Manataka™ American Indian Council





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. 




The First People...

Dear Editor,


I love the 1st people of Turtle Island for this reason, they were here first. They communicated with the animals and nature. And asked for help from all their brothers, trees, grass, plants, the four legged beings, birds of air, to the four winds and to Mother Earth. This happened long before the white man came to show them a better way.


It is interesting to me, that the very bible the white man came to force on them, they already understood “This Great Mystery” from childhood. These great truths were learned from the elders of the tribe. If you doubt this, then spend some time looking into the 1st peoples history. Then sit with your bible and ask the Great Unknown to open your eyes to the following.

Consider what is written in your bible:


Job 12:7- 12 But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds of the air, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish of the sea inform you. Which of all these does not know that the hand of the LORD has done this? In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind. Does not the ear test words as the tongue tastes food? Is not wisdom found among the aged? Does not long life bring understanding? My brothers, the 1st people and all of nature understood this “Great Mystery” long before the white man came to America.


After your review of the 1st peoples history and reading the scripture in Job, you can remain the same or except the change. And in doing so with respect and honor, we may gain a better understanding of each other. We all were created by that same Great Spirit “ But I also have that same right as you do, to believe what the Great Unknown has spoken to my heart”


Note:  The words Great Mystery & Great Unknown are the same to me. It is beyond my human understanding how great the Creator is, so I use the above words.  Other Names God is called by in the bible:  Elohim, Yahweh, Jehovah, Adonai, El-Shaddai, Yah and many others.  The Great Unknown has no problems with names, I AM that I AM ~ Dennis Nagel


Dear Manataka,


From what I read in this Fourth of July entry suggests to me that opinions about the Fourth of July are far from uniform, regardless of ethnicity.  The holiday that is most offensive to me is Columbus Day.  I still can’t imagine why a country would honor a mass murderer.  It tells me a lot about religion, patriotism, and ill-gotten gains.


I see I hadn’t read the Declaration of Independence as carefully as I should have!!  This entry about the Fourth of July educated me about the openness of European and European-American hatred toward those souls who were already living here before they (the Europeans) came along.  I continually find it amazingly heart-wrenching that the Pilgrims received so much local help in order to simply survive and then were thanked with 400 years of genocide. 


Anyway, thank you, again.  I’ll look forward to the next edition.  Sorry I don’t have money at this time to support your efforts, but hopefully I’ll be able to help one of these days. ~Thomas C. Wallace, PhD


Eagle Feather Law Suit...

Dear Editor:  

Regarding the Eagle feather law suit: Did your Attorney forget to tell you to read, learn, know, research  about the " Taking of Private property without just compensation"?  Of course, you do not need an attorney to tell you  to do that.  Perhaps you should do a study on this, and " deeply held religious belief". Your attorney sold you out because of his/her membership into the society of the Inns of Court.   I also want to stress that this lawsuit is not to get our feathers back. 


Hello Lark Eagle,

You fail to understand that the attorneys worked very hard for over eight years and continue to work hard for this case – for ZERO compensation.   You obviously do not know the attorneys involved in this law suit and you obviously do not understand the case and its complexities.  Moreover, You do not comprehend the array of legal arguments that were used to fight this case.  A person with little understanding should not throw stones.  Your argument is not well thought-out and speaks loudly with ignorance.  ~Editor


Profile of Mary Wildfire Edmonia Lewis

Hello Manataka,


We can document the earliest known portrait of Edmonia Lewis at:
New library distributors of The Indomitable Spirit of Edmonia Lewis by Harry and Albert Henderson, include EBSCO and YBP as well as Overdrive, Baker & Taylor, UntreedReads, etc.  Best wishes, Al Henderson

Great Spirit has revealed and led me to understand things deeper than I could have ever imagined


Dear Manataka: 


Hello, I am Laurie Rhoads and just wanted to say thank you all so very much, and special thanks to Grandfather Lee Standing Bear. I recently wrote asking for guidance, and help. I reached out in desperation, because I had no where else to turn. I want to first say thanks for responding to me so quickly. Just to know someone had heard my cry for help gave me strength and hope. During my struggle, I've found it very difficult to ask for help. Even though I have known I needed help, and I wanted to call, I still just couldn't seem to make myself call. Thanks secondly for checking on me when I didn't, and again encouraging me to do so. Over the last 4 years, the Great Spirit has revealed, and led me to understand things deeper than I could have ever imagined. My awakening began by literally losing everything I had in this life. A job I'd given my life to, all material things I'd worked hard for, and hardest of all, every connection to anyone and everyone I'd loved and trusted. I was so deeply hurt and alone. I struggled to understand but was so very confused and lost. I remember thinking,  All I've lived my life for is gone. I had absolutely no direction, no place, no one. From my place of desperation, I cried out. I didn't know to who or how. I'd already found the God of my child times would never hear me. I had been taught, because I'd disappointed him too many times. I'd struggled with this earlier as a young adult. I tried and wanted to live my life for him the way I'd been taught from my beginning. After much failure, guilt, and shame I walked away. I didn't begin to understand it then, but just knew it was not within me to ever be something I simply was not. The Great Spirit later explained to me, just as one animal cannot deny the nature he was created with neither could I. Can you imagine a fish striving to be a hawk? The fish would always fail, never find beauty or peace, and worse of all, never fulfill the purpose for his journey in this life. So very simple! He began to show me, that I was exactly what he wanted and created me to be! During the beginning of my awakening time, I began to hunt, and search for more of this truth, it was my way of survival. I didn't begin to know where to look. I had spent much time in church, and knew I was not ready to trust people.


So, I did what was natural. I went to nature. I'd moved back to the area of my child-times after loosing everything. I did not have a home some of the time anyway. I live in the southern part of Il. and had gone to school and grown up here. I began to learn this area was rich with history of the Native Americans that once lived here. I had known of the Great Trail of Tears that passed thru this a area, but not very much as we certainly weren't taught anything about it in the years of school I'd attended. I'd also grown up my whole life knowing part of my ancestry had been the Cherokee people. I always remembered the the little, wrinkled, brown, Grandmother I'd met only a few times when I was very small. I remember the first prayer I cried out for over and over during the beginning of my awakening, I prayed with deep desperation to find something I was connected to. Somewhere I belonged. I spent all of my time hunting, searching, listening. I walked fields, creeks, woods. (I was rebuked a lot for trespassing too!) I studied the animals all around me, and the beauty of the earth. I began to find rocks, tools, and remnants left behind by those that once lived in this very place long ago, in a very different time. And I began to connect. Everyday I'd pray, show me the ways of my people. To hold a tool in my hand, that they before me worked and created to live, and survive their own journey was forever life changing. I never cared if they were broken, from years of being churned by greedy, careless, machines and chemicals injected into Mother Earth.


They were the most valuable pieces of anything I'd ever hold in my hand. I didn't understand, but knew when I held these pieces, I could feel the spirit connected to it, and as I walked, and cried out please show me. The answers began to come. Talk about the lessons hidden in every rock and leaf! At times it was as if I were standing among them, watching as they gathered, worked, and lived. I saw them as if they were here today. And I knew not much except that I belonged. They were my people, from where I had come, and I was very connected. In my own suffering, I was shown the great sorrow they endured while being driven without mercy on the Trail of Tears. I saw their heads held high, their eyes straight and clear, and their hearts at peace as everything they had and knew was wrongfully ripped from them. I saw the deep betrayal they felt, and hopelessness. I saw the hate that tried to eat their hearts and spirits. And though my own suffering will never compare, I saw myself. As my journey continues, I am learning so much. So many things from my Christianity background actually have given my greater understanding and truth. All things are connected. I am able to see where "Man" got involved.


In Revelations it says in the last days, my children will be taught by my voice alone. Most all I have been taught has been this way, and then confirmed later as I searched and read from places like the Manataka website and writings of Lee Standing Bear. Because of the struggles I continue to endure, that confirmation is vital. It's sometimes difficult to not believe all I've been taught is just in my own mind.


Sometimes it's necessary to connect on a personal level. I desperately needed to hear a voice in my ear to go along with the one in my heart. I know there is more I am called to do. Struggling to get thru each day is not my calling. I believe this is exactly why the dark Wolf stays at my door. I must first find the inner peace. The peace of my people. I starve with great hunger that will not stop to learn more. I'm desperate to learn about my people. I've been told to plan a visit to the sacred Manataka this summer and I know I will be there soon. Getting the honor to speak and hear Lee Standing Bear on the phone was life changing. Every word he spoke was confirmation of lessons I've been taught by his voice in the wind. I am sorry this is so long, but I wanted you to know how thankful I am, and how important you are. Please know, that your journey has greatly blessed me and my ability to be all he has created me to be. Thank you, your sister ~L. Roads



I read your article Selling American Indian Spirituality is Big Business a few years ago, and believe none spiritual path should be sold or trade by anything. In the past an apprentice had to go through great ordeals and prove him/her worthy of receiving a tradition or wisdom. 


I have to say that the elders that attended the gathering [promoted by Adam Yellowbird Dearmon]  "some" people might have had  good interest in sharing their wisdom and maybe get a little dollars but the reality is that all the elders were used by Yellowbird, Mr. Drunvalo and their organizing team.

In 2011, I attended an important gathering where the Mamos (enlightened-Earth mystic of the Sierra Nevada of Santa Marta) came to the gathering of Adam Yellowbird Dearmon and Mr. Drunvalo Melchizedek (what a phony name!).  There I noticed how corrupt these two guys are using the wisdom of the natives to attract followers and make money off of them.  At this gathering Dearmon charged $333 and some donors had the option of donating more. I heard many donated over $1,000.  At least 800-to-1000 people were present. From all that money -- and this I can testify to because I visited with the same Mamos elders again in 2013 and asked them how much they received from Yellowbird. He gave them the equivalent of $260 to each of the nine participants who came from Colombia. 
When I heard this i was so pissed and disappointed because I witnessed the whole thing.

I have to say that the elders, their wisdom, their tradition are real and pure but sadly i believe they are being used like merchandize that can be sold like all capitalists do.   The gathering of the Ancestors cost over $900 per person.


I like to tell Adam Yellowbird Dearmon to have transparency about his shows, organization, spending, and promotion, etc. At the end of the event have a clear accounting of ins-and-outs so as to be credible.  Now he is planning another gathering in 2015 and is asking for donations and looking for "donors".

About the Mamos check this film made by Mr Ereira,who I also believe is using the Mamos but we live in a world where nothing is free I guess. check the movie.

Mr Ereira give the message by the Mamos but at the same time he has done nothing to protect their land.  As far as I know the Mamos are asking desperately to protect their sacred sites to do their spiritual payment and protect those sacred sites but they need money to buy those land back that they used to be their safe -guardian. Many of us have lost our original way because of so much pollution of philosophies and religions and conquests. But the Mamos of the Sierra have preserved their tradition so far pure and just want to be left alone doing their spiritual healing for the Earth and all living creatures, but now they are calling us all to stop the mining, mutilation and pollution of every membrane of the earth.

I would love to hear your perspective about how to bring native from other cultures among native supporters and make an event as transparent as the sky in term of its financing. Earth is happy when her children come together.  One day I dream of this gathering where no one is using anybody for money or profit.  Thank you for reading, would to hear your perspective about this.  Mucho amor y luz  ~Daniel Flores



Hello Daniel Flores,


Bonnie Whitecloud was kind to forward your message to us for a response.


In October 2012, Manataka hosted an event called “The Moment” – a spiritual three-day gathering where over 1,000 people came together to give thanks to the Creator of All Things, pray, perform ceremonies, dance and sing.  The people on top of the sacred mountain, Manataka had a wonderful time.  We ate good food, enjoyed fantastic music and great speakers.  Elders of many nations came and we cried at their beautiful words.


Admission to all events was free.  Nothing was sold – nothing.  We invested about $1,000 for needed supplies, but we refused to allow anyone to ask for money.  Many people donated supplies and money, but not a dime came to the Manataka American Indian Council.  Those who donated money were asked to purchase whatever was needed and bring it to the Gathering areas.


That is our answer to those who take advantage of people who are seeking the Peace of God.  Thank you for your words.  Others should hear them too.  ~Editor


Looking for Onondaga Languages Help

Hello Manataka,


I looked high and low for Onondaga phrases online and could only find a dozen or so, mostly numbers.  There are a few sites purporting to give Onondaga phrases and translations from English, but they are frustratingly deceptive when you try to use them, offering instead Estonian, Turkish, etc.  If there are only 50 fluent speakers of Onondaga left, it might be a good project for them to put out a booklet of Onondaga phrases at least.  I also tried several times to contact the Bureau of Indian Education and ask them why they are not encouraging the preservation of indigenous languages and culture.  But apparently they are bureaucratic elitists, because they did not trouble to answer my emails.  Is there anything else that can be done along those lines to bring this government policy of neglect into the limelight?   I really want to help the cause of native American culture.  Yours, ~Ian Elliott

Animal Spirit Guide Question

Hi Manataka,


I have a question about an article I had seen your council wrote. I am non - tribal, how ever I have been on the Cheyenne- Arapaho rez. I had a question about seeing a power animal. I had read that the meaning of a power animal can only come to you if you are a Shaman . How can a power animal of a non-tribal person come to you in your dreams?. I had seen the wolf, and it protected me. And I had read it's a protector, and a guider for a God. But really it wasn't a dream, I suppose it was more of a nap, in a pre-meditative state I suppose, because I had only seen it for a few seconds then I had woke up. The teeth is what scared me the most, it was snapping at me to stay back. But is it possible to get these power animals being non-tribal?. Thank you. ~Erika Roberson




Hello Erika,

Please read this article: 

You will discover that Spirit Guides (angels) are not chosen by a person.  To the contrary, it is always the Spirit Guide who chooses the person.  No shaman  can tell you what God is directing in your life.  Spirit Guides are color-blind and do not befriend a person on the basis of color, race, religion or other things that divide us.  Simply because you dream of a wolf or other kinds of things, it does not mean that entity is your Spirit Guide.  You will absolutely know it when a Spirit Guide needs to communicate with you.  Do not give in to the temptation to choose a Spirit Guide ahead of time.  Read the article above slowly in order to fully grasp its intent.  ~Editor


Different Price Levels Across the Board

Hello Manataka,

I talked with Lee Standing Bear on his Birthday and he asked if I would email what we discussed in our conversation.  My Name is Daniel Kevin Coll.  My Indian name is Horse.  I recently asked to be a member of the Manataka as I'm Cherokee by descent and although I'm not registered with the Cherokee as we know a lot of Cherokee did not register after the trail of tears.  My great grandfather and grandmother were full blooded Cherokee and their last name was Donoho out of Oklahoma.  Anyway I was introduced to the Manataka by a cousin of mine a Chukchansi and was very happy to learn about the Manataka the Rainbow woman and the spiritual place were all native American are welcome.


In my conversation with Lee Standing Bear I was telling him of a Fair Act proposal I have created.  I'm in the supply business and have been for over 10 years.  Then it occurred to me that the Indian Casino's and other entities that I deal with were subject to many different supply chains and different price levels across the board.