July 2003 Newsletter Part 1 from
"On This Date in North American Indian History"
by Phil Konstantin
Copyright © Phil Konstantin (1996-2002)

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  July 2003 Newsletter #1 - by Phil Konstantin
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  Greetings,

  I am going to get on my soapbox for a moment. It has been a sad couple 
  of weeks for the law enforcement community in San Diego. In the last 
  month, three Police officers have been killed in the lines of duty. One 
  was a San Diego Police motorcycle officer directing traffic near the 
  beach. A driver who was not paying attention struck him. Another SDPD 
  motorcycle officer was trying to catch someone who had just stolen a 
  truck. The thief made a quick u-turn in a residential neighborhood and 
  went out of his way to run the officer down. The third incident was when 
  an Oceanside Police officer contacted a person in his city. The person 
  was a convicted felon, gang-member and deported foreign national. I do 
  not know if the officer knew this. The encounter turned into a fight, 
  and the criminal got the officer's gun, and shot and killed him. Both of 
  the criminals have been caught and will probably be charged with murder. 
  The unobservant driver has not been charged with anything at this time. 

  This just goes to show you how precious life can be. I feel safe in 
  saying that none of these officers knew they would not be coming home 
  after their shift. I also doubt if any of the other involved people had 
  plans to kill someone that day. I know we cannot live our lives as if 
  each moment is our last, but we should at least appreciate the time we 
  have. Is carrying a grudge really that important? Is fighting over a 
  parking space something we really need to do? And, leaving kind things 
  unsaid for later, may leave you with them unsaid forever. Just think 
  about it. 

  I guess I could also say something about appreciating law enforcement, 
  but it would probably wind up as a joke about doughnuts as I try to 
  lighten things up. 

  ----------------------

  I had a great time on my trip to the northern Rocky mountain and plains 
  states. I finally have all of my photos online. The pictures are a bit 
  large for people who use dial-up modems. There are approximately 600 
  photos. I broke it down into pages with about 25 pictures each. You can 
  find the first page here:   http://americanindian.net/2003.html

  I started telling you about the trip in the last edition of the 
  newsletter. I will continue with it in this one. You should be able to 
  read the first part on this page:   
  http://www.topica.com/lists/americanindian.net/read/message.html?mid=907864613&sort=d&start=34 


  I'll start off with the last paragraph:   The next stop was the Crazy 
  Woman Creek fight. This is a rather obscure battle which happened 
  between Buffalo and Casper, Wyoming. The roads through here are seldom 
  marked. Fortunately, I had a great map. Fort 
  Reno was abandoned long ago. The only thing there are the interpretive 
  signs. Many of the sites in this area are on private property. I went 
  west and tried to get as close as I could to the site of Dull Knife's 
  fight on the Red Fork of the Powder River. This is not to far (as the 
  crow flies) from the place made famous by Butch Cassidy, 
  Hole-In-The-Wall. Dull Knife Battlefield is on private property. They 
  have a no trespassing sign, and I could not make arrangements to get 
  their permission. It is interesting territory. I spent the night in 
  Casper. 


  (new stuff)
  I had a nice book with me called "Hidden Wyoming." It had lots of 
  details on many different popular places, and the "hidden" ones, as 
  well. I was surprised by the low price of fuel in Wyoming. It was in the 
  mid $1.30s. My first stop outside of Casper was Ayers Natural Bridge 
  Park. It is one of the few natural bridge which has water flowing 
  through it. I noticed lots of small butterflies there.

  Next up was Douglas, Wyoming. The area around Fort Phil Kearny and the 
  Fetterman Battlefield had several metal silhouettes depicting Indians on 
  horseback. Douglas had a variety of these metal designs. They ranged 
  from cattle to dinosaurs to jackalopes. A jackalope, like Bigfoot, is a 
  seldom seen creatures which is part jack rabbit, and part antelope. Only 
  a few, special people have seen a real jackalope. These people usually 
  also have a certain skill for spinning stories. I have a picture on the 
  website (the metal outline, not a real one). Douglas is also home to 
  Fort Fetterman. The fort was named after the Captain who, against 
  specific orders to the contrary, led 80 soldiers and civilians to their 
  deaths in a trap near Fort Phil Kearny. Established in 1867, this was 
  considered a less than hospitable posting. Many soldiers assigned here 
  deserted. If you were to draw a straight line from Douglas to Buffalo, 
  Wyoming, you would have a good idea of the path taken by the Bozeman 
  Trail. The trail's purpose was to get people from southeastern Wyoming 
  to the Montana goldfields. In fact, it was a violation of several 
  treaties. Its construction led to many conflicts between the army and 
  the local Indians, including Red Cloud. Fort Fetterman is located near 
  the beginning of the Bozeman Trail. 

  I continued in a southerly direction on Interstate 25 until I got to 
  Highway 26. Heading east, I made it to Guernsey. Guernsey has two claims 
  to fame: the Oregon Trail Ruts National Historic Landmark, and Register 
  Cliff. The rocks in this area along the North Platte river are a soft 
  type of sandstone. Thousands upon thousands of heavy wagons laden with 
  pioneers and their goods left their marks in the rock. In fact, in a few 
  places, the ruts are almost six feet deep. Unlike a few other places 
  where I have seen the ruts left along old trails, these ruts are very 
  pronounced. Also leaving their marks in the rocks were the pioneers 
  themselves. Register Cliff is very similar to Independence Rock 
  southwest of Casper. The cliff was one of the first significant 
  outcroppings many of the travelers would see after crossing the flat 
  prairies. Many carved their names or initials in this cliff, which was 
  one days march from Fort Laramie. Sad to say, many of the people who 
  caved their names on this rock did not live to see their final 
  destinations. Disease, accidents, bandits and a (not as often as most 
  people think) occasional Indian attack took their toll.

  Just a few miles to the east of Guernsey is Fort Laramie. Unlike some of 
  the forts I visited on this trip, Fort Laramie was a major operation. It 
  had a large garrison during its active days. Several major treaties were 
  signed here, or near here. The fort served to protect the westward 
  migrants, traders and the railroads. The National Park Service has 
  worked very hard to restore the area to what it looked like during its 
  heyday. I asked one of the historians if they knew where the treaties of 
  1851 and 1868 were signed. The treaty of 1851 attracted so many Indians, 
  that the fort was not large enough to handle everyone. The "Great Smoke" 
  (as it came to be called - as in smoking a peace pipe) was actually held 
  a few miles into Nebraska (near modern day Morrill). The historian said 
  they did not know exactly where the 1868 treaty was signed. You can see 
  a photo of part of the 1868 signing on page 277 in my book.

  Just a few miles from Fort Laramie is the "Grattan Massacre" site. Like 
  many fights between soldiers and the Indians, this one started from a 
  minor incident. In this case, it was the shooting of a cow. The rancher 
  wanted to be compensated at a rate that many felt was much more than the 
  cow was worth. The army responded, a parlay was started, a soldier fired 
  a shot, the Indians retaliated, and most of the soldiers were killed. 
  Among the dead was Brule Chief Conquering Bear (Martoh-Ioway). Here is a 
  website which has an interesting version of the story: 
  http://www.stringofbeads.com/Mormon%20Cow.html While this is not by any 
  means a major battle site, I was a bit surprised not to see any roadside 
  signs pointing the way toward the marker for this incident.

  I turned north on Highway 29 and traveled through some very sparsely 
  settled territory. There are lots of grasslands in this part of 
  Nebraska. I stopped at the Agate Fossil Beds National Monument. It has 
  some interesting geological outcroppings. It also has a small by 
  surprisingly nice museum of Indian artifacts for such an out-of-the-way 
  place. They have many pieces of traditional clothing donated by local 
  collectors and tribal members.

  My next stop was Fort Robinson in the northwestern Nebraska. This fort 
  also placed a big role in many of the plains Indian wars. Crazy Horse, 
  Dull Knife and almost 1,000 of their followers surrendered to the army 
  here on May 6th, 1877. Four months later, Crazy Horse would be shot and 
  killed here. This is the place where Dull Knife and his Cheyenne were 
  being held prisoner when they finally had enough and broke out on 
  January 9, 1879.

  My next stop was to be the Warbonnet Monument. While driving along some 
  back country roads, I noticed a sign for the Hudson-Meig Bison Bonebed. 
  I had never heard of this place before, so I thought I would check it 
  out. Fortunately, there were plenty of signs offering directions (just 
  ask someone in Crawford or Fort Robinson which way to go). Finally, 
  after many miles of dirt and gravel roads, I cleared a rise, and thee 
  was a very modern building that resembled a large Quonset hut. Inside 
  the nicely air conditioned building (no snow out here on the prairie!) 
  was the site where LOTS of bison died in a small area. The scientists 
  are not sure what caused this mass death. The site does not have the 
  typical signs of a bison jump (where the locals stampeded the animals 
  off a cliff). In fact, they do not really know what caused so many bison 
  all to die in a very confined space and almost all at the same time. 
  There is a small spring next to the site. One theory is that lightning 
  struck the spring and killed the bison drinking there. Another theory is 
  that fire might have herded the bison into this small area. I threw out 
  the idea that a sudden coldsnap or a tornado might have caused it. No 
  one knows, for sure. 

  Just north of the Bonebed (as the crow flies, but not as the road rolls) 
  is the Warbonnet memorial. It is marked on a few maps, but not many. It 
  was the scene of a confrontation a few weeks after the Little Big Horn. 
  While the actual fighting between the Indians and the soldiers was very 
  limited, this is the scene of the much heralded battle between William 
  Cody and Yellow Hand (Yellow Hair). Fact, and fiction, are a bit hard to 
  determine here. There are several contradictory stories of what happened 
  here. Below are a couple of websites which explore different versions of 
  the incident.

  http://www.wyomingtalesandtrails.com/cody.html
  http://www.rootsweb.com/~nalakota/wotw/mlyhbb/yellow_hand_killing_buffalobillstory_wotw093034.htm

  http://www.rootsweb.com/~nalakota/wotw/mlyhbb/yellow_hand_whokilled_wotw093029.htm


  I headed north from here into South Dakota. It was getting late in the 
  afternoon, so I hurried toward the Crazy Horse Monument. This massive 
  carving is the source of some debate. Some Indians feel the structure is 
  a good idea, other do not. It was originally proposed by some tribal 
  leaders in response to Mount Rushmore. Some Indians say that Crazy Horse 
  would never have pointed like that because it is considered rude. 
  Regardless, it is an impressive undertaking. Here is a link to the 
  monument's official website: http://www.crazyhorse.org/

  After leaving Crazy Horse, I thought I might have enough time to get to 
  Devil's Tower before it was too dark to see. So, I headed back into 
  Wyoming. Unfortunately, I got a bit turned around in Moorcroft and could 
  not find the connection to Highway 14. I was going a bit slow in the 
  Interstate while trying to figure out where I hard gone wrong. A Wyoming 
  highway patrol officer pulled me over to check on me. "I don't remember 
  the last time I saw anyone going 55 on this stretch of road." He set me 
  straight and I spent the night at a nice little motel he recommended in 
  Moorcroft.

  Early on the morning of the 23rd, I headed up to see Devil's Tower. Like 
  many people of my age, I saw the movie "Close Encounters of the Third 
  Kind." Most of the last half of the movie takes place at Devil's Tower. 
  Well, I was enroute to my own "close encounter" with Devil's Tower. OK, 
  I know that is pretty corny, but I couldn't help myself. A bit of 
  trivia, I used to do interviews on the radio in Texas in the mid 1970s. 
  One of my guests was Dr. J. Allen Hynek. He is the person who created 
  the phrase "Close encounter of the third kind." I interviewed him a year 
  before the movie was made. The good doctor had a cameo role in the 
  movie. Toward the end, he is one of the older scientists who walks up to 
  look at the spacecraft. He strokes his beard while examining the UFO. I 
  have always been fascinated by mountains and volcanoes. Devil's Tower 
  has always been on my "to do" list. It was very impressive. Many tribal 
  groups have tried to get people to stop climbing the tower, as they 
  consider it a sacred site. The NPS has posted this message on several of 
  the signs at the visitor's center. However, they do not prohibit 
  climbing. Someone fell to their death a few days before I arrived. I 
  used to be a mountain climber, and this place is considered a good 
  climb. Taking the sacredness of the site, I would never consider 
  climbing here, even if I was still in good enough shape to do it.

  Louie Freiberg is one of the subscribers to this newsletter. Bless his 
  heart, he set up a luncheon in my honor at the Alex Johnson Hotel in 
  Rapid City. Louie would make a great cruise director. He seemed to 
  really enjoy bringing people together and trying to see that they had a 
  good time. Thanks to Louie, I got to meet lots of very interesting 
  people. The long list of folks included (a partial list) Chief David 
  Beautiful Bald Eagle, Gay Kingman and Tim Wapato, Joan Hunter of the 
  Journey Museum, Mary Frogg of the amazing Prairie Edge store, Dean 
  Campbell and Tarita Hairychin, Karen Sussman, Arvol Looking Horse, just 
  to mention a few. Gay and Tom invited me over to their beautiful home 
  for a cookout. They have both had very impressive careers. Before 
  becoming executive director of the National Indian Gaming Association 
  (NIGA). Tim was with the Los Angeles Police Department for over 20 
  years. See, cops can have more than one career! Gay was the Public 
  Relations and Seminar Director for NIGA. Kay's great grandfather Sunka 
  Cankohan (Dogs Backbone) was killed at the Little Big Horn. A marker was 
  scheduled to be added for him on June 26th, 2003. Marty showed me around 
  Prairie Edge in Rapid City. It had the most amazing selection of Indian 
  related material I have ever seen in one place. If you are in Rapid 
  City, I highly recommend visiting this store. Louie met Dean in the 
  library. dean was looking up something on Indians for his fiancé Tarita. 
  Being the outgoing guy that he is, Louie invited them both to the 
  luncheon. Just before arriving in Rapid City, I had a flat. While I was 
  waiting for the flat to be fixed, Dean and Tarita drove me around. 

  Tarita is Lakota. She was adopted by a non-Indian couple when she was 
  quite young. She is trying to rediscover her past (that sure sounds 
  familiar). Dean is also interested in Indian ways. We went down to 
  Wounded Knee to see the cemetery and the scene of the massacre. Since 
  reading "Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee," I have always wanted to go 
  there. It almost felt like a pilgrimage. I am Cherokee, not Lakota. But, 
  I feel somewhat of a kinship with the people who were killed here. I get 
  that same sensation in many of the places I have visited. Based on many 
  of the e-mails I have received, many of you seem to share this 
  experience. I cannot really explain my feelings while I was there. I was 
  mad, sad, and glad (no rhyme intended). I was glad the people still 
  survived, despite some of the government's efforts to get rid of them. 

  Tarita was especially happy to have met Chief Bald Eagle. They shared 
  many conversations which were special for her in her search to find her 
  past. We decided to go visit his reservation that day, too. The Chief 
  lives on the Cheyenne River reservation. We met him at the powwow in 
  Eagle Butte. He was one of the many drummers and singers there. I really 
  enjoyed the Powwow. I went to one last year at the Sycuan reservation 
  here in San Diego. I noted that their were day-glo colored regalia at 
  both events. Modern day things mingle with the traditional. We drove 
  back later that night to Rapid City. 

  The next morning, we drove out to the Chief's house for Coffee. He and 
  his wife Josee have raised many children, quite a few not their own. We 
  went back to the powwow. A little later I left for a special event. 
  Karen Sussman is the President of the Society For The Preservation of 
  Mustangs and Burros. She helps manage a ranch for wild mustangs and 
  burros on the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation. She is also a friend of 
  Louie's. She invited me to attend a blessing ceremony for her new house, 
  and for the horses and burros. Chief Arvol Looking Horse conducted the 
  ceremony. We stood in a circle in front of the house. He offered some 
  prayers (mostly in Lakota) and burned some sage. Chief Arvol Looking 
  Horse is the 19th Keeper of the Sacred White Buffalo Calf Pipe. He has 
  been involved in the ongoing efforts to try to keep the Lakota sacred 
  ceremonies from being performed by people who do not truly follow this 
  life. You have seen several stories about him on the links I have 
  provided in previous newsletter. I considered it an honor to meet him. 
  The horse here are some amazing specimens. I can understand why Karen is 
  so dedicated to this project. I know my father (at one time a rancher 
  and an excellent horseman) would have loved seeing them. My parents 
  might make it up here some day. Here is a link to the ISPMB's website: 
  http://www.ispmb.com/index.html

  Later that afternoon, I took my leave and headed east. I went up to 
  Mobridge to see the Sitting Bull and Sakakawea monuments which overlook 
  the Missouri River. Sitting Bull (Tatanka Iyotake) was once buried at 
  Fort Yates in North Dakota. Some of his relatives, and some local South 
  Dakotans decided that this was not right. So, they went up there, and in 
  the middle of the night, they dug up his casket and took it to Mobridge. 
  They buried it inside tons of concrete to make it very difficult for 
  anyone else to try to move it again. The Sakakawea marker in nice. Yes, 
  they spell it differently just about every place you go. Many people 
  want to claim her. But, more on that later...

  The morning of the 26th saw me in Dickinson, North Dakota. About 40 
  miles north of town is the Killdeer Battlefield. This was the scene of 
  fight which involved many thousands of people. Again, the battlefield is 
  on private property, except for a small fenced off area. This was a very 
  beautiful area. The dirt road was bordered by barbed wire fences. As I 
  was driving away, I was a Pronghorn on the road. There was another one 
  just on the other side of the barbed wire. The Pronghorn saw me and 
  began to run away from me, rather than jump the fence. I drove very 
  slowly for what seemed like a quarter mile before the Pronghorn finally 
  jumper the fence. If you read the marker on my website, you will see 
  that a place called Medicine Hole is mentioned. Even though there are 
  signs showing the way there, you cannot enter it without the owner's 
  permission. 

  Fort Buford is located at the confluence of the Yellowstone and the 
  Missouri Rivers. As you can tell by my pictures, I was fascinated by the 
  cemetery. I recognized several of the names of the people here. Fort 
  Buford was another fort that was highly used during the plains Indian 
  wars. I was a bit surprised to notice that two of the privates' 
  headstones mentioned an incident which is in my book on August 20, 1868. 
  They are the two headstones in the picture behind "Gros Ventre Indian."

  Fort Union is about a mile down the Missouri from Fort Buford. The 
  Montana state line is only a few feet west of the fort. The original 
  fort was completely destroyed. All of the buildings here are 
  reconstructions. The river has been significantly lowered since the days 
  of the fort. Steamboats used to be able to come right up the river and 
  dock next to the fort. That is no longer the case. Fort Buford was for 
  soldiers. Fort Union was built as a trading post. They were not 
  operating during the same time. 

  I continued on into Montana. Highway 2 is called the "Hi-Line" by 
  Montanans. Most of the land along Highway 2 is flat. This is the real 
  home of "Big Sky Country." I was very impressed by the Fort Peck Dam. 
  The road along the top of the dam is over 3.5 miles long. This is the 
  longest embankment dam in the world. The lake's shoreline is longer than 
  California's. The lake is fed by the Mighty Missouri. 

  My next stop was the Bear Paw Battlefield. It is southeast of Havre, 
  Montana. The Nez Perce's final destination in 1877 was Canada. After 
  fighting, and escaping from the army all the way from Oregon, they made 
  it to within 44 miles of the Canadian border. This is another of those 
  places where I felt a certain kinship with the participants, even though 
  I have only met one Nez Perce. The Nez Perce conducted themselves very 
  admirably here. Even during the fighting, they helped to treat wounded 
  soldiers. Some even risked their own lives to get water for the wounded 
  and captured soldiers. This was both a sad day and a proud day in 
  history. Perspective is everything.

  I spent the night in Browning on the Blackfeet reservation. I finally 
  went to sleep at 10:30pm. It was still light outside. I got up around 
  5am, and it was already light outside. Boy, I was pretty far north! I 
  decided to go a little bit further north. I headed up north to the 
  Canadian border. I parked on the US side and I asked the Customs people 
  if I needed anything special just to walk across the border and come 
  back. They said that was fine and since I had a passport, that was all I 
  needed. As you can see on my website, I took a picture before I walked 
  across the border. As I was walking up to the Canadian facility, I 
  noticed a Peace Marker. I thought it would make a nice picture. As I 
  started to frame the shot, the Canadian Customs Agent in the drive 
  through area started yelling at me. She told me to stop taking pictures 
  and to come over to her. She was upset that I had taken the pictures. 
  She told me that taking pictures of her building was not allowed. She 
  asked me what I was doing. I told her I was taking a picture of the 
  Peace Marker. I showed it to her through the viewfinder. This seemed to 
  satisfy her. That picture was a bit out of focus. I asked her if I could 
  get a better one. She said I could, as long as I did not take a picture 
  of the building. Talk about security concerns! The picture on my site 
  which shows the border and the rocks also shows her building. That 
  picture was taken with the widest angle shot I had. Considering that I 
  have a camera which can zoom in 14x, I could have probably taken a 
  portrait photo of her from the American side. Oh well, she's just doing 
  her job. During the 30 minutes I was here, only one other person crossed 
  the border. I occasionally work at the San Diego-Tijuana border crossing 
  in California. It is the busiest border crossing in the world with over 
  250,000 people crossing every day. Quite a bit of difference.

  After avoiding an international incident, I went back south on Highway 
  89 to the Many Glaciers Road entrance of Glacier-Waterton park. As you 
  can easily see from my photos, Glacier is a BEAUTIFUL place. I was 
  especially interested in Swiftcurrent Lake, which is near the Many 
  Glaciers Lodge. It was here around 1910 that the picture on the cover of 
  my book was taken. I scouted around a bit and found a place that looked 
  pretty similar. Check out the picture on my site, and see what you 
  think: http://americanindian.net/2003x.html

  I tried to drive across the park on the Going To The Sun Road, but it 
  was still closed for the winter. One of the rangers told me there was 
  still over 40 feet of snow on parts of the road. He said there had been 
  over 30 meters of snow before they started trying to open the road. It 
  was still a beautiful place.

  I was very impress by the beauty of Flathead Lake southwest of Glacier. 
  If it did not get SO COLD here, I would seriously think about moving 
  here. I have plenty of natural insulation, but -30 is toooo cold for me.

  And so, on the 27th, I pulled into Missoula, Montana. my home for the 
  next few days. I participated in "A Confluence of Cultures - Native 
  Americans and the Expedition of Lewis and Clark." This was a great 
  event. I was one of the presenters. I'll talk more about it 
  later........

  And that is enough (did someone say that was already too much? ;-) ) 
  for now..............I'll have more in a few days....


  Phil - philkon @ rocketmail.com

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  July 2003's Link of the Month is an online version of "NEZ PERCE 
  SUMMER, 1877 - The U.S. Army and the Nee-Me-Poo Crisis" by Jerome A. 
  Greene - foreword by Alvin M. Josephy, Jr. ©2000, Montana Historical 
  Society Press. This is a very detailed account of the Nez Perce's flight 
  from the army in 1877. As many of you probably know, the Nez Perce who 
  did not want to move to the Idaho reservation decided to see if they 
  could find somewhere else to live. Their destination changed a couple of 
  times. Eventually, they had hoped to leave the United States and go to 
  Canada. They outfought and outmaneuvered the army while being 
  outnumbered most of the time. You can read about most of this tragic 
  flight from the army on this website. It also lists references, and 
  includes several maps. You can find it here:        
  http://www.nps.gov/nepe/greene/ 

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  The Treaty of the Month is the "TREATY WITH THE NEZ PERCÉS, 1868. Aug. 
  13, 1868. | 15 Stats., 693. | Ratified Feb. 16, 1869. | Proclaimed Feb. 
  24, 1869." It covered Reservation, Allotments, Timber to be protected, 
  School moneys, etc.. You can find a copy at:   
  http://digital.library.okstate.edu/kappler/Vol2/treaties/nez1024.htm

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  End of July 2003 Newsletter #1 - by Phil Konstantin
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My mortgage loan compnay My Mortgage Loan Company photos of the 2006 SDSU powwow 2006 SDSU Powwow  






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