Manataka American Indian Council        Volume XII  Issue 3  MARCH 2008



Manataka - Preserving The Past Today For Tomorrow








Upcoming Events: 


Elder's Meditation:

John Peters (Slow Turtle), Wampanoag
1 Website Updates: Lots of Great Stories


Feature Story 1:

If the Mind Forgets, the Blood Remembers


Mother Earth Watch:

Spirit Speaks: Gaia Will Endure







Grandmother Waynonaha:

Grandmother Selma:

Grandmother Carol Spirit Dove

Grandmother Carol:

Grandmother Magdala:

As Above So It Is Below

It is Odd

Rainbow Crow


About Spiritual Work

1 Tribal News:

Tribes Invited to Meet in Washington, DC

NDN Trust Fund Botched by U.S.

1 Education: Teaching About American Indians
1 Inspirational Thoughts:: Cherokee Rite of Passage

2 Legends of Old: Origin of the Ghost Dance
2 Feature Story 2: George Caitlin`s Creed


Letters to the Editor:

Likes and Dislikes...
2 Organic Consumer Watch: Dark Side of Ethanol and Biodiesel Subsidies
2 Elder's Meditations: Wallace Black Elk, Lakota

Member Recognition:

Becky Flaming Owl Woman Moore
2 Health:  Cloning of Animals for the Livestock Industry
2 Herbs: Sumac - Indian Medicine and Food
2 Fluoride: Fluoride-Gate, naming names at CDC
2 Animal Rights and Wrongs: A On Thin Ice
2 Endangered Sacred Sites: Ancestors Warehoused in UC Berkeley Mourned Yucca Mountain to Become a Nuclear Dump


Hill & Holler: The Caucus - Native American Gift
Announcement: Manataka Gathering Annoucement


History: Exemplar of Liberty:  Part 3 of a 15-part series


Grandfather Hawk Speaks:

Grandfather King Coke Speaks:

A Walk Back In Time
3 Feature Story 3::


Elder's Meditations: Leonard George, Chief Councilor


Women's Circle: Circle of Friends


Women's Council: Onondaga Nation Woman Gets UN Post


Food & Nutrition: Cherokee Bean Bread - tu-ya ga-du


Book Reviews: Four Books Ya Gotta Read...


Poetry Circle: Black Hawk


Inspirational Thought:: The Chamber of Justice


Healing Prayer Basket: Crossing Over, Sickness, and Memorials


Manataka  Business: Positive Moves Forward







Read details now







Feather Walker Flying to GoN

Halito and O'siyo it is Feather Walker here.   Is there anyone who'd like to go to the GoN with mama and I this year?  The Gathering of Nations Powwow is April 24- 26, 2008 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. 


Ticket prices are: $32.00 for a 3 day pass and $25.50 for a two day pass. Thursday only is $14.00 for Miss World Indian contest.  Friday is $17.00 and the big Saturday is $19.00. Last day to buy advance tickets online is April 10, 2008.



Southwest airlines is giving a discount on tickets.  You can reach them at 1800-IFLYSWA.  Frontier Airlines also offers a discount at $224.19 per person (coach). Amtrak train also gives a discount for GoN goers. Call 1-800- USARAIL.  RV Rentals: 888-438-7844

Car pool:

We have enough room in our van for 4 more people. We would like you to go with us and help drive our van. Leaving from Little Rock on April 22 and returning on April 28.  Email me if you want one of the seats and can help drive and share travel expenses.  We're gonna' have fun!


Quality Inn around $64.40. Hilton Garden Inn at $108.00 per night.  Hilton is $123.00.  Make reservations early!  Car rental starts at around $25 per day at Economy Car Rental.  There are others.

Next year, Manataka will participate in the Gathering of Nations not just observe.


Let's get excited!  It's POWWOW time!   Please let me know ASAP! 


Angela Feather Walker







It is a native tradition to sit in a circle and talk - to share what is in your heart." -John Peters (Slow Turtle), Wampanoag


The talking circle is also a listening circle. The talking circle allows only one person to talk at a time for as long as they need to talk. So much can be gained by listening. Is it a coincidence that the Creator gave us one mouth and two ears? The power of the circle allows the heart to be shared with each other. What

we share with each other also heals each other.  When we talk about our pain in the circle, it is distributed to the circle, and we are free of the pain. The talking circle works because when the people form a circle, the Great Mystery is in the center. 

My Creator,

give me the courage to share,

and the courage to listen.

By Don Coyhis






Book Reviews -- New!   Arts & Craft Books 
Cayenne Peppers - Emergency Uses    Buffalo, Bear, Deer Robes
Coyote Escapes An Imaginary Foe   New American Indian FLAGS
Exemplar of Liberty: Chapter 1   Native Remedies - 7 New for Children
Food For Thought - Diet   Owl Feather Creations
Minimizing the use of Medicines   Spiritual Path Books
Organic Bees Are Thriving   Women's Gifts
Scientific Journal Opposes Fluoride   NEW BOOKS
SOUL - Grandmothers Speak   Creators Code: Planetary Survival
Tribe's matriarchs speak to nation's past   Speak Cherokee Today!
    Book Reviews - Top NDN Books





American Indian Family Needed in Beirut, Lebanon


A tourist attraction located in Beirut, Lebanon seeks to engage a family of Native American Indians to serve as full-time interpretive exhibit guides and interpreters.  The family, wearing traditional regalia, will engage in cultural activities and life ways of the 1700-1800’s around a teepee lodge six days a week for one year.  Food, lodging and overseas transportation will be provided. Local ground transportation and a small weekly stipend will also be provided.  Please contact: Naim Boueri, Halabi Bldg. 2nd fl.0, Sami El Solh Street, Badaro, Beirut, Lebanon.


Advertise in the Manataka Want Ads

1" X 6" banner ad or text ad up to 500 characters at low rates.   Advertise for only month and a full year.





If the Mind Forgets, the Blood Remembers
By Kim Summer Moon Wilson

My dreams have been a powerful source of understanding and knowledge for me for over 20 years. During times of struggle and hardship, my dreams grow more intense and vivid with meaning. I often keep silence about my dreams because American culture views dreaming differently, and my dreams and visions of my ancestors are considered as superstition and therefore irrelevant.

My ancestors still speak to me in my dreams, and through my memories, including my great-grandmother, grandfather and my mother who crossed over years ago. They taught me that we take care of our own people, and that family looks out for each other regardless of circumstances, poor life choices or mistakes made - we don't leave our relatives to suffer alone.

American culture and society views family responsibilities differently, and I've been told by many to 'cut ties' and to go my own way, that my only obligation is to myself, my husband and my children - not to our extended families.


My mother often spoke of her relatives coming to her in dreams if she was neglecting their memories, if something was about to happen, or if they needed to tell her something. I experience the same thing. I've had many family members visit me in dreams. My mother comes to me frequently in my dreams, and I've often seen my grandfather, my great-grandmother, and others who crossed over many years ago. They are all still with me, and I dream them. Ancestry is not just blood - it is also about honor and respect for those who taught us how to walk in a good way. And it is very difficult to explain why I do what I do, when people want a reason only based on individual (‘me first’) priorities.

If we believe that our dreams are 'superstition' and 'irrelevant' in this fast-paced digital world of virtual realities, we can become more disconnected and the illusion of isolation grows stronger, as we let go of our old family relations.

I have searched for better ways to honor and respect my ancestors and their place in my daily life. I have found that a good way to do this is to take care of my relatives on this side. It seems that by caring for my elders still living on earth, I also show honor and respect to my elders who have crossed over.

My mother was the oldest, so she looked after everyone. Now I am the youngest adult and the only one left, and so it is my turn to look after my elders and do what I can to help, listen, comfort, and help them to plan for their futures.

It is our duty, it is our responsibility, it is the time to learn while there IS still time to learn, and it is a way to prepare for the future. Remembering beliefs and practices of my mother, my grandparents, and stories of my great-grandparents help me to reconnect with my heritage, and to keep our traditions and ways alive.

Every culture has its old traditions, and much of it has been left behind as being outdated, though it keeps our family ties strong and the blood thick. Even as blood mixes and blends with other cultures, it will stay thick and strong if old ways are maintained and practiced. And our traditions are not only physical practices, but deeper understandings of what family and ancestry can mean to us.

I've also learned that even if the mind forgets (or tries to) - the blood remembers.

I feel that my ancestors will continue to teach me good ways to honor all my relations in my life so that I teach our ways to my children, as I dream them also.

And so I have learned that my relatives that I take care of today, will one day be my ancestors visiting my dreams. Another lesson that I learned is that I will also be an ancestor some day, and to teach my children to respect all of their elders. My memory and mind must stay strong and I am working at this, because I've been telling my children the stories of our ancestors, as my grandfather told them to me. I must remember his words and his stories, and I must remember my mother's words and her stories. There is no one else to tell the stories but my one aunt, and she doesn't often tell stories. But when she does, I try to listen carefully to her words to remember her stories also. In my memories there is a rich tapestry being woven of our family stories and heritage, our histories and journeys - it is all being collected in my heart for future generations.






Spirit Speaks: Gaia Will Endure

By Lauren Liora Zack, Manataka Correspondent




The earth is plagued with human-caused

environmental degradation and destruction. Spirit tells us that times ahead will be difficult, but the Earth, and humans, will endure. The natural cycle of Birth, Death, and Rebirth will continue. Humans, as spiritual beings, have an opportunity to evolve and awaken.



I attended Dare', a spiritual gathering up in Topanga Canyon, California. We were holding council, discussing environmental degradation and the destruction of the planet. Right up my alley!  I felt angry with the doom-and-gloom mentality of an author we discussed, who's written a soon-to-be-published book stating that the earth has passed the "tipping point" and we and the planet are doomed, so prepare to die.  I am not a stick-my-head-in-the-sand type of person, but even as pessimistic as I get at times, I refuse to believe we are without hope.

The next day, referring to the Dare' council, Spirit gave me the following Message:


The Mother Earth, Gaia, is "all right" as (a man at Dare') spoke, blessed be he. She will endure, no matter what activities the humans wreck upon Her body. She has seen the coming and going of many species and living beings upon Her surfaces/body since first She saw life. For many billions of years Gaia had no other beings upon Her, She was but rock and ice and rivers of molten lava; She was alone. She has endured through the ages, She will continue to endure. What will not endure are all the living species and living beings upon Her flesh. These will come and go, as they have through the ages. Do you think Gaia loved Her dinosaurs less than you, dear humans, are loved? She loved them well, yet after their many eons of time upon the earth they, too, are gone. So it is with rocks and trees and all other forms of life. They spring up, live for a time, then die. From their ashes and decomposed bodies new life springs forth, and not always the same as the old. Birth, Death, Rebirth--the cycle of nature and all life as we have spoken of before.







As Above So It Is Below

By Waynonaha Two Worlds, Manataka Correspondent



I looked into the clear smooth surface of the pond and saw my reflection. Above me the tree was bursting into flame with the colors of fall. The sky was so blue, bluer even than the deep water that filled the pond. The sweet smell of the water filled my mind with memories that came to speak of times spent in just such a setting. I was taken to  a time of younger years, when the worries of this world, and all that they can bring, were but stars that shown in a very distant future. As stars whose light takes many years to reach us, these were things that would come to also pass. These stars were never meant to been seen until time had come for them to appear.


We are all star being whose light is still traveling to reach the Earth Mother, in time we too will be reflected back out to Creation. Being of light,  creations of love, we are born and given to the light.  Here on this Mother Earth we are nourished, loved,  and protected by Creator.


I watched the small water bugs and tadpoles slip just under the surface of the water never making a ripple. Tiny silver transparent minnows darted back and forth seeking bits of food from the bottom grasses.


Looking into the depth of the pond I understood the connection that we have to the Great Mystery. Before me in the water opened the entrance to the spirit lodge, within that lodge was the answer to Creation.






No offense intended for any individuals or tribes.


Three Holy Men and a Bear

A priest, a Pentecostal preacher, and a rabbi all served as chaplains to university students. They would get together two or three times a week for coffee and to talk shop.

One day, someone made the comment that preaching to people isn't really all that hard. A real challenge would be to preach to a bear. One thing led to another, and they decided to do an experiment. They would  all go out into the woods, find a bear, preach to it, and attempt to convert it. A month later, they all got together to discuss their experience.

Father Flannery, who had his arm in a sling, was on crutches, and had various bandages on his body and limbs, went first "Well," he said, "I went into the woods to find me a bear. And when I found  him, I began to read to him from the Catechism. Well, that bear wanted nothing to do with me and began to slap me around. So I quickly grabbed my holy water, sprinkled him and, Holy Mary Mother of God, he became as gentle as a lamb. The bishop is coming out next week to give him first communion and confirmation"

Reverend Billy Bob spoke next. He was in a wheelchair, had one arm and both legs in casts, and had an IV drip. In his best fire-and-brimstone oratory, he claimed, "WELL, brothers, you KNOW that we don't sprinkle! I went out and I FOUND me a bear. And then I began to read to my bear from God's HOLY WORD! But that bear wanted nothing to do with me. So I took HOLD of him and we began to wrestle. We wrestled down one hill, UP another and DOWN another until we came to a creek. So I quickly DUNKED him and BAPTIZED his hairy soul. And just like you said, he became as gentle as a lamb. We spent the rest of the day praising Jesus."

The priest and the reverend both looked down at the rabbi, who was lying in a hospital bed. He was in a body cast and traction with IVs and monitors running in and out of him. He was in really bad shape. 

The Rabbi looked up and said, "Looking back on it, circumcision may not have been the best way to start."






From Grandmother Selma Palmer

It is Odd


It is odd really, but it appears that the average intelligence and common sense level of the general population is on a rapid decline, at least in the areas that are vital to survival and everyday functioning.


Yet on the rise are areas of technical information and procedures burning our brain cells on understanding advance technology and how all the new gadgets work. 


What they will do and what they won't do and why!


Yet it is these very items of advanced technology that complicate our everyday lives to the point of frustration when they do not perform as they are intended to do and we are left to figure out why. How to correct it and what the outcome of the "error" will be!


Half of the cashiers in stores can not make change without the cash register telling them how much money the customer is due.  A very few of them can count the money back to you as they give you that change.  The general population can not do  any math  above the very basic without the assistance of a calculator.





Rainbow Crow
A Lenni Lenape Story

Submitted by Carol Spirit Dove Henderson, Manataka Correspondent


 It was so cold. Snow fell constantly, and ice formed over all the waters. The animals had never seen snow before. At first, it was a novelty, something to play in. But the cold increased tenfold, and they began to worry. The little animals were being buried in the snow drifts and the larger animals could hardly walk because the snow was so deep. Soon, all would perish if something were not done.


"We must send a messenger to Kijiamuh Ka'ong, the Creator Who Creates By Thinking What Will Be," said Wise Owl. "We must ask him to think the world warm again so that Spirit Snow will leave us in peace."


The animals were pleased with this plan. They began to debate among themselves, trying to decide who to send up to the Creator. Wise Owl could not see well during the daylight, so he could not go. Coyote was easily distracted and like playing tricks, so he could not be trusted. Turtle was steady and stable, but he crawled too slowly. Finally, Rainbow Crow, the most beautiful of all the birds with shimmering feathers of rainbow hues and an enchanting singing voice, was chosen to go to Kijiamuh Ka'ong.


It was an arduous journey, three days up and up into the heavens, passed the trees and clouds, beyond the sun and the moon, and even above all the stars. He was buffeted by winds and had no place to rest, but he carried bravely on until he reached Heaven. When Rainbow Crow reached the Holy Place, he called out to the Creator, but received no answer. The Creator was busy thinking up what would be to notice even the most beautiful of birds. So Rainbow Crow began to sing his most beautiful song.


The Creator was drawn from his thoughts by the lovely sound, and came to see which bird was making it. He greeted Rainbow Crow kindly and asked what gift he could give the noble bird in exchange for his song. Rainbow Crow asked the Creator to un-think the snow, so that the animals of Earth would not be buried and freeze to death. But the Creator told Rainbow Crow that the snow and the ice had spirits of their own and could not be destroyed.


"What shall we do then?" asked the Rainbow Crow. "We will all freeze or smother under the snow."


"You will not freeze," the Creator reassured him, "For I will think of Fire, something that will warm all creatures during the cold times."


The Creator stuck a stick into the blazing hot sun. The end blazed with a bright, glowing fire which burned brightly and gave off heat. "This is Fire," he told Rainbow Crow, handing him the cool end of the stick. "You must hurry to Earth as fast as you can fly before the stick burns up."


Rainbow Crow nodded his thanks to the Creator and flew as fast as he could go. It was a three-day trip to Heaven, and he was worried that the Fire would burn out before he reached the Earth. The stick was large and heavy, but the fire kept Rainbow Crow warm as he descended from Heaven down to the bright path of the stars. Then the Fire grew hot as it came closer to Rainbow Crows feathers. As he flew passed the Sun, his tail caught on fire, turning the shimmering beautiful feathers black. By the time he flew passed the Moon, his whole body was black with soot from the hot Fire. When he plunged into the Sky and flew through the clouds, the smoke got into his throat, strangling his beautiful singing voice.


By the time Rainbow Crow landed among the freezing-cold animals of Earth, he was black as tar and could only Caw instead of sing. He delivered the fire to the animals, and they melted the snow and warmed themselves, rescuing the littlest animals from the snow drifts where they lay buried.


It was a time of rejoicing, for Tindeh - Fire - had come to Earth. But Rainbow Crow sat apart, saddened by his dull, ugly feathers and his rasping voice. Then he felt the touch of wind on his face. He looked up and saw the Creator Who Creates By Thinking What Will Be walking toward him.


"Do not be sad, Rainbow Crow," the Creator said. "All animals will honor you for the sacrifice you made for them. And when the people come, they will not hunt you, for I have made your flesh taste of smoke so that it is no good to eat and your black feathers and hoarse voice will prevent man from putting you into a cage to sing for him. You will be free."


Then the Creator pointed to Rainbow Crow's black feathers. Before his eyes, Rainbow Crow saw the dull feathers become shiny and inside each one, he could see all the colors of the rainbow. "This will remind everyone who sees you of the service you have been to your people, and the sacrifice you made that saved them all."











Maya Priestess

About Spiritual Work

by  Magdala, Maya Priestess 


What is spiritual work? Why to work in the spirit?  Where is the spiritual work? What is the purpose to work as spirit?


For a very long time we have been making seminars and ceremonies all over the world. Many have been touch by the spirit since that time space, many have learn the  sacred dance, many others have forgotten.  Others are remembering, some are awakening and many have came back and say "thank you, you have change my life."


Some keep trying, and others just forgot and go back into their own little selves, their comfort place.  Many others have been awakened but go back to sleep.  Others, the ones that have been awake, and stay awake, I truly honor them, I am so grateful.   We have grown in spirit too, all the way.  I am so grateful.


I have found many of the people coming to seminars and ceremonies all over, and that is so beautiful, but people need the next part, “how to”….and the “how to” cannot put in a 1,2,3, situation, because what is good for one it not be good for the other, or only will work once, depending in situation in life, cultural belief, ages.  So many factors that will depend  the spiritual work become  a successful.


What it is the most important thing is for people be-live in themselves, bring back the confidence and trust and the responsibility of themselves, for you are your own teacher, and sacredness resides in the self.










By Carol Petersen, Elk Looks Back



MA NA TA KA is a song from a crystal cave.  The song is a vibration from emanations projected by crystals which forms a circular ring. It is the word manifest meaning “we have never been broken.” This is the definition in Quechua, the language of the native peoples of Peru. The definition was given to me in April of 2005, when I brought the song word of the crystal cave to a delegation of native member councils in Patagonia, Argentina.


A letter was given to me to be read by an elder and Aymara friend, Wenceslao. As he was sharing the Manataka document a yellow butterfly landed on the paper then flew off in the wind.  It was said that the message of Manataka was given to the directions by the butterfly spirit.  This is a good sign.  We had gathered at the home of a Mapuche family. They raise sheep among the poplar trees.  There was a black kettle hanging over a smoldering flame and the steam kept our hands warm.  Mate was boiling hot.  It is the local herbal tea shared and passed hand to hand.







562 Federally Recognized Indian Tribes Invited to Meet in Washington, DC
 by SOPnewswire
WASHINGTON – Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Carl J. Artman this week invited leaders from the 562 federally recognized tribes to attend a national meeting in Washington, D.C., on January 30, 2008, on the Indian
Affairs Modernization Initiative. The one-day event took place at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center.
“Your expressions of frustration with the current delivery of Indian Affairs services illustrate the necessity for a
 review of the Indian Affairs structure and business processes,” Artman said in his January 14 letter to tribal leaders. “As we have stated since the start of this dialogue, the modernization effort must be tribally driven to ensure that any revisions are directly responsive to tribal concerns.”
Source: U.S. Department of the Interior



Native American trust fund accounting botched by U.S.

Ruling says Department of the Interior failed its accounting responsibilities for billions in royalties owed to American Indians.


WASHINGTON (AP) -- A federal judge on Wednesday ruled that the Interior Department has "unreasonably delayed" its accounting for billions of dollars owed to Indian landholders.


The federal agency "has not, and cannot, remedy the breach" of its responsibilities to account for the Indian money, U.S. District Judge James Robertson said in a 165-page decision in a long-running federal lawsuit alleging mismanagement of Indian trust funds.


"Indeed, it is now clear that completion of the required accounting is an impossible task" for the department, Robertson said, adding that he would schedule a hearing next month to discuss ways to solve the problem. He added that his conclusion that Interior is unable to perform an adequate accounting does not mean that the task is hopeless.





Attention Educators:





Teaching Resources for Educators

Here are resources if you've ever wanted classroom-teaching activities on American Indians beyond the Thanksgiving holiday or the history of American Indian Education or best teaching practices addressing American Indian learners. Resources include books, magazines, articles, bibliographies, maps, etc. Although often times there is overlap, these resources are organized in four categories:





Cherokee Rite of Passage

His father takes him into the forest, blindfolds him and leaves him alone.

He is required to sit on a stump the whole night and not remove the blindfold until the rays of the morning sun shine through it. 

He cannot cry out for help to anyone.

Once he survives the night, he is a MAN.

He cannot tell the other boys of this experience, because each lad must come into manhood on his own.

The boy is naturally terrified. He can hear all kinds of noises. Wild beasts must surely be all around him. Maybe even some human might do him harm. The wind blew the grass and earth, and shook his stump, but he  sat stoically, never removing the blindfold. It would be the only way he could become a man!

Finally, after a horrific night the sun appeared and he removed his blindfold.

It was then that he discovered his father sitting on the stump next to him.

He had been at watch the entire night, protecting his son from harm.

We, too, are never alone.

Even when we don't know it, our Heavenly Father is watching over us, sitting on the stump beside us.

When trouble comes, all we have to do is reach out to Him.

Don't take your blindfold off before dawn...


Submitted by Jennifer Whitefeather Attaway, Manataka Correspondent





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