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December 06, 2015

Human Rights Day

December 10, 2015

Winter Solstice

Decenber 22, 2015

Chirstmas Day

December 25, 2015



"The journey of the dark night of the soul is where we learn who we are, without people telling us."  ~Adele Green


"Prejudice is a burden that confuses the past, threatens the

future, and renders the present inacessible." - Maya Angelo


"This Chanukah (which begins on Sunday night December 6th this year) and Christmas can be turned into occasions for the spiritual progressives in them to unite, affirm their shared message of hope and insist that all our friends and families stop wallowing in despair and cynicism and instead join us in challenging the forces of fear that have led so many people to embrace militarism and xenophobia. Let them hear the voices of those who raise high the banner of love, kindness, generosity, social and economic justice, environmental sanity and awe and wonder at the grandeur of the universe -- and let that message be prominently and explicitly articulated by YOU, dear reader, throughout this holiday season. It's a spiritual progressive approach -- and you can be a militant atheist, agnostic or secular humanist and still be a spiritual progressive -- you don't have to believe in God or be part of any religious community, you only have to be willing to commit your energies to building a world of love, justice and environmental sanity, and do it with us by reading our vision " ~Rabbi Michael Lerner



Manataka Council Fire


IS Manataka

a Sacred Site?


Read what these American Indian elders say:


Chief Arvol Looking Horse


Peter V. Catches Lakota Spiritual Elder


Xielolixii, Council Chief Salinan-Chumas Nation


Rev. Dononlus A. Otto, Saginaw Chippewa


Boe Glasschild (Bushpo Awa - Many Knives), enrolled elder of the Choctaw Nation of OK


These letters are among the hundreds of communications from Spiritual Elders across North, Central and South America who address the question "Is Manataka a sacred American Indian site?" 


This month, we feature a wonderful letter from Boe Glasschild (Bushpo Awa - Many Knives), an enrolled member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma.  For many decades, Bushpo Awa has dedicated his life to ceremony and prayer.  In addition to his gifts of healing, Boe is an accomplished author, speaker, counselor and teacher.  His "Shores Within" gives a good perspective on spiritual alignment.


Elder Glasschild begins his letter with, "Manataka is the "Jerusalem" of the First Nations people, the people that called the North and South Americas "home" before the arrival of Europeans...."  Read his letter here.


Why did Manataka wait over a decade before releasing these historical legal documents? 

Our collection of letters and legal documents from spiritual elders are petitions to the Department of the Interior to recognize Manataka as a sacred site and extend rights of religious freedom to all who come here.    At first, we withheld their release of these documents because we sought to protect those elders who came forward for Manataka from the mighty hand of federal bureaucrats who may seek to punish or persuade elders to change their position.  It has happened many times before.  


The Hot Springs National Park Service and other agencies within the U.S. Department of the Interior have copies of these letters, hundreds of them.  Yet, they have failed for years to acknowledge their existence.  The behavior of these bureaucrats is in direct violation of federal law.   Once a petition for recognition is received, the NPS MUST recognize sacred American Indian sites.  The law specifically does not require the political tribal approval.  Spiritual elders have spoken in unison. Ipso facto, Manataka is a sacred site because American Indian spiritual Elders from across the country have notified federal agencies of that fact and their declaration is all that is necessary. 


Yes, we suspect the bureaucrats will begin spending thousands of dollars (off the books) arranging opposition to Manataka from various tribal authorities who already suck deeply on the federal tit.  


Yes, we realize the awesome power of these documents may encourage a few federal bureaucrats to increase harassment and initiate assaults this organization.  According to the park superintendent, Josie Fernandez, "Hot Springs National Park (Manataka) is NOT a sacred site!."  


All those fears ran around sniping at our heels as we pondered what to do.  Then we did the right thing.  We waited for a message from the Creator.  We waited for the Great Mystery to move among us, to give us a sign, give us instructions.  In the silence of prayer and patience for over a decade past.  Earlier this year we felt God's presence, read the signs, saw the miracles at work and we knew it was time.


There are more important reasons why we waited to reveal these letters and documents .    We will tell you those reasons after most of the documents are finally published.  Maybe when the bureaucrats storm our door.    -- Lee Standing Bear Moore







by Rev. Thomas M. Haley, Manataka Elder


So many Christmas Days have passed. I can even remember some of them. Now, at sixty-three years old, I often sit outside on my deck and reminisce about days gone by.


One Christmas morning I recall opening only one gift. Only one. This was strange because I was spoiled into expecting several gifts. I did have a stocking filled with all sorts of fireworks, pens, and of course large oranges, and Red Delicious apples.


Back to my one present. As I opened the boxes, what I found was a homemade plaid shirt made by my mother. I was disappointed because I really didnít expect a shirt of any kind.


After many years passed I discovered the reason why I had one gift that Christmas morning. It had been a lean year financially for my parents.


The life lesson had been set into motion on learning to be thankful for what we have, Grateful to Great Spirit who always gives us all what we need.


We are given what we need so itís our responsibility to put this truth into practice as if it is second nature to us.


But wait Ö I am receiving an early Christmas gift. By the time you read these words, I will have the gift. My new gift is having knee replacement surgery which means I have a brand new knee. It was a gift I didnít ask to receive. The Great Spirit knew I needed a new knee before me.


Creator is sending a special gift to the world - a new HEART. This one pulsates with love and peace. This one can not break.


So now, this Christmas, may all of us receive the many gifts and blessings from Creator. May we ourselves be a blessing and a gift to others.





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Ouachita Baptist University -- World Religions Honor Students

Hear Grandfather Standing Bear


October 16, 2015 - Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas (Manataka) -- Forty freshmen honor students from the Carl Goodson Honors Program of the World Religions class at Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia met for an afternoon at Gulpha Gorge Campground in Hot Springs to hear the words of Grandfather Lee Standing Bear. 


According to Professor Barbara Pemberton, Director of the honors program and professor of World Religions, "We immensely enjoyed the Manataka program last year, so we decided it would benefit our students to return this year."


After a quick picnic, students and faculty met in the sacred circle and watched as Grandfather Bear blessed the circle and all the participants with smoking sage in an abalone shell.  Tobacco, blessed thistle, corn pollen and sweet grass were sprinkled in the center of the circle and prayers were given to the four sacred directions. Grandfather Bear played two sacred songs on his Bear drum and after brief ceremonies he welcomed all the guests. 


Professor Pemberton had asked Bear to speak on the topic of Sacred Space. 


After class, Grandfather Bear admitted sacred space is a topic not easily covered in a short one-hour class because it has "so many facets, methodologies and customs."  Part of his presentation concentrated on the history of Manataka and reasons why it is widely known as "sacred space".


Most of his talk focused on ways to achieve sacred space within ones heart and soul. Grandfather Bear believes American Indians are especially well versed in this pursuit because of their history, culture and nature.  He spoke from the heart, without the use of notes. 


Some students may not have grasped all the concepts, some foreign to their Christian backgrounds, but it appeared that most accepted and appreciated the strong medicine shared with them.  Grandfather Bear was impressed with the "beautiful spirits" of the students and their desire to learn more about American Indian spirituality.


After the program concluded, gifts and hugs were exchanged and everyone posed for a beautiful picture.  After midnight, Bear climbed to a place on the sacred mountain where he gave prayers and thanks for each student and teacher.


The Manataka American Indian Council regularly sponsors presentations at schools, churches, civic organizations, and other gatherings across Arkansas and by special arrangement for programs around the United States and foreign countries.





"Sometimes dreams are wiser then waking."  -- Black Elk (Hehaka Sapa), Oglala

The Great Spirit has many ways of communicating with the human being. He talks to us through the five senses; sight, hearing, taste, smell, and touch. For example, we can observe nature and see a lesson or get an answer. These five senses function primarily in the physical world. But we also have the ability to receive communication from the Unseen World. To do this we have a sixth sense. It comes in the form of dreams, imagination, intuition, inspiration, or a hunch. Along with the dream or intuitive thought there is a feeling, a knowing. We just know it's true without the need for proof. We need to pay attention to our dreams and intuition. Don't cast them off as being silly or useless. Be respectful to our dreams and feelings.

Creator, if you speak to me through dreams, let me know it in terms I can understand.

Copyright: Coyhis Publishing found in the book, Meditations with Native American Elders: Any republishing of part or all of their contents is prohibited.





Dream of Wild Health

Six talented Native youth leaders from Dream of Wild Health created this salad using ingredients important to their Native American cultures as well as vegetables grown at their Hugo, Minnesota, farm. The youth promoted this salad at Minnesota Twins baseball games as part of a healthy food initiative called Roots for the Home Team that encourages local youth groups with entrepreneurial projects.

Cherry tomatoes are delicious in this salad, but if you can find ground cherries at a farmers' market or grow your own, they are amazing! Makes 8 (1-cup) servings.

For the salad:

*    4 sprigs fresh thyme

*    1Ĺ cups whole wild rice

*    3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth

*    1 cup cooked black beans (if using dried beans, 1/3 cup dried yields 1 cup cooked)

*    2 bunches (about 8 cups) kale

*    1 cup baby tomatoes or ground cherries, rinsed and halved

*    Ĺ cup grated pecorino Romano cheese or parmesan cheese

For the dressing:  





At the inaugural Native American Music Awards, Graceland confirmed Elvis Presley's NATIVE AMERICAN heritage for our "Did You Know They Are Native American?" segment.

Elvis Presley's great-great-great-grandmother, Morning White Dove (1800-1835), reportedly was a full-blooded Cherokee Indian. Can this picture be of her? The source of the photo is from The likelihood may be slim, but Elvis did have Native American heritage.

Elvis's ancestry was primarily a Western European mix, including Scots-Irish, Scottish, German, some French Norman and Cherokee. Presley's mother, Gladys' great-great-grandmother, was Morning White Dove, a full blooded Cherokee



Manataka recently partnered with Canyon Records and its distributors to bring our members and supporters the very finest in American Indian Music.  Canyon Records of Phoenix, Arizona, producer and distributor of Native American music, is one of the oldest independent record labels in the music industry as well as one of the oldest cultural institutions in the state of Arizona.



Brown Eagle


 Specialty Songs

Aboriginal Hard Rock

Healing Songs


R. Carlos Nakai

Flute Music

Christmas Music



Hundreds To

Choose From!

Fast Service

Great Selection







HOLIDAYS (reprint)



American Indian Christmas

By Floyd Looks for Buffalo Hand


Floyd Looks for Buffalo Hand

The holiday we call Christmas has evolved into the biggest celebration in the world. Roman Catholics and Protestants celebrate the birth of Jesus on December 25. Many Orthodox Christians use the Julian calendar, which places Christmas around January 6.


Christmas was first added to the Roman Catholic Church calendar as a religious feast day in the fourth century A.D. But Christmas is not the only celebration held around this time of year. December 25 was a significant date for various early cultures. The ancient Babylonians believed the son of the queen of heaven was born on December 25. The Egyptians celebrated the birth of the son of the fertility goddess Isis on the same date, while ancient Arabs contended that the moon was born on December 24. The Romans celebrated Saturnalia, a feast named for Saturn, god of agriculture, on December 21.

Before European contact, the Indian tribes of North America did not celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, since they hadn't heard of him. However, many of the American Indian people of North America have been Christianized for several hundred years. Over this time, customs which were introduced to them by the missionaries, have become adapted to the native cultures, and are an integral part of their Christmas traditions today, just as they are in most American homes. 
Read More...      


FEATURE  (reprint)


American Indian Christmas Customs

© 1999-2003 by Maria Hubert.



Many of the AmerIndian peoples have been Christianized for several hundred years. Over this time customs which were introduced to them by the missionaries have become adapted and are an integral part of the traditions, especially around the Christian festivals of Easter and Christmas.


Many Tribes, including the Laguna Indians, who accepted Christianity some 400 years ago, have the custom of a dance on Christmas Eve, where gifts are offered at the Manger. There are many examples of representations of the Christmas Crib where the glad tidings are brought to braves in the fields by the great Thunderbird; or scenes with the wise men being replaced by the chiefs representing the great Nations.


Handsome Fellow

There is a mysterious fellow whom I have been told about on several occasions. He is a handsome brave who wears white buckskins, and brings gifts. His name, appropriately is 'Handsome Fellow'. I would love to tell you more about him, but so far no-one has come forward with that information! Other gift bringers come at different times of the year, often in the summertime, but the gift bringing element is definitely part of the American Indian culture.   Read More...






'Twas the Night Before

Ojibwe Christmas
 By Tara Prindle

'Twas the night before Niibaa-anamaŪegiizhigad,

when all through the wiigiwaam
Not an awakaan was stirring, not even a waawaabiganoojiinh;
The moccasins were hung by the smoke hole with care,
In hopes that Miigiwe Miskwaa Gichi Inini soon would be there;

The abinoojiinhyag were nestled all snug in their nibaaganan,
While visions of ziinzibaakwad danced in their nishttigwaan;
And nimaama in her moshwens, and I in my makadewindibe,
Had just settled down for a long biiboon zhiibaangwashi,







 Manataka Native Remedies©


Adults       Children

Mothers and Babies



Over 250 natural, pure and effective remedies for most everything that ails you.





"The smarter a man is the more he needs God to protect him from thinking he knows everything." -- George Webb, Pima

A spiritual person needs to be careful. The more confident we are, the more likely our egos will get us into trouble. It's relatively easy to become self-righteous. We start to think we are teachers and others are students. We start to judge others. We start, very subtlely at first, to play God. After a while we really get good at it. This is very dangerous. We need to remind ourselves, we are here to do God's will. We need to pray every morning. Each day we need to check in with God to see what He would have us do. At night we need to spend time with God and review our day. By doing these things, we will stay on track.

My Creator, guide my path and show me how to correct my life.


Copyright: Coyhis Publishing found in the book, Meditations with Native American Elders: Any republishing of part or all of their contents is prohibited.





Nominations Open for Elder Council

The Manataka Elder Council needs one new member.  Self-nominations are permitted.  Requires at least one in-person meeting per year at Hot Springs, AR and tele-conference meetings monthly. Rewards are commensurate with time and effort.  MAIC dues must be current. Send you resume today!


Help Wanted:

Fund Raising Professional needed.  Experienced please.  Email us now.


Volunteer Counseling Positions Open: 

Are you a minister, psychologist, teacher or counselor?  MAIC announces a need for more professional volunteer counselors. Manataka's free online Counseling program helps hundreds of people with emotional, spiritual, family, marital and other issues -- anonymously and free!. Education, experience and licensure requirements.  Email:


Planning is in full-swing to convert vacant lots on the east side of Manataka (Hot Springs) Mountain into memorial gardens.  Everyone is excited!










"Listen to the howl of our spiritual brother, the wolf, for how it goes with him, so it goes for the natural world." -- Oren R. Lyons, Spokesman, Traditional Circle of Elders

If we watch nature, we can tell a lot about what is going on in the world. The animals and the plants are great teachers. Some time ago, crops were sprayed with a poison to kill the insects. Other animals ate the insects. The small animals were eaten by the Eagles and the Wolves. We live in an interconnected system. What we do to one, we do to all. If our spiritual brothers are living in balance, chances are we humans are also living in balance.

Great Spirit, let me listen to my Earth teachers, the plants and the animals.

Copyright: Coyhis Publishing found in the book, Meditations with Native American Elders: Any republishing of part or all of their contents is prohibited.






Keystone Oil Pipeline Victory


Dear Manataka,

When our Lakota lands are protected, I see it as a victory. The wasicu [whitemen] have done much damage to the lands as well as the environments and wildlife. This is saddening. The wasicu seek to control the Earth Creator has made and to break her spirit. They see Unci Maka as a dead hunk of rock only to be used for their selfish gains. Look how they have treated the Black Hills! The Lakota had no use for the gold in them. To us, it is a holy place as well for many other Plains peoples. But the sickness of greed made the wasicu lose the good sense  TunkaśŪla gave and through trickery made the Lakota give up their lands even after Red Cloud and Crazy Horse and others fought hard to protect them.


This pipeline was sighted to run through lands given to the Rosebud Lakota Oyate. They saw this as an act of war and sent a strong message to the government saying they would go to war. Congress voted to reverse the decision and Greg Grey Cloud lifted his voice in song to thank those who voted no. The Congress passed a bill that would go forward with the pipeline and Obama said he would veto it. Yes this is a victory for the people! Some may complain and say "it's progress, it's progress." They have no connection with the land as we do, once they do, maybe they will come to appreciate the land that Creator has given to them. Until then, I have no ears for their talk.  That is all I wish to say .  Mitakue Oyasin.  ~Cliff Russo



Read More Letters to the Editor



Home Herbalist Classes and Apprenticeships
Monthly workshops on 4th Saturdays for the aspiring home herbalist. Experience the various phases of medicinal and edible wild plants through the year. Learn to when and how to harvest, preserve and make medicine from plants. Explore a variety of topics of interest to the home herbalist.  Home Herbalist Course: 9 Saturdays (1 per month) $250.  Single Classes: $30 - $45.  Apprenticeship Course: 18 classes (2 per month). 




New age of justice for people of color

Please accept my sincere invitation to attend this workshop to bring about a new age of justice for people of color.  Follow the links to register for the meeting or to learn more about the justice issues that had their genesis in the Christian Doctrine of Discovery.  The coming years can usher in a new age of leaving 15th century racism and prejudices behind.  ~Linda Two Hawk Feathers James, Planning Council Member, Winter Talk 2016