Manataka™ American Indian Council







Manataka receives hundreds of letters each month. 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.  The opinions expressed below and all information provided is for informational purposes only. We make no representations as to accuracy, completeness, suitability, or validity of the opinions express below and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis. Manataka does not necessarily endorse or support the opinions expressed below. 


The Real Story of Thanksgiving

Dear Manataka,

I am writing from Italy, I’m a young Italian teacher of English.  This year, for the first time, I’m going to introduce a small group of students to the story of the Thanksgiving day and, surfing the net for info, I found your web page. Unfortunately I do not have enough time to read all the biography you suggest right now, but I will surely schedule a deep research on it.  This, just to say thank you very much for your story, your willing to tell the truth and the accuracy in writing it. I’m sure my kids will appreciate it.   

Sincerely, Ivonne Zava, Abbiategrasso, Milan. Italy


Dear Manataka,

I wanted to say thank you for the piece you wrote about thanksgiving. I am a Christian. Most my family immigrated to America in the 1880-1920.  I have a deep love for Native Americans. I Malagasy struggle in explaining things to my children. It is troubling to me that Christians have caused so much pain to Native Americans, yet to my family, America has been a wonderful blessing.  I am going to read your story to my kids this year and tuck it in our Thanksgiving box. Blessings, Heidi Underhill



Dear Manataka

Loved your article about Thanksgiving by Susan Bates. I have always felt a kinship with Native Americans from early on. Later when I learned more about my own religion I see so many similarities.


However, why I was prompted to send this email was because in the article you talked about the "thanksgiving holiday" being biblical and all. Well, I want to inform you what they are celebrating. The biblical holiday they are celebrating is called Sukkot.  Sukkot is a Jewish holiday celebrating many things but 1 of the things that they celebrate is a harvest holiday.  The other things people do on this holiday is live or eat in these temporary booths or huts that have an partially open ceiling so as to always see the sky. This is to remind us to remember how temporary life is and how quickly life can change...There are 2 other meanings to the holiday but right now I cant think of them and wanted to send this off to you asap... I don't know how old the article is and I hope your email address is still the same... Peace and Gut Yom Tov or Happy Holiday. ~ Sharyn


Arvol's lecture at Weber State College

Hello Manataka,

I just heard that Arvo Looking horse is coming to Utah. I have a fairly large community of friends and students that are interested in Native ways and I am sending info to them about Arvo's visit. It would also be nice to create another event while he is here such as a pipe ceremony, drum circle or sweat lodge. If I could send tobacco over the internet for our request I would! :)

I'd like to tell you a little about myself:  It 2004 I was asked by Gaia and the elements to help heal her and her people and that I was a shaman. I didn't know what the words Gaia or Shaman meant and had to look it up on the internet! Once I accepted the calling, magic happened!  I found myself at a Mayan ceremony in the ruins of Tikal Guatemala where the priestess told everyone they were Shamans helping the earth shift into the new millennium. As soon as I got home I got a random call asking me to pick up Hopi dancers from Arizona and take them to Malibu to meet up with the Chumash natives for a ceremony on the beach. Gaia asked me to go to different sacred sites around the world to do a specific ceremony. While IO am there I connect with local indigenous spiritual leaders. I've been to Hawaii and met with cheifs and Kahunas there. I went to Australia (Uluru)and met with aboriginals and leaders, Machu Picchu (Peru) and had ceremony with a Shaman. I was asked by Gaia and the elements to teach Shamanism so people can learn how to take care of the earth so she can rest and healing techniques to heal the people and our ancestors. I work with various cultures and modalities and they all have basic principals that are the same. I also am the president of "The Open Mind Foundation" where we have an indigenous empowerment program.

I've had many natives from different tribes show up at my house. Around ten years ago a Dine man asked to sleep in my back yard. The next day he told me I should have a sweat lodge back there. Then a Shoshone man came to my house and asked if he could build a sweat lodge. After that Hopi, Naspers, Lakota, Arapahoe...came to pour sweat lodges. An ancestor of Chief Joseph  came and gave me permission to pour sweats in their tradition. Mother Earth and the elements told me to pour sweats for the earth, so for around 7 years I've had sweat lodges focused on energizing the earth. This is a little akward because I am blonde and blue eyed!  I was told that the Lakota like only Lakota's to sing their songs so I do not sing their songs. I sing a variety of spiritual songs from various spiritual styles because I believe we are all one. Mainly whatever spirit says. I have also heard that people in Europe anciently had sweaty lodges too, so I hope you are not offended and I hope you see this as a good thing for the earth as opposed to some white girl with blonde hair stealing ceremonies.

Thank you for listening and I will be attending Arvol's lecture at Weber Sate. I hope to meet him and have a chance for him to share a ceremony with our group.  We are all related, Renee Shaw


Friends of Madison Buffalo Jump

Dear Manataka,

Good afternoon.  I want to follow up the update you received from Friends of Madison Buffalo Jump yesterday with attachments.  I should have underscored, at the time of sharing that information, the importance of doing all we can individually and collectively to help the dedicated, yet overstretched personnel of the Montana State Park System ensure that nobody does anything to deface or otherwise disturb  any of the grounds at Madison Buffalo Jump State Park (MBJSP).  Similarly, as citizen volunteers, we also need to always remind everybody that it is strictly against the law for anybody to remove any artifact(s) from this special place.  We all share the responsibility and duty, whether state employees or private citizens, to maximize our efforts to help inform the general public about the sanctity of places like MBJSP, as is, while also helping prevent the removal of any artifacts from them.   Thank you for your shared commitment in this regard. ~Bill Goold


I just wanted to thank you for the commitment to the Protection measures your enduring. As Natives of the Region what is called Montana State now. The standing stewardship and Traditional obligations to uphold our languages, songs, dance, solidarity and refusing temptations to pick up that arrowhead has been an ever binding commitment. Thank you.  ~Sukni c Xest, Francis Auld & Mike Durglo Sr., Heritage Resource Managers, Tribal Heritage Resource Office


Linking Spirits

Hello Manataka,

Wish I could have seen the Sixth Sun Aztec Dancers at Manataka - I think that would have been magnificent! The pictures are beautiful. 


I know some Light workers who are experiencing a difficult time in these times (as I have been) - resisting the systems but also working and reaching out. These are not 'easy' times to walk in the Light - not that it is ever easy, but it is going to become more difficult. We are not followers but we must find renewal and help each other also - we must encourage each other without pushing direction or beliefs.  So I have sent them some links from Manataka to help them - some guidance and also to let them know that they are not alone.  They are good people, giving so much of themselves for others. They always have been, as long as I've known them (years).  I will be looking at the Disaster series soon. I've looked at it briefly, but haven't been able to do much with it yet (had other stuff to take care of first). I will be prepping for that soon also, and will be circulating the information.  I know there are things I will be doing - as the time comes and I receive the 'prompt' to take action.   I have an odd sense of timing - can't explain it - I seem to do things right before something happens, or prepare before it's needed. It's a subconscious thing on my part, people think it's strange, but I just do what I do and don't question it. If I ignore it - trouble comes. ~ Kim Wilson


Honoring the Circle

Hello Manataka,
Honoring The Circle was first established when we did the Crazy Horse Event on Sept 1, 2012.  Since then we have been building a website that will be filled with information pertaining mainly to "Peace" and hopefully we will be able to raise money to fund scholarships for children of all backgrounds.   We appreciate your wonderful Manataka website and what it has to offer to all people.  Many blessings your way. ~Mary N. Carnahan  

Selling Ceremonies

Hello Manataka,

Not even a year ago I had no idea about, Sedona, native Shamans and that sacred native ceremonies are a business... The Christians in the name of God have done a lot of bad things... and forced others in their believe system. Religion was used to make profit and politics.  But people like Mother Teresa have helped so many. So is every Christian a killer?


We all come to a point in life where we are looking for answers and need guidance help...... mostly through lessons.


The reason we split up was me... asking questions... I always do.. .. like why are there are no native people involved or teaching in her community. it's 100% white people and 99 % women. Why do you have to pay for a medicine wheel lessons $100 to $175 an hour for private?  Who was teaching your teacher?


So I did research and found out that the native people have good arguments to protect their sacred ceremonies. Being a German I realized how much attraction native culture has to us western people, but do we have the right to copy and merchandise?   I might or not be right but give it a thought: If it would be to the benefit of all of us human beings why not looking over the fence and be open to positive things what other cultures have to offer to be better people. To find our selves and have access to our higher self. Today we are living in a world of information technology worldwide.  We are doing it successfully in other help ( not spiritual) .. . westerners are studying Chinese medicine, acupuncture, herbs, homeopathy, spiritual heeling,


We are asking questions about ourselves ... there is an abundance of seminaries .. to find back to the roots.


I personally think you native people have a lot to offer to all of us.  In a world of paced obsessed by making money...exploding our planet.. but you have to make the decisions to share or not it's your culture and your sacred. Why not  share if it helps to understand the real values and to get better and find our path and peace. We are all brothers and sisters and have the same Creator.  Sorry if was writing to much, Friedrich

Hello Fred,

The value of the American Indian spiritual Way is priceless if acquired in a sacred manner.  If acquired through monetary payment, the value is limited and becomes useless in practice.  It is regrettable that western society places a monetary value on everything, including the sacred.  You simply cannot buy spirituality.


We do share the great depth and breadth of our Ways – by example and faithful practice.  This website is a testament to our sharing ways.


It appears that western women are the vast majority of participants pursuing American Indian spiritual Ways because it is they who feel the most need to be empowered.  Western thinking is about masculine-oriented concepts and practices that are responsible for much of its decay, war, greed – ego and fear. 


Eons before you became human, you were Spirit.  For as long as you are in human form, you are still Spirit.  After your human form falls to dust, you will be Spirit.


The Indian Way (The Good Red Road) allows us to see beyond the confusion and distraction of human endeavor and attain a consciousness far above and beyond.


Indian Way is not bogged down with all the dogma and doctrine of male-centered, fear-based, belief systems.  It is free and open to other beliefs – spiritual freedom has always been key to our survival. 


Yes, we agree that American Indians have something very important to teach – that may very well mean the difference between western demise or survival.   We appreciate your comments.  ~Takatoka

Water is a Public Right--NOT a Private one

Dear Editor,


Please go to  and answer their poll question:  "Should communities consider selling a portion of their water to private companies to help cover the costs of infrastructure improvements?"  and please pass this on...Thanks.

Here is what I wrote to them.....

"Water is a Public Right--NOT a Private one - and should never be sacrificed to corporate profit  whose negligence and destruction of nature is historic.  Good Drinking Water is-- and increasingly will be--our most precious natural entity.  Good water nourishes its entire watershed and beyond. Water is not to be privately owned and sold back to the public at inflated cost in plastic. Plastic has already become an expensive problem in earth's waterways and oceans.  Plastic is basically a hazardous toxin both in its making and its disposal. Science now agrees that plastic is a greater or lesser contaminate to whatever it contains.  If our infrastructure is aging, it is the responsibility of our common government on a State level to mend and replace that infrastructure.  That's why we have a government for the people and by the people,  Corporations are for the corporation's bottom line and by whatever the corporation can squeeze out of the people to achieve that end.  Regarding "jobs."  The very, very few low-paying  jobs this corporation offers our region's people is the same as paying for our gold with toxic lead.  Henny Wise