Manataka American Indian Council
"We are the People..." is the first poem we ever wrote and it is the last.
It was given by Spirit on the Mountain of Manataka.
It tells of our past, our present and future.
The poem ends with a prophesy - for all that was will be again.
"WE ARE THE
By Lee Standing Bear Moore and Takatoka
the People of the Longhouse
We are Spirits Dancing
Upon our Mother Earth.
Her heart the Drum is beating.
We are Her Children.
We are the Warriors.
We follow the Sacred Path.
the People of the Longhouse.
The Four Winds know us.
Trees, birds and animals teach us.
Sun and Moon share visions with us.
The Stone people and waters are we.
They all instruct our path to see.
the People of the Longhouse,
Keepers of the Sacred Manataka
The Great Gathering Place,
Place of Peace for all who make pilgrimage
To celebrate the Secrets of Grace.
the People of the Longhouse.
We are Arapaho, Caddo, Pueblo, Navaho,
Seminole Winnebago, and Eskimo.
We are Apache, Hopi, Cree, Pawnee, Santee, Lumbee,
Shawnee, Zuni, Miami, and Cherokee.
We are Ojibwa, Oneida, Seneca, Chippewa, Omaha,
Ottawa, Iowa and Kiowa.
We are Quapaw, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Witchita,
Kaw, and Catabaw.
We are Dakota, Lakota, and Kituwah.
We are Creek, Blackfeet, Comanche, Abenaki, Yuchi,
Lenape, Shoshone and Potawatomi.
We are Ute, Paiute, Aleuts, Inuit; Illinois and Iroquois.
We are Brule, Hunkpapa and Yankton Sioux;
Bannock, Wyandot, Mohawk, Sac and Fox, and Kickapoo.
Cheyenne, Osage, and Yamasee.
We are them and they are we.
Valley of Manataka,
600 nations join hands in the Circle.
The Spirit of Peace floats on air.
Black, yellow and white man joins the miracle.
Red man shows the way there.
Woman lives at Manataka.
Sister to White Buffalo Calf Woman,
She sleeps in the deep of Mother Earth.
Yet, she is the sign in the sky to show the way,
Her colors are bright; to remind us of Grace as we pray.
the People of the Longhouse;
The sacred fire of seven woods lifts our prayers on smoke.
The Great Creator hears us.
And, the Sacred Mountain awoke.
and trembling from the sleep.
The mountain rumbles, big houses crumble
Pushing hot waters from the deep
People are in fear and some run like the deer
But we, the People of the Longhouse,
are humble and kneel to hear.
Creator speaks for Mother Earth.
"I want Manataka back"
The turn of the medicine wheel has come.
The hot springs flow with one great crack,
Sacred waters flow and we sing with the drum.
clouds of vapors emerge once more.
Colorful rainbows leap from the mists.
We walk the white cloud across the valley floor.
There is only peace; and no shaking fists --
The spirit of Manataka has arisen once more.
Valley has changed yet it is the same.
There are no buildings to mar its face.
Metal noise replaced with amazing grace.
The Place of Peace - Manataka is its name.
We forgive those who took Manataka away;
and hid the waters for many days.
We come again for the healing breath of Nowasalon,
They come for the healing herbs and healing red clay;
We join hands and sing to the drum until dawn;
They come for the healing crystal and to pray.
much thanks to the Creator above,
We the People of the Longhouse ask blessing.
He gives us beauty, everlasting peace, and love.
So be it, we gather again to dance and sing.
As I Sit Here
By Joseph Chunn
I sit here,
I see a vapor
rises from the
spring. In the vapor
I see a strange ghost like
movement. What kind of thing
moves around me in this ancient
ring. I see tepees, circled smoke rising
from internal fires. My pulse quickens as
I see the old ones come from the teepees, the
old ones were here hundreds of years before me.
The vapor rises higher and the sun casts a rainbow
The old ones call to the children to come and see. They
laugh and point, their smiles growing. I shudder a bit, I
am to witness this, awakening inside me is a knowledge I
have been this way before. Soft South winds blow the vapor to
the side and my vision is cleared, I am moving toward the center
of the ring. Something pulls me from where I am to where I used to
be. I hear the rush of sweet hot water and know I am back at Manataka
The children notice me first, they seem aware I am floating into their world.
Silently, I see a young boy point in my direction and his sister see me also. They
are not afraid but call to their Grandfather. He says he knows me, that I come to visit
on gentle days on the light South wind when spirits are blown back and forth in time. I
wish I could speak to tell them I was here long ago and they must treasure what they find here
but I know they already do so. Grandfather tells them that the Gray Ghost they see only wishes to check on the tribe and see that they love the valley and once satisfied he will drift away on the South wind that brought him here. The children watch as I moved by and the little girl waves, the little boy looks at me with hard eyes. Grandfather tells him there is no need to be concerned
that the Gray Ghost is a white path spirit with a
heart of red. That softened the little boy's eyes
and brought a slight smile. Grandfather said
you will see him again on the soft South wind
days and he will come to know you and you him. So when I am gone and your
grandchildren see him you can tell them that he is a spirit of long ago. He only
wishes to see if they love Manataka as he does and then he will drift away.
As I sit here the smoke from the fire blows to my eyes and they tear. Was I
there? When I wipe the tears from my eyes the old ones are gone. Hau Ho!
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