Manataka American Indian Council                      Volume XII  Issue 1 JANUARY 2008


Manataka - Preserving The Past Today For Tomorrow 






Legends of Old: Coyote Gets Rich Off The White Men - Apache
Feature Story: What Does Sacredness Mean?

Letters to the Editor:

Hunting Principals. Bent Trees, Lots of Tears

Organic Consumers: Flash Back of 2007
Elder's Meditations: John (Fire) Lame Deer, Rosebud Lakota

Member Recognition:

Members In The News:

Linda Bear Heart Woman Speaks VanBibber

Bobby Joe Runninbear

Health: Natural Headache Remedies
Herbal and Plant Medicine: Wild Iris - Purdy's Iris
Fluoride: Skull and Cross Bones
Animal Rights and Wrongs: A

Environmental Species Act at Risk of Extinction!

Endangered Sacred Sites: Threat To NAGPRA




Coyote Gets Rich Off The White Men

White Mountain Apache

Once when Coyote was visiting various camps, he and Bobcat heard about a white man who was making some whiskey. They went together to the man's house and managed to steal some, and after they had run a short distance with it,  they stopped to drink.

Then Coyote said, "My cousin, I feel so good, I'd like to holler!"

"No, we're still close to those white men," Bobcat said. "I won't holler loud, cousin," Coyote said. They kept arguing and drinking. Finally Bobcat said, "All right then, holler quietly."

Coyote intended to holler softly, but before he knew it he got carried away and was hollering as loud as he could. Now the white men heard the noise and headed right toward him. Bobcat had enough whiskey in him to feel good, but Coyote was really drunk. When the white men surrounded them Bobcat got up and sailed over the nearest man with one jump. In a second jump he leaped over all the rest and got away. So they arrested Coyote and took him in chains to the town jail.






What does sacredness mean?

Why are we sacred?

By Brad Stone - Brown Spotted Eagle


To me, I believe we are sacred. I feel this way because of the great things we can do as human beings. We are all spirits in the human form. Our spirit can travel and help us out greatly in our existence. We have the power to shine our brightness in such healthy, helpful, loving ways that that itself is a medicine. We can help each other to feel so full of life and happy to be alive. But because it is something that is not shared or practiced or believed in as much as it use to be, we can tend to not view ourselves in that way.


I am beginning to understand the power of believing that we are sacred beings, therefore every moment can be viewed as sacred. Or I guess there are possibilities every day to leave behind moments that can be regarded and remembered as sacred. Like a tree we can continue to grow even just a little each day. To consider ourselves as sacred is also respecting this spirit we are, and the spirits around us, which leads to respecting our body and mind. And when we can respect ourselves, we are able to express respect for others a whole lot easier.


We are sacred because of the life we are given. We are able to talk, think, love, help, learn, listen, understand, share, create, grow and live. When we do not view ourselves as or believe we are sacred then we may start to think of ourselves and what we are in a disrespectful way. When we happen to do that we can lose sight of the purpose we have and the gifts we have within us. In ceremonies it is in the understanding of the meaning of the ceremony.


To me sacredness means believing that you are worthy of doing good things and have a purpose in this world and creation. It means understanding that we have helpers in the spirit world that watch over us and help to guide us to be able to help while we’re alive on Mother Earth. We have the opportunity to leave behind a beautiful trail. We can think positive thoughts and feel positive feelings and therefore create and radiate positive energy.


When we leave from this world and return back to the spirit world, the physical capsule we are given is left on this world to return back to our mother, Mother Earth. And then we can no longer even lift a finger to help out in the physical form. So that is why we should do what we can today. I do not have a clue as to what happens when we are no longer in the physical form. I have come to the understanding that our spirit returns to where it came from.


So when we view life and living as how sacred it can be and how much of a sacred relationship we can have with ourselves then we are able to believe in ourselves and live free from fear. Fear can cripple us, it can put a complete stop to the things we may feel in our heart that we want to do with our lives and within our lifetime. We are sacred. Just believing that is the key.


Now I can see why it is the late elder Maurice Royal said to us in the sweat lodge, “Give the world your best and the best will come back”. If we continue to think, practice, and live in a sacred manner or with a sacred understanding to the reality of the connection we have to Creator and the spirits, then that is what we give the world. The energy we put out into the universe is destined to return to us for we are the one who emitted and expressed that energy.


Because then we get a taste of what it is we are giving to the world.  And Creator and the ancestors see what kind of energy we are putting out into this world. If we are happy and love the life we are given each day then happiness and love comes back to us. If we choose to be bitter, angry at the world, and unhappy then that is what will come our way.


We can choose to change the course of what comes our way or how life unfolds by what we put out into the universe. If we live with a way of thinking that is of a sacred manner then I believe we begin to receive guidance that helps to foster, nourish and develop that way of thinking and living. We can be our own Healer. We each have medicine. We all have love, and are all beautiful. It is up to us to understand how sacred we can be and are. We cannot change bodies, or live in another time; we are here on this earth at this time for a reason.


The opportunity to learn is always present, so the opportunity to grow is possible every moment. We are of goodness. When we love our lives, Creator and the spirits let us feel how lovely life can be. So that is why I feel we should do our best to respect this body we are, the mind we have to create and the spirit we have that can and does guide us in a direction of love, truth and happiness. Life on this earth is temporary, so why not think of ourselves as sacred beings?


For we can make and leave such a positive difference to, and for, all those around us. Our energy can shine like the sun, and brighten up those around us. Love of life and respect for the well-being of others always seems to be noticed.

Brown Spotted Eagle (Brad Stone)







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.


Hunting Principals



Thank you so much for your good webpage about deer hide tanning.  I am white with a tiny bit of Iroquois, and I teach my children that our Iroquois ancestry demands us to be good hunters, with good spirits.  We practice the points you make, waiting until the best food deer comes and offers its body, rather than taking the braggart’s buck.  We ALWAYS kneel and offer thanks to the creator, thanks to the deer’s spirit, and a prayer to guide the soul of the deer home.  And we try to use as much as we can and learn how to use more as time goes by. Your site is fantastic in all the different ways to tan.  We will try the brain tan method- it uses what is given instead of pollution-ridden, petroleum-influenced factory  chemicals.


It is so good to see your influence and philosophy on a Google search come up on the first page.  Maybe some who are at the brink of being good stewards of the God’s bounty will learn to incorporate these principles into their hunting, and maybe into their lives.


I will have my kids come look at your site, and help them learn the old ways, to bring us back to some sanity in today's insane world.  We’ll use technology and western culture to return to Turtle Island.


Tony Powell, R.S.

Senior Health Environmentalist

Northern Kentucky Health Department


Bent Trees are "Thong Trees" 



I read the letter asking about bent trees. These trees are called "Thong Trees" and there are many such trees still in existence. They were used to point travelers toward water or shelter and did not take long to construct. A young sapling was bent at a 90 degree angle and secured by a thong staked into the ground. A second thong (or vine) was tied near the top of the tree and then fastened to the trunk to pull the tree upwards again. The trees then grew in this awkward formation and remained as markers for generations to come. I have seen quite a few of these large bent trees in my life time. There is or was a good example of one at Grand Gulf State Park near Thayer, MO.

Susan Bates

Yep, Here's Another Bent Tree Letter

Greetings Manataka: 


The bent tree phenomena is common in nature and it is caused when a tree, usually a young one, is bent to the ground by wind or heavy snow or ice or a tree branch falls on it.  Since the tree cannot straighten itself but needs to grow upward toward the sun, it gradually curves and produces the “elbow” shape.  Frequently such bent trees are noted at the top edge of a cliff or bluff but may occur just about anywhere.  I have one on our deck that I intentionally planted in a horizontal position so it would bend and grow vertical producing an ornamental plant somewhat like “bonsai”.


I always think of this as natures way of telling us that when you get knocked down you can always get back up and work your way back to the light.


Best wishes,


Matthew P. Maley


More Bent Tree Markers...




I follow the old ways.  I know from many years of research and spirit work that (Ce'Ha' Tanka) bends trees for his own reasons.  Some believe it is a warning of his territory - Sasquatch / Big Foot)  Others believe it is a doorway portal.  If you look up legends about the (BIG) man, "He can glide through the tree's like a moose with no sound at all" Pete Catches, Lakota Sioux.


Harold GreyWolf Will

Oh My Gosh... Another Bent Tree Letter!

Hey Manataka,


I think I have an idea about how these marker trees might have come about. There is a tree by the side of the road on my way to work. it is planted in a ditch and has grown up the side of a small upgrade.  Then it twisted back a little.  It is a small tree, about 2' in diameter or so.  But I was thinking, you know, if we were to have some really, really heavy erosion, the bank would be gone, and there you would have a bent tree just like the trail marker ones, then it would try to grow toward the sun more, and be bent even more.   Hmmmm...


C. Estes

Lots of Tears From Down Under...


Hello from my heart beloved sacred brothers and sisters at Manataka.  Wow!!!!!!!!! what a wonderful December newsletter filled with so many things that really touched me and/or taught me.  I loved the Grandmother stories, they were simply amazing and I feel such a deep connection with them.

And then to see that Amanda Morningstar received such a high accolade for her contributions to Manataka - Fantastic!  Congratulations Amanda.  How very well you earned this award!

Then I got to the Fall Gathering Story by Linda Van Bibber.  Phew did those tears flow when I read all of her recollections.  Her walk up the sacred mountain itself is a feat of honouring and Spirit.  Then I read about the Making of Relatives and the Naming Ceremonies and to see my new name there - lots of tears then too. Thank you!


Lynn Guy, Australia

Protesting Fluoride

Hello Manataka,

My name is Richard Montei.  I have live in Chicago all my life.  I first heard of fluoride when I was 14.  I was told it was good for my teeth.  I was told that anyone who opposed fluoride was wrong.  40 years later, I know I was not told the truth.


It is my opinion that public water systems are being fluoridated to make you passive.  Once, we had the spirit to oppose the Viet Nam War.  Our water was fluoridated right after that, and now we sit and watch television, instead of actively opposing the Iraq war. 


I cannot tell you exactly what to do, but I know in this country, letter writing and appeals to Congressmen and the news media will not be enough.  Black people kept the pressure up in protests and riots to make their gains.  Gay people never stopped their pressure until they had meaningful legislative change.


You may have to take your protest to other parts of the country.  I think you would find more supporters than you realize.  I am now in my fifties, but if you march in Chicago against fluoride, I will join you.

Richard Montei






Welcome to our special annual "Flashback" issue of Organic Bytes. Thanks to you and others in our network, 2007 was a very successful year in our ongoing campaign for health, justice and sustainability.  Below are a few samples of OCA successes.  To read them all go to:

Dozens of the candidates who took part in the Organic Consumer Fund's "Candidate Survey" won their campaigns and were sworn into office in January. OCF's survey ranked candidates based on how they answered questions related to health, justice, and sustainability. Thanks to all of you who are "pressing the politicians" and helping to move public policy in an organic and healthy direction. Learn more:


In another major victory, a Federal Court ruled that the USDA had illegally approved the sale of genetically engineered alfalfa for 2007, without adequate environmental impact studies. Echoing complaints by the OCA, a California judge said approval of Monsanto's perennial alfalfa has a high potential of destroying non-GMO and organic alfalfa farms and banned their release.


Although the USDA had previously proposed that the offspring of cloned animals could be considered "organic", after being flooded with complaints from organic consumers, the USDA's National Organic Standards Board voted 12-0 to ban foods from cloned animals and their progeny from the organic market.


Throughout 2007, OCA mobilized a growing boycott against a network of factory farms misleadingly labeling their dairy products as "organic." We've shown consumers how to avoid these products in stores, and many co-ops and retail outlets have discontinued carrying Horizon or Aurora products as a result. In October OCA mobilized hundreds of consumers in over 27 states to launch a class action lawsuit against Aurora Organic Dairy. OCA is confident that the boycott and litigation will deter unethical "organic" companies from following in the footsteps of Horizon and Aurora.


Since its founding, OCA has worked hard to drive Monsanto's recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone (rBGH) out of U.S. dairy production. In 2007, a record number of dairy producers and retailers announced they are going rBGH-free. Reacting to consumer rejection of rBGH, the Monsanto pressured state agriculture departments to ban rBGH labeling of products so consumers wouldn't be able to choose rBGH-free products. In November, the OCA alerted Organic Bytes readers that the Pennsylvania Agriculture Department (PDA) was moving to ban rBGH labeling of dairy products from 16 companies. Market analysts predicted that once Pennsylvania successfully banned such labeling, other states would likely follow. Thanks to a massive outcry from the public, Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell intervened on the issue and is stopping the implementation of the rule. This battle is now spreading to other states.

This article is brought to you by ORGANIC BYTES, from Organic Consumers Assoc. 






"Love is something that you can leave behind you when you die. It's that powerful."
-John (Fire) Lame Deer, Rosebud Lakota

The Old Ones say, love is all anyone needs. Love doesn't go away nor can love be divided.  Once you commit an act of love, you'll find it continues. Love is like setting up dominos one behind the other. Once you hit the first domino, it will touch the second one which will touch the third one and so on. Every love act or love thought has an affect on each person as well as touching the whole world. If you live a life filled with love, the results will affect your friends, relatives and other people, even after you go to the other side. So... Love.

My Creator, let me love.

Let me put into action

the love dominos.

By Don Coyhis






Manataka "Spirit Award"

for exemplary volunteer service to the organization and community, this months'

award by unanimous decision of the Elder Council goes to the following member:



Linda Bear Heart Woman Speaks VanBibber has been a member of Manataka since February, 2002 but  came to the sacred mountain for gatherings and other events for awhile before she decided to join.  Linda is from Independence, Missouri, and holds responsible positions as an Dircetor of Marketing for a Kansas City, Missouri company where she has worked for 22 years. Currently heads up the Manataka Public Relations - Communications Committee. 

Linda "Bear Heart Woman Speaks" VanBibber has been a life-long student of world religions and indigenous cultures. She was ordained to the Gnostic preisthood in 1986, after completing course work for a double major in English and Humanities/Philosophy at Northwest Missouri State University. She continued her education as a Judaic Studies major at University of Missouri at Kansas City. Linda has studied African religion in the diaspora in the Cuban and Brazilian traditions for over 20 years and applies the spiritual technologies of these systems in her work for her family and friends. 

She is currently working on a series of Orixa paintings which will be offered for sale to support social services in Bahia, Brazil.  Linda is also a member of the National Center for Indigenous Peoples at Line Creek which works to preserve local sacred land and the Heart of American Indian Center.  A member of Manataka since 2002, Linda strongly believes that the answers to the illnesses inherent in modern societies are to be found in the earth-centered traditions of indigenous peoples world-wide.  Linda is also a long-standing member of Women of the Drum, a Kansas City-based Afro-Brazilian drum group well known in the area for their performances at fundraising and awareness events.

Linda impresses everyone she meets.  At first, people love the way she listens.  She hears not only the words people speak, but the way they speak them and the intent of their heart.  This great quality allows her to gently and graciously give honor and respect to the individual -- to know not only the outside of a person, but the spirit of the individual is recognized. 

Linda Bear Heart is a thinking person.  She deeply analyzes situations and issues and quickly responds with a loving suggestion or plan for improvement.  Linda is a tidy person.  She knows how to organize projects and finds the most efficient way to utilize time, people and resources.  Linda is smart -- not just intelligent in academic since, but she is 'street smart' and has a vast well of "knowing" that comes from her acute awareness of all things around her.

Most of all, Linda (also known as Lylah) is all about love.  She is a deeply spiritual person with deep convictions and faith.   She worships and prays, studies and meditates.  She honors and respects all Creation.   She is a true Manataka warrior.


Nominate someone you know who walks the path.

Spirit Award Nomination  


Manataka Members In The News


Healing Comes In Many Forms


Many readers will recall Bobbi Joe Runninbear received the coveted Manataka Spirit Award awhile back.  As Membership Coordinator, he works hard for Manataka members and volunteers many hours giving of himself to the people.  During a recent email chat with one of our volunteers, Runninbear timidly revealed something about himself that deserves to be retold.   This story has a powerful ending and a beautiful new beginning.  Bobbie Joe writes:





"I have a story for you.  In February, 2007 I went over the pond to do some mending.  I went to a lot of placein Asia.  One of them was Viet Nam.  I wanted to tell the people there I was sorry for what I had done many years ago during the war.


The people there were so forgiving and placed no blame on me. They shared a meal with me and I left mixed up.  I wanted them to be mad at me, to cuss me and hit me.  I thought they might even shoot me.  Instead the beautiful Vietnamese people just showed me love. It made me cry.  


Still today it makes me want to cry when I think of them being such a happy people. That is something I never saw so many years ago.


After leaving Vietnam, I went to China -- another great beautiful place.  I went to a volcanic lake. They had this water system running thru some bamboo from the top of a crater peek to the ground below.  It was called "holy water" by the Buddhist monks.


Most of my life I have been color blind and totally without color vision in my eyes.  Everything was always flat and gray or black or bright.  When I came to this water flowing down from the volcano, I washed my face and hands. Not thinking about much it at all.  Just washing my face and hands.  When I was done, I got a drink of water.


I left the place of the volcano to search for a stem cell medical treatment for my bad heart.  When I got there, the building had been blown up by the "New Order".  Not finding what I was looking for there, I went to Japan to meet with some friends.  I stayed with my friends a little while and we talked a lot about all the places in Asia I visited.  While there, my head began to feel numb and when I walked, I had to high steep because I could not tell where the ground was. So, back on a plane I went and headed for good old home.


I arrived back at the Knoxville airport and went to the parking lot to get my truck.  I was still feeling a bit light in the head. As I drove down the road on the way home, I kept seeing something in the seat beside me.  I did not know what it was at first, but then it hit me.  It was red!  I started looking around I could see green and a few other colors.  To my amazement my flat world became colorful! 


With my new vision, it was hard to pick things up at first because they now had depth. After a while, I told my children and some friends that I could now see colors and they were amazed. 


When alone, I wondered why the Chinese "holy water" had fixed my eyes so I could see color, but did not fix my bad heart.  I then came to the thought that the colors I am now seeing and the beauty they give makes my heart very happy.  What more can a man ask than to be happy?  Much Love your way.   Tsi,  Runninbear"



Moral of the Story:


The miracle of Runninbear's new color vision was caused not only by the power of the Chinese holy water.


The water may have been the physical instrument by which the Spirit moved, but what caused the miracle to happen began when he got on the plane with the intent of asking for forgiveness from his enemies.


With great courage, humility, respect and love, he flew into the unknown and met with his former enemies.


That is a true Manataka warrior.    






Natural Headache Remedies

©By Deborah S. Tukua


Many factors cause headaches: tension, sinus congestion, cafeine withdrawal, lack of sleep, constipation, food allergies and spinal misalignment. The most common headache cause, however, is attributed to tension.


If suffering from severe headaches, which require more than four painkillers a week, professional medical assistance is strongly recommended. For those with infrequent headaches, there are some natural remedies that often help:


  • Apply ice pack to neck and upper back for tension headaches caused by stress, worry, depression, anger or food allergies.

  • Make a cold herbal compress by wetting a cloth in ice-cold water or placing a damp cloth in the freezer for ten minutes. Add two drops of peppermint oil to the cloth and apply it to the painful area for 15 minutes.

  • Apply a hot water bottle, hot towel or heating pad to the neck and shoulders to relax tight muscles.

  • To relieve headache pressure and pain caused by sinus congestion have someone gently massage your shoulders and the back of your neck. This treatment often unblocks congestion in the sinuses.

  • Massage combined drops of peppermint oil and wintergreen oil into the temples and nape of the neck to relieve tension. Massage sinus region of the face to relieve sinus headaches. Keep salve away from the eyes.

  • Consume fiber daily to remove toxins from your system.

  • Soaking your feet in a footbath will divert the blood supply from your head to your feet. The water should be at a temperature of 95°F to begin with. Gradually add hot water to the foot basin until the temperature reaches 115°F. Soak feet for several minutes then pour in cold water until the water becomes lukewarm. Dry feet and put on wool or thick socks. Lie down for 15 to 20 minutes.

  • Herbs such as lavender, gingko biloba and feverfew may relieve headache pain. Feverfew should not be taken when pregnant. Discuss appropriate herbal treatments with your naturopathy professional.

©By Deborah S. Tukua




Wild Iris - Purdy's Iris
Contributed By: USDA, NRCS, National Plant Data Center

Warning: Fresh iris roots may be toxic.

Ethnobotanic: Iris makes some of the finest cordage.  The fibers are particularly strong, flexible, and fine like silk.  Only two fibers can be taken from each iris leaf margin.  Huge bunches of leaves were harvested in the fall and stored until needed.  Iris cordage was used for fishing nets, string, rope, snares, hairnets, and regalia.

The men knotted the fishing nets from iris fibers.  Animals were captured with iris rope.  A deer rope is nearly 20 feet long with a lasso at one end, and about half an inch in diameter.  A loop was set over a deer trail to catch the head or antlers.  Within the loop positioned over a trail a delicate network of the same material was spread to draw in the loop.  One Indian stated that "it takes nearly six weeks to make a rope twelve feet long."

In spite of the tremendous labor of preparing this material, the iris fiber was one of the most generally employed in northwestern California.   The threads and cords of this fiber were used to make fishing nets, camping bags and snares for catching game.  Since iris is fine and can be bent at sharp angles, it makes an excellent starting knot in coiled baskets. The Pomo Indians placed acorn meal in a shallow pit and covered the meal with
iris leaves before pouring water over the meal to leach out tannic acid.  The Monache and the Southern Yokuts in California make flour from iris seed. 

A poultice of the raw rhizome is especially effective against staph sores.  Used externally, iris is successfully used for infected wounds, ulcers, fistulas, and to take away freckles.  Only the dry root should  be used internally.  Iris is active as a cathartic; has a stimulating effect on the production of both pancreatic enzymes and bile; is a strong diuretic; and will stimulate both saliva and sweat.  This is a useful drug plant, but in general, should be used with care and preferably in combinations where less energetic plants form the bulk of a medicinal formula.









Submitted by Crystal Harvey, MAIC Correspondent

Fluoride Action Network



No offense intended for any individuals or tribes.



 Something to warm you up

Notes From An Inexperienced non-Native Chili Taster Named Frank visiting a Reservation:

"Recently I was honored to be selected as a judge at a Native American chili cook-off, because no one else wanted to do it. Also the original person called in sick at the last moment, and I happened to be standing there at the judge's table asking directions to the beer wagon when the call came. I was assured by the other two judges (American Indians) that the chili wouldn't be all that spicy, and besides they told me I could have free beer during the tasting, so I accepted. Here are the scorecards from the event:

Chili # 1: Muscogee Creek Monster Chili JUDGE ONE: A little too heavy on tomato. Amusing kick. JUDGE TWO: Nice, smooth tomato flavor. Very mild. FRANK: Holy smokes, what the fuck is this stuff? You could remove dried paint from your driveway with it. Took two beers to put the flames out. Hope that's the worst one. These hicks are crazy.

Chili # 2: Osage Afterburner Chili JUDGE ONE: Smoky (barbecue?) with a hint of pork. Slight Jalapeno tang. JUDGE TWO: Exciting BBQ flavor, needs more peppers to be taken seriously. FRANK: Shit! Keep this away from the children! I'm not sure what I'm supposed to taste besides pain. I had to wave off two people who wanted to give me the Heimlich maneuver. Shoved my way to the front of the beer line.

Chili # 3: Karuk Kaos Chili JUDGE ONE: Excellent firehouse chili kick. Needs more beans. JUDGE TWO: A beanless chili, a bit salty, good use of red peppers. FRANK: This has got to be a joke. Call the EPA, I've located a uranium spill. My nose feels like I have been snorting Draino. Everyone knows the routine by now and got out of my way so I could make it to the beer wagon. Barmaid pounded me on the back; now my backbone is in the front part of my chest.

Chili # 4: Shoshone Tasty Beans JUDGE ONE: Black bean chili with almost no spice. Disappointing. JUDGE TWO: Hint of lime in the black beans. Good side dish for fish or other mild foods, not much of a chili. FRANK: I felt something scraping across my tongue, but was unable to taste it. Sally, the bar maid, was standing behind me with fresh refills to save me the run.

Chili # 5: Lumbee Legal Lip Remover JUDGE ONE: Meaty, strong chili. Cayenne peppers freshly ground, adding considerable kick. Very impressive. JUDGE TWO: Chili using shredded beef; could use more tomato.
Must admit the cayenne peppers make a strong statement. FRANK: My ears are ringing, and I can't focus my eyes. I farted and four people behind me needed paramedics. The contestant seemed hurt when I told her that
her chili had given me brain damage. Sally saved my tongue by pouring beer directly on it. Sort of irritates me that one of the other judges asked me to stop screaming.

Chili # 6: Santee Sioux Screaming Sensation Chili JUDGE ONE: A mediocre chili with too much reliance on canned peppers. JUDGE TWO: Very Ho Hum, tastes as if the chef threw in canned chili peppers at the last moment. I should note that I am worried about Judge Number 3. He appears to be in a bit of distress. FRANK: You could put a grenade in my mouth and pull the pin, and I wouldn't feel it. I've lost the sight in one eye, and the world sounds like it is made of rushing water. My clothes are covered with chili which slid unnoticed out of my mouth at some point. Thank God! At autopsy they'll know what killed me. Have decided to stop breathing, too painful, not getting any oxygen anyway.

Chili # 7: Nipmuc Nerve Killer Chili JUDGE ONE: A perfect ending, this is a nice blend chili, safe for all, not too bold but spicy enough to declare its existence. JUDGE TWO: This final entry is a good, balanced chili, neither mild nor hot. Sorry to see that most of it was lost when Judge Number 3 fell and pulled the chili pot on top of himself. FRANK:  ------- (editor's note: Judge #3 was unable to report)





Environmental Species Act

at Risk of Extinction!

by Liora Leah Zack


Environmental Defense, a nonprofit organization working on behalf of preserving the Environmental Species Act, is asking for submissions of stories from supporters telling about their encounters with endangered species. Below is the story I submitted. Submit your own story to the Senate, and TAKE ACTION to save the ESA!

Brown Pelicans Make Comeback

I am 49 years old, and I have lived in Southern California my entire life. When I was a child, I would see brown pelicans flying overhead whenever I went on a school field trip to Los Angeles Harbor or a family trip to the beach. By the time I was a teenager, brown pelicans were not to be seen, having fallen victim to DDT and other pollutants.

Although the brown pelican is now making a comeback in California, I don't often see them at the beach and when I do, there are usually only one or two individuals at a time flying overhead.

This past summer, my 12 year old daughter and I were out in the water at Seal Beach. We were excited to see a large flock of these birds circling overhead. We took my daughter's boogie board and paddled out so we could get a better view. When we were some ways from shore, the only humans out so far, about five of the birds suddenly landed in the water, no more than 10 yards in front of us! Until then, neither of us had ever seen a brown pelican up close. I was astounded at how large the birds were. We watched for awhile, then my daughter wanted to move in closer to them, but I was concerned we would startle them into flight. At my daughter's urging, we paddled towards them slowly and quietly. When we got too close, the birds merely swam a little farther out. We continued to watch them until, suddenly, the birds took wing and rejoined the rest of the flock that, en masse, wheeled away.

Watching the pelicans, I felt truly blessed, and tears formed in my eyes to see these birds up close. Thanks to the Endangered Species Act, and the banning of DDT and other pesticides in the 1970's, these wonderful birds are still gracing our oceans today.






Threat To NAGPRA

Proposed federal rule threatens 2 decades of established law
US Department of Interior proposes upending 17-year-old policy

Washington, D.C. December 3, 2007 - The Society for American Archaeology (SAA) has condemned a proposed rule by the U.S. Department of Interior that would put in jeopardy the highly productive compromise that was reached when the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) was passed in 1990.

On October 16, 2007, the Department of the Interior published draft regulations that would destroy the use of cultural affiliation as the principle for repatriation decisions, which is at the core of NAGPRA and supported by seventeen years of hard work and effort by tribes, archaeologists, and museum personnel, and replace it with an undefined notion of "cultural relationship."

"The Department's proposed regulations have no basis in law or science and reflect an attempt to impermissibly legislate in a manner not prescribed by Congress. The adoption of the regulations as they stand
would force the NAGPRA process back to square one," said Dean Snow, president of SAA. "This ill-advised rule would irreparably diminish the archaeological record of the entire U.S. "The damage to some of our most
cherished institutions and the cost to science and the public is incalculable."

The Department's proposed rules alter the 1990 compromise between archeologists, museums, scientists, federal agencies and representatives of federally-recognized Native American tribes that resulted in passage

"The act represents a careful balance of multiple perspectives regarding human remains and objects," said Snow. "Over the last 17 years, tribes, museums, and federal agencies have developed relationships of trust and
mutual understanding of the law. The proposed rule effectively dismisses those hard-earned accomplishments."

NAGPRA requires federally-funded museums, universities, governmental agencies and similar institutions to transfer control of human remains, sacred or funerary objects, and other culturally important artifacts to
federally-recognized Native American tribes that demonstrate cultural affiliation.

NAGPRA represents a carefully-crafted compromise that has served to repatriate, protect, and preserve human remains for almost two decades, and forms a basis by which all entities involved in American archaeology
abide. Since NAGPRA was passed in 1990, thousands of human remains have already been repatriated to culturally affiliated tribes and more are in the process of repatriation.

The Department of Interior's proposed rule extends to the disposition of human remains that are culturally unidentified. Snow pointed out that the proposed rules would put museums in the uncomfortable and
inappropriate position of determining "Indianness" of claimants who are not federally-recognized and of weighing competing claims among federally-related, non-federally related, and non-Native American

The Department's proposed rule would apply to most of the nation's museums, universities, federal agencies, and could extend to medical specimens or forensic evidence collections whether they have Native
American human remains or not.

Submitted by Andre Cramblit
Indigenous News Network


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