Volume XIX  Issue 04


Preserving The Past Today For Tomorrow

APRIL 2012

Hello Beautiful People!  We have a great deal of pent up emotion that makes us feel we are bursting at the seams.  Do we dare release all that we know at this time?  The beautiful events that occurred at the Place of Peace over the past few months are indeed extraordinary and cry out to be shared, but we are forced to keep silent until the moment arrives.  Prophesy will be fulfilled and the sacredness of this magnificent place of the Unbroken Circle will emerge.


We hope you like the changes in the new Smoke Signal News.  For your convenience and reading pleasure, we have done away with the excessively long newsletters to be replaced with shorter, timely articles.  We are here to preserve and protect the sacred Manataka mountain.  ~editor



The Significance of 2012 to the Maya

As Explained by Carlos Barrios, Mayan Ajq'ij


Carlos Barrios was born into a Spanish family on El Altiplano, the highlands of Guatemala. His home was in Huehuetenango, also the dwelling place of the Maya, Mam tribe. With other Maya and other indigenous tradition keepers, the Mam carry part of the 'old ways on Turtle Island (North America). They are keepers of time, authorities on remarkable calendars that are ancient, elegant and relevant.

Carlos Barrios is a historian, an anthropologist and investigator. After studying with traditional elders for 25 years since the age of 19, he has also became a Mayan Ajq'ij, a ceremonial priest and spiritual guide, Eagle Clan. Years ago, along with his brother, Gerardo, Carlos initiated an investigation into the different Mayan calendars. He studied with many teachers. He says his brother Gerardo interviewed nearly 600 traditional Mayan elders to widen their scope of knowledge.

"Anthropologists visit the temple sites," Barrios says, "and read the inscriptions and make up stories about the Maya, but they do not read the signs correctly. It's just their imagination. Other people write about prophecy in the name of the Maya. They say that the world will end in December 2012.The Mayan elders are angry with this. The world will not end. It will be transformed."  Read More...



Sacred Places in the Great Basin

by Ojibwa, Native American Netroots Forum


The Great Basin is an area which includes the high desert regions between the Sierra Nevada and the Rocky Mountains. It is bounded on the north by the Columbia Plateau and on the south by the Colorado Plateau. It includes southern Oregon and Idaho, a small portion of southwestern Montana, western Wyoming, eastern California, all of Nevada and Utah, a portion of northern Arizona, and most of western Colorado. As with Indian people in other culture areas, there are many places in the Great Basin-water sources, hot springs, isolated rock formations, rock art sites, mountain peaks, and caves-which the Indian nations of this area consider to be sacred.


Water sources are traditionally seen as spiritual places and are often approached with requests for the spirits associated with them. In making these requests, Indian people traditionally leave offerings as a way of showing respect for the spiritual nature of these places.


Rock art sites-places which may include pictographs and/or petroglyphs-are often of great antiquity and are seen as places of great spiritual power. For the Northern and Eastern Shoshone, rock art was used to mark places of special spiritual power. Some of these were places where vision quests were commonly conducted.


At Big Spring in the Big Lost River Range of Idaho, the Shoshone have several pictographic panels which designate this as a sacred site. The area includes a water fall and the pictographs are selectively placed to focus on the sacred geography of the place. Some of the pictographic figures seem to indicate contact with the southwest, perhaps with the Hopi.  Read More...




The Conscious Being - Part I

Modern science has a brought great wealth of understanding to the physics of the universe. Comprehension of the laws of nature has advanced human progress in countless arenas of human endeavor. However, science cannot explain why these laws exist or how the laws of nature came into being. Read More...


Suspension of American Indian Student for Speaking Native Language

On January 19, 2012 a Menominee Indian seventh grader named Miranda Washinawatok was benched and suspended from a Catholic School in Shawano, Wisconsin, for speaking her Native Menominee language with two other girls from the Menominee reservation.  Read More...


The First Became Last

Old theories (like the Bering Strait theory-as the sole entry point for ancient emigrants, must be laid to rest when "one size" does not fit all or whenever a preponderance of evidence proves new theories more viable, probable or having a higher degree of likelihood than not, such as the case involving true aboriginal development and/or settlement of the Americas. Read More...

Choices about Death, Dying, Grief, and Loss

I recently lost my grandmother and mother within 5 days of each other shortly before Christmas. Granny was just short of 99 years old and mom was 86. Granny was very ready to cross over and mom was a surprise, although she had Alzheimer’s. Read More...


Bear? What Bear?

Along about the year 1990, or thereabouts, The Ugly Otter was living in New Mexico near Albuquerque. He knew a young couple, Richard and Mary Jo, who had a son about 9 years old, and a daughter about 6 or 7 years old.  Read More...


My Mother

The early morning sky slips fingers of light through the old cotton wood trees, bits of this pale light filtering through the small window over my bed. The soft sounds of morning drifted up to my ears as I wiped away the webs of the dream time and entered the day time.

Conscious of my feet on the cool wood floors that smelled of pine oil, I walked to the window. Through the first morning light, I see the grasses of the prairie waving like fingers in the soft morning breeze.  Read More...


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.... 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....  Read More...


A Discussion with Nine Traditional Indian Healing Medicine Men

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. Read More...




The Conscious Being - Part II

By Lee Standing Bear Moore and the Spirit of Takatoka



In Part I of the Conscious Being we defined consciousness and explored its various forms and concepts.  We talked about how consciousness is expanding and ways that cosmic changes in the universe are affecting our consciousness. On the negative side, we briefly discussed how  religions, corporations and governments are playing a role in jamming conscious behavior.  For balance and perspective, we presented arguments against the idea of mass consciousness Finally, we opened the veil to understand how things were set in motion long ago to bring humans to a closer and infinite mass consciousness that will bring about a magnificent Awakening.


The people of Manataka and the sacred site of Manataka will play a significant role helping to inform millions of people worldwide who yearn to discover how these events will be presented and ways they will affect our human lives and spirits. 


The sacred Place of Peace is a haven, an island of sanctuary amid a world of confusion and conflict.  By the grace of the Great Mystery and through the power of the holy spirit, the Valley of the Vapors will provide clean air, pure water from the womb of the Mother, food from the forest and shelter for the thousands who will find their way here during the time of transition.  The Warriors of the Rainbows of Manataka will help us to create a new consciousness, a new world where love and cooperation are paramount.


Shawn Mikula, a neuroscientist at John Hopkins University once said, "...The vast majority of mankind is trapped within perceptual prisons... and we as a species must escape..."  We agree that man creates many prisons of the heart and mind and it is imperative for the survival of mankind that we find a way out.  Creating mass consciousness is a new frontier that will permit us to release the chains of egocentric thought and transition to a more beautiful and pure place of peace.  


How we transition is important to the survival of the human spirit  


It is impossible to know for certain the moment in time when human consciousness will experience an awareness of itself.  The gradual change into a collective state of transcendence began long ago, but the moment when the Awakening occurs is beyond our comprehension.  Read More...





"People think other things are more important than prayer, but they are mistaken."

-- Thomas Yellowtail, Crow Nation


An Elder once said the most important thing you can do in the course of a day is to pray. If we get up late or oversleep, which is more important? Rush to work without praying or pray first and then go to work? The Elders say it's more important to pray. If we get angry, should we act on our anger or should we pray first? The Elders say it's more important to pray first. If, during the day, we face indecision, what should we do? PRAY. If, during the day, we become irritated or we experience fear, what should we do first? PRAY. The Warrior who prays first will lead a different life from those who pray last.


Great Spirit, teach me to pray first!




How Did Indians Get Their Name?

Every public school in the United States teaches children that in 1492 Christopher Columbus called the people he found in the New World, "Indians" because he thought he had discovered India.  We now know this is a lie first told by the Catholic Church and continued by the white Eurocentric establishment ever since.  How do we know it is a lie?


Evidence 1:    In 1492 there was no country in the world called India -- it was called Hindustan.  There was no Indian Ocean -- it was called the Eastern Sea.  There were no people called Indians -- they were called Hindus. 


Evidence 2: Columbus and his brother butchered and enslaved thousands of Taino people and caused their near extinction. Prior to his jubilant return to Spain, Columbus called them "Los Populos Indios" -- The People of God.  In 1493, the Catholic church issued a papal bull that ordained and gave license to the monarchs of Europe to invade and subjugate indigenous people. The English word "Indian" is clearly a poor translation of the word "Indios" meaning God in Portuguese.


Department of Justice Request for Tribal Input

Department of Justice is considering adopting a policy that would memorialize its practice of enforcing federal wildlife laws in a manner that facilitates the ability of members of federally recognized tribes to use eagle feathers and other bird feathers and parts for cultural and religious purposes and is considering developing a joint federal and tribal training program on enforcement of wildlife and other environmental laws.


Dan Meza, Tribal Relations

USDA Forest Service

Southwestern Region 3

333 Broadway SE

Albuquerque, NM 87102



Cherokee Language classes. Enrollment will begin on Monday, March 26, 2012, and classes will start April 9, 2012. Check out the schedule at:   http://www.cherokee.org/siteregistration/langclassinfo.aspx





Where is the Future? Greed in America Old Song for Indians …

By Jose Barreiro


Social agreement, like a treaty—or even as the trustworthy word of an honest human being—must be kept. Once broken, dissonance ensues, and conflict is sure to follow.


The American Dream, the sense that although flawed (as with everything that exists) the working people of our country have a chance at a decent living wage and the opportunity to educate and launch their children into prosperous futures, appears broken.


What the general public has sensed, that the economic system “as a whole” has been intensely managed in favor of a very small percentage of Americans, is now more keenly examined. The upward transfer of wealth, the continued impoverishment of the working population, the middle class and the poor—the story of greed and deception as practiced in so-called high finance—is out.  Read More...





Time for the United States to Apologize
By Tex Hall, Chairman of the Mandan, Hidatsa & Arikara Nation

When Columbus got lost in America, he found healthy, thriving native peoples. Within 100 years, the civilizations he first met were decimated. In North America, north of Mexico, the pre-Columbian population has been estimated at 18 million people. By the time of the Wounded Knee Massacre in 1890, there were barely 250,000 Native Americans left alive.

The United States Constitution recognizes our Native Nations as sovereigns, and our Native peoples as self-governing. In 1825, the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Tribes first signed Treaties with United States promising protection and creating a trust relationship. In 1851 our leaders traveled 800 miles and joined with 10,000 other Indian leaders at Fort Laramie to take part in the largest treaty council ever held. The 1851 Treaty recognized the right to peace and protection in our homelands. In 1866 our tribes negotiated further promises of farming, ranching and engineering assistance, education, health care, along with a promise that “perpetual peace, friendship, and amity shall hereafter exist” between the United States and our Tribes. But our lands, which encompassed 12 million acres in the 1851 Treaty, were reduced to eight million acres by President Grant’s 1870 Executive Order, and to under one million acres by President Hayes in 1880. Read More...






Crazy Horse Monument 65-Years in the Making, and Counting

Staff Writers: http://www.indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com


The numbers are staggering. Sixty-five years in the making, the Crazy Horse Memorial will be the largest sculpture on the planet when it’s completed, all though no one can say when that will be. Slated to stand at 563 feet tall and 641 feet long, with the nose alone reaching 27-feet in length, this controversial monument has been under construction since 1947 in Crazy Horse Memorial in Crazy Horse, South Dakota.


The New York Times reported on the monument to the Sioux warrior this past Saturday, tracking the efforts from the beginning, when sculptor Korczack Ziolkowski boldly promised this monumental effort would be completed in 30-years. Today, his 85-year old widow, Ruth, leads the continued push to complete her late husband’s work with the help of her 10 children and grandchildren. Although far from completed, it is the number one tourist attraction in the state. Read More...




Native Americans in a Postmodern World

By Duane Champagne


The worldview of most people in the contemporary world is still modernist. Modernism is an evolutionary vision that the market economy will grow, governments will become more democratic, culture will decline in importance, and people will become more similar and equal.


In many ways modernism was a product of Western culture and Christianity. Instead of the second coming of Jesus to save the world, a secular version prophesied that human salvation will come by economic development, more political freedom, and greater rationality and universal humanism. Economic and political progress promised liberation and freedom from want in the future at the end of history. Modernism was a worldview that supported nation states, where all citizens shared political equality and, if not the same culture, at least the right to practice a culture, while participating within national culture.  Read More...





Women's Time Outside the Circle is NOT Traditional


Dear Manataka,

Hello. I am a Yupik Grandmother from Alaska married to an Ojibwe from Wikwemikong. I was very surprised and disappointed when I first learned about women standing outside of the circle when on their time. This practice was new to me and I felt so sad for the women who follow this "tradition". I believe that this tradition was introduced after the European culture became dominate and when Christianity was introduced to the Native people. Many women do not agree with me on this because they learned this tradition from a medicine man. There is one traditional man who took the time to interview as many Elders both men and women, and the Elders say that there never was such a teaching about the women who had to step outside of the circle who were on their time. I strongly believe that the Grandmothers of all American native cultures should stand up and speak against this discrimination against women. Quyanah, Miigwetch, Thank you. ~Winnie Pita Wanakwat   Read 12 More Letters




A Matter of Honor: 125 Years of Living with the Legacy of the Dawes Allotment Act



Wild Horse Respond to Native Drumming



Creation Calls —Are you listening? 


Albert's Lakota Health Classes



Oren Lyons , Speaks to The United Nations



Seneca Chief Oren Lyons speaks to United Nations and Humanity



Oren Lyons - "We Are Part of the Earth"



Winona la Duke on Redemption



Winona LaDuke on "How a People Start to Liberate Themselves"



All My Relations


Music byShundahai



Manataka Elder Council Biographies




The World of Chief Seattle

How Can One Sell the Air?

By Warren Jefferson




Chief Seattle gave his now famous speech in 1854 during treaty negotiations with the U.S. government, which was intent on forcing the Native people of Washington's Puget Sound onto reservations. This book puts Chief Seattle's life into the context of his time and gives a brief history of the region and its many tribes with particular emphasis on Chief Seattle's tribe, the Suquamish. Includes the complete speech and many rare, turn-of-the-century photographs of village life. 52 black and white photographs.  Published November 2000 by Book Publishing Company (TN). Paperback, 128 pages, 10.9 ounces.  ISBN: 9781570670954  Price: $13.95 




Recommended Books:

Reservation "Capitalism" - Economic Development in Indian Country

By Professor Robert J. Miller





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


Laughter is a Noise from the Soul


“I've always thought that a big laugh is a really loud noise from the soul saying, 'Ain't that the truth.'” ~Quincy Jones


“If you laugh - you change; and when you change - the world changes.” ~Shilpa Shah


“I've seen what a laugh can do. It can transform almost unbearable tears into something bearable, even hopeful.” ~Bob Hope


“Laughter is the shortest distance between two people.” ~Victor Borge


Laughter is a noise from the soul, the mechanism of change, the power to transform, and the shortest distance between two people.






Picking Fruit

By Grandmother L. Cota Nupah Makah


Gray strips of light seeped around the old green window shade. Dust floated in the air and danced across the floor. I lay here wondering what time it was but did not want to get up to see. The light shuffle of my Aunt Rose's feet in the kitchen as she put on the coffee sound down the hall way. For such a big tall women she walked softly.


Soon the sweet smell of freshly made coffee filled the room.


My Aunt came quietly into the room waking my two cousins Mandy and Alma, or Shorty as we called her, by gently shaking the bed. I was already awake and sitting up when she got to my cot. She gave my arm a pat and then turned to leave the room.


"Hurry", she said softly, "or you will miss the wagon". We tumbled out of our beds not stopping to make them. Pulling on long lose skirts and cotton blouses running a brush through our hair was all we had time for that morning. These long skirts were necessary for picking fruit. We would tuck the side up in our waist band to form a pouch for gathering the fruit. After filling the pouch we would go to our boxes and gently let the fruit fall gently into the boxes.


Aunt Rose and Uncle Johnny were not really my Aunt and Uncle but were long time friends of my mothers family. As was common in those days we just called them Aunt and Uncle.


We walked quietly, passing through the warm kitchen, and slipped into our sandals at the door.


My Aunt handed each of us a brown paper bag and a wax paper wrapped biscuit dripping with butter and jam.  Read More...









On the Passing of a Native Patriot: Onondaga Clanmother Audrey Shenandoah

©by Doug George-Kanentiio

When Onondaga Nation Clanmother Audrey Shenandoah-Gonwaiani passed into the spirit world on March 15 not only her family and community mourned but the entire Haudenosaunee Confederacy was cast into sorrow. For the past four decades she was a steady, reliable and dignified presence at Onondaga, ever ready to speak on behalf of the people while welcoming visitors to the capital and central fire of the world's first united nations.


As a clanmother (Iakoiane in the Mohawk dialect of the Iroquois language) Gonwaiani accepted the responsibilities as not only a clan leader but as a caretaker for the culture of her nation. She was selected as clan leader after being closely observed by her people. They saw in her compassion, dedication, humility, knowledge, patience and a deep respect for the traditions and customs which define Haudenosaunee life. She was articulate in the Onondaga language, a skill which she shared with the Onondaga children for decades as a teacher at the Nation's school. Widely admired for her sense of humour and her unique ability to speak on behalf of her people before international forums, Gonwaiani became one of the most admired Native leaders of the past century.  Read More...


7-year old Ryan Hit By USPS

I got a call at 3:45 a.m. our time today that our grandson who lives in Georgia was struck by a mail carrier vehicle and dragged 150 feet. He was flown to Egleston Children's Emergency Hospital in Atlanta. He is in surgery now. My wife Jo is on her way driving up there at this time. Please our grandson Ian Ryan (7) in your prayers as well as Jo's safe trip up there.  ~Rev. Fred Wilcoxson, Manataka Elder

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