Volume XVIII  Issue 01


Preserving The Past Today For Tomorrow

January/February 2012

We are grateful to be back in the saddle of Manataka's Smoke Signal News after a two month hiatus.  Beautiful and extraordinary events have been occurring at the Place of Peace -- all preparing for that glorious Moment in when prophesy will be fulfilled and the sacredness of this magnificent Valley of the Vapors will emerge to bring about peace and love among humans worldwide.


We have made some changes in the Smoke Signal News.  Gone are the excessively long newsletters to be replaced with more succinct and timely articles pertaining specifically to Manataka's history, present and future.  We hope you enjoy the new Smoke Signals.  ~editor




Manataka Sacred Grounds Being Developed

As we hike the trails of Manataka Mountain today, we find no monuments to the gentle people who were once the keepers of Manataka (Place of Peace).  Only the Grandfathers now tell the story of the Rainbow Woman who blessed and guarded the Valley and the healing waters of Nówâ-sa-lon, the hot springs.


But this is about to change.  On the southeast slope of Manataka (Hot Springs) Mountain, cross the street from Hot Springs National Park, there was a small house built in 1920 that was demolished in 2010.  This little house sat on a half-acre, three city lots, of sacred ground; a little piece of the sacred mountain.


Recently Linda Bear Woman Speaks VanBibber of Independence, Missouri donated the land to the Manataka American Indian Council.  MAIC will receive a clear-title deed to this private property to be held in perpetuity for ceremonies and other functions.  Linda is a retired marketing executive and a member of Manataka since 2001.  Read More...


The Holy Mother of Manataka


Several important stories of Manataka speak of the great feminine spirit, IxChel, Mother God, Holy Mother of the Mountain, the Rainbow Woman of Manataka. 


It is said in prophesy that she sleeps deep in the mountain awaiting the day when the people of the four races of mankind come in peace and gather in a circle to pray and give thanks to the Creator of All Things. 


In the old days, the Rainbow Woman stood high on the hot springs mountain holding an eagle feather in each hand.  If any person grievously violated the peace of the Valley, Rainbow Woman dropped a single feather at the violator’s feet.  In the case of an Elder, the feather was laid on his/her shoulder.  That was the first warning – it would be wiser to fly away like a bird than challenge the peace of the valley.  If the violator persisted then the second feather was dropped and the violator was removed along Dead Chief's trail to permanent exile -- in some cases exile from Manataka also included the violator's own tribe.  Some were taken to the Place with No Name and left for dead.


This spiritual belief and other important stories about Rainbow Woman form the basis of a truth and law of Manataka that cannot be broken without consequences.  The laws given at Manataka precede and supersede civil laws that govern peace at Hot Springs today.    Read More...




"If the Great Spirit wanted men to stay in one place He would make the world stand still; but He made it to always change..." --Chief Flying Hawk, Oglala Sioux


The Elders tell us change occurs in two directions. They say, "That which is built is constantly being destroyed; that which is loose is being used to build the new." In other words, change is constantly going on. Many times we hear people say, "I hate change." Does it make sense that the Great Spirit would design people to hate it? The Great Spirit designed people with change abilities such as visioning, imagery and imagination. Maybe we need to learn to use these tools and then we'll look forward to change.


Great Spirit, today, let me see the harmony of Yours, truly changing world.



"Speak it with your lips and it will become reality.  Give form to your faith by dreaming it.  Give life to your dreams by speaking it."  Lee Standing Bear Moore, Manataka 


The Elders tell us that there is no division between reality and our dreams.  Faith is built by imagining or actualizing ones dreams, ideas, thoughts and opinions to create one life-giving stone of faith after the other.  Faith is a knowing that is far beyond simple belief.  By telling ourselves and others about our dreams, they become part of the new reality that is being created.  A circle of people envisioning the same dream develop a mass consciousness that will become the reality they all seek. 


Oh Great Spirit, give us faith to see the world as we dream it.



If all 50 state flowers were made into a bouquet... State Flowers



2012 Calendar Collector Series 


2012 Powwow Wall Calendar
Photographer Chris Roberts shares the tradition of powwow through his remarkable photographs of dancers who proudly preserve their ancestral traditions.  SKU: 90742-5
Regular Price: $24.95
Discount Code 1210

Price: $21.86






Ghost Dance 2012 Wall Calendar
The beautiful artwork of J.D. Challenger captures the bonds of strength and dignity linking Native Americans to their history.

Regular Price $24.95
SKU: 90738-8

Discount Code 1210





Les Lobaugh: The Navajo Lawyer

Who Helped Save Our Environment
©by Doug George-Kanentiio

Les Lobaugh is, according to Mary Louise Uhlig of the Environmental Protection Agency, the most "influential, important and anonymous Native lawyer in America".

At the event to mark National American Indian Heritage Month at the EPA held in Washington, DC in November, 2011. Lobaugh was the featured speaker. His presentation followed a performance by Joanne Shenandoah whose music celebrated the the great influence Native people have had on environmental issues. Read More....




National Park Service Gone Rogue: A Whistleblower Speaks

by Melvin Jordan


At six a.m. on June 9, 2004, the celebrated Indian trader Billy Malone awoke to a raid on his house by National Park Service (NPS) agents. With no explanation, the agents turned Malone’s place upside down, and his world crumbled around him. His personal and working collection of Navajo rugs and jewelry was confiscated. He lost his job, was kicked out of his home and faced federal charges.

NPS investigator Paul Berkowitz took over the case a year and a half later. Dispatched to end the money-draining investigation of the Hubbell Trading Post, Berkowitz found exactly the opposite of what his superiors were asserting.


Now, in The Case of the Indian Trader: Billy Malone and the National Park Service Investigation at Hubbell Trading Post (University of New Mexico Press, 2011), Berkowitz details the unorthodox world of Indian traders and how it collided with the NPS’s twisted politics. He dissects both the government’s refusal to accept Indian culture and the resulting intrusions into centuries–old business practices that value people over the almighty dollar.  Read More...



A Discussion with Nine Traditional Indian Healing Medicine Men



Chief Leonard Crow Dog, Sicangu Lakota medicine man, spoke about the spiritual dimension of healing. (By Mary Annette Pember

In her blog Daily Yonder, Mary Annette Pember, Ojibwe, describes the conversations between nine revered medicine men and the “embodiment of Western medicine,” Dr. Donald Lindberg, director of the National Institutes of Health’s National Library of Medicine, located in Bethesda, Maryland.

Her post “Two Healing Traditions Meet on the Plains” captures the American Indian vision concerning traditional healing and magnifies the tension between the Western and Native worldviews of medicine.


Pember writes, “Lindberg’s questions revealed the conviction and implied superiority of Western medicine. He asked how the men treated specific diseases and wondered if they went into trances when they conducted healings. The healers demurred at this direct line of questioning and instead spoke of the central role of prayer and humility in their work. They alluded to a power beyond words, the spiritual connection between humans and the earth. ‘We first ask permission from the Creator to heal people,’ said Albert Red Bear.”


The videotaped conversations between Lindberg and Red Bear, as well as eight other Indian medicine men, are part of the Library’s presentation of traditional Indian healing practices in a first-of-its-kind exhibition called “Native Voices: Native Peoples’ Concepts of Health and Illness.” The exhibit premiered with a blessing ceremony on October 5, 2011.  Read More...




Listen Up and Laugh—Health Benefits are Waiting

By Mark Underwood, Quincy Bioscience

Did you know a good dose of laughter can actually help your immune system and decrease stress? Have you ever wished you could let go and laugh more often at the silliness of life? It sounds easy but it’s not always possible, particularly if you’re facing ups and downs of life’s challenges. But if you can lighten up and be more playful, you’ll give yourself the freedom to have more fun. The good news is laughing has built-in health benefits to boot.


Here’s another reason to laugh. It’s contagious. Have you ever wondered why some people tend to attract others? Look more closely. It may be that they laugh easily and frequently even when they are surmounting numerous challenges connected with their health and aging.  Read More...



Letters to the Editor- Sound off!


Dear Editor,

We would like to take this opportunity to express our utmost gratitude to Ward Stone for all that he has done to help the Mohawk people. He has been a strong advocate for the health of Mohawks, especially at Akwesasne. In the 1980’s, a midwife from Akwesasne, a Mohawk reservation located not far from Massena NY, named Katsi Cook got in touch with Ward Stone and expressed concern about the effects of industrial pollution on the health of the people who reside there. Stone found extremely high levels of PCBs, insecticides and other toxins in area fish and wildlife. His work led to irrefutable proof that the dumping of contaminants by nearby factories was responsible for the high level of PCBs found in mother’s milk at Akwesasne. As a result, the people at Akwesasne are benefiting from the awareness of what needs to be done to maintain a healthy environment for the generations to come. Ward Stone has worked tirelessly not only as a strong and dedicated spokesperson for the animals, insects, fish, birds, water, air and Mother Earth, but he has also spoken up for the health and welfare of the people of the Northeast. Niawenko:wa (thank you), Ward Stone.  Sincerely, Tom Sakokwenionkwas Porter, Bear Clan Mohawk Kay Ionataiewas Olan, Wolf Clan Mohawk  Read 12 More Letters


Book Review

Relieving the Burden of Self

By Linda Schiller-Hanna

As we venture into the mysterious year, 2012, it can be helpful to have a bus strap to hang onto. We’d like something from “above” that anchors us on a potentially jerky trail.  Relieving the Burden of Self has been designed for this purpose. It can be your “Daily Guide” to help you negotiate this adventure.


Edgar Cayce urges us to “set our ideal” for all major activities. Relieving the Burden of Self helps set a spiritual foundation for 2012. Our aim is to keep our consciousness above fear and worry and to be actively involved in the co- creation of our new and improved world.

Linda Schiller-Hanna, clairvoyant, and Chris Kwarciany, visionary artist, have joined forces to create a unique tool for navigating this important year.

Relieving the Burden of Self is a combination of stories, anecdotes, pictures, labyrinths, and more. It encourages action, journaling and introspection. Using this guide asks just a few minutes daily, but if you desire, you can ramp up your efforts to elicit profound spiritual unfolding.  Read More...


Quotes of the Month

By Manataka Elder, The Rev. Dr. Fred D. Wilcoxson PhD


Siddhartha sat beneath his tree, waiting for an answer. He saw a path, four simple stones, across the stream of sorrow. Rising to bend low, he called the Earth to silence, casting compassion all around him, like cherry blossoms caught on the morning breeze. Should I stand aside or look away from this kind and good man because his words are not in my book? There are many rooms in my Grandmother's house, with many places to ponder, a mystery greater than I can contain by building a booth on God's holy mountain. Deep faith is not a box, but a willingness to wander, knowing that there is a shepherd, who will always guide me home. ~Bishop Steven Charleston (Episcopal), Choctaw

One night a man came to our house and told me, “There is a family with eight children. They have not eaten for days,” I took some food and I went. When I finally came to the family, I saw the faces of those little children disfigured by hunger. There was no sorrow or sadness in their faces, just the deep pain of hunger. I gave the rice to the mother. She divided it in two, and went out, carrying half the rice with her. When she came back, I asked her, “Where did you go?” She gave me this simple answer, “To my neighbors – they are hungry also.”

I was not surprised that she gave – because poor people are generous. But I was surprised that she knew they were hungry. As a rule, when we are suffering, we are so focused on ourselves we have no time for others. – Mother Teresa   Read More...






Kasike (chief) Anakaona, whose name translates to "Golden Flower", was a well-respected leader on the island of Kiskeia (Haiti/Dominican Republic). She was considered "Queen" of the Haragua (Jaragua) territory by the Spaniards. Anakaona was the wife of Kaonabo, one of the five regional leaders in Kiskeia encountered in 1492 by Christopher Columbus. She was renowned throughout the island by the local people as a composer of ballads, dances, and narrative poems, called areito. In an example of Spanish treachery against the Taino people, Governor Nicolas de Ovando requested that Anakaona invite the regional chiefs to a feast he would give in her honor. Once the chief's entered the ceremonial hall the Spaniards blocked the doors and set fire to the building burning most all of them alive. Anakaona who survived the blaze was captured and then hung by Ovando. - UCTP Taino News © 2011



Misinformed Legislators Pass Unfunded Mandate That Can Jeopardize Animals, Tourism, and the Poultry Industry


Most folks in Arkansas cherish our animals, whether it be for food, income, or best of all, as companions. Manataka believes that we have a right to know what will affect our health as well as what will affect the health of our pets and our livelihoods. In March of 2011, the governor of Arkansas signed a bill into law that requires all districts providing water for over 5000 people to add hydrofluosilicic acid to their water supply. The water fluoridation mandate bill was rushed through the House and Senate in less than 7 working days - hardly enough time to hear from all the citizens in Arkansas that actually voted against adding a known toxic substance to our water.  Read More...


Two Monacan Tribe members from same Family Share Funeral the same day

Pansy Louise Belvin Gibson, 83, ran joyfully into the arms of Jesus on January 18th, 2012. She was preceded in death by a daughter, by her parents and by six siblings. She is survived by six siblings, two daughters, five grand-children, five great-grandchildren and one great- great-grandson, along with a multitude of friends and family, all of whom will miss her immensely. Pansy was a cook at Davis Creek Elementary for 35 years, touching many lives. Visitation will be from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday at Reger Funeral Home, with services following at 1 p.m. by Rev. Joe Stowers. Interment will be at Dock's Creek Cemetery, Kenova, W.Va. In lieu of flowers, Pansy wishes that you donate to St. Jude Children's Hospital.


Harry "Black Eagle" Belvin, 81, of Huntington, W.V., passed away Thursday, January 19, 2012, at the Emogene Dolin Jones Hospice House. Funeral services will be conducted at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Reger Funeral Chapel by Rev. Joe Stowers. Burial will be in Dock's Creek Cemetery, Kenova, W.Va. He was born November 15, 1930, in Huntington, W.Va., a son of the late Bernard and Durffie Branham Belvin. He was a retired truck driver for Southwestern Community Action Council. He was a member of the Native American History Council of WV and an Elder of the Monacan Nation of Amherst, Virginia. He was a U.S. Army National Guard veteran. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by two brothers, John and Sam Belvin and five sisters, Mamie Branham, Louise Belvin, Alice Belvin-Corbin, Mary Belvin Wade and Pansy Louise Gibson, who passed away January 18, 2012. Survivors include two brothers and sisters-in-law, Bernard and Hazel Belvin and David and Kim Belvin and three sisters and two brothers-in-law, Ann and Nat Beasley, Ella Cromwell and Helen and Ed Vinson and a host of nieces and nephews. Friends may call from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the Reger Funeral Home. Online condolences to the family at www.timeformemory.com/reger.

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