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. 






Thank you for your informative article. I have also used the Rethinking Schools curriculum for years, and Bill Bigelow's has been someone whose work I have tried to emulate.  I have a local question, and I am wondering if you can help me find some research data other than what I seem to find on line.

Mary Goodenow was a girl in Northborough, MA (1707) who was chased on "her land" by "Indians who scalped her".  It is part of all the literature I can find on her.  I am aware that the Indigenous people who most likely would have been in the area would have been from the Nipmuc tribe (most of whom were moved into praying towns nearby).  What I don't get is why Native people would suddenly come upon two girls (one who ran to safety of the garrison and Mary,who was crippled in some way -- who didn't get away.)  I grew up being taught that Indians "scalped" Mary.  Yet, never knew that only four years prior (as your article states) Massachusetts Bay was offering 60 bucks per Indian scalp.  Revenge?  Maybe not even Indians?  Could white family people have dressed as Indians and killed this girl to get money?  I am just curious what other perspectives are out there on this story.  If you don't know this particular story, that is fine.  I would love some links that might help me get to another perspective as yours does.  I am not looking to solve a mystery here... but i would like what a consensus of ideas might be to this "gruesome savage attack" as so many of the original writings call it.  Thanks for your time and good work! 
Karen Smith, Literacy Specialist, David Mindess School, Ashland



Fascinating ; totally correcting my understanding of 'Indian'.  Everett Sharp, Devon, England


The Great Remembering


Dear Manataka,

Where is The Great Remembering Part 2?  Has it not been written yet? Please help me find it, as I cannot fulfill the vow in part one, without the knowing contained in Part 2!  Thank you for your quick response to my question about the Great Remembering part 2.

Long have I understood all the information contained in part 1 and I was so happy to hear another person put many of my thoughts into such a essay. I will look forward to Part 2 in September. Thanks again Gabriel Policani


Hello Gabriel,

Thank you for your message.  The Great Remembering Part 2 is scheduled for release September 1.


The Great Remembering

Dear Editor,

Remembering is key to our ability to forgive and letting go. So many people still consider remembering to being a negative experience, but the past has so much to teach us as long as we are able to move beyond the emotional aspect and see the situation or circumstance for what it is, no more no less. I love the many writings I receive from Manataka. Thank you Bonnie for returning my message and letting me know the next part will be in the next month. That makes sense for the link not working, because its not there. 

Have a blessed night and week.  ~Julie Miller


The Great Remembering

Good day Manataka!


I've just finished reading The Great Remembering is Far More Important Than the Great Forgetting which took my breath away. It validates both my observations and my understanding of what is happening to our Earth, and what must happen to ensure her health and the continuation of the human race. 


​I would like, very much to read that second part. Even more, I feel as though I need to read it. Is there another way to access it?

I'm one of the teachers who is here to remind people who they are, and what they're meant to be about. The time is drawing near when I will be called to step up in ways beyond that which I've been doing. I've been visited by Stalking Wolf, who appointed himself as my guide - and possibly guard - two days before I was initiated as a fire woman, along with two other women friends, on July 23 - a little over three weeks ago. (Of note: I had no idea who he was until he presented himself to me as one of my women friend's spirit guides one week before that.)


I realize all this may sound more than a bit "out there," and yet I learn, day by day, that what modern-day humans term "out there," is actually what exists in here; within all of us.   Thank you for your time and consideration.  Peace. ~Ellen M. Gregg

Healer, Intuitive Coach


Dear Manataka,


My Name is Anashonee' WhiteWolf Hiawatha DeMars Clan Chief of the Free Abenaki / Irquois people . I suport woman on the drum and so do my people. We are a small group of people who follow the old ways of the longhouse. We honor woman and her place in creation for this teaching was passed down may generations onto me. We will stand by your side and when we put on a Powwow up here in Vermont we would love for you to bring your woman' s drum for Unity we must walk in balance. Aho  ~Anashownee' WhiteWolf Hiawatha DeMars


Women Cannot Touch My Drum!

Women and the Drum by Shannon Thunderbird  -


Genealogical Research

Hello Manataka,


As I research my family heritage from NC, I am not finding much info.  My father suspects there may be Cherokee heritage in my mother. She was raised Quaker in NC.  But no records (to my knowledge) of any Native heritage.  Her grandmother Nannie Riddle looked like a full blooded Cherokee, but is listed as White and not on a roll I don't think.  We are not in the

direct line of Frank Riddle from Kentucky. Our Riddle clan landed in Tennessee from Scotland; and some moved to NC.


I have crooked pointer finders, an extra bone in the roof of my mouth, large front teeth, high cheek bones, wide feet, little toes that turn under, stand 5' 7", have heavy earlobes, almond shaped eyes, 2nd toes the same length as big toes.  I am going to find out if I have an extra bone in my feet. Would that be conclusive?  I am pale and do not have shovel teeth.


Do you know of an anthropologist who documents Native heritage through pictures and x-rays?  Maybe the only way I can find out.  DNA testing is not conclusive at this point. It matters to me as I have a  feeling of something "lost" that needs to be returned.  I am a teacher in the spiritual tradition of Kriya Yoga; but I still want to walk in truth and return honor to my matriarchal line if meant to be.  If white, ok too. A soul is a soul.  Thank you!  All peace on the Mountain, Paula Kenion



Hello Paula,

We suggest that you perform traditional genealogical research – using the information contained in a very good book entitled, “Cherokee Proud” by Dr. Mac McClure.   Manataka Books – Genealogy   There are literally thousands of records to review, but this book will give you a serious head start saving you a lot of time, resources and frustration.  We do not advise that you attempt to look up your family on the Cherokee Rolls.  That could confuse, frustrate and lead you in a wrong direction. There are dozens of rolls and they may not have the same name or location found in your family lore.  Instead, follow the directions in the book.   Oh, get the latest version (4th or 5th printing).  Mac revises it every few years to give you the latest information.  Mac is a third or fourth cousin living in TN.   When you search for your ancestors, they will find you.  ~Editor 


Cherokee Genealogy

Dear Editor,


That is wonderful new about the ruling.  I am one of those other ones that some along the line my Indian heritage got  lost.  My grad mother was all Indian and my great grandfather was half and half.  He was Cherokee AND European, called black Dutch as my mother told me.,  there is no such people. I think she was Chickasaw but if you did not get to OK, they did not exist.

I have tried every ave I know to find her connection with out any luck.  If you have any ideas of how I can find her I would appreciate it.  Regards, Jim Grant PhD. Soaring Eagle


Hello James Soaring Eagle,

See Cherokee Proud by Dr. Tony Mack McClure – an excellent book for your purpose. 

Well worth your time and small investment.  ~Editor


Indian Boarding Schools

Dear Manataka,

My cousin from New Brunswick stopped by the other day and after he left, a question came to mind.

Did the Canadian Native Americans suffer at the hands of the British and French to the same extent that the Native Americans in the United States did? I don't know Canadian history, but I suspect that they might not have because of lower population density and differences in political philosophy, i.e., Manifest Destiny. But that's just a guess on my part.

Maybe the Canadian Brits might have had the equivalent of manifest destiny. But as I was thinking about this, I thought I'd ask you.  Comparing the Native American experiences between the two countries would make an interesting article in your newsletter that I receive.

Oh, one more thing, did my book, To Kill A Poacher, arrive? I can't think of the individual's name off hand who I addressed it to. I was just wondering if there was any feedback that might be helpful to me as I contemplate writing another one on a related topic.


Thomas C. Wallace, PhD


Tom, There are literally thousands of other examples regarding Canadian genocide. This genocide covers the gamut from economic, political, social, religious, land, etc.  U.S. and Canadian treatment is similar in most respects – they all come
from Eurocentric thinking.
The Legacy of Native American Schools ~Editor



Thank you so much for your quick response. Actually, I know something about the Indian schools. I'm 70 years old now, but when I was a little boy, my dad worked as a groundsman at the Chemawa Indian School, north of Salem, Oregon. I was about four years old at the time. This would have been in about 1948. We lived in a duplex on campus. The family who lived in the other side of the duplex were Navajo. The husband taught at the school and the wife was a homemaker and a good friend of my mother's.

One day their little boy, who attended the local public school and was a year or two older than I, came home crying. He ran into the bathroom and drew a tub of water, jumped in and started scrubbing, sobbing all the while.

His mother came into the bathroom and asked him what happened. He told her that the white kids at school told him that he was nothing but a dirty, filthy Indian. So, he was trying to scrub the Indian off of his skin.

Just down the street from us was a little general store and that was where the train stopped to bring the children in from the Navajo reservation in New Mexico. My 91 year old mother tells me she still has memories of those little children, many who were only three years old, crying for their mothers.

Several years ago, my wife, my mother, and I took a little trip to Salem. I wanted to see Chemawa again. The old campus where we lived is gone and a new campus is now on the other side of the tracks. There is a guard station at the road entering the campus. I don't know what that's for, but I wonder. ~Tom



I am talking to my mother on the phone and I read our exchange and my response to your email regarding the Indian schools. She corrected on something. She said that our neighbor in the other apartment were not Navajo. She said that one of the parents was Black Foot and the other was Flathead. Just thought I'd correct that.

She also told me that those kids coming in on the train didn't know English and there was an interpreter with them. The school officials didn't want them to speak Navajo or do their beautiful artwork that they are so famous for.

The school officials had their beds all made up for them so they could go straight to bed when they got off the train late at night. When the caretaker checked on the kids later that night, they had all taken their blankets off the beds and were sleeping on the floor.

She also told me that while we lived there, they "celebrated" their 75th anniversary for the school's existence. She said she made LOTS of cookies for the occasion, maybe a couple hundred. I'm sure that was more of a white celebration than a Native American celebration.

Well, I still maintain that if the whites would have treated the Indians as Squanto treated the whites, we would have had no problem integrating with the Native Americans.

Just thought I'd correct my earlier statement about our neighbors' origin.  Have a good day. ~Tom



After thinking about my response to you about my personal experience with an Indian school, I owe you an apology. My purpose in telling you those stories was not to stir up potentially old feelings, but rather to simply say that my family and I saw prejudice in action back in those days in that environment. It’s just that, when I read the article, I remembered those stories that my mother told me. My personal boyhood memories about those days was that I had a lot of friends in the neighborhood, but the one who was impacted the most in our family over this, of course, was my mother because I was only a little boy. Even
today, when the subject comes up, she sheds tears.

But here’s what bothered me. I don’t know you personally and I have no idea how my relating those stories may have ruined your day and, for that, I am sincerely sorry. Certainly there is more than enough sadness in this world without my stirring the pot even more.  Without a doubt, regardless of our ethnicity, what affects one of us affects the rest of us and none of us is immune from that ripple effect. I hope you have a good day.  ~Tom


Potawatomi Trail of Death Remembrance Day

Manataka Editor,

Please help me notify and invite the Potawatomi and all interested persons by forwarding this. I hope you can come.  I would appreciate it if you could forward it to your members, friends and family. Thanks.  Shirley Willard



Amazing news! I asked the Governor of Indiana to issue a proclamation to apologize for the Potawatomi Trail of Death. As a native Hoosier, it has always bothered me and I feel strongly that Indiana should apologize. The Governor of Indiana in 1838 ordered the removal so I feel it would be fitting for the Indiana Governor today to apologize. Indiana is making plans to celebrate its Bicentennial in 2016.


The proclamation from Gov. Pence did not use the word apology but he declared Sept. 20, 2014, to be Potawatomi Trail of Death Remembrance Day. This the first day of our Trail of Courage Living History Festival. I don’t know yet if the Governor will be there to present it or a representative will. It will be presented at 10 a.m. in the Opening Ceremony, held on Chippeway Village stage at the Trail of Courage. This festival began in 1976 and each year honors a different Potawatomi family that had ancestors on the Trail of Death or signed treaties in Indiana. This year it will be the family of Jon Boursaw, whose ancestor Daniel Bourassa was on the 1838 removal. I met him last fall on the Trail of Death Commemorative Caravan. As you probably know, at the end of the caravan at Sugar Creek, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback issued a proclamation with apology for the Potawatomi Trail of Death.


I give programs all over Indiana, and I ask so I know the people here feel in their hearts that Indiana did not do right by its Native peoples, and that the Trail of Death was a bad mark on Indiana’s history.  I am still hoping to get the Indiana government to apologize by 2016 for Indiana’s 200th anniversary. I am asking people to pray with me for this to happen.


I want to invite you. We would be very honored.  Forward this email to your members. Thank you.  My phone is 574-223-2352.





Thank you.

Shirley Willard


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