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. 



By Lee Standing Bear Moore and Takatoka


We are 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.

We are 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. 

 We are 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. 

We are 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.

In the 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. 

 Rainbow 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. 

We are 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. 

Shaking 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.

Great 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. 

Great 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. 

The 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. 

To give 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!