Manataka American Indian Council                          Volume VII  Issue 9    SEPTEMBER 2005


Manataka - Preserving the past today for tomorrow

                33 printed pages in this issue 



CRISIS:  Katrina, Cause and Effect Elder's Meditation:  The Four Colors of Man
News Flash!:   Katrina dislocated families Poetry Circle:  Mending the Hoop
Upcoming Events:     Gatherings  Moral of the Story:  The Black Pebble
Web Site Updates:    New Features!  Regular Column:  Hill & Holler News Clips
Manataka Messages: 2 Elders to be appointed The Hawk Speaks: Bill Little Horse

Letters to the Editor: Gatherings & Free Wolves

Women's Circle:   A Woman's Prayer

Politics: Federal Recognition for Mowa Choctaw

History Corner: 50,000 Years Anishnawbe History

In the News:  Cherokee Man Dies in Iraq

Healing Prayers: Additions and Healings 

Native American Perspective: Jamestown 2007 Ecology Front:  Never Give Up On Anyone
Health Front:   Kiss Your Vitamins Goodbye! Environment: Do You Care About The Earth?



Many dislocated families of Choctaws from Mississippi and the Gulf Coast find themselves in Arkansas seeking help as a direct result of the Katrina Hurricane aftermath.  They are not part of the federal government's general relief effort because they were forced out of the areas worst hit by the storm.  


The members and supporters of Manataka are asked to provide assistance. We are now in the process of assessing the individual needs and do not have a list of articles needed yet.  Please call 501-627-0555 or email to place your name on the list of people willing to help.   


You will receive the names of individuals needing assistance, their ages, clothing sizes and particulars of other needs as that information is available.  


Please let us know you are willing to help.  


"...I want to request prayers for my family in the southeast where I live. Hurricane Katrina has left behind a nightmare that I cannot describe to you. Homes are gone- memories are all that many of us have left and hopes that loved ones are safe somewhere are all that we have to cling to. A friend of mine traveled in a flat bottom boat yesterday looking to see who he could assist. A dog saw him and was swimming over to where he was, and got caught up in a downed power line - he was electrocuted before he could reach the boat. Bodies floated all near him - the optimistic nature of the news media is not telling the true nightmare of what is right in front of us... This is sad and heart breaking.   ~Joe RavenSpirit


By Meria Heller


Hurricane Katrina roared through Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and touched a few other states this week. The devastation is total. Many lives were lost; property damage in the billions and a toxic wasteland will be left in its wake.


Government response was shamefully poor, and the agencies that are overpaid to over plan for such disasters were rendered impotent. Although other countries offered to help, the President of the United States refused it.


People now talk about rebuilding the cities discounting the toxicity of the air, water, buildings and land. Chemical plants, oil refineries, dead bodies, sewerage, dead animals are only the tip of the toxic iceberg.


For the past thirty years or so there has been a strong environment movement and education taking place in the United States. There has also been a new spiritual movement incorporating respect and understanding of the planet, Gaia – Earth. Many people, politicians, religions have chosen to ignore the work of Nobel prize winning scientists on runaway global warming and destruction.  Humankind has chosen to ignore common sense when building on or over nature.


If your house is made of sand, don’t be surprised when the ocean takes it way. If you build your house near a volcano, don’t be surprised when the lava flows. If you trust your body and soul to a politician or religious figure, don’t be surprised when your soul is lost. If you’re waiting for someone else to run your life, you’ll lose it.


Centuries ago, humanity knew how to live with and respect nature. There were many rituals and offerings to spirit keepers of all forms for all the beauty and life given by Planet Earth. People knew how to share the bounty of Earth with each other, and money did not exist. Ownership of the land did not exist. To take something from nature without an offering in return was unheard of.  To see your brother or sister (two legged, four legged, crawling, swimming) in need and not help was unheard of.


We are taught in school about cause and effect. We are taught that for every action there is an equal reaction. When the Earth is invaded through mines, bombs, etc., she may release certain gases, dis-eases to protect herself from further invasion. If “shock and awe” goes off in the Middle East, “shock and awe” will come back at us. This is common sense and common science.


When man thinks he can manipulate nature and the weather, nature and weather will manipulate man. There has never been an instance where man can beat nature, yet for his stupidity and rigidity he continues to try. How much manipulation of the Earth, the weather, the resources has man been guilty of? Well, for every action there is an equal reaction.  


I have been an environmentalist for the past 30 years. I co-host twice a month a show called “The Earth News Hour”.  I walk my talk, drive my talk, write my talk, and then wait on the events based on common sense to unfold.


We are now in the age of the super-storms. We will NEVER have “normal” weather again. Global warming is out of control, greedy Corporations run and ruin the planet and the time is way past due to develop alternate lifestyles that compliment the Earth.


People ask me “where can I move?” “what should I store?” and similar questions.  The answer is simple (corny but simple) “wherever you go, there you are”. There is NOWHERE to move. The One World Order minions, greedy corporations, pollution is everywhere. What should you store? Look at Louisiana for that answer. It’s all been swept away.


The best place to move is inside yourself. Live about 10 inches from your head inside your heart. The best things to store up is your spiritual wardrobe. Who are you? What do you stand for? Are you brave enough to stand up for the Planet and the people? What are you driving? Eating? Buying? Sharing?


We are living in very exciting, interesting times. Many prophecies have been written about these times. Knowledge and respect for the planet will tell you all you need to know in times of uncertainty. Surely the animals know how to get out of harm’s way and survive without jobs. Are we any less? We live in the days of all the “isms” falling.  Catholicism, Capitalism, Communism, etc.


Perhaps the reaction from Katrina will be the realization that we don’t need a Federal Government. We don’t need wars. We don’t need to be a nation of consumers. What we do need is love for each other. Friendship with the whole world. Technology and dollars spent to clean up the mess we’ve made of our home – Earth. The message of the medicine wheel is the same now as it’s always been “live in a sacred manner or die”. Imagine a huge medicine wheel filled with love encircling the planet. Pray for peace. Send your love out worldwide! Perhaps Katrina will have saved the planet by the time all is said and done.  Pray for all living things,




"The Meria Heller Show" - Now in it's  6th Year  On The Net- #1 on Net!

My book "Reinventing The Wheel, The Universal Wheel: Tool of Global Unity" is now available exclusively through this website! Order your copy today! Solutions!! Peace!! Unity!



September 16 - 18, 2005 - Women's Council Healing Retreat - Gulpha Gorge, Hot Springs, AR

September 17, 2005 -         Bear Dance, Russellville, AR

October 14 - 16, 2005 -       Fall Gathering at Manataka - Bald Mountain Park & Gulpha Gorge 




For circumstances beyond our control, the location of the 25,905th Annual Fall Gathering at Manataka has been changed to Bald Mountain Park. Ceremonies will also take place at Gulpha Gorge Campgrounds as we are required by our traditions and faith.



Wolf Dancers Needed. Rocky Thunder Wolf Miller of the Manataka Wolf Society is asking people who dance the Wolf or those who wish to learn to contact him.  The Wolf Society will dance during the upcoming Fall Gathering.  A wolf pelt is not required to dance. Powerful stuff. or 



Also See Powwow Now! One of the largest powwow calendars on the Internet today!

October 14 - 19, 2005 

Earth Dance - Arizona  

The Vision
Earth Dance is a dance for the unity of all creation. It is an honoring and time to bring together all the races, religions and tribes. The purpose is to Dance with the Earth, the elements, sun and moon and the ancestors, to bring joy to the people and the Earth. This is a vision for the future of our children in the times to come.

Earth Dance is a time to unify the children, elders, leaders, medicine people, men and women, to bring equality and balance within our world. 

Time to heal the wounds and move forward. It is time to end the pain and suffering of the world. We must first start with ourselves, then our families, moving onto all the people and the world. Transforming the old energy into a new energy, only for the highest good.

Time to remember how to come back and gather in Council Meetings with the people for the highest good of the people and come to good conclusions and decisions.

Earth Dance is a worldwide effort. We must do what is for the highest good for all the children of the world. Many things have to change so we can break through the stronghold that has bound the people and the world. It is time to be freed from the restrictions within! 

The Earth Dance is Now...
928-646-3000 - 928-646-0299 fax
Post Office Box 1502
Cornville, AZ 86325



Special prayers are needed for Helen RedWing (Monacan) and her husband, Gray Beard of Memphis.  They need immediate financial assistance. 


Manataka Exposed!?


Notice to Manataka members and interested members of the public regarding an apparent Internet "hate campaign" directed at Manataka.

"Manataka Exposed"?
It seems a hate campaign directed by an unidentifiable organization and person or persons unknown are masquerading around message boards and chat rooms spreading venom against the Place of Peace, Manataka.  Calling itself the "American Indian Heritage Support Center," it cannot be found anywhere other than an Internet address.

Who or What is the AIHSC?

AIHSC apparently has no links to any other groups or organizations. Although it claims special federal tax status as a non-profit organization, its web site lists no names of leaders or members. The page is vague about the programs and "services" of the group. Based on what is presented for public inspection, it apparently has no meetings or any other purpose but to attack Manataka.


The only point of contact is a blind email address.

Not only is AIHSC anonymous as to who is a member, or members, or its officials, or who specifically is making the allegations against Manataka, but AIHSC is going to great pains to remain anonymous.

The federal government and Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) regulations require all Internet domain holders to submit WHOIS information that is then collected and displayed in a public WHOIS database. AIHSC is using a front host domain service, of Indianapolis, Ind., that advertises that it will "take your public information and make it private."


Certainly, the legality of this web site raises questions, which might appropriately be investigated by the Arkansas Secretary of State to determine if standards for nonprofit status are being met and/or if its charter should be revoked.  


It is our belief that a responsible or ethical person or organization would not behave in such a manner. A person or group who will not publicly stand behind his/her/its statements is without honor and unworthy of serious consideration. 


Read the entire story...





NOTICE 1:     ELDER COUNCIL POSITIONS DECLARED OPEN   Two vacant seats on the Elder Council were recently declared vacant.  The Education Elder position will concentrate on developing public school curriculum based on American Indian philosophy and coordinating presentations to schools, civic organizations and churches.  The Public Relations Elder position is currently occupied by David Quiet Wind Furr, who is also Vice Chairman. This move will allow the Vice Chairman to concentrate on his primary duties and expand the scope of the PR Committee.   Read More Information


NOTICE 2:    COMMITTEE ASSIGNMENTS    If you are a member and have not received a committee assignment, please contact the MAIC office now. 


NOTICE 3:    FOOD BASKET NEEDED NOW!  people are hungry often throughout the year.  Please bring or send non-perishable food items. Gift cards for food from Walmart, Safeway and other stores are great. 


NOTICE 4:    REGULAR MEMBERSHIP MEETINGS - 1:00 p.m., 3rd Sunday of each month at Gulpha Gorge - bad weather at Phil's Restaurant on E. Grand.  


NOTICE 4:    WOMEN’S COUNCIL MEETINGS - 11:30 a.m., 1st Saturday each month. 


Now is a good time to support the many programs, services and events of MAIC. We can always use a small donation. Now you can pay by check or credit card online. It's easy, secure and fast!   Click Here  Or...



1.  Computer needed.  No key board, monitor or mouse are needed.  A larger mother board is needed for in-office work.


2.  Reams of ink jet paper

3.  Postage stamps

4.  15 - 30 gallon plastic storage boxes with lids


5.  LAND -  Donate land to be used as financing leverage for to build a cultural center. Any size or location is  acceptable. Certain tax benefits may apply.


6.  MEMORIAL GIFTS - When a friend or relative passes, honor their memory and send a tax deductible  contribution to MAIC and we will send the family a beautiful letter and memorial certificate in your name.



Manataka Video Store   New!




1.    You now know a hard drive isn't just the road to Navajo Mountain!!!
2.    You have a beaded zip drive.
3.    You ask chicks for their e-mail address at pow-wows and rodeos.
4.    Your mouse is coated with fry bread grease.
5.    Before you attend a powwow or all-ndn rodeo, you need to check its website first.
6.    Your e-mail address is:
7.    You send eeezzzzmail.
8.    You think a floppy disk slot crammed with sage will somehow increase your connection speed.
9.    Your snag doesn't want to hear that lame old "my server is down" excuse anymore.
10.  You have several CPUs up on blocks in your living room








Book Shelf Search Manataka - Find it Fast!
    Cherokee Books Go Ahead Give It A Try
    Children's Sights of Manataka - Videos
    Children's History Corner Dance, Crafts, History, Powwow & More
    Cook Books Sounds of Manataka - Music
    Craft Books Contemporary, Powwow, Country, Flute, Rap
    Feature Books Spiritual 
    Genealogy Books Using the Medicine Wheel to Bring Balance
    History Otto Caballo Blanco Riollano Dávila
    Language Oceti Wakan - Peter Catches
    Medicine Herbals Trading Post
    Spiritual Cherokee Gifts

Tomorrow's Children

By Tsolagiu RuizRazo

Raising children in today's world is difficult.  This book teaches parents how to raise children according to traditional customs and values.  A must have book! Only $21.95 Read More

Wisdom of Elders:

Traditional American Indian

Food and Recipes 

70+ page, soft-bound cookbook is brimming with recipes, tribal profiles, authentic preparation methods, as well as colorful ideas for menu planning. Only $21.95

Feature Stories Joe Forced To Sell His Regalia 
Reinventing the Wheel - Meria Heller American Indian Note Cards
Grandmother Mattaponi River Tribal Flags
Manataka Exposed!! 9 new flags added this month! 

Apache Del Rio -  

Assiniboine of Fort Peck - 

Lumbee Tribe of N Carolina

Miccosukee Nation - 

Shawnee Nation -

Apalachee Nation - 

Confed. Grande Ronde -

Manataka (organization) -

Mille Lacs Ojibwe -

DNA Not a Valid Test of Native Identity

DNA Genetic Ancestry Tracing

Tribal History
  Jatibonicu Taino Tribe of Borikén
  Yaponcha - The Wind God - Hopi Story
Music History of the Kituwah People
Heart Beat Drums  Beautiful Drums!  Women's Council
Bunny Wolf Sings!  3 New CD's Timpsula - Turnip of the Prairie
Pow Wow Now!  CALENDAR  2005 Warrior Society

DNA Not a Valid Test of Native Identity

DNA Genetic Ancestry Tracing

  Women's Council
  Timpsula - Turnip of the Prairie
Music Pow Wow Now!  CALENDAR  2005
Heart Beat Drums  Beautiful Drums!  One of the largest calendars on the net!
Bunny Wolf Sings!  3 New CD's




The experience at Manataka was life changing.


Dear Manataka, 

I joined Manataka a couple of years ago and attended my first gathering last summer. It's funny how sometimes you do not realize that something is missing or 'broken' in your life until you find what it is that was lost. 


I am 39 years old and have never been a part of any 'organized religion'. When my daughter was born 15 years ago, it was such a powerful experience, a gift from a higher power that I wanted to express my thankfulness for this beautiful, healthy baby girl that had so blessed my life. I tried going to my husband's church and while the people were all really nice, my spirit was not being fed or nurtured. I thought it was just me and eventually stopped going. I then tried going back to my old religion (Uni Uni) but still felt out of place and also they scoffed at me for bringing my baby girl to church with me. Apparently they wanted the babies in the daycare downstairs. No way! So I never went back.


After 14 years or so I was led to Standing Bear. With his patience and guidance he led me to Manataka. I ended up joining and attended my first gathering last summer... all the while Hawk was with me, watching over me to make sure I followed this path. 


The experience at Manataka was life changing. My spirit soared all weekend, I felt like I was flying with the Hawk who guided me there. I knew then that was what my soul needed! Thus began the healing of my spirit! Never had I felt such a connection to people, to Creator and to Mother Earth. I realized then that I was NOT crazy or that I lacked a 'spiritual' side at all. I just had to find the right path... the path that truly connected me more deeply to my surroundings. I began to see people in a new light... I began to be more accepting and loving. Walking through the woods I would often stop and listen to the trees, and/or enjoy the beautiful songs of the winged ones. I hugged my daughter more, loved my husband more deeply and also found a new pride in who I was.


Even though the path over the past year was not always easy... I have grown. My spirit is healing. I can feel things changing, feel my ancestors on the wind before the storm. I take pleasure now in the sparkling crystal snowflakes of winter, marvel at the birds and animals who survive the harsh winters and sing with the birds at the coming of spring. Yesterday I gazed in awe at the now green, lushness surrounding me... enjoying the summer life dance of the trees and grass!


I have also connected to Indians in my area... I have attended powwows (here in NH) ... and always I am treated as one of them. I feel love and acceptance in their circle just as I do at Manataka. I love watching the young ones dance happily around the circle... for them it's pure joy and love of the sacred drums. I see beauty in the elders dancing around the circle, one woman so beautiful (even with her white hair) that I had to tell her. That is how I long to be when I am an elder... dignified, confident with an aura of quiet beauty.


So thank you to all my brothers and sisters at Manataka for accepting me, for showing me the path that would heal my soul! I have received so many blessings since returning from Manataka that it's just amazing. Thank you Elders, Standing Bear and members of 'The Red Road'. I love you all dearly.


May your spirit soar on the breath of warm winds.  


Little Sister, Bonnie Delcourt   






White Wolves to Give Away

Dear Sisters and Brothers,


I need to ask for help from Manataka.  If you could put this into the Smoke Signal newsletter.


I need a good caring home for three white female wolves - ages 1 to 3 years.  All have had shots and fixed.  They do not need to go to the same home.  They are housebroken.  They are very sweet and lovable and they like to sleep at the end of my bed at night.  


Because I have medical problems I need to give them away to loving homes.  I live in North Central Arkansas and do not have a phone or email.  Please write to:  Lynne Wilborn, 193 MC 8068, Flippin, Arkansas 72634.   Thank you.  ~ Lynne Wilborn.




Dear Manataka:


We all had a wonderful time at the Summer Gathering.  It did our hearts good to see everyone.  Thank you for everything -- the Pipe Ceremony, Bear Dance, music, drums -- the ambience of it all.


My children traveled there to receive their Spirit Names and this was very important to them, but Wow! It had much more of an impact than could have ever been imagined.  I mean each name given struck a deep note within.


Grandmother Dottie Furr burst our hearts with Dottie being "Little White Dove" the same as my baby Jada.  


Sheri's name was really fitting -- Young Deer Wolf.  Her whole house is decorated in deer and wolfs and we always talk about how young at heart and light hearted she is.  


Rio (Red Bird Sings) has her bedroom painted all red and collects red birds.  She is also a singer and has always been a very kind child.  


Cyrena (Little Spotted Beaver) looked like a little beaver at birth.  She was all brown, with brown eyes and hair, dark complexion.  She was very different from all her blond-haired, blue-eyed siblings.  When she was a baby she gnawed her wooden crib.  She would chew and chew at the wood and we called her "Little Beaver".


I have enclosed a picture of my son, Jimi, who is shown leaving the sacred circle right after receiving his Spirit Name, Brave Brown Bear.  In the photo, he is reading his name on the certificate.  His hair is styled like a brave because that is how he asked to wear it to Manataka.  So I let him cut it two days before the trip.  You can see there is a mysterious brown bear print right over my son in this photo.  Do you see it?  It blew my mind!  When I showed the photo to Jimi he said, "Woe, that is wild"  Since then he has come to notice a lot of his bear-like characteristics.  


Brandon and I are making our gifts for our Spirit Names.  Our children names give them such a good sense of identity and being teenagers it has such a positive and spiritual effect.  Thank you.


Well, I could write on and on because there is so much to tell about our wonderful journey from Georgia to Manataka.  Thank you again for the Gathering -- for giving your time to us.


~ Charlotte Davies & Family




Mowa Band of Choctaw Indians of Alabama Close to Federal Recognition


Congressman Jo Bonner has introduced a bill H.R. 3526 in U.S. Congress for federal acknowledgement of the Mowa Band of Choctaw . He introduced it on 28 July 2005. My Choctaw brother has asked me to ask friends, relatives and supporters to e-mail their U.S. Senators and U.S. Representatives asking them to support this bill.

To contact your U.S. Senator, go to:

To contact your U.S. Representative, go to:

To contact Congressman Jo Bonner who introduced the bill, go to:

Obviously, the more nationwide public support we can generate, the more likelihood it will happen.


Two Cheyenne guys on relocation spied a sign in a cafe window that said "hot-dogs". Thinking they were some other kind of dogs, they ordered two to go, and went to a park to have lunch. The first Cheyenne guy looked inside
his sack, and then threw it down in disgust.  "What part did you get?" he asked his buddy.

IN THE NEWS...    


Cherokee man killed in Iraq suicide attack
Dawes was a former marshal and army veteran

Sam Lewin 8/24/2005

A former Cherokee Nation Marshall has died in Iraq.

Mike Dawes of Stilwell was killed Aug. 23 by a suicide bomber in the town of Baqubah. At the time Dawes was working as an International Police Liaison Officer with DynCorp International, a private security firm based in Texas. The firm reports that a suicide bomber walked into a dining facility at the Diyala Province Police Headquarters at about 1:30 p.m. and detonated the explosives.

Dawes died at the scene. Nine Iraqi police officers were also killed in the attack.

Dawes had worked in law enforcement for 16 years, and he had completed two civilian police missions with DynCorp in Kosovo. A veteran, Dawes served in the U.S. Army from 1967 to 1969.

One of his sons recently returned from a military tour of duty in Iraq.


"This is a tremendous loss. Mike has proven himself time and again to be the ultimate patriot. He gallantly represented us working as a Cherokee Nation marshal," said Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chad Smith. "Mike went on to work in hot spots around the globe; he devoted his entire life to protecting people. Mike Dawes was a great patriot. It is numbing when we lose someone of his stature in the service of our country. He will be sorely missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife and children."

Dawes is survived by his wife, two sons, and two daughters.

NTN Article#: 6898

Jamestown 2007: A Native American Perspective 


by Chief Ken Adams, Contributing Columnist

Jamestown 2007. Say those words aloud to any Virginian and you are almost sure to get a response. Say those words aloud to any Virginia Indian and that response could be anything from outright disgust to, “This is an opportunity to tell our story.” I must say, I have strong feelings of sadness surrounding Jamestown 2007, but yet welcome the opportunity to let Virginia and the world know the whole story about what truly happened to Virginia Indians. Sadness, because the story for me and many other Virginia Indians is a story of sorrow and pain; a story of growing up in a society where Indian culture had almost been completely destroyed.

I grew up in rural Virginia with three separate school systems: the segregated system we all know about, plus a totally separate system for Native Americans. The Sharon Indian School typically had 30 to 40 children from grades 1 through 7. As children got older, sometimes the grade level would reach as high as the 10th, but because of this grade limitation, no one ever graduated from the Sharon Indian School. Therefore, most of the adults could barely read or write. Fortunately, those dark days are years behind us and for the most part Indians in Virginia are treated with dignity and respect.

The process of getting to this point started at Jamestown in 1607, and now we are rapidly approaching 2007, the 400th anniversary of the settling of Jamestown. When the settlers reached Jamestown, conflict with Indians began almost immediately. Of course, the Indians could not possibly want these people invading their homeland. Would you? Today, we have private citizens patrolling the United States border with Mexico to help keep out illegal aliens. To the Virginia Indians, the first British settlers were illegal aliens. The British government finally sent enough people to take over all the land, which the Indians owned, and in the process of the wars that followed, 90 percent of an entire human race of people died. I cannot believe that it was the desire of God Almighty that 90 percent of an entire race of His people die. After all, “For God so Loved the WORLD,” and that world also included the land of the Indians.

Our leaders talk about our nation being founded on Judeo-Christian principles. And yet the loss of life, liberty and land, experienced by many Native Americans, was in direct violation of these principles. In 1607, there were hundreds of Indian villages along the waterways of Virginia and now, sadly, on those same waterways there are only two: the Pamunkey and the Mattaponi.

The first treaties with the Indians were written at Jamestown. The first treaties with the Indians were broken at Jamestown. The pattern of broken and dishonored treaties, which began at Jamestown, continued westward to the Pacific Ocean. A broken treaty is nothing more than a broken promise, and even today, promises made by the United States government with the Indians of this land are not being honored. Many of those promises that were made through treaties have been affirmed by the United States Supreme Court for over 200 years. Some would say those treaties are ancient history. Would those same people say the Bill of Rights is ancient history? Is the Declaration of Independence ancient history?

Today, several of the Virginia tribes are attempting to get historical recognition from the United States government. For those tribes, it is the proper thing to do. For some representatives who oppose that process, they care not about the broken promises of the recent past. They care not that the Virginia General Assembly voted almost unanimously for this recognition. They care not that the people have spoken and asked for those representatives to help make this recognition a reality.

Where were they as my older brothers and sisters actually had to leave the Commonwealth of Virginia to get a high school education? Where were they when my father struggled to sign his own name because of broken promises? The process of my family having to leave the Commonwealth to get an education is part of the legacy of broken promises to the American Indian. It is time to rectify those failures of the past and encourage ALL congressmen representing this Commonwealth to join in the process of appropriate federal acknowledgement of Virginia’s first citizens. When that happens and Jamestown 2007 is mentioned, much of the sadness in my heart will be buried with our ancestors. Our ancestors will never experience the hope that America promises, but they will understand the Circle of Life that affects all Virginia Indians is under repair.

In all, 562 Indian tribes in this nation have this recognition relationship with the United States government, and the Virginia Indians should not be continually treated as undeserving of the same relationship. Virginia Indians were the first in America to have permanent and sustained contact with English settlers and still are not properly recognized as those 562 other tribes are. Is that going to be another sad legacy for this Commonwealth? In the wars of the 20th century, Virginia Indians fought and died for this land in support of the Constitution of the United States, even when they were being denied constitutional rights at home.

We Welcome Your Support

The time is now to right this wrong. We should have the same equality of relationship with federal government that all other federally recognized tribes have, with no abridgement of any right under the Constitution of this nation. We have fought and died for that equality, and I for one believe any fair-minded Virginian would support that recognition for the Commonwealth’s Native Americans, who are proud both of being Indians and of being Americans. We have waited far too long, and the commemoration of Jamestown 2007 will be incomplete and disheartening without appropriate and unabridged recognition of these Virginia tribes. For more information and to learn how you can help, visit the VITAL (Virginia Indian Tribal Alliance for Life) Web site at 

Ken Adams is chief of the Upper Mattaponi Indian Tribe. The Upper Mattaponi Tribe is part of VITAL,  an organization composed of six Virginia tribes seeking acknowledgement from the federal government.

Elder's Meditation

"There are many things to be shared with the four colors of man in our common destiny as one family upon our Mother the Earth." ---- Traditional Circle of Elders, Northern Cheyenne


The Elders tell us the time will come when the four colors of Man will unite into one family. According to prophecies, we were told this would happen when the Sun was blocked in the Seventh Moon. There was an eclipse of the Sun in July, 1991. We are now in a new Springtime called the Coming Together Time. Each of the four colors of man has knowledge that the other colors need to heal their families. Let us all be willing to sit in a circle and respect our differences. 


Creator, let me be willing to have an open mind




Do sacred sites really exist
 if no one ever honors them?


      Does a tree falling in the forest make a sound
      if there is no one to hear it?

      Sacred sites, like forests are not made for man alone,
      and will exist long after man is gone and only his
      spirit remains.



By Dr. Carolyn Dean

June 19, 2005

The U.S. Delegation to Codex has just issued a formal written statement to the Codex Alimentarius Commission that the United States, during the July 4-9, 2005, meeting in Rome, will support compulsory rules created by this international organization directly overruling U.S. law regarding access to vitamins.

The U.S. law that is about to be vanquished is the Dietary Supplement, Health and Education Act of 1994. Codex is a joint venture between the United Nation’s World Health Organization and Food and Agriculture Organization. (WHO/FAO) The World Trade Organization (WTO) has already stated that it will enforce Codex “guidelines” as the world standard for trade in dietary supplements. This will mean that gradually, pill-by-pill, our access to the dietary supplements we depend on will disappear.

For those not familiar with the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994, it was passed because 2.5 million ordinary citizens wanted to make sure dietary supplements such as herbs, vitamins, minerals and other food-based supplements could stay on the over-the-counter market. Movement to create this law, known as DSHEA, started when a 1992 FDA task force published a report announcing the FDA’s desire to remove these products from the shelves as they represented a “disincentive for patented drug research”.

Immediately following this announcement, millions of Americans learned about how famed vitamin doctor, Jonathan Wright’s patient-filled medical office was raided the same month by nearly two-dozen gun-toting, flak-jacketed FDA agents in the name of regulating supplements. Battering down an unlocked office door, these agents, backed by burly sheriff’s department deputies, lined up staff and patients against the wall, pulled IVs from patients arms in middle of treatments, confiscated patient records, took the hard drive from the office computer all because Dr. Jonathan Wright was using nutritional supplements to heal very sick people who could not get help from standard allopathic medical care.

As the story developed, it turned out that this Gestapo-style raid was standard operating procedure for the FDA and as the general public became aware of just how many doctors’ offices, manufacturing companies, distributors and health food stores had been assaulted by similar raids, the horror of all this forged a mighty health freedom army that resulted in unanimous passage of DSHEA.

The idea of the law was two-fold:

1. DSHEA was to make a clear distinction between FOOD, which is considered generally safe and did not need to have permission from the FDA to be allowed on the market and DRUGS, which are generally toxic, potentially deadly and in need of lengthy evaluation before they were available to the public under prescription from a doctor.

2. DSHEA provides the FDA with plenty of legal authority to remove herbs or dietary supplements from the market providing the agency has plenty of REAL evidence of REAL harm to the public. The FDA also has the authority to limit the amount of a supplement to low levels IF the agency has plenty of REAL evidence to prove higher levels ARE ACTUALLY dangerous.

The FDA and its Big Pharma backers have never liked DSHEA because these products and the related natural healing arts services often related to them are putting the allopathic drug/surgical/chemical medical industry to shame.

In my book, Death by Modern Medicine, using the allopathic medical industry’s own official reports, I document how 784,000 people die every year in the American medical system while following doctors’ orders in a highly-regulated allopathic system. The proof that dietary supplements and the practitioners who promote them are safe and work as expected is evidenced everywhere. Studies conducted all over the world have shown that supplements are actually safer than food and there is simply no hard evidence to show there is ANY risk factor worthy of discussion, much less needing universal “risk assessment”.

Yet, the U.S. Delegation, along with its Big Pharma backers are bound and determined that Codex force “risk analysis assessments” upon the American dietary supplement industry so they can bypass the expressed will of the American people.

The REAL reason for promotion of “risk assessment” is based on two agendas. First, to be able to strip the over-the-counter marketplace of everything but low quality, low dose-level products that won’t do much to support or improve health. Second, to set up the framework to allow Big Pharma to take over the supplement market as a new form of drugs where prices can be jacked up outrageously and doled out by doctors for a fee.

UNDERSTAND THIS: If you do not ACT NOW, you and everyone you love, will be condemned to living under an international law that denies your basic right to maintain your health. WITHOUT HEALTH, YOU HAVE NO FREEDOM!


Related Article:
Codex Alimentaris Ends US Supplements in June 2005

© 2005 - Dr. Carolyn Dean - All Rights Reserved

Dr. Carolyn Dean is a medical doctor, naturopathic doctor, herbalist, acupuncturist, nutritionist, as well as a powerful health activist fighting for health freedom as president of Friends of Freedom International. Dr. Dean is the author of over a dozen health books, the latest of which is “Death By Modern Medicine”.

Web Site:



Mending the Hoop

By Carol Perez Petersen


They stand with shoulders touching
fringed shawls flapping, frosty breath singing
mother earth rising up through the ghost dancers
We set the crystals in a circle to the eight directions at the foot of a stairway to heaven
Earth dust, star dust we are all made of this. 
Eagle singers cry for love and drum strong the heart
The ravens and the owl hovered in the feathered crowns of the Stone Chiefs
while the bear stuck her nose out to sniff.
We made honey in the light of our hearts and set a sweet arrow of peace making to Big Bear
Giving voice to the unspeakable
the cries we all had when we were left behind dipped into the song of many nations
making a feast for all my relations
The big dipper where the north star shines
is a white lightening moon bear dance
A golden sun grizzly bear dance
A red heart calling red bear dance
A rolling hills black bear dance
I turned my head and saw you and you reached out with your arm
and tightened your body next to mine
I looked up above and there were the children drinking rain and breathing love
Then came the eagles
riding on a thermal from the eight directions
and they sang back to us and into the heart of our Earth Mother
This was a day the watchers on their painted ponies held banners to the Great Ones
Blue star kachinas mending the sacred hoop
A good day to weave heart light into the fabric of her sacred robe
Her garment is of the sun glittering with the warming glow of rainbows.
This is our heart dance of gratitude
It is the Medicine of The Great Bear
Strong and persevering
Keepers of the violet wisdom, soul breath of the Mother
In your honor we dance in beauty.






Many years ago in a small Indian village, a farmer had the misfortune of owing a large sum of money to a village moneylender.  The moneylender, who was old and ugly, fancied the farmer's beautiful daughter. So he proposed a bargain.

He said he would forgo the farmer's debt if he could marry his daughter. Both the farmer and his daughter were horrified by the proposal. So the cunning money-lender suggested that they let providence decide the

He told them that he would put a black pebble and a white pebble into an empty money bag. Then the girl would have to pick one pebble from the bag.

1) If she picked the black pebble, she would become his wife and her father's debt would be forgiven.
2) If she picked the white pebble she need not marry him and her father's debt would still be forgiven.
3) But if she refused to pick a pebble, her father would be thrown into jail.

They were standing on a pebble strewn path in the farmer's field. As they talked, the moneylender bent over to pick up two pebbles. As he picked them up, the sharp-eyed girl noticed that he had picked up two black pebbles and
put them into the bag. He then asked the girl to pick a pebble from the bag.

Now, imagine that you were standing in the field. What would you have done if you were the girl? If you had to advise her, what would you have told her? Careful analysis would produce three possibilities:

1. The girl should refuse to take a pebble.
2. The girl should show that there were two black pebbles in the bag and expose the money-lender as a cheat.
3. The girl should pick a black pebble and sacrifice herself in order to save her father from his debt and jail. 

Take a moment to ponder over the story. The above story is used with the hope that it will make us appreciate the difference between lateral and logical thinking. The girl's dilemma cannot be solved with traditional logical thinking. Think of the consequences if she chooses the above logical answers. What would you recommend to the Girl to do?

Well, here is what she did ....
The girl put her hand into the moneybag and drew out a pebble. Without looking at it, she fumbled and let it fall onto the pebble-strewn path where it immediately became lost among all the other pebbles.

"Oh, how clumsy of me," she said. "But never mind, if you look into the bag for the one that is left, you will be able to tell which pebble I picked."

Since the remaining pebble is black, it must be assumed that she had picked the white one. And since the money-lender dared not admit his dishonesty, the girl changed what seemed an impossible situation into an
extremely advantageous one.

Moral of the Story:
Most complex problems do have a solution -- if we think. 

~ Submitted by Crystal Harvey 


By Susan Bates



     According to the U.S. Department of Justice, there were 2,085,620 prisoners being held in
Federal, State and local prisons and jails on December 31, 2003. This figure adds up to an estimated 482 inmates per every 100,000 U.S. residents. 

     There were 3,405 black male prisoners per 100,000 black males in the United States in prison, compared to 1,231 Hispanic male inmates per 100,000 Hispanic males and 465 white male inmates per 100,000 white males. The number of Native American prisoners weren't listed, partially due to the difficulty of identifying who and who isn't considered Native American.

     While the prison industry is bustling, it is obvious that the punishment meted out is doing little to curtail crime. What has caused this problem of lawlessness? Could it be the justice system itself?

     When the white man first stumbled over this land, they discovered a vast array of tribal people who knew little crime. Ruled by the clan system, every aspect of a person's life ran according to the agreed upon laws of the whole tribe. To disobey or break a taboo meant sure and certain counseling, punishment (which might include death) or banishment. Being banished from a clan was a fate worse than death since the person had no status anywhere. 

     Native justice is based on balance.  If I commit a crime and must pay a fine or give up part of my life, not only have I hurt another person's family, but my family is affected, too. Sending me to jail might make someone feel good, but how will this help the victim? What will become of his family or mine?

     In the tribal way, if I commit a crime, everyone involved would meet with the elders and tribal judges to talk things through. I would be confronted by the victim and his family who would be able to tell me how much I have hurt them. Other respected people of the tribe would be able to tell me how I could have avoided the situation. My own family would be there to support me or to tell me how my actions have hurt them. 

      I would have the opportunity to apologize and some form of repayment would be worked out. My punishment would be by consensus. Often times a healing ceremony would follow. I wouldn't feel alone and ostracized and I would have the opportunity to erase the shame of my actions. I would know I was part of a community and my relations wanted me to make things right and be in balance. 

       The court system we live under now is based on authority, rank and the ability to hand out punishment. Lawyers earn large fees for defending a client. Often guilt isn't as important as a loophole and the more money a person has, the more loopholes are available. Native peacekeeper courts are based on respect, tradition, clan laws and ways of dealing with people and problems that restore balance and harmony.

      Our society is sick. It isn't going to get better until balance is restored. Crime and punishment or justice and healing? We must find a better way.

Scientists have recently discovered that green tea can prevent some cancers. Ah, science - boldly going where native people have been since the dawn of time.



Q: What do you call a Sioux guy out walking his dog?
A: Vegetarian


If anyone anywhere knows anything, sees anything, please contact the original screen name that sent this, which is

LOOK AT THIS PICTURE AND THEN FORWARD. I have a 5 year old son named Christopher John Mineo Jr, nickname C.J.  I am from Brooklyn N.Y. He has been missing since May 11  I am including a picture of him. All prayers are appreciated!!

It only takes 2 seconds to forward this on, if it was your child, you would want all the help you could get.  Please. ~Christopher John Mineo Sr.  Contact:
Stephanie M. Lawton, Office Manager, New York State Independent Living Council
111 Washington Avenue, Suite 101, Albany, New York 12210 All prayers are appreciated!!


"My heart was saddened by the news of the passing of Chief Bill 'Little Horse in the fall of 2004.  I have fond memories he left behind with me.  I first met Little Horse at the fall gathering at Manataka 1998.  He was so full of energy that day!  


He welcomed me to the gathering and as as we talked, I said, "I am part Indian!  Little Horse looked at me for quite some time, his eyes were connected to mine as he looked through the windows of my heart and he spoke. "Let me tell you, no man is part Indian! Either you are or you are not Indian! And I can see that you are Indian."  From that day forward I have never been part Indian.  Wado (Thank you) Little Horse.  Your encouragement made me a better teacher (di-de-yo-hvi-s-gi) and a better person.  I will never forget your words of wisdom and I pray that Grandfather may give to you the peace and happiness that you have earned while you walked here upon our mother, 'The Earth.  (ta-wa-do-gi)."  


~Hawk With Seven Eyes Hoffman



Bill Little Horse Barbour was an member of Manataka and a Honorary member of the Elder Council.  


A Mescalaro Apache, Bill Little Horse made over 400 movies and made his first movie with cowboy star Tom Mix.  He made six movies with John Wayne and was in "The Kentuckian" and "A Man Called Horse."  He also appeared in television shows such as Wagon Train, Rawhide, Death Valley Days and Bonanza.


Little Horse holds a place in the Guiness Book of World Records with his famous bull whip show.  He is the only man to ever take a silver dollar from his own mouth with a bull whip.  He was given his first bull whip by cowboy movie star Gabby Hayes who also taught him how to use it. 






Manataka has access to the world's largest stock of licensed and 

authorized American Indian Tribal Flags.  



Contact MAIC Today!  501-627-0555 or




A man wakes up one morning to find a bear on his roof. So he looks in the yellow pages and sure enough, there's an ad for "Bear Removers."

He calls the number, and the bear remover says he'll be over in 30 minutes. The bear remover arrives, and gets out of his van. He's got a ladder, a baseball bat, a shotgun and a mean old pit bull.

"What are you going to do," the homeowner asks?

"I'm going to put this ladder up against the roof, then I'm going to go up there and knock the bear off the roof with this baseball bat.

When the bear falls off, the pit bull is trained to grab his testicles and not let go. The bear will then be subdued enough for me to put him in the cage in the back of the van."

He hands the shotgun to the homeowner. 
"What's the shotgun for?" asks the homeowner.
"If the bear knocks me off the roof, shoot the dog."


--Submitted by Kim Summer Moon





A strong woman works out every day to keep her body in shape ... 

but a woman of strength builds relationships to keep her soul in shape.

A strong woman isn't afraid of anything ...

but a woman of strength shows courage in the midst of her fear.

A strong woman won't let anyone get the best of her ... 

but a woman of strength gives the best of her to everyone.

A strong woman makes mistakes and avoids the same in the future... 

a woman of strength realizes life's mistakes can also be unexpected
blessings and capitalizes on them.

A strong woman wears the look of confidence on her face ... 

but a woman of strength wears grace.

A strong woman has faith that she is strong enough for the journey ...

but a woman of strength has faith that it is in the journey that she will become strong.


A Woman's Prayer
By Ray Levesque, July 2004

Great Spirit, I am Mother.
I was made by You so that the image of Your love could be brought
into existence. May I always carry with me the sacredness of this honor.

Creator, I am Daughter.
I am the learner of the Traditions. May I carry them forward 

So that the Elders and Ancestors Will be remembered for all time.

Maker-Of-All-Things, I am Sister. 

Through me, may my brothers be shown 

The manner in which I am to be respected. 

May I join with my sisters in strength and power as a 

Healing Shield So that they will no longer bear the stain of abuse.

Niskam, I am Committed Partner: 

One who shares her spirit, 

But is wise to remember never to give it away, 

Lest it become lost, 

And the two become less than one.

I am Woman.
Hear me.


  Do sacred sites really exist
      even if no one ever honors them?

      Does a tree falling in the forest make a sound
even if there is no one to hear it?


      Sacred sites, like forests are not made for man alone
      and will exist long after man is gone and only his spirit remains.

~Submitted by RedWing Vinson




50,000 Years of Anishnawbe History

By Joseph Bert Sutherland Jr.

Anishnawbe have a history that dates back to 50.000 years ago in North America (Turtle Island).

It has been many years since Anishnawbe people, were one with there surroundings. Anishnawbe and other Native American have been through a lot since the Europeans arrived on Turtle Island, the robbing of our culture, other beliefs shoved down our face.

Anishnawbe still as a people have a strong connection with God, (Gitchie - Manito) Great Spirit and no one will break that connection and bond.

The Anishnawbe people long ago and today believe that all living things have a "Spirit" within, a life force that is within all living things. The human mind is limited to understanding the fundamental concepts and many other
concepts about this world. Meaning: there is life all around us the Spirit World on this earth, sun, space, stars, and the universe etc.

After death, when we are in the "Spirit form" we will have a greater understanding about the world around us and that our question about life will be answered.

One of the greatest gift that the Great Creator give man and woman were to respect, love and to help one another. Life is very important.

The Anishnawbe people have many ceremonies, which are practice today. For example, a list of these ceremonies that are still practiced are: the Shaken tent, Sweat lodge, Vision quest, Talking drum ceremony and the Ma-day-win (Grand Medicine Lodge). There are many difference types of sweat lodge ceremonies. We also have the Seven Grand Father teachings (Sevens fires) to keep us in order.

The Meaning of the Anishnawbe Word Anishnawbe -Meaning of this word, First people, Original people, whence
lowered the male of the species, First man. In many books and websites, they state that we are Algonquin stock. However, they are incorrect, we recognize our selves as Anishnawbe. Ojibways, Ojibwa, Ojibwe, Ojicree, Cree, Chippewa, Potawatomi and Algonquin, etc. and we speak the Anishnawbe language. Lenni Lenape is another way to say Anishnawbe in old form. Many of Anishnawbe people were a big family at one time, before the whites came to this land.

To learn more go to the Mi-day-win ceremony and to other ceremonies and listen to the elders speak and you will learn the history and values of the people. The teachings I talk about are not my words, but from the elders stories. Many of us know these old stories and other stories that have been past down from generation to generation.
Joseph Bert Sutherland Jr





Blue = Healing




Alaris - Premature baby at Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City. This is a picture of a friend of mines baby. Pass this to your friends to keep her in their prayers  She was born very early.  But is very strong! Thank You.  ~ Sam White Eagle Soars.




Baugh, Sharon Kamama - Diagnosed with cancer. Back in the hospital. Sharon was chair of the Manataka Women's Council for many years and is now enjoys Most Honored Grandmother status.

Beane,Brandi - Dental problems and severe headaches.  ~ TwoBears.

Black, Mother of Charles Lone Wolf Black -  Diagnosed with cancer.  Holding up well.  

Bowman Family - Vanderbilt Burn Center, TN.  Susie Bowman and children involved in serious vehicle accident.  Wife has 4th degree burns and lower leg amputated. Children fairing better  ~Steve Bowman via Jennifer Whitefeather Attaway.

DeJarnette, Delsin David Windwalker - 3-year old having a difficult time asthma and bronchitis.  ~Lynn Gill.  

Devereaux Family - Baker, Alida Mother of Henrietta EagleStar.  Getting much better now.  Jesse William, my oldest son and my youngest son, Mark Kenneth Devereaux need prayers.  Update 5-1-05: Jesse is receiving healing and Mark is now well.  Eagle Star needs prayer for allergic reactions to the local environment.  Nelson, a Navaho brother, his wife Diane and grand daughter, Julisa are in need. Thank you Manataka for all the prayers.   ~Eagle Star.  

DiDonato Family - My deceased mother's family - my grandparents and two aunts. Very serious life problems on all levels, and financial, health, emotional, spiritual - everything. Been going on for many years, just keeps getting worse.  Also please add "Pop Wilson" - my father-in-law. Type II diabetes, seriously overweight, in bad need of knee replacement surgery (bad arthritis, other problems), doesn't take proper care of himself or his diabetes, very reluctant to have surgery (many excuses), "Mom Wilson" needs prayer also.
Goodson, Brian - Bear's been praying for him daily for three weeks but needs yours too.  ~Ruth King.

Greason, James - Suffered with stroke.  Prayers from Manataka has him healed and back to work. 

Filmore, Judy - Honored Grandmother of Manataka diagnosed with lupis.  Doing much better now! 

Fowler, Sarah, 9 yr old girl with a gastrointestinal disease needs prayers now.  ~Paul & Teressa Fowler. 

Ian - A real fine man in Australia named Ian is undergoing chemo and is having a really difficult time. His family and friends request prayers for him.  ~Love and Prayers Ruth King

Irons, Larry Zink Hota Irons - Michigan:  Diagnosed with cancer. 

Jessica -- The face of this teenager was bitten by a huge dog near her eye. The bite was severe  - Update: Now doing much better.  ~ Sam White Eagle Soars.

King, Jeremy I want to thank everyone for the prayers for my grandson Jeremy King. Prayers were answered praise be to Creator. The doctors are amazed and have no answer for why.  ~Grandmother Ruth King

Love, Tommie -  A 4 years old with 2 large brain tumors  - untreatable at Barnes Children's Hospital of St Louis. I ask for prayers for her healing and prayers for her family.  ~Alison Klose 

Maltagliati, Juli - Splashed household cleaner into my left eye... serious infection ensued. Needs healing.  

Powell, Bobby - friend of Kimberly Stronczek stricken with crippling arthritis.

Runninbear, Bobby Joe - Hospitalized with a heart attack.  Runninbear is recovering very nicely with help from his good friends and Creator...Thank you all for your prayers.  ~Your Sister, BabblingBrook.


Vinson Family - Helen RedWing and GrayBeard - RedWing having problems with neck and back pain - rotator cup misalignment.  Walking better without a cane some.  Helen has had other symptoms crop up that are concerning everyone.  Graybeard general health ailments.  Grand daughter Reagan Vinson diagnosed with serious disease.  Pray for these good people.  


Graybeard was recently forced into early retirement by the U.S. Post Office after 17 years of good service.  The family is financially needy and needs your help now!  Please say you will help!


Did you submit a prayer request above?  If so, please send us an update.  We are reluctant to remove anyone without knowing if more prayers are needed. 


Explaining A Spiritual Experience


Ecology Front


Never give up on anyone

© Indian Country Today May 12, 2005. All Rights Reserved
By Suzan Shown Harjo / Indian Country Today

The honorable ivory-billed woodpecker has returned from the dead and is living in a wildlife refuge in the Big Woods of eastern Arkansas. It seemed to disappear in 1944 and was long presumed extinct.

This spirit bird's reappearance 60 years later reinforces a wise instruction by Native elders: ''Never give up on anyone.''

From time immemorial, the handsome, broad-shouldered bird thrived in the bottomland forests and bayous of what is now the southeastern United States. After 50 years of developers clear-cutting old-growth trees in its habitat from North Carolina to Texas, the ivory-billed woodpecker was left with few places to live.

In recent decades, the federal government and private parties have declared certain ecosystems as Important Bird Areas. The ivory-billed woodpecker re-emerged in one of these areas, which should encourage the Bush administration - whose strong suit is not environmental protection - to establish more such safe places for the homeless.

John James Audubon painted this bird in the early 1800s, comparing its stylish chiaroscuro markings to a ''great Vandyke'' painting. Audubon described it as 21 inches long, with a 30-inch wingspan and three-inch bill, and a ''dark glossy body and tail ... large and well-defined white markings of its wings, neck, and bill, relieved by the rich carmine of the pendent crest of the male, and the brilliant yellow of its eye.''

Muscogee artists have been depicting this bird for thousands of years. A flurry of e-mail and voice messages spread the word among Muscogee people that the ivory-billed woodpecker lives.

My friend Rob Trepp, a Muscogee researcher, sent three images of the bird that Muscogee artists etched on shell and in clay over 2,000 years ago. He says the bird ''is found in many iconographic settings, sometimes pictured alone, wings spread; other times pictured in fours, heads only, at the four cardinal points around an inner image.''

I had lots of questions about this important bird. Rob checked with Muscogee cultural experts George Cosar, John Fixico and Ed LaGrone; and I asked my dad, Freeland Douglas, who's always my first call on Muscogee language and cultural matters.

Here are their consensus answers about the ivory-billed woodpecker.

Woodpeckers - toski in the Muscogee language - are medicine birds, respected for their persistence and power to ''pull things out.'' Singers of toski songs ''take on the power'' and gain the ''ability to pull things out of their patients.''

The largest and strongest of the toski is cvkvlv, the ivory-billed woodpecker. Traditional Muscogee medicine practitioners still use ''songs about cvkvlv.'' Its own song was recorded only once, in 1935. Prior to the release in April of video footage from one year ago, the last documented sighting of cvkvlv was in 1987 in Cuba.

Cvkvlv is pronounced CHUH kuh luh - ''kind of like chocolate, if you need a mnemonic,'' wrote Trepp. The word is a ''progressive contraction'' that references the ''fine feathers at the back and the color of the bill.'' Cvkvlv is preserved in a Muscogee/Cherokee family name, Chuckluck or Chuculate.

Cvkvlv is called a rather rude name by scientists: Campephilus principalis, which is Latin for grub-eater. Audubon observed that its main food consists of beetles, larvae and large grubs, but it eats ripe forest grapes ''with great avidity,'' along with persimmons and hagberries.

He also noted that the ''ivory-bill is never seen attacking the corn.'' I think this respect for sofkee (corn) must have further endeared cvkvlv to Muscogee people.

I never met cvkvlv, but I feel as if an ancient, beloved friend has come home after a long absence.

I had a similar feeling 10 years ago, about a butterfly. I had checked into a conference hotel and turned on CNN to see what news I'd missed during the flight from D.C. to Albuquerque.

The news anchor was saying that scientists in northern California were elated at the re-emergence of the formerly extinct teal blue-tailed butterfly that disappeared from the Plains in the late 1800s.

This caught my attention for several reasons, not the least of which was the phrase ''formerly extinct.'' Now that is news.

But the big news to me was that the teal blue butterfly was real. During my first Sun Dance in South Dakota, the ceremonial leader told me to listen carefully to the messages of the blue butterfly. I looked for blue butterflies for years and finally decided they were magic beings, and maybe I'd see them and maybe not.

Hearing that they vanished for a century made me imagine that the blue butterflies saw what was happening to the Indians and the buffalo on the Plains and said, ''We're outta here.''

The news that they traveled to the West Coast and were presenting themselves to elated scientists made me laugh and cry at the same time. I felt as if I were greeting a familiar stranger with an important message. I could hear my respected elders saying, ''See why you should never give up on anyone.''

Then and now, I think how Native peoples have been pushed out of our natural homelands and how long we have lived at the edge of extinction. The Native population hemisphere-wide was over 100 million in 1491. By 1900, it was under 1 million.

In the U.S. at the turn of last century, there were fewer than 240,000 Native people. The good news is that there were 2 million American Indians by 2000 and that Native populations are increasing in every country.

It is a miracle of survivance that there are Native people alive in sufficient numbers to assure a future as Native people.

It still is touch-and-go for Native heritage languages, traditional religions, sacred places, salmon and myriad other precious treasures, but no one should count them out.

Native people are revitalizing heritage languages as fast as humanly possible, even some that have been pronounced extinct for 150 years.

More and more Native young people are living within traditional religions, one ceremony at a time.

Native sacred places and salmon remain viable, despite the best efforts of government and developers to destroy them.

So, hail, cvkvlv. Hail, blue butterflies. Hail, all the formerly extinct living beings that refuse to die and stay dead. Never give up on anyone.

Suzan Shown Harjo, Cheyenne and Hodulgee Muscogee, is president of the Morning Star Institute in Washington, D.C., and a columnist for Indian Country Today.



Do Your Care About The Earth? Our Children?

Their World? Our Future?

If you do, I urge you to join me in the Virtual March On Washington To Stop Global Warming.

Please Join Me, Jim PathFinder Ewing (Nvnehi Awatisgi), in sending a message to President Bush and the United States Congress that we care about Healing The Earth/Ourselves and want every measure taken to ensure that our planet, Our Mother, and our children have a future.

Click on the photo above and fill out the information. Add everyone on your mailing list to be contacted in the form on that link, so that they can join us also. Let’s see if we – those who care about the Earth and Earth Healing, a world of empowered individuals, men, women, children of all races and creeds -- can be the largest group of marchers in the world!

The more who sign on, the stronger the message becomes. 

Please take the few seconds required to fill out the form so that we may help save the

countless beings that are threatened by humankind’s thoughtless destruction of life.

Jim PathFinder Ewing (Nvnehi Awatisgi)
Healing The Earth/Ourselves

TO UNSUBSCRIBE:  Simply click the reply button, 

type 'Unsubscribe'  in the subject line and send.


Manataka American Indian Council
PO Box 476
Hot Springs, AR 71902-0476