Manataka American Indian Council   Volume XII  Issue 12 December 2008



Manataka - Preserving The Past Today For Tomorrow


December Issue

Page 1 of 3







Upcoming Events: 


Elder's Meditation:

Alfonso Ortiz, San Juan Pueblo
1 Website Updates: 18 New Articles
Announcement: 2009 Cherokee Heritage Calendar


Feature Story 1:

American Indian Christmas


Ecological Notes::

Buy ORGANIC Honey!


Grandmothers Speak:


Gram Selma


Magdala Rameriz

Carol Petersen



Legends of Old

The Traveling People

The Tree of Life Story

Respect for the Elders

1 Mother Earth Watch: The Story of Stuff and Other Stuff
1 Tribal News: Scoundrels and Scandals in the Interior Department:
1 Education: Teaching About American Indians
1 Inspirational Thoughts:: Dance Like No One is Watching

2 Legends of Old: Deer Hunter and White Corn Maiden
2 Feature Story 2: Christmas Between Adobe and Kiva


Letters to the Editor:

Hunters Respect, Eagle Feathers
2 Organic Consumer Watch: Cell Phones, School and Home Meals
2 Elder's Meditations: Sitting Bull, Hunkpapa Lakota
2 Health:  A Great Trick For Healing Wounds
2 Plant Medicine: Burdock - food, Drink and medicine
2 Fluoride: When Joint pain is not Arthritis
2 Animal Rights and Wrongs: A A View to a Kill: How Safari Club Int'l Works to Weaken ESA Protections
2 Endangered Sacred Sites: Footprints in the Ash

3 Announcement: Open Attendance at Manataka Gatherings



Exemplar of Liberty: Chapter 11

The Persistence of an Idea


Grandfather Hawk Speaks:

Grandfather King Coke Speaks:

How Well Do You Follow Instructions?

Season of Gift Giving

3 Feature Story 3:: American Indian Christmas Customs


Elder's Meditations: Flying Hawk, Oglala Lakota


Women's Council: The Blessed Path of Kateri Tekakwitha


Food & Nutrition: American Indian Cold Christmas Cake


Book Reviews: Voice of the Hawk Elder


Poetry Circle: 'Twas the Night Before Ojibwe Christmas


Healing Prayer Basket: Crossing Over, Sickness, and Memorials


Manataka  Business: Meetings, Protocols, Events








Read details now







-- 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.


Kids Fun Kit  - Ages 4 - 12

Explore the history and culture of the American Indian

people with a variety of fun-filled activities!

  • Indian Tribes of North America Coloring Book

  • American Indian Stained Glass Coloring Book

  • 22 American Indian Princess Sticker Paper Dolls

  • Over 30 Fun Mazes

  • 40 Full-color Stickers

  • 18 Easy-to-Apply-and-Remove Tattoos

  • Six Crayons  

    Only $19.95 + s/h - Order before Dec. 14


 Makes A Great Holiday Gift!


$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. 

22 units left 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.                  








"One is not born a Tewa but rather one is made a Tewa... once made, one has to work hard continuously throughout one's
life to remain a Tewa." --Alfonso Ortiz, San Juan Pueblo


Being Indian is being spiritual.  It is not the color of our skin.  Being Indian is how we think.  We need to learn our culture, our language, our dances, our traditions and customs.  It is one thing to know these things, but another to live them.  We need to spend time with the Elders and get their guidance.  We need to go to the mountains, woods and desert to pray.  Being spiritual is the way for us to think right.  Walking the Red Road and thinking right is the greatest gift we can give to our children.


help me to Walk the Talk.

By Don Coyhis







American Indian Christmas

By Floyd Looks for Buffalo Hand




The holiday we call Christmas has evolved into the biggest celebration in the world. Roman Catholics and Protestants celebrate the birth of Jesus on December 25. Many Orthodox Christians use the Julian calendar, which places Christmas around January 6.


Christmas was first added to the Roman Catholic Church calendar as a religious feast day in the fourth century A.D. But Christmas is not the only celebration held around this time of year. December 25 was a significant date for various early cultures. The ancient Babylonians believed the son of the queen of heaven was born on December 25. The Egyptians celebrated the birth of the son of the fertility goddess Isis on the same date, while ancient Arabs contended that the moon was born on December 24. The Romans celebrated Saturnalia, a feast named for Saturn, god of agriculture, on December 21.

Before European contact, the Indian tribes of North America did not celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, since they hadn't heard of him. However, many of the American Indian people of North America have been Christianized for several hundred years. Over this time, customs which were introduced to them by the missionaries, have become adapted to the native cultures, and are an integral part of their Christmas traditions today, just as they are in most American homes.

Many Native American people found that the story of Christmas and Christ's birth fulfilled tribal prophecies and found the message of Jesus to be consistent with the truth that was handed down by their ancestors.





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Today I collected the blues.  There are many ways to see the blues… on the wings of a beautiful bird, on the top of the mountain, looking down at the blue misty valley.  The crystal blue of the spring sky or the deepest blue of the ocean. 


I remember the blue hills among the summer leaves and then a different shade of blue in the winter.  I can see the exquisite shades of blue as the sea washes against the white beaches. 


The different shades of blue as you face the many mountain ranges and the light and fluffy blue white shades of snow. The blue haze of the prairies and the blue-purple hue of the tiny cornflower.


Would you like a handful of my blues?





2 lbs. pork or lamb, well trimmed and cut into small pieces

2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced

5 roasted green chilies, peeled, seeded and diced

3 ears of corn with kernels scraped from cob

2 stalks celery, without leaves, diced


In a large pot, put in enough vegetable oil to prevent the meat from sticking.  You can also use vegetable spray.  Add meat and cook until it is lightly browned.  Add the rest of the ingredients, and water to cover all.  Cover pot and simmer for about 1 hour or until done.











Buy ORGANIC Honey!

By Liora Leah Lauren Zack



Strong evidence is emerging that it is the bee-keeping practices in non-organic commercialized hives that are largely responsible for the demise of the honey bee in what is known as "Colony Collapse Syndrome".

Feral, or wild, bees are doing fine, as are bees from organic commercialized hives.

Buy only ORGANIC honey and boycott non-organic honey to protest the practices of using pesticides & antibiotics in non-organic hives.



Boycott Non-Organic Honey found in grocery stores!


Alternatives: Organic Honey can be expensive. I bought these two products to have my kids taste-test as an alternative to commercialized, non-organic honey. Both were given the "stamp of approval", are organic, and are reasonable in price:











The Traveling People


Wells, Nevada

The sky grew dark and heavy with gray clouds scurrying across it in layers. I watched as patches of blue faded and the Fall sun peeked out as if in a game of Peek-A-Boo. I tied my old wool scarf around my head and neck, and  put on my brothers too big boot.   Putting on my old sheep skin coat I headed for the barn to do my chores.  As I passed the kitchen I took an apple to feed to my horse he expected it each time I came to clean out his stall. I looked for the most withered one in the basket and stuffed it into my jacket pocket.


As I opened the door the wind hit me full force pushing me back inside for a moment. Pulling the door shut behind with both hands, I walked into the wind. Dirt stung my eyes as I tried to shield them and bits of sage brush clung to my jacket.

I knew that the storm we had all been watching the skies for,  was fast coming down.  My Dad had listened to the radio that morning and said it was to hit us hard with lots of snow, in a few hours.


Winter in Wells, Nevada meant no food or provisions for up to three weeks. We had no power on the ranches, that was not an issue; but the one strand of phone line that served the valley was an issue. We did not have cell phones or cordless phones in those days. We relied on that single telephone party line to connect with the outside world all winter.





No offense intended for any individuals or tribes.




Noah' Ark -- 2008



In the year 2008, the Lord came unto Noah, who was now living in the U.S., and said, "Once again, the earth has become wicked and over-populated, and I see the end of all flesh before me.

Build another Ark and save 2 of every living thing along with a few good humans."

He gave Noah the blueprints, saying, "You have 6 months to build the Ark before I will start the unending rain for 40 days and 40 nights."

Six months later, the Lord looked down and saw Noah weeping in his yard - but no Ark.

"Noah!" He roared , "I'm about to start the rain! Where is the Ark ?"

"Forgive me, Lord," begged Noah, "but things have changed. I needed a building permit. I've been arguing with the inspector about the need for a sprinkler system. My neighbors claim that I've violated the neighborhood zoning laws by building the Ark in my yard and exceeding the height limitations. We had to go to the Development Appeal Board for a decision.

Then the Hydro One demanded a bond be posted for the future costs of moving power lines and other overhead obstructions, to clear the passage for the Ark 's move to the sea.

I told them that the sea would be coming to us, but they would hear nothing of it.

Getting the wood was another problem. There's a ban on cutting local trees in order to save the spotted owl. I tried to convince the environmentalists that I needed the wood to save the owls - but no go!

When I started gathering the animals, an animal rights group sued me.  They insisted that I was confining wild animals against their will.  They argued the accommodation was too restrictive , and it was cruel and inhumane to put so many animals in a confined space.

Then the Environmental Protection Agency ruled that I couldn't build the Ark until they'd conducted an environmental impact study on your proposed flood.

I'm still trying to resolve a complaint with the Human Rights Commission on how many minorities I'm supposed to hire for my building crew.

Immigration and Naturalization are checking the Visa status of most of the people who want to work.

The trades unions say I can't use my sons. They insist I have to hire only Union workers with Ark-building experience.

To make matters worse, Revenue Canada seized all my assets, claiming I'm trying to leave the country illegally with endangered species.

So, forgive me, Lord, but it would take at least 10 years for me to finish this Ark. "

Suddenly the skies cleared, the sun began to shine, and a rainbow stretched across the sky.

Noah looked up in wonder and asked, "You mean you're not going to destroy the world?"

"No," said the Lord.  "The government beat me to it." 


Manataka Video Store 

A Great NEW Gift IDEA for the Holidays


Basket Making

Bead Working



Brain Tanning

Code Talkers

Flute Making

History, Myth

Moccasin Making

Ribbon Making 


Healing Medicine

Regalia Making

Tipi Construction

Powwow Dance

Lots More Videos - DVD and VHS - Fast Delivery




By Gram Selma, Ocali Nation


With the holidays fast approaching, it is a time of memories and family stories of times past, it is a time of honoring what has gone before us and the traditions of each family  passed on .


Myths and legends are sacred stories form the past hat have withstood the test of time, that teach morals, explain universal events or truths, and often explain the origin of life or a vital tradition.


Most of these sacred myths are either ceremonial, religious, historical and or philosophical.


Legends tend to be associated with a specific geographical area or location and are therefore culturally related to a given climate, terrain, and weather conditions.


In recent times, some of the legends and myths have been adopted so to speak,  and become somewhat prominent in the dominant society.  Some of them actually become " fads" even thou the entire story or origin is not known or not accurately represented.


A good example of this is the surge in popularity of Kokopelli.









Beautiful Ones,


Long time ago, one of my angel teachers told me the story of the Tree of Life,  and he also told me that will be unfold over and over again….and it happened….




The Tree of Life Story


When the realm of separation begun into this planet,  father and mother were sad, so mama begun to cry and cry and from that cry the oceans were created, that is why the water is salty


Father came and told mama, "you need to stop crying for you are going to drown your own children." So she did stop crying, but she could not stop crying from the inside.  Then all the rivers, subterranean rivers, springs and creeks were all was created because of mama crying from the inside.







and Other Stuff

Lauren Liora Zack


"The Story of Stuff" video takes a humorous yet factual look at the underside of our consumer-driven society, from production to disposal of goods. The video focuses on the connections between environmental and social issues, and calls us together to create a more sustainable and just world. 

(See Links below)


Another Way 

Many people who have seen The Story of Stuff have asked what they can do to address the problems identified in the film.


Each of us can promote sustainability and justice at multiple levels: as an individual, as a teacher or parent, a community member, a national citizen, and as a global citizen. As Annie says in the film, “the good thing about such an all pervasive problem is that there are so many points of intervention.” That means that there are lots and lots of places to plug in, to get involved, and to make a difference. There is no single simple thing to do, because the set of problems we’re addressing just isn’t simple. But everyone can make a difference, but the bigger your action the bigger the difference you’ll make. Here are some ideas:










Respect for the Elders

*Submitted by Carol Perez Petersen



The word respect will be defined and explained more clearly. This teaching will explain what Elders are and how they are placed in Society by the Creator God.
This is a spiritual writing and is meant to be read a minimum of four times. This is only a partial teaching of the wisdom of Respect.

Respect Life
Respect is taking into account what effect any thought, word and deed will have on life before you move to take action or open your mouth to express your thoughts. respect is taking into consideration whether your decisions to act would be beneficial or detrimental, to all forms of life. Respecting all life shows you love and care, for life. Love is respecting All Spirits in the Universe, and understanding you are related to All Life in oneness.





A Great NEW Gift IDEA for the Holidays



On Cold Winter Nights Snuggle Up with These Great Indian Movies 


History and Documentaries

Full Length Feature Films, Oldies

Indian Love

Indian Wars

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Scoundrels and Scandals in the Interior Department:

A commentary from Colorado
by Paul Vandevelder
The Vail, Colorado Trail
As the last vestiges of laissez-faire capitalism were being lowered into the ground on Wall Street last month, out on the western edge of the high plains an administrative circus of a similar nature was unraveling. Its center was the Minerals Management Services (MMS) division of the Interior Department in Lakewood.

On Sept. 10, Earl Devaney, the Interior Department’s inspector general, released a report to Congress that documented — in lurid and embarrassing detail — the widespread use of sex, bribes and drugs by MMS employees to lubricate their professional relationships with officials of the oil and mineral industries.
What, you may ask, is the Minerals Management Service?

This is the office responsible for collecting royalties from energy companies that drill for oil and gas on public land owned by you and me. Last year alone, more than $14 billion in royalties was collected by MMS and deposited in our account. We cannot be sure of the real total, however, since MMS accounts are so bungled that no one can be sure if the reckoning is close to correct. Coincidentally, the MMS is also responsible for collecting royalties for resources taken from more than 11 million acres of Indian land.

It's a shame the Devaney report didn't stop with the drugs and orgies, since taxpayers deserve just a little vicarious entertainment along with all the bad news. But while the story's entertainment value was mostly swamped by the meltdown on Wall Street, few of its particulars were lost on the 400,000 plus plaintiffs in a lawsuit known as Cobell vs. Interior.

Indian plaintiffs have been waiting patiently to be paid $47 billion in royalties they allege were stolen from Indian trust lands by government and industry officials since 1887, when Uncle Sam first began to manage Indian resources. For those who have not been following the American saga of Elouise Cobell, a community organizer for the Blackfeet Nation in Browning, Mont., and the lead plaintiff in this case, here’s a recap of the highlights of her quest.

*In 1996, Cobell filed a lawsuit against the federal government for failing to account for tens of billions of dollars in mineral royalties that were never credited to Indian trust accounts. The suit quickly grew into the largest class-action lawsuit in American history.






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:






"Be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle."


Life shall always come full circle and love is the ultimate forgiveness. So, walk gently on our Mother Earth and dance like no one is watching, sing like no one is listening and laugh until it hurts. Da naho Wi:yo:h





Indian In The Living Room by Ed Hanson   Beautiful Words
Crop Circle Lady - Magdala Rameriz   Elders Speak
Coho Learns To Jump - Momfeather   Elders Speak
Tree Of Life Reborn - Waynonaha   Elders Speak
Healing With Love Part 4 - Gray Hawk Coke   Elders Speak
Who Really is My Brother? - Hawk Eyes Hoffman   Elders Speak
Bayer Pesticides Killing Honeybees   Environment
Worm Composting A-Z   Environment
Deconstructing Myths of the First Thanksgiving   Feature Story
True Thanksgiving - A Day of Mourning   Feature Story
Oaks Indian Mission   Feature Story
Fluoride in tap water puts tea drinkers at risk    Health Watch
Sweet Flag / Bitterroot   Herbal Medicine
Kindling a New National Grand Council Fire    History
Corn Mother - A Penobscot Legend   Legends
Desecration of Hawaiian Gravesite   Sacred Sites
Council of 13 Indigenous Grandmothers   Women's Council
Pumpkin Pie and Pumpkin Rolls   Women's Council
Native Remedies   Spiritual Path Books
Women's Gifts   Speak Cherokee Today!
American Indian Art Good!   Crazy Coyote's Leather
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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©2008 ManatakaTM American Indian Council.  The word "Manataka" is a registered trademark exclusively owned by the Manataka American Indian Council.  Use of this trademark without the expressed written permission of MAIC is prohibited and violators will be prosecuted. 15 U.S.C. Section 1051(a), (b).  The Smoke Signal News is copyrighted in its entirety and no reproduction, republishing, copying, or distribution is permitted without the expressed written permission of MAIC is strictly prohibited and violations will be prosecuted.