Manataka™ American Indian Council



JULY 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. 

Women and the Drum by Shannon Thunderbird

Dear Manataka and Shannon Thunderbird,

My name is Karen Wilson, I am a traditional Ojibwa woman, a mother and wife. My husband, Chris Wilson, is a member of Michipicoten First Nation in northwestern Ontario. We have reconnected with the community and are in the process of relocating there. Our family believes in living a life of peace and harmony with all of Creation; calmness within ourselves, harmony within our families and communities. We have all witnessed dis-ease within our communities, within our way of life. We have seen disconnection to the orignal truths and have felt exclusion, arrogance and ignorance.

I was directed to your web page regarding the exclusion of women from the big drum. Our entire family believe that there are no basis in tradition for this ban. Our youngest son sits on a big drum for Michipicoten FN and struggles to find enough boys that want to believe in and honour the drum. He asked me why young women cannot drum with the few boys. This has been a topic of family meetings for many many moons.

Chris and I have been asked by some of the community members to be 'traditional advisors' (for lack of a term) and each day we are thankful for our teachings and teachers. We are still human and struggle with some teachings that seem to permeate in a negative. We are seeking teachers that have pushed past the exclusion and have enlightened their people with inclusion. Would you be able to direct us to a community that has insilled and empower the women on the drum? My goal is to see young boys and girls on our big drum by next summer at our Gathering. We wish to do this responsibly due to the engrained notion that women don't belong on the drum. We do not believe this to the the truth and wish to involve all youth, women, men and children to pray, honour and respect our Grandmother Drum.  Miigwetch for listening and I look forward to your response. ~Karen Wilson
currently Sault Ste Marie, Ontario....soon to be living in Michipicoten Village, ON


Asparagus: A New Old Cancer Fighter


Dear Manataka:

Wanted to say that I like the article "Asparagus: A New Old Cancer Fighter" - it has me really curious, and I will try it. I have lost too many friends, coworkers, and relatives (animals and humans) to cancer. While I have no qualms with death (it is a part of life, and I know Death's realm well), I have mixed feelings about cancer. Death has many forms, and each person has a mode of transition, but some are worse than others, for reasons I have never understood. Walking between worlds helps, but I still grieve in my own way. There are certain songs that come to me when someone is dying, or is about to cross over - the songs tell me to help the person make a smooth transition with my prayers.  The old medicine in me likes what I see in this article - and asparagus is a vegetable that I used to dislike, and suddenly started liking a few years ago. I like the instructions given, simple enough - the problem I have with so many medicinal plant articles is that the instructions are unclear, missing completely, or are so overwrought with "warning: this may kill you!!" that HOW to use them safely is obscured.  Some day I hope to have time to find more articles like it on other common medicinal plants - this time of my life is focused on my family and work. I continue to dream and work with energy ..... quietly, just not much time to write about it. Thanks for publishing it.  ~ Kim Wilson


One Tired Elder's Vision

Dear Relatives,

My name is Grandmother on the Hill, a man named Sioux by white buffalo calf woman

Your article on the visions and prophesies they are carbon copy of my own and so I will tell ahead the answer to one tired elder's vision that troubled him so deep.

He saw the rocket that turned from the canoe the vehicles we choose the tree bear marked four times four it is my staff with thirteen leaves upon its trunk the bear as the spirit of course that talks to me and the orb is known where it sets it is same I saw when sky was torn away there upon that pillar with the line attached head of it all.

I see the silo as well as the river my relatives i talk with the spirit and have every sign today tet tet in place we can almost begin the next harmonious garden if at the natural pace and to add i have the scrolls written in the halls not seen since then but I have them now the rest as "Paul Harvey used to say "the rest of the story".  Love the elders ,they see well and have done well they bought your freedom with faith and they are true, the rocky river is wide but the paddle is too steer your course by pulling hard on the water and the current will then be behind you if not you know what it does the current will guide you not where you want to go
fly free my relatives.  In spirit  I write you.  ~Dana Rene Hoecker aka Grandmother on the Hill


Teton Oglala Does Not Mean....


Hello Manataka,

In the Lakota language…..Teton meant women’s breast…..:) Please be aware of this!  Stop calling yourself women’s breast Oglala. Someone a very long time ago, with a great pen obviously wrote “Teton”, to shorten the correct word “Tetowan”. This is who we are, “those who live in the plains”!   We are NOT women’s breast people. Please get is straight.  We enjoy reading about one of our own and how well you did for yourself, please keep it up!   ~Jacqueline White Bird, MA, Sinte Gleska University, Mission, SD

Gulpha Gorge at Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas

Hi Everyone at Manataka:
I lived with my grandparents (father's side) almost from birth until age 12 1956-1968. Gulpha Gorge was a weekly outdoor event for us. Continued to make my pilgrimage at least 4 times a year. In the last eighties-my infant son learned to swim there at the catch pond near the amphitheater ~Galandi Iyelisdi

Cherokee Calendrics and Time Keeping

Dear Editor,

I am a tad confused ... is Raven Hail's book on the Cherokee Sacred Calendar authentic? and based on the 20 day name cycle used by the Mayans, Aztecs (and probably historically Olmecs & Toltecs); the naming rite she outlines (midwives advised of the named day of the child's birth; and in turn advises mother) -- Raven assigns solar energy to the female, while the male -- Grandfather Moon -- expresses lunar energies.  She states that the Cherokee emigrated from the Yucatan, though academic anthropologists see some sort of Iroquoian relationship based on language & general matrilineal structure; R Fogelson (I took a class or two in anthro with him) says the Cherokee calendrics/ time keeping were lunar based (full and new moons)

I'm an astrologer and of course absolutely fascinated by the Mayan calendar -- I have plans for a 10 day Guatemalan tour starting with the Winter Solstice (end of Days) and am curious how far the MesoAmerican calendrix influence extended.
Any response will be very much appreciated - Sincerely, ~Sonja Foxe

Hello Sonja,
While we cannot and do not speak for Raven Hail, there are some merits to her Cherokee Sacred Calendar. We are not aware the Cherokee had any type of calendar. Long before the Aztecs, Olmecs, Toltecs and Maya, there were a people known as the Tula. The Tula were the teachers of the Maya and are ancestors of the Toltec. The Tula also sent emissaries to North America and they lived at Caddo Gap, AR and they were the Keepers of Manataka (Hot Springs National Park, AR) for hundreds of years. The Tula taught the Maya how to calculate the movements of the heavens. Other secrets taught by the Tula remain at Manataka.  Thank you. ~Editor


Spirit Guides


Dear Manataka,

Hello. My name is Shannon Santa Ana and I have an odd question to ask regarding spirit guides. At least it seems odd to me as I've never really given them much thought before today.  I have always since I was a young child had dreams that come true and I can always tell the difference between a "real" dream and an ordinary dream. It doesn't happen often and I've never considered myself psychic because of it but last night I had one of those dreams. This one was different though.

In my dream an animal came to my door and wanted in. At first I turned it away because it was a strange little animal that I wouldn't consider an indoor animal. It was a sloth. I ended up changing my mind and let him in anyway. Once I did he took on the form of a man. I felt very comfortable with this man and we began to talk. He brought up several things that has happened in my life but nothing of any real significance. I asked him how he knew these things and he said it was because he was my spirit guide. I then asked how long he had been with me and he said that he's been in my life in many different forms since I was 6 weeks old.

The back story to this dream was that a horrible storm was moving in and great flooding was expected. As the dream progressed the storm became worse and worse but some how I still felt safe although the water was rising and the waves of the ocean were swelling to great heights ( I live in Petal, Ms. An hour and a half from the gulf. No where near close enough to have to worry about that kind of thing). I could feel the spray of the water on my face. As the storm reached it's height I received a phone call and was woken up so that's where it ended. I actually had to wipe my face dry when I woke up. The only other time that I had a physical response from a dream was when my grandfather visited me in dream form.

I really don't know what to make of it. I have had many changes in my life in the last year and a half. Divorce, remarried, husband is deployed to Afghanistan and I'm about to put my daughter through college. I do have a very strong spiritual belief system but can't help but wonder if I'm making too much out of this. I've always believed in spirit guides but have never looked into it until now. When I looked up the meaning of the sloth I was quite shocked. Everything fit me like a glove. Can you please help advise me on how I should interpret this dream? I'm very confused about this and want to understand it and how it relates to my life. It had to strong of an impact on me to just write it off as a dream and nothing more.  Thank you so much for taking the time to read this. ~Shannon Santa Ana


Hello Shannon, Blessings on this wonderful day the Creator made for you. Eons before you were born into this material world, you were spirit. Then, when you were born, you were spirit and body. Long after your body turns to dust, you will remain spirit. As a human you are three entities: You are a physical body, a conscious being with a mind and emotions and you are also spirit. It is natural and common for various spirits of many kinds to ‘attach’ themselves to a spirit being such as yourself. Do not make light of it. It is sacred. It is the beginning of your awakening. Be sensitive and responsive to it. The more you follow spirit, the better your life becomes. The more you ignore spirit, the worse it becomes.  Lee Gadoda Yonv Moore

Likes Smoke Signal News

Hello Manataka Editor,

I have just recently subsribed to your newsletter and am so grateful to have come upon it. I am wondering if the beautiful print illustrating the "Happiness is a Voyage" article is available for purchase. It truly makes my sould sing and a smile to my face.
Many thanks and blessings. ~Jill Kuslits


Likes Smoke Signal News

Dear Manataka,

Thank you so much for the Smoke Signal News. I am a first generation American, my parents are from Germany. But I love your Smoke Signal Newsletter. I find it uplifting and insightful. I especially like the information about the herbs. They still use a lot of herbal remedies in Europe. I would much rather take something from the earth to help me than all the drugs the FDA "says" are ok. ~Sabina Bowers


Likes Smoke Signal News

Hi Manataka
I enjoyed your newsletter article on prophecy. Much about dreams can be answered with medieval astrology. See my profile-resident practitioners at  Regards, Gary Price


Grandfather Bear's Vision


Hello Manataka,

Oh My Brother Bear, I am sitting here filled with the Spirit of your voice echoing through me as if I had walked with The Father and I to felt like a child sitting with you, and you have awakened me to an understanding and clarity for which I was seeking. Your timing is of the essence and I truly believe in synchronization and how the Powers That Be and the Universe has a timeline for which "That is of a Divine Nature will present itself in its own time, when it Benefits the ALL and Encompasses The Totality of The All". You helped put the pieces together that were already right in front of me but my life on this Earth Plane sometimes becomes clouded by what is happening in my Personal Life and that which surrounds me, but I feel that my Path has cleared and the only Obstructions that inhibited my growth were that of my own choices in my life, which placed the Obstacles in my Wake for which I took complete responsibility for. I have been releasing that which has no bearing on walking the "Path" with the Grace of The Holy Spirit Mother so that I can really be free to "Walk". My first thought when I received your email was, "If I could right now, at this moment, I would somehow come to The Great Manataka and sit with My Brother Bear by the Fire..." I felt a great healing when I professed those words...You have opened my horizons and what I have felt running through me was of Truth from within me.

Thank you so much My Brother...and I will come on 10/20...I will cross the "Rainbow Bridge Over to You" This is what you call Divine Order...On 1/11/12 I had written down these words "Thy Holy Ordinance" but I didn't I do...I am eternally grateful for the clarity of the sacred messages that you have bestowed upon me, and I will Honor that which has Graced My Life for which you have brought me...

Love and Light to you My Brother Yonv and that which surrounds you on the Great Manataka...
I am honored (sacred) galvkawetiyu (galvkwitaga)
Lighting (atsvsdvsgv) fire (sacred) Atsila Galvkawetiyu from = nidvlenvda within = hawi(ni)ditlv peace = toe he
Yes...donadagohvi--Until we meet again by the fire at the Great Manataka

When I had the vision in 1985 of Chief White Eagle from the Ponca Tribe in Oklahoma and called them and told them of my experience, they put one of the Chief's on the phone to speak with me. I also professed my anger by the past in what the "White Eye" did in breaking treaties and had no respect or honor for human life or their people, and that I did not know what they had done...he replied, "You are like a "Creek Running Over" but do not be angry, take the positive message in what Chief White Eagle gave you and spread his word throughout the land, do not reflect back on the past, move will call Little Sister Linda..."Creek Running Over"...She never stops talking!!!! ~Little Sister Linda "Creek Running Over" Burkhart


Poisonous Plants

Dear Manataka,

I'm writing to tell you that your page with information on poisonous plants was such a help to my classes! I've bookmarked it as well. I manage the gardening club at my school and I thought it was important to give a mini lesson on plants poisonous to people and animals... can't tell you how many people are unaware of this.  Anyway, as my way of saying thank you, I thought I'd share another resource one of my students found that you may want to add to your page. It's called, "Flower Resources" -

( ). It's a flower and plant related page with lots of educational articles, it has a really nice one on poisonous plants you may like. I thought your users might find it valuable.  Hope I could help and take care. P.S. If you decide to add it, please let me know. I've given the student who discovered it an "Expert Gardener" award for such a great find and I'd love to show him and the club if the page were added to your website because it'd probably make his day :)  Sincerely,
~Mrs. Anne Hughes, Monument Charter School


The Truth about Hair


Dear Manataka


Interesting story…But NOT THE TRUTH. May I suggest that is not real…I am only 1/16th indian with short hair and I would be happy to challenge any long hair you have or can find to tracking. You pick the long hair and I will pick the place. Most Indians have lost their way and want to be something else. Hair has very little to do with the man and the same is true for who his father was. An "indian" can be born from Indian parents and be white and a white man can be Indian. Each person chooses their way and parents have very little to do with it unless the child has the desire to be Indian, just like hair.   We will be stronger if we talk about things that are really true instead of believing what we hope is true living in a fantasy world of fairy tales. ~Richard Eaton



Dear Editor,

Excellent article, very interesting giving all that truly believe in Our Creator and Mother Earth the beautiful gift of HOPE! I do have one question please, you spoke of being "immovable from the Earth", and of a "Time reality that will entice some to there". Can you explain where that may be, are speaking of leaving this planet Earth herself??!!  Thank You and many Blessings. ~Gwendolyn Karan


Dear Editor,


My name is Matthew Holycross (adopted to Filicicchia at age 10)

I am not sure of my heritage. My great grandmother was a shaman. From what tribe I do not know. That side of my mothers family treats the talk of it as a shame on the family. But I am sure that means nothing. I have survived many attempts on my life by my mother and others involved in black arts, do to the nature of my families religious beliefs and the importance of my existing I guess.

Being raised as a "christian" I struggled with the message and the actual reality. I gave it a try (35 years), but cannot even remotely fathom "God"(in the christian/jewish/catholic sense) as anymore real then a lifeless statue.

But yet I believe in God. But not "God". It makes complete sense to me. But it confuses my emotional response to Religions as they are. Its almost like a revulsion.

But I have been drawn with such grace to this site and some mystic sites that have put all the fear of suffering I learned in life at ease. As if I had originally known since before this life, that a beautiful change was more likely then a prolonged chaos the world seems to focus on.

For all the gore in life that has left me numb and petrified for so many years, I actually "feel" now. I can't explain how it is to anyone to have not ever known a peaceful, fearless day until I left the church and all its shackles behind. But I find my self more spiritually connected to everything in a more functional way.

Evolution and reincarnation are the exact same thing to me. The bible teaches it. Even though its ignored by religious leaders.
Am I just one of many that have had an awakening?

I have seen spirits since I was very young. And I see aura's in nature and in people. Sometimes even connect with them. I feel like the times my mother tried to kill me in the crib (my sister saved me) and through my childhood have left me in an in between state of consciousness. The Mother spirit must have been at work to keep me through my younger years. I have had visions and heard the "voice" speak to me as clear as day.

Now that I am older(40). I feel as if all has been an orchestrated system to prepare me for an event I am to lead others through. Not a religion or organization.

But to be an agent of anti-fear and peaceful evolution. But how I feel it is beyond me. Rightly so I guess.

As I read these articles I find a kinship that is ages older then my ability to recall.

Is this what you run into when talking with others that say they confirm what you are saying in their spirit?

I have given up on the church because I feel physically ill in those places anymore for the crimes I have witnessed and fought to no avail.

I still hunger spiritual friends. Just not Christians.

Am I wrong for rejecting what my very being seems to react so badly to? Or is that part of the change that is coming?

I don't know why what you wrote brings up these questions. But there they are.  I am appealing to your experiences meeting with others. I don't expect spiritual insight. But however you know you are to reply, then it is good and I will prove it.  Thank you for your articles. Thank you for your discipline and voice.  If you don't respond for any reason, you have given me gold already.
Peace and Safety.  ~Matthew Holycross



Hello Manataka,
I absolutely love and agree with everything said. Thank you!  ~Phyllis Brown



Hello Manataka,

It occurred to me today that Jesus/Yeshua was, in his own way, a Medicine man (in my own understanding of it) - as such, he is someone I can relate to in a unique and powerful way that has nothing to do with the church and much to do with my walk. When I realized that, it really blew my mind :) So much for church teachings .... this is a whole different level for me. It was a pretty cool moment, too. I thought - hey, this guy is a brother!  I still don't think I will ever relate to Jesus/Yeshua as "God" or savior - I just don't think it's possible for me to do that. It makes no sense to me. But as a Medicine man, as a teacher, as a messenger, as a Star child - yes.  I stumbled on something in a search .... I thought David Three Dogs might like to see it, he has written such wonderful articles ...... his well-researched work is spreading:   ~ Kim Summermoon



Dear Editor,
Thank you for this article, it was wonderful and hopeful to read! I have long believed that there is a connection to evolution and creation, this article confirms it. It is worded with clear understanding. The pieces come together in what is and what is to be. Staying on the right path is very hard for those who are lured to earthly behavior. Being reminded is always helpful to those of us who stray easily. We live too much in the moment, the now, and all about me. We need to practice paying attention to the big picture, the purpose, and others.

The part about "Time as Direction" is new to me, but it makes sense. We are a very time-oriented society, which I feel limits us and condenses our thinking abilities. Our awareness of the world around becomes dull. When we are dull or apathetic, we are easier to manipulate. Do you have a suggestion for where we can find information on how to re-think/re-direct our understanding of this "Time as Direction" process?  Thank You again.  ~Roberta Elwell


Women Can't Play My Drum!


Greetings my Relations:

I have thought long about this article, and have this to say: I find it very disturbing. It hurts my heart to read these bitter, angry words. In this time of upheaval and destruction, we should be pulling together, not pulling apart. "This is only for men, this is not for women" - how did this happen?

Slavery was once traditional in this country. Foot-binding was once traditional in China. Female genital mutilation is still traditional in some countries. Because a practice has a history among a people does not make it right. We Two Leggeds have gone through many up-liftings, when we've seen how we've lost the path and corrected our errors. Our progress has been toward inclusion, toward acceptance, toward unity with all beings - and that includes women. To revert to old, destructive, separatist ways is to lose the path once again.

Women hold up half the sky. When did we lose sight of the unity of the people and start arguing about who can and who can't? This is not the Beauty Way. This does not help the children grow up straight and strong. This does not heal any wounded hearts.

I have spoken.

Quanah'che Mawokee
The Feathered Serpent Lodge
Albuquerque, NM


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