June 2004 Newsletter from
"On This Date in North American Indian History"
by Phil Konstantin
Copyright © Phil Konstantin (1996-2004)

Looking for a good book on North American Indians?
Click on the line below:
Good Books

Start of June 2004 newsletter - Part One


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:


I have listed the winning, and runners-up essays below.

I will have more of my regular material in a day or two.



This is the elementary/junior school group. The subject for their essay

"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.


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

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


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:


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.


That's it for now....

Stay safe,


End of June 2004 newsletter - Part One
Start of June 2004 Newsletter - Part 2


I hope you enjoyed reading the essay contest winners and
runners-up. You can read all of the entries on this page:

I'll have some more newsletter material later in the month...



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.



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:


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

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:

or on my store page at:


News, etc.

Iraqi television crew to study Native Americans

American Indian who refused to cut hair in jail freed

Wintus are only a quasi-tribe in government's eyes

Conference for American Indian/Alaskan Natives/Native Hawaiians in
Public Health July 20 - 22, 2004

U.S. apology to Indians considered Bill 'acknowledges
years of official depredations'

Recent Board Responses Fall Short

Washington in brief: Self-governance bill gets a no-show from DHHS

Are Indians a ‘security threat group’?

BIA reorganization hearing yields new insights

High court reverses tribal double jeopardy

Mohawk chief calling it quits:

Tribe fears loss of culture through mandated school standardization

Leech Lake Tribe responds: 'We Are Not Lost'

Gros Ventre woman keeps dancing legacy alive

Osage tribal change clears House -

Inuits in Canada vote on $156M land claim settlement


Some Iteresting Websites:

White Bison

Shade of Brown - a subscriber's site

Those Dark Hiding Places: The Invisible Web Revealed


Material from subscribers, etc.:


From: Andre Cramblit


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
916-324-0283 FAX

Senator Richard Alarcon (D-20)
916-324-6645 FAX

Senator Wesley Chesbro (D-2)
916-323-6958 FAX

Senator Betty Karnette (D-27)
916-327-9113 FAX
Senator Bruce McPherson (D-15)
Vice Chair of the Education Committee
916-445-8081 FAX

Senator Dede Alpert (D-39)

Senator Jeff Denham (R-12)
916-445-0773 FAX

Senator Gloria Romero (D-24)
916-445-0485 FAX

Senator Jack Scott (D-21)
916-324-7543 FAX

Senator Jackie Speier (D-8)
916-327-2186 FAX

Senator Bryon Sher (D- 11)
916-323-4529 FAX

Senator Edward Vincent (D-25)
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

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 jser-@nccj.org.

For further updates on the status of AB 858 (Goldberg),
visit http://www.allarm.org.

We count on your support!



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


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

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


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
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: adm-@culturalcenter.info (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.


Jan van Romburgh


**** 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'.




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

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.


2. (On the front) 60 IS NOT OLD. (On the back) IF





7. I'M NOT 50. I'M $49.95 PLUS TAX.

















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

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
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?


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

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,

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:

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:

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.


That's it for now,


End of June 2004 Newsletter - Part 2


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