Manataka American Indian Council






April 2012





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.  The opinions expressed below and all information provided is for informational purposes only.  We make no representations as to accuracy, completeness, suitability, or validity of the opinions express below and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis. Manataka does not necessarily endorse or support the opinions expressed below.


A Tree Grows in Tower Park

Hello Manataka,

I am pretty sure Modesto, California officials after taking down the big water tower are planning to destroy this tree dedicated to War Veterans to make way for construction.  I believe their motivation is mostly to disperse the homeless who seek sanctuary around this tree. 

This tree stands in memory of all courageous American Veterans everywhere. A living memorial and a promise made by the city of Modesto to ever remember the sacrifices they've. made for the freedoms guaranteed all Americans, including the homeless. Don't let it be taken by deceit or buried under construction. May horrendous evil overtake those who would participate in the destruction of this living symbol of Liberty.

I may be a little remiss, It is said that originally it was for Clara Barton and the union soldiers. Dedicated in 1923, however I'm not sure if this is true. It may be a ploy. Be that as it may, over these many years the people have come to believe it represents compassion for all American fighting personnel. Understand that for a number of years the church next to the park has been petitioning the city to clear out the homeless of which are many Veterans who also believe the tree stands for freedom. None the less Miss Barton's concern for our Solders most certainly deserves this monument. Somefodder - Samuel Clemons


A Hard Question About Women's Regalia


Dear Manataka Editor,

Hi my name is Amanda. I have been putting together a jingle dress for the last past year and ever powwow that I have gone to I have other women jingle (among others) wearing upright feathers in there hair. With all the research that I have done it has said that they wear these feathers in their hair but do not give the reason why. So I talked to my mother in law about this because she has been going to powwows longer then me and she said that the only ones that are allowed to wear these upright feathers are those with given names like my daughter. So my question is an I allowed to wear an upright feather or not? Thank you so much for taking time to read my email.  I would really like to know so that I can expand my knowledge of this wonderful culture that I love.
Thank you again, Amanda Rollin


Hello Amanda,
Yes, you have asked a difficult question because most matters of female regalia largely depend on where you are and local tribal customs. And, they also depend on the time period -- We understand that your question deals with the present here and now, but customs have changed many times over the years and some people change with the times and some do not. Therefore, it is best to check with the Head Woman Dancer at each powwow you plan to dance  to learn what the local custom requires. Respect the local customs.  In our own opinion, in the absence of a clear custom on the issue, it is best to simply wear what you feel is good. Some people enjoy creating a ridiculous rule or 'law' that others must follow that has no meaning or purpose. Customs and traditions are in constant flux -- as they should be.  Thank you. ~Editor


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


Tutskwa I'qatsi-- the Earth is our Land and our Life


Manataka Greetings, we are relatives, Land and Life are one,

I would like to comment on the fine articles: "Discussion with Nine Traditional Indian Healing Medicine Men," and Takatoka's, on "Spirit Guides & Totems."

The former article highlights the main difference between native and western medicine: the importance of our Mother Earth and the sacred in healing, and all aspects of life. The materialistic focus of western medicine overlooks the life and power of the Earth, and all that lies behind the veil of the phenomenal universe, which is found by those having faith in a greater power than ourselves.


In our modern age, we have lost the sacred meaning and power that lies within the Earth Herself, and what can be accomplished when we humbly accede to Her, with devotion and gratitude for all She provides us, which is everything, including-- when our eyes are opened-- the spirit of life itself.


This is a special time in the history of the Earth, when knowledge is being restored about all the Earth is, and means to us. So, let us bow to a greater power that lies beneath our feet, humbly asking to be shown what we need during this meaningful time, understanding we are yet children, so that we may be prepared for what lies soon ahead of us.


As the Hopi proclaim in their first spirit law--- Tutskwa I'qatsi-- the Earth is our Land and our Life. This pootskwani reminds us that the Earth is the main source of all we possess, including our highest source of guidance. She is the one served by the highest spirit beings that we sometimes look to for direction, our nearest source of the Godhead, our creator, our Land and our Life, as the Hopi spirit law avows.


Takatoka reminds us to look first to our creator when he stated, regarding spirit guides: "...A spirit guide is a divine entity. To believe this is to acknowledge and accept the power and glory of the Creator of All Things that may take on any form, at any time, for any purpose ... A true Spirit Guide is divine and sacred. It's power, wisdom and actions stem solely from the Holy Spirit of God..."

For the Hopi, our Earth Mother is the source looked to first and foremost for guidance, direction, healing, etc. Let us remember all that the Earth is, and means to us, so we will always be Her loyal, and grateful children.

Naawakna nihqe kyaptsita - with love and respect,

Upaava - your brother Hohongwitutiwa



Miranda Washinawatok -- Wisconsin School Suspension Victim Gets Apology

To Whom it May Concern:


Apologies from two staff are not good enough. This is a system-wide problem, not an "incident" . I don't know much about suspensions (never dealt with them before), but I'm pretty sure they go on a student's permanent record.

My first thought was, Wisconsin again??? (Union battles - Wisconsin has been a major problem for a while, very conservative government, union-busting, etc.) Then I Googled it to see if any updates - the "update", while 'nice' that they apologized - apology after the fact is not enough.  

In 2012 it should be mandatory for diversity and respect training for all staff - to accept and work with all cultures, beliefs, backgrounds. It should not tolerated.  It should never have happened - whether ArchDiocesan or public school. I don't see what difference it makes - it wasn't a religious thing.   Someone needs to help the family, advocate if necessary, and make sure that Miranda's permanent school record is not blemished for the school's discrimination.   Yes, get a diversity program in place - but also make sure that her education and future is not messed up because THEY discriminated and disrespected!!!

Sorry - speaking as a mama bear here .... I think I'd be storming the school. ~ Kim Summermoon

The Conscious Being


Hello Editor:

I agree with the article The Conscious Being. Everyone needs to read it. I knew much of what was going on in it already.

I know I never really gave details on what happened to me last summer. Part of the problem is - I don't know specifically what happened, only what I experienced. It's an enemy that can't be seen. Thus I can prove nothing. And what happened to me was extremely sensitive (a violation of sorts) - and complicated. It was literally Hell within me. It threatened to knock me off my path and off this Earth completely. But it didn't. Whatever was going on (lots of things) - a number of things were involved. Transitioning (the indigo/crystal) - weather - global crises - hackers - riots - cosmic shifts - electromagnetic stuff - solar storms, etc. - all of that last year had an impact - that it all happened "at once" - plus the strange object my husband and i saw in the sky one day .......

I told my oldest daughter a little - because she knows about projects like MK Ultra and other government disasters that "did not exist" and supposedly stopped - but they didn't stop. We know how government and corporate interests use mass media against its citizens. Other things also - and so I am also familiar with HAARP (an old Manataka friend alerted me to that one).

GWEN is a new one (to me) - I will have to research that - thank you for including that. Nothing surprises me anymore. After last year - "all bets are off" and I do things differently ever since.

People laugh at this stuff, but I know my sensitivity to things. I experience changes that others ignore (weather, earth, climate, mood/thought, cosmic, etc.).

I think "The Conscious Being" should be read by anyone on a real spiritual walk - because they've probably experienced something similar - and they need to stay strong.

I knew last summer that we were already in a war, but it wasn't a traditional war. We are under attack by an enemy we can't see coming (it's not a person). But the answer is NOT to "fight" .... but the Rainbow Warriors know how to withstand the onslaught in this war. Each Rainbow Warrior has their own techniques. It's the ones just awakening (the newbies) that i worry about - they could be slaughtered unawares. The Conscious Being will confirm for the more experienced Rainbow Warriors that we ARE under attack, and hopefully the newbies will find guidance on how to survive and continue working - Peacefully.

The more experienced Rainbow Warriors can band together, 'focus', and help the newbies to keep walking. Energy and focused thought/prayer.  It can be done.  ~ Kim Wilson

National Park Superintendent Hateful


Hello Manataka,


What an outrage that the NPS treated this sacred site like this.

"My Creator, faith is belief without evidence. Today, give me the faith. Let me trust that You are running

my life. Let me know You are in charge of all things. Let my mind not wander, let me stand strong on your

path today." ~ Native American Prayer


~Barbara Jean Moran -- Shih Tzu Havn Hus Where dogs reign!


Give Congressional Representation to the Reservations


Dear Editor:


So - So love to hear from you and the stories , especially of the healing springs of Arkansas. What a wonderful concept... How lovely upon the mountains of those who publish peace .. Chief Washakie , of Thermopolis, Wyoming area argued with the government, that unless it offered the Hot Springs there, to be available to all the people without cost, he would not agree to give up his claim to those waters to the government. I have enjoyed and thanked the Lord for that and those waters many times... I hope the States have an amendment that gives to all persons direct representation in Congress according the numbers of the people including those on reservation (so that every state has at least one native American representative )..... It is past due the wisdom of the native elders have voice... Is it the missing factor In America's sad situation ?. Thank you.. ~Camille Olson



 Beautiful Mountain of Peace

Hello Manataka,


My name is Terrisa. I very much enjoy your newsletter. I am hoping to one day come and see your beautiful Mountain of Peace. I love to be outdoors where I can lift my face to the sun and feel the breeze in my hair. The pictures were beautiful! I am very sad to know that you encountered such hatefulness in your efforts to make such a peaceful, beautiful place for all to share. I will add my prayers of peace to yours.


I live in Illinois where everything is printed in both English and Spanish so I was saddened to read that a girl was suspended for speaking her native language among friends at school. That these thing still happen makes no sense to me. I have always loved reading about other cultures, and religions. America is supposed to be a place where one can keep their culture and heritage alive, a place to practice ones own religion freely. The very idea that in the same country that allows hateful protests in the name of God at a soldiers funeral you come across such intolerance is something I find very unsettling.


I am so glad to be receiving your newsletter. I will be referring to the powwow schedule often. I took my children to the powwow in our area whenever I knew they were in our area. We enjoy them alot.  Peace,  Terrisa Norton


Suspension of a girl for speaking her native language


Dear Manataka,


This is foolish and illegal. It violates the Constitution of the US. If this activity were to be applied across the nation then most of the students in communities with Hispanic populations would be expelled from school.

Many people carry on conversations in their native language without any penalty. The school had no right to restrict the free speech of this Native American student.

Society has taken much away from the First people and ill informed individuals continue to try to take even more. Her native language should be one thing no one can take away.

Matthew Maley


The World Drum


Dear Manataka,


There was a concert at the Mending Medicine Retreat in Eureka Springs, Arkansas this October 22, 2011. The World Drum sent it's vibrations from Basin Spring Park on Sunday afternoon, calling the world to peace, reintegration of family and Love. Everyone who wished was allowed to add their energy and particular vibration to the magnificent resounding voice of the drum. It went back home with some of our little cockatiel's white feathers.. he is SO proud to be part of the global project! This was our second time with the drum.. We are forever changed by the experience.


Please travel to where the drum is, if you can, so you may add to it's voice...or bring it to your peoples...saying...the time is NOW!

Morton Storied of Norway, the originator of the concept, giving the drum voice .. incredible voice....


The World Drum Project is an idealistic non-profit organization founded in Norway in October 2006, with focus on peace and environmental issues. The World Drum itself was created from a spiritual viewpoint of life and is a Shamandrum made in Sami (indigenous people of Norway) tradition style. The World Drum is the manifestation of the vision, and is to be seen as a symbol of the circle of life and that we all are connected, and it is meant to be a wakeup call to humanity. The vision is to bind people together across race, religion, borders, cultures, ethnicity, colours or political conviction in a common struggle for humanity and Mother Earth. As the World Drum travels from country to country, people to people and from hand to hand, its heartbeat grows stronger each day. It is a wakeup call to reinstate our spiritual relationship to Mother Earth.




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