Manataka American Indian Council                      Volume XI  Issue 12 DECEMBER 2007


Manataka - Preserving The Past Today For Tomorrow 





Faster download!  The Smoke Signal this month is on 3 web pages.





Hill & Holler: There's A Day Coming...
Announcement: Come Stay at Black Mesa, Arizona
History: American Indian Christmas Customs

Grandfather Hawk Speaks:

Grandfather Bennie Speaks:

Greasy, Grimmy, Gopher Guts!

Healing Mother Earth's Sacred Sites

Feature Story: A Native Christmas 
Elder's Meditations: Tom Porter, Mohawk
Women's Council: Circle of Friends
Women's Circle: Legend of the Cherokee Rose
Food & Nutrition: Arizona Indians Reclaim Ancient Foods
Book Reviews:

Campaign Against the Iroquois

The Saga of Noah Collins

1491: New Revelations Before Columbus

Encyclopedia of Native American Healing

Voice of the Hawk Elder

Poetry Circle: Santa Clause Is An Indian!
Inspirational Thought:: Your body needs to be held
Healing Prayer Basket: Prayer Needed - Sickness, Injury, Troubles...
Manataka  Business: November meeting





By Susan Bates

News and Notes From Indian Country

There's A Day Coming.........

There are many differences between the races. Creator gave each their own direction on the Wheel of Life and Sacred duties to perform. And this was good and as it should be.

I don't know how many thousands of years People stayed put on their own lands and lived the way Creator intended before mankind realized there was something else beyond the horizon.

And because he just had to know what was out there,  man dared to plunge into the dark unknown and take great risks to see for himself if there were other People out there and what they were like.

The first explorers met People of different colors who lived different ways. They tasted new foods, attended ceremonies to honor gods whom they didn't know, and fell in love with foreign women.

Soon the world began to change. Traditional People tried desperately to hang onto their cultures but were powerless to stop the hordes of men who coveted wealth, claimed the land and enslaved the People in the name of their god.

After Christopher Columbus'  amazing "discovery" in 1492, the floodgates were thrown open and those who wanted land and wealth risked everything to set their feet upon the "Promised Land."  The destruction of the culture of the  Original People began almost immediately and the repercussions of that act resonate today.

The differences between Traditional Peoples and those of "hybrid" greed based societies are far too great to expound upon here. But it makes me deeply sad and very angry when I hear that good People who only want to go back and live the way their Ancestors did, are being duped and cheated out of money and land by those pretending to be "Indians."

Having either no knowledge of Traditional Ways and Values, or no regard for anything but their own selfish greed,  self proclaimed "chiefs" form "tribes" and continue the legacy the white man cursed this continent with over 500 years ago. This is simply unforgivable.

There are many liars and thieves out there right now who are guilty of this crime. I can name dozens of so called "tribes" and phony "Chiefs" who are victimizing the People every day. But I won't..... Not today I won't.

But be warned. There is a day coming when all of the guilty will answer for what they've done..... Maybe not to the law of the land, but they will pay the price.  The Ancestors are watching and they are very powerful - and very angry.



Susan Bates








Come herd sheep and stay with a Dineh (Navaho) family living on Black Mesa. 


"We welcome people to come out and support our resistance in this way."- A Dineh grandmother.


Guests of the families are encouraged to stay for a month, as it can require a lot of work for both the family and the guest to establish a routine. It is important to have good help out there, and not create more work for the families. Guests are expected to be adequately prepared prior to staying with families on Black Mesa, which is high desert and very remote. Read the Cultural Sensitivity & Preparedness Booklet and fill out the supporter application form prior to making arrangements for your stay. Supporters are expected to pay for gas and expenses when families provide their ride out to the land.







American Indian Christmas Customs

© 1999-2003 by Maria Hubert. All rights reserved



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

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


Handsome Fellow

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


The First Christmas Carol

Huron AngelsAccording to Huron tradition, their first Christmas Carol was written by a Jesuit missionary priest, Fr Jean de Brebeuf, around 1640-41. The Hurons had a particular devotion to Christmas. Fr Brebeuf wrote about the devotions they had. He said that they built a small chapel of fir tree and bark in honour of the manger at Bethlehem. This became the 'stable' where Jesus was born. Some travelled as much as two days to be there for the Christmas celebration.


The Huron Carol has become a well known and much loved carol today. The original was written in the Huron tongue, with a symbol like a figure '8' to represent a vowel sound not common in the English tongue. This sound was 'ou'.


Estennialon de tsonue Jesus ahatonhia
Onnauateua d'oki n'onuandaskuaentak
Ennonchien skuatrihotat n'onuandilonrachatha
Jes8s ahatonhia


The original words were written in French and Huronian. The carol we all sing today was an interpretation of the original, and not a translation. There were five verses. The first verse is as follows:


Chrétiens, prenez courage,
Jésus Sauveur est né!
Du malin les ouvrages
A jamais sont ruinés.
Quand il chant mervielle,
A ces troublants appas
No prâtez plus l'orielle:
Jésus est né, In excelsis gloria!


At the third verse, the chiefs would process solemnly towards the little chapel, bearing gifts for the christchild:

Voici que trois Rois Mages,
Perdus en Orient,
Déchiffrent ce message
Encrit au firmamente:
A'Astre nouveau les hante
Ils la suivront lá-bas,
Cette étoile marchante:
Jésus est né: In excelsis gloria!


Huron Chiefs from afarAmerindian Christmas Cribs

Many lovely cribs have been made by American Indians. Keena Cribs from Canada are wonderfully hand painted clay crib with the chiefs of the Plains, Forest and Inuit Tribes bringing gifts. The animals at the manger are the Fox, the Buffalo and the Bear. The Hurons made a traditional tent of skins and their figures were all dressed as native Americans. I have in my own collection a colourful wool nativity made by the Hopi tribe, with the Thunderbird bringing the glad tidings, which I purchased from Wallys Christmas Wonderland in Michigan, some years ago. One of the loveliest scenes I have ever seen is a painting by Yellowman. It appeared in a copy of the Augsburg Christmas Annual some years ago.






Greasy, Grimmy, Gopher Guts!


"You're not going to eat that are you? "I wouldn't eat that if I were starving to death! Have you ever heard statements such as these? Many people today have no idea what their parents and grandparents ate for food back in the 1920's and 1930's just to keep from starving. These were very hard years for those raising a large family. My mother told me that when she was a child, my grandmother would have the children climb the trees in the spring of the year where the sparrows build their nests and collect all the newly hatched baby birds. Grandmother would put the baby birds, without cleaning them at all, into a large pot of boiling water, add salt, pepper and a few secret ingredients along with noodles made from eggs and flower. She called this, 'Baby Bird Soup' and mother said it tasted just like chicken noodle soup.


I remember mother making what she called, 'Baked Possum Pie and Fried Skunk; My mother was a very good cook and most of the time the children did not know what they were eating but it tasted good at the time. One year, I helped a neighbor kill and butcher a full grown pig. Did you know that about 90% of a pig can be used for food? (They make footballs from the skin) When growing up we ate a lot of Ham, Bacon, Pork Rinds, Pickled Pig Feet, Pickled Pig Ears, Pickled Snout as well as Chops and Ribs which all came from the pigs. Have you ever been traveling on a highway and being passed by an Eighteen-Wheeler haling pigs? What a disgusting smell! You may think twice about eating Ham or Bacon after this. Would you not?


Keep an eye on my article, in the next few months, I will be talking about some of the things you can eat in order to survive if things get bad. Or I should say, when the time comes, and it will come my friends! Some of the foods I will talk about may turn your stomach but when you are hungry, you just might be glad you know what to do to survive. Did you know that almost every creature that has fur, feathers or fins can be eaten? There are hundreds of types of bugs and worms not to mention many members of the rodent family that can be used for food. Remember the two statements at the beginning of this article, can you answer them? Remember the eighteen-wheeler hauling a load of hogs and the smell, will you be able to eat ham or bacon ever again?


Be Blessed!


Hawk With Seven Eyes


Daniel Hawk With Seven Eyes Hoffman is a founding member of the Taylorville Black Horse Powwow, Inc,' a nonprofit 501(c)(3) charitable and educational organization. He has given presentations at schools in Central Illinois area on the history, culture and religious beliefs of the Native American people for over 27 years. Hawk and members of his group present dance demonstrations for children who along with their teachers are invited to dance.  Hawk believes children are the future.  





Bennie E. "Blue Thunder" LeBeau Sr., an enrolled member of the Eastern Shoshone Nation, Wind River Indian Reservation, Ft. Washakie, Wyoming is a MAIC Newsletter Correspondent.  His "Teton Rainbow" and Earth Wisdom columns are regular features on these pages.  Blue Thunder, Teacher from among the Eastern Shoshone people.



Healing Mother Earth's Sacred Sites - California Fires


A Sacred Message of Prophesy

"As the belly of the beast rips open, the flames of fire reach far and wide."  The Grandfather brings winds that whip the anger and rage to the beat of the drum, Mother Earth's and man's heartbeat." 


Many awaken to stop the fires, floods, earthquakes, tornados and other disasters coming across the land.


This message comes from indigenous nation prophecies.  This knowledge and wisdom is about healing what is wrong with nature and healing the environment.  The fires Southern California is a wake-up call for future disasters mentioned in prophecies.


Many people in Big Bear, California and other places began to work at healing their lands following Earth Wisdom ceremonies.  Starting with the Grand Teton Medicine Wheel Ceremony in May 2004, intended to heal the super volcanic energy in Yellowstone National Park and the latest ceremony at Bear Bear Medicine Wheel Ceremony held November 15, 2007, intended to bring snow and water filling the lakes near California's sacred sites.


All will be safe in those areas where the ceremonies have taken place. 


Healing sacred sites and clearing the pain that Mother Earth endures at the hand of man are important.  It is good that  many people have done the work of ceremonially healing sacred sites. However, lands and sacred sites not cleared of the pain of the past will be purified by Mother Nature's powers as we move into the future.  The Earth Mother is taking things into her own hands and reclaiming her power


Consider the prophecies of the indigenous nations and recognize the signs.  Before it is too late.


The process of ceremonial healing must be taken seriously.  Many blessings will come to those who awaken and act before the next fire, earthquake, tornado, flood, or volcano eruption.  Use the wisdom of the indigenous nations and wisdom of the Earth Mother in ceremony to help fix what is wrong with nature.  You can help restore balance to what is out of balance now in nature. 


I call out indigenous nations and all black, white, yellow and red nations to come in peace with one another.   These times are like no other era in all human history on Earth.  We must do what is required by the prophecies.  Now is the time to change our ways and honor our Mother Earth with the Earth Wisdom. 


I pray that many will awaken to this call.  I send many blessings to my brothers and sisters who do heed the call and begin Earth Healing ceremonies, Earth Dances.  We must walk, talk and act these ceremonies out in our everyday lives.  Your prayers, ceremonies and action will heal.


The great wake up call is happening!  Mother Earth is calling out. 


Mother Earth now awakens her children with the disasters for we are now in the last days of the Fourth World.   We now begin our blessed journey toward the Fifth World coming in 2011 and 2012 according to the Maya way.


All is in order by the plan of the Great Spirit and Mother Earth.   Now is the time for peace, honor, trust, respect and integrity.  Now is the time for love, peace and harmony.  Those of kindness and love for our Mother will inherit the Earth in the Fifth World.




BlueThunder, Eastern Shoshone Nation, Wyoming






A Native Christmas 

by Looks for Buffalo and Sandie Lee



European Christmas for Native Americans actually started when the Europeans came over to America. They taught the Indian about Christianity, gift-giving , and St. Nicholas. There are actually two religious types of Indian people in existence. One of these is the Traditionalist, usually full-blooded Indians that grew up on the reservations. The second type is the Contemporary Indian that grew up in an urban area, usually of mixed blood, and brought up with Christian philosophy.


Traditionalists are raised to respect the Christian Star and the birth of the first Indian Spiritual Leader. He was a Star Person and Avatar. His name was Jesus. He was a Hebrew, a Red Man. He received his education from the wilderness. John the Baptist, Moses, and other excellent teachers that came before Jesus provided an educational foundation with the Holistic Method.


Everyday is our Christmas. Every meal is our Christmas. At every meal we take a little portion of the food we are eating, and we offer it to the spirit world on behalf of the four legged, and the winged, and the two legged. We pray--not the way most Christians pray-- but we thank the Grandfathers, the Spirit, and the Guardian Angel.


The Indian Culture is actually grounded in the traditions of a Roving Angel. The life-ways of Roving Angels are actually the way Indian People live. They hold out their hands and help the sick and the needy. They feed and clothe the poor. We have high respect for the avatar because we believe that it is in giving that we receive.


We are taught as Traditional children that we have abundance. The Creator has given us everything: the water, the air we breathe, the earth as our flesh, and our energy force: our heart. We are thankful every day. We pray early in the morning, before sunrise, the morning star, and the evening star. We pray for our relatives who are in the universe that someday they will come. We also pray that the Great Spirit's son will live again.


To the Indian People Christmas is everyday and the don't believe in taking without asking. Herbs are prayed over before being gathered by asking the plant for permission to take some cuttings. An offer of tobacco is made to the plant in gratitude. We do not pull the herb out by its roots, but cut the plant even with the surface of the earth, so that another generation will be born its place.


It is really important that these ways never be lost. And to this day we feed the elders, we feed the family on Christmas day, we honor Saint Nicholas. We explain to the little children that to receive a gift is to enjoy it, and when the enjoyment is gone, they are pass it on to the another child, so that they, too, can enjoy it. If a child gets a doll, that doll will change hands about eight times in a year, from one child to another.


Everyday is Christmas in Indian Country. Daily living is centered around the spirit of giving and walking the Red Road. Walking the Red Road means making everything you do a spiritual act. If your neighbor, John Running Deer, needs a potato masher; and you have one that you are not using, you offer him yours in the spirit of giving. It doesn't matter if it is Christmas or not.


If neighbors or strangers stop over to visit at your house, we offer them dinner We bring out the T-Bone steak, not the cabbage. If we don't have enough, we send someone in the family out to get some more and mention nothing of the inconvenience to our guests. The more one gives, the more spiritual we become. The Christ Consciousness, the same spirit of giving that is present at Christmas, is present everyday in Indian Country.


Looks for Buffalo is an Oglala Sioux Spiritual Leader, the full-blood Oglala grandson of Chief Red Cloud and White Cow Killer, and a Cheyenne Oglala Leader. Sandie Lee Bohlig, spiritual healer, counsels and teaches around the globe.




No offense intended for any individuals or tribes.


A Bottle of Wine

Sally was driving home from one of her business trips in Northern Arizona when she saw an elderly
Navajo woman walking on the side of the road.  

As the trip was a long and quiet one, she stopped the car and asked the Navajo woman if she would like
a ride.

With a silent nod of thanks, the woman got into the car.

Resuming the journey, Sally tried in vain to make
a bit of small talk with the Navajo woman. The old woman just sat silently, looking intently at   everything she saw, studying every little detail, until she noticed a brown bag on the seat next to Sally.

"What in bag?" asked the old woman.  

Sally looked down at the brown bag and said, "It's a bottle of wine. I got it for my husband."    

The Navajo woman was silent for another moment or two.    

Then speaking with the quiet wisdom of an elder, she said:
"Good trade."




"I think there was a big mistake made (when)people separated religion and the government. That was one of the big mistakes that was made, because when they did that, then they removed the Creator from their life - or at least from half to three-quarters of their life." -Tom Porter, Mohawk

The Elders tell us that every thing the Creator made is interconnected. Nothing can be separated. The Elders say we should pray before we do anything, We should ask the Creator, what do You want us to do? We are put on the Earth to do the will of God. If we run our governments, communities, families or ourselves without the spiritual we are doomed to failure.

My Creator,
guide my life to include the
spiritual in everything I do.

By Don Coyhis







Wow!  The Women's Council has been busy this past month. 

  • A trip to Tahlequah, OK to attend a convention of flute players treated our members to an exciting event where they learned new techniques, met some beautiful people and just had fun.  Some took a side trip to tour the Cherokee Heritage Center and Museum.

  • Many members participated with several hundred people attending a Healing Retreat at Gulpha Gorge Campgrounds.  The Women performed beautifully! Manataka's Drum Circle won many praises and a new members too!

  • Members participated in a Blessing of the Land Ceremony at the Miller's.

  • The All-female Manataka Drum Circle had several practice sessions and welcomed a few new members.

The Manataka Women's Council 'Circle of Friends'; meets the first Saturday of each month at 11:30 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. Coffee is provided, food and other soft beverages are brought by individuals to share. Please remember to bring your drums or other musical instruments to meetings.


Regular Membership Meetings - Gulpha Gorge Campground, Hot Springs, AR
December 1 Gulpha Gorge Campground, Hot Springs, AR
January 5 Gulpha Gorge Campground, Hot Springs, AR
February 2 To Be Announced
March 1 To Be Announced


(When meetings are held at Gulpha Gorge please bring a lawn chair, something to drink, and a snack to share.)  Meeting are held at various locations during bad weather -


The Manataka Drum Society is growing with more singers joining.  Weekly practice sessions is where new songs, food and laughter are enjoyed by everyone.  Contact: Amanda Morningstar at:


Donations of nonperishable food items, toiletries, and bio-friendly cleaning supplies will be accepted and are greatly appreciated. Requests for assistance are year-round.  Please send or bring.


Please direct any questions our comments to Becky 'Flaming Owl Peacekeeper' Moore at


Join Us!






Legend of the Cherokee Rose

Three Versions

More than 100 years ago, the Cherokee people were driven from their home mountains when the white men discovered gold in the mountains of Tears.


Some of the people came across Marengo County in West Alabama.  It seems that after they had left the mountains, they came this far south so not have to climb more mountains.


It was early summer and very hot, and most of the time the people had to walk. Tempers were short and many times the soldiers were more like animal drivers than guides for the people.


The men were so frustrated with the treatment of their women and children, and the soldiers were so harsh and frustrated that bad things often happened.


When two men get angry they fight and once in a while men were killed on the trip. Many people died of much hardship. Much of the time the trip was hard and sad and the women wept for losing their homes and their dignity.


The old men knew that they must do something to help the women not to lose their strength in weeping. They knew the women would have to be very strong if they were to help the children survive.


So one night after they had made camp along the Trail of Tears, the old men sitting around the dying campfire called up to the Great One in Galunati (heaven) to help the people in their trouble.


They told Galunati that the people were suffering and feared that the little ones would not survive to rebuild the Cherokee Nation.


The Great One said, "Yes, I have seen the sorrows of the women and I can help them to keep their strength to help the children. Tell the women in the morning to look back where their tears have fallen to the ground. I will cause to grow quickly a plant. They will see a little green plant at first with a stem growing up. It will grow up and up and fall back down to touch the ground where another stem will begin to grow. I’ll make the plant grow so fast at first that by afternoon they’ll see a white rose, a beautiful blossom with five petals. In the center of the rose, I will put a pile of gold to remind them of the gold which the white man wanted when his greed drove the Cherokee from Their ancestral home."


The Great One said that the green leaves will have seven leaflets, one gor each of the seven clans of the Cherokee. The plant will begin to spread out all over, a very strong plant, a plant which will grow in large, strong clumps and it will take back some of the land they had lost. It will have stickers on every stem to protect it from anything that tries to move it away.


The next morning the old men told the women to look back for the sign from the Great One. The women saw the plant beginning as a tiny shoot and growing up and up until it spread out over the land.


They watched as a blossom formed, so beautiful they forgot to weep and they felt beautiful and strong. By the afternoon they saw many white blossoms as far as they could see.


The women began to think about their strength given them to bring up their children as the new Cherokee Nation. They knew the plant marked the path of the brutal Trail of Tears. The Cherokee women saw that the Cherokee Rose was strong enough to take

back much of the land of their people.









To Preserve Their Health and Heritage, Arizona Indians Reclaim Ancient Foods
By Jane E. Brody

Desert's bounty cuts overweight and diabetes

Both fruits and pads of the prickly pear cactus are rich in slowly absorbed soluble fibers that help keep blood sugar stable.

Going back to one's roots could soon take on a more literal meaning for the Indians of the American Southwest, as well as for peoples elsewhere in the world who are poorly adapted to rich, refined foods.

For the sake of their health, as well as their cultural heritage, the Pima and Tohono O'odham tribes of Arizona are being urged to rediscover the desert foods their people traditionally consumed until as recently as the 1940's.

Studies strongly indicate that people who evolved in these arid lands are metabolically best suited to the feast-and-famine cycles of their forebears who survived on the desert's unpredictable bounty, both wild and cultivated.

By contrast, the modern North American diet is making them sick. With rich food perpetually available, weights in the high 200's and 300's are not uncommon among these once-lean people. As many as half the Pima and Tohono O'odham (formerly Papago) Indians now develop diabetes by the age of 35, an incidence 15 times higher than for Americans as a whole. Yet, before World War II, diabetes was rare in this population.

Similar problems have been found among Australian aborigines, Pacific Islanders and other peoples whose survival historically depended on their ability to stash away calories in times of plenty to sustain them during droughts and crop failures. The Pima and Tohono O'odham Indians seem unusually efficient at turning calories to body fat; nutritionists say they gain weight readily on the kinds and amounts of foods people of European descent can eat with no problem.

One tablespoon of buds from the cholla cactus has as much calcium as eight ounces of milk. The buds are rich in soluble fiber that helps regulate blood sugar.







A Book Review by Doug George-Kanentiio
The Year of the Hangman: George Washington's Campaign Against the Iroquois
By Glenn F. Williams
Anyone familiar with the American Revolution knows that the Iroquois were  vital players in that war.   Its fighters were the best trained, most physically fit of any soldiers in North America.   They were highly trained, disciplined and skilled marksmen capable of amazing feats of physical endurance.   In close quarters they were without equal, capable of wielding tomahawk, knife and war club with devastating effectiveness.   The Iroquois were expert woodsmen, at ease on the vast forest of the Northeast.   They were trained to ignore hunger and pain.   They were masters of camouflage and ambush.   Although their numbers were but a few thousand they were able to compensate for this by the judicial use of selective terror.   Their war cries caused great fear in their opponents who were driven into a state of confusion and apprehension when they realized the Iroquois were preparing to strike.
These skills were critical as the Iroquois prepared to defend their homelands  against the settlers.   Twelve years prior to the outbreak of the Revolution  in 1775 the Confederacy had secured from Britain a royal proclamation which  outlawed intrusions by the colonies onto Native lands while setting in place formal procedures by which Indian nations could sell territory, an act which had
to be endorsed by the British government.
Upset that their territorial claims were being denied by the Crown the leaders of the colonies, most of whom were active land speculators, ignored the new laws and encouraged settlers to move westwards.  The Iroquois were placed in a precarious situation since they were expected to organize resistance to this activity.   On the eve of warfare the Confederacy made two treaties with the colonies which were supposed to guarantee its neutrality.   The Confederate leaders realized their involvement would tear them apart as their was considerable sympathy among the Oneidas and Tuscaroras for the rebels.
Not until 1777 did the Iroquois as a group take up arms and then only to beat back what they saw was an illegal military venture into their territory by  the Americans. At the Battle of Oriskany a force of Senecas and Mohawks almost  succeeded in annihilating a company of American soldiers sent into the western Mohawk Valley to relieve the garrison at Ft. Stanwix.   With minimal support  from their British allies the Iroquois set an ambush alongside of Oriskany Creek. When the fighting ended some hours later over 500 Americans were dead including a number of Oneida scouts.
After Oriskany the Iroquois turned their attention to the frontier settlements in New York State and Pennsylvania, destroying hundreds of farms, burning thousands of acres of crops and killing many hundreds of settlers.   An Iroquois force defeated the Americans at Wyoming Valley in eastern Pennsylvania and  wiped out a New York militia at Minisink in the Cherry Valley.
The Iroquois were also active in Ohio organizing resistance through its  alliance network with other Native nations.   The American rebels has serious cause  for alarm.   They realized that if the British were to be defeated they had  to either neutralize the Iroquois or secure its support.   Despite having a few small contingents of Oneidas and Tuscaroras the majority of the Iroquois felt  compelled to oppose what they saw as the most immediate threat to their  homes: the land hungry American colonies.
So bitter were the divisions among the colonists, as well as within the Iroquois Confederacy, that acts of terror, such as > the hanging of opponents, was commonplace, hence the name of the book.  

US General Washington was well aware of the effectiveness of Iroquois military strategy.   He knew the rebellious colonies could not sustain repeated attacks on those regions which provided his army
with much of its provisions.   He was also apprehensive about the British launching new invasions which, unlike Oriskany or Saratoga, would have the bulk of the Iroquois fighting forces becoming   actively engaged.   The decision to send General John Sullivan into Iroquois territory was a preemptive attack meant to break the back of the Six  Nations and deprive the British of their most
effective allies.
General Sullivan's expedition against the Iroquois was the largest and most significant US military venture of 1779. 

Consisting of over 3,500 troops the expedition was instructed by Washington to "lay waste all settlements that country may not only be overrun but destroyed."   Sullivan complied in a campaign similar to the invasions of Union generals Sherman and Sheridan against the South 85 years later. Scorched earth, like the US tactics in Vietnam, was believed to be the only means to defeat a guerilla army.
Sullivan succeeded in defeating the Iroquois at the Battle of Newtown, the  only pitched fight of his invasion. He torched over 40 Iroquois communities and  destroyed thousands of acres of crops. His casualties were minimal but he  failed to launch an attack at Ft. Niagara, a major center of operation for both Iroquois and British forces in the Northeast.   The winter of 1779-80 was among the most severe in memory during that time. Deprived of food and shelter hundreds of Iroquois died of starvation and exposure.   But their determination to carry the fight to the Americans was not lessened.   The next year the Iroquois attacked the frontier with passion and without mercy.
But in the end, the British will to continue the war was broken. After their defeat at Yorktown the British gradually diminished their support for military operations including reduced aide to the Iroquois.  The 1783 Treaty of Paris between the US and Britain brought hostilities to a close but neglected to offer any protection to the Iroquois. Veterans of the Sullivan's army were eager to snatch up vast tracts of Iroquois territory, a hunger which the Confederacy could not stop. Within the generation of "The Year of the Hangman" the Iroquois were confined to small reservations, beset by alcohol and fragmented beyond repair.
Williams' book fills many gaps in our understanding of this vital element of American history. He writes with precision as he explains in remarkable detail  about the events which led to the Sullivan Expedition as well as the tactics  and strategy used by the Iroquois throughout the war.  


He has a keen appreciation for the fighting abilities of the Iroquois and their skills as politicians. Williams understands the extremely difficult position the Iroquois were in at the outbreak of the Revolution and how the immense pressures brought to bear upon the Confederacy as both American and British agents sought to enlist the Iroquois in their respective military ventures.
Williams writes with skill and sensitivity.   He has produced a book which is a perfect compliment to Barbara Graymont's "The Iroquois in the American Revolution". "Year of the Hangman" is detailed,
comprehensive and well written. 

It is an exceptional book. As an Akwesasne Mohawk whose ancestors were heavily involved in the War I applaud Glenn Williams for this welcome contribution to our history.

Doug George-Kanentiio, Akwesasne Mohawk, is a co-founder of the Native American Journalists Association, a former member of the Board of Trustees for the National Museum of the American Indian and the editor of the news journal Akwesasne Notes. He is a columnist for News From Indian Country.


  • Publisher: Westholme Publishing
  • Pub. Date: June 2005


Hard cover Price:  $29.50


Soft cover Price:   $22.95





THE SAGA OF NOAH COLLINS by Jeremy Morningstar


This delightful story follows a twelve-year-old boy, Noah, in his struggles with the state foster care program. Noah, a non-Indian who is homeless, roams the mountains and forests of west central Wyoming. Noah is caught in a blizzard and takes shelter in a cave where is is found by a Native American man, Dave Morningstar, and taken to his home.


The Morningstar's have two children, Ricki and Carri, who teach Noah how to dance. He is placed with the Morningstar's in a foster program. He is enrolled and attends school on the Wind River River Reservation where he is the only non-Indian. He is urged to participate in the annual spring powwow with some opposition from a local bully. Noah thinks he has finally connected with a foster family.


Noah also thinks he will be moved soon because of the interest of a family services case worker. Follow Noah through his struggles with the state foster care program and his interest in Indian dancing.  Selected as a prize in the National Indian Youth Talent Contest.


Sale Price: $9.00 + s.h



Manataka Recommended Reading



1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus

Charles Mann

Knopf Publishing Group

Hardcover, 480pp  $26.95 + s/h


"In the last 20 years, archaeologists and anthropologists equipped with new scientific techniques have made far-reaching discoveries about the Americas. For example, Indians did not cross the Bering Strait 12,000 years ago, as most of us learned in school. They were already here. Their numbers were vast, not few. And instead of living lightly on the land, they managed it beautifully and left behind an enormous ecological legacy. In this riveting, accessible work of science, Charles Mann takes us on an journey of scientific exploration. We learn that the Indian development of modern corn was one of the most complex feats of genetic engineering ever performed. That the Great Plains are a third smaller today than they were in 1700 because the Indians who maintained them by burning died. And that the Amazon rain forest may be largely a human artifact. Compelling and eye-opening, this work will vastly alter our understanding of our history and lands."  By Peter Johnson.


A groundbreaking study that radically alters our understanding of the Americas before the arrival of the Europeans in 1492.

Traditionally, Americans learned in school that the ancestors of the people who inhabited the Western Hemisphere at the time of Columbus's landing had crossed the Bering Strait twelve thousand years ago; existed mainly in small, nomadic bands; and lived so lightly on the land that the Americas was, for all practical purposes, still a vast wilderness. But as Charles C. Mann now makes clear, archaeologists and anthropologists have spent the last thirty years proving these and many other long-held assumptions wrong.

In a book that startles and persuades, Mann reveals how a new generation of researchers equipped with novel scientific techniques came to previously unheard-of conclusions. Among them:

• In 1491 there were probably more people living in the Americas than in Europe.
• Certain cities- such as Tenochtitlán, the Aztec capital- were far greater in population than any contemporary European city. Furthermore, Tenochtitlán, unlike any capital in Europe at that time, had running water, beautiful botanical gardens, and immaculately clean streets.
• The earliest cities in the Western Hemisphere were thriving before the Egyptians built the great pyramids.
• Pre-Columbian Indians in Mexico developed corn by a breeding process so sophisticated that the journal Science recently described it as "man's first, and perhaps the greatest, feat of genetic engineering."
• Amazonian Indians learned how to farm the rain forest without destroying it- a process scientists are studying today in thehope of regaining this lost knowledge.
• Native Americans transformed their land so completely that Europeans arrived in a hemisphere already massively "landscaped" by human beings.

Mann sheds clarifying light on the methods used to arrive at these new visions of the pre-Columbian Americas and how they have affected our understanding of our history and our thinking about the environment. His book is an exciting and learned account of scientific inquiry and revelation. 


List Price: $32.95 + s/h

Sale Price: $25.95







CP560 -

Huge Resource. This monumental volume explores, explains, and honors the healing practices of Native Americans throughout North America, from the southwestern U.S. to the Arctic. Designed for ease of use with maps, a detailed subject index, extensive bibliography, and cross references, this book is sure to fascinate anyone interested in Native American culture and heritage. Illustrations, maps. Paperback: 373 pages; 88" x 10.26" x 7.28"  ON SALE! Was $33.95  Now only $23.95 + s/h


This monumental volume explores, explains, and honors the shamanic healing practices of Native Americans throughout North America. From the Southwestern United States to the Arctic Circle.

Healing traditions in Native American cultures offer a glimpse into a rich and varied world of belief systems and spiritual practices. Covering over 350 years of history. More than 1200 entries in this book introduce readers to renowned Native American healers and to the societies and divisions into which healers were categorized. It describes sacred objects used in healing rituals and how such objects were used, as well as plants used to increase healing powers. Types of healing ceremonies are vividly pictured, and the symbolic motifs used in healing rituals are explained along with the major concepts that formed the many diverse Native American healing traditions. Major scholars of native american healing are introduced, complete with firsthand accounts of their experiences. Entries include:

Helika, the form of supernatural power used by Kwakiutl Shamans for curing. Naitulgai, the Wailaki dream doctors who cured by singing healing songs shown to them in dreams. Aenichit, a powerful Clayoquot Shaman who healed the sick and was known to lift liquid water out of a bucket as though it were frozen.

Designed as an easy to use, comprehensive synthesis of centuries of study, with maps, a detailed subject index, an extensive bibliography, and cross-references, this book will fascinate anyone interested in Native American culture and heritage.

William S. Lyon is a professor of anthropology at the Center for Religious Studies at the University of Missouri, Kansas City, and the author of Black Elk: The Sacred Ways of a Lakota.



ON SALE! Was $33.95 

Now only $23.95 + s/h



Voice of the Hawk Elder

by Edna Gordon, edited by Harvey Arden


"This book is dedicated to my People, the Seneca Nation, to our kindred Peoples of the Haudenoshaunee, or Six Nations Iroquois Confederacy, to all the Indian Nations of Great Turtle Island, and to  all other Indigenous Peoples around this Mother Earth.  I send it out like an arrow of love from my heart to YOUR hearts!


If  other folks want to read it too, why, that’s fine by me. Might be you even learn something! This book is FULL of secrets for those who understand'm! But always remember, the BIGGEST secret is Creation itself!


YES, THIS IS MY VOICE. These are my words. My good friend Harvey [Arden] has helped me sort and arrange them, like he’s done for lots of good people over the years, even back when he worked at National Geographic. He fixes my spelling and spruces up my grammar here and there, though I tell him, not too much, Harvey! I want folks to know who I am and how I really talk and what I’m really like. Don’t make me some saintly old lady come down from Heaven on a moonbeam spoutin’ high-flown words.


Me, I’m just me, Grandma Edna Gordon, Hawk Clan Elder of the Seneca Nation, Six Nations Iroquois. I just turned 85, and am tryin’ my darndest to be a good person. Sometimes I succeed, but don’t stay around me when I get mad! I’m a raging hawk.


People’mselves aren’t holy. But what they do can be holy. Living a holy life, that’s what life’s for. Helping others, fighting injustice, standing up for the People—those are holy things to do.  But always be sure to remember, it ain’t you yourself who’s holy. People are just people. If God’d wanted’m to be holy, he’d have given’m wings and set’m up on a cloud somewhere playin’ a big gold harp.


ISBN: 0975443712; ISBN-13: 9780975443712, Paperback.  Publisher: Have You Thought Price: $21.95 







Santa Clause Is An Indian!
By Helen Red Wing Wagner-Vinson
 Santa Clause is an Indian just like me.
 Santa Clause is an Indian and lives in a tipi.
Now, if I was a Wannabee Indian,
 I'd wannabee Santa Clause who lives in a tipi.
But I am not a Wannabee, I want you to know
I am an Indian from my head to my toes,
And when you see me dancing on the ground
My moccasins are smokin' all around.
Santa Clause is an Indian just like me.
Santa Clause is an Indian and lives in a tipi.
Now if I was a Wannabee Indian,
I'd wannabee Santa Clause who lives in a tipi.
Santa brings gifts to all girls and boys,
 Fills their hearts with laughter and lots of joy.
When he comes to your house you will see,
Santa Clause is an Indian just like me.
Santa Clause is an Indian just like me.
Santa Clause is an Indian and lives in a tipi.
Now if I was a Wannabee Indian,
I'd wannabee Santa Clause who lives in a tipi.






Your body needs to be held and to hold, to be touched and to touch. None of these needs is to be despised, denied, or repressed. But you have to keep searching for your body's deeper need, the need for genuine love. Every time you are able to go beyond the body's superficial desires for love, you are bringing your body home and moving toward integration and unity.


~Submitted by Romaine Garcia




Prayer and ceremony work.  Creator heals and brings peace.




Crossing Over...


Major Fred Blue Eagle Wilson, (Canadian Mohawk) Passed away on Oct. 1, 2007. He was one of the Tuskegee Airmen from World War II.  Blue Eagle was a true hero.   Steve Roragen, Commando, Roanoke, VA  110-01-07


Rev. David Salmon (Fairbanks, AK) -- The first traditional chief for the Athabascan people of
the Interior died Thursday at his home in Chalkyitsik. Salmon was 95.   10-16-07


Vernon Bellecourt (WaBun-Inini) Anishinabe/Ojibwe Nation (Minnesota) Hailed as one of Indian's greatest champions, Bellecourt, 75, passed today.  Throughout his life he fought to preserve the integrity of indigenous people.  Vernon was principal spokesman for the American Indian Movement and a leader in actions ranging from the 1972 occupation of the Bureau of Indian Affairs in Washington to the 1992 Redskin Superbowl demonstrations. He was Co-founder and first Executive Director of the Denver AIM Chapter. His involvement at Wounded Knee in 1973 led to a Federal indictment. He was a special representative of the International Indian Treaty Council and helped organize the first Treaty Conference in 1974. He was jailed for throwing his blood on the Guatemalan Embassy to protest the killing of 100,000 Indians. He was elected to a 4-year term in his White Earth tribal government and developed a model program for the spiritual education of Indian prisoners. Vernon was President of the National Coalition on Racism in Sports & Media and recipient of the City of Phoenix, Martin Luther King Human Rights Award 1993. He is called one of the finest orators of his time.  Chief Xielolixii  10-13-07


Wari Martin, Mohawk (Akwesasne NY),  who used to own White Deer Trading Post in Cold Spring has passed on.

Roy Black Bear (NY) who used to own Black Bear Trading Post near Esopus has passed on.

Albert Brosius (TN) - I lost 1 friend to cancer this past week he died on the full of the moon at 4am. I thought is was a sad lost in my heart, but was happy it was on the moon. I don't think it could have been nothing but the best time for him to cross. Tsi Runninbear  09-01-07




Prayer Needed - Sickness, Injury, Troubles...


Ms. Van Lynch (Memphis, TN) Tennessee Indian Commissioner admitted to the hospital suffering from a heart attack and scheduled to undergo surgery. Send Smoke and Prayers for her.  At her age and condition this is risky. Write to her: Ms Van Lynch, Room 636, Methodist Hospital- Central University, 1265 Union Ave., Memphis, TN. 38104   Put her home address as the return address in case she is moved. That way, the card will go to her home. Her family will see to it that she gets it.
Ms. Van Lynch, 73 Baseline Rd., Dyer, TN. 38330 
Red Wing Vinson  11-17-07


Floyd Westerman (California) is alive and struggling for his life. He is at the Cedar Sinai hospital in southern California.  He is on life support and is showing signs of improvement with multiple health issues the main being he does have leukemia which is complicating his condition.  Please send prayers for his recovery.  Helen RedWing  11-08-07


Clover TwoBears Johnson. Suffered a mini-stroke in April of 2007 and diagnosed with Diabetes and MS. as well.  Duane (Lame Wolf) Rowland  11-01-07


3 Children Injured in Accident (Atkins, AR) A four-wheeler with three 10-year-old children ran into the path of a pick-up truck on October 24 and were seriously injured.  Please pray for these children, their families and my brother, Chuck who was driving the pick-up truck.  10-27-07  Cheryl Wilkinson  


MacKenzie Reed (Lehighton, PA)   My 10-pound great granddaughter is again in the hospital.  He feeding tube gave her a serious, life-threatening staph infection.  She is receiving Healing Bear medicine.  Please offer up a tobacco offering for MacKenzie.  Carol elsi Spirit Dove Henderson 10-9-07


Shanan (FL) I wrote last week telling the good news that she is now cancer free, but she is back in the hospital!  Her  mother is a breast cancer survivor and on and off chemotherapy.   Her parents are my elders. Thank you one and all. Gram Selma 10-08-07


Bernard Belvin Jr. (TX)  Has been given a "Clean Bill of Health" -- No sign of cancer now Prayers offered up the Creator heard and answered.. I know the prayers from the Mountain and other places were heard.  Thank You God and the People of Manataka Red Wing 10-04-07


Clover. Diagnosed with having a mini-stroke in April and then diabetes, type 2 and M.S. I will also offer prayer for all here.  ~Duane Rowland  09-01-07





In Memory of Corbin Harney

Corbin Harney Spiritual Leader of the Western Shoshone Nation who dedicated his life to fighting the nuclear testing and dumping.  He loved and cared for his family, friends and all creation.


In Memory of Granny Messenger

She had over 1,000 grandchildren but never a child. Her memory will live with us forever.  Anonymous Contributor  


In Memory of Lance Selvidge

Webster’s definition of a Martyr:  1:  A person who voluntarily suffers death as the penalty of witnessing to and refusing to renounce a belief.  2: A person who sacrifices something of great value, especially life itself for the sake of principle.  Lance, we are all better because you walked this world, we will all become better because you look back with eyes from the angels world. Thank You.  The Selvidge Family. Little River Rock.


In Memory of Ruby Gilliham

We will always remember this gracious and beautiful woman in our hearts.  She will remain a part of Manataka forever - Standing Bear.  Greg Gilliham, Little Rock




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. 





Manataka Seeks Grant Writer

A wonderful lady who has experience and good spirit has volunteered to be a grant writer for Manataka.  We still need at least one more. 


MAIC has several worthwhile projects that are severely under-funded.  Two of the projects are of unique design and proven effectiveness.  For the past 12 years, all programs and services were self-funded by members and supporters and we have not applied for financial assistance.  The worthiness of these programs requires more funds than can realistically be provided by individual contributions.  Experienced grant writers please contact:  


Manataka Seeks Advisory Board Members

Elders approved a motion to establish an Advisory Board who will research and develop recommendations to the Elder Council.  MAIC specifically seeks educators, attorneys, accountants, business leaders and other professionals to join the MAIC Advisory Board.  Please contact:





The November meeting was held on the 18th and started at 9:30 a.m.  All elders were present and a quorum was declared by the chair.  An invocation was give by David Quiet Wind Furr.       



  • Elder Council Appointments - One individuals were discussed 

  • Discussion on the Past Fall Gathering and Upcoming Spring Activities

  • Event Ceremony Protocols - Ceremonies in the Sacred Circle to be led by Patty Blue Star.    

  • Manataka invitation with US Congressional representatives

  • Manataka trademark registration progress report  

  • Elder Council Organization  

 Tabled Discussions and Motions:

  • MASELA (Manataka Ambassador to Spiritual Elders of Latin America) Project.  

  • Asset Acquisition project - Manataka American Indian Cultural Center.

Approved Motions: 

  • The December Spirit Keeper Award will be awarded to:  Amanda Morningstar Moore

Rejected Motions:







Next meeting to be held December 16, 2007 starting at 9 a.m. hosted by Becky Moore.


Meeting adjourned at 11:30 a.m.


A detailed report was delivered during the regular membership meeting held on the same date. 




NOTICE 1:    ELDER COUNCIL POSITION FILLED:  A formal announcement of selection Robert King Gray Hawk King and induction ceremonies were held July 15.   


NOTICE 2:     ELDER COUNCIL ADVISORY BOARD:  We are excepting nominations for five (5) positions on the Elder Council Advisory Board.  We are specifically looking for candidates in these fields:  Accounting, Business, Education, Law and Social Services.  Positions are not limited only to these fields.  Members are expected to donate 5-10 hours per month. Members of the Advisory Board are paid a stipend and travel expense to annual meetings.  


NOTICE 3:    FOOD BASKETS 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 each month at Gulpha Gorge.  In case of inclement weather (rain, sleet, snow, below 40 degrees) we meet Ryan's Restaurant located at 4538 Central Avenue across from Hot Springs Mall.


Gatherings are normally held on the 3rd weekend of June (closest to the Summer Solstice) and the 3rd weekend of October (closest to the Winter Solstice).  The date of the Spring Encampment varies from year to year. 


NOTICE 5:    WOMEN’S COUNCIL MEETINGS - 11:30 a.m., 1st Saturday each month.  Contact: Becky Moore


Now is a good time to support the many programs, services and events of MAIC. We can always use a donation. Pay by check or credit card online. It's easy, secure and fast!   Click Here  Or send to: MAIC, PO Box 476, Hot Springs, AR 71902


1.  15 - 30 gallon plastic storage boxes with lids.


2.  LAND -  Donate land to be used as financing leverage for to build a cultural center. Any size/location is acceptable. Tax benefits may apply.


3.  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.




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


Lee Standing Bear Moore

MAIC Correspondents:

Jennifer Attaway, Alabama

Sheri Burnett, Georgia

Crystal Harvey, Arkansas

Carol Henderson

Hawk With Seven Eyes Hoffman, Illinois

Grandmother Selma, Florida

Bennie LeBeau, Wyoming

Julie Maltagliati, Florida

Magdala, Arkansas

Bobby Joe Runninbear, Tennessee 

Helen Red Wing Vinson, Tennessee

Liora Leah Zack, California

Paula Unega Ulogidv Phillips, Arkansas

Waynonaha Two Worlds


Susan Bates, Missouri

David Cornsilk, Oklahoma

Don Coyhis

Andrea Crambit, California

Bonnie Two Owl Feathers Delcourt, New Hampshire 

Valerie Eagle Heart

Maxine Elisi Swan Dancer Fulgham

Romaine Garcia, Colorado

John James, Arkansas

Mark and Carla Maslin, New Mexico

Elaine Nowell, Mississippi / Arkansas

Corina Roberts, California

Scott Treaty

Linda VanBibber, Missouri




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