Manataka American Indian Council                                                           Volume XIV  Issue 04  APRIL 2010




Manataka - Preserving The Past Today For Tomorrow\



Page 2 of 3 Pages






Contents of Page 2              

Legends of Old: Coyote and the Giant
Feature Story::  

Honoring our Medicine People, their Ancestors...

Letters to the Editor:

How Things Have Changed...
Feature Story:   Why the 2010 Census is Important to Indians
Organic Consumers: Ban Monsanto's Genetically Engineered Alfalfa
Elder's Meditations:

Barney Bush, Shawnee

Warrior Society News: Native American Vietnam Veterans Memorial
Earth Medicine:   Spiritual Feathers and Energies
Fluoride: End Fluoridation Now!
Animal Rights and Wrongs: A Florida and Missouri are Full of Surprises
Sacred Sites: Spare this Sacred Site!






Manataka T-Shirts! 


Manataka Flags!






Coyote and the Giant

Navajo Legend

According to stories of ancient times, cruel giants once roamed the earth. They were especially fond of little children, whom they caught and ate.

One day Coyote was trotting across a rocky place when he saw one of those huge creatures.

"Cousin "Coyote called, "I'm on my way to the creek to take a sweat bath. I admit I was a little afraid to startle such a big, brave giant as you are; so I caught your attention first - will you join me in a sweat bath?"

"Why?" the giant growled, putting his club down and looking more friendly.

"Why do I need a sweat bath?"

"Everyone needs a sweat bath," Coyote told him. "They're good for you, Cousin Giant How else would you be able to get rid of all those no-good things in you?

"What no-good things?" the giant asked, looking down at his balloon of a stomach.

"You'll find out when you take a sweat bath," Coyote said. Of course, if you don't want to come with me, I'll trot on by myself."

The giant stopped; then he looked at his big stomach again and thought of all the no-good things that might be in there.











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Honoring our Medicine People,

Ancestors and their Traditions

By Irma Nieves-West

Paiute Reservation, Bishop, CA



I would like share these words with you;


Integrity, what is the meaning of this word; in the dictionary the meaning of this word is as follows, the quality of possessing and steadfastly adhering to high moral principles or professional standard.


Reciprocity, what is the meaning of this word; something done mutually or in return.


Honor, strong moral character or strength, and adherence to ethical principles


I state the words above because I have come across these words from many of my colleagues in the last few months.


This brings up the active conversation that our Medicine Men/Women, Healers and Spiritual Leaders within their community are not being respected or honor by their own or others outside their community. 


When we are on our spiritual path, we honor our beliefs and traditions and hold them with integrity.  The giving of our gifts, love, time and energy is called in some ways - giving of ourselves, for that is why we were chosen.


In the last 40 years that I have walked this path, I have seen many good spiritual leaders, healers, medicine men, priests, reverends, pastors, etc…come a long way through their path and have seen how greed, fame, power, and temptation have taken them off the path.  We are not perfect, we are only human and there are very few that hold their path steadfast.  When this happens, very few go back to the beginning and make their mistakes right and continue to have a fuller and much stronger spiritual life.  Read More>>>









Manataka receives dozens of letters each week. 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.



Visions Problems While Smoking Peyote

Hello Manataka,


I just read an article in Smoke Signals that I want to respond to. I am an Englishman by birth, and due to a spiritual happening, got involved in many "Native Traditions" including the European ones. I practiced Anglo Saxo Shamanism, and Saami Shamanism. These were my heritage on my mothers and fathers side. I also got into Wicca and Odinism. For the last two, the present day practice is a farce.. primarily about capturing the souls of Bear or other animals, for uses of power. Odinism has turned into a racist movement.


I had some visions in 1988, and got involved in the Native American Church, with some well known Native Americans. I took part in Peyote ceremonies.. and some visions that have turned out to have some meaning. I left my Native American friends, because I felt I WAS taking something that was not mine, so, I tend to agree with that article , on " born again Indians in white skin" I was so sick of hearing the " I was Geronimo in a prior life" what a hoot.


So, here I am 20 years later.. and have just called my old friends. My DNA tests have come back, and I am related to Cynthia Ann Parker's father side of Quannah Parkers family. Exact DNA match. The songs I was singing 20 years ago, were written by Quannah's grandson. No wonder I got visions of their problems at that time, while smoking Peyote.


So, don't be too quick in judging ole white eyes sitting around the fire. Something has called him or her there, and it is blood, or spirit.  I would add something else.... while feeling some shame as to what occurred in those days, it is nothing compared to what I feel now. I do not feel the pride of the Native American, because I am not one of you... but I do feel the shame, even more so... because we are, related.  Be well

~Richard Clarkson ( Parker)



Big Oil: Shut Down the Tar Sands!

Hello Editor,


As the Winter Olympics in Vancouver captivate audiences across the world, we're working to expose the other high-stakes competition unfolding right now in Canada.

Seven hundred miles from Vancouver, giant oil corporations, some of them sponsors of the Olympics1, are deploying their machinery in a race to exploit Alberta's tar sands. These companies strip mine huge tracts of the pristine Boreal Forest, the Amazon of the North, to extract the oil beneath. An area of forest the size of Florida is set to be razed and replaced with open pit mines, smoke stacks and toxic ponds.

Big Oil is counting on America's fossil fuel addiction to make this race profitable. The industry wants to build new pipelines to double imports of dirty tar sands oil into the United States. As you read this, the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline sits on President Obama's desk waiting for approval.

This is our opportunity to halt the destruction. Thousands of activists have already called on President Obama to say "no thanks" to more dirty tar sands oil. Can you join them?

A dirty truth of the tar sands project is that more than natural habitats are being destroyed in the race to extract oil. The toxic byproducts of the mining process are poisoning indigenous communities that rely on the land and water downstream. These communities have seen high rates of rare cancers since the mining began.

The dirty truth behind the Olympics is that they are being fueled by corporations profiting from this tragedy. Sunoco subsidiary Petro Canada runs six tar sands projects and is a "National Partner" of the Olympics. TransCanada, the official supplier of natural gas for the Games, is driving the Keystone XL pipeline, which would be the biggest pipeline yet to funnel dirty tar sands oil into the United States.

Help us keep the pressure on Big Oil to shut down the tar sands. Call on President Obama to deny the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline.

~ Alex Moore, Dirty Fuels Campaigner, Friends of the Earth 




How Things Have Changed...

Hello Manataka,


It is difficult to believe that we are now in the year 2010. I’m not sure where the time went, but it seems like the older I get the faster time flies. I often wonder how our people in times past felt about time. They had no watches or clocks to go by. Yet they knew when to farm, when the seasons were changing, when to move south into Mexico and then north into what is now the United States. They knew when the buffalo would roam the prairies. They kept no records of births and weddings but they went by seasonal things like winters since winter seemed to start the new year. They would say things like, "You were born six winters ago” or, “Remember when we were attacked ten winters ago by the Mexicans."  For most people time and ages were important to keep; but for us, we just lived day by day, wondering what tomorrow would bring, not next year or next week. I think not worrying about the future helped us avoid a lot of the diseases we have today that come from stress - or even from our calendars. We looked at life as life approached us and we let tomorrow take care of itself as it came.


How have things changed?  Today, we have fallen into a system that gives us ulcers, nervous breakdowns and other diseases related to stress We run here and there - not so much for the survival of the people but because of the rigid schedules we have placed on ourselves.  We yearn for those simple days but yet we keep complicating our lives with deadlines and more meetings or projects than we can handle.  I really don’t know what the answer is.  It would be hard to go back to the old days when this world today revolves around a clock. But we do have opportunities to redeem the time and the stress that time brings.  We can slow down our world and learn to say no to things that will just add anxiety to our plate.  We might not be able to go back to those days of times past, but we could learn to control our days, thus redeeming the times. ~ Robert Soto, Lipan Apache



Religion of the Wise is Compassion

Dear Manataka,


Two lifetimes ago I was an Algonquin Indian, then born later in the old west.  Today however I am shamed, being the white man, who say they are "Christians" but do not follow the teachings of their Bible that is full of wise words. "Be yea as wise as the serpent and peaceful as the dove."

Strange how government has altered words from our past to confuse us all and keep us blind to our reality. To "believe" means I don't know....but I will take your word for it.  To have a "theory" means I don't know ......but I am working on it. There is only one religion but they have changed our ways.  That "religion" is compassion....and is preached all through our Bible....Now they know only war and killing. Also the words " good " and "evil" .....but do they really know what that means??

To say good is to be full of compassion. To say evil is to say greed!  Also the Bible says, essentially, that if you seek you shall find.  Only the wise have no other religion than compassion and as a seeker of truth can not find it  in their heart to steal or to kill because he does not believe....because he knows.  Once something is known it is no longer a is knowledge of the divine.
~ Braden Tapes



Remembering Wounded Knee 1973

Ah-ho My Relations,


Each year with the changing of the season I post this remembrance of Wounded Knee 73. I wrote it a few years ago when some of our brave people had walked to Yellowstone to stop the slaughter of our Buffalo relations. When I did I was surprised at the response from people who were too young to remember WK '73 and I was pleased that some old WK vets wrote to me afterwards. So each year on this date I post the short story again and invite you-all to send it around or use as you will. As you do I ask you to remember that our reasons for going to Wounded Knee still exist and that means the need for struggle and resistance also still exist. Our land and sacred sites are threatened as never before even our sacred Mother herself is faced with unnatural warming caused by extreme greed.


In some areas of conflict between our people and those we signed treaties with, it is best to negotiate or "work within the system" but, because our struggle is one of survival, there are also times when a warrior must stand fast even at the risk of one's life. I believed that in 1973 when I was thirty and I believe it today in my sixties. But to me Wounded Knee 73 was really not about the fight , it was about the strong statement that our traditional way of living in this world is not about to disappear and our people are not a "vanishing race" as wasicu education would have you believe. As time has passed and I see so many of our young people taking part in a traditional way of living and believing I know our fight was worth it and those we lost for our movement died worthy deaths. ~Carter Camp


"Remembering Wounded Knee 1973"

Today is heavy with prayer and reminisces for me.  Not only are those who walk for the Yellowstone Buffalo reaching their destination, today is the anniversary of the night when, at the direction of the Oglala Chiefs, I went with a special squad of warriors to liberate Wounded Knee in advance of the main AIM caravan.


For security reasons the people had been told everyone was going to a meeting / wacipi in Porcupine, the road goes through Wounded Knee. When the People arrived at the Trading Post we had already set up a perimeter, taken eleven hostages, run the BIA cops out of town, cut most phone lines, and began 73 days of the best, most free time of my life. The honor of being chosen to go first still lives strong in my heart.


That night we had no idea what fate awaited us.  It was a cold night with not much moonlight and I clearly remember the nervous anticipation I felt as we drove the back-way from Oglala into Wounded Knee.  The Chiefs had tasked me with a mission and we were sworn to succeed, of that I was sure, but I couldn't help wondering if we were prepared.  The FBI, BIA and Marshalls had fortified Pine Ridge with machine gun bunkers and APC's with M-60's.  They had unleashed the goon squad on the people and a reign of terror had begun, we knew we had to fight but we could not fight on wasicu terms.  We were lightly armed and dependent on the weapons and ammo inside the Wounded Knee trading post, I worried that we would not get to them before the shooting started.


As we stared silently into the darkness driving into the hamlet I tried to see what opposition we would encounter and how to neutralize it. We were approaching a sacred place and each of us knew it.  We could feel it deep inside.  As a warrior leading warriors I humbly prayed to Wakonda for the lives of all and the wisdom to do things right.  Never before or since have I offered my tobacco with such a plea nor put on my feathers with such purpose.  It was the birth of the Independent Oglala Nation.


Things went well for us that night, we accomplished our task without loss of life. Then, in the cold darkness as we waited for Dennis and Russ to bring in the caravan (or for the fight to start), I stood on the bank of the shallow ravine where our people had been murdered by Custers' 7th Cavalry.  There I prayed for the defenseless ones, torn apart by Hotchkiss cannon and trampled under hooves of steel by drunken wasicu.  I could feel the touch of their spirits as I eased quietly into the gully and stood silently... waiting for my future, touching my past.


Finally, I bent over and picked a sprig of sage - whose ancestors in 1890 had been nourished by the blood of Red babies, ripped from their mothers dying grasp and bayoneted by the evil ones. As I washed myself with that sacred herb I became cold in my determination and cleansed of fear.  I looked for Big Foot and YellowBird in the darkness and I said aloud ---


"We are back my relations, we are home".  Hoka-Hey


Carter Camp- Ponca Nation AIM




Anybody Know this Yaqui Family?

Dear Editor:


My name is Lorena Urquidi and I recently learned that my grandfather Francisco Urquidi who had a background in ancestery with the Yaquis. 

I am originally from El Paso, Texas and recently my brother Robert (Bobby) Urquidi told me he meet a lady named Rosi who was related to my grandfather since then my grandfathers family has kept in touch with my brother.  Thanks. ~Lorena Urquidi



Caught On the Rez

Dear Manataka,


My whole family is on the rolls at the Saginaw Chippewa Reservation in Mount Pleasant,  Michigan. I am being discriminated out of my family out of the census out of everything that is Indian by people that do not even belong there. My great grandfather signed the treaty that let them have the reservation in the first place. I asked the BIA for help and they say they can't get involved. The Chippewa ceded our land for the rez, but it is being run by non-Chippewas and there are a lot of us with proof we are true descendents and because they made up rules we can't get on the rolls. I am writing to the President but he seems to have turned a deaf ear to our problem. Yes, I would love to sign up for the census. There are a lot of us who would like to sign up but the ones running the show say we do not belong to our own Reservation. Thank You.  ~Richard Cyr    



Likes Hunting Article

Hello Manataka,


I've been a Countryside Ranger in England since 1991, teaching children and the public about the natural environment and managing wildlife habitats.  I was very impressed by your article Deer Hide Tanning  and I will be using the facts, information and viewpoints from it in a guided walk for the public I am doing in 2 weeks time. Whether I recruit you any insect eaters in England is doubtful but I'll do my best to open some minds to the possibilities. I'm just about to show my son.  ~Bob Campbell



Candy Medicine

Greetings Manataka,


When I was young we never wore shoes.  I lived in northwest Florida and there were 12 of us and very poor - money wise. To see a doctor was very rare. My mother was born down around Okeechobee then moved up here with 4 or 5 other families, met my father who was born in Altha, FL   She had a lot of Indian in her -- we think Creek and Seminole.  She made a lot of our med's.  One that I remember the most was a candy from the roots of a plant she called da-rus-la-moke.  Going bare foot, we would get stomach pin worms and hook worms.  She dug up the plants, boil the roots and add sugar to make candy.  My older sisters and I would pull it like taffy and we kids would eat it.  The next day if you had worms out the rear they came and they were DEAD.   I still remember the plant it still grows down in back of yard where I still live. Does anyone know anything about this candy medicine?  ~Frank Tate



Likes Red Hawk's Dairy

Dear Editor,


Just finished reading your Dairy and was so blessed. I don't know anything about Indian lore but for the past few months every time I go out or come in, a Red Tail Hawk and sometimes two will swoop down in front of the car.  One day I had to stop for one was sitting in the road. I got out thinking it was hurt and maybe I could take it home but then thought it might bite me so I got a book that was in my car and scooped it to the woods and it hopped off. Anyway, it just can't be a coincidence that I feel something is going on for me seeing red tailed hawks all the time everyday. I asked my father (God) what does it mean. He said he loved me. He only wished I knew how much. Then I thought about looking on Indian lore to see if anything is told about them I cant believe all the stuff about them . I never knew such a thing as totems and power animals etc.


Anyway, maybe I will be able to accept what the hawks are trying to relay to me. Today and yesterday I have been more aware of crows. One swooped down in front of my car like the hawk did. I looked them up and learned some more stuff. I am going to be 64 in May. I have always had a close relationship with animals  and maybe God wants to get me back involved with them like I used to be as a kid. Anyway, thank you again for the insightful information.  I love nature and always felt a kindred spirit with Indian culture and peoples. My ancestors are  from Italy but I always say I have the heart of an Indian. I am always taken for an Indian because I kind of look Indian. Lord be with us and keep us in his embrace.

Sunshine (in my youth) Wildflower ( mid years) Redbud (Old age)




Get on the ball! 

Sign me!


Feature Story




 Census 2010



Should I Identify as Native American in the 2010 Census?



It is absolutely critical that all “non-enrolled” Native Americans, and those people that can prove lineal descent from a Native American ancestor, self-identify as “Native American in Combination with One or More Races” when completing their 2010 Census questionnaires! Get the message out – pass this along to your family members and other Indian friends.


Results of the 2000 Census

For the first time ever, the 2000 Census measured “Native Americans in Combination with One or More Races,” That number totaled 4,119,301. The number of Americans that reported themselves “Native Alone” was 2,475,956 (these are considered predominantly enrolled members of a federally recognized tribe. The difference between these two numbers equals 1,643,345.  This is significant because this 1,643,345 represents the number of persons that self-identified as “mixed-blood”


It must be pointed out that the 2000 Census was “flawed” - in that it did not provide a method to distinguish what percentage of the 1,643,345 were enrolled members of a federally recognized Indian tribe that chose to identify using this category only. However, it is generally accepted that the vast majority of these (perhaps exceeding 90%) are “non-enrolled” members of a federally recognized Indian tribe.








The Manataka American Indian Council supports:


Quote of the Week:

Action Update: More Than 200,000 Consumers, Farmers and Organic Businesses Call for USDA to Ban Monsanto's Genetically Engineered Alfalfa

The contamination of non-GE and organic alfalfa hay and seed With Monsanto's Roundup Ready Alfalfa would likely devastate the organic dairy and beef industry.

More than 200,000 people submitted comments to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) critiquing the substance and conclusions of its Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) on Genetically Engineered (GE) Alfalfa. Groups including the Organic Consumers Association, the National Organic Coalition, Center for Food Safety (CFS), Food & Water Watch, CREDO Action, and Food Democracy Now, mobilized our communities to help generate the unprecedented number of comments. 


World's Greenest Mayor: "Let Them Eat Toxic Sludge!"

A "sludge dump" organized by San Francisco garden activists and the Organic Consumers Association made national news last week. TV cameras from all the major networks filmed us as we took sewage sludge that the city had told gardeners was "organic compost" and dumped it on the steps of City Hall.

Sadly, Gavin Newsom, the man Organic Style Magazine called the World's Greenest Mayor, doesn't seem to think there's anything wrong with using sewage sludge on food crops.


Procter & Gamble Agrees to Reformulate Body Care Products Due to Toxic Contaminant

On Friday March 12, 2009, the Organic Consumers Association, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, and the Green Patriot Working Group will announce the details of an agreement from Procter and Gamble to reformulate 18 products from its top-selling Herbal Essences brand to reduce levels of the carcinogenic petrochemical 1,4-Dioxane.

In addition, OCA and allies will announce new results from a continuing study that has tested over 150 consumer products for the toxic chemical. This year, 20 laundry detergents were tested, including major "natural" and conventional brands. Ironically, the seven laundry detergent brands from P&G had by far the highest levels of 1,4-dioxane overall. The independent third-party laboratory, Exova, known for rigorous testing and chain-of-custody protocols, performed all testing. Over the past two years, OCA research, litigation, and marketplace pressure have forced dozens of so-called organic and natural brands to reformulate their health and beauty products. 

New Drug-Resistant Bacteria Emerging in Hospitals
A new "superbug" called Acinetobacteria is causing severe bloodstream infection and pneumonia in hospital patients.






"The voice and the heart are not working together."  --Barney Bush, Shawnee


We can say any words we want with our voice but we cannot hide the true meaning and the true spirit behind the words. The true meaning is always understood. The voice is heard in the physical world, but the meaning is transmitted in the spiritual world. If our voice says one thing but the heart is saying something else, it's the something else that is heard. It is said that the truth will set you free. Reaching the truth means your voice and your words will be in alignment with the heart.


Great Spirit, let my tongue, speak the truth today.

By Don Coyhis



Warrior Society News



National Native American Vietnam Veterans Memorial



The Highground is honored to have been chosen as the home of The National Native American Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Unanimous approval for this decision was given at the annual Congress of Native American Indians held in Denver, CO in 1994.

Dedicated in 1995, The National Native American Vietnam Veterans Memorial is the first national memorial to come to The Highground. Harry Whitehorse, Madison sculptor and WW II veteran, created this bronze sculpture.


Mounted on a red granite base, the sculpture depicts an Native American Soldier in jungle fatigues, holding a rifle in one hand and an Eagle Feather Staff in the other. The names, rank, home of record, date of casualty-how they died (Still to be completed is the tribal affiliation.) of all Native American Indians who died as a result of the Vietnam war etched into two of the four black granite panels which skirt the base of the entire statuary. When we do tours we emphasize the importance of the Eagle Feather Staff.











Medicine for the People

By Harvey Walks With Hawks Doyle



Spiritual Feathers and Energies


We need to go further back within ourselves and seek the balance of understanding of our physical bodies and our spirit.  I want to try to make you are aware that there must be harmony between all functions that the Great Spirit has placed within our body.  You can think of this energy as thoughts, mind, soul, spirit, physical attributes, and all that has been breathed into you to make you as complex as you are.


Some have said we are children of the stars, and we could be surrounded with an energy field or light. This light is composed of small or minute wavelengths that operate on a certain frequency that surrounds your body or our spiritual signature.  Each individual has his or her own frequency, yet it comes from the same light saving force.  This light or frequency is linked to all things that are in our world and out of our world even to the cosmos areas.  This energy extends beyond our bodies and maybe even linked to different planes of existence or different dimensions. Everything on Mother Earth has a frequency or an energy field, animals, plants and everything that exists. Frequencies come from colors, plants, animals, human beings and if you are adapted to receiving these frequencies then you have a form communicational healing with all existence. What a blessing we can have from Mother Earth and the Creator.








End Fluoridation Now!


Tell your Congressional representatives you want an end to fluoridation now!

Over 2,000 professionals have signed a Statement being distributed calling for an end to water fluoridation worldwide. Signers include a Nobel Prize winner, three members of the landmark 2006 National Research Council report on fluoride’s toxicology, three officers in the Union representing professionals at EPA headquarters, the Executive Board of the American Academy of Environmental Medicine, leading fluoride researchers, and medical, dental, scientific and environmental professionals from around the world. (To read the statement, and see the list of signers, click here.)

Below is your chance to send an immediate email to your own US Senators and Representative supporting the Professionals' call to end fluoridation and asking for a new Congressional Hearing on Fluoridation. If you like, you can personalize this message by adding (or removing) words of your own.

Providing your address information will allow us to send your message to your own Senators and US Representative.





No offense intended for any individuals or tribes.








Florida is Full of Surprises...

A 15 foot Eastern Diamondback rattle snake was caught near Jacksonville -- the largest ever caught on record. One bite from a snake this large contains enough venom to kill over 40 full grown men.  The head alone is larger than the hand of a normal sized man.  This snake was probably alive when George H. W. Bush was President. A bite from those fangs would equal being penetrated by two 1/4 inch screwdrivers.  A snake this size could easily swallow a 2 year-old child.  A snake this size has an approximately 5 and 1/2 accurate striking distance.  The distance for an average sized Rattlesnake is about 2 feet.  Judging by the size of the snake, it is estimated to weigh over 170 pounds. How much do you weigh?

~Submitted by Ed Bak 





Missouri is Full of Surprises Too...

Short-Eared Owls By The Hundreds


Faren Fite of Greenfield, Mo. reported 200 owls were found between Greenfield and Lockwood.  There was one photo of 28 owls sitting on a small corral fence, as if they were attending a family reunion or owl convention. It was a huge group of short-eared owls, a species a little bit like the barred owl in the Ozarks.  But in habit, they are much different than most of the owls in the Ozarks. They have a mean look to them, with ornery-looking bright yellow eyes rather than the brown eyes the barred owl has. And the face is much different, with a pronounced circle of feathers, contrasting white and dark brown, and two little feather patches referred to as "ears", which are much like the horns on a horned owl.




See an amazing film about Austrailia's Aboriginal peoples.

Traditional Whale Dreamers







Spare this Sacred Site!
Protesters ask Ulster, New York planners to protect Native American relics

by Kathryn Heidecker

Ulster Sacred Site protesters. [Nora Paul Budziak]


After a group prayer and drum circle, dozens representing several Native American groups, including the Mohawks, Blackfeet and the Ojibways, spoke against a proposed development at the Town of Ulster Planning Board meeting Tuesday evening.

During a public hearing, the Ulster Manor preliminary subdivision plat approval drew sharp criticism from neighboring property owners, Native American groups and environmentalists during a public hearing described by one attendee as "trial by fire" for newly appointed planning board Chairman Renno Budziak. Owners of the 48-acre site are seeking approval to build 104 units of townhouses, single-family homes and condos, as well as a recreational facility, including a tennis court and swimming pool. Under the current proposal, eight acres of the site would contain development; the remaining 40 acres would be "re-landscaped" open space.

However, the parcel contains a rare archaeological site - a workshop used to make stone tools and a camp used by the Sylvan Lake people, a Native American group who lived in the Dutchess-Ulster area about 5,000 years ago. A second site used by a much more recent Native American group, near the time of when the Iroquois people first moved into the area, about 1,000 years ago. What is especially interesting about the site, which was explored by a dig in 2005, is that it is tucked into a spot which has never been flooded and never been plowed over for farming, making it pristine from an archaeological point of view. At the more recent site, which was investigated in the late 1940s, human remains were reported to have been found, but not reported to have been removed.





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