November 2004 Newsletter from
"This Day in North American Indian History"
by Phil Konstantin
Copyright © Phil Konstantin (1996-2006)

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Start of the November 2004 Newsletter by Phil Konstantin – Part 1


This is the first of a couple of section of this month's newsletter.

I am still trying to get used to the changeover to/from Daylight Savings 
Time. So, without further ado....

Don't forget to vote!



Link of the Month for November.

This website comes from the California State University in Humbolt. It 
has lots of interesting material.

Lessons In Tribal Sovereignty


Info from newsletter subscribers:


How Indians in New Mexico were granted the right to vote - In 1948 a 
44-year-old former Marine sergeant and World War II veteran was the 
principal at Laguna Pueblo Day School and taught classes there. Taking 
advantage of the GI Bill, he also took courses at the University of New 

On June 14 of that year he went to register to vote at the Valencia 
County Courthouse in Los Lunas. Even though he was a U.S. citizen, a 
local resident and a war veteran, clerks refused to register Miguel H. 
Trujillo because he was an American Indian.
In 1924, the Indian Citizenship Act graciously deemed American Indians 
citizens of their own land, earning them the right to vote in federal 

But 24 years later, New Mexico still prevented Indians who lived on 
reservations (which, in 1948, was probably 99 percent of Indians in New 
Mexico) from voting in state elections under a provision in the state 
Constitution that prohibited "insane persons . . . and Indians not 
taxed." In other words, if you were mentally ill or lived on a 
reservation, or both, you couldn't vote.

Outraged that he could fight for the United States in war, but couldn't 
vote in his home state, Trujillo of Isleta Pueblo, sued New Mexico in 
federal court and won. On Aug. 3, 1948, a three-judge panel in Santa Fe 
ruled that New Mexico's provision banning Indians was "discrimination on 
the grounds of race" and violated the U.S. Constitution.

The ruling was hailed by then-U.S. Sen. Dennis Chavez, an Albuquerque 
Democrat, who said: "The idea that Indians are not beneficiaries of 
American rights like any other citizen belongs to long ago. New Mexico 
cannot give one class of citizens civil rights and deprive the Indians 
of the same. We are making progress." 

Two months later, however, state Attorney General Walter Kegel had to 
reject Santa Fe District Attorney Marcelino Gutierrez's request for 
double lines at polling places so "intelligent voters can vote without 
having to wait for all of the Indian voters." 

Trujillo predated such civil rights heroes as the Rev. Martin Luther 
King Jr. and Rosa Parks, yet remains mostly unknown in New Mexico and 
U.S. history. There is, however, an annual award in his name for, 
fittingly, people whose humanitarian efforts in Albuquerque were for the 
most part unrecognized in their lifetimes.

Trujillo went on to a lifelong career in education, picking up 
bachelor's and master's degrees at UNM and working toward a doctorate at 
Cal-Berkeley. His Bureau of Indian Affairs administrative and teaching 
work led to positions in Utah, Laguna, Tohatchi, Paraje School, Picuris 
Pueblo and Yuma Indian School. 

He died in August 1989 at a Laguna Pueblo nursing home after a series of 
strokes left him largely unable to communicate. His civil rights efforts 
were the topic of a seminar at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center in 

He was unable to attend and when told of the seminar, "He didn't do 
anything but cry," his daughter, Josephine Waconda, was quoted as 
saying. "He understood what was going on; he couldn't formulate the 

On Nov. 2, Indians in New Mexico can honor Trujillo's courageous efforts 
by going to the polls - or not. Thanks to him, at least they have that 

From Phil: The Isleta Pueblo website has a short article about Miguel H. 
Trujillo on the bottom of this page:


Schaghticoke Tribal Nation has the support of 250+ member tribes of the 
National Congress of American Indians. Click on the resolution above 
for the details.

Vice-Chair Michael Pane presented the draft resolution to the NCAI 
sub-committee on Jurisdiction and Tribal Government on October 12th at 
the annual convention of the NCAI. The convention host was the Seminole 
Tribe and was held at the Fort Lauderdale Convention Center. On October 
14th after some revisions, Michael presented the final version (found 
via the link above) to the Litigation and Governance Committee where it 
was referred for a full vote of the NCAI General Assembly. It passed 
unanimously during the General Assembly on October 15th, the close of 
the week's convention.


NCAI Files Lawsuit Against Minnesota Secretary of State on Use of Tribal 
ID Cards for Voting State Would Deny Thousands of American Indians the 
Right to Vote The National Congress of American Indians and the 
Minnesota ACLU combined with American Indian plaintiffs today to file a 
groundbreaking lawsuit against the State of Minnesota for discriminating 
against American Indian voters by denying them the right to vote using 
tribal- government-issued ID cards. 

As many as 32,000 American Indians in Minnesota live off-reservation in 
the greater St. Paul/Minneapolis area, and many have only a tribal 
identification card for government-issued ID. Mary Kiffmeyer, the 
Secretary of State, has ruled that Minnesota law requires her to accept 
tribal ID cards for voting only if the person lives on an Indian 
reservation. In addition, the Secretary is requiring that tribal ID's 
have not only a name and photo, but must also have an address and a 
signature. The Secretary will accept student ID's and military ID's when 
combined with a utility bill, even if they don't have address and 
signature. However, American Indian voters will not be allowed to use 
tribal ID cards in combination with a utility bill. The Minnesota 
Secretary of State has the power to authorize any form of ID to be used 
for voting, but has allowed the use of tribal ID's only under these 
extremely limited circumstances. 

NCAI President Tex G. Hall said the lawsuit seeks justice and equal 
opportunity for Native voters. "The state has said essentially that if 
you leave the reservation, you lose the right to vote," Hall said. 
"Requiring more stringent rules for one group of people, and limiting 
their ability to vote if they decide to move, violates federal law and 
the United States Constitution. We are saddened that the Minnesota 
Secretary of State refuses to use her discretion to comply with federal 
law and ensure that American Indians get the opportunity to vote. Many 
states, nationwide, are accepting tribal IDs as the legitimate 
governmental identification that they are. This is a setback to the 
fundamental right to vote that all Americans enjoy, except Native 
Americans in the state of Minnesota."

The lawsuit is filed under the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. 
Constitution and the Help America Vote Act of 2002, and asks the Federal 
District Court to end the discriminatory rules and order that tribal ID 
cards may be used in the same manner as other forms of identification. 

"Until it was repealed in 1960, the Minnesota Constitution denied Native 
Americans the right to vote unless they moved away from their 
reservations, denied their heritage, and were declared "civilized." In 
an ironic turn of events, today the State of Minnesota is reversing 
tactics and is trapping Natives on their reservations if they want to 
exercise their right to vote," Hall said. "The tribes of Minnesota have 
been diligent in their efforts to organize and motivate voters at the 
grassroots level, and this is clearly a battle we must engage in to 
ensure our rights are protected and our voices are heard." 


Subject: Press Release--Native American cultural items 

For Immediate Release Contact: Peter Karafotas (202) 225-3611 

Friday, October 8, 2004 


Washington, D.C.-Today, the House of Representatives passed an 
amendment by a vote of 256-160, with 215 of 221 Republicans voting for 
the amendment that could lead to the desecration and destruction of 
Native American human remains, cultural items and sacred sites in the 
San Diego, California area. This provision will be included in the H.R. 
10 - 9/11 Recommendations Implementation Act. 

The amendment, sponsored by Congressman Doug Ose (R-CA), allows for the 
continuation of construction of a security barrier in south San Diego 
and waives the requirements of several laws and mandates including four 
that specifically and directly impact Indian tribes. These laws 
include: the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the Native 
American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act of 1990, the 1996 
Executive Order 13007 on Sacred Sites and the Archeological Resources 
Protection Act Amendments of 1979. Waiving these requirements will 
preclude tribal and archeological notice and consultation if Native 
American graves are inadvertently or deliberately disturbed or if human 
remains are disinterred. 

"By enacting federal laws and implementing federal mandates, we 
promised Native Americans that we would protect and preserve their 
places of worship, resting places for the deceased and religious 
freedom. This amendment breaks that promise by not providing any 
mechanism for notice or consultation upon finding any cultural, 
ceremonial or historical sites," said Congressman Dale E. Kildee (D-MI). 


This article appeared in the New Haven Register as well as several 
papers around the country. I'm glad someone responded to it! ~Ruth
Traditional Tribes Vs. Casino Tribes
Tim Giago

September 16 2004

When James Fenimore Cooper wrote "The Last of the Mohicans" in 1826, it 
became an instant classic. It was the beginning of the "vanishing 
American" theory.

But shazam! Through the magic of the Bureau of Indian Affair's federal 
recognition program, the Mohicans were reborn in the state of 
Connecticut. Their Mohegan Sun, one of the world's two most profitable 
casinos, will attest to that. The other most profitable casino in the 
world is also in Connecticut and is operated by the Mashantucket 
Pequots, another tribe with questionable BIA beginnings.

I had lunch in Washington, D.C., with one of the leaders of the Mohegans 
several years ago. When he first entered the restaurant and approached 
my table, I was very surprised that he was African American.

I discovered that this was quite common among these two tribes. I 
suppose that I was surprised because it is a rarity in our neck of the 

I was even more surprised when I attended their powwow and noticed that 
most of the dancers were dressed in the attire of the Indians of the 
Northern Plains. I knew they were not Indians of the Northern Plains 
because the women were going up and down like pistons instead of in the 
perfect unison of the women from the Plains.

I was not surprised to learn that Connecticut became the first state to 
pass legislation designed to halt any future casino development. The 
Courant ran an editorial warning "The state must stop this slot machine 

Jeff Benedict, author of "Without Reservation," a book about the 
Pequots, wrote: "Casinos have a negative impact on roads, water and land 
consumption, fire, police, ambulance service, air pollution, and 
traffic. Local school systems are flooded with the children of 
low-income casino workers who also create a shortage of affordable 
housing. And there are social costs - increased bankruptcies, 
foreclosures, divorces, child abuse, and crime."

That may be true of the densely populated communities of the eastern 
seaboard, but it is hardly the case out here in the hinterlands. Most 
Indian-owned casinos in the Northern Plains have provided low-paying 
jobs where low-paying jobs are the norm. They have helped improve the 
roads around the casinos and strengthened local communities by helping 
to build better water delivery and improved electrical services.

But because of that very remoteness, tribes like the Oglala Lakota of 
the Pine Ridge Reservation will never see their Prairie Wind Casino 
bring in the profits of a Foxwoods. Foxwoods brings in an estimated $1.3 
billion per year.

It is not uncommon to see tribal leaders from the Northern Plains make 
pilgrimages to the mighty Mashantucket Pequots with hats in hand 
(aluminum cups would be more appropriate), begging for dollars. It is 
humiliating for the once proud warriors and chiefs of the tribes of the 
Northern Plains.

The wealth of newborn tribes such as the Oneida of New York, the 
Mashantucket Pequots and the Mohegans of Connecticut - though few in 
numbers and short on tradition - has created a division among the Indian 
nations that grows wider each year. Indian country has become a place of 
haves and have-nots.

The wealthy tribes, outnumbered more than 10-1 by the more traditional 
tribes, are now setting the ground rules and forming political alliances 
with the enemies of the tribes of the Northern and Southwest Plains. 
Local tribal leaders dare not speak out.

As long as the focus of the tribes of the Great Sioux Nation and the 
other tribes of the Northern Plains - tribes referred to by the 
traditional Lakota as "treaty tribes" - is based on the almighty dollar 
instead of on the traditions and cultural values that have sustained 
them for generations, they will remain in competition with the tiny, 
newly formed tribes with billion-dollar casinos, and it is a competition 
they will surely lose. Money is the great divider, culture and 
traditions are the great equalizers.

A new James Fenimore Cooper may come along and write a book called "The 
Last of the Great Sioux Nation."

Tim Giago, an Oglala Lakota, is former editor and publisher of the 
weekly Lakota Journal in South Dakota. This article was distributed by 
Knight Ridder/Tribune Information Services. 
Copyright 2004, Hartford Courant 

A History Of Cooperation
September 18, 2004 

As tribal chairman for the Mohegan Tribe, I was extremely disappointed 
and saddened to read Tim Giago's article [Other Opinion, Sept. 16, 
"Traditional Tribes Vs. Casino Tribes"]. As the United States celebrates 
the opening of the Smithsonian's new National Museum of the American 
Indian on the Mall in Washington in a few days, and as a member of the 
Oglala Lakota Tribe, Giago should be well aware of the rich and diverse 
history of all of America's Native people.

At a time when it is critically important that America's Native tribes 
work together in the face of an unprecedented assault on our 
sovereignty, it is particularly inappropriate that Giago would use his 
position to mislead readers about the history of other Native American 
tribes or their historic efforts to work together.

Giago apparently believes there is something positive to be gained from 
insulting those who don't fit his definition of what a Native American 
should look like. Appropriately, the new Smithsonian museum has an 
exhibit on the diversity of faces within Indian country. Giago's writing 
is nothing less than racist.

The English, who formed the Connecticut colony in 1636, formally 
recognized the sovereignty of our tribe in the Mohegan Treaty of 1638, a 
recognition that has been maintained through the present day. For more 
than 350 years, treaties and laws have highlighted our tribe's 
independent status. At the federal level, the unique rights of Native 
American tribes were further recognized and laid out in the U.S. 

The Mohegan Tribe has maintained an independent tribal structure since 
before Europeans arrived. We are proud to be citizens of both the 
Mohegan Tribe and the United States. Today, the historic agreement 
between our tribe and Connecticut means that 25 percent of slot revenues 
from the Mohegan Sun Casino - hundreds of millions of dollars a year - 
are contributed to the state to help fund vital services. As a 
percentage of proceeds going to state government, this agreement is the 
most generous tribal revenue-sharing program in the country.

In addition, the Mohegan Tribe and its members have been proud to use 
their resources to help support critically important causes at the 
local, state and federal level. A key priority has been to help support 
economic and cultural programs for other Native Americans, as well as 
efforts to build greater understanding of Native American heritage. The 
Smithsonian's new museum will open thanks in part to a $10 million 
contribution from our tribe. This gift was not a result of someone 
coming forward with an "aluminum cup." Rather, it was because of our 
lasting commitment to the heritage of every Native American.

Mr. Giago would do well to learn about the great history of Native 
people before he does more to reveal his ignorance.

Mark Brown
Mohegan Tribal Council


From my daughter Sarah:

The Importance of Time 

A young man learns what's most important in life from the guy next door. 
It had been some time since Jack had seen the old man. College, girls, 
career, and life itself got in the way. In fact, Jack moved clear 
across the country in pursuit of his dreams. There, in the rush of his 
busy life, Jack had little time to think about the past and often no 
time to spend with his wife and son. He was working on his future, and 
nothing could stop him. 

Over the phone, his mother told him, "Mr.. Belser died last night. The 
funeral is Wednesday." 

Memories flashed through his mind like an old newsreel as he sat quietly 
remembering his childhood days. 

"Jack, did you hear me?" 

Oh sorry, Mom. Yes, I heard you. It's been so long since I thought of 
him. I'm sorry, but I honestly thought he died years ago," Jack said.

"Well, he didn't forget you. Every time I saw him he'd ask how you were 
doing. He'd reminisce about the many days you spent over 'his side of 
the fence' as he put it," Mom told him.

"I loved that old house he lived in," Jack said. 

"You know, Jack, after your father died, Mr. Belser stepped in to make 
sure you had a man's influence in your life," she said.

"He's the one who taught me carpentry," he said. "I wouldn't be in this 
business if it weren't for him. He spent a lot of time teaching me 
things he thought were important...Mom, I'll be there for the funeral," 
Jack said. 

As busy as he was, he kept his word Jack caught the next flight to his 
hometown. Mr. Belser's funeral was small and uneventful. He had no 
children of his own, and most of his relatives had passed away. 

The night before he had to return home, Jack and his Mom stopped by to 
see the old house next door one more time. 

Standing in the doorway, Jack paused for a moment. It was like crossing 
over into another dimension, a leap through space and time 

The house was exactly as he remembered. Every step held memories. Every 
picture, every piece of furniture...Jack stopped suddenly. 

"What's wrong, Jack?" his Mom asked. 

"The box is gone," he said. 

What box?" Mom asked. 

"There was a small gold box that he kept locked on top of his desk. I 
must have asked him a thousand times what was inside. All he'd ever tell 
me was 'the thing I value most, '" Jack said. 

It was gone. Everything about the house was exactly how Jack remembered 
it, except for the box. He figured someone from the Belser family had 
taken it.

"Now I'll never know what was so valuable to him," Jack said. "I better 
get some sleep. I have an early flight home, Mom." 

It had been about two weeks since Mr. Belser died. Returning home from 
work one day Jack discovered a note in his mailbox. "Signature required 
on a package. No one at home. Please stop by the main post office within 
the next three days," the note read. 

Early the next day Jack retrieved the package. The small box was old and 
looked like it had been mailed a hundred years ago. The handwriting was 
difficult to read, but the return address caught his attention.

"Mr. Harold Belser" it read. 

Jack took the box out to his car and ripped open the package There 
inside was the gold box and an envelope. Jack's hands shook as he read 
the note inside. 

Upon my death, please forward this box and its contents to Jack Bennett. 
It's the thing I valued most in my life." A small key was taped to the 
letter. His heart racing, as tears filling his eyes, Jack carefully 
unlocked the box. There inside he found a beautiful gold pocket watch

Running his fingers slowly over the finely etched casing, he unlatched 
the cover. Inside he found these words engraved: 

"Jack, Thanks for your time! -Harold Belser." 

"The thing he valued time." 

Jack held the watch for a few minutes, then called his office and 
cleared his appointments for the next two days. "Why?" Janet, his 
assistant asked. 

"I need some time to spend with my son," he said. "Oh, by the way, 
Janet...thanks for your time!"


Mending the Circle:
A Native American Repatriation Guide

The first comprehensive guide outlining the repatriation process as set 
forth by the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act 
(NAGPRA) of 1990. Mending the Circle: A Native American Repatriation 
Guide (Understanding and Implementing NAGPRA, the Official Smithsonian 
and other Repatriation Policies) is available from the American Indian 
Ritual Object Repatriation Foundation.

Mending the Circle clarifies the rights of Native people in the United 
States and the obligations of federally-funded institutions as 
determined by NAGPRA. Topics include: a detailed explanation of NAGPRA, 
the NAGPRA regulations, civil penalties, choices in building a tribal 
repatriation program, Smithsonian Institution repatriation policies and 
procedures (including NMAI amendments), museum practices from a Native 
view, and approaches for repatriating from the private sector.

Writers, editors and consultants for the guide include Walter 
Echo-Hawk, Esq. (Pawnee), Suzan Shown Harjo (Hodulgee/Muscogee), B. 
Lynne Harlan (Cherokee), Richard Hill, Sr. (Tuscarora), Clara Sue 
Kidwell (Choctaw/Chippewa/Creek), Denise Bambi Kraus (Tlingit, National 
Indian Policy Center), Tim McKeown (NAGPRA Program Leader, National Park 
Service), Kate Morris (AIRORF), Elizabeth Sackler (AIRORF), Dean Suagee, 
Esq. (Cherokee), Jack Trope, Esq., and Rosita Worl (Tlingit).

Mending the Circle: A Native American Repatriation Guide
Hard copies are no longer Available.

Now Available For Free Download on the Website.
If you have any questions or comments please contact the Foundation:

463 East 57th Street, New York, NY 10022-3003
Tel: (212) 980-9441 Fax: (212) 421-2746


Interesting websites:

Two Rivers Mounds: Two Cultures - One Goal

Amnesty Now Soul Wound: The Legacy of Native American Schools

10th Annual California Indian Storytelling Festival Bridging the Pacific 
with Native Voices November 6-7, 2004


News articles:

Bush used IHS money for anti-terrorism, Iraq

High court frustrates Indians

Native groups succeed in preserving Long Beach site

DORREEN YELLOW BIRD COLUMN: New museum inspires as it graces nation's 



How should we remember Columbus?

Indians from across the Americas gather in Washington to fete museum's 

New State Seal Monuments to be Unveiled, Memorializing California 
Indians and Spanish/Mexican Era


Cultural Tidbits from the Cherokee Nation newsletter:

Trade Prices

In 1716 the South Carolina Board of Trade issued the following trade 

Number of deerskins for each item follows item name.

A Gun. 30
A Yard Strouds. 7
A Duffield Blanket. 14
A Yard Half Thicks. 3
A Hatchet. 2
A narrow Hoe. 2
A broad Hoe. 4
Fifty Bullets. 1
A Butcher’s Knife. 1
A pair Cizars. 1
Three Strings Beads. 1
Eighteen Flints. 1
An Ax. 4
A Pistol. 20
A Cutlash. 8
A Shirt. 4
A Steel. 1
A Calico Petticoat. 12
A red Girdle. 2
A laced Hatt. 8
A Clasp Knife. 1
A Yard Cadis. 1
Rum, mixed with1/3 Water; per bottle. 1 


Excerpt from the Indian Chieftain Vinita, Cherokee Nation, Indian 
Territory December 29, 1887 

A Visit (to the Cherokee Capitol Building)

There is a relief even to the disappointed when the suspense and 
doubtfulness of a controversy has been passed. This seems to be the 
condition of matters in Tahlequah this morning. A visit to the council 
and executive department discloses this fact in the outward appearances 
at least. There may be a slumbering discontent, but really, conditions 
are seemingly accepted.

Stepping into the council chamber the attention of one is at once 
arrested by the appearance of a full house. After observing for a while 
the run of business, he will discover that a contest is under 
examination, and that the case is between Mr. Johnson Fields, member 
elect of the Downing Party, and Andrew Lasley, a colored gentleman and 
defeated candidate for legislative honors, of the National. Occupying 
the central point of the picture we discover attorneys, Henry Coval, 
R.W. Walker and Ridge Paschal on part of the defense, and E.C. Boudinot, 
Jr., John Springston and John Grass, on part of the prosecution. Th 
reading of the evidence in the case is going on. This being rather 
tedious, we will step into the senate chamber. Here we discover more 
spectators than members, a full representation consisting of eighteen 
members, so that one member is equal to a little more than two 
councilors in legislative power. Looking over those seated at the desks, 
we discover Hon. L.B. Bell, the wit of the senate, whose contest as well 
as that of Houston Benge has been withdrawn. The appearance here is that 
of preparation for business. 

The scene reminds one of an old fashioned Cherokee ball play, when the 
players were examining closely the strength of their opponents before 
the tug came. Seeing this is the case, whether fanciful or not, let’s 
walk up to the executive department. Entering at the door of the east 
room, we find a considerable number of men setting around the stove, all 
busily chatting and smoking pipes and cigars. The topics of conversation 
are various, ranging from the grave and serious to the humorous and 
pleasant. Beyond the group seated around the stove, are three desks on 
line with each other, at which are seated three secretaries. One only 
seems to be busy. He is filling out warrants to pay the members of the 
national council on what is aptly termed the “No one Bill” and is the 
only one that has been passed this council. It being as it were the 
beginning of a term, there is scarcely any general business. More 
especially is this so, because the new chief is but just initiated into 
the duties of his office.

Passing out of this room the middle or library room is reached. Fenced 
off by a picket from public ingress are between fifteen hundred and two 
thousand volumes consisting of congressional proceedings, proceedings of 
the legislature of the different states and reports without number. To 
any but the general politician and those of legal occupation the whole 
thing is a desert without an oasis or song bird.

The next is called the Chief’s Room. Here, as a natural consequence, we 
look for him who is at the head of the government. He is not hard to 
find among the crowd who are standing about in groups or occupying seats 
in comfortable distance from the stove. He is distinguished by his 
portly size, healthy appearance and that distingue [sic] that should 
point out the ruler of a people.

By the same token, one can easily discover the assistant Principal 
Chief, Hon. Samuel Smith. He is every inch an Indian, naturally highly 
gifted, or pleasant and agreeable manners, and the greatest orator among 
his people. He is tall and erect, his eyes large, black and intelligent, 
his mouth large and nose Roman. He is of that age when ambition is not 
for self, but for the good of those whose welfare he is called to 
promote and safely protect.



Snowsnake was a winter sport for the Cherokee. It was limited to the 
boys. Please keep in mind, there may have been variations to the game.

Snowsnake was played with a round pole, sharpened at one end and from 
seven to ten feet in length. It was usually carved from a hickory or 
walnut stave. It was often decorated with animals known for speed or 
flying ability.

The playing field was prepared by piling a snowbank approximately 
thirty inches high at the starting point, then gradually sloping it down 
to ground level. It was anywhere from a thousand feet yo over a mile in 
length, depending on weather conditions and the player’s inclinations. A 
stout limb with two branches left on the narrow end to use for pulling 
was dragged down the snowbank, leaving a shallow groove across the top, 
approximately two to three feet wide.

Any number of teams could compete. Each team member had a different 
task to perform and was referred to accordingly as a shiner, marker or 
thrower. The shiner was the man who prepared the snowsnake greasing or 
rubbing snow or water over it which froze to the snake when taken 
outdoors. Any of these methods helped improve the sliding ability of the 

The marker was the player who marked off the distance that each 
snowsnake traveled and kept a record of points earned. There could be 
one player who threw all four of the team’s snowsnakes, or two or more 
could throw, dividing the four snakes among them.

There were different styles of throwing a snowsnake. Usually the player 
took a running start, threw the pole, overhand or underhand, sliding it 
down the trough.

The snake that went the farthest scored one point, while the snake that 
went further than any of the opposing team’s snakes during the entire 
game was awarded an additional point. The game was won when one team’s 
score totaled ten points. Snowsnakes have been thrown at more than one 
hundred miles per hour and have been known to cover a distance of up to 
a mile.




Subject: Diné Lift (humor)

A Navajo boy and his father were visiting a mall for the first time. 
They were amazed by almost everything they saw, but especially by two 
shiny, silver walls that could move apart and then slide back together 

The boy asked, "What is this, Father?" 

The father (never having seen an elevator) responded, "Son, I have 
never seen anything like this in my life, I don't know what it is." 

While the boy and his father were watching with amazement, a fat old 
lady in a wheel chair rolled up to the moving walls and pressed a 

The walls opened and the lady rolled between them into a small room. 
The walls closed and the boy and his father watched the small circular 
numbers above the walls light up sequentially. 

They continued to watch until it reached the last number and then the 
numbers began to light in the reverse order. Finally the walls opened 
up again and a gorgeous, voluptuous, young woman stepped out. 

The father, not taking his eyes off the young woman, said quietly to 
his son... "Nima bikaa ni dil yaad! (Go get your mother!)" 


Did I Read That Sign Right? 



In a London department store: BARGAIN BASEMENT UPSTAIRS 



Outside a secondhand shop: WE EXCHANGE ANYTHING - BICYCLES, WASHING 

Notice in health food shop window: CLOSED DUE TO ILLNESS 

Spotted in a safari park: ELEPHANTS PLEASE STAY IN YOUR CAR 





U.S. Census Bureau Facts for Features: American Indian and Alaska 
Native Heritage Month (November)
Contact: U.S. Census Bureau, 301-763-3030 or

WASHINGTON, Oct. 6 /U.S. Newswire/ -- American Indian and Alaska 
Native Heritage Month originated in 1915 when the president of the 
Congress of American Indian Associations issued a proclamation 
declaring the second Saturday in May of each year as American Indian 
Day. The first American Indian Day was celebrated in May 1916 in New 
York. In 1990, President George H.W. Bush signed a joint congressional 
resolution designating November 1990 as "National American Indian 
Heritage Month." Similar proclamations have been issued every year 
since 1994.

4.4 million -- The estimated number of people, as of July 1, 2003, 
who are American Indian and Alaska native or American Indian and Alaska 
native in combination with one or more other races. They make up 1.5 
percent of the total population. 

141,000 -- The estimated number of people who are American Indian and 
Alaska native alone or American Indian and Alaska native in combination 
with one or more other races added to the nation's population between 
Census Day, April 1, 2000, and July 1, 2003. This population increased 
at a rate of 3.3 percent over the period, roughly the same rate of 
increase as the overall population. 

American Indian tribal groups with more than 50,000 members are 
Apache, Cherokee, Chippewa, Choctaw, Lumbee, Navajo, Pueblo and Sioux. 
Cherokee and Navajo are easily the largest, with populations of 234,000 
and 204,000, respectively. 
DatasetMainPageServlet?_program=ACS&_lang =en&_ts=102594835162

Eskimo is the largest Alaska native tribal group, with 37,000 
DatasetMainPageServlet?_program=ACS&=lang =en&_ts=102594835162

Families and Children

484,000 -- The number of American Indian and Alaska native families. 
Of these:

294,000, or 61 percent, are married-couple families.

266,000, or 55 percent, are families with their own children under 

And 141,000, or 29 percent, are married couples with their own 
children under 18. 
DatasetMainPageServlet?_program=ACS&_lang =en&_ts=102594835162

48 percent -- The percentage of American Indians and Alaska natives 
who are married. 
DatasetMainPageServlet?_program=ACS&_lang=en& _ts=102594835162

56 percent -- Among American Indians and Alaska natives age 30 and 
over who live with their grandchildren, the percentage who also provide 
care for them. 

Population Distribution


538,300 -- The number of American Indians and Alaska natives alone or 
in combination with one or more other races living on reservations or 
other trust lands. Of this number, 175,200 reside on Navajo nation 
reservation and trust lands, which span portions of Arizona, New Mexico 
and Utah. This is by far the most populous reservation or trust land.

57 -- The percentage of American Indians and Alaska natives who live 
in metropolitan areas, lowest of any race group. A majority of American 
Indians and Alaska natives lived outside metropolitan areas until about 
1990. Press-Release/www/2002/cb02cn173.html


683,900 -- The American Indian and Alaska native population in 
California as of July 1, 2003, the highest total of any state in the 
nation. California is followed by Oklahoma (394,800) and Arizona 

29,400 -- The number of American Indians and Alaska natives added too 
Arizona's population between Census Day, April 1, 2000, and July 1, 
2003. That is the largest numeric increase of any state in the nation. 
Florida and Texas added 13,700 and 11,800, respectively. 

19 percent -- The percentage of Alaska's population identified as 
American Indian and Alaska native as of July 1, 2003, the highest rate 
for this race group of any state in the nation. Alaska was followed by 
Oklahoma and New Mexico (11 percent each). 


154,900 -- The number of American Indians and Alaska natives in Los 
Angeles County, Calif., as of July 1, 2003. Los Angeles led all the 
nation's counties in the number of people of this racial category. 

10,800 -- The number of American Indians or Alaska natives added to 
the population of Maricopa County, Ariz., between April 1, 2000, and 
July 1, 2003. Maricopa led all the nation's counties in this category. 

Age Distribution

1.3 million -- The number of American Indian and Alaska native 
children under 18. Children comprise nearly one-third of this race 

305,500 -- The number of American Indians and Alaska natives age 65 
and over. This age group comprises seven percent of the American Indian 
and Alaska native population. 

8 percent -- The percentage of American Indians and Alaska natives 
who are high school-age children (14 to 17). Along with native Hawaiians 
and other Pacific islanders, American Indians and Alaska natives top all 
race and ethnic groups in this age category. 

Income and Poverty

$34,740 -- The median income of households where the householder 
reported they were American Indian or Alaska native, either alone or in 
combination with other race groups. The median income is based on a 
three-year average (2001-2003). 

20 percent -- The poverty rate of people who reported they were 
American Indians and Alaska natives, either alone or in combination 
with another race group, based on a three-year average 


14 percent -- The percentage of American Indians and Alaska natives 
age 25 and over who had at least a bachelor's degree. 
DatasetMainPageServlet?_program=ACS&_lang =en&_ts=102594835162

75 percent -- The percentage of American Indians and Alaska natives 
age 25 and over who had at least a high school diploma. 
DatasetMainPageServlet?_program=ACS&_lang =en&_ts=102594835162

50,500 -- The number of American Indians and Alaska natives age 25 
and over who had an advanced degree (i.e., master's, Ph.D., medical or 
DatasetMainPageServlet?_program=ACS&lang=en& _ts=102594835162


The American Indian and Alaska native homeownership rate -- the 
percentage of American Indian and Alaska native households who own 
their own home -- is 56 percent. 
_program=ACS&_lang=en&_ts= 102594835162

Proud to Serve

159,000 -- The number of American Indian and Alaska native veterans 
of the U.S. armed forces. 
_program=ACS&_lang=en&_ts= 102594835162


381,000 -- The number of people five years and over who speak a 
native North American language. Of these languages, the most commonly 
spoken is Navajo, with 178,014 speakers.


24 percent -- The percentage of American Indians and Alaska natives 
age 16 and over who work in management, professional and related 
DatasetMainPageServlet?_program=ACS&_lang =en&_ts=102594835162


Interesting items (allegedly facts)

The first couple to be shown in bed together on prime time TV were Fred 
and Wilma Flintstone.
Every day more money is printed for Monopoly than the US Treasury.
Men can read smaller print than women can; women can hear better.
Coca-Cola was originally green.
It is impossible to lick your elbow.
The State with the highest percentage of people who walk to work: 
The percentage of Africa that is wilderness: 28% (now get this...)
The percentage of North America that is wilderness: 38%
The cost of raising a medium-size dog to the age of eleven: $6,400
The average number of people airborne over the US any given hour: 61,000
Intelligent people have more zinc and copper in their hair.
The world's youngest parents were 8 and 9 and lived in China in 1910.
The youngest pope was 11 years old.
The first novel ever written on a typewriter: Tom Sawyer.
Those San Francisco Cable cars are the only mobile National Monuments.
Each king in a deck of playing cards represents a great king from 
history: Spades - King David, Hearts - Charlemagne, Clubs - Alexander 
the Great, Diamonds - Julius Caesar
111,111,111 X 111,111,111equals 12345678987654321
If a statue in the park of a person on a horse has both front legs in 
the air, the person died in battle. If the horse has one front leg in 
the air the person died as a result of wounds received in battle. If the 
horse has all four legs on the ground, the person died of natural 
Only two people signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, John 
Hancock and Charles Thomson. Most of the rest signed on August 2, but 
the last signature wasn't added until 5 years later.
"I am." is the shortest complete sentence in the English language.
Hershey's Kisses are called that because the machine that makes them 
looks like it's kissing the conveyor belt.
Q. What occurs more often in December than any other month?
A. Conception.
Q. Half of all Americans live within 50 miles of what?
A. Their birthplace
Q. Most boat owners name their boats. What is the most popular boat name 
A. Obsession
Q. If you were to spell out numbers, how far would you have to go until 
you would find the letter "A"?
A. One thousand
Q. What do bulletproof vests, fire escapes, windshield wipers, and laser 
printers all have in common?
A. All invented by women.
Q. What is the only food that doesn't spoil?
A. Honey
Q. There are more collect calls on this day than any other day of the 
A. Father's Day
Q. What trivia fact about Mel Blanc (voice of Bugs Bunny) is the most 
A. He was allergic to carrots.
Q. What is an activity performed by 40% of all people at a party?
A. Snoop in your medicine cabinet.
In Shakespeare's time, mattresses were secured on bed frames by ropes. 
When you pulled on the ropes the mattress tightened, making the bed 
firmer to sleep on. Hence the phrase "Goodnight, sleep tight".
It was the accepted practice in Babylon 4,000 years ago that for a month 
after the wedding, the bride's father would supply his son-in-law with 
all the mead he could drink. Mead is a honey beer and because their 
calendar was lunar based, this period was called the honey month we know 
today as the honeymoon.
In English pubs, ale is ordered by pints and quarts. So in old England, 
when customers got unruly, the bartender would yell at them mind their 
own pints and quarts and settle down. It's where we get the phrase "mind 
your P's and Q's"
Many years ago in England, pub frequenters had a whistle baked into the 
rim or handle of their ceramic cups. When they needed a refill, they 
used the whistle to get some service. "Wet your whistle" is the phrase 
inspired by this practice.
In Scotland, a new game was invented. It was entitled Gentlemen Only 
Ladies Forbidden.... and thus the word GOLF entered into the English 
~~~~~~~~~~~AND FINALLY~~~~~~~~~~~~
At least 75% of people who read this will try to lick their elbow.


End of the November 2004 Newsletter by Phil Konstantin – Part 1


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