August 2005 Newsletter from
"This Day in North American Indian History"
by Phil Konstantin
Copyright © Phil Konstantin (1996-2006)

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Start of Phil Konstantinís August 2005 Newsletter


I just got back from a short trip to Texas. My son Ron
just graduated from Abilene Christian University. Ron
has had many challenges in his life, including suffering
from acute Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Syndrome for
most of his life. Throw in a couple of other significant
medical problems & injuries, and you get an idea of what
an uphill struggle going to college has been for him. I
could not be prouder of him. Ron hopes to become a minister.
He is now looking for an appropriate seminary school.

This is a somewhat abbreviated first newsletter. I'll be
posting more items in subsequent Parts later this month.



Featured Link of the Month for August 2005

The "Link of the Month" for July 2005 is "A Circle Of
All Nations." According to this page, "The Circle of
All Nations is a global eco-community unified by Elder
William Commanda's fundamental and unshakeable conviction
that as children of Mother Earth, we all belong together,
irrespective of our individual colour, creed or culture.
The Circle of All Nations is neither an organization nor
a network. Rather it is a growing circle of individuals
committed to respect for Mother Earth, promotion of racial
harmony, advancement of social justice, recognition and
honouring of indigenous wisdom and peace building. The
core values sustaining the Circle are love, forgiveness,
compassion respect and responsibility.

William Commanda is the eighty nine year old Algonquin
Elder from Kitigan Zibi Reserve, Quebec. The great, great
grandson of Pakinawatik, the hereditary Anicinabe chief
who led his people to settle in their traditional hunting
and trapping grounds in the Ottawa River area in the mid
eighteen hundreds, Elder Commanda is Keeper of three
Wampum Belts of sacred and historic importance."

The website has some interesting discussions, whether
you agree, or not.


The "Treaty of the Month" is Treaty Number Two (Manitoba
Post Treaty). It is between between the Canadian Government,
and the CHIPPEWA. They sell 35,700 square miles of land,
in exchange for certain reservation lands, an annuity,
schools and other items.

You can see a transcript of the treaty here:


A friend of mine is an author. They (Yes, I use a non-
gender-specific title as I am intentionally omitting
their name) have had many books and articles published.
They have won the highest awards in their primary field
of fiction. They have also novelized major Hollywood
motion pictures. This gives you an idea of the quality
of their work.

My friend is writing a new novel which involves some American
Indian characters. My friend is not American Indian and
wondered how we would feel about a white person writing
such a story. My friend is quite sincere & respectful. I
gave her my opinion, but I am interested in your opinion,
too. I have included a slightly edited version of my friend's
inquiry below. Let me know what you think. I will post
some of the replies.

"Dear Phil,

Thanks again for letting me ask you some questions.

I have this idea for an alternate history in which the
Minoan culture (pre-Mycenaean, pre-Classical Greek & Rome)
is the first group of Europeans to cross the Atlantic. In
other words, a novel about what might have happened if the
first (sustained) contact between eastern and western
hemispheres was in the service of trade and diplomacy
rather than conquest and exploitation.

And the more I thought about it (and the more I wrote --
about 100,000 words before the family matters derailed it),
the more I wondered if I even should write it. And, if
I did, could I get it right?

One viewpoint character is by birth from the Chimacum
tribe (but, it's complicated, was raised on Crete). Some
friends of the main character Iakinthu (a former bull-
leaper) are Massachusetts.

What's your opinion of white people writing books that
include American Indian characters? Do any of us ever get
it right? Do you flinch at the thought?

Thanks much,"


This article appeared in the LA Times today. One of the people being
interviewed is Joseph RedCloud, a subscriber and occasional contributor
to this newsletter.

Chief Justice
# NCAA makes the right call by cracking down on Indian

Four hundred years ago, middle America was populated
by a group of native tribes known as the Illini.

They were among history's first underdogs ó hunters
and farmers outmanned by war, disease and

There were once 12,000 Illini in the area.

Today there are none.

That is, if you don't count the guy who entertains the
University of Illinois sports crowds by pretending to
be a whooping Illini chief, dressing like a caricature
and dancing like a fool.

He's historically inaccurate. He's morally

He's also, finally, thankfully, endangered.

Making a rare move that actually reeks of education,
the NCAA on Friday banned from its postseason
tournaments the use of 18 Native American nicknames
and mascots it considers abusive.

The University of Illinois is on that list. That means
if it makes it to basketball's Final Four again, the
words "Illini" and "Fighting Illini" will have to be
as invisible as the culture they diminish.

Florida State is also on that list. So if it returns
to baseball's College World Series, it will be without
a flaming shred of "Seminole."

Then there is Southeastern Oklahoma State, which Ö
well, considering its nickname is the "Savages," one
can only hope they disband the athletic program

"It's about time," said Joseph Red Cloud, an
administrative assistant with the influential Oglala
Sioux tribe in Pine Ridge, S.D. "These names have
always meant something different to Indians and
non-Indians. They say they are honoring us. But many
of us don't find it honorable."

To many sports fans, Native American nicknames are

To many Native Americans, they are infuriating.

To many sports fans, the "Fighting Illini" is symbolic
of their Midwestern spirit.

To which Native Americans ask, um, fellas, why do you
think the original Illini were fighting in the first

Many feel that allowing Native Americans to force
nickname changes is as silly as allowing folks from
Ireland to mess with Notre Dame.

Yet few of those critics are from a culture that has
been stolen, hidden and now demeaned.

In other words, Notre Dame fans, leprechauns weren't
real people.

"These names and images have a damaging effect on
Native Americans because it freezes us in our past, it
distills our humanity to a one-dimensional term," said
Joseph Gone, an assistant professor at the University
of Michigan who once fought for the elimination of
mascot Chief Illiniwek when he was a student at

Gone said he was stunned by the effect that the
chief's presence had upon the racial attitudes on

"When I got there, I thought, sure, a mascot could be
relevant," he said. "But then I saw how the Native
American students on campus felt cheapened, they would
have things thrown at them, they underwent a very
bitter experience."

He thought removing the chief would be easy.

"I thought, he's just a mascot, right?" Gone said.

Wrong. At Illinois, as in other places, the Native
American nicknames have become as important as the
ancient library or tree-lined quad.

It's as if, instead of trying to recapture an
identity, Native Americans are being accused of
stripping one.

To understand the importance of the NCAA's fist here,
one must understand the stubbornness of those it
cannot touch.

Think about this: It's illegal to drive around the
Washington, D.C., area with a license plate reading
"Redskin" because it's considered defamatory, yet the
town's pro football team continues to embrace the same

Now think about this: The term "Redskin" was
originally used by settlers who paid money to bounty
hunters for the decomposing skin of dead Native

Yet politicians and influential media members sit
silently while awaiting their weekly allotment of

"On one hand, Washington says it wants a
government-to-government relationship with Native
Americans," Red Cloud said. "But on the other hand,
politicians walk outside to a team with a nickname
that degrades us. What is that?"

Then there is the Atlanta baseball team, which, even
as it is celebrating the racial fight of star Hank
Aaron, continues to trumpet the racially ignorant

"I don't know any young Native Americans anywhere who
are called braves," Red Cloud said.

And don't forget the Cleveland Indians, who insist on
using a buck-toothed, bright-red figure as their

"I have never seen anyone who looks like Chief Wahoo,"
Red Cloud said.

Will the NCAA's decision force a change in the pros?
Probably not.

There are millions of dollars tied up in those Redskin
T-shirts and Indian mugs, and, in the world of sports,
money always trumps manners.

But the NCAA's decision could certainly force a change
in the college names. All it takes is one national
championship game to be played with a patch over your
nickname for a president to be convinced.

While the NCAA has no jurisdiction over the
conference-ruled bowl championship series, look for
the football playoff folks to eventually follow suit.
And wouldn't that be fun for Florida State then?

Although, officially, the Seminole Tribe of Florida
has no problem with it.

"If I had a child and wanted to name it after you,
wouldn't you consider it an honor?" asked Max Osceola,
a tribal council member. "Once again, we have
non-natives trying to decide what is right for

Known as the Unconquered Seminoles, it is the only
tribe that never lost a war and never signed a treaty.

It carries huge weight in their state, particularly in
Tallahassee, where tribal consultants have helped the
horse-riding Seminole mascot remain true to their

Said Osceola: "We have a great relationship with the
university, we think our tribe is represented well."

Said Red Cloud: "I'm glad for them. But very few
tribes are like that."

Said Osceola: "I agree, I am angered by many other
things I see, I can only speak for us."

At least somebody is finally speaking for all of them,
the NCAA taking a long-awaited step toward the sort of
tolerance that is true learning.

One day, perhaps, the trivialization of a culture will
no longer be dressed as school spirit.

And racism will no longer be disguised as the Tomahawk

Bill Plaschke can be reached at To read previous columns by
Plaschke, go to


Random historical events for August

August 1: 1813: Today, Fort Stephenson, at modern Fremont,
Ohio, will be attacked by British Major Henry A.Proctor,
and 1200 British and Indians. The fort is defended by Major
George Croghan, and 120 men. The Americans will fire only
when the British and Indians are at close range. During
the two day battle, the Americans will have only one man
killed. The British and Indians will sustain more than 1200 casualties.

August 2: 1792: MOHEGAN Samson Occom dies today in New
Stockbridge, New York. A protege of Rev.Eleazar Wheelock,
Occom will learn numerous foreign languages, become an
ordained minister, be the first Indian to preach in
England, minister to many Indian tribes, and be instrumental
in the establishment of Dartmouth College in New Hampshire.

August 3: 1889: General Crook, and the other treaty
commissioners, were having no luck in convincing the
large groups of SIOUX and the Standing Rock Agency to
agree to move to smaller reservations, and to sell their
"excess" lands for $1.50 an acre. Sitting Bull continued
to "disrupt" the meetings with his angry denunciation
of any attempts to sell Indian lands. Crook decided he
would make more progress by talking to the tribal leaders individually.
On this date, without informing Sitting
Bull, Crook held a final meeting. Local agent James
McLaughlin had his tribal police surround the meeting
site to prevent any of the rabble-rousers from attending.
Eventually, Sitting Bull worked his way past the police,
and addressed the meeting. Sitting Bull was incensed
because he had not been informed of the meeting. McLaughlin
told the meeting that everyone knew of the meeting. At
that time, Chief John Grass, and many of the other Chiefs
came forward to sign the treaty, and to break up the
large reservation. Sitting Bull vented his frustration
at the other Chiefs, but he was out voted.

August 4: 1862: In July, the money promised to the SANTEE
SIOUX in Minnesota was scheduled to arrive. When Little
Crow, and the other SIOUX, reported to their reservation's
upper agency on the Yellow Medicine River, they were told
the money had not arrived. The winter had been bad, and
the summer crops were poor. Little Crow asked Agent Thomas
Galbraith to open up the local warehouse, which was full
of food. Galbraith said there would be no food if there
was no money. On this date, Little crow, and 500 SIOUX
warriors surround the badly outnumber soldiers guarding
the warehouse. The SANTEE break in and start unloading
supplies. The commanding officer of the garrison, Timothy
Sheehan, understands the frustration of the hungry Indians,
and he convinces Galbraith to officially issue the food
to the SANTEE. Little Crow also gets a promise that the
lower agency will also issue supplies. The SANTEE then
leave peacefully.

August 5: 1881: The Crow Dog murder case goes to the
Supreme Court.

August 6: 1846: The old settlers and the new emigrants
factions of the CHEROKEE have been arguing over who
has legal control of the CHEROKEE   Nation since the
late 1830s. It has even been proposed that the nation
split into two tribes. Today, the different sides will
sign a treaty in Washington,D.C. The treaty will confirm
that there will only be one CHEROKEE Nation.

August 7: 1869: A solar eclipse is draw on Lone Dog's
chronicle of the years.

(see my website for a photo of Lone Dog's winter count record )

August 8: 1699: The TOHOME Indians live along the gulf
coast in Alabama and Mississippi. Tiday, in Biloxi, they
will formally establish peaceful relations with the French.

August 9: 1911: Ishi ("the last of his tribe") comes
into Oroville, California.

August 10: 1815: The half brother of Cornplanter,
Skaniadariio (Handsome Lake) was born near Ganawagus,
New York sometime around 1735. He fought in many battles
during the French and Indian Wars, and during the
American Revolution. Later he would battle alcoholism.
One day a vision led him to give up drinking and to
promote traditional Indian ways among his people. He
became a Chief among the SENECA based on his wise council.
He once spoke before President Jefferson on behalf of
his people. His teachings have been handed down among
the IROQUOIS. He died today in Onondaga.

August 11: 1988: The ALEUT receive restitution for loses
in WWII today.

August 12: 1878: The PAIUTE Chief Oytes, and his followers,
will surrender today. This will effectively end the PAIUTEs'
participation in the BANNOCK war.

August 13: 1587: Manteo, a CROTAN Indian has converted
to the Church of England. Today, he is baptized by Sir
Walter Raleigh. In respect for his help with Raleigh's
colonists, Raleigh gives him the title of "Lord of Roanoke
and of Dasamonquepeuk."

August 14: 1559: Tristan de Luna y Arellano has been
appointed to establish Spanish settlements on Pensacola
Bay by the Spanish Viceroy in Mexico. Today, his
expedition of 13 ships, several priests, 500 soldiers,
and 1000 settlers will arrive in Pensacola Bay, in
Florida. Much of the expedition will be killed or
starve because of a hurricane which struck the area a
few days later.

August 15: 1642: In instructions to the Pennsylvania
Governor John Printz, of New Sweden, the Queen of Sweden
wished for "the wild nations" to be treated kindly, and
in a humane manner. She also stated that the Indians
were the "rightful lords" of this land, and must be
treated accordingly.

August 16: 1812: SHAWNEE Chief Tecumseh has been
commissioned as a Brigadier General by the British.
With his Indians forces, he will be instrumental in
the surrender of American force at Fort Detroit, today.

August 17: 1876: President Grant, by Executive Order
today, corrects a survey mistake, and returns Uncompahgre
Park, and some prime farm land, to the UTE Reservation.

August 18: 1863: As a part of the Canyon de Chelly
Campaign, Kit Carson, and General James Charlatan,
were trying to starve the NAVAJOs into submission.
Today, General Charlatan will put a bounty on NAVAJO
livestock. Every good horse or mule would bring twenty
dollars, quite a sum for those days. Each sheep would
earn one dollar.

August 19: 1854: a MINICONJOU SIOUX, named High Forehead,
kills a sickly cow near Fort Laramie, in southeastern
Wyoming. The cow's owner complains to the fort's commander.
A brash Brevet Second Lieutenant John L.Grattan, and 30
volunteers leave the fort today to find the SIOUX involved.
Grattan goes to Conquering Bear's BRULE SIOUX camp near
Ash Hollow, and demands the Indian who shot the cow.
Grattan makes numerous threats at the SIOUX, but they
won't hand over High Forehead. During the parlay, a shot
rings out, and Grattan's artillery gunners open fire on
the camp. Conquering Bear tries to get both sides to stop
shooting, but he is hit by an artillery round. Eventually,
all but one of Grattan's men will be killed in the fighting.

(see my photo of the battleground at : )

August 20: 1851: One in a series of treaties with
California Indians is signed today at Lipayuma. This
treaty says it will set aside lands for the Indians
and protect them from Americans.

August 21: 1871: Treaty Number Two (Manitoba Post Treaty),
is concluded between the Canadian Government, and the
CHIPPEWA. They sell 35,700 square miles of land, in exchange
for certain reservation lands, an annuity, schools and other

August 22: 1862: Today, 800 SANTEE SIOUX will attack
Fort Ridgely, in south-central Minnesota. The fort is
defended by approximately 150 soldiers, and two dozen
volunteers. The SIOUX will sneak up to the fort, and
try to set fire to it. When the SIOUX attacked, the Army
responded with an artillery barrage. Little Crow will
be wounded in the fighting, and Mankato will take over.
The artillery will make the difference in the fighting,
and the SIOUX will retreat.

August 23: 1724: British forces under Capt. Moulton
stage a supprise attack on an ABENAKI village at
Norridgewock. 27 people, including a resident French
priest Father Rasles, would be scalped by the English.
The village would be burned. This would be a big blow
to the spirit of the local Indians.

August 24: 1869: For his actions on July 8, 1869, Mad
Bear will receive the Congressional Medal of Honor today.

August 25: 1737: A agreement will be signed today by
Thomas Penn and MUNSEE Chiefs Manawkyhickon and Nutimus.
The agreement will call for Indian lands to be sold along
the Delaware river for the distance that a man could walk
in a day and a half. This would be called the "Walking
Purchase" and would be performed on September 19, 1737.

August 26: 1858: In what would be called "The Battle
of Four Lakes," force under Colonel George Wright fight
for about three hours with COEUR d'ALENE, COLUMBIA RIVER,
COLVILLE, KALISPEL, and SPOKANE Indians. The Army will
defeat the Indians.

(see pictures of the area on this website: )

August 27: 1832: Black Hawk surrenders.

August 28: 1676: The last Indian surrenders in the King
Philip's War.

August 29: 1758: The First State Indian reservation, in
New Jersey, is established today.

August 30: 1690: A combined force of British, YAMASSEE
and YUCHI Indians attack the Spanish mission of San Juan
de Guacara in northern Florida, today. Many TIMUCUA
Indians in the area have been converted to Christianity
or are loyal to the Franciscan monks. All of the TIMUCUA
Indians at the mission will be killed in the fighting.

August 31: 1905: Today, Ely Samuel Parker (Donehogawa)
dies in New York City. During his lifetime he will be
a SENECA Chief, an engineer, a lawyer, the New York City
Building Superintendent, a Brigadier General in the Civil
War where he will write the surrender papers signed at
Appomattox, and the first Indian Commissioner of Indian
Affairs. Born in 1828, he will be buried in Buffalo, New


Thatís all for now.

Stay safe,


End of Phil Konstantinís July August Newsletter 

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