. . . . . . ======================================== Start of June 2004 newsletter - Part One ======================================== Greetings, We have some winners and runners-up in my American Indian student essay contest. I have posted all of the entries on my website at: http://americanindian.net/contestwinner.html I have listed the winning, and runners-up essays below. I will have more of my regular material in a day or two. Phil ============================================= X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X ============================================= This is the elementary/junior school group. The subject for their essay was: "What everyone needs to know about my tribe." ---------- Brittney Reneé Phelps - Winner Where Apsaalooke (Crow) and we still speak Apsaalooke. My name is Brittney Renee Phelps, and I am half black, half Apsaalooke. Some kids make fun of me because I'm black, but I don't care. We usually have Crow Fair every year, and I mean every year! Crow Fair is when Crow Indians camp for about three days. Crow Fair my favorite thing out of pow-wows, sundances, and other Indian things. In April we have handgames. This is when there are two teams. The team takes turns hiding the bone and guessing which hand is hiding the bone. There is drumming and singing happening at the same time. Whenever you guess the correct hand, your team collects a stick. The games continues until one team collects all the sticks. You should be proud of who you are (because most people say that). I would tell you about my dad's side of the family, but today I am going to talk about my mom's side. My mom is really good at beading. She even invented something for watches by beading! Even when my mom was little she was made fun of because of the color of her skin. She was light skinned unlike me. That is what some people need to know about my tribe. ---------- Autumn Charges Strong - Runner-Up I am a member of the Crow tribe. Crow Fair is important to my tribe because it helps keep our tradition and language alive. We can ride horses and rodeo to have fun just like in the old days. They didn't have rodeos back then, at least I don't think they did. The Crow tribe speaks a different language than other tribes. We have a lot of different traditions. One is handgames. Some are only a few hours long. I went to one and it was until one in the morning! And I was in a handgame once. It went on and on until four in the morning and I was really really tired. I almost fell off the bleachers. I went to my camp after that and slept till day light. I woke up to see the parade the next day. ---------- Lee Red Bird - Runner-Up We are the Apsaalooke for Crow and we speak our own native language. We have Crow Fair and we have hand-games and we have dances, and we camp with our family, and there are rodeos. The Crow have different beliefs of doing things, like the sundance and going in the sweatlodge to get healing and to pray for good things for our families. Crows have clans that they belong to. Each Crow Tribal member gets a per-cap. ------------- ------------- A couple of people have asked me what is meant by "per-caps." Generally, "per-caps," or more correctly "per capitas," are tribal dividends paid to individual tribal members. This money can come from tribal business profits, trust fund dividends, land leases, oil leases, treaty payments, etc. Not all tribes have such income sources. Not all tribes pay them out, either. As far as I know, my tribe (Cherokee) does not give them out. The profits we get from leases, etc. are put back into tribal government services, such as health care. ============================================= X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X ============================================= This is the high school group. The subject for their essay was: "How my tribe’s history guides my life." -------------- Starlena Nez - Winner My grandmother, uncles, aunts, and grandfathers are my elders and they influence my life in many ways. Their traditional beliefs have embraced my heart and mind giving me the strength of being who I am and what I believe. My grandfather's mother was a part of The Long Walk and survived the harsh environment in Fort Sumner. I am proud of her for being mentally stable and physically strong, she also hung onto her cultural beliefs and that influences my life day to day. After her return to Coalmine Mesa, where we currently reside, she raised several children of her own, and one of them was my grandfather. My grandfather, Hosteen Nez, was married to three sisters, and all three had many children. My grandmother was wife number three, and she had twelve children of whom only six are still living to this day. My grandfather died in his mid-seventy's in 1955. My grandmother raised her children by herself after the passing of my grandfather. My grandmother Nettie also has a very rich cultural background and is a medicine woman who cures the sick and people who are having problems. She taught my aunts and uncles to practice the old culture: such as the clan system, traditional ceremonies, Navajo language, to respect Mother Earth, and to respect our environment so it can be passed on from generation to generation. This culture is currently stressed on my brothers, sisters, cousins and the generations before us including myself. I have learned a lot from my elders because there is much wisdom in what they say and do. The clan system, for instance, identifies who we are and where we are coming from and also which clan we can inter-marry with. The clan system also teaches us that we have relatives, not only at home but everywhere around the Navajo reservation. The elders have a great impact on how I am going to lead my life. They show me how to have a fulfilling life by self-discipline and taking responsibility for my actions. They encourage me to do well in school because they know that education plays a big role in success in today's society. Even though not all of my elders are educated they are successful by having a strong belief in our culture and that is one of the reasons I admire them. Education is a part of our cultural tradition and that keeps us from hurting certain sacred animals or places. My grandparents, uncles and aunts are traditional healers. They know and practice songs and prayers that are learned orally from past generations. The songs and prayers are used to guide our culture and daily life. This has influenced my life in so many ways that I shall remember my family, cultural tradition, and self-esteem that I myself think I may live a healthy and long life. -------------- Cistah Carson - Runner-Up My name is Cistah Carson, and I am a 15-year-old student at the Santa Fe Indian School, in Santa Fe New Mexico. My tribe is Navajo, and being dine guides my life in many ways. I am not that old, but I have gone through what most people call a “rebellious stage”. I went thought it mostly during middle school, (being the normal average every day rebellious teenager). I just went around doing dumb things, thinking I was better then everyone. I never did what my parents wanted me to do; I would just sit around and argue. I was getting bad grades, because getting good grades just wasn’t “cool”, and I was looking forward to repeating my 8th grade year, but somehow I slipped by. I started out my freshmen year of high school thinking I can slide by just like I did in middle school; I didn’t care that I wasn’t going to amount to anything. Then I got a “reality check,” from my mom, after all this time I didn’t think she even really cared. She was asking me way I was throwing my life away just to be “cool.” She began telling me stories of how hard my ancestors fought for me to be here today, going on the Long Walk in 1864, going through betrayal, and getting moved to several different locations, including away from the sacred mountains in Arizona and New Mexico. It made me really think. It made me think how hard their lives were and how easy mine was. It made me think about how hard they worked for me to be here today, and I was just flushing all that work and effort down the drain. That is when I decided to turn my life around. I decided to start making my ancestors proud of me, I decide to show them that all their hard work was not for nothing it was for something. Well, I went from being a failing student to a B average honor student, and I work hard for it. I have learned that all things don’t just come to you, my ancestors never just sat around and waited for things to happen, they made it happen. -------------- Lashawna Kinlicheenie - Runner-Up My tribe's history guides my life everyday because if it weren't for my people I wouldn't be going to school. My people did a lot for the United States. They were forced to leave their homes and send their children away to school. They sign a treaty to be more and more like a white man. They wouldn't be able to see their children until summer. Also they were being gathered to do a top secret mission during World War Two. Just knowing what my people did for our tribe makes me very proud. My tribe's history guides me in these proud ways. The things my people did were honorable and the ways they have inspired me today are. My civil rights, my heritage, and my most of important begin who I am today. They have taught me many things about begin who I am. My civil rights are more important. I just don't want to be told to leave a store or a place because I'm different and I have a second language. Everywhere we go people are equal and they should have the right to anything they want. My tribe made it happen for us. When people look at you get this feeling they dislike you because you're Indian. But you're proud to be Indian. In the Navajo way are clans are very important because it identifies you or a person. Your clans are important too. This helps you find out who your relatives are. Everyday I don't know what decision I am going to make. But it was my tribe's decision to be who they are. They are a legend, great nation, and honorable people. By using this great decision I have tried out for Miss Greyhills. I managed to get 1st runner up of 2003-2004. I am very happy to be a young Navajo. I think everyone should be more grateful for what their people did for them and they should respect that. I just thank the Navajos for making history. ============================================= X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X ============================================= While I was a bit disappointed by the limited number of entrants in the contest, there were many good essays. It was difficult to even narrow it down to a winner and two runners-up. The elementary school students seemed to be looking forward to some good times during the summer. The high school students had some very thought provoking comments. I found all of the entries to be interesting. Leroy Butler did a nice job of integrating tribal history with his family's history. Cistah Carson did a good job on the essay and has taken some very positive steps in life. Dalanie Dennison included some very interesting cultural material. It should help people understand more about Navajo (Dine') traditions. Uriah Etsitty's essay shows a great deal of respect. Skylan Fowler had a very nicely designed coverpage (which you cannot see here). I liked the honest approach to the ways the indigenous people of this continent were treated by the conquering European cultures. Lewis Hascon, III had a unique approach to the project. It should be noted that perspective is very important in a person's life. Skylan talks about how few Navajos there are. Lewis talks about how many there are. Both points are valid. Lashawna Kinlicheenie's essay explains how a positive tribal identity can give you pride in yourself, even if others do not treat you well. Jenell Nez's point about cultural diversity is a good one. Starlena Nez, who won this competition, did a excellent job of adressing the topic of "How my tribe’s history guides my life." She tied events in her family and tribe's history to how she acts today. I had some difficulty in reading the name for the entry I listed as by N. Roderick. I liked the reference to the Greeks. Tovoniya's discussion of her clans relations will help non-Navajos understand more about this subject. William's essay had a poetic feel to it. I thought the best written essay was by Christine Wilson. Her entry did not win because, while it was very well written, I felt it was not specifically addressing the topic. In both age groups, the students gave us some insights into their lives and cultures. I learned several new things. Again, you can read all of the entries on this website: http://americanindian.net/contestwinner.html I have mentioned that I am taking a class on how to use the webpage designing software called Dreamweaver. You can see a little result of that in the "We Have A Winner" title on that page. ============================================= X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X ============================================= That's it for now.... Stay safe, Phil ====================================== End of June 2004 newsletter - Part One ====================================== . . . . . . . . . . ====================================== Start of June 2004 Newsletter - Part 2 ====================================== Greetings, I hope you enjoyed reading the essay contest winners and runners-up. You can read all of the entries on this page: http://americanindian.net/contestwinner.html I'll have some more newsletter material later in the month... Phil =========================================== X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X =========================================== Link of the Month: What Is Yer Native IQ (racism?) This website, through a series of questions, hopes to heighten people's awareness of issues regarding racism and American Indians. They also have some interesting articles, as well. http://www.understandingprejudice.org/nativeiq/ =========================================== X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X =========================================== Treaty of the Month: 1802: A treaty (7 Stat. 70) with the Seneca Indians was concluded on Buffalo Creek in Ontario County, New York. All Seneca lands in Ontario County were ceded to the Holland Land Company, and the Seneca were given new lands on Lake Erie. Nineteen Indians signed the treaty. A second treaty was also signed with the Seneca. They received $1,200 for what was called Little Beard’s Reservation. John Taylor and twelve Indians signed that document. You can see a transcript here: http://digital.library.okstate.edu/kappler/Vol2/treaties/sen0060.htm =========================================== X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X =========================================== Movie Review: Nanook of the North I had the opportunity recently to watch a new DVD version of the classic silent film, Nanook of the North. Many of you may not be familiar with the movie, but you may have heard of the title. I recall its' use in the 50s when someone was trying to show their lack of knowledge about things 'up north.' "Who do you think I am, Nanook of the North?" Nanook of the North was made in 1920 (yes, it is over 80 years old) by Robert Flaherty. Flaherty is often called the father of documentary film-making due to the success of this movie. Flaherty participated in expeditions of northern Canada for Sir William Mackenzie between 1910 and 1916. He took some silent films (there were no 'talkies' then) of the people he lived with for six years, as he called them, Eskimos. While he made a compiled his films of his adventures with this group, it was not a very good film. In fact, it was accidently burned, and Flaherty was only upset about it as the lost of some images. Flaherty returned to the eastern shores of Hudson Bay in 1920. By this time he was more familiar with the operations of cameras, and film-making. Nanook of the North is the reult of this effort. The film features the day-to-day activities (to use the words of the film) of the family of "Nanook of the North - a story of life and love in the actual Arctic. The film says that Nanook is the chief of the Itivimuits band of Eskimo of Hopewell Sound, North Ungava. His wife, children, and other members of his band hunt, fish, live and love in the cold region. Much of the film covers their ongoing struggle to find and cloth themselves. The film covers a trip south to the white traders' outpost for suppiles. Nanook traded seven polar bear skins (killed by hand with a harpoon), and other pelts. Nanook and his family fish on the ice floes, hunt for walrus and seals. The film also shows how Nanook creates an igloo in under an hour. An interesting feature of the igloo is the clear ice skylight. The film shows things as they happened. To quote Flaherty, these are ordinary people, doing ordinary things, just being themselves. What is unique about the film is the subject. The film was shown all over the world. When Nanook died two years later, his passing was noted in newspapers throughout the world. In fact, Flaherty's wife said the Malay (southeast Asia) created a new word meaning strong man: 'Nanook." Nanook went inland to look for deer, and he starved when he could not find any. The quality of the picture in the Criterion edition of the DVD I saw was very good, especially considering the age of the material. I features a string-instrument score that matches the action, but could get a bit redundant over the course of the entire film. Here is a link, if you would like to order a copy of the DVD: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/6305257442/onthisdateinn-20?dev-t=mason-wrapper%26camp=2025%26link_code=xm2 or on my store page at: http://americanindian.net/store.html =========================================== X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X =========================================== News, etc. Iraqi television crew to study Native Americans http://www.indianz.com/News/archive/002439.asp American Indian who refused to cut hair in jail freed http://www.kumeyaay.com/news/news_detail.html?id=1514 Wintus are only a quasi-tribe in government's eyes http://www.redding.com/redd/nw_state_regional/article/0,2232,REDD_17540_2907575,00.html Conference for American Indian/Alaskan Natives/Native Hawaiians in Public Health July 20 - 22, 2004 http://ewebs.realtimesites.net/ds-Southwestern/sout-j-1/ImagesCust/331325208-03-01-2004-12-54-12n.pdf U.S. apology to Indians considered Bill 'acknowledges years of official depredations' http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/national/174821_indian25.html Recent Board Responses Fall Short http://www.ics4kids.org/ Washington in brief: Self-governance bill gets a no-show from DHHS http://indiancountry.com/?1086106126 Are Indians a ‘security threat group’? http://indiancountry.com/?1084906815 BIA reorganization hearing yields new insights http://indiancountry.com/?1084543494 High court reverses tribal double jeopardy http://www.montanaforum.com/rednews/2004/04/22/build/tribal/tribes-dbljeopardy.php?nnn=4 Mohawk chief calling it quits: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/ArticleNews/TPStory/LAC/20040602/NORTON02//?query=aboriginal Tribe fears loss of culture through mandated school standardization http://www.montanaforum.com/rednews/2004/03/21/build/tribal/culture-nclb.php?nnn=4 Leech Lake Tribe responds: 'We Are Not Lost' http://www.indianz.com/News/archive/002432.asp Gros Ventre woman keeps dancing legacy alive http://www.montanaforum.com/rednews/2004/03/12/build/tribal/grosventre-dancer.php?nnn=4 Osage tribal change clears House - http://www.newsok.com/cgi-bin/show_article?ID=1254798&pic=none&TP=getarticle Inuits in Canada vote on $156M land claim settlement http://www.indianz.com/News/archive/002427.asp =========================================== X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X =========================================== Some Iteresting Websites: White Bison http://users.aristotle.net/~swarmack/bison.html Shade of Brown - a subscriber's site http://members.cox.net/shadesofbrown/ Those Dark Hiding Places: The Invisible Web Revealed http://library.rider.edu/scholarly/rlackie/Invisible/Inv_Web.html =========================================== X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X =========================================== Material from subscribers, etc.: ------------- From: Andre Cramblit IMPORTANT UPDATE - ACTION ALERT! Dear AB 858 Supporters: On January 29, 2004 the California State Assembly passed an amended version of the California Racial Mascots Act - AB 858 (Goldberg) with 43“aye” votes. The bill will now prohibit public schools from using the term “Redskins” as a school or athletic team name, mascot or nickname. Now that the bill has passed out of the Assembly, it must make its way through the California State Senate. The first step in the bill’s journey through the Senate is its passage through the Education Committee. AB 858 (Goldberg) will be heard by the Senate Education Committee the morning of Wednesday, June 9, 2004. We need your help! Call your Senator today and let them know that as their constituent, you urge them to support AB 858 (Goldberg). Making a phone call is the fastest and most effective method to communicate with your Senator. You can also write a letter to your Senator and mail or fax it to their capitol office. You can find your Senator and their office contact information on our web-site, www.allarm.org. There, you can also find a sample letter of support. Also, contact members of the Senate Education Committee (who may not be your Senator) and urge them to support AB 858 (Goldberg). Seven “aye” votes are needed from the Education Committee in order for the bill to proceed. Call to express your support or fax your letter of support to the following Senators today: Senator John Vasconcellos (D-13) Chair of the Education Committee 916-445-9740 916-324-0283 FAX Senator Richard Alarcon (D-20) 916-445-7928 916-324-6645 FAX Senator Wesley Chesbro (D-2) 916-445-3375 916-323-6958 FAX Senator Betty Karnette (D-27) 916-445-6447 916-327-9113 FAX Senator Bruce McPherson (D-15) Vice Chair of the Education Committee 916-445-5843 916-445-8081 FAX Senator Dede Alpert (D-39) 916-445-3952 916-327-2188 Senator Jeff Denham (R-12) 916-445-1392 916-445-0773 FAX Senator Gloria Romero (D-24) 916-445-1418 916-445-0485 FAX Senator Jack Scott (D-21) 916-445-5976 916-324-7543 FAX Senator Jackie Speier (D-8) 916-445-0503 916-327-2186 FAX Senator Bryon Sher (D- 11) 916-445-6747 916-323-4529 FAX Senator Edward Vincent (D-25) 916-445-2104 916-445-3712 FAX The Alliance Against Racial Mascots is planning a DAY OF ACTION on day of the Senate Education Committee hearing, Wednesday, June 9, 2004. Please join us as we visit the offices of California’s Senators and the Governor and urge for their support of AB 858 (Goldberg). We will be meeting at the office of Assemblymember Jackie Goldberg at the State Capitol at 8:30 AM. ALLARM recently got word from the Senate Republican Party that bus-loads of students, teachers, and community members from such schools as Tulare Union High School and Gustine High School are planning on being at the Capitol on Wednesday, June 9 to express their support of their racially offensive “Redskins” mascot. Therefore, your participation at the DAY OF ACTION is more important than ever before. OUR VOICE MUST NOT BE DROWNED OUT! Let’s show our Senators that we will not tolerate the use of racially offensive and derogatory “Redskins” mascots! For more information on the lobby day, please contact Juliana Serrano at (213)250-8787 ext. 211 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. For further updates on the status of AB 858 (Goldberg), visit http://www.allarm.org. We count on your support! ALLARM ------------- From Ruth Garby Torres: Yale University seeks to appoint an Assistant Professor of American Studies focusing on the history, anthropology, or material culture of Native America. The position will be joint with the relevant disciplinary department. Applicants should address their ability not only to teach a survey course in their speciality, but also an introduction to Native American studies. Requirements for the Ph.D. must have been completed by August 2005. All materials, including three letters of recommendation, must be received by October 1, 2004. Yale is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer; minority and women scholars are particularly encouraged to apply. Contact: Native American Search Committee, Program in American Studies, Yale University PO Box 208236, New Haven, CT 06520-8236. ------------- NAJA Seeks Education Director Become part of an exciting new program designed to increase the number of Native journalists in mainstream media. The Department of Contemporary Media and Journalism at The University of South Dakota in partnership with the Native American Journalists Association is now accepting applications for the position of Education Director/Journalism Instructor. This position is funded through a grant from the Knight Foundation to the Native American Journalists Association (NAJA). This is an opportunity to work in the newly renovated Al Neuharth Media Center, a state-of-the-art facility, on the campus of The University of South Dakota. The Department of Contemporary Media and Journalism offers the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science in mass communications and is accredited by ACEJMC. For more information about the University and the Department, visit the following websites: www.usd.edu and www.usd.edu/cmj . Responsibilities include: Providing oversight of NAJA journalism education programs, including a feasibility study and development of journalism curriculum with an emphasis on teacher training programs for high schools serving Native Americans in South Dakota and surrounding states. Serving as lead coordinator for NAJA’s annual student projects and scholarship programs. Teaching 12 credit hours per academic year in the Department of Contemporary Media and Journalism, inclusive of summer sessions and teaching duties for the American Indian Journalism Institute. Primary teaching responsibilities will include courses in journalism emphasis areas. The selected candidate must have a Master’s Degree in mass communication or related field. Master’s candidates with significant professional background and previous teaching experience are strongly desired. Candidates with experience in American Indian education will be given special consideration. We are seeking an individual with expertise in journalism and with the ability to teach intensive writing courses for mass media. Excellence in teaching is expected -- both in the classroom and in mentoring students outside the classroom. Salary will be commensurate with qualifications. To apply send a letter of application, resume, and a transcript showing highest degree. Please include the names and contact information for three references to: Ramòn Chàvez, Chairman Department of Contemporary Media & Journalism The University of South Dakota 414 East Clark Street Vermillion, SD 57069 ------------- From Ray Levesque: Resolution of Apology to Native American Peoples HISTORIC RESOLUTION OF APOLOGY TO NATIVE PEOPLES INTRODUCED IN U.S. CONGRESS May 6, 2004 A Call for Prayer for Passage and Action by the President An historic Resolution of Apology to the Native American peoples was introduced in the U.S. Congress by Senators Sam Brownback (R-KS), Ben Nighthorse Campbell (R-CO) and Daniel K. Inouye (D-HI) on the evening of the May 6, 2004, National Day of Prayer. In his remarks on the Senate floor, Sen. Brownback stated, "This is a resolution of apology and a resolution of reconciliation. It is a first step toward healing the wounds that have divided us for so long-a potential foundation for a new era of positive relations between Tribal Governments and the Federal Government .Before reconciliation, there must be recognition and repentance. Before there is a durable relationship, there must be understanding. This resolution will not authorize or serve as a settlement of any claim against the United States, not will it resolve the many challenges still facing the Native Peoples. But it does recognize the negative impact of numerous deleterious Federal acts and policies on Native Americans and their cultures." Senator Brownback and the initiators of this Resolution are asking for concerted prayer and action that many Senators will quickly sign on as co-sponsors, that it will be passed by both chambers and acted on by President George W. Bush (see Section 1 - (6) of the Resolution) before the September 21, 2004 formal opening of the new National Museum of the American Indian which is nearing completion on the Mall in Washington, DC. You can prayerfully "track" the progress of this Joint Resolution by visiting the Library of Congress website http://thomas.loc.gov and typing in the Bill Number, S.J. Res. 37. ------------- Aho! I have been broadcasting an American Indian Radio show for over 30 years on various public radio stations across the country. The show is now heard on www.wdvrfm.org the first Saturdy of the month between 11pm and 2am. (Website does not currently list the show) The program features music, news, and information concerning native people. I would like to have permission to broadcast information found on your websites. My name is Dan Baynes (very little Cherokee blood from mother), I am 50 years old and have a deep respect for Indian Culture. Mitakuye Oyasin Dan Baynes ------------- Each summer in Cortez, CO, the Cortez Cultural Center (http://www.cortezculturalcenter.org) hosts a variety of Native Americans dances for area visitors. The program runs Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend. Dances start at 7:30 p.m. all days but Sunday, and last an hour. The programs are free of charge for visitors, and are held rain or shine. Any Native American dance *groups* (5 or more) within a 50 mile radius of Cortez that are interested in performing, should contact Jan van Romburgh (Dance Coordinator) at 970-564-1363. Email: email@example.com (Payment nightly with an incentive cash bonus at the end of the season!) Auditions will be held on Saturday May 3 from 10 a.m. at the Cortez Cultural Center. Thanks Jan van Romburgh =========================================== X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X =========================================== ************************************************************** **** Cultural Tidbits from the Cherokee Nation Newsletter **** ************************************************************** Origin of Disease and Medicine The old ones tell us that at one time, the animals, fish, insects and plants could all talk. Together with the people, they were at peace and had a great friendship. As time went on, the numbers of people grew so much that their settlements spread over the whole earth, and the animals found themselves cramped for space. To make things worse, the people invented bows, knives, blowguns, spears, and hooks, and they began to hunt and kill the larger animals, birds and fish only for their hides. The smaller creatures, like the frogs and worms, were stepped upon and crushed without thought, out of carelessness, and sometimes even contempt. The animals decided to meet in a council to agree on measures for their safety. The bears were the first ones to meet in a council, at Mulberry Place, or Kuwahi mountain. The old White Bear Chief led the council. After each one had his turn of complaining about the way people killed their friends, ate their flesh, and used their skins for his own purposes, they decided to begin a war at once against man. One of the bears asked what kind of weapons the people used to destroy them. “Bows and arrows!” exclaimed all the Bears together. “What are they made of?” was the next question. “The bow is made of wood, and the string is made of our entrails,” replied one of the Bears. They then decided they would make a bow and see if they could use the same type of weapon the people were using. One of the Bears got a nice piece of locust wood, and another bear sacrificed himself for the good and betterment of his brothers of sisters. He offered to let his entrails be used for the string of the bow. When everything was ready, a Bear found that in letting the arrow fly after drawing the string, his long claws got in the way and his shot was ruined. He was very frustrated, but someone suggested they clip his claws. After this, it was found that the arrow went straight to the mark. But, the Chief White Bear objected, saying they must not trim their claws as they needed them to climb trees. “One of us already gave his life, and if we cut off our claws, then we must all starve together. I think we should trust and use the teeth and claws the Creator gave us, and it is plain that the people’s weapons were not made for us.” They could not think of a better plan, so the chief White Bear dismissed council and the Bears dispersed throughout the woods without having come up with a way to protect themselves. Had they come up with such a way, we would not be at war with the Bears, but the way it is today, the hunter does not even ask the Bear’s pardon when he kills one. The Deer held the next council, under their Chief Little Deer. They decided they would send arthritis to every hunter who kills one of them, unless he made sure to ask their pardon for the offense. They sent out a notice of their decision to the nearest settlement of Cherokees and told them how they could avoid this. Now, whenever a hunter shoots a Deer, Little Deer, who is swift as the wind and cannot be harmed, goes quickly to the spot and asks the spirit of the Deer if it has heard the prayer of the hunter, asking for pardon. If the spirit replies yes, everything is in balance. If the reply is no, Little Deer follows the trail of the hunter, and when resting in his home, Little Deer enters invisibly and strikes the hunter with arthritis. No hunter who regards his own health ever fails to ask pardon of the Deer for killing it. Next, the Fish and Reptiles held their own council. They decided to make their victims dream of snakes climbing about them, and blowing stinky breath in their faces. They also dream of decaying fish, so that they would lose their appetites and die of hunger. Finally, the Birds, Insects and smaller animals came together for their own council. The Grubworm was the Chief of the council. They decided that each should give his opinion, and then they would vote as to whether or not the people were guilty. Seven votes would be enough for a guilty verdict. One after another, they complained about man’s cruelty and disrespect. The Frog spoke first, saying, “We must do something to slow down how fast they are multiplying! Otherwise, we will disappear from the face of the earth through extinction!” The Frog continued, “They have kicked me about because they say I am ugly and now my back is covered with sores.” He showed them the spots on his back. Next, the Bird condemned people because, “They burn off my feet in the barbecue!” Others followed with their own complaints. The Groundsquirrel was the only one to say something in the people’s defense, because he was so small he did not endure the hunting and disrespect. The others became so angry at him, the swooped on him and tore him with their claws. The stripes are on his back until this day. They began to name so many new diseases, one after another. The Grubworm was more and more pleased as all these new names were being called off. Then the Plants, who were friendly to man, heard about all these things the animals were doing to the people. Each tree, shrub, and herb, agreed to furnish a cure for some of the diseases. Each said, “I will appear and help the people when they call upon me.” This is how the medicines came to be. Every plant has a use, if only we would learn it and remember it. They have furnished the remedy to counteract the diseases brought on by the revengeful animals. Even weeds were made for some good purpose. You must ask, and learn for yourself. When a doctor does not know which medicine to use, the spirit of the plant will tell the sick person. ------------ Traditional Religious Beliefs of the Cherokee The traditional religious dance of the Cherokee is the Stomp Dance at a sacred dance site. The sacred fire is kept burning constantly which is built by the fire keeper and his assistant. A firekeeper and the assistant begin early in the day at dawn, stoking the burning embers into a large fire for the dance. Seven arbors are located around the fire and dance area. They are made from large poles with brush for the roofs. Each arbor is reserved for one of the seven clans. Seats are placed between the arbors for visitors. The dance ceremony cannot begin unless each clan is represented. Women prepare a meal for the day, which consists of traditional and modern food such as brown beans, cornbread, all kinds of pies, cakes, homemade biscuits, salad, ice tea, coffee, kool aid, chicken, and if in season, kanuchi, wild onions with eggs, bean bread and much more. A-ne-jo-di (Stickball) is played in the afternoon. At sundown, the sermons continue. The Chief brings out the traditional pipe, and fills it with tobacco. He lights it with a coal from the Sacred Fire, and takes seven puffs. The Medicine Man from each clan, beginning with the Aniwaya, the Wolf clan, takes seven puffs from the pipe and passes it on . The chief, medicine men and elders hold a meeting and then issue the call for the first dance, then the second call. The first dance is by invitation, tribal elders, elders, medicine men and clan heads. The members gather to visit and dance until sunrise. Each individual ground has it’s own schedule for the dances, which is a holy place to worship God. All grounds post signs requesting no rowdiness, liquor, and general respect. Two major ceremonies are held at the Redbird Smith Ground, one commemorating the birth of Rebdird Smith, and the other expresses appreciation to the Creator for a bountiful harvest. Stomp Dance participants include a leader, assistants, and one or more female shell shakers who wear leg rattles traditionally made out of turtle shells filled with pebbles. Some wear shakers made from small milk cans. The shakers provide rhythmic accompaniment while dancing around the fire, and a dance cannot begin without the shakers. A series of wampum belts serve to record and ‘read’ the traditional beliefs and stories. The belts are very old, and are made of wampum beads sewn together with a form of seaweed from old Mexico. The wampum belts are shown only on very sacred occassions. The history of the belts relate that many years ago, the tribe was preparing to go to war. The medicine men foresaw which would survive, and cut the original wampum belt into seven pieces. After the war, the belts were scattered, and the last one was recovered by Redbird Smith in the very early 1900’s. The fire is very sacred to traditional Cherokees. It is built at the bottom of a pit below the ground, and burns constantly. It is believed by traditional Cherokees that soon after creation of the Cherokee people, the Creator left his throne in Heaven and visited the earth. He chose four Cherokee men who were strong, healthy, good and true, and believed with all of their heart in the Creator. They were each given a name: Red, Blue, Black and Yellow. Each was given a wooden stick that was very straight, and was told to place one end of the stick on a surface that would not burn. He said to place the other end in their hands, and start this material that would not burn to magically burn. . . by giving the sticks a circular, rotating motion. When this was done, and all the sticks were burning, they were told to go to the center of the cross, and there the four would start one singular fire. This fire would burn for all time, and be the Sacred Fire. The fire was started with the instructions and help of the Creator. The Sacred Fire has been held since that time by the Cherokee, and is kept alive by the Chief, Assistant Chief, Firekeeper, and Assistant Firekeepers of the Ground. Today, there are over 200,000 Cherokee tribal members. Although some have chosen to worship through other religious denominations (Indian Baptist, Methodist, etc.), many continue to worship at regular Stomp Dances and are members of one of the several Grounds in Cherokee Nation. Each ground has its own unique protocol and differences, but the general worship is similar with the same intention. ------------- Finch On His Honor Before statehood, the Cherokees tried and punished their own lawbreakers. If a crime should warrant it, an offender might be sentenced to hang by the Cherokee court. There was a courthouse located on Little Green Leaf Creek around the area that is now Camp Gruber. Behind the courthouse was a gallows. A Cherokee woman who lived near the courthouse was sitting on her porch on a sizzling summer afternoon. She saw a young man walking down the dusty road toward her home. He asked if he might have a drink of water. The woman got his drink and asked him why he was out walking at such a hot time of the day. His reply was simple. “I'm going to the courthouse. I am scheduled to be hung today.” A person sentenced to death by the Cherokees was sometimes released to his family for a set amount of time. He spent the final days getting his affairs in order and saying farewell to his family and friends. Then, having given his word to do so, he returned to face the executioner. *Note: Cultural information may vary from clan to clan, location to location, family to family, and from differing opinions and experiences. Information provided here is not 'etched in stone'. =========================================== X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X =========================================== Humor: ------------- From Jay Crosby: Answering Machine Messages 1. A is for academics, B is for beer. One of those reasons is why we're not here, so leave a message. 2. Please leave a message. However, you have the right to remain silent. Everything you say will be recorded and will be used by us. 3. Hi. I am probably home. I'm avoiding someone I don't like. Leave me a message, and if I don't call back, it's you. 4. HI, I'm not home right now, but my answering machine is, so you can talk to it instead. Wait for the beep. 5. If you are a burglar, then we are at home right now cleaning our weapons and can't answer the phone. Otherwise, we probably aren't home and it is safe to leave a message. 6. He-lo! Dis is Santo. If you leave a message, I will call you soon. If you leave 'sexy message', I call you sooner! 7. Hi! John's answering machine is broken. This is his refrigerator speaking. Please speak very slowly and I'll stick your message to my door with one of these magnets. 8. Hello, you are talking to a machine. I am capable of receiving messages. My owners do not need siding, windows, or a hot tub, and their carpets are clean. They give to charities through their office and do not need their pictures taken. If you're still with me, leave your name and number and they will get back to you. 9. This is not an answering machine. This is a telepathic thought recording device. After the tone, think about your name, your reason for calling and a number where I can reach you, and I'll think about returning your call. 10. Hi, this is George. I'm sorry I can't answer the phone right now. Leave a message, and then wait by your phone until I call you back. 11. Hello, you've reached Jim and Sonya. We can't pick up the phone right now, because we're doing something we really enjoy. Sonya likes doing it up and down, and I like doing it left to right, real slowly. So leave a message, and when we're done brushing our teeth, we'll get back to you. ------------- More from Jay: A WASHINGTON POST columnist, runs a column each summer listing interesting T-shirts observed at the Ocean City, Maryland beach. 1. I CHILDPROOFED MY HOUSE, BUT THEY STILL GET IN. 2. (On the front) 60 IS NOT OLD. (On the back) IF YOU'RE A TREE. 3. I'M STILL HOT. IT JUST COMES IN FLASHES. 4. AT MY AGE, "GETTING LUCKY" MEANS FINDING MY CAR IN THE PARKING LOT. 5. MY REALITY CHECK JUST BOUNCED. 6. LIFE IS SHORT. . MAKE FUN OF IT. 7. I'M NOT 50. I'M $49.95 PLUS TAX. 8. ANNAPOLIS--A DRINKING TOWN WITH A SAILOR PROBLEM. 9. I NEED SOMEBODY BAD. ARE YOU BAD? 10. PHYSICALLY PFFFFFT! 11. BUCKLE UP. IT MAKES IT HARDER FOR THE ALIENS TO SNATCH YOU FROM YOUR CAR. 12. I'M NOT A SNOB. I'M JUST BETTER THAN YOU ARE. 13. IT'S MY CAT'S WORLD. I'M JUST HERE TO OPEN CANS. 14. EARTH IS THE INSANE ASYLUM OF THE UNIVERSE. 15. KEEP STARING....I MAY DO A TRICK. 16. WE GOT RID OF THE KIDS. THE CAT WAS ALLERGIC. 17. DANGEROUSLY UNDER-MEDICATED. 18. MY MIND WORKS LIKE LIGHTNING. ONE BRILLIANT FLASH AND IT'S GONE. 19. EVERY TIME I HEAR THE DIRTY WORD "EXERCISE", I WASH MY MOUTH OUT WITH CHOCOLATE. 20. CATS REGARD PEOPLE AS WARM-BLOODED FURNITURE. 21. LIVE YOUR LIFE SO THAT WHEN YOU DIE, THE PREACHER WILL NOT HAVE TO TELL LIES AT YOUR FUNERAL. 22. IN GOD WE TRUST. ALL OTHERS WE POLYGRAPH. ------------- From my daughter Sarah: Courtroom Funnies Q: Are you sexually active? A: No, I just lie there. Q: What is your date of birth? A: July 15th. Q: What year? A: Every year. Q: What gear were you in at the moment of the impact? A: Gucci sweats and Reeboks. Q: This myasthenia gravis, does it affect your memory at all? A: Yes. Q: And in what ways does it affect your memory? A: I forget. Q: You forget? Can you give us an example of something that you've forgotten? Q: How old is your son, the one living with you? A: Thirty-eight or thirty-five, I can't remember which. Q: How long has he lived with you? A: Forty-five years. Q: What was the first thing your husband said to you when he woke up that morning? A: He said, "Where am I, Cathy?" Q: And why did that upset you? A: My name is Susan. Q: Do you know if your daughter has ever been involved in voodoo or the occult? A: We both do. Q: Voodoo? A: We do. Q: You do? A: Yes, voodoo. Q: Now doctor, isn't it true that when a person dies in his sleep, he doesn't know about it until the next morning? A: Did you actually pass the bar exam? =========================================== X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X =========================================== Random historical events for June: June 1 1716: With the exception of four Indians who were involved in the murder of five Frenchmen and two high chiefs, French commander Bienville released his Natchez prisoners. He told them that they must return all of the dead men’s possessions, they must provide logs for the French to build a fort, and they must kill the Natchez chief, Oyelape, who ordered the killings. June 2 1837: Many Seminoles had gathered at Tampa Bay to be removed west, including Chiefs Alligator and Jumper. Chiefs Osceola and Sam Jones, who was almost seventy years old, led a force of 200 Seminole warriors into the camp. Almost 700 Seminoles fled the camp into the surrounding swamps with the warriors. June 3 1770: Gaspar de Portolá, Father Junipero Serra, and other Spanish officials performed the “possession and establishment” ceremonies that established the Spanish mission and presidio at San Carlos de Borromeo de Monterey (modern Monterey, California). June 4 1647: Chief Canonicus, chief of the Narragansett when the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock, died. He was approximately eighty-eight years old. June 5 1728: Delaware Chief Sassoonan addressed the Pennsylvania provincial council. He complained of German immigrants settling on Indian lands in Tulpehocken Valley. The complaint was not resolved until 1732, when the lands were purchased from the Indians for trade goods. June 6 1962: Leo Johnson of Oklahoma became the first American Indian to graduate from the U.S. Air Force Academy. June 7 1539: Juan Ortiz, a Spaniard, was a member of the Narvaez expedition to France in 1528. He was captured by Indians. He escaped from his captors and lived with the Mococo Indians. Upon Hernando de Soto’s arrival, the Mococo sent out Ortiz to mediate with de Soto. De Soto was relieved to have someone who could speak the native language. Today, the Mococo met with de Soto and agreed to a peace. June 8 1820: The Mi’kmaq Acadia First Nation Reserve of Wildcat was established in Nova Scotia. June 9 1844: Captain John Coffee Hays and fourteen Texas Rangers were bivouacking on the Guadalupe River (in the area of modern Kendall County). A Ranger in a tree spotted a large group of Comanche approaching them. A series of thrusts and counterthrusts took place. After the fighting stopped, the Rangers estimated the number of Indians killed at twenty to fifty, including Chief Yellow Wolf. The Rangers lost one man. This fight goes by many names, including: the Battle of Asta’s Creek, the Battle of Pinta Trail Crossing, the Battle of Sisters Creek, and the Walker’s Creek Fight. June 10 1851: According to sources, one in a series of treaties with California Indians was signed at Camp Persifer F. Smith. The treaty’s purpose was to guarantee reserved lands and protections from the Europeans. June 11 1855: This day marked the end of the Walla Walla council. Two treaties were signed. The council had been attended by Oregon Superintendent of Indian Affairs Joel Palmer and Washington State Indian Affairs Superintendent Isaac Stevens. The Nez Perce and Cayuse tribes signed treaties, which were satisfactory to the whites. June 12 1852: An article in Home Journal mentioned that there was only one saint in the Americas, Tamanend (Tammany), the Delaware sachem. According to the article, Tamanend “excited so much respect by his virtues and exploits, both among the white and red man, that, after his death, he was canonized, and the day of his birth, the first of May, regarded as a holiday.” June 13 1722: Sixty Indians attacked Brunswick, Maine, the site of Fort George. Nine settler families were captured and their farms were burned. Cannon fire from the fort and a subsequent attack from the militia forced the Indians to flee. Eighteen Indians were killed in the fighting. Europeans attacked some Indians last year at Norridgewock. This attack was believed to be a retaliatory gesture. June 14 1866: At Fort Laramie in southeastern Wyoming, upon hearing Colonel Henry Carrington’s orders to guard the trail that the Indians had never agreed to, the Indians confronted the treaty commissioners. The commissioners admitted that the army had plans to open the road. Red Cloud chastised the commissioners for pretending to bargain for something they planned on taking anyway. Red Cloud and many of the others left in disgust. A few Indians signed the treaty. June 15 1811: The ship Tonquin was sailing the waters off Vancouver Island. The Nootka captured the ship. Most of the crew were killed and the ship was destroyed. June 16 1832: The Battle of Pecatonica (Wisconsin) took place. As a part of the Black Hawk Wars, Kickapoo Indians killed five settlers at Fort Hamilton, Wisconsin. The Kickapoo were chased to the Pecatonica River by General Henry Dodge and thirty militiamen. During the subsequent fighting, three soldiers and eleven Kickapoo were killed. This was also known as the Battle of Bloody Pond and the Battle of Kellogg’s Grove. June 17 1876: "General George Crook was in the field with less than 1,000 men to force the Cheyenne and the Sioux back to the reservation. On this day, Crook’s men encountered Crazy Horse near the Rosebud River in Montana. Rather than risk a frontal attack, or the traditional riding-in-a-ring around the enemy, Crazy Horse and his mounted warriors keep attacking Crook’s flanks. This change in strategy confused the soldiers. During the battle, “Chief Comes In Sight’s horse was shot out from under him in front of the soldiers.” He was rescued by his sister, Buffalo Calf Road Woman. Although the soldiers called this the Battle of the Rosebud, the Indians named it the Battle Where the Girl Saves Her Brother. The Indians won the day. Crook decided to return to his supply camp on Goose Creek until he could be reinforced. First Sergeants Michael A. McGann, Company F, Joseph Robinson, Company D, John Shingle, Troop I ,and trumpeter Elmer Snow, Company M, Third Cavalry, would be awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for their actions during the fighting. According to army reports, eleven Indians and nine soldiers were killed. Captain G. V. Henry and twenty other soldiers were wounded." See photos here: http://www.americanindian.net/2003k.html June 18 1730: Seven Cherokee representatives met with King George II of England at Windsor Castle in London. They acknowledged him as the sovereign of the Cherokee people. Leading the Cherokees were Chief Oukah-ulah and Attakullaculla (Little Carpenter). June 19 1816: Robert Semple was Governor of the Red River settlement in Canada. He was trying to reestablish the settlement after many of the settlers had abandoned the area. Semple and a group of settlers encountered a group of Metis in an area known as Seven Oaks. The Metis told the settlers to give up. Shooting began, and twenty-one settlers, including Semple, were killed. Only one Metis died. This event became known as the Massacre at Seven Oaks or the Skirmish at Seven Oaks. June 20 1780: British Captain Henry Bird commanded a force of 1,000 men, of that 850 were Indians. They attacked Ruddle’s Station, Kentucky. Three hundred settlers had taken refuge in the station. Bird’s forces had a cannon, and the settlers soon realized they were outmatched. They agreed to surrender. When they settlers opened the gate, the warriors rushed in and start killing them. Before Bird could intercede, more than 200 people were killed. This was called the Ruddle’s Station Massacre. Nearby Martin’s Station also surrendered. Those occupants fared better. All of the survivors were taken to Detroit as prisoners. (Also recorded as happening on June 24, 1780.) June 21 1899: Treaty Number 8 was signed between the government of Canada and the “Cree, Beaver, Chipewyan and other Indians.” June 22 1838: In a report issued today, General Winfield Scott estimated the disposition of the Cherokee Nation. According to his figures, 3,000 had been removed, 1,500 were in transit to the Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma), 2,000–3,000 were in forts in the Cherokee lands awaiting movement to embarkation points, 6,750 were in concentration camps between Ross’s Landing (present-day Chattanooga, Tennessee) and the eastern Cherokee Agency (present-day Calhoun, Tennessee), and there were 200 still at large in their old homelands. There were an estimated 3,000 Cherokees in North Carolina as well. June 23 1704: James Moore, former governor of South Carolina, was leading a force of fifty British and 1,000 Creeks against Spanish settlements. They attacked the Apalachee mission of San Pedro y San Pable at Patale in northwestern Florida. They took many Indians as slaves and killed Father Manuel de Mendoza. The mission was destroyed the next day. June 24 1832: Reverend Samuel Worcester had been arrested and convicted of living and working among the Cherokees without having a state permit or having sworn an oath of allegiance to the state of Georgia. Today the Supreme Court ruled that the state of Georgia had unfairly tried to exercise control over the Cherokees contrary to federal law and treaties. The court struck down most of the anti-Indian laws passed by Georgia, including those seizing lands and nullifying tribal laws. Before the trial, President Andrew Jackson officially stated that he had no intention of supporting the Cherokees over the state of Georgia. Speaking to the court’s decision, Jackson was quoted as saying, “John Marshall [the chief justice] had rendered his decision; now let him enforce it.” Jackson ignored the Supreme Court ruling and continued in his efforts to move the Cherokees out of the south and into the Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma). June 25 1528: Narvaez and his Spanish expedition crossed the Suwannee River. They discovered and occupied a village they call Apalachen, in Florida. There were approximately forty houses in the village and a quantity of corn. They remained there for almost a month. During that time they fought with the local inhabitants on several occasions. The local Apalachee Indians called the village Ibitachoco or Ivitachuco. June 26 1827: After hearing of the false rumor of the release of two Winnebago murder suspects to the Chippewa by whites, Winnebago Chief Red Bird was ordered by the tribal elders to fight. He attacked several families in Wisconsin near Prairie du Chien. After a few other attacks in the following days on settlers and riverboats on the Mississippi, the Americans order his surrender, or else they would destroy the entire tribe. Red Bird surrendered on September 27, 1827. June 27 1864: Colorado Territory Governor John Evans issued a proclamation advising all friendly Indians to stay away from the bad Indians who had been attacking white settlers. He then ordered the good Indians to report to Fort Lyon in southeastern Colorado, where the agent would provide provisions and a safe place to stay. The order neglected to mention that most of the fights with settlers were started by the settlers. June 28 1866: The Bozeman Trail was a route from Fort Laramie in southeastern Wyoming to Montana. Red Cloud vowed to never let the road go through unmolested, for this was his land. A small fort was established on the route to protect the travelers; originally named Fort Connor, it was staffed by former Confederates. On this date, the garrison was increased by men from Colonel Henry Carrington’s troops. The fort was eventually renamed Fort Reno. The Sioux maintained a siege of the fort throughout the winter. The fort was located near modern Sussex, Wyoming. See pictures here: http://americanindian.net/2003n.html June 29 1542: Coronado reached the Arkansas River in Kansas. He was only 300 miles from Hernando de Soto’s expedition, which was in Arkansas near the Oklahoma border. June 30 1798: A deed of conveyance was signed between the “Principal Chiefs, Warriors and people of the Chippewa Nation of Indians” and the Canadian government. It was regarding the island of St. Joseph in the straight between Lake Huron and Lake Superior. =========================================== X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X =========================================== That's it for now, Phil ==================================== End of June 2004 Newsletter - Part 2 ==================================== . . . . . . . . .
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