Manataka American Indian Council







A Traditional Ecology Program



The Paiute Mountain School Camp - 2007


Traditional Ecological Program


Our projects are based on the preservation and conservation of our cultural and our identity with the emphasis on our spiritual and cultural renewal.  We emphasize on holistic health and wellness, the protection and respect for our mother earth and our sacred sites.  The educational development in our traditional skills and ways is imperative to our native youth today in order to secure their identity.  This year we are adding three new workshops that will help develop awareness of practical science versus traditional science, educational opportunities, and traditional life ways.  Our four projects entail our efforts to maintain our traditions:


The Life Ways Camp:  This is four-day camp held in our local mountains during the month of June or August. The purpose of this camp is to teach and discuss with our Paiute youth from the ages of 11 -17, daily traditional prayer work, traditional ceremonies from birth to death, the stewardship of our sacred sites and the understanding of what is expected of them as young men (warriors) and young women during our sacred ceremonies.


Traditional Cultural Practices: Some of our skills include hunting, bow and arrow making, fishing, rabbit blanket, basketry, beadwork, gathering of plants and their medicinal purposes, instrument making, string making and netting.  This project is held throughout the entire scope of our program with certain workshops scheduled depending on the seasons.


The Language Program:  The Paiute language is a major component of our entire project. It is vital to our identity as "Pakuwagi" Owens Valley Paiute. This is an on-going project throughout the year with class held twice a week and integrated within the scope of the TEK program.  


The Paiute Mountain School/Camp:  This is a five-day wilderness experience, held in July, for over 50 Paiute youths ages 10-17, held in July in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.  Along the Paiute counselors, elders and staff, students learn about fishing, hunting, plants and traditional foods and medicine.  Embedded in the activities are exercises, language and stories that teach the students the importance of taking care of our water and land.  In doing each of the activities our young people learn about the responsibilities that come with them.  Workshops are scheduled every year in various areas, (i.e.  Traditional Ceremonies, Life Ways Teachings, Traditional Skills, Traditional Songs & Crafts, Water & Land Conservation, Tribal Educational Opportunities, Archery, Tracking, Hunting, etc.)

The TEK Traditional Dance & Song Group on the Bishop Paiute Reservation needs donations of  magpie, duck, goose, wild turkey and crow feathers for our dance regalia used in tribal dances. There are a lots of different ways that we can use these feathers, most of which are sacred  to us. The Bishop Paiute Reservation is located in the Owens Valley, California.   Send feathers to:


TEK Program
Qwina H. West, Sr., Director
725 N. Barlow Lane, Bishop, CA 93515
(760) 873-3041



2008 Contributors
The Paiute Mountain School/Camp
Sierra Neveda Conservancy (SNC) Bishop, California

The Paiute Mountain School/Camp
Honor the Earth, Minneapolis, MN



For Donations to our Camps or any other of our Projects, or more information as to how you can help with our program, please contact - Irma Yoti West - Marketing/Program Coordinator at (760) 937-3391.