebees, but by blowing from one plant to another.  Inhaling this airborne Ragweed pollen is like inhaling powdered fiberglass… what, of course, does the body do when this happens?  It does what makes sense: tries to get the stuff out of the system.  And how?  By causing the eyes to water, the nose to run, sneezing... all methods to get irritating particles out of the sinuses.  So we see that "hay fever" isn't an illness, it's a sensible response by the body to the problem at hand.


Sometimes, though, the body over-reacts; it goes into the full blown allergic response when it might not be called for at all.  Here's a good example of this: Think back to an occasion when you might have had too much, let's say... Southern Comfort at a party.  The next day you get very, very, very sick.  Some time after recovering, you find yourself at another party, and someone has some Southern Comfort, but while you don't drink any, just the smell of it - just knowing it’s there next to you makes your stomach churn... your body is over-reacting in a way that it hopes will let you know: "Not that stuff again!"










Submitted by:

Crystal Harvey, MAIC Correspondent

Fluoride Action Network




Fluoride May Damage the Brain



New York – February 26, 2008 -- "It is not clear that the benefits of adding fluoride to drinking water outweigh risks of neurodevelopment or other effects such as dental fluorosis," according to an Institute for Children's Environmental Health report. (1)


Fluoride chemicals are added to 2/3 of U.S. public water supplies ostensibly to reduce tooth decay. Fluoride is found in dental products, supplements and virtually all foods and beverages (2). 


"Excessive fluoride ingestion is known to lower thyroid hormone levels, which is particularly critical for women with subclinical hypothyroidism; decreased maternal thyroid levels adversely affect fetal neurodevelopment," reports a prestigious committee of  scientists and health professionals in a “Scientific Consensus Statement on Environmental Agents Associated with Neurodevelopmental Disorders.”


Studies they reviewed and others link fluoride to brain abnormalities and/or IQ deficits. (3)






No offense intended for any individuals or tribes.



A Cheyenne guy went to Chinatown in San Francisco. While there he found a bronze rat at a thrift store.
"How much do you want for the rat" he asked. 
"$3 for the rat and $1000 for the story that goes with it" said the shopkeeper.
"Just give me the rat," the Cheyenne said, and then he left with it.  
As he walked down the street he noticed a couple of rats following him. As he walked further, more and more rats started chasing him. By the time he got to the bay, there were thousands of rats chasing him. So he climbed up a pole and threw the bronze rat into the water. To his amazement, all the rats jumped into the water.   The Cheyenne then returned to the thrift store. 
"Ahh" the china man said. "Now you would like to hear the story?" 
"No" said the Cheyenne, "I just came back to see if you had any bronze white men!"



 Return of White Animals

You Tube (5 min, 12 sec)





Red Wolf In Peril

PhotoRed wolves are special. They are the only large predators ever to have been declared extinct in the wild, bred in captivity and successfully reintroduced to a portion of their former range. Bringing the red wolf back from the brink of extinction has been a pioneering venture, and thanks to the efforts of the people who worked diligently for years to ensure that red wolves would once again live in the wild, there is now hope and cautious optimism. But the future of the red wolf is not secure. Although red wolf numbers continue to rise slowly, the recovery effort faces major challenges.


Challenge #1 – Limited Release Sites

Under the terms of the recovery plan for the red wolf, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) must find two additional reintroduction sites. This is difficult for two reasons. First, there are few large tracts of land in the Southeast. Human density is high, development is rapid, and roads and interstate highways fragment the region. Second, there is no place in the Southeast that is coyote-free.




See an amazing film about Austrailia's Aboriginal peoples.

Traditional Whale Dreamers






Eagle Feather Possession Case


Dear Friends:


Another year has come and our law suit against the Department of Interior Fish and Wildlife continues.  Our lawyers are working and planning a new route to try and get the Department of Interior to hurry up the case.  Many have sent me the latest news from Nevada concerning the cases of two men, one who was adopted by the Paiute Indians and another who was given a fan by a Navaho holy man and who desired to worship in a Native American Church.  They won and got their feathers back.  But we are still waiting and praying for our next chance in court.  Prayerfully, it will come soon.


So as we mark our third anniversary of the taking of our eagle feathers on March 11, 2006, we continue to fight.  As in the previous letters a lot of people find it hard to believe the things we have learned as we pursue this law suit.  People find it hard to believe, and from time to time have even doubted my words.  The only thing I can say is, I wish all could have been in the courtroom in the three appearances we have had so far.  But what it comes down to is, it's the Department of Interior who has the power to decide who is and who is not Indian; and it is the Department of Interior who decides who can and who cannot use sacred objects. I know that for most people, this sounds like a clear violation of our human and religious rights and they are.  But like it or not, that is the law as it now stands.


Recently our tribe opened a cultural center/museum.  Someone must have not liked us because they reported this event to the Department of Interior who very kindly wrote us a letter reminding us that we could not represent any of our artwork as Indian made unless we belong to a tribe recognized by the federal government.  To call our artwork Indian, Native American or any tribal name is in violation of the law.  Meredith Stanton, Director of the Arts and Craft Board wrote the following:


"...It is very important that you and the other members of your group review the enclosed Indian Arts and Crafts Act of 1990, Public Law 101-644, as amended.


Under the Act, it is illegal to offer or display for sale, or sell, any art or craft product in a manner that falsely suggests it is Indian produced, and Indian product, or the product of a particular Indian Tribe. According to the Act's implementing regulations, unqualified use of the term "Indian", "Native American", or the names of particular Indian Tribes in connection with the sale or display for sale of an Indian art or craft product will be interpreted to mean that the maker is a member of a federally or officially State-recognized Indian Tribe, or a member of the Tribe named, or is certified by an Indian Tribe as a non-member artisan; @25 G.F.R. 309.3. Therefore, for such work to be sold as Indian, Native American or as the product of a particular Indian Tribe, it must be produced by an enrolled member of a federally or officially State-recognized Tribe, or by an individual who has been formally certified as a non-member Indian artisan by the federally or official State-recognized Tribe of their descent.


....Therefore, members of the Lipan Apache Tribe of Texas Inc., as well as any other group that may be representing themselves as a Texas State-recognized Tribe, are advised not to sell their art or craft work as Indian, Native American, or as the product of a particular Indian Tribe."


Even though this has nothing to do with our eagle feather case it does have a lot to do with the fact that just like the government has the right to tell us who can and who cannot use sacred objects like eagle feathers, and just like the government has the right to say who is and who is not Indian, so the government also has the right to dictate who can and who cannot produce artwork as Indian made.  This letter, if anything, shows that it is a fact that we, Indian people, are the only people group in the United States that has to prove who we are to the United States government before we can claim to be who we are - American Indians.  You can read the letter as written by the Department of Interior at where I had the actual letter scanned so that you can read the original letter.  This is just one more evidence that about four fifths of the American Indian population cannot even call themselves Native American or Indian without violating the laws of the land.


Keep us in your prayers as we continue to pursue our lawsuit against the Department of Interior, not so much to get our feathers back but to change the laws so that this discrimination can stop and we can be who God the Creator intended us to be.  Pray for our powwow this weekend as one more time we will violate three laws that make our powwow an illegal function:  as we will have advertisements in the newspapers, as we will have the exchange of money and as we, not belonging to a federally recognized tribe, will sponsor our powwow and call it an Indian Dance.  Thank you for your prayers and support.


God bless,


Robert Soto, Vice Chief, Lipan Apache Tribe of Texas





Family Sues For Return of Geronimo's Skull

One hundred years ago on February 17, 1909, legendary Chiricahua Apache Warrior Chief Geronimo, died of pneumonia in a filthy cell while a prisoner of war at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. Today his descendants are fighting to take him and his fellow warriors back home.

Citing provisions of the 1990 Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, Harlyn Geronimo and 19 members of his family are suing the federal government as well as the elite top secret Skull & Bones Society for the return of their ancestor. 

According to an article in the Washington Post, great -grandson Harlyn Geronimo said at a news conference “Presently, he’s still imprisoned. The only way to put this into closure is to relieve the remains and his spirit so that he can be taken back to his homeland, on the Gila Mountains, at the head of the Gila River.”

"If remains are not properly buried," Harlyn continued, " the spirit is just wandering, wandering, until a proper burial has been performed."

I want them to understand we mean business," said Harlyn Geronimo, who lives in New Mexico. "We're very serious. We're tired of waiting and we're coming after them."

In 1886, after decades of resistance to foreign intruders, Geronimo and 35 warriors were forced to surrender to General Nelson Miles near the Arizona - New Mexico border. Eventually shipped to Fort Sill, Geronimo and his men spent the rest of their lives in chains at the military outpost.

According to a popular legend, members of the Skull & Bones, a secret society associated with Yale University, stole Geronimo's skull, some other bones and funerary items from his grave and took them to their High Street Tomb in New Haven Connecticut. It has long been rumored that pledges to the secret society must perform various rituals which include kissing Geronimo's skull.

Skull & Bones membership includes 3 generations of the Bush family, Prescott Bush, son George H. W. Bush, class of '48 and grandson George W. Bush, class of '68.

Because Geronimo was buried on a U.S, military base, President Barack Obama, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Secretary of the Army Pete Geren are also named as defendants in the suit.
The Fort Sill Apache Tribe opposes the move.

Stay tuned......

~Submitted by Susan Bates




Manataka Trading Post









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