. ================================================================ Start of the October 2004 Newsletter by Phil Konstantin – Part 1 ================================================================ Greetings, I had a great time on my trip to Washington, D.C. last month. I was there from September 15th through the 22nd. It was my first trip to D.C., and I have always wanted to go there. I walked over twenty miles while I was in D.C. The day before I left, I stubbed one of my toes hard enough that I broke it, again. Compounding this with the blisters I got on both feet, my feet were very sore by the time I got home. One of the things I promised myself to do was to take LOTS of pictures. Usually, on my vacations, I think I am taking lots of pictures. Inevitably, when I get home, I think I did not take enough pictures. This time, I took over 1,300 digital pictures, and about 50 with some single use film cameras. You can find small versions of my digital pictures starting on this webpage: http://americanindian.net/2004.html . I have an index at the bottom of each page, so you can pick and choose what you want to see. Each page has about 50 pictures on it. Many of the museums have very low lighting in order to protect old material. In many places, flash photography was not allowed for the same reason. I had to use some software to make some of the pictures more visible. I flew out of San Diego non-stop to Baltimore/Washington airport. From there I took a regional bus and the Metro to get to my hotel in the Foggy Bottom part of DC. My hotel was in George Washington University’s fraternity/sorority row. The hotel looked like something out of the movie Animal House. That is why it was relatively cheap by DC standards. That is OK with me. I often joke that Motel 6 is too fancy for me. The hotel was about 5 blocks from the White House, the Lincoln Monument, and the Mall. It was just two blocks from the Kennedy Center. It was also close to a Metro (subway) stop. I used the Metro a lot. It is a nicely designed transportation system. The subway in Mexico City was much cheaper, but it was also much more crowded. I wasn’t joking, I did walk over 20 miles while in D.C. I visited almost all of the museums along the Mall. The Mall is the open area that runs from the Lincoln Monument to the U.S. Capitol. The Washington Monument is right in the middle of this area. There are many branches of the Smithsonian museums along the mall. All of these museums have fabulous content. They also feature lots of open space, and some beautiful architecture. The Air and Space Museum was one of my favorites. It is one of the most visited museums here. They have the original Bell X-1 that Chuck Yeager flew to break the sound barrier. They also have the Spirit of St. Louis (made here in San Diego), and X-15, part of the Apollo 11 capsule, and many other famous aircraft. The main purpose of my trip to DC was to participate in the opening of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI). It opened on September 21. The first thing that happened was the Procession of the Nations. It featured over 500 American Indian nations/tribes/groups. I walked with the Cherokee Nation (of Oklahoma) group. The local press estimated the number of participants at 25,000. They said there were approximately 50,000 people watching the parade. This was a very amazing event. Many people were in traditional garb. I was wearing a Cherokee ribbon shirt. Robert West, Jr. is the director of the NMAI. He is also a member of the Southern Cheyenne. He, as you will see in the photos, was in full regalia. New Mexico Senator Benjamin Nighthorse Campbell (Northern Cheyenne) was also in full regalia. He had to go back to the Senate just after the opening ceremonies in order to do some business. The local news showed him making a speech on the Senate floor while wearing full regalia. The NMAI is a very impressive building. Unlike all of the other museums on the Mall (which are mostly square, marble buildings), the NMAI is full of curves and looks wind-worn. It has an atrium which goes from the floor to the top of the building. It also has four floors of exhibits. What is unique about this museum is that the people from the cultural groups being discussed in an exhibit actually participated in the design of that exhibit. The museum shows who we were, and who we are. There are ancient artifacts mixed with modern objects and displays. One of the criticisms of the museum is that it tries to show too many groups and does not go into enough detail on any one group. Obviously, not all tribal groups of North, Central and South American are represented with exhibits. But, many groups are discussed. I was one of the first visitors in the building on opening day. I met several people who were pictured in some of the exhibits. I had several moving experiences in the museum. The most significant of these was when I saw a major piece of Cherokee history. Before the “Trail of Tears,” which removed most of the Cherokee from their traditional lands, there was a sham election for a new treaty. With the help of military personnel from Georgia and nearby areas, most Cherokee were kept away from the voting areas. The New Echota treaty was approved by a small number of voters. This treaty gave away the old lands for new lands in Indian Territory (modern day Oklahoma). After the voting was over, over 7/8th of the Cherokee Nation signed a petition voicing their opposition to the just “ratified” treaty. Despite their testimony that the election was rigged, the US Senate still approved the treaty. While the US Supreme Court eventually ruled in the Cherokee’s favor in this matter. President Andrew Jackson refused to follow the court’s ruling. The NMAI has on display the original petition signed by over 15,000 Cherokees. I have talked about this petition many times. I was truly touched by seeing the actual documents. The NMAI has a warehouse in nearby Virginia which contains some of the thousands of artifacts in their collection. I had the opportunity to also visit this place. There are pictures of many of these artifacts on the website mentioned above. I had a really nice moment while I was in this museum. I noticed they had a research library here. Without telling them who I was, I asked if they had a copy of my book. The librarian checked her records, and discovered that while they had a copy, it was checked out. She then said that she remembered the book, and it was a pretty good book. I was smiling from ear-to-ear as I left. I had a chance to visit with several of the other people who had come to DC for the opening of the NMAI. It was very interesting to hear so many different languages being spoken. The Cherokee Nation maintains an office in DC not far from the US Capitol. Casey Ross-Petherick runs that office, and she was very hospitable during my visit. I also had a chance to talk with Cherokee Principle Chief Chad Smith and some of the other 200 Cherokees who showed up for the event. My mother sent me a picture of some friends of a friend who had also gone to the opening day. She asked me if I had seen any of these ladies. I showed her where a couple of them were in some of my photos. Yes, it is a small world. ============================= X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X ============================= The Link of the Month for October is the National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI). The website shows parts of the museum and some of the ongoing events and exhibits. You can see it at: http://www.nmai.si.edu/ ================================= X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X ================================= That’s it for now. I will have much more in the next few days. Stay safe, Phil ============================================================== End of the October 2004 Newsletter by Phil Konstantin – Part 1 ============================================================== . . . . . . . . ================================================================ Start of the October 2004 Newsletter by Phil Konstantin – Part 2 ================================================================ Greetings, My computer has been in the shop, so I have been a little late in getting this out. Once I get it back, I will add more information. While I thought my e-mail through my website (addresses that end in @americanindian.net) was fixed, I found out it was not. The company hosting my site told me that had fixed the problem. Evidently, I get so much spam e-mail that their system shut down. The only way they could prevent this was to turn off my e-mail. So, I plan on changing companies in the next few days. You can still reach me at the address which comes with this newsletter: p h i l k o n @ r o c k e t m a i l . c o m A couple of people have recently asked me to send them copies of old newsletters. When I get the chance, I post previous newsletters on this page on my website: http://americanindian.net/newsletter.html Phil =================================== X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X =================================== A critique of the Smithsonian's national Museum of the American Indian: The National Museum of Ben Nighthorse Campbell The Smithsonian's new travesty. By Timothy Noah Last week's opening of the National Museum of the American Indian is shaping up to be the museum world's gaudiest belly flop since the disastrous 1964 debut of Huntington Hartford's anti-modernist Gallery of Modern Art. Edward Rothstein of the New York Times scorned its "self-celebratory romance." Paul Richard of the Washington Post lamented, "The museum doesn't nourish thought." Post city columnist Marc Fisher was blunter, calling the museum "an exercise in intellectual timidity and a sorry abrogation of the Smithsonian's obligation to explore America's history and culture." The mere fact that Washington, D.C., persists in calling its favorite sports team the Redskins is reason enough to put a National Museum of the American Indian on the Mall. The case becomes overwhelming when you note further that the monuments and museums of Washington, collectively, presume to tell a reasonably complete story about this country; that the Native Americans settled this continent long before anyone else; that they were subjected by later arrivals to mistreatment that we can plausibly label genocide; and that most Americans today have little or no familiarity with the various Native American cultures. I'm glad we finally have a National Museum of the American Indian. But why did it have to be this one? The new museum stubbornly refuses to impose any recognizable standard of scholarship, or even value, on the items in its galleries. Precious artifacts are mingled with present-day kitsch, with few if any clues provided about what makes them significant. The museum's curators regard the very notion of a Native American cultural heritage as anathema because it clashes with the museum's boosterish message that Native American culture is as vibrant today as it ever was. This isn't a museum; it's a public service announcement. Among the inaugural exhibitions is "The Jewelry of Ben Nighthorse." If the name sounds familiar, that's because the artist is a Republican senator from Colorado, where they call him Ben Nighthorse Campbell. In 1989, Campbell, who was then a House member (and a Democrat), sponsored the legislation that created the National Museum of the American Indian; he later helped provide necessary federal funds as a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee. The exhibit itself is laughably amateurish. There is a 2004 portrait of Campbell in Cheyenne tribal dress and a glass case full of ribbons and trophies that Campbell has won for his jewelry. The rings, bracelets, tie-clasps, and other tchotchkes displayed reverently are indistinguishable from anything you might buy at a roadside stand in Boulder. What establishes Campbell's bona fides as an artist of national renown? An informational pillar explains that "Nighthorse was among 20 artists selected by Arizona Highways magazine for a contemporary jewelry issue." The exhibit has caused a minor ethical stink for Campbell back in Colorado, but it ought to cause a bigger one in Washington. It's a straightforward declaration that the National Museum of the American Indian will sell gallery space to the highest bidder. For this alone, the museum's Native American director, W. Richard West Jr., ought to be fired immediately. I don't pretend to know anything about Native American jewelry; you couldn't fill a thimble with my more general knowledge of Native American culture and history. But museums are supposed to impart knowledge. They're supposed to grab you by the lapel and say, Here is something you must see, and here is why it's important. The National Museum of the American Indian is so indifferent to this imperative that it doesn't even bother to label many of the objects on display. Here is a beautiful curved display case full of various forms of beadwork. What am I looking at? To find out, I have to wait my turn at one of the display case's four electronic touch screens. Clicking from one menu to the next, I learn that this bear-claw necklace was made in Iowa in 1860, while that breastplate and choker were made in Oklahoma in 1972. What are the marks of fine craftsmanship that led to their display? None of my business, apparently. Does each have a particular ceremonial role? Nothing on that, either. If an item described on one of the touch screen menus sounds intriguing, I can, in theory, look up at the display case and find it. But to locate one item, Where's Waldo?-style, inside this crowded panorama is too much like helping my 8-year-old find the socks she tossed onto the floor or the jacket she forgot to hang up. No thank you. Underneath the glass case are several rows of drawers, most of which are marked, "Temporarily locked." I open one that isn't and see, behind a glass case, a brightly illuminated head garment of some sort—identifiable as such because there's a photograph beside it of a woman wearing one. But what is it? Maybe I can go back to the touch screen and find out. But now somebody else is using it. Oh, the hell with it. Granted, the task of the National Museum of the American Indian is not easy. The term "Native American" describes not one culture but a multitude of cultures that share the superficial connection of having evolved in the Western Hemisphere before the arrival of Christopher Columbus. The disciplines necessary to understand these cultures include art, history, and anthropology. Most people visiting the museum can be expected to have little or no background knowledge of the topics explored therein. The challenge is a large one. But there are ways to overcome such challenges. On a family trip to England a few weeks ago, I happened to visit the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, whose principle task is to explain to hordes of scientifically illiterate tourists how Britons used timekeeping and celestial navigation to establish the international standard for measuring longitude during the 18th century. Talk about challenges! But the museum did a splendid job of walking you through each step of the problem and its solution, displaying the tools used along the way. That's what great museums do. (For an interactive tour of the Royal Observatory, click here.) The National Museum of the American Indian has no apparent desire to do anything like this. Thomas Sweeney, a museum spokesman, actually boasted to the Washington Post that nowhere in the museum will you learn the prevailing scientific theory that Native Americans migrated from Asia to North America by crossing a strip of land that later gave way to the Bering Strait. Instead, visitors learn a legend from Arizona's Tohono O'odham: When time began, two gods named Earth Medicine Man and I'itoi created the world pretty much the way it is now and plopped the Tohono O'odham into it. Folkore and religious belief are certainly legitimate topics for a museum to explore, but to present such beliefs in a vacuum constitutes Native American creationism. It's like visiting Salem's Witch Museum and being told that Bridget Bishop, hanged in June 1692, had it coming. The National Museum of the American Indian is backed into this corner by its mission of "survivance," a term (invented 10 years ago by an Anishinaabe scholar named Gerald Vizenor) that elevates the survival of ancient culture from the realm of fact to that of dogma. Survivance, as defined in the museum's exhibit, "Our Lives: Contemporary Lives and Identities," requires "doing what is necessary to keep our cultures alive." At the museum, that means willing into being an unchanging continuum between past and present that doesn't really exist. Yes, many beliefs and practices of these tribal cultures survive to this day. But it's absurd to suggest that, even with recent improvements in tribal economies—many of them achieved without building casinos—Native Americans live the same way in the 21st century as they did in the 16th. I'm not aware that any aboriginal culture in the world can plausibly make that claim at this late date. The continuum message is also condescending to the many Native Americans who revere their cultural inheritance but nonetheless live the way the rest of us do, surfing the Web, shopping at Wal-Mart, and so on. Modernity is no longer the "white man's ways." It's multicultural, and I can't imagine any Native American responding kindly if told he didn't belong. The museum didn't have to be like this. Its satellite branch in Lower Manhattan, which opened in 1994, labels its artifacts conscientiously. The permanent collection on which the new museum draws is apparently quite vast and impressive, and the building itself is a beauty. (Regrettably, its distinguished Native American architect, Douglas Cardinal, was fired before he completed the job, and today he says the Smithsonian treated him like "Tonto.") One wishes that the curators would treat the older work with the same ease and frankness they treat recent work, like its exhibit on Native Modernism, which takes the trouble to provide some context for sculptures by two bona fide artists, George Morrison and Alan Houser. I have to believe that those responsible for the museum's botched debut have felt the sting of public opprobrium and will make changes that encourage the public to take it more seriously. Experienced museum directors (West is not one; previously, he was a law partner in the Washington office of Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson) seek legitimacy among scholars, and we can probably expect quiet changes in that direction over the next few years. Native Americans, too, will likely chafe over the museum's amateurishness—if not now, then after the achievement of getting it built fades into memory. But why should we have to wait? The Smithsonian should have gotten it right the first time. Timothy Noah writes "Chatterbox" for Slate. Article URL: http://slate.msn.com/id/2107140/ =================================== X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X =================================== MARGE ANDERSON - Chief Executive, Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe Delivered to the First Friday Club of the Twin Cities, Sponsored by St. Thomas Alumni, St. Paul, Minnesota, March 5, 1999 THE VALUE OF INDIAN CULTURE Aaniin. Thank you for inviting me here today. When I was asked to speak to you, I was told you are interested in hearing about the improvements we are making on the Mille Lacs Reservation, and about our investment of casino dollars back into our community through schools, health care facilities, and other services. And I do want to talk to you about these things, because they are tremendously important, and I am very proud of them. But before I do, I want to take a few minutes to talk to you about something else, something I'm not asked about very often. I want to talk to you about what it means to be Indian. About how my people experience the world. About the fundamental way in which our culture differs from yours. And about why you should care about all this. The differences between Indians and non-Indians have created a lot of controversy lately. Casinos, treaty rights, tribal sovereignty - these issues have stirred such anger and bitterness. I believe the accusations against us are made out of ignorance. The vast majority of non-Indians do not understand how my people view the world, what we value, what motivates us. They do not know these things for one simple reason: they've never heard us talk about them. For many years, the only stories that non-Indians heard about my people came from other non-Indians. As a result, the picture you got of us was fanciful, or distorted, or so shadowy, it hardly existed at all. It's time for Indian voices to tell Indian stories. Now, I'm sure at least a few of you are wondering, "Why do I need to hear these stories? Why should I care about what Indian people think, and feel, and believe?" I think the most eloquent answer I can give you comes from the namesake of this university, St. Thomas Aquinas. St. Thomas wrote that dialogue is the struggle to learn from each other. This struggle, he said, is like Jacob wrestling the angel - it leaves one wounded and blessed at the same time. Indian people know this struggle very well. The wounds we've suffered in our dialogue with non-Indians are well-documented; I don't need to give you a laundry list of complaints. We also know some of the blessings of this struggle. As American Indians, we live in two worlds - ours, and yours. In the 500 years since you first came to our lands, we have struggled to learn how to take the best of what your culture has to offer in arts, science, technology and more, and then weave them into the fabric of our traditional ways. But for non-Indians, the struggle is new. Now that our people have begun to achieve success, now that we are in business and in the headlines, you are starting to wrestle with understanding us. Your wounds from this struggle are fresh, and the pain might make it hard for you to see beyond them. But if you try, you'll begin to see the blessings as well - the blessings of what a deepened knowledge of Indian culture can bring to you. I'd like to share a few of those blessings with you today. Earlier I mentioned that there is a fundamental difference between the way Indians and non-Indians experience the world. This difference goes all the way back to the bible, and Genesis. In Genesis, the first book of the Old Testament, God creates man in his own image. Then God says, "be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth and conquer it. Be masters of the fish of the sea, the birds of the heaven, and all living animals on the earth." Masters. Conquer. Nothing, nothing could be further from the way Indian people view the world and our place in it. Here are the words of the great nineteenth century Chief Seattle: "You are a part of the earth, and the earth is a part of you. You did not weave the web of life, you are merely a strand in it. Whatever you do to the web, you do to yourself." In our tradition, there is no mastery. There is no conquering. Instead, there is kinship among all creation-humans, animals, birds, plants, even rocks. We are all part of the sacred hoop of the world, and we must all live in harmony with each other if that hoop is to remain unbroken. When you begin to see the world this way - through Indian eyes - you will begin to understand our view of land, and treaties, very differently. You will begin to understand that when we speak of Father Sun and Mother Earth, these are not new-age catchwords - they are very real terms of respect for very real beings. And when you understand this, then you will understand that our fight for treaty rights is not just about hunting deer or catching fish. It is about teaching our children to honor Mother Earth and Father Sun. It is about teaching them to respectfully receive the gifts these loving parents offer us in return for the care we give them. And it is about teaching this generation and the generations yet to come about their place in the web of life. Our culture and the fish, our values and the deer, the lessons we learn and the rice we harvest- everything is tied together. You can no more separate one from the other than you can divide a person's spirit from his body. When you understand how we view the world and our place in it, it's easier to appreciate why our casinos are so important to us. The reason we defend our businesses so fiercely isn't because we want to have something that others don't. The reason is because these businesses allow us to give back to others - to our People, our communities, and the Creator. I'd like to take a minute and mention just a few of the ways we've already given back: We've opened new schools, new health care facilities, and new community centers where our children get a better education, where our elders get better medical care, and where our families can gather to socialize and keep our traditions alive. We've built new ceremonial buildings, and new powwow and celebration grounds. We've renovated an elderly center, and plan to build three culturally sensitive assisted living facilities for our elders. We've created programs to teach and preserve our language and cultural traditions. We've created a Small Business Development Program to help band members start their own businesses. We've created more than twenty-eight hundred jobs for band members, people from other tribes, and non-Indians. We've spurred the development of more than one thousand jobs in other local businesses. We've generated more than fifty million dollars in federal taxes, and more than fifteen million dollars in state taxes through wages paid to employees. And we've given back more than two million dollars in charitable donations. The list goes on and on. But rather than flood you with more numbers, I'll tell you a story that sums up how my people view business through the lens of our traditional values. Last year, the Woodlands National Bank, which is owned and operated by the Mille Lacs Band, was approached by the city of Onamia and asked to forgive a mortgage on a building in the downtown area. The building had been abandoned and was an eyesore on Main Street. The city planned to renovate and sell the building, and return it to the tax rolls. Although the band would lose money by forgiving the mortgage, our business leaders could see the wisdom in improving the community. The opportunity to help our neighbors was an opportunity to strengthen the web of life. So we forgave the mortgage. Now, I know this is not a decision everyone would agree with. Some people feel that in business, you have to look out for number one. But my people feel that in business - and in life - you have to look out for every one. And this, I believe, is one of the blessings that Indian culture has to offer you and other non-Indians. We have a different perspective on so many things, from caring for the environment, to healing the body, mind and soul. But if our culture disappears, if the Indian ways are swallowed up by the dominant American culture, no one will be able to learn from them. Not Indian children. Not your children. No one. All that knowledge, all that wisdom, will be lost forever. The struggle of dialogue will be over. Yes, there will be no more wounds. But there will also be no more blessings. There is still so much we have to learn from each other, and we have already wasted so much time. Our world grows smaller every day. And every day, more of our unsettling, surprising, wonderful differences vanish. And when that happens, part of each of us vanishes, too. I'd like to end with one of my favorite stories. It's a funny little story about Indians and non-Indians, but its message is serious: you can see something differently if you are willing to learn from those around you. This is the story: Years ago, white settlers came to this area and built the first European-style homes. When Indian People walked by these homes and saw see-through things in the walls, they looked through them to see what the strangers inside were doing. The settlers were shocked, but it makes sense when you think about it: windows are made to be looked through from both sides. Since then, my people have spent many years looking at the world through your window. I hope today I've given you a reason to look at it through ours. Mii gwetch. =================================== X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X =================================== =================================== X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X =================================== Notices: The National Native American Law Enforcement Association (NNALEA) their annual training conference in Las Vegas the week of October 27th. NNALEA strongly promotes tribal law enforcement and facilitates training, communication and asset-sharing among federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement entities. NNALEA also partners with The Boys and Girls Clubs of America and GREAT (Gang Resistance Education And Training). www.nnalea.org --------------- The Indigenous News Network (INN) is a random briefing of items that I come across that are of broad interest to American Indians. News and action requests are posted as are the occasional humorous notation. The newsletter is designed to inform you, make you think and keep a pipeline of information that is outside the mainstream media Website URL: http://www.ncidc.org To subscribe send an email to: IndigenousNewsNeemail@example.com --------------- Hal Carson sent this along: Sept. 24, 2004 Dwayne Brown Headquarters, Washington (Phone: 202/358-1726) RELEASE: 04-313 NASA AWARDS GRANT TO NATIVE AMERICAN HIGHER EDUCATION NASA is inspiring the next generation of explorers through the Native American Tribal Colleges and Universities system. NASA awarded a $7 million, five-year cooperative agreement grant to the American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC), Alexandria, Va. AIHEC is comprised of the presidents of all 34 Tribal Colleges and Universities. The organization plays a vital leadership role in the American Indian education community. The grant, called "Building Bridges to Excellence in Math, Science, and Technology," will increase the number of American Indian students pursuing academic studies and careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. "NASA works to inspire, engage, excite and motivate our explorers and inventors of tomorrow. The Native American community contributes to our pipeline, and through this grant we seek to expand their participation in science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines," said Dr. Adena Williams Loston, NASA's Chief Education Officer. AIHEC is responsible for strengthening the delivery and management of NASA-sponsored programs; recruiting, identifying participants; and fostering a closer exchange of ideas and information among NASA, students, faculty and staff. For information about NASA education programs on the Internet, visit: http://education.nasa.gov For information about NASA and agency programs on the Internet, visit: http://www.nasa.gov --------------- Article is from Janesville Gazette,Janesville Wisconsin. Miracle, a symbol of peace, passes away (Published Friday, September 24, 2004 05:56:24 PM CDT; updated Saturday, September 25, 2004) By Catherine W. Idzerda/Gazette Staff Miracle is gone. Miracle the buffalo, the symbol of peace, died at 11:07 p.m. Sunday on the Dave and Valerie Heider farm in Janesville. "She became sick on Friday," Dave Heider said. "She was off her feed and became lethargic." The vet was with Miracle for much of last weekend but couldn't save her. "We don't believe she was suffering," Heider said Friday afternoon. "It looked like she was resting peacefully." The vet and Valerie Heider were with Miracle when she died. It's not known why Miracle died, and the Heiders thought it would be inappropriate to do an autopsy. "I really don't know what happened; she's always been small," Dave Heider said. Miracle was buried in an unmarked grave. The Heiders may plan a memorial service at a later date and haven't decided on a grave marker. Miracle was born on Aug. 20, 1994. She was the first all-white buffalo born since 1933. A white buffalo is a sacred figure to some American Indians. According to a Lakota Sioux legend, the return of the female white buffalo calf heralded an era of peace and understanding among the people of the Earth. Her appearance caused an influx of visitors from all over the world to the 45-acre farm at 2739 S. River Road. People tramped up and down the farm lane at all hours of the night. The phone rang constantly. The Heiders had to set aside part of their land for parking. The attention was exhausting. In an 1999 interview, Heider talked about the days after Miracle's birth: "We figured after three months it would all dry up and go away. Now, we know better. Sometimes, I regret it." But his attitude changed, and he came to feel blessed by Miracle's presence. "We met people from all over the world," Heider said. "We had opportunities that we never would have had before." The Heiders have played host to 300 tribes from all over the world including the Masai of Africa, the Aztecs of Mexico and aborigines from Australia. The Sioux, the Cree and the Ho Chunk are just a few of the tribes that have been to their home. Over the years, Miracle turned black, red and yellow. Part of the legend said that the white buffalo would turn different colors to reflect all human races. Miracle had three calves, Millennium, Lady Miracle, Mitakuye Oyasin-which means "We Are All Related in the Sacred Hoop of Life" in the Nakota Sioux language. In August, about 300 people visited the Heider farm for her 10th birthday. Many visitors said Miracle represented hope in time of war. "The legend doesn't say anything about Miracle dying," Heider said. "Buffalos can live to be 25 to 30 years old." Heider delayed releasing the news for the better part of a week because he and his wife had to go on a business trip and they were still adjusting to their own shock and sadness. "I really don't know how you can love an animal that much that you couldn't touch. She wasn't tame, you know, she was basically a wild animal," Heider said. "It's hard to put into words; I don't know how to explain it. It's like losing a close friend or relative." --------------- =================================== X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X =================================== Some interesting material from the Cherokee Nation newsletter: The Cherokee Nation stays out of partisan politics. There is a rare exception this November, because the Cherokee Nation has come under attack from U.S. Senate Candidate Tom Coburn. Coburn has called our treaties ‘primitive agreement’, our sovereignty ‘a joke’ and said the Cherokees ‘aren’t really Indians.’ It is our duty to make our citizens aware of candidates that are openly hostile to the Cherokee Nation. To hear and read the full transcript: http://www.cherokee.org/NewsArchives/announcements/2004-Coburn-Altus.asp Why you should vote (By Chad Smith): History does have a way of repeating itself, and we are once again at a point of history where impending doom lurks on the horizon. Prior to the Trail of Tears, Georgians argues in the Supreme Court that the Cherokee Nation could not be a “sovereign within a sovereign.” We retained our rights to government, but we lost our land. Today, we are faced with anti-Indian hate groups and several candidates, including U.S. Senate candidate Tom Coburn, repeating the same outdated slogan that the Cherokee Nation cannot be a “sovereign within a sovereign.” To read Chief Smith’s full statement: http://www.cherokee.org/newsarchives/announcements/voterguide.asp On a lighter and sweeter note - The Cherokee National Youth Choir participated in the opening of the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C., last week. Two of their performances were captured and is available online. To watch them, you will have to have Real Player installed: For the President at the White House: http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2004/09/20040923-2.html Kennedy Center: http://www.kennedy-center.org/programs/millennium/artist_detail.cfm?artist_id=CHEROKCHOI I gave Chief Smith a copy of my book when I was in Washington, D.C. So, the Cherokee newsletter might start carrying some of my material. =================================== X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X =================================== Some humorous material: From Andre: EarToTheGround Two cowboys come upon an Indian lying on his stomach with his ear to the ground. One of the cowboys stops and says to the other, "You see that Indian?" "Yeah," says the other cowboy. "Look," says the first one, "he's listening to the ground. He can hear things for miles in any direction." Just then the Indian looks up. "Covered wagon," he says, "about two miles away. Have two horses, one brown, one white. Man, woman, child, household effects in wagon." "Incredible!" says the cowboy to his friend. "This Indian knows how far away they are, how many horses, what color they are, who is in the wagon, and what is in the wagon. Amazing!" The Indian looks up and says, "Ran over me about a half hour ago." --------------- Why Did The Native Chicken Cross The Trail? GRASSROOT INDIAN: If the darn chiggens need to get across the road, let 'em cross the darn road! COLONIZED INDIAN: Chiggens should never cross the roads that white men built before the great white father crosses it first. If the white father crosses it, it is good. We must then follow. AMERICANIZED INDIAN: We must have roads. We must cross the roads that the white man built for us. We have to be thankful to the white man for this. I don't know why you Indians are always complaining. You embarrass us. Chickens are good for us. REPUBLICAN INDIAN: It's true that that white man built those roads for us. We are merely chickens. We will always be chickens until we learn to build those roads ourselves - for profit. DEMOCRATIC INDIAN: The chicken crossed the road because he didn't have enough funding. TRADITIONAL INDIAN: Those chiggens weren't traditional because what they heck were they doing trying to cross the road, when they were supposed to be on it - not crossing it! INDIAN GRANDMA: Oh, poor thing! I hope he had enough to eat. INDIAN GRANDPA: I think he was runnin' away from boarding school. INDIAN DOG: Come on, let's get them chiggens! RECOVERY INDIAN: To go to his meeting URBAN INDIAN: That chicken crossed the road 'cause it was a city, man. You know what I mean? NEW AGE INDIAN: It was basically because of Jungian dream therapy, drumming, sweat lodges, my shaman, and long walks on the beach, near my beach house. POW WOW INDIAN: That chicken must have been heading to a 49! DARTMOUTH INDIAN: I think it has to do with Einstein's theory which basically posits: "Did the chicken really cross the road or did the road move beneath the chicken?" REZ INDIAN: Depends upon what rez they were from. IHS INDIAN: Because I think the medical model didn't work for him. BIA INDIAN: They crossed it because of CFR 49, Section 11299, gives them the authority to do so, under Department of Interior regulations, in the Executive Branch. They wrote a grant and we funded them. We are very proud of them. KFC INDIAN: I’ll take a leg, a thigh, with corn and potatoes. Crispy, please. INCARCERATED INDIAN: That poor chicken is doing 7 years to life for jaywalking on the rez. RED ROAD INDIAN: This chicken took 12 steps in the wrong direction, for sure. COMMODITY DAY INDIAN: Aiiii - tonight it's chicken ala cheese! TRIBAL CHAIR INDIAN: No chicken relative of mine would be seen out trying to cross a road when I could get them a good office job. ANOTHER POWWOW INDIAN: Howah, more road kill feathers for my bustle!! CASINO NDN: To claim his bingo prize COMMITTEE INDIAN: Cause they was having a potluck AISES NDN: Cause after he was dropped in a lab experiment he had forward momentum of 8.9 Meters Per Second Squared NIEA NDN: To benefit our future generations of chickens ELDER NDN: Back in the day we didn’t get any chicken LAWYER NDN: It was the chickens Sovereign Right TEENAGE MALE INDIAN: He didn’t need no reason-cause he felt like it TEENAGE FEMALE INDIAN: To meet the cute rooster on the other side, you know the one with nice feathers GRANT FUNDED NDN: We only have enough funding to get the chicken half way cross that road-the rest will have to be in-kinded in travel PUNK NDN: the chicken was safety pinned to my cheek --------------- You know you've been on the Navajo REZ too long when... 1. You start to recognize individual head of livestock and give them names. 2. You mourn road-kill dogs like they were close friends. 3. Your idea of a great place to go out to dinner on your first date is the snack bar at the gas station just downa road. 4. Every day seems like every other day. 5. You don't mind driving to McDonald's for breakfast, even though it's 60 miles away in the nearest village. 6. You can tell the difference between dogs barking at cattle, dogs barking at horses, and dogs barking at things that go bump in the night. 7. Your pick-up truck has a "Fry Bread Power" or "Got Fry Bread?" bumper sticker. 8. You think that BBQ sheep entrails make a great bed time snack. 9. You notice that everything for sale in the grocery store is stale dated and/or the rebate offers expired four years ago. 10. You come to accept that an appointment on "Monday at 3:00 PM" means "Some time this week. Or maybe next week." (See #4, above.) 11. You can discern the type of grazing land by the taste of the mutton. 12. You wait until it goes on sale to buy your monthly supply of Spam. 13. You know which roads are the most dangerous for running over horses and cows. (And when you know who Don Yellow is because he runs over more livestock than anyone else.) 14. You can find your way around even though there are no street or road signs or house numbers. 15. Everybody knows who you are. And what you're doing. And how much money you have in your pocket. And who you're dating. And what kind of beer is hidden in your closet. 16. You know NOT to go to the store on "payday" (when the social security and general assistance checks come out). 17. You stop pointing with your index finger and start pointing with your lips. 18. You know (and use) the Navajo "mating call." 19. You come to accept that traffic jams at rush hour are due to herds of livestock crossing the highway. You know that livestock have the right-of-way. (note from Phil: I have experienced this one myself) 20. You avoid having emergencies or injuries because "Emergency Responses" by the police and ambulance services take at least two hours and could take longer on paydays. 21. You no longer consider it "quaint" or "unusual" when you see someone ride up to the trading post on a horse to collect their mail. 22. You know where all the potholes, washouts, quicksand pits, and washboards are in the roads. 23. You know where "Batman" the 230 pound billy-goat lives and avoid him. 24. You think that a Spam and fried potato burrito is a good choice for brunch. 25. You'll drive 38 miles to see the only mailbox on the side of the road in an area of 5,600 square miles. 26. You spot a single hogan who has posted a "Neighborhood Watch" sign and the nearest neighbor is ten miles away. 27. Your new name is "Sh'ew!" and you find out a lot of people have that name. (Roughly the Navajo equivalent of "hey, you.") 28. You go to a sweat lodge and know what that little piece of string is for. 29. You take your lunch break at the local flea market. 30. No work gets done because it's another Tribal holiday (not Columbus Day). 31. Your name appears in the "credit" book at the trading post. 32. You no longer consider yourself a "full blooded Indian" after donating at the blood bank. 33. You believe a Pow-wow was originated by the Navajo. 34. You no longer fear going to hell when you die because Kit Carson and George Custer are there and they won't let Indians or sympathizers in. 35. You hang eagle feathers from your rear-view mirror to ward off the evil resulting from a coyote crossing the road in front of you. 36. You say you're "going to town" and everybody knows you're driving to Gallup, NM, 95 miles away on a two lane road. 37. You want a Navajo Cadillac; a late model one-ton capacity king- cab pick-up truck of any kind with dual rear wheels, a fifth-wheel hitch, and three bales of hay in the back. 38. You do your own haircuts. 39. You hear Ben Begay in the a conversation, it is not about rubbing cream on your sore muscles. --------------- =================================== X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X =================================== Here are some random historical events for October: October 1, 1865: According to a government report, the expense of sustaining Navajo and Apache at the Bosque Redondo Reservation from March 1, 1864, to October 1, 1865, was about $1.1 million. October 2, 1858: Having been held prisoner by army forces under Colonel George Wright since September 23, Yakama Chief Owhi attempted to escaped from Fort Dalles. Chief Owhi was shot and killed. October 3, 1873: “Treaty 3 Between Her Majesty The Queen and The Saulteaux Tribe of the Ojibbeway Indians at the Northwest Angle On The Lake of the Woods with Adhesions” was signed in Canada. 1873: Captain Jack was hanged at Fort Klamath Oregon for his part in the Modoc War. October 4, 1878: Dull Knife and his band of Northern Cheyenne crossed the Union Pacific line at Alkali Station, Nebraska. Stationed in Fort Sidney in western Nebraska, Major T. T. Thornburgh and 140 soldiers boarded a waiting train in an attempt to catch up to Dull Knife. October 5, 1877: Chief Joseph, according to army reports, eighty-seven warriors, eighty-four squaws, and 147 children surrendered near Bear Paw, Montana. They were within fifty miles of their goal—the Canadian border. It was here that the chief spoke the famous words: “From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more.” See my website at http://americanindian.net/2003w.html for pictures of the battlefield. October 6, 1862: “ARTICLES OF AGREEMENT and convention made and concluded at Manitowaning, or the Great Manitoulin Island in the Province of Canada, the sixth day of October, Anno Domini, 1862, between the Hon. William McDougall, Superintendent General of Indian Affairs, and William Spragge, Esq., Deputy Superintendent of Indian Afflirs, on the part of the Crown and Government of said Province, of the first part, and Mai-she-quong.-gai, Okemah-be-ness, J. B. Assiginock, Benjamin Assiginock, Nai-be nesse-me, She-ne-tah-guw, George Ah-be-tos-o-mai, Paim-o-quo-naish-gung, Abence, Tai-bose-gai, A-to-nish-cosh, Nai-wau-dai-ge-zhik, Wau-kau-o- say, Keesh-kewanbik, Chiefs and Principal Men of the Ottawa, Chippewa and other Indians occupying the said island, on behalf of the said Indians, of the second part.” October 7, 1880: A Campo Indian had been found guilty of stealing a blanket in San Diego, California. County Justice of the Peace Gaskill ordered his punishment to be 100 lashes. Gaskill was quoted as saying: “After one of these Indians had been whipped once, he will never steal again. It makes ‘a good Indian’ of him.” The lashing almost killed the Indian. October 8, 1779: El Mocho was born an Apache, but he was captured by the Tonkawas. His bravery and natural leadership abilities eventually led the Tonkawas to make him their principal chief. He met with Spanish Governor Athanase de Mezieres in San Antonio. They signed a peace treaty, and El Mocho (Spanish for mutilated) was honored with a Medal of Honor. The peace lasted only for a few years. October 9, 1855: Tecumton (Elk Killer) and other Rogue River Indians retaliated for the attack the day before. They destroyed farms near Evan’s Ferry. They attacked and killed eighteen people at Jewett’s Ferry, Evan’s Ferry, and Wagoner’s Ranch. The whites call it the Wagoner Massacre. October 10, 1774: On a piece of land where the Great Kanawha River joined the Ohio River, called Point Pleasant, one of the biggest battles of the French and Indian War took place. Some 800 Shawnees led by Chief Cornstalk attacked a force of 850 Virginians led by Colonel Andrew Lewis at dawn. Sniping led to hand-to-hand combat. By the end of the fighting, after dark, Shawnee losses were estimated at as many as 200 warriors (some sources said forty). The Virginians had seventy-five soldiers killed, including many officers, and 140 wounded. This significant loss of warriors was a contributing force in Cornstalk’s eventual decision to give up the war. (Also recorded as happening on October 6.) October 11, 1869: A confrontation had developed between Canadian surveyors and Louis Riel’s Metis cousin, Andre Nault. Andre did not want the surveyors on his land. Riel and a dozen other Metis responded to help. Riel walked up, stepped on the surveyor’s chain, and said, “You go no further.” This was the start of a rebellion that rocked Canada. October 12, 1492: According to some sources, Columbus landed in the New World. According to the Taino, they were the first Native Americans to greet Columbus on the island of Guanahani (San Salvador). October 13, 1890: Kicking Bear was ordered to leave the reservation by Indian police officers. October 14, 1891: Originally named Thocmetony (“Shell Flower” in Paiute), Sarah Winnemucca was the granddaughter of Paiute Chief Truckee Winnemucca and daughter of Chief Winnemucca. She worked tirelessly to have the traditional Paiute lands returned to the tribe. She died from tuberculosis. October 15, 1836: A treaty with five different Indian nations (“Otoes, Missouries, Omahaws, and Yankton, and Santee Bands of Sioux”) was signed (7 Stat. 524). October 16, 1876: Colonel E. S. Otis and his wagon train for the soldiers at the Tongue River continued toward their destination. Indians continued to snipe at Otis’s forces. An Indian was spotted leaving a message in the wagon’s path. The message said: “I want to know what you are doing traveling on this road. You scare all the buffalo away. I want to hunt in this place. I want you to turn back from here. If you don’t I will fight you again. I want you to leave what you have got here and turn back from here. I am your friend, Sitting Bull. I mean all the rations you have got and some powder. Wish you would write as soon as you can.” Otis sent a reply stating he was going to the Tongue River and if the Indians wanted a fight he would give them one. More sniping began on both sides. Soon two Indians appeared under a flag of truce. They said Sitting Bull wanted to talk with Otis, but both sides could not agreed on the location. Three chiefs then came to Otis. They said they were hungry and wanted peace. Otis gave them 150 pounds of bread and two sides of bacon. Otis told them if they wish to surrender they could go to the Tongue River camp and talk there. October 17, 1776: In November of 1775, Kumeyaay Indians destroyed the Mission San Diego de Alcala in what became San Diego, California. The mission was now ready to be occupied again. October 18, 1540: Hernando de Soto arrived at the Mobile Indian village of Mabila in present-day Clark County, Alabama. As they approached the village, Tascaluca disappeared into a building. The Mobile Indians under Chief Tuscaloosa (Tascaluca) attacked de Soto’s invading army. In the bloody conflict, as many as 3,000 Indians were killed by the armored Spaniards. Approximately twenty Spaniards were killed and 150 wounded, including de Soto, according to their chroniclers. October 19, 1724: French peace envoy Etienne Veniard de Bourgmont finally encountered the “Padouca” in their own lands the day before. On this day he held a grand council with more than 2,000 Indians. According to a journal of the expedition, he would “exhort them to live as brethren with their neighbors, the Panimhas, Aiaouez, Othouez, Canzas, Missouris, Osages and Illinois, and to traffic and truck freely together, and with the French..” October 20, 1879: While leaders for the army and the Utes were negotiating the end of hostilities, the handing-over of the hostile Ute leaders, and the release of prisoners held by the Utes, soldiers and Utes clashed on the White River in Colorado. First Lieutenant William P. Hall and a scouting party of three men from the Fifth Cavalry were attacked by thirty-five Indians about twenty miles from the White River. The fighting lasted most of the day, until after sunset, when the soldiers retreated to their main camp. The army reported two people killed on each side of the battle. Lieutenant Hall would be awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his actions. October 21, 1867: Today through October 28 started the biggest U.S.-Indian conference ever held, near Fort Dodge, Kansas, near what was called Medicine Lodge Creek. The name comes from a Kiowa medicine lodge that was still standing from a recent Kiowa sun dance ceremony. For the Kiowa and Comanche Treaty (15 Stat. 589), some of the ten Kiowa signers were: Satanta, Satank, Black Bird, Kicking Bird, and Lone Bear. Ten Comanche, including Ten Bears, signed, as would six Apaches. The United States was represented by Commissioner N. G. Taylor, William Harney, C. C. Augur, Alfred H. Terry, John B. Sanborn, Samuel F. Tappan, and J. B. Henderson. Representing the Indians were ten Kiowa. October 22, 1790: Little Turtle and his Miami followers fought with Josiah Harmar and his 300 soldiers and 1,200 militia while they were attempting to ford the Wabash River (near modern Fort Wayne, Indiana). The Americans sustained more than 200 killed and wounded. This was a part of what was called Little Turtle’s War. October 23, 1518: Diego de Velásquez, the governor of Cuba, appointed Hernán Cortés “captain-general” of an expedition to Mexico. October 24, 1778: From today until December 3, 1786, Domingo Cabello y Robles served as governor of Texas. During his term, he arranged a peace with the Comanche. October 25, 1862: The Tonkawas were living on a reservation in the Washita River in Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma) after having been removed from a reservation on the Brazos River in Texas. The Tonkawas had earned the enmity of other tribes because they acted as scouts for the army. Delaware, Shawnee, and Caddo Indians attacked the Tonkawa village. All told, 137 of the 300 Tonkawas were killed in the raid. Some sources said the Comanche, Kiowa, and Wichita were also involved. October 26, 1853: Captain John Gunnison and eight others in the Pacific Railroad surveying along the 38th Parallel were killed during a fight with Paiute Indians in the Sevier River Valley of Utah. The Paiute hunting party of twenty were led by Moshoquop. Moshoquop’s father had been killed by other whites only days before. The Mormons and the Paiute had been fighting for some time, considered a part of the Walker War. (Also recorded as happening on October 25.) October 27, 1795:: Spain signed the San Lorenzo Treaty with the United States. The treaty allowed American boats to use the Mississippi River in Spanish Territory. It also confirmed the northern boundary of the Spanish Territories as the 31st Parallel. The Spanish were required to abandon all forts and lands north of that line. Both countries agreed to “control” the Indians within their boundaries. October 28, 1863: The Cherokee capital was located in Tahlequah, Indian Territory (modern Oklahoma). The Cherokee Nation had been divided by the U.S. Civil War. Stand Watie supported the Confederacy. He and his followers burned down the capital buildings. October 29, 1926: Bannock Chief Race Horse, also known as Racehorse and John Racehorse Sr., died. He was one of the Bannock representatives in the lawsuit over the Fort Bridger Treaty that went to the U.S. Supreme Court. October 30, 1990: The law denying Indians the right to speak their own language, under certain circumstances, was repealed. October 31, 1879: After the Standing Bear trial, where it was ruled the government could not force an Indian to stay in any one reservation against their will, Big Snake decided to test the law. He asked for permission to leave his reservation to visit Standing Bear. His request was denied. He eventually left the Ponca Reservation to go to the Cheyenne Reservation, also in Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma). Big Snake was returned to the Ponca Reservation, when General Sherman decided the Standing Bear ruling applied only to Standing Bear. Big Snake made the Ponca agent, William Whiteman, very angry. Whiteman ordered Big Snake to be arrested. On this day, Big Snake was arrested and charged with threatening Whiteman. In Whiteman’s office, after denying any such actions, Big Snake refused to go with the soldiers there to arrest him. A struggle developed, and Big Snake was shot and killed. ================================================================ End of the October 2004 Newsletter by Phil Konstantin – Part 2 ================================================================ . .
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