Manataka® American Indian Council
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
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.
Louis Riel, Canadian Métis Leader
Fry Bread is gooood...
Thank you for the fry bread recipes on the website. I had some dough that I wanted to fry but didn't know how. I do now and the kids loved it. I have added several of the recipes to my personal cookbook binder so that we can make more! ~Amber
Christian Crees Tear Down Sweatlodge
I tried to read the article about the Cree Sweat Lodge. I couldn't .... not all the details.
Call it my overall disgust after years of watching this happen over and over again by organized religion. I wish I could say I was surprised by what I did read. I'm not. I wish I could say that I respect all religions and their practitioners. I don't. Not anymore.
I have tried. I respect people individually - but practitioners of certain religions often seem to believe that they are better than others.
At my job, I work with people of many faiths. We had to sign an agreement upon hire - that we will accompany anyone to a mosque or temple without a problem, without harassment. At the time, I remember wondering - why would I have a problem doing this? Didn't bother me at all. I hadn't considered the political and religious climate of America - nor had I anticipated how things would get worse in this country.
http://www.manataka.org/page2192.html Grandfather and His Grandchildren
I wish Mianscum luck and I hope things go well for them .... sounds like they are dealing with a nasty sort that are well-schooled in politics and mind-games - either that, or they have the backing of those who are. It's got nothing to do with "Christianity" - just politics and money, greed, power. ~ Kim Summermoon Wilson, PA
Loves Manataka Flute from Down Under
Hello to all there at Manataka!
I just received the beautiful flute I ordered recently from you and was surprised how quickly it arrived here in Australia. To Bonnie White Cloud... Thank you for your friendly words in accepting me as an honored guest to the Manataka sacred circle. and explaining how I would be receiving the flute. I am a white Australian woman who enjoys learning about many cultures and am still learning about my own! I assure you the flute you have sent will remain in my care and will be respected throughout its life and my own. Here a few photo's I have taken and put together of my home. This is where my parents raised me, and after travelling eventually have settled. My husband son and I live in a beautiful place on earth. AND we never forget that it is to be respected. Thank you all so very much. Sincere words. ~Jayne Healy-Wozniak
Schaghticoke Indian Reservation
To Whom It May Concern at the Schaghticoke Indian Reservation, Kent, CT:
My Name is Jean Bruce. I live in Central Vermont. As a child I lived in Wassaic, NY, My grandfather was a very active member of the Schaghticoke Reservation. My grandmother and the rest of the family (at that time....I can remember....weren't all that supportive of him slipping out every summer to the Powwows. He used to tell me that the most important thing he ever did was to "sign in" in the "big book." That was very important to him. Back then...in the late 40's....I wouldn't have known what that meant or how important that was to Grandpa Walter King Cribley, who also used to bring Ginseng root to the reservation regularly. He also use to bring me to the reservation to pick Hickory nuts. The reservation always amazed me, but I hated the damned rattle snakes, but somehow Grandpa made me not to be afraid of them and I just wasn't. Anyway....I don't know what I can do for the reservation, except to support my family roots which I dearly love. And I DO love craftwork so if there is anything I can do to promote the Schaghticoke crafts, please let me know and I'll get busy right away and donate them to you this summer. With love and respect, Jean Cribley-Bruce, Berlin, VT 05663
Christian Crees Tear Down Purification Lodge
I read this article and was appalled. I fail to understand how any tribal council could ban sweat lodges or other indigenous spiritual beliefs and say that “do not conform with the traditional practices and teachings of our elders.”
My first question is, does this mean the traditional practices and teaching of our elders did not involve praying, or praying in a sweat lodge?
My second question is; where does this thinking come from? Are there non natives within the council that do not understand or respect religious freedom? Perhaps as stated, that indigenous people have suffered generations of “forced assimilation through religious and education institutions designed to ‘kill the Indian’ in us.”
If this is true, then I assume cultural education programs are in place? I know most reserves are teaching their own culture, but lack other teachings, such as history of Europe, Africa, etc. to give several views and awareness of other cultures and history. The history of the Spanish Inquisition and Indian Boarding Schools, I think would be enough to remind people what “religion” is all about.
The fact that tribal nations claim to be sovereign and also autonomous means that a nation is to act in the best interest of its "citizens" and the individual also has a right to act of their own choice. If tribal council denies individuals spiritual freedom then they are breaking their own law of being sovereign. It also fosters the attitude and practice they wanted to avoid, assimilation.
I don’t know of any elders or youth on any reserves I visited that would believe in such a ban. Is the next step some type of council ruling for individuals to practice their beliefs on or off the reserves?
I welcome any comment you may have and would like to keep up on this issue. Sincerely, Deborah Sanchez
"Open Letter" in
February's Smoke Signal Draw Response
Hello John Outler,
There is so much hardship in the world, and Mother Earth is storming and writhing everywhere. Surely people can focus on helping others, and not fighting. The letter, when I realized the reason for it - I couldn't help feeling angered by it ...... so I thought about it a while.
We don't have to agree with everything - we are all unique. That's part of what diversity is about. Embrace it. Learn from each other. We have enough anger, enough hatred, enough darkness. Do not contribute to it, do not strengthen it. Darkness is very hungry but can be hard to see.
Can you go before Creator one day and be asked, what did you do to help your brothers and sisters, and how did you treat your Mother, and say "I turned them away because they were not like me."
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