Manataka™ American Indian Council



APRIL 2014



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. 




Federal Recognition


Hau, Osiyo mitakuye oyassin, (hello in Lakota, Cherokee)

My people or relatives in Lakota. I am a state recognized member of the Appalachian American Indians of West Virginia with a tribal enrollment number and a student at Sitting Bull College at Fort Yates, North Dakota. I wish to bring to your attention an issue that still exists in Indian Country.


I was just informed by our Principal Chief Appleton that the Legislation of West Virginia along with American Indian Studies groups and other organizations have shot down our request to be officially state recognized as a tribe. We represent more than 53 tribal nations made up of many members who could not be Federally recognized due to bureaucracy or destroyed records. We have over 13,000 tribal members. It appears that those in West Virginia fail to see that many of the tribes such as the Shawnee were forced out during the Indian Removal Act. And yet, many of our brothers and sisters and elders returned back or hid out in the country side of West Virginia which means they did not leave, but stayed. West Virginia does not want to acknowledge any of the tribal people, and yet we were supposedly state recognized back in the 1990's. We as a nation and as a people have struggled to show who we are, and yet we conducted drug free and smoke free powwows, attempted to make and sell our products only to be shut down by the Native American Arts and Crafts Act due to someone who had put their noses where they don't belong. We do exist and many of us live outside of West Virginia. We are a strong nation and yet many feel that we have been defeated. We don't have reservation status, don't intend on going Federal, only to promote the goodness of what those of the 53 tribal nations can give. I don't feel that this battle is over with yet. What we as a people need to do is to stand up and speak up against this travesty as I will be doing once I graduate in December 2014 as an Advocate for all Native American people to speak out for things that are wrong to make them right. So I ask for your support on this matter so as to not let this happen anymore. Pilamayelo. Thank you. ~James Austin   


Hello Jason,

We are thankful to have the ability to share your information with our growing readership of over 84,000 avid American Indian studies opt-in subscribers. We understand the issues as you describe, and the state legislature in West Virginia understands your concerns as well.  However, we are not certain the leadership of  Appalachian American Indians of West Virginia understand and appreciate the concerns of the legislature and American Indian studies professionals at the University of West Virginia who objected to recognizing the AAIWV. We do not believe the AAIWV leadership has made even the slightest attempt to deal with those realities.  Instead, its Principal Chief Wayne Appleton called his opponents racists, avoids responding their concerns and is not completely honest with his own members. 


The basis of the AAIWV application for a government to government relationship is seriously flawed.  The state nor federal governments cannot and should not recognize a people who never existed.  That is not to say West Virginia was not home and hunting territory to Shawnee, Cherokee, Delaware, Seneca, Wyandot, Ottawa, Tuscarora, Susquehannock, Huron, Sioux, Mingo, Iroquois,  and other tribes. A small group allegedly composed of "53" nations of questionable genealogy does not represent anyone's interests except those of its leadership. ~Editor



Wonders of the Medicine Wheel

Hello Manataka,


I have one question regarding the medicine wheel.  I have seen some references that say some versions of the medicine wheel attribute specific gifts to each race on the wheel.  One reference was from the Ojibwe.  Are you aware of or have any references from legitimate sources that give some detail on these teachings?  Thanks again.  ~Howard Brass


Hello Howard,

According to Grandfather Lee Standing Bear of Manataka:  “...Wheel-walkers can attribute any value they wish to various sections or individual parts of the wheel... Those attributes and value assignments change continually according to the Wheel-walker, the current circumstance and time...  The Wheel is a vast blackboard, or blank canvas whereupon concerns and desires may be expressed or inquiries made... The Wheel is a device that shows relationships between any given variables in the great circle of life...”   Lee Standing Bear Moore, 1979


“We are aware that some new agers are attempting to ascribe attributes to specific hypothetical identifications on the medicine wheel, such as assigning gifts to various races.  We are equally aware that such practices are not widely accepted within tribes because this type of thing encroaches on a long-held taboo among spiritual elders to not create dogma and doctrine surrounding spiritual beliefs.  This is a serious consideration when making an attempt to describe spiritual practices connected to the medicine wheel.”  Lee Standing Bear Moore, 2014


It is my personal opinion that it is impossible to describe specific gifts of any race because every race shares the same good qualities and imperfections.   It is indeed laughable to hear the Medicine Wheel is being used to describe racial gifts.  It sounds like someone is trying to make the Medicine Wheel into a horoscope device.   I am not aware of any legitimate sources that give credence to this teaching. ~Assistant Editor



Questions about Spirit Guides

Hello Manataka,
The other night I was meditating on a particular question and entered a very trance-like state. I could feel my body get heavy and my spirit get light.  Everything vibrated with energy and i became enveloped in a sphere of swirling darkness. It was growing. My question repeated softly in my mind...  who do I want to be. .. who. .. who...etc. Then a figure formed in a shell of sorts. It broke free and became a powerful bear with beautiful eagle wings. Before I could delve too much further I started to come out of it, because quite frankly I was a little scared. This is not a normal occurrence for me and I really felt as if my spirit had begun to leave my body. I was afraid it wouldn't return so I 'woke up.' I have been doing some research   Is there such a thing as a double or combined spirit guide? Or just a construct of my imagination? Either way, it spoke to me (without saying a word) but I would just like to know if there is anything else to glean from this vision.  Thank you for any help and insight you are able to provide. 
~Christina Howden


Hello Christina,
Yes there a billions of double or combined spirit guides.  A spirit guide can be anything your mind and soul allows you to see.  We cannot interpret your vision because it is YOUR vision and not ours.  We do not interpret dreams and visions because to do so might send your thinking and feelings in a direction that is not yours -- and that might become a terrible disservice to you.  There are people who accept money for interpreting dreams and visions, but in our opinion this is wrong because again, their interpretation may be totally incorrect and send your thinking and feelings to a wrong place.  Your dreams and visions are for you only. They are sacred things that must be respected.  You may not always immediately understand what the message might be, but one day you will know. Your spirit guides are wonderful spiritual experiences. 



Animal Spirit Guides 

Hello Manataka,

I enjoyed reading about animal spirit guides on your website.  I have been visited in dreams for several decades with animals.  I even wrote my senior college thesis on my horse dreams.  I also have the Ted Andrews book and found it very helpful.  I was on your website looking for an answer to the following question: if you reveal your animal spirit guide, does it lose the power to help?  I had not heard of this before.  In some of the books I have on the subject, the guide is revealed without a loss of power.  I just wondered if you knew of an answer to this. ~Jim Perry  Bay City, MI


Hello James Perry,

The Spirit of all that is sacred might be viewed as an angel of God.  The Spirit may take on many shapes and forms – whatever the mind accepts and envisions.  If that shape and form is an animal – it is well and good.  An angel of God does not lose its power unless the Creator wills it to be so.  Or, if you will it to be so.  The power of animal spirits is not diminished.    Because an animal spirit are sacred, it is vitally important you treat it as such  -- meaning that revealing its existence may jeopardize its holiness and thus reduce its impact on your life.  As with anything, it is your intent and purpose that can determine the outcome. ~Editor



Possessing a Soul

Dear Manataka,

Please tell Lee Standing Bear Moore that I love his article about Do Animals Possess a Soul?

I love Grandfather Lee Standing Bear Moore so much and it seems a natural change in leadership has made me heard his name less in the newsletter.  I was getting worried that he crossed over.  Well, I read and loved that excellent article so much and looked for the author and there was our beloved leader.  I will call, as I always love to tell him how much he means to me and it is healing just to hear his voice!  Thank you so much.  Your newsletter is great.  I still use and make for everyone the 3 mosquitos recipe which Lee printed once to protect against those critters.  Go well. ~Brenda Bergeron


Lumbee History

Hello Manataka,
Thank you for this insightful and heart felt  bit of history.  My interest in your writings are based on the history of my people the Lumbees of eastern North Carolina  who also suffered slavery and death at the hands of the "white man".  Thanksgiving, as you stated in your writings, are part of mankind's history and is to be recognized for the generosity Mother Nature  offers.  Myth, legend, and fact all have contributed to our current celebratory rites and we must realize that reality should be an integral part of what we know so that we learn to practice and rejoice in our humanity and oneness.  Again, thank you  for taking time to offer from your experience and knowledge this slice of history that can be used to teach  others about our true past.  Sincerely,
~Eneida Pugh


Uses for the Deer

Hello Manataka,

My name is Amber and I have many concerns and questions. Firstly, I read that you let the first animal go; is it the first animal of the season or day?   Second: is there a resource to show how and what all parts the deer is used for? (My husband, my child, and I are very new but want to do everything the way nature intended) we are also very tired of the way this world has become. There is no care or respect left in most of mankind toward human or animal.  Thank you for taking the time to read this email and answer questions. Have a blessed day.  ~Amber Wheeler


Hello Amber,

When hunting or gathering within an area it is wise to always leave the first deer or clump of berries or whatever you find in order to insure that species will continue to thrive in that area.  Preservation is the first rule of survival in nature.  What parts of the deer or any other game is used depends on what you need to survive.  For example: if you need a spoon or fork in your camp, you will look for things that can be used for that purpose, may be the deer hip bone could serve as a large ladle.  The uses for parts of the deer is very long -- just about what ever your imagination and needs require. ~Editor


Likes Mayan Calendar

Dear Editor:

Thanks for sharing your wisdom and particularly, the article on the Mayan calendar.  I can feel the changes coming pretty strongly right now...  Time to rise and shine!  In solidarity and in peace,  ~Dylan Gadwa


Women's Tatoos

Dear Manataka,

I have a question regarding tattoos, Did women tattoo their faces, chins?  Thank you for your response.  Irma Amaro, Director
Del Norte Indian Education Center NCIDC


Hello Irma,
It depends on the tribe.  Near your area the Salina Chumash of CA women wear facial tattoos.  Tribes in other places also tattoo.  Some do not.  We live in an area where the Tula people (circa 1500 b.c.  - 1560 a.d.)  especially the women were tattooed from the tops of the heads to the bottom of their feet. 

Needing Language Help in Brazil

Dear Manataka Friends...
I´m recording a music cd for healing and relaxing and would like to use one native american blessing   As i see our music as a journey i´m looking for one native american blessing specially oriented for journey.  It must be in Original Native American language.  Can you help me ? Thank you.  ~
Luiz Estêvão Salvagnini


Hello Luiz,

We understand your request and the deeper purpose for which it is intended.  We find ourselves reluctant to provide a blessing in one of the over 300 American Indian languages because this is a journey that you must complete on your own.  The meaning and purpose of YOUR music must be expressed by your heart and soul.  It is not a collaborative effort but one that has origin within the depth and breadth of your Spirit who yearns to send its vibration into the cosmos.  It would give us great pleasure and honor to hear your composition when it is finished.  Somehow, we feel the great power you possess.  ~Editor



Hello my dear brother in spirit and nature, Standing Bear.

I would like to thank you for the kind and inspiring words.  Somehow after receiving your message, I was blessed and a lot of positive changes happened on my life.  I would like to thank you for all the words and blessings.  And as asked, I´m sendind one of my compositions for your appreciation.  I hope you like it.  Warm Hugs from Brazil ~Luiz Estêvão Salvagnini



Hello Honored Brother Luiz Estevao,

Appreciation?  Oh, this composition requires so much more than just appreciation.  It deserves our passionate love!  It is beautiful!

We played it four times, honoring each of the sacred directions and felt something different each time.  We closed our eyes and floated in the cosmos.  We could not understand the words, but some how that did not matter.    Your compositions will find resonating hearts all over the world.  It is indeed an honor to receive this precious gift.  Our impression received with your first email was correct.  Your strong spirit speaks without words.  We will offer up a thanksgiving prayer ceremony for you. ~Editor




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