Manataka American Indian Council
Issue 11 NOVEMBER 2007
- Preserving The Past Today For Tomorrow
LEGENDS OF OLD:
Coyote Steals Sun's Tobacco
Apache / White Mountain Story
Coyote was living with the Indians. One day he started out to the Sun's
house. When he got there. Sun was not at home His wife was there and Coyote
talked with her.
"nde (man) " he said, "Where is my cross-cousin,
Sun's wife said that he had gone out and was not home yet.
"I came to talk with him about something," said
Then Coyote saw Sun's tobacco bag hanging
up on the side of the dwelling.
"I came to smoke and talk with my
cross-cousin," said Slim Coyote, "so give me a smoke while I am waiting for
him. He won't mind, he is like my cross-cousin Coyote was talking to Sun's
wife as if she were his mother-in-law. [Coyote's behavior and assumption of
kinship here is ridiculous and amusing to Apaches.
By Patrisia Gonzales, Column of the Americas (c) Sept. 3, 2007
Patzin (Nahuatl for Respect-worthy Medicine): a monthly feature on Indigenous
Several years ago, I was asked to give a prayer for a gathering of tobacco
researchers. In my hand I held ceremonial tobacco that friend Lawrence Shorty
had gifted me. For years, Lawrence has grown Native ceremonial tobacco and
offered this sacred plant for free to Native communities in hopes that
Indigenous people will stop using commercial nicotine products
The researchers were surprised that I would pray with a plant that in its
altered form is so poisonous. The many varieties of tobacco grown by Indigenous
peoples across the Americas attest to a shared regard for the plant. While many
nations have heirloom seeds, many of us also will use a commercial cigarette for
a prayer when sacred tobacco is unavailable. Though it grows wild even in
the desert, growing tobacco takes a certain
mastery and relationship with the plant.
Tobacco is a sacred granddaddy for many Indigenous peoples across the Americas.
This Grandfather's smoke is used in ceremonies and purification rites. The
tobacco leaf also has great medicinal power. In
Mexican Traditional Medicine, tobacco is used to address both spiritual and
physical ailments. Precisely because it is so powerful, tobacco is treated with
great care in these rites. Stories abound of a granny curandera smoking over
someone with her puro.
While tobacco is often associated with American Indian peoples, tobacco also has
a long ancestral use in various parts of the Americas. Tobacco flowers are
depicted in numerous Mesoamerican symbols and pottery. Colonial friars recorded
how Nahua people presented large bundles and gourds stuffed with tobacco as part
of greetings and ceremonies. The painted picture books, thousands of years old,
depict various ceremonial offerings with tobacco. Inquisitorial reports record
incantations to tobacco in its Nahua ceremonial name as "Nine Times Beaten One,"
referring to its journey across nine spiritual levels of existence as
the smoke carried prayers. In keeping with ancient practices, it is snuffed in
the Andes and drunk in the Amazons. Peoples in the Caribbean and Mexico continue
to use tobacco in the spiritual cleansing known as
limpias, for protection rites or to introduce male energy.
Rite. From Theodor
America part 3, Frankfurt, 1592.
A common tobacco
remedy known by many peoples in the Americas is the use of tobacco and saliva or
water for an insect or snake bite. It is also blown on crops as an insecticide
as well as for blessings. The tobacco leaf is hot in nature, and soaked in oil
or rubbing alcohol it becomes a pomade or liniment for muscle aches, including
as a rub to assist women afterbirth during the lying in period. Tobacco
provides heat and warmth for a cold condition, such as the period following
birth. It is also used for burns, diarrhea, cuts, afflictions of the uterus,
incision, headaches, inflammation of the spleen, toothaches, syphilis, asthma
and dropsy and to alleviate pain. It is used for protection or rubbed on the
body for fatigue or as a form of prayer. Friars attempting to irradicate
Indigenous spiritual ways recorded a recipe for tenexiyetl-lime-tobacco in a
1:10 ratio for mal de frio (illness caused by cold), or to be used with tomato
for swollen throats and for cysts.
Tobacco reminds me of how Indigenous people share what Native scholar Inez
Hernandez-Avila calls "correspondences." Though they are distinct peoples they
can also share similar values and approaches. Some Native midwives have
commented that among their tribal traditions in the North, they also employ
tobacco or peyote when there is a difficult labor or to diagnose causes and
actions. In the 1600s, Hernando Ruiz de Alarcón noted that in order to
facilitate labor, midwives in Mexico "pick up the piciete in the hand and crush
it, and then they move the hand with the piciete over the belly of the pregnant
woman especially over the fetus." Iyetl - is tobacco in Nahuatl or
Piciyetl -- "tiny tobacco." This tiny tobacco is known in Western botanical
terms as Nicotiana rustica and is used to cure afflictions of the uterus.
When I shared that story with the Nahua midwife Doña Filo, she commented, "Fijate
que si. You wouldn't believe it but it works. You just blow like this." She
showed me how to lightly blow tobacco near the womb. Tobacco used in this
physical and energetic manner is a technology of birthing because it is employed
to move the labor, and therefore energy. However there are nurses, who upon
hearing this story, were incredulous that tobacco would be burned near a fetus.
Like the tobacco researchers, these health care professionals are unaware of the
ceremonial heirloom seeds still available to Indigenous peoples, or how tobacco
is used in sacred or ritual forms. And, again midwives thousands of miles from
each other knew to use the plant toward the same ends.
Lawrence Shorty, who is Navajo and Choctaw, argues that Native reliance on
commercial tobacco for ceremonies impedes tobacco prevention/cessation programs
in Indian country. Let us persevere to strengthen our original relationships to
this powerful relative.
Indigenous News Network Digest 967, Andrea Cramblit, Editor
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR...
Manataka receives dozens of letters each week. 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.
Should the Vatican rescind papal bulls?
There was a
gathering of Indian nations and people from
North and South America at Mato Paha (Bear
Butte). They issued a call to the Vatican
and the Queen of England to rescind the
Doctrine of Discovery inspired papal bulls
of 1493 and the English royal charter of
1496 that alleged to create legal rights for
Europeans over the lands and peoples of the
No Monkey Business Here
My job is to seek
out artists, filmmakers, photographers, and writers who may be
interested in submitting their creations for presentation on the web site.
Web sites with
similar themes... animal and environmental issues, green
living, and generally anything with approaches that are geared
toward positive lifestyles .... to mutually link with bonobo.TV.
More detailed information about this is available at the site,
which also provides a good mix of the kind of artistic material
Indian Teen Suicide
I read about our Native Youth who are killing themselves and
calling it, “A Good Day to Die”
From prayer I hear the words:
They walk with no hope, they walk alone, they take their lives
alone feeling that no one cares.
They have fallen into the cracks that we have made. These are
our children and yes
it is hard to look at some of our children today.
The ones who have become so hard and hateful. The first thought
is to walk away least they hurt us with their anger.
It saddens my heart that we do not know how to look past their
mask to see the faces of children and that we cannot hear past
the poison that comes from their words to hear the truth of what
they say. It is sad that we have lost a way to tell them we see
them, we hear them, we love them.
It is a Good Day To Die is not Creator calling you to take your
It is Creator telling you to live life in a good way, everyday
so that when he calls you home it will your Best Day to Die.
We have used and abused almost every gift that Creator and
Mother Earth has given to us to the point that life is not a
playground for our children anymore.
They must hit the ground running. They join a gang maybe seeing
themselves as being a part of a war party, they paint their
minds with drugs and speak from the words of alcohol.
They do not wear with honor on their faces the paint of their
ancestors but the mud of confusion that we have mixed from the
tears of our Mother Earth.
It is not the voices of Ancestors who lead them on their path
today but the voices of despair that come from greed, hate,
anger and fear.
As their Ancestors once walked in peace and balance they now
walk in darkness hearing the cries of their broken hearts
calling, It Is a Good Day To Die.
We must pick ourselves up once again and walk to the voices of
our Ancestors. Show our children that Creator has a better path,
not every want will be given but every need will be filled.
We are the ones in the war parties now fighting to bring the
light back to our children. We must all fight in a good way to
open the path wider so that our children can find their path to
that Good Day To Die. Aho!
CHEROKEE PERSPECTIVE by Laurence French and Jim Hornbuckle
Being an enrolled
member of the Eastern Band of Cherokees, I was curious as to how many of
these particular books you sell? Just found this book at a used bookstore
in Tenn. I decided to buy it and read it. Boy was I surprised to find out
Jim Hornbuckle was trying to pass himself off as a Eastern Band member.
Well he isn't, but good try Jim. This book is a bunch of B.S. Please pull
it from your inventory.
Thank you, sincerely
a concerned and not stereotypical "real Eastern Band member"
J. L. Mendez
Time for the
Columbus Mattress Sale Again
the widely held-beliefs of his contemporaries, Christopher Columbus
sets sail across the Atlantic ocean on La Pinta, la Niña and the
Santa Maria. The objective of this commercial venture, called The
Enterprise, is to find a Westerly route to the Indies. After several
months of sailing, on Oct. 12, 1492, he discovers America and proves
that the world is round. He not only claims the continent and finds
riches for the King and Queen of Spain, but begins the greatest
civilizing project in the history of humanity, bringing both
civilization and Christianity to the savages of the New World and to
those in Africa as well. This divine mission becomes"The New
Promised Land" for all those fleeing oppression and bondage, while
seeking religious freedom, liberty, equality and justice for all. As
such, America becomes the beacon for all of humanity, for all
The above is a commonly repeated children's myth regarding
Christopher Columbus. It forms the central tenet of the Western
"master narrative" of history. It also is the basis of U.S. history.
In it, Columbus is
symbolically the quintessential Founding Father, not simply of the
United States, but of the Americas. He is the person who
symbolically culturally unites the East and the West and makes
possible the unity of humanity. In this story, beyond ignoring
ancient wayward travelers from other distant lands, ignored are
Indigenous peoples as human beings. Ignored are thousands of
year-old narratives of origins and migrations and epic journeys and
thousands-of-year-old histories. In this so-called master narrative,
Indigenous peoples don't count and essentially, are remanded to the
status of savages waiting to be
discovered, civilized and saved by Europeans on divine [and
commercial] missions from God. Without moving, Indigenous peoples
are even displaced geographically as they are not part of the West
certainly not part of the East. (Without moving, this is how many of
us become aliens).
Neither the histories of Indigenous peoples, nor pre-Colombian
contact (Vikings or others) between the continents, form part of the
master narrative because they do not conform with the religio-vision
conquest of the Americas. Despite the Columbus story being mostly
lore and fable, it survives because it is useful and it helps to
weave the master narrative as one of divine mission, providence, and
manifest destiny. In this manner, as Cree writer Sharon Venne argues
in Our Elders know our Rights, it, in effect, serves to justify
genocide, land theft and slavery and the complete dehumanization of
peoples not inside of the Western or master narrative. In this
religio-vision, she argues, Euro-Iberians were not simply entitled
to these lands, but in effect, were carrying out a divine mandate to
Christianize and civilize the entire world. This mandate enabled
Spanish conquistadores, through divine right, to both take lands not
claimed by Christians and to wage merciless war upon non-Christians.
The mandate, which came in the form of the Requerimiento, a Spanish
proclamation backed by Papal Bulls, was authorized by the King and
Queen of Spain, plus the Catholic Pope. In this vision, violence and
genocide are not seen as such, or are seen as fully sanctioned by
Here is an
excerpt from the Requerimiento, made available through Bartolome de
las Casas "protector of the Indians." Here, it picks up after
proclaiming, under authority of the Catholic Church, that the lands
now belong to the King and Queen of Spain, and that those listening
to this proclamation must accept and adhere to it:
"If you do not do this, however, or resort maliciously to delay, we
warn you that, with the aid of God, we will enter your land against
you with force and will make war in every place and by every means
can and are able, and we will then subject you to the yoke and
authority of the Church and Their Highnesses. We will take you and
your wives and children and make them slaves, and as such we will
them, and will dispose of you and them as Their Highnesses order.
And we will take your property and will do to you all the harm and
evil we can, as is done to vassals who will not obey their lord or
who do not
wish to accept him, or who resist and defy him. We avow that the
deaths and harm which you will receive thereby will be your own
blame, and not that of Their Highnesses, nor ours, nor of the
come with us . . ."
Now that we know the Columbus story, let's all go out and get us a
(c) Column of the Americas 2007
GRASSROOTS VICTORY OF THE MONTH:
FOOD COMPANY KELLOGG CLEANS UP ITS ACT
Caving to the threat of a lawsuit over
the company's marketing practices,
Kellogg has announced a new sweeping
policy that will shift the company's
nutritional guidelines and set a new
standard for the food industry. Under
the new guidelines, all products
marketed to children under the age of 12
must contain a maximum of 200 calories,
2 grams of saturated fat, 230 milligrams
of sodium, 12 grams of labeled sugar and
0 grams of labeled trans fat per
serving. Currently, 50 percent of
Kellogg products marketed to children
fail to meet their new criteria. The
company says implementation will begin
immediately. Twenty-seven percent of
Kellogg's advertising budget goes to
marketing to children under the age of
PRODUCT PLUNDER OF THE MONTH:
FRESHENERS FOUND TO CONTAIN TOXIC
A recent study by the Natural Resources
Defense Council found that 12 out of 14
air fresheners tested positive for
harmful levels of pthalates, which are
known to cause reproductive problems and
hormone disruption in humans. Neither
the FDA nor the EPA conducts any spot
checking of toxic chemicals in air
freshener products. Of the tested
products, the only two products that did
not contain pthalates were Febreze Air
Effects and Renuzit Subtle Effects. The
other twelve products tested positive
even though some of the products were
GOVERNMENT SCREW-UP OF THE MONTH:
FDA CRACKS DOWN ON NATURAL HERBAL
The FDA, under pressure from the
powerful sugar and artificial sweetener
lobby, has issued a warning letter to
Celestial Seasonings for using a popular
natural sweetener in some of its teas.
The letter indicates the FDA classifies
the herb stevia as "unsafe", even though
it is a main staple sweetener in
countries like China and Japan and has
been used without negative health
effects by indigenous people for at
least 400 years. In the FDA's letter to
Celestial Seasonings, the agency
aggressively condemns the use of the
herb, noting that "enforcement action
may include seizure of violative
products". The FDA claims no evidence
has been provided to the agency
regarding the herb's safety, but federal
records reveal the FDA has received over
a thousand scientific studies regarding
stevia, and all but one of them verify
the safety of the herb. In sharp
contrast, nearly half of the studies
provided to the FDA regarding the
artificial sweetener aspartame,
previously owned by Monsanto, indicate
serious health concerns, yet it is one
of the most commonly used (and one of
the most profitable) sweeteners in the
U.S. The OCA has also verified the FDA
has strengthened enforcement of stevia
imports at the borders. Last week, the
agency updated a document that mandates
detainment of imported food products
TIP OF THE MONTH:
IN YOUR TAP WATER? MOVE BEYOND TOXIC
Although it's common knowledge that
industry, factory farms, government
agencies (especially the military), and
municipalities are polluting our
drinking water supply, this awareness
has led to a widespread phobia of tap
water that is ironically exacerbating
the water pollution problem. It takes
five times as much water to make the
plastic bottle than the amount of water
the bottle actually holds. Last year,
Americans consumed 1.5 million barrels
of oil to make disposable water bottles.
That's enough to take 100,000 cars off
the road and 1 billion pounds of carbon
dioxide out of the atmosphere. The
average American adult spends nearly
$200 each year on bottled water. And of
course recent scientific studies
indicate that hormone disrupting
chemicals are steadily leaching out of
those billions of non-recycled plastic
water bottles that Coke and Pepsi are
selling us, slowly and poisoning us. But
how do you know if the water coming out
of your home or workplace's faucet is
actually okay to drink in the first
place? Obviously, in some cases it's
not, but here are some links to help you
find out if your fear of your tap water
is really justified:
This article is brought to you by
ORGANIC BYTES, from
Organic Consumers Assoc.
"Praying is what has brought us
old people through life. We've all gone through hard times. We've all
done our share of bad things. But through our prayers and faith in the
Creator we get together again and we try hard to live right."
-Paula Weasel Head, Blood
As we go through life we find ourselves on
track one day and off track the next day. We gain consistency through
prayer. Prayer is our connection to the Great Spirit. Prayer is our
channel for knowledge and wisdom. Prayer is how we keep our
sanity. The Elders say we should walk in prayer.
teach me to walk in prayer.
Help keep my faith strong.
Manataka "Spirit Award"
exemplary volunteer service to the organization and community, this
award by unanimous decision of the Elder Council
goes to the
Dorothy "Dottie" Little White Dove Furr is of Cherokee descent
and has probably been a member of Manataka longer than anyone
alive. She came to the sacred circle as a baby girl 71-years ago
and later in life continued to bring her children, grandchildren
Dottie Furr is a beautiful lady -- inside out. She always
has a smile and a good word to say for everyone. Dottie is
always ready and willing to help with any project or task and is
a good teacher. Ailments of age have not slowed her
enthusiasm for Manataka and is often heard saying, "Manataka IS
my family !" Three out of four of her adult children are
members of Manataka. Her son, David Quiet Wind Furr has
been our respected chairman since 2004. The medicine of
Dottie Little White Dove Furr is powerfully healing.
We are so
very proud to know and love this great lady.
Dottie is Manataka's most beloved elder who deserves our
Manataka Members In The News
Red Wing Vinson, a longtime member and supporter of Manataka, was
recently invited to the annual Gathering of the Monacan Nation in West
Virginia. Red Wing is a life-long member of the Monacan Tribe.
Red Wing is not only recognized as a elder among the Monacan tribe, but is
a leader of a coalition of tribes located in Tennessee where she lives with
her husband, Joseph Grey Beard Vinson. Helen Red Wing is a poet
and composer of Indian songs and is frequently called upon to play her drum
Do Anti-Depressants Result in Anti-Love and Anti-Passion?
For the more than 121 million people worldwide suffering from
depression, medicating their disease with prescription drugs has almost become
commonplace. In fact, the American Journal of Health reports that there are more
than 2.7 million prescriptions written for antidepressant drugs each
year in the United States alone.
When depressed patient’s consult with a doctor or mental health
professional, oftentimes the first treatment option they are presented with is
an anti-depressant medication. This is an alarming trend; one that is especially
scary as the side effects of these medications become more apparent
and publicly documented.
See how anti-depressants can hurt your
ADHD/ADD Drugs Being Studied for Heart Health Problems
Are You or Your Child At Risk?
The controversial world of ADD/ADHD treatment saw a huge
developments this past week as the FDA announced its plan to undertake a
thorough investigation with the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality into
the effects of ADHD medications on the cardiovascular system.
For years researchers and physicians have been clamoring for such
research to be performed, as many believe that the amphetamine-based ADHD
medications being so readily prescribed to children and adults all over the
nation may have serious long term effects on the health of the heart,
blood pressure levels and the general strength and effectiveness of the
Find out what you can do to
Did You Know... You Can Whiten Your Teeth with Strawberries?
Tooth whitening is the leading dental procedure requested by people under the
age of 20 and between the ages of 30 and 50. In the last 10 years alone, this
procedure has exploded by 300 percent, according to The American Academy of
see the simple way to get your teeth pearly
MORE HEALTH WATCH
by Michelle Young
a sense, I’m grateful for the fact that artificial fragrances give me horrible
headaches. It has led me to discover many wonderful natural alternatives and,
it turns out, protected me from exposure to toxic chemicals in my home.
The Natural Resources Defense Council recently tested
14 of the most popular air fresheners, including aerosol sprays, plug-ins and
solids. Dr. Solomon and her team found that 12 of the 14 products contained
detectible levels of phthalates, a harmful chemical that is absorbed both by
inhalation and through the skin.
With repeated exposure, phthalates are known to cause
birth defects and damage to the reproductive system. They inflict their damage
by disrupting hormones, causing such problems as abnormal genitalia and reduced
sperm counts. They pose the greatest risk to pregnant women and young
found it particularly disturbing that some of the tested products were labeled
as “All Natural”. With no safety testing required by either the FDA or EPA,
unscrupulous companies are free to mislead and risk the health of consumers.
Fortunately, a band of four consumer advocacy groups are filing a petition
calling for the EPA and CPSC to begin testing air fresheners for this toxic
It’s estimated that 75% of American households use air
fresheners regularly. If your home is one of these, you may wish to consider a
more natural, and less risky, alternative. Safe products formulated with plant
based odor killers, such as lavender and citrus, are becoming easily available
at local co-ops and natural foods stores.
Silibinin, a flavanone of milk thistle, inhibits lung tumor growth in mice and
“merits investigation as a chemopreventive agent for suppressing lung cancer
progression,” researchers wrote in a study published in the Journal of the
National Cancer Institute.
Scientists at the University of Colorado, Denver decided to examine the effects
of dietary silibinin on the growth, progression and angiogenesis of lung tumors
in mice, noting that silibinin “inhibits the growth of tumors in several rodent
Researchers injected mice with urethane to induce lung cancer. The rodents then
received diets containing various doses of pure silibinin for 18 or 27 weeks.
The researchers have been studying both silibinin and silymarin, another
component of milk thistle, for over a decade in conjunction with their efficacy
against various forms of cancer.
Mice receiving silibinin had “statistically significantly lower lung tumor
multiplicities” than those fed a control diet. In the case of mice receiving a
one percent (wt/wt) dose of silibinin for 18 weeks, there were 93% fewer large
tumors compared to those in the control group.
Journal of the National Cancer Institute 98(12):846-855, 2006
From Crystal Harvey, MAIC Correspondent
Fluoride Action Network
ADDING FLUORIDE TO
DRINKING WATER: A GOOD IDEA?
By Ted Schettler
Ted Schettler is science director of the
Science and Environmental Health
Network. He co-authored two books on
children's health, In Harm's Way, and
Generations at Risk, as well as numerous
Seeking to prevent tooth decay, many
U.S. communities add fluoride to public
drinking water, usually in the form of
hydrofluorosilicic acid, which is a
waste product of the phosphate
From the beginning, the practice was
controversial, but the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and
American Dental Association (ADA) have
vigorously supported it. The CDC claims
that fluoridating public drinking water
is one of the ten great public health
achievements of the 20th century, giving
it primary credit for the decline in
tooth decay in the U.S. Despite their
enthusiasm, abundant evidence raises
serious concerns about the safety and
efficacy of adding fluoride to drinking
Since 1945, when the public health
intervention began, much has changed
with regard to dental health. Several
trends are worth mentioning:
No offense intended for any individuals or tribes.
INSTANT INDIAN KIT! ONLY $39.95 PER MONTH!
RIGHT FOLKS, NOW YOU TOO CAN BE JUST LIKE BILLY JACK THE 70'S
CINEMA INDIAN HERO!
Now, for a mere $39.95 a month of never-ending
installment payments, you will receive these unique and
on braids (for matching hair dye add $14.95)
bandana of red or blue
Certificate of genuine Indian ancestry
Tanning solution with extra oil for that "just -off -the -rez
set of keys to car "left on the rez" and parked in some
of razor blades (Indians aren't very hairy)
Fringed vest with complimentary "Indian Power" button
Beaded earrings for women, blurred tattoos for men
Powwow schedule for those wanting to observe Indians in
social environment without detection
Individualized and registered NDN Name
Recipe book for commodity rations (including a no-fail
absolutely delicious macaroni soup - nourishment that saved
list of Indian movies to see and make reference to (movies
not included, duh!)
Buy Now! Call 909-WAN-NABE! Genuine Indians
are waiting to take your call! (Family packages available)
Note: This example of
NDN humour was printed in the Lakota Nation Journal May
22-28, 2000, Vol 1, Issue 15, by unknown author.
RIGHTS... AND WRONGS
Hay, homes sought for wild horses
Animal activist finding homes for mustangs
on Cheyenne River Rez
By Steve Miller, Journal staff
Karen Sussman and the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe are trying to find homes
for about 200 historic wild horses to keep them from the slaughterhouse.
Sussman, of Lantry, president of the International Society for the
Protection of Mustangs and Burros, had obtained 82 horses from the historic
Virginia Range in Nevada in 2001 and gave them to the Cheyenne River Sioux
Tribe, which put them on a ranch on the reservation it had established for a
conservation and children's program.
However, the programs didn't get off the ground, and the herd grew to 300 at
the same time drought began gripping the region, reducing the amount of feed
available for the animals.
The tribe, in danger of losing its ranch near La Plant, now plans to lease
it out for cattle grazing, Sussman said. This week, tribal crews are
attempting to gather the wild horse herd to move it off the ranch, she said.
Earlier, the tribe planned to auction the horses off for slaughter but now
is working with Sussman to try to find people to adopt 200 or more of the
horses, she said. Sussman plans to take 75 of the horses on the wild-horse
society ranch near Lantry.
"Our goal is to save most of them," Sussman said. "I'm assuming I'll take
whatever horses are not adopted."
However, the society's ranch is already crowded, with 300 horses from three
separate wild horse herds occupying only 683 acres of rangeland. The ranch,
like others in the area, has been hard hit by drought, particularly last
"We've had some rain this year, thank God, but we do feed a lot of hay," she
So Sussman is looking for people to adopt the horses, and she is asking for
donations of hay and money to buy hay to feed the wild horses.
The Virginia Range wild horses were the first in the nation to be protected,
under a county law passed in 1952, at the behest of the International
Society for the Protection of Mustangs and Burros's first president, Velma
Johnston, known as "Wild Horse Annie." Johnston and the society were
responsible for the passage of the 1971 federal law protecting wild horses
and burros, Sussman said.
The horses on the Cheyenne River Reservation were filmed by Steven
Spielberg's crews for his 2002 movie, "Spirit."
There are still about 200 wild horses from the herd in the Virginia City,
Nev., area, but they are facing increasing pressure from burgeoning
residential development in the Reno and Carson City areas, Sussman said.
"Part of the problem is these horses will come down into their natural
habitat," she said. "Now, they're going into people's yards. That's a
problem for some people. Then they have to remove some of the horses."
Sussman said her goal was to protect the horses and keep them running free.
She said the wild-horse society's ranch at Lantry raises money through
donations and tourism.
Tourists pay fees of $20 an hour or $50 for a half-day tour.
"It's the only place anywhere in the United States where they're going to
learn about and be able to see actual wild horse behaviors -- we simulate
the horses in a wild environment," Sussman said. "Here you'll see a lot of
interacting, especially in April and May during the breeding season. You'll
see a lot of stud fights, battles over the harems."
Sussman said the society's ranch has kept the bloodlines of the wild horse
herds pure. "Two out of the three herds here would no longer exist in our
country," she said. "That was the point of us taking them. They would have
been eliminated. The third herd that we have was expected to be eliminated
in the next couple of years."
The additional horses from the Virginia Range herd on the reservation will
put a further burden on the ranch's resources, she said.
Sussman said she hopes to raise $50,000 for hay and veterinary expenses.
How to help
The International Society for the Protection of Mustangs and Burros is
looking for donations of hay and money to help save historic wild horses
that have been kept on the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation.
The society and the tribe also are looking for a temporary holding area,
plus the loan of corral panels.
To donate, call the ISPMB at 1-605-964-6866 or write: ISPMB, P.O. Box 55,
Lantry, S.D. 57636-0055
ENDANGERED SACRED SITES:
Triumphant Rally Spurs Tribes and Allies to Escalate Protest Against
UC Berkeley’s Attack on Repatriation of Ancestral Remains
Chancellor Ignores Sovereign Tribes Once Again; Native Americans to Proceed
with Lawsuit and Demand Respect from Regents, UC System President
BERKELEY, Calif., Nov. 1, 2007 –
After a dramatic demonstration that attracted hundreds of Native Americans,
tribal leaders and social justice allies from around the country, the Native
American NAGPRA Coalition (NANC) today announced it would escalate its
protest against the University of California at Berkeley and the entire UC
system. The three-hour rally and Chancellor Birgeneau’s continued refusal to
meet with the Coalition have energized Native American opposition to the
elimination of the tribally approved UCB NAGPRA unit, the biased UC
repatriation committee process, the failure of the University to comply with
the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) and the
complete disrespect on the University’s part toward Federally recognized
“Friday’s rally was a remarkable
show of unity and support for just Native American claims on our ancestors’
remains and sacred objects,” said Mark LeBeau, a citizen of the Pit River
Nation and NANC spokesman. “We intend to build on the momentum and take our
protest to the courts, Congress, the state legislature, the Regents and the
new acting UC system president, Rori Hume. Berkeley’s Chancellor Birgeneau
has snubbed tribal nations multiple times, and now refers us to his
assistants. We will not negotiate with underlings. We will not tolerate
disrespect, and we expect California public officials to repudiate it as
Friday’s demonstration was
prompted by Chancellor Birgeneau’s original refusal to meet with NANC
concerning the elimination of the Hearst Museum’s autonomous NAGPRA unit.
This unit was a highly trained, cohesive team that fairly and impartially
administered federal NAGPRA and a soon-to-be-implemented state law (AB 978)
affecting the second largest collection of Native American ancestral remains
and sacred objects in the Nation. NANC strenuously rejected the University’s
decision-making process, which deliberately and completely excluded Native
Americans, and denounced the anti-NAGPRA bias in the resulting
organizational structure. Over the last several months, however, NANC has
also recognized that the problems are far broader and more systemic, and
include the lack of fair Native American representation on repatriation
committees, the failure of UC to meet NAGPRA-mandated tribal consultation
requirements, and the system’s unwillingness to acknowledge that Native
American ancestral remains belong to Native Americans. The Coalition will
adopt a comprehensive and aggressive strategy to deal with all of these
The demonstration started at
noon on Friday in UC Berkeley’s famous Sproul Plaza, the birthplace of the
Free Speech Movement. It began with prayers and traditional healing
ceremonies; included passionate speeches and poems from tribal leaders and
other Native Americans; and was interspersed with ceremonial drumming and
singing. After an hour, a throng of hundreds marched peacefully to
California Hall to again request a meeting with the Chancellor. The
Chancellor was “unavailable.” Assistant Chancellor Beata FitzPatrick emerged
briefly from the building to say, without apparent irony, “Our Chancellor
has very great respect for native peoples.” She accepted the Coalition’s
petition, and the group then moved on to the faculty glade, a former site of
a Native American village. After a brief ceremony, the march continued and
ended with a demonstration in front of the Phoebe Hearst Museum, where the
remains of over 13,000 Native Americans are stored in basement drawers and
NANC members urged other tribes
to join the Coalition and all Americans to insist that public officials
redress the longstanding injustice that allows Museums and scientists to
keep huge collections of Native American remains and conduct research that
violates tribal religious beliefs.
Tribes and individuals can add
their voices by contacting congressional and state representatives; by
writing or calling Provost Rori Hume at the University of California Office
of the President, 1111 Franklin Street, Oakland, CA 94607,
510-987-9020; or by writing or calling the
Governor and other University Regents at the addresses listed at
For additional information on
the UCB NAGPRA issue, visit
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