Manataka American Indian Council





August-September 2011





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.  


National Park Service Wrong at Yellowstone
Dear Editor,
I just submitted comments to the National Park Service asking them to adopt a final winter use management plan that best 
protects Yellowstone National Park. The Park Service is proposing to continue snowmobile use in Yellowstone National Park 
despite disclosing in a new, major study that the significantly larger amount of traffic involved would be worse for Yellowstone's
wildlife, air quality and unique soundscape than other transportation alternatives. Urge the Park Service to adopt a plan that 
best protects Yellowstone's winter wonderland. 
After you've submitted your comments, be sure to spread the word to your friends! Thanks!  ~ Henrietta Wise, New York


Christian Denominations to Deculturalize Native People

Osiyo Everyone:


Native Spiritual and cultural practices were a violation of federal law from the late 1800s until 1978. During that period of time, the government paid various Christian denominations to de-culturalize Native people "kill the Indian, save the man".  During that same period of time, many Sacred areas were destroyed by building cities over some of the village and Sacred areas, archaeological activity, treasure hunters, farms, and parks and recreation, ski resorts, etc. When congress passed the "Native American  Religious Freedom Act" in 1978, Native people believed that these Sacred areas would now be protected. 


In 1988 we discovered that we were wrong, when the Supreme Court decided that protection for Sacred areas was not covered by this law.  Wado: ~Richard "Thunder Wolf" Wilson


Rainbow Pattern

Hello Brothers and Sisters,

I hope you like my photos I sent you last year. Here is a another.  I was sitting in my backyard and noticed a rainbow pattern in the the clouds and took a photo with my phone, a Samsung Pixon 8800. when I looked at my photo I noticed the blue orb on the photo. the great mystery has granted me rainbow status which i accept humbly and I thank you at Manataka for starting my journey and to a book that's been in my family for years "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, your website spring boarded to an amzing journey back to myself and home . Peace, best wishes, AHO ~Martin Manifold, Liverpool, England, UK


If Only To Grow More Freely

Dear Editor,

Life is like that of the stream and the tree, which can carry the bite of an angry bee. Now your life is about you, and if your dreams are true, you’ll help yourself to see the incandescent you. For life does grow like that of a tree, for all of whom care to see with thee. And life does flow like a crisp mountain stream, with eddy’s and currents flowing down to the sea. For the nature of life is the life in nature. So, if you are wishing to mature, learn first how to nurture, from the glorious source which is nature about you.



Age is experience and experience which most should see, was the first real teacher for the human mind to see. So we gather information through what we hear and see and through the time of ancient man it began to speak to thee. So now with all we hear and see ,we tell onto another, who will listen to and then inform still yet another brother. Now through the course of time we learnt to scribble in the sand, so for ages now it has been called writing with the hand. So over time we have developed society as it is today, which is of course a very grand feat, but this I still must say. It is only good where needed, should we apply our creative hand, for in the back of the mind of man, kept way back in a corner, is the ability to and some probably could, destroy all law and order.


For people are a greedy kind who want more than they need, and this of course is the source of mans fake destiny. But despite of this we all must learn from each and every other, for without them the world would be like bread without the butter. Very Plain.  ~Matthew A Neustater


Hummingbirds in Southern and Northern Hemisphere

Hi Manataka,

I was doing a little research on Hummingbird. I carve/design the Hummingbird Woman/Goddess pendant for my eBay store. I live in Santa Fe, New Mexico. I was calling on the bird for rain as I discovered the Pueblos rituals for Hummingbird for rain. I noticed on your Website that you said Hummingbirds were only found in the Western Hemisphere. Not true. Hummingbirds are in the Southern Hemisphere as well. Here is a photo of one in Bali, Indonesia, Hummingbirds that visited my garden daily when I lived there. It is called a Steely-Vented Hummingbird. Blessings, love and hug with Compassion.  ~Jean Redman

Jean, you are right.  The story has been corrected.  Thank you!


Disenrolled Pechanga Members


We the dis-enrolled native Americans of the Hunter Clan held a protest rally in front of the Pechanga Casino on June 2, 2011 for the decietful, corrupt and greedy tribal leaders conference.  The government Bureau of Indian Affairs and Larry Echohawk, under the Secretary of the Department of the Interior was present.  After repeated requests for a meeting with him, he ignored us.  We did meet with the regional director of the BIA and they spoke of sanctions that could be imposed against the Pechanga and other

native American tribes throughout the nation.  I am inclined to think this was just a brush off.  Back before we were dis-enrolled from the Pechanga membership, a vote was taken and passed that there would be no disenrollments and at least a year passed and we were illegally dis-enrolled.  Our constitution and by-laws forbid these actions.  Wayne Mong, Fontana,CA 957-897-6681


Stereotyping Native Americans


I was listening to the WAMC Northeast Public Radio fundraiser this week. They were airing one of their homemade skits on June 13 and again on June 14. Those skits are meant to entertain and inspire people to make a monetary contribution to a wonderful radio station that is dedicated to educating and entertaining people all over the Northeast. This particular skit had a western theme in which Alan Chartock, President and CEO of WAMC Northeast Public Radio, and others were worried about being attacked by "the meanest Native Americans" ...... the "Escrow Indians." They made reference to a "crazy old medicine man" and described the fictitious "tribe" as "mean as rattlesnakes" and as a litigious entity.

WAMC is heard by thousands of people, including myself. I don’t always agree with everything they have to say and how they say it, but overall I think it is a beneficial station. I am a frequent listener and have donated money to it on various occasions and so was shocked, upset, and insulted when I heard that skit. Sadly, it underscores the fact that intelligent, well-read, well-meaning people who are usually open-minded and aware of many humanitarian and global issues do not realize how offensive and hurtful this type of depiction, even when using a fictional tribe, can be. We as Native people are working so hard to correct misconceptions about Native Americans, but keep running up against the same old disparaging, demeaning, and stereotypical remarks. That makes it difficult to instill pride and a healthy sense of self-worth in our young people. It makes it difficult for Native people to be looked upon with respect by others. It makes it difficult for us to feel good about ourselves.

Today, Native Americans live on and off reservations. Many of us live and work side by side with non-Native people. We live in a contemporary world, but still know who we are and from where we have come. Many of us value our history, culture and traditions. We honor and value our elders and the people who know about our traditional medicines and ceremonies. We work hard to educate our own people as well as others about who we really are. We feel that we have much to share that is of value to people all over the world. After all, we are all related and connected. We have so much to offer to one another.

I could have remained silent and just let it roll off my back, as I usually do. One must pick one’s battles. One can’t fight them all. But, I am an educator and feel that there are times when I must say something. I must use this teachable moment to shine a light on an issue that needs to be addressed. The good people at WAMC were clearly having fun and were focused on trying to do what they could to keep their worthwhile radio station going. But, they overlooked the fact that an ethnic group was portrayed in a negative way. They didn’t mean to hurt anyone, but they did. I thought hard about how to respond. I chose to write a letter as I would to a friend and express how I felt. Now, it is up to them to decide what to do or not to do with that information. I hope they will take this feedback and use it in a positive way in the future. I only ask that Native Americans are treated with the same respect as other ethnic groups.

It is too bad, that the same issue of stereotyping keeps popping up and that it needs attention over and over again. We know that if the weeds aren't picked from the vegetable garden, then they will take over the garden and the harvest will be affected or even destroyed. We need to weed out the words of hurt in order to maintain and nurture friendship and understanding between one another. We need to let people and organizations know when a remark is made that is disrespectful. We should do it in a friendly way, as friends help one another. That is the only way we can enlighten and teach one another. I am always hopeful that someone will tell me, hopefully in a kind way, when I make a mistake, when I am insensitive, or when I misspeak. No one is perfect. We all have lots to learn from one another. Ideally, we learn something new each day.

I am also sharing this letter with others to point out the fact that the issue of stereotyping Native Americans is not an issue of the past. It is still a problem and requires consideration and attention. I encourage all to speak up when there is insult, but to do so in a voice that is not accusatory, but rather as one friend speaking with another friend. After all, the objective is not to feed insult with insult, but to build positive relationships with education and encouragement.  Sincerely, Kay Ionataiewas Olan (Mohawk)


Loves the Smoke Signal News

Hello Manataka

I am missing receiving your monthly newsletter. It is absolutely wonderful, very well presented and so full of helpful information; no one should be without it.  I forwarded it to some Native American friends back in AZ, and after that I didn't receive it again.  I thank you for such a wonderful newsletter, and for you help. I look forward to the Hot Springs Powwow in September.  Sincerely, Dianne Corrigan

I support you, and agree with your decision to cancel the powwow


Dear Manataka,

You may not remember me, but a few years ago I was chatting with Bear about producing an event at Manataka, similar to a non-competition Powwow. But I felt is was not in our financial capability to make it happen, and for many of the same reasons

you just mentioned. My idea was to have a "gathering", a "celebration gathering", of Native Americans, and friends of Native Americans, for the purpose of not competition, but a sort of talent show (but top notch talent), representing the best Native American performers.  A big commercial event on one hand, but it could be approached and designed more as a "gathering pow wow", not a competition powwow, or "commercial event". The main purpose being to promote brotherhood and love among all people via a gathering type of Powwow. We could brainstorm this idea, and perhaps come up with a good plan for a "special gathering",  that would meet Manataka's goals and purpose. We would brainstorm how this event would be different from present gatherings, etc. Just an idea, a seed. I will brainstorm it in the coming months, and see what comes. Still money is a problem. But I have faith that the right sponsor/s will come forth at the right time, that will fund the project. Will send more info after I think about it more.  A "Powwow" for the purpose of Brotherhood and Celebration, instead of competition and the negatives that go along with it. Wasn't that the original purpose of Powwows ? Maybe we can bring that back.  ~Michael Upchurch


Hello Manataka, American Indian Religious Freedom in Theory and Practice - Good article.

Russell Means makes an important distinction that dictatorships thrive on. Speaking superficially here, but ..... Freedom is not only granted, but it is a state of mind and spirit. Oppression of the mind and spirit is far more devastating than external oppression. An oppressed mind and spirit is living in hell (and I don't mean the plastic Christian kind).

I don't know where I read or learned this from, but a long time ago I learned that once the oppressor has captured a population's mind (internal oppression) - then the battle is almost won. The victims oppress themselves and the abuser's work is done. Oppression is also much harder to undo when it's internalized.  Freedom must exist in the mind and spirit or a person cannot live free, cannot act free. Russell Means is making a crucial point here. Living and acting free must be a reality to deal with the continued bullying by the NPS officials and the repeated betrayals of the U.S. Government of its own promises and laws.  I've enjoyed Russell Means' writings for years - whether or not I always agreed with his opinions, I've always respected him.  ~Kim Summermoon


Justice Scalia Article

Dear Manataka, Conversation with Justice Scalia -  Am I misunderstanding something??


This conversation with the "Justice" (alluding to the rank only) is insulting and ..... I'll leave it at that.  I think I understand why Mr. Newcomb walked away (I think he was much more gracious than I would have been). The depth of ignorance is astounding - the blindness, the apathy .... I found this website - just the home page alone and how "Justice" Marshall treated the subject is

deplorable ("simple fact").


Just because you don't 'wholeheartedly support' what happened - if it is in your power to do so, then you change the situation. Universal Law does not change - Creator's laws do not change according to the whims of humanity. You don't treat something as normal, "simple fact" that bullies and tyrants stole, killed, forcibly enslaved and ravaged simply because they wanted to - you judge based on what is right, on Creator's laws - not based on greed and power.

I think anyone who has read "Indian law", Marshall's interpretation, this "Doctrine of Discovery" - even this particular web page that I just read - and chooses to see Native history as "simple fact" and continues it because "it happened, so it's legal precedent" - in my opinion is committing war crimes.  It is inconceivable to me that we have "Justices" on the Supreme Court that do not see this - who don't understand .... 

These are raw gaping wounds of history and they are still there because justice, legislative, economic - they all act like it doesn't exist, like it never did.  How can we exist in 2011 and this still continues, these people still don't see? They do not want to see, because the risk and accountability involved is too great for them to face. Blindness is a shield when seeing cracks the mirror - but all things come full circle eventually. ~Kim Wilson



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