Manataka American Indian Council   Volume XIII  Issue 01 January 2009



Manataka - Preserving The Past Today For Tomorrow


January Issue

Page 1 of 3


Manataka wishes a joyous new year for all our beautiful and brave readers, members and supporters










Upcoming Events: 


Elder's Meditation:

Chuck Ross, Lakota
1 Website Updates:  New Articles
Announcement: 2009 Cherokee Heritage Calendar


Feature Story 1:

A Call to Young Warriors, to all Young People


Ecological Notes:

The downstream dangers of your perfume
1 Seven Hawk Eyes Speaks:

Are You A Follower Or A Leader?


Grandmothers Speak:

Gram Selma:

Waynonaha Two Worlds:

Momfeather Erickson:

Magdala Rameriz


Thank you Creator

Sky Bundles

Happy Holidays

Higher Understanding

1 Mother Earth Watch: Mattaponi and Pamunkey tribes keep fish in river, food on table
1 Tribal News:

Indian Appointments to the Transition Team

1 Education: Teaching About American Indians
1 Inspirational Thoughts:: Making Friends

2 Legends of Old: Cottontail Boy and Bluejay
2 Feature Story 2: Hopi and Navajo delegation warned Lehman Brothers


Letters to the Editor:

To Be A Tribe... Or Not; Maya Spirits
2 Organic Consumer Watch: Avoid Genetically Engineered Sugar
2 Elder's Meditations: Chief Councilor, Leonard George
2 Health:  FDA Scientists Revolt Against Corrupt Food and Drug Administration Officials
2 Plant Medicine: Mullein - Verbascum thapsus
2 Fluoride: Fluoride May Contribute to Early Puberty
2 Animal Rights and Wrongs: A U.S. Navy Needlessly Slaughters Whales
2 Endangered Sacred Sites: Oldest Skeleton in Americas

3 Announcement: Open Attendance at Manataka Gatherings


History: Exemplar of Liberty: Chapter 12 - Conclusion


Grandfather King Coke Speaks:

A New Year,  A New Life...
3 Feature Story 3:: Manataka Winter Traditions
3 Natural Medicine: Spiritual and Natural Medicine


Elder's Meditations: Sitting Bull, Hunkpapa Lakota


Women's Council: Women:  40 and over...


Food & Nutrition: American Indian Soups and Stews


Book Reviews: Four Great Books !


Poetry Circle: Quest


Healing Prayer Basket: Crossing Over, Sickness, and Memorials


Manataka  Business: Meetings, Protocols, Events





"the Elders say that if you want something good, you have to suffer for it."  --Chuck Ross, Lakota
People sometimes have a misconception of sacrifice.  This is a strong word for Indian people.  On the other side of sacrifice is another whole world.  During sacrifice, our beliefs are tested.   We may all have good beliefs but if you test a good belief, then you get real beliefs.  Real beliefs make new people; real beliefs make new self images.  Real beliefs allow determination and desires and faith to come true.  Good is always available to us but we often can't bring it within until we let go of the old ways.  We let go of the old ways by suffering.  Suffering is only letting go of things that don't work anymore. On the other side of suffering is a new world.

Creator, help me to let go of old ways. 

Let my old thoughts and beliefs be abandoned.
Every change is preceded by struggle. 

Help me go through the struggle today.

By Don Coyhis












-- Help Wanted --

Web Page Creator - Microsoft Front Page Layouts

The Manataka American Indian Council needs a volunteer to construct web pages at home.  Must have Microsoft 'Front Page' program.







$14.95 + s/h

2009 Calendar. Stunning artwork by Cherokee Artists. Months and days in the Cherokee language. Important historical dates and ceremonies marked. Model: CAL-01. Shipping Weight: 1 lb. 

18 units in stock.














A Great NEW Gift IDEA for the Holidays



Maggie's Soap Nuts are the only laundry soap that grows on trees! Truly effective, 100% natural and safe for your most sensitive skin.  Soap Nuts are the dried fruit of the Chinese Soapberry tree.  They contain saponin, a natural cleaner used for thousands of years to clean clothes, just like the plants used by American Indians for washing.


Put a few Soap Nuts into a small cotton sack (included) and drop it in your washing machine.  Your clothes will come out clean, vibrant, and soft.  Replace your laboratory detergents and softeners with the soap made from nature.  Your skin, clothes, family and your planet will thank you.                  










A Call to Young Warriors, to all Young People

Lakota Spiritual Leader and Head Man, David Swallow, Speaks to Lakota Youth


by David Swallow, Lakota Spiritual Leader and a Headman of the Lakota Nation

Edited and Published by Stephanie M. Schwartz,

Member, Native American Journalists Association (NAJA)

© December 27, 2008  Porcupine, South Dakota

Photo by Leslye Abbey © September, 2008 Porcupine, South Dakota


American Indians today suffer from many problems of the modern world.  Alcohol and drug abuse, early pregnancies, gangs, and psychological disorders are everywhere on the Reservations.  However, a lot of the development of these issues can be historically traced back to World War II or shortly before.


The 1924 Indian Citizenship Act created a special kind of dual citizenship which made American Indians into citizens of the United States (for the first time) as well as citizens of their own sovereign nations.  Finally, Indians could vote.  But also, for the first time, they could be drafted into the military.


The young Lakota Warriors looked at the military as a way to prove themselves as warriors.  They believed it was an honorable extension of the traditional warrior ways.


So, young American Indians went off to World War II.  After 100 years of forced boarding schools which resulted in generations of young Indians losing their sense of identity, family and traditions, the military became like the family they had never been allowed to have.  They were grouped into companies which lived together and fought together and bonded with each other as a unit, as a family.


When the young warriors came home, they often became lost.  With their military family no longer existing, gangs began to form to take their place.  An example is the Hell’s Angels, the famous motorcycle gang, which was started in the late 1940’s.  It is commonly believed to have been founded by ex-members of famous military fighting units of the same name.














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From Lauren Zack



Perfume Affects the Environment


Synthetic fragrances found in perfume, personal care and household cleaning products negatively impacts the environment

The downstream dangers of your perfume
By Robert C. Cowen, Christian Science Monitor

That morning trip to the bathroom - to brush your teeth, wash your hair, and put on perfume or cologne - may not be as benign as you think.

Every day, those chemicals wash down the drain. While they are not themselves poisonous, they may affect biological processes in unexpected ways. Now, Stanford University biologists have the mussels to prove it.

Welcome to the new science of ecotoxicology in which scientists try to understand how the synthetic chemicals we're pouring into our environment affect the way earthly life goes about its business.

Recent research about musk fragrances and mussels illustrates this point. When gills from live mussels were exposed to water with low concentrations of six commercial musks, they were not poisoned, point out postdoctoral fellow Till Luckenbach and Prof. David Epel of Stanford. That was expected.

But after two hours, the researchers washed the gills and put them in musk-free water that also contained a red dye. Cells in the gill tissue took up the dye. That was not expected.








Sky Bundles

When we are born we are connected to our mothers by the birth cord. At birth the cord is saved and dried for us to carry all of our lives.  When we are babies it is kept on our cradle boards in a small beaded bag. Many of these are shaped like turtles and other animals or creatures. This is to fool the spirits that may wish to take a child back to the spirit world. The placenta is buried under a tree,  or in these times,  many plant a new tree and place the placenta under the tree.  This connects us to a growing and strong life here on this Earth.  The tree it is said to hold strength for the child as long as he or she lives.

When I go home I seek out my tree to see if it still is alive,  I make a offering of tobacco and corn meal in honor of my relations.

The connection to the spirit world is through our invisible birth cords. Just as we connect to the physical things here on Earth,  we also have a connection to Creator or the Great Mystery.

As we walk here we gather and build our Earth Bundles. These bundles may contain many things that have meaning or are a sources of strength to us. When we  are living we use these bundles to pray with for healing and spiritual guidance. When we pass from this world onto the next we must leave the bundle behind.

It is important that you have some one here to hold that bundle and continue the work you started. This bundle then is your connection on Earth when you return to the Great Mystery.





No offense intended for any individuals or tribes.









Happy Holidays from Momfeather


May this beautiful season be shared with all those you love and appreciate. Life is such a precious gift to all of us and we feel that you have given us a special gift this past year. Today is our day to share love and the joy of thanksgiving. We are grateful because you have helped in some way to make our souls bloom.  Sometimes you do not even have catch your breath before you think of more things to say to people who have made your life so special.


We thank the Creator for the beauty that has been shared… Friendship isn’t a big thing – it’s a million little things and some of them not so perfect, but that is what makes up our beautiful not so perfect world. We thank you for being our shadow in the darkest hour, our pillow to rest our head and the ones who have made us smile. You have shared our story without us ever saying a word.


Our friends and family are hugs from above and the hands that have touched our hearts. We are thankful for you who have kept our inner fires glowing. Be blessed this beautiful season       





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Are You A Follower Or A Leader?


This is a question that I have been asked many times. I wondered since the time I was seven years of age, “Am I a good person that others will follow or am I the type that has to be shown what to do.


For years and years during my growing to manhood I was never the type of person who would take charge and get things done. As I reached pinnacle of my life I was told by an old wise man to take the lead in a situation. I seemed to make all the right choices and the people who depended on me were pleased with the results. After spending a lot of years teaching others the things that took many years for me to learn I got a sense of accomplishment.


Being a leader does not come without responsibilities, I spend a lot of time researching prior to giving an answer to questions I am asked. I was told by another wise man to ‘Chew The Bread’ before answering questions. This chewing process would take some time and I would have a lot of time to think about what my answer should be.


Thank You Yonv! Now that I have lived most of the life afforded me by our Creator, I feel that I have been a good leader and other Elders have told me this. I wish the best for all the people and I have no hostilities for those who have wronged me in one way or another, I just cast these things aside and they get lost in the wind as it were. Most people who are mistreated in one way or another seem to take it very personally and sometimes get sidetracked from the ‘Good Red Road’ and get lost in the sea of mankind never to be heard from or seen again. What a shame that some uneducated persons hurt others and do it on purpose.


As we enter this new year of 2009 it is my wish that everyone stop and review their lives and see if there is anything they can change to make others happy and take the lead by giving of themselves. You will find that there is more joy in giving then there is in receiving. Now don’t get me wrong, I am not a ‘Bible Thumper’ as some call it when you read the bible. It would not hurt anyone to look it over there is a load of knowledge contained within it’s pages. I ask the Creator to bless you all and to be patient when we fall short of being a good person. I have been blessed in so many ways and I want others to have this wonderful feeling. 


~Hawk With Seven Eyes.



Daniel Hawk With Seven Eyes Hoffman is a founding member of the Taylorville Black Horse Powwow, Inc,' a nonprofit 501(c)(3) charitable and educational organization. He has given presentations at schools in Central Illinois area on the history, culture and religious beliefs of the Native American people for over 27 years. Hawk and members of his group present dance demonstrations for children who along with their teachers are invited to dance.  Hawk believes children are the future.  






By Gram Selma Palmer, Ocali Nation


Thank you Creator


I am one of the Creator's  many creations.  I am as insignificant as the little mouse in many ways. The world is a mess, the economy is a mess, the war is a disaster, and many of us are living from day to day, robbing Peter to pay Paul -- not even knowing Peter and Paul.


Thanksgiving to the Native Americans is a day of mourning, a day of massive bloodshed, a day of a thousands of tears.  And yet, we have abundance to be thankful.  Not just the harvest, not just the bounty of food that is available in this country, but  also for the friendship that binds us together.


Friendship makes us want to break bread together.  For the spirituality that we share as a people.  For the joy that sharing our lives bring to each of us. Whether that be the good, the trouble or the bad. We still share it with love and understanding.  The joy of  hyper-children and their laughter.  Their innocence and  their honesty.  May you be blessed enjoy the world.   You are not alone , but you are one of many joined in spiritual ties of eternity.



Gram Selma






Higher Understanding

Magdala Del Consuelo Ramirez, Mayan Priestess




Beautiful Ones,


Did you see the night sky in early December? Was so beautiful The crescent moon with Venus and Jupiter, …the triad… time of the reunion…. Within the self.


The time of Ascension has begun, the time of awakening into a higher consciousness has begun.


For long time we have been speaking about the new world,  and the way of the new world is about relationship, the way people relate with the environment, relate with each other…the way you relate within yourself.


People are passing through very heavy moments of truth.   Now is a time when people need to put on what they know, for the hologram is broken, is falling apart, is expired, the identity, what we think that we were, based on background, based on relationships, based on an hologram that we created in ourselves, it is now broken…


This is the time when we are reaching ourselves,  and learn how to relate within the self in a higher understanding.


Attachment is the clue … there is a place that you want to have it the way you always have it, based on pass experiences, through pass emotions, or a dynamic of the families created based on a perspective of separation, an identity, a roll given to you by a system, a roll given to you as a pass emotions, ….all that is gone, and here is what the struggles resides… the sensation is nothing to hold on…







Mattaponi and Pamunkey tribes keep fish in river, food on table
By Lee Graves, Point of View 

The words of Carl Custalow contain a simple yet profound truth.

"If you give back, you'll always have."

You hear the same philosophy expressed in different ways.

Conservationists think of renewable resources.

Anglers practice catch-and-release.

Many a fisherman, myself included, has taken the hook from a shad or two in recent weeks so the silvery fish would have only the slightest pause in its run from ocean to spawning grounds.

Catching shad is more than a recreational pastime for Custalow, however. As chief of the Mattaponi Indians, he is responsible for the welfare of his people. And that includes making certain that shad, a source of food and income for generations, continue their annual rite of spring.

For nearly 90 years, the Mattaponi and Pamunkey tribes have operated shad hatcheries on the rivers that bear their names. Those waters, which form the York River, define their reservations and once dictated their culture.

Shad have played a fundamental role.

"It's a part of our way of life," said Custalow, whose tribal name is "Lone Eagle."

That way of life is gaining increased recognition. In the National Museum of the American Indian that opened last year in Washington, an exhibit depicting tribal life sheds light on shad. And a demonstration of the Pamunkey hatchery operation drew throngs at last summer's Smithsonian Folklife Festival, said Warren Cook, assistant chief of the Pamunkey tribe.

"We're going national with the shad," he said with a laugh.






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History and Documentaries

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Indian Appointments to the Transition Team

President-Elect Barack Obama has appointed six Native Americans to his transition team. One of them, Keith Harper (Cherokee), was an attorney who represented Elouise Cobell in her lawsuit against the federal government. In her suit, Cobell (Blackfeet) accused the government of mismanaging $176 billion in Indian trust assets. The other Native Americans on Obama's transition team are Yvette Roubideau (Rosebud Sioux), John Echohawk (Pawnee), Robert Anderson (Chippewa), Mary C. Smith (Cherokee), and Mary McNeil (Winnebago). These Native appointments are auspicious for Indian Country. If they translate into real Indian leadership, they could lead to greater attention for issues like Indian health, tribal justice, and land rights.


Daschle an Advocate for Indian Health Care

Former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, Obama's pick to head the Department of Health and Human Services, has been a strong supporter of Indian health care. As a senator from South Dakota, he cosponsored legislation that authorized the Indian Health Care Improvement Act. Daschle's website once stated, "Although both treaty and statute 'guarantee' Indians access to health care, Congress has grossly underfunded the Indian Health Service for decades, so much so that patients are routinely denied care that most of us would take for granted and, in many cases, consider essential." Clearly, Daschle is very familiar with Native American issues, and FCNL hopes to see him carry this awareness forward into his new position.


Economic Stimulus for Native Americans

ndians, like all underserved Americans, are being hit the hardest in these tough financial times. Native American advocates are working to ensure that Obama's promised economic stimulus package addresses their community's needs.  Meanwhile, several senators are seeking to increase the financial resources for Indian Country in the budget for fiscal year 2010. Obama's budget proposal is due to Congress the first week of February. Sens. John Thune (SD), Jon Kyl (AZ), Jon Tester (MT), Lisa Murkowski (AK), Pete Domenici (NM), Tim Johnson (SD), and Indian Affairs Committee Chairman Byron Dorgan (ND) signed a letter to President George W. Bush requesting $400 million to address the tremendous lack of resources for tribal justice, health care, and water projects. They plan on sending a similar letter to Obama.


Source: Friends Committee on National Legislation Native American Legislative Updates





Attention Educators:





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 categories:

Teaching About American Indians

Culturally Responsive Pedagogy for American Indian Learners

Researching American Indian Education

Other Resources







You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.




A View to a Kill: How Safari Club Int'l Works to Weaken ESA Protections   Animal Rights and Wrongs
Twas the Night Before Ojibwe Christmas   Beautiful Words
The Traveling People by Wanonaha   Elders Speak
How Well Do you Follow Instructions by Hawk Hoffman   Elders Speak
Tree of Life by Magdala Rameriz   Elders Speak
Respect for the Elders by Carol Perez Petersen   Elders Speak
Legends of Old by Gram Selma   Elders Speak
Season of Gift Giving by Robert Gray Hawk Coke   Elders Speak
Buy ORGANIC Honey!   Environment
The Story of Stuff and Other Stuff   Environment
Christmas Between Adobe and Kiva   Feature Story
American Indian Christmas Customs   Feature Story
American Indian Christmas   Feature Story
When Joint pain is not Arthritis   Health Watch
Spiritual and Natural Medicine   Herbal Medicine
Plant Medicine - Burdock   Herbal Medicine
Exemplar of Liberty: Chapter 11 - Persistence of an Idea   History
Deer Hunter and White Corn Maiden   Legends
Scoundrels and Scandals in the Interior Department   Tribes and Nations
The Blessed Path of Kateri Tekakwitha   Women's Council
    Women's Council
Movies:  Sitting Bull: A Stone in My Heart DVD    
Native Remedies   Spiritual Path Books
Women's Gifts   Speak Cherokee Today!
American Indian Art Good!  
Book Reviews - Top NDN Books   History Books
Forefathers Band - Manataka CD   Maggie's Soap Nuts
New American Indian FLAGS   Red Hawk Crafts
American Indian Flags - White Mtn Apache   First Nations Films



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