Manataka™ American Indian Council

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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. 


New Member Gives Thanks

Hello Manataka,

I would like to thank Yo Hee Waah and the Manataka for accepting me as a member of the tribe. This is such a blessing for me.  I was wondering if there is a mailing list (Email) for members of the tribe? I would like to thank the Elders individually and reach out to everyone in our tribe.   If there is a confidentiality issue I completely understand but if possible please forward my deepest regards to all members. Prayers go out to Chief Woableza, hoping all is well for him and family. And a big thanks to Grandfather Lee standing Bear for your kind words and inspiration when we spoke on your Birthday. To all...  Wa'-Do.  ~Daniel "Horse" Coll


Coming to Manataka

Dear Manataka;

With the end of the year approaching, with all the  goodwill that it brings, I would like to express not only my best wishes for the coming year but also my gratitude to be part of  the group that you represent.  I am also grateful to be included in the mailing list of your monthly newsletter and interested in all the information and teachings that it contains.  Coming to Manataka for a visit has been on my list of things to do, but it is quite difficult and costly to achieve from where I live. I have to go from the Islands to Florida to Washington, DC , then to Chicago and to Little Rock before reaching Hot Springs!  Perhaps in the near future.  Again my best wishes for a Happy Season and may 2015 brings more peace and compassion on the Earth.  ~Mirella Santillo




The Legend of the Quapaw Cave Reexamined

Dear Editor:

I believe the Ulterior Motive(s)... are to try and devalue the Indigenous Oral Histories that accurately define the respect for the hot springs, their remarkable physical features and their natural healing qualities.

Modern medicine is deeply insecure about waters of the earth ability to heal, compared to its inability to heal and protect from the illnesses created by unnatural living and activity exploiting natural resource.  As a result great effort is repeatedly put towards removing material facts confirming the oral histories and traditions of Native people who know of the natural features of the hot springs and have for many generations. 


Those working to remove the evidence are not acting in fully cognizant, conscious ways.  In fact their actions are unconscious and motivated by unreasonable fears so are therefore failing to be effective, time after time, in destroying truth. ~Christopher Brown



You offer interesting perspectives, but THE ulterior motives of Jose Fernandez are far more sinister.  Her fear is the true motives will be discovered.  The motives of other federal government bureaucrats are driven, as you suggest by ignorance. 


O'siyo, Brothers and Sisters of Manataka -

I am glad that some of this evidence is finally being shared with the public.  As you may know I was quite upset concerning Mark Blauer's book "All the Indians Came Here, Didn't They?", a prior exercise based on 'absence of evidence'. 


In fact, in a phone conversation with Ann Early, (Arkansas archeologist), that is how she described Blaeur's book:  'All Mark is saying is that there is no archeological evidence. . .'An argument apparently accepted in her discipline.  However, if I had submitted a paper to any of my college professors with such a thesis, it would not have been found acceptable.  A negative argument cannot be used to prove a negative conclusion.  But Mr. Blauer wrote an entire book about it!  And was paid to write the book with our tax dollars. 


I attempted to discuss this book with him not long after it was published, but when he learned of my connection to Manataka, he declined.  As to motives, we can only speculate.  However, it has been noted that Hot Springs National Park, formerly the Hot Springs Reservation, was taken as such by the notorious designer of Indian removal, Andrew Jackson, without any legal authority.  When this was pointed out to Jackson, he is reported to have responded "Who's going to stop me?". 


In a political atmosphere where Native American issues are gaining increased public awareness, and with former President Clinton's decision that National Parks be required to work with local tribes for access to sacred grounds, perhaps 'someone' is nervous about the legal standing of this particular National Park? 


Certainly the stance of the Parks Service has changed dramatically since Ms. Fernandez took over.  Prior to her changes on the Park website, I had printed some of the National Parks web site pages.  At that time, the Parks Services supported the stories of Manataka and many were actually on the Park's web site. Something changed, that is certain.  Kudos to Manataka for creating this public forum on the subject.  I'm not going for publication or for any prizes here.  Just wanted to add to the discussion.  I do want to know why my tax dollars are being used to rewrite history -- and poorly at that! If you are interested, I'll dig out my old research regarding Blauer's book and put together some articles this winter.  Wado,  ~Linda "Bear Heart Woman Speaks" VanBibber



Dear Manataka,

I believe the Ulterior Motive(s)...are the result of the "New World Order" agenda of the Illuminati. They do not consider the sovereignty of NaItive Americans, and would love to obliterate them and all their history. The "powers that be" recognized the power of the Manataka Story to inspire peace among the people, and they knew it was true. They always seek to destroy anything that gives power to the people. Whether Josie Fernandez and her clan were brainwashed, or simply carrying out evil orders, they were doing the dirty work, for their handlers.   - Michael Upchurch




Dear Manataka,

Two motives come to mind.  The first is simplistic and typical.  The NPS - embodied in Fernandez, seeks undisputed control of the land and its resources - including any remaining cultural resources.  Yosemite National Park experienced a little known battle that was very similar and resulted in bloodshed when the Miwok sought to remain connected to their land and traditions.  Their land was the Yosemite Valley.  They remain in the valley now by permit, and, effectively, under a gag order.  The Miwok do not talk about the relationship they have had with the NPS.  The second potential motive is also simplistic.  There are caves, there are artifacts, there is evidence of historical and pre-historical native habitation, it includes genetic material that could be used to link today's native people to its early inhabitants; and it is sufficient to warrant recognition of both the site and its people.  That would complicate the management of the site by the NPS and force the NPS to create a government to government relationship with native people (upon their successful designation as a federally recognized tribe).  The problem for both sides is that this is a complicated and emotionally charged issue with layers and layers of data to sort and sift through.  I would like to believe that Fernandez is simply carrying out the mandate she was given when she took on the job, a mandate that sought to create a unified story told by the NPS...that the interpretation of the hot springs needed to be clear and the NPS needed to dictate what that story was, omitting anything that could not easily and simply be substantiated.  One of the first things employees and volunteers who work for government agencies (and corporations) learn is interpretation - how to tell the story.  For that, there needs to be a simple, unified story.  And it would be a lot more convenient if the Indians would quit insisting they are in fact a part of the story.    ~Corina Roberts, Founder of Redbird,   Forest Recovery Project Photographer


Dear Editor,

I believe the Ulterior Motive(s) are that Josie Fernandez, for whatever reason, feels she needs to obliterate or tone down the American Indian presence and history of the Hot Springs area so she can do whatever she feels will bring more tourism, or maybe the simple idea of doing whatever she wants, without having to follow any laws or regulations that protect the Native American interest in the area. This includes any artifacts found or have been found (or in her case hidden!), the right to practice religious and cultural ceremonies, and the possibility that anything done so far will require repatriation.


I feel this way because of several things mentioned in the article.  The author mentioned a quote that I feel is the basis of everything Josie Fernandez has done so far; Paraphrased, it is basically that history is written by the winners.  Why would anyone take down or change a historical marker? The removal of the de Soto-Manataka Commenmorative Bronze Plaque is questionable. I live in NE Alabama and there are plaques everywhere that mark de Soto's Trail, as well as in my own small town where the Native American trading post was before the land was sold to the settlers.  My point is that historical information on a plaque should be about truth, history, and remembrance. Fernandez obviously doesn't want that known.


The 'dolls' that were found is proof that not only was there a Native presence, but that they should be returned, as per the law.  You can't return something that didn't exist, right? It is in Josie Fernandez's best interest if the dolls were either copies or lost, hence the 'research' done by Shugart. If Mr. Callahan Sr. felt reticent in the 1920's, he was picking up on the fact that the government didn't have the first clue on how to respect Indian Americans and their history, not to mention claims on the area in question.


Land and Greed. It always seems to be about land and greed when it comes to the government and Native Americans. There is precedence growing that Native Americans have the right to worship and gather on Federal Land that is the land of their ancestors and sacred. I found many articles, but this one stuck out to me.


There is a problem the government has run into that is trying to balance the rights of native peoples and the separation of church and state. I am guessing that Josie Fernandez does not want to lose any tourism or possible money to be made if she has to close down the park, close off key areas of interest that are also sacred, or turn away tourists. 


Josie Fernandez wants to control as much as she can. Why would anyone engage in several lawsuits with the local government, businesses, individuals,  and Native Americans from the very start of her appointment? To me, this indicates the need to establish yourself as the boss with bullying and fear tactics.  She wants to be respected, but how can you be through fear and meanness? 


I pray that Manataka and all that support the truth are blessed with strength, courage, love, and intelligence while this travesty of leadership continues for the Hot Springs National Park. ~Katie Donahue




The REAL Thanksgiving Story


Dear Editor:

For thirty-five years have not celebrated any holiday (holy day) based on John 17: 14-17 among other Bible principles. Had recently heard its history had been distorted (Thanksgiving) so researched your  information. "Thank you ", for your honest history as it gives me more courage and confidence to loyally support  Jehovah's Kingdom by Christ Jesus (Matthew 6:9,10) ~Joanne Garry


Dear Smoke Signal News and Chuck Larsen

I read your article, or post, and I was curious to know why you didn't mention John Hanson the first president of the first government on the American Continent? He is the one who actually declared the national day of Thanksgiving.  Just an FYI  ~Cathy Altman


Dear Editor:

There is more I would like to day but, for now, thank you for all your effort and research in digging for the truth and facts about this "holiday" [Thanksgiving].  My name is Michael Leo'n. I'm soon to be 32 years old in Feb. I was born in southern California. my father's heritage is from Puerto Rico & my mothers is one of mixed African American from Charleston SC.  I would love to talk to you more about the subject of historical truth around Thanksgiving d also would love to know more about native Indian history, people, and culture from your eyes. You seen like someone i can trust to not only trek the truth but who can balance bias views with honest perspective. Things I aspire to maintain myself.  Thank you for taking time to read this. Id love to talk more sometime when we both have time. If not, that is ok too. Thank you again for all your work.  -Michael Leo'n


Hello Manataka,
I deeply appreciate reading about and learning the real history of thanksgiving as explained by Susan Bates as well as the introduction for teachers and story for children by Chuck Larsen. I will be using these in my teaching. Thank you so much for these readings.  I am wondering if there is/are any children's books and picture books that you might recommend to use in a classroom for grades 2-6. If so, names of any titles would be greatly appreciated.  Kind regards.  ~Farida Alam-Huda


Dear Editor,

From the tone set forth in the opening paragraphs, to the facts positioned to support your perspective, of your article debunking the myths of Thanksgiving, one could suggest a day of real Thanksgiving is still needed and best preceded with a posture and day of real forgiveness and peace. ~Carol Glasgo


Hello my Fellow True American,

I am so glad I came across your brief history of Thanksgiving. This land was a land of occupation and opression since its origin when these hungry conquerors got a hold of it.  Examining the history of the nation highlights why Israel happens to be this country's greatest ally. They both are built on the same principles. Hijack the land, and oppress its native inhabitants.  I am sincerely apologetic, and want to offer you my condolences for what your ancestors underwent.

The cruelty and injustices, and today your people are still confined to only small areas of allocated lands; its completely unfair. If there are any movements or protests to fight for your rights, please do inform me, I will be sure to spread further awareness, so that more and more people can speak out on you and your people's behalf. Maybe one day, our voice might reach the right ears and appropriate actions can take place. We can hope, and we can try. It was a pleasure being able to contact you.  ~Osia Rizvi



I read all the story posted. I'm sure inward of us all we all have a reason and a day for to be thankful , their be this day or another, we all have a day and a reason. ~J.M. Perez


Dear Manataka,

I discovered the article about Thanksgiving while web surfing. I want to thank you so much for getting the truth out there.  I was born in the early 60's and what I was taught. In school was way off. I also come from a mixed heritage of Indian, Black and White. I grew up socially in a Black family because you were identified by what your skin looked like. I was educated of course by the whites. Therefore my Indian heritage has been lost.  I want to say I appreciate the truth. I don't want to be angry, but it does stir up mixed emotions. I Thank God I have never been a person of hate! Now I know the truth. ~A. Hall



Against Real Story of Thanksgiving


Hey Manataka,

There is something terribly wrong with the people that wrote or should I say rewrote this part of American history. Shame on you for teaching this trash to our children. ~Jax Ride


Jax Ride,

Please provide substantiated historical proof, not opinion, that the facts presented by the authors are not true.  The article in question was first published by Manataka 12/03/2003.  In the past eleven years , no credible historian has come forward to dispute any historical fact explained by the authors.  This article has been republished in many languages around the world. 


We cannot help it that you are shocked and upset by the truth.  Yes, you were lied to by your school teachers --- about a lot of things.  Read the Letters to the Editor section in upcoming issues of the Smoke Signal News. Most letters come from teachers – who are grateful for another perspective on history.  Have a good day.  ~Bonnie Whitecloud, Assistant Editor

Searching for Answers

Dear Manataka,

Greetings from Johannesburg South Africa! ! Please forgive me for reaching out to you via your email. I have been searching and searching for a way to make contact with people who may be able to help me. I have been chosen by Great Spirit to walk this path. ...a very hard path to be sure but incredibly wonderful and beautiful. Why I was chosen I really don't know...but Great Spirit is all knowing.  Is there any way that you can point me in the right direction? ? I have tried Russell Means official website and it no longer is available.  I have tried to contact Pearl his wife and nothing there and several others.  I thank you from the bottom of my heart for taking the time to read this.  I seek answers to many questions.  Blessings Love Peace and Gratitude.  ~Caroline Clacher


Lies Teachers Tell Us About Columbus

Dear Editor, 

This article is good. Yes our land was not called India in ancient times. It was Bharath and also had several ancient names but not India. Even Hindustan or Pakistan or all later terms. Our religion was not called Hinduism then. It is only a way of life and there are several cultural differences in the same religion now because different tribes followed different way of life. Just as how you contest the name Indian, the Aryan theory is highly contested and not accepted by many yet. It is thought that the westerners wanted to claim authority over the superior literature of India by claiming that it was by Aryans who came to India from the Europe. Tamils (also Malayalis, Telugus and most South Indian) have strong traditions and culture that is still comparable to the ancient times and our mathematical measurement and terms are the same as it was in Mohenjadaro and Harappa than it is to anything that can be compared as Aryan. We really don't know what was all the truth about. So I do not want to be judgemental but just want to say the Aryan theory is equally disputable as much as the use of Indian word is.  I wish to visit Manataka when I next visit US. So much to learn.  Thanks,  Shoba


NDN Genealogy

Good Afternoon.

I have just read, with interest, your article on Native American Hidden Heritage and found the information very useful.

My Husband’s family have been searching and searching for some idea of who they are as their Mom was taken into care in 1946 and had no idea of her background, all of the family posses native characteristics and resemble may of my friends and acquaintances who are native. My sister in law had her eyes checked a few years ago and the doctor informed her that she had a native pigment in her eyes. Not knowing what they was or what it indicated, she never pursued it further until this past year and have started to connect in her research that it appears her Mom’s father may have been native.  Then I read your article about the pigmentation factor!  Do you know if that feature about the pigmentation has ever been proven or used to obtain the native classification in the past, based on that alone?

Thank you  Irene


New Student Group Forms

Hihanni was'te...Good Morning Manataka,

My name is Eric Littlewing Miller and I am a Lakota student at the University of Minnesota in Morris, MN. We have two Native groups on campus, one which deals with more of the political aspects of life, the other pertains more towards engineering. The outline to this organization I am starting is to teach, promote and educate the youth of the "traditional" lifestyles of what is known as the Oceti Sakowin, the Seven Counsels by inviting tribal elders to share their wisdom as well as to record and document as much information as possible.

The intent of this group would be to educate cultural ideals and implement them into daily life as to not lose the culture. Utilizing such means as cultivating, harvesting medicines and foods, education on harvest and drying techniques, proper storage, and means of application. In addition to this, keeping up and discussing the impacts of currents events in "Indian Country" and their relation to our community here on the UMM campus. Thus giving life to a new generation of youth which will secure the future of our heritage.

Our missions statement would would be "Wasa'gya, S'agya, Ich'aga", Empower, Strength, Thrive". Symbolizing the the undying spirit of the people.


Though my personal goal for this group is to not be dependent on money but more so on the reciprocity of the community as well as donations of goods that are otherwise out of reach, An example of this would be deer hides, used for clothing, moccasins, and other cultural items. The donations would be helpful until the group learns together how to traditionally tan and stretch hides in order to be self sufficient. Other appreciated donations would be feathers, sweet grass, beads, sinew, leather, hides with fur, shells, or anything else you deem appropriate. I wish to humbly thank you, wopila, for the time and consideration. -


The types of donations I am seeking for this group are that of leather, hides, sinew, more so of the traditional craft variety. My goal is to establish a community that is able to create the same items as our ancestors in the closest way possible, in order to preserve the culture. Being that I am just a college student, I do not have any money to purchase these types of articles to supply for the group. Until we learn together how to field dress a deer, tan the hide, remove the hair etc, I am reaching out to anyone who can assist me in making this goal a functioning reality. I apologize for any confusion. Wopila, Thank You. Have a great day. Eric Littlewing Miller  2161 600E 4th street. Morris, MN. 56267




The Warrior's Prayer


Living a life of peace, harmony and right relationship is the way of The Truth.  Helping others to find The Truth puts me out in the open and makes me a target for the Dark Ones.  They're not going to like it when I cross the battle line by being acknowledged as one who helps others find The Truth.  They will see that they are going to have to play harder.  They are going to bring in new warriors to watch me.  They don't want The Truth out because it will make their work harder.


They will see who one of the main players is.  Once they know who the main players are, the players who find ways to win, they're going to get mean.  They will start showing themselves to me.  And every time things seem to be going in the right direction in spite of them, they will intensify their efforts and strike again.


This is how it will be for all of the main players.  The main warriors never get coffee breaks; they always have to be prepared...ALWAYS!  I can endure as much heartache and defeat as I give back.  I must fight back with faith - faith in my purpose and the power in my spirit.  That is what a powerful warrior is.


When I am doing what I am meant to do, they will intensify their efforts.  I'm going to need strong determination and to remember why I am here in the first place.  My purpose is to help others to wake up to The Truth.  People must know what's going on here.  The Final Days are upon us.  The Dark Side warriors are very busy already.  They have been working with the false prophets who tell people they can make up their own truths.  They have been teaching selfish spirit ways.  That's why they don't want The Truth to be out.


The Light Side warriors have been fighting back hard.  The battles have been bad, but they are going to get worse.  More battles and bigger fights each day of the coming of the End Time.  The Dark warriors will show themselves to me more and more.  They will be so dark and powerful, but I'm not going to show fear.  Instead, I'm going to need to show my power to them.


There are going to be great battle times now over people's souls.  Each side is going to try to win the most people over to their side of the battle lines.


The spirits have been fighting too.  They fight for their warriors in the physical dimension.  It's going on on this side and the Other Side and it's just going to get worse.  Sons of Light fighting Sons of Dark.  Each side will know who the main warriors are.  Each side will work extra hard on them.  Those warriors have to be so powerful in spirit, in heart and in mind.


All this fighting is leading up to something REALLY BIG.  The first skirmishes of Armegeddon are already being fought. ~Whitestar