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

Click Here To Return To The Previous Website

Start of Phil Konstantin’s December 2005 Newsletter


I just discovered that the newsletter I thought I had sent
out on the first had not actually gone out. Oh my. Sorry
about that. So, here is the resurrected version of the
newsletter, plus some newer things. I have deleted some
things that were time sensitive.



The "Link of the Month" for December 2005 is The "Link of
the Month" for December 2005 is THE ILLUSTRATING TRAVELER.
THE ILLUSTRATING TRAVELER is a interesting collection of
drawings from the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library
Exhibition at Yale. There are descriptions for each of the
pictures. Be sure to check all of the links at the bottom
of the page. They will lead you through the exhibit. Some
of those topics are:

Encountering Native Americans, Part II, Customs of the
Country, Valor and Endurance, An Analytic Eye, The Sublime
and the Picturesque and The Spirit of Place.

You can find it at:


The Treaty of the month is the "TREATY WITH THE ONEIDA,
ETC.,” 1794. Dec. 2, 1794. | 7 Stat., 47. | Proclamation,
Jan. 21, 1795. It covers such matters as: $5,000 to be
distributed for past losses and services. Mills to be
erected by the United States. Millers to be provided.
$1,000 given to build a church. Indians relinquish further

You can see a transcription of the treaty here:

Events and Notices:





The California Indian Law Association, a non-profit
organization incorporated under tribal law and devoted to
advancing the field of Indian law, the Indian law legal
profession, and tribal justice system personnel in California,
is offering the Allogan Slagle Scholarship in the amount of
$2,000.00. The scholarship is available to American Indian
and Native Alaskan law school students, with preference given
in the following order to: 1) entering law students who
are enrolled or otherwise accepted members of federally
recognized or nonrecognized California Indian nations;
2) entering law students who are enrolled members of
federally recognized Indian nations outside California but
attending law school in California; 3) continuing law
students who are enrolled or otherwise accepted members
of federally recognized or nonrecognized California Indian
nations; 4) continuing law students who are enrolled
members of federally recognized Indian nations outside
California but attending law school in California;
5) entering or continuing law students of demonstrated
Native ancestry who will be or are attending law school
in California.

Applicants must be full-time students. The award will be based on
scholastic achievement, financial need, and community involvement.
Disbursement is made during the first semester and does not
automatically renew. Students are eligible to apply on a yearly basis.

The deadline for application is February 1, 2006.


•Application/Financial Needs Analysis Form with Signature of
Financial Aid Officer
•Current Financial Aid Award Letter for 2005-2006
•Proof of Tribal Enrollment or Acceptance
•Essay Describing Student’s Educational Goals
•Two Letters of Recommendation
•Most Recent Transcript (college transcript for entering students)
•Additional Information Upon Request

Please send completed applications (hard copy only) to:

Ms. Mina Quintos
UCLA School of Law
PO Box 951476
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1476
Attn: Allogan Slagle Scholarship Fund


For your own verification it is recommended that you send your
application package with DELIVERY CONFIRMATION. Faxed or e-mailed
documents cannot be considered.
Please DO NOT call the office to verify receipt.
Please DO NOT send packages via certified or registered mail.
Faxed or e-mailed applications will not be reviewed.



Call for Papers

Dates: The Conference on Endangered Languages and Cultures of Native
America (2nd annual CELCNA conference) will be held March 31-April 2,
2006, on the University of Utah campus in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Keynote speaker: Victor Golla.

Call for papers: We invite papers dealing with any aspect of
endangered Native American languages, in particular on documentation or
revitalization. Native American participants are especially invited.
Papers are 20 minutes each in length, with an additional 10 minutes for

Deadline: ABSTRACTS MUST BE RECEIVED by Jan. 16, 2006. The program
committee will attempt to provide notification of acceptance by Jan. 30
(by e-mail).

Features to note:   
Session in Spanish (ponencias en espańol): One session will be set
aside on Sunday morning, April 2, for papers in Spanish. Abstracts in
Spanish (or English) can be submitted for consideration for this
session. (Due to popular demand.)

Posters: Abstracts are also invited for the poster session. This can
include also demonstration of tools and toys for language

Forum discussions: The program will include open discussion sessions
dedicated to: (1) Discussion of training for documentation of
endangered languages, and employment considerations for students
dedicated to work with endangered languages. (2) Databasing and aids
for language documentation. (3) Open forum to address matters that
arise during the conference.

Abstract submission guidelines:   
• The abstract should be no more than 500 words in length. It should
include the title of the paper and the name (or names) of the
author/authors, together with the author’s/authors’ affiliation. (If
the paper is accepted, this abstract will be reproduced in conference
materials to be distributed to other participants.)

• Abstracts should be submitted by e-mail. Submissions should be in
Microsoft Word document, Rich Text Format (RTF), or Portable Document
Format (PDF). If possible, avoid special fonts (or arrange with the
organizers so they can be read).

• Please include with your abstract appropriate contact details, which
include: contact author’s name, e-mail address for the period of time
from January to April 2006, and a telephone contact number.

• Only one abstract per person may be submitted. (The only exception
may be in instances where at least one of the papers has multiple

• Address: Please send abstracts to: (by Jan. 16, 2006).

Accommodations: University Guest House, the official conference hotel –
100 yards from the meeting venue (Officers’ Club) and CAIL (Center for
American Indian Languages). To book accommodations, please contact the
Guest House directly (mention CELCNA for the conference booking):

University Guest House University of Utah
110 South Fort Douglas Blvd.
Salt Lake City, Utah 84113-5036
Toll free: 1-888-416-4075 (or 801-587-1000), Fax 801-587-1001
(Please make reservations early, since rooms will be held for the
conference only until early March.)

Sponsors: The sponsors of this conference are: (1) Center for American
Indian Languages (CAIL), University of Utah, (2) Smithsonian
Institution Department of Anthropology of the National Museum of
Natural History, (3) Department of Linguistics, U of Utah and (4)
College of Humanities, University of Utah.

Registration fee: $35 (students $20) [to cover cost of rooms,

Additional information: for further information contact: Zeb
Pischnotte, or for particular questions, write to
Lyle Campbell at If you need
information not easily arranged via e-mail, please call: Tel.
801-587-0720 or 801-581-3441 during business hours (Mountain Standard
Time), or Fax 801-585-7351.


Sponsor: University of California, Los Angeles
Program Number: 07507
Title: Institute of American Cultures Postdoctoral/Visiting Scholar
Fellowship in Ethnic Studies--American Indian Studies

Program URL:

The sponsor provides support for strengthening and coordinating
interdisciplinary research and instruction in ethnic studies,
specifically American Indian studies. Eligible applicants are
individuals who are citizens or permanent residents of the United
States, and who have received a Ph.D. or terminal degree. Stipends
range from $32,000 to $34,000.

Deadline(s): 01/13/2006

Link to full program description:


2006 Brick Awards

Do Something honors young leaders for their work in the areas of
community development, the environment, and health. Eligible applicants
include individuals who are 25 or younger. Winners in the under-18 age
category will each receive a $5,000 scholarship, as well as a $5,000
grant to be used toward continued community service. Winners in the
19-25 age bracket will each receive a $10,000 community-service grant.

For further information, contact Do Something at (212) 254-2390 or; or go to:


If you know any one/family earning less than $40K with a brilliant
child near ready for college, please pass this along. In making the
announcement, Harvard's president Lawrence H. Summers said,

"When only 10 percent of the students in Elite higher education come
from families in the lower half of the income distribution, we are not
doing enough."

"If you know of a family earning less than $40,000 a year with an
honor student graduating from high school soon, Harvard University wants
to pay the tuition."

To find out more about Harvard offering free tuition for families making
less than $40,000 a year call the school's financial aid office at (617)
384-8213 or visit Harvard's financial aid web site at:



Scholarships for Native Peoples from the U.S. and Canada

SAA Arthur C. Parker Scholarship
NSF Scholarships for Archaeological Training for
Native Americans and Native Hawaiians

The Society for American Archaeology (SAA) is pleased to announce the
SAA Arthur C. Parker Scholarship and National Science Foundation
(NSF) Scholarships for Archaeological Training for Native Americans
and Native Hawaiians for the year 2006. Together, these scholarship
programs will provide four awards of $3000 each to support training
in archaeological methods, including fieldwork, analytical
techniques, and curation.

These scholarships are intended for current students, 6high school
seniors, college undergraduates, and graduate students, and personnel
of Tribal or other Native cultural preservation programs. High school
students must be currently enrolled as seniors to be eligible.
Undergraduates and graduate students must be enrolled in an
accredited college or university. Native Americans and Pacific
Islanders from the U.S., including U.S. Trust Territories, and
Indigenous peoples from Canada are eligible for these scholarships.
While documentation of Native identity is required, an individual
does not have to be enrolled in a Native group, of certified Indian
status, or a member of a group formally recognized by the U.S. or
Canadian federal governments to be eligible for these scholarships.

These scholarships will support attendance at training programs in
archaeological methods offered by accredited colleges or
universities. Other types of archaeological methods training programs
will be considered on a case by case basis. The scholarship awards
may be used to cover tuition and expenses. The cost of tuition for an
award recipient will be paid directly to the training program.

The SAA Arthur C. Parker Scholarship is named in honor of the first
president of the SAA, who served from 1935 to 1936. Parker was of
Seneca ancestry through his father's family, and he spent his youth
on the Cattaraugus Reservation in New York. The NSF Scholarships for
Archaeological Training for Native Americans and Native Hawaiians are
made possible by a grant from the National Science Foundation to the
SAA. The SAA Parker Scholarship will provide $1500 for one
scholarship recipient, which will be matched by a $1500 NSF

Two additional scholarships of $3000 each will be funded by the NSF
Scholarships for Archaeological Training for Native Americans and
Native Hawaiians program.

Application/Nomination Procedures

Individuals may apply for these scholarships themselves, or they may
be nominated by a current professor, high school teacher, or cultural
preservation program supervisor. All of the following must be
submitted for applicants and nominees:

1. A completed Application/Nomination Form.
2. A letter of nomination or recommendation. For students, this
should be from a current professor or high school
teacher; for cultural preservation program personnel, this should be
from a current supervisor. This letter should be sent with the other
application/nomination materials enclosed in a separate, sealed
envelope, with the signature of the nominator or recommender across
the seal.
3. A personal statement from the applicant/nominee of no more than
one page in length, single-spaced, describing why he or she is
interested in attending the archaeological methods training program
and how this training will benefit the applicant/nominee as well as
his or her Native community.
4. A brief description of the archaeological methods training program
of no more than one page in length, single spaced. Include the name
and address of the sponsoring institution and the dates during which
the training program will take place.
5. An itemized budget, including tuition and expenses associated with
attending the training program, such as travel, food and housing,
books, equipment and supplies, and child care, among others. Indicate
the source(s) and amount(s) of other funding for which the
applicant/nominee has applied.
6. Documentation of Native identity by either: 1) documentation of
tribal enrollment, if a member of a federally recognized tribe in the
U.S., or documentation of certification of Indian status recognized
by the federal government of Canada; or 2) a statement of no more
than one page in length, single spaced, outlining the applicant's or
nominee's Native ancestry, which must be supported by a brief
acknowledgment from a current department chair,
faculty advisor, or high school teacher, for students, or a current
supervisor, for cultural preservation program personnel.


The Application/Nomination Form and all supporting materials should
be submitted together in one envelope and must be postmarked no later
than December 15, 2005.

The applicant/nominee need not be formally accepted into the
archaeological methods training program at the time the
application/nomination materials are submitted. However, a
scholarship will not be awarded until the designated recipient has
been accepted into the training program.

Submission and Contact Information

Send all application/nomination materials to: Scholarship
Applications, Society for American Archaeology, 900
Second Street NE #12, Washington, DC 20002-3557.

If you need an Application/Nomination Form or you have questions
about these scholarships or you need help with locating a field
school or other training program, please contact the Society for
American Archaeology at the address given above, telephone (202)
789-8200, Fax (202) 789-0284 Your questions will be relayed to someone
Who can assist you.


News stories:

Traditional healers treat veterans

Lummis enlist fire, an old ally, as they battle scourge of drugs


E-mails from subscribers:



My good friend emailed the message below, and I sent in a small
donation. IF you can help, please consider a contribution. Sadly, third
world conditions do NOT exist only in other countries.

Warm Regards,
Gina Boltz, Director
Native Village Publications
A National Heritage Foundation

The flyer below for heat assistance for the Lakota Elders of South
Dakota is sponsored by a very reputable organization. I'm so impressed
with their work that I even volunteered to help them put a website
together and to assist in fielding internet correspondance.

The need is so great. I, personally, know about 20 families on Pine
Ridge who have been in near-0* blizzard weather this past week with no
heat. The propane costs have tripled this year and the propane
companies will not deliver less that $150 worth of propane in any one
delivery (in years' past, the people could order $50 at a time).

I wouldn't bother you but the times and conditions are so drastic. I
know you have a large mailing list. Any help anyone would send to this
Foundation would be tax deductible and go solely for fuel for the
Elders. The Foundation puts 100% of all donations to the intended
project. People just need to mark their checks with "Elders Heating
Fund." No one associated with the Foundation gets paid any money at all
and there are no administrative costs deducted from any specified

Link Center Foundation

Affiliate of the National Heritage Foundation

501(c)(3) Tax ID #59-2085326

(Rev.) Audrey L. Link, Founder and Director

P.O. Box 2253 ~ Longmont, CO 80502-2253

Phone: 303-554-5363 Voice Mail ~ 888-220-1653 Office


Utility/Heating Assistance Program

For The Lakota Sioux Elders of South Dakota


From my daughter Sarah:

Stress Management

A lecturer, when explaining stress management to an audience, raised a
glass of water and asked, "how heavy is this glass of water? "

Answers called out ranged from 20g to 500g.

The lecturer replied, "The absolute weight doesn't matter.
It depends on how long you try to hold it.

"If I hold it for a minute, that's not a problem.
If I hold it for an hour, I'll have an ache in my right arm.
If I hold it for a day, you'll have to call an ambulance.

"In each case, it's the same weight, but the longer I hold it, the
heavier it becomes. "

He continued, "And that's the way it is with stress management.
If we carry our burdens all the time, sooner or later, as the burden
becomes increasingly heavy, we won't be able to carry on. "

"As with the glass of water, you have to put it down for a while and
rest before holding it again. When we're refreshed, we can carry on with
the burden. "

"So, before you return home tonight, put the burden of work down. Don't
carry it home. You can pick it up tomorrow. Whatever burdens you're
carrying now,
let them down for a moment if you can. "

"Relax; pick them up later after you've rested. Life is short. Enjoy

And then he shared some ways of dealing with the burdens oflife:

* Accept that some days you're the pigeon, and some days you're the
* Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat
* Always read stuff that will make you look good if you die in the
middle of it.
* Drive carefully. It's not only cars that can be recalled by their
* If you can't be kind, at least have the decency to be
* If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again, it was
probably worth it.
* It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a
warning to others.
* Never buy a car you can't push.
* Never put both feet in your mouth at the same time, because then you
won't have a leg to stand on.
* Nobody cares if you can't dance well. Just get up and dance.
* Since it's the early worm that gets eaten by the bird, sleep late.
* The second mouse gets the cheese.
* When everything's coming your way, you're in the wrong lane.
* Birthdays are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live.
* You may be only one person in the world, but you may also be the world
to one person.
* Some mistakes are too much fun to only make once
* We could learn a lot from crayons. Some are sharp, some are pretty and
some are dull Some have weird names , and all are different colors, but
they all have to live in the same box.

" A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour."

Have an awesome day and know that someone has thought about you today.
. . . . . . . I did


A news story from Ruth Garby Torres:

Federal Recognition Is Irrelevant To Indian Identity

General Assignment Reporter/Columnist, The Day
Published on 11/11/2005
Last month, in a column about the reversal of federal recognition for
the Eastern Pequots, I wrote that we should listen to our grandmothers.

Grandmothers are traditionally keepers of family stories, history and
wisdom. Therefore it's pretty upsetting when your grandmother says
you're Indian but the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs says you're not.

Several readers wrote back with grandmother tales of their own.
One was Jan Kepner of Groton, who grew up believing she was a descendant
of Pocahontas through John Rolfe and down through the Eldredge family
line. Her grandmother gave her a genealogy to prove it.

“We have, for generations, collected Pocahontas things and have books on
Pocahontas that have been passed down in the family,” said Kepner,
“because we were sure that that was where our roots were — because our
grandmothers had told us so!”


In 1995, when Disney's “Pocahontas” movie opened, Eldredge relatives
around the country tried to join the “Pocahontas Association,” Kepner
said, only to discover that it was the Eldridgenot Eldredgeline that's
linked to the Native American heroine.

“Our family was devastated,” wrote Kepner, 69, who had taught her
grandchildren about the link. “Not because we thought that we could
become a member of an active tribe and get rich (too far away from the
Pocahontas blood anyway), but because it was a wonderful thing to think
that we were descended from Pocahontas.”

On one level, I understand the letdown. For a long time I thought I was
a descendant of Gen. Francis Marion, a.k.a. “The Swamp Fox,” the
Revolutionary War hero immortalized in a Disney TV series. Then my
mother set me straight. The Old Fox was a collateral ancestor, meaning
he merely married into my family. Neither she nor my grandmother had
misled me. I guess it was just my own youthful, wishful thinking.
I got over it, and I gather that Kepner has, too.

What's befallen the Eastern Pequots, however, is an entirely different
situation. It's not about hooking their lineage to a star, Native or
otherwise, for fun or for pride.

I have plenty of problems with the whole sovereign nation set-up, which
I won't detail (again) here. Granted, some tribal latecomers may seek
the federal seal of approval on their Indian identity primarily for the

But for those who hung onto that hardscrabble piece of reservation land,
I'm inclined to believe identity trumps all else, and that blood is but
a drop in the bucket.

With or without federal recognition, the Eastern Pequots are still a
state-recognized tribe. Since that doesn't allow them to open a casino,
no one has any inclination to take it away from them.[see below ~rgt]
You could say their identity remains intact.
But the fact that their Mashantucket and Mohegan neighbors are federally
recognized, and they're not, consigns them to secondary status.

When I wrote that we should listen to our grandmothers, I meant that, on
the personal identity scale, it seems to me the Easterns carry about as
much weight as any other Connecticut tribe.

What Indian identity should entitle anyone to at this time, in this
place, is another story. The kind told by lawyers, politicians and
businessman. Not by grandmothers.

This is the opinion of Bethe Dufresne.

n.b.- In fact, she is wrong. During the 2003 session of the CT Gen'l
Assembly legislation to terminate
the three remaining state tribes was introduced by Rep. Ward. It never
got past the public hearing phase, but stay tuned to the 2006 session &
don't be surprised to see this legislation re-introduced. ~rgt

More from Ruth:

Hawaii Reporter
Freedom to Report Real News

Federal Recognition Denied to Two Indian 'Tribes' in Connecticut
Implications for the Akaka Bill
By Kenneth R. Conklin, 10/14/2005 12:22:44 AM

Kenneth Conklin
On Oct. 12, 2005 the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) gave final
notification to two Indian "tribes" in Connecticut that their
applications for federal recognition have been denied. See two articles
from the Hartford Courant for Oct. 12 and 13 reporting the details, at and and also a
"Timeline of Eastern Pequots and Schaghticoke petitions" at

These two Connecticut "tribes" have been seeking federal recognition for
about 25 years. The BIA had previously notified one of them, in June
2002, that a "final determination" had been made granting it
recognition. But the governor of Connecticut, and many other local
officials, fought very hard to reverse that decision. Now, in October
2005, the people of Connecticut have successfully fought the federal
bureaucracy and two well-financed "tribes."

There are three reasons why this news is important for Hawaii as we
struggle to defeat the Akaka bill.

•(1) We must understand that many communities and states which already
were severely impacted by Indian tribes are strongly opposed to creating
(phony) additional tribes in their area. "Fight like hell" is their
rallying cry -- a good slogan for the people of Hawaii. For discussion
of the impact of tribal recognition on local communities and businesses;
and numerous examples of community opposition; see:

The history of tribal recognition struggles in Connecticut is of special
interest to Hawaii.

The Mashantucket Pequot "tribe" of Connecticut, a phony new tribe unable
to qualify for federal recognition according to the usual requirements,
successfully lobbied Congress to get a special bill passed (similar to
the Akaka bill). Sen. Dan Inouye, then chairman of the Indian Affairs
Committee, was primarily responsible for getting that tribe recognized.
Inouye accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign
contributions from the tribe and its affiliated contractors (tribes are
sovereign and therefore exempt from campaign spending laws). Once
recognized, that tribe built the world's largest gambling casino
(Foxwoods) in a residential suburban area, causing tremendous hardship
to the community. A book written by Jeff Benedict describes the corrupt
process leading to the Congressional recognition: "Without Reservation:
The Making of America's Most Powerful Indian Tribe and the World's
Largest Casino."

The huge profits generated by the phony new tribe encouraged other
alleged tribes in Connecticut to redouble their efforts to get
recognized, including the Schaghticoke Tribal Nation of Kent and the
Eastern Pequots of North Stonington. The Eastern Pequots were in fact
granted recognition by the BIA. But there was such an outcry of
opposition from the Connecticut attorney general, governor, and both
U.S. Senators, that the BIA reconsidered its decision and ultimately
reversed it this past Wednesday. For some background information about
Connecticut's opposition to Indian tribes, and Jeff Benedict's book,

•(2) Our federal Congressional delegation, plus OHA and other supporters
of the Akaka bill, constantly say that Native Hawaiians are the only
indigenous group in the United States who lack federal recognition. They
make it sound as though Native Hawaiians are somehow singled out to be
discriminated against; and that they deserve parity with other
"indigenous" groups.

Most recently, on Oct. 8, 2005, OHA Administrator Clyde Namuo repeated
that lie in an article in the Maui News: "It is only right that a policy
extended to American Indians and Alaska Natives be extended to Native
Hawaiians as well. We are the only indigenous group within the 50 states
of the U.S. who has not been given the protections that federal
recognition will provide."

That's nonsense.

Is Namuo saying that "American Indians" and "Alaska Natives" are two
groups that have been federally recognized? If so, he's wrong. Over 560
tribes, bands, rancherias, or native groups have been recognized. It is
not the racial group of "American Indians" as a whole which gets
recognized. Each tribe is a political entity whose tribal government has
exercised substantial authority over the daily lives of its members from
before European contact continuously through the present time, living
separate and apart from surrounding non-native communities.

Federal law contains seven "mandatory criteria," which the Bureau of
Indian Affairs must use in deciding whether any particular group is
eligible for federal recognition. The criteria are spelled out at great
length. Voluminous research and documentation must be submitted by any
group applying for recognition, to prove that every requirement is met.

Many "indigenous groups" have been denied recognition because they
failed just one (or more) of the requirements. The seven criteria, and
some examples of groups which were denied recognition a few years ago,
can be seen at:

The great majority of American Indians do not belong to any tribe, and
would not be eligible to join one. There are hundreds of Indian groups
now seeking federal recognition, some for decades; and most fail to get
it. For example, on March 29, 2004, the New York Times published an
article saying, "There are now 291 groups seeking federal recognition as
tribes, and many have already signed with investors ... Among the dozen
or so groups awaiting final determinations from the federal Bureau of
Indian Affairs, two-thirds have casino investors bankrolling them ... If
their risk is huge - most would-be tribes have been turned down for
recognition - so is their potential payoff."

•(3) It's important to understand that the Akaka bill proposes an
entirely new theory of the Constitution that is dangerous to the entire
United States. "Native Hawaiians" have never tried to get federal
recognition through the long-established procedures of the Bureau of
Indian Affairs. That's because everyone knows "Native Hawaiians" could
never meet the seven mandatory criteria.
The Indian Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution is Article 1,
Section 8, paragraph 3: "The Congress shall have power ... To regulate
commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with
the Indian tribes." That clause is clearly discussing the power of
Congress to regulate commerce with political entities, which existed
before the United States came into being, and which continue to exercise
authority over their members.

But the theory of the Akaka bill is that the Indian Commerce Clause
gives Congress the power to single out any group of "indigenous people"
(only one drop of native blood required) and artificially create a brand
new political entity by creating a government exclusively for them.
That's not what the Indian Commerce Clause says.
If Congress can do that, then it can grant recognition to all those
Indian groups who already applied for recognition and were denied, plus
thousands more groups who may apply in the future, plus groups which
Congress might arbitrarily assemble even though they have not applied
for recognition and do not even consider themselves to be a coherent

Imagine America with many thousands of Indian tribes negotiating
directly with the federal government for housing, healthcare, education,
and other welfare benefits. Each tribe gets goodies in proportion to its
political influence (and campaign contributions) -- sort of like
individual public schools in Hawaii today lobby the Legislature directly
for capital improvement funds. Imagine Mexican-Americans (including
"illegal" aliens) having their own "nation within a nation" on the
grounds that they are an "indigenous" people (most Mexicans have at
least one drop of Aztec or Mayan blood). How about African-Americans as
a tribe?

Instead of one nation, America might become merely a shell or
holding-company for many thousands of subsidiary nations. Instead of one
nation indivisible, with unity; we might become many identity groups
thoroughly balkanized and each exercising governmental powers in
multifaceted jurisdictional disputes.
Instead of 50 stars on a field of blue, our flag might have thousands of
stars whose pointilist montage of tiny white dots would totally hide any
hint of blue.

Kenneth R. Conklin, Ph.D., is an independent scholar in Kaneohe, Hawaii.
His Web site on Hawaiian Sovereignty is at: He can be contacted at: reports the real news, and prints all editorials
submitted, even if they do not represent the viewpoint of the editors,
as long as they are written clearly. Send editorials to


From Shawna:

November 2, 2005

Supreme Court Case Pits Religion Against Drug Laws

The U.S. Supreme Court could soon rule on whether drug use is a
protected part of the practice of certain religions, the Christian
Science Monitor reported Oct. 31.

The high court is set to hear arguments on the limits of the 1993
Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which curtails the government's
ability to restrict religious practices without justification. The case
before the court involves a New Mexico religious group that has use of a
hallucinogenic tea at the center of its ceremonies.

Supporters say that the rite is similar to Catholics' use of sacramental
wine; opponents argue that the ceremony violates the U.S. Controlled
Substance Act. DEA agents seized the sect's supply of sacred tea,
sparking legal action; two lower courts have upheld the Brazilian-based
church's right to use the tea, citing the 1993 law.

The case is seen as having broader implications about the ability of
government to control religious practices. The Bush administration is
arguing that the drug laws, based on public-safety concerns, should
supersede religious practices in this case. "Religious motivation does
not change the science," Solicitor General Paul Clement told the Supreme

But the 1993 law is broad in its scope, say supporters of the New Mexico
church, and even creates an exemption for use of hallucinogenic peyote
by Native Americans. "The government's successful accommodation of the
sacramental use of peyote, also a Schedule I substance, belies its claim
that such substances require a categorical ban, even for religious use,"
wrote attorney Nancy Hollander in her brief to the high court.

November 4, 2005

Study Finds No Harm from Religious Peyote Use

Navajo members of the Native American Church, who use the hallucinogen
peyote in their religious ceremonies, suffered no brain damage or
psychological problems as a result, researchers say. Further, some
members scored better on psychological tests than Navajos who did not
use peyote, the Associated Press reported Nov. 4.

The study, led by McLean Hospital psychiatrist John Halpern, compared
test results from 60 church members who had used peyote 100 times or
more to results from 79 Navajos who were not regular peyote users, and
36 members of the tribe who had a history of alcohol abuse but did not
use peyote regularly. The drinkers performed the poorest on the test.

"We find no evidence that a history of peyote use would compromise the
psychological or cognitive abilities of these individuals," the
researchers said.

The Native American Church has about 30,000 members; followers believe
that peyote has positive spiritual and physical effects. Researchers
were uncertain about how that belief impacted the participants' mental
outlook. "It's hard to know how much of it is the sense of community
they get (from the religion) and how much of it is the actual experience
of using the medication itself," said study co-author Harrison Pope,
director of the biological psychology laboratory at McLean.

The study appears in the Oct. 15, 2005 issue of the journal Biological

Halpern J H, Sherwood A R, Hudson J I, Yurgelun-Todd D, and Pope H G,
Jr. (2005) Psychological and Cognitive Effects of Long-Term Peyote Use
Among Native Americans. Biological Psychiatry, 58(8), 624-631.




Schaghticoke Tribal Nation will Appeal its Rejection of Federal
Recognition by the Bureau of Indian Affairs

The Schaghticoke Tribal Nation (STN) will file a formal appeal of the
Bureau of Indian Affairs decision not to give the tribe federal
recognition -- as well as seek a U.S. Senate investigation into why the
STN failed to achieve federal recognition.

The formal appeal of the BIA decision will be filed within the 90-day
appeal period that follows the Oct. 12 decision by the BIA to decline to
give the STN federal recognition on the grounds that it did not meet two
of the seven criteria necessary. The deadline for that appeal to the
BIA is Jan. 12.

Plans by the STN to appeal its reversal of fortunes were included in a
report on a web site, Indian Country Today, which closely follows Indian
affairs. The report was written by Gale Courey Toensing, a Falls Village
resident, who has close ties to STN Chief Richard Velky.

The report on the Indian Country Today website quoted Velky as saying
that his request for an investigation by the Senate Indian Affairs
committee would focus on whether public or private officials had contact
with the BIA in violation of a court order by U.S. District Court Judge
Peter Dorsey.

In the Indian Country Today report, Velky was especially critical of
U.S. Congresswoman Nancy Johnson who was vigorous in her opposition to
STN recognition. According to the report, Johnson boasted of her
opposition to STN recognition in a Nov. 4 letter to her constituents.
The reported quoted Johnson as saying:

"I have participated in congressional hearings on the tribal recognition
process, and on this case in particular. I have pressed our case in
meetings with the U.S. Secretary of the Interior, who oversees the BIA
... I have fought so hard to make sure the people of Western Connecticut
were not forced to accept a Las Vegas-style casino against their will."

To which Velky responded:

"It comes as no surprise that she probably had something to do with the
reversal. We always felt and still feel that we should have kept the
recognition that we earned based on the merits of our petition. We know
the reversal was somehow politically infected, in Blumenthal's words.
Nancy Johnson's letter is just more proof of the involvement and the
influence the politicians had on this process."

Velky claimed that Johnson received a $10,000 campaign donation from
Americans for a Republican Majority, a political action committee
organized by former Republican House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, who is
now under indictment. Velky noted that Delay has been linked with
Washington Lobbyist Jack Abramoff, who has allegedly taken millions of
dollars from Native American tribes to help them find their way through
the labyrinth of Washington politics.

"We can only ask that turnabout be fair play here with the Senate Indian
Affairs Committee,," said Velky in the report, "and that they would
hold an investigation to try to find out why a tribe would be recognized
and then have its recognition taken away."

The tried to get a comment from Nancy Johnson, but she
was unavailable over the weekend.


School district denies complaint it is racist in disciplining tribal
children for misconduct.
By Tracy Dell'Angela
Tribune staff reporter

Published November 29, 2005

WINNER, S.D. -- Casey Chasing Hawk once loved school so much that he
would arrive at his bus stop 30 minutes early.

That all changed when Casey was pulled out of his 7th grade class by the
Winner school superintendent, turned over to the police and thrown into
jail for telling a teacher he was so angry at a classmate who beat him
that he wanted to kill him. He spent 63 days in a juvenile detention
facility 60 miles from home before the South Dakota Supreme Court
determined that his misbehavior didn't even amount to disorderly

"They claimed he was a monster, so they had to make him look like a
monster," said his father, Nelson Chasing Hawk. "They did all these
evaluations on him, and they found out that his only problem was what
they had done to him at that school."

What happened to Casey more than four years ago is still resonating
today in this tiny town near a sprawling Lakota Sioux reservation. It
has landed this rural district in southern South Dakota squarely in the
middle of a wider debate over how schools discipline minority children.

Civil rights advocates want to make a national example of this
900-student district over the "school-to-prison pipeline"--the practice
of arresting children and teens for routine school misconduct such as
fighting and disobedience. It's an issue that has garnered the most
attention in largely minority urban districts such as Chicago but is all
but ignored in Indian country.

Winner district leaders argue that Indian children are treated fairly in
the district's three schools and that it enforces its discipline code
without bias.

Yet this isn't the first time Winner schools have faced federal
scrutiny. The Office for Civil Rights in the Education Department
ordered the Winner district in 2000 to eradicate racial harassment and
to stop disciplining Native Americans more severely than their white
peers, and after four years of scrutiny the case was closed in 2004.

But the district's own statistics from 2001 to 2004 demonstrate that
Indian children continue to be punished at disproportionate rates and
are leaving the district in droves. In Winner Middle School, Indian
children represent less than 20 percent of the pupil population but 100
percent of the pupils suspended for insubordination in the 2002-03
school year. Last year, Indian pupils made up 70 percent of all
out-of-school suspensions and 79 percent of police referrals.

At the grade school, about 90 Indian children are enrolled in
pre-kindergarten to 4th grade--almost one-third of the school's
population of 293. But at Winner High School, only about 2 percent of
the graduates are Indian in a typical year.

Where do they go? Some drop out. Others go to prison. Most flee to
reservation schools that are so far away from their families that they
must live in dormitories during the school week. The Winner students who
live in dorms 45 miles from home do so, they say, because they are
convinced that Winner's schools are hostile places. Sometimes this
belief is born of personal experience with a racist child or an
insensitive teacher. More often, it's the perception gleaned from
stories passed down from parents and cousins and

€ťThey made my brother go to jail. They said he stabbed someone with a
pencil," said 11-year-old Alysia Peneaux, who lives in the tribal
dormitory and attends 6th grade in Mission, S.D. She misses her family
during the week but she was afraid of trouble at Winner Middle. "I know
they would be mean to me, so I didn't want to go to school there."

Glen Old Lodge, a high school junior, said he left in 8th grade because
he was always blamed for disagreements he had with white classmates.
"They almost sent me off too. It's mostly racism. You just get treated
differently," he said.

The discipline and enrollment numbers--provided by the district under
terms of the federal lawsuit--prompted the American Civil Liberties
Union and Lakota Sioux tribal officials to file a complaint this year
demanding that the case be reopened by the civil rights office.

Rural areas a special case

Bernardine Dohrn, a Northwestern University law professor and a national
expert on the school-to-prison pipeline, said it's important to identify
this issue in rural areas because help for these alienated students is
hard to find.

"At least in Chicago, the school board can say everyone has access to an
alternative school," Dohrn said. "Most of the time in rural districts,
there is no alternative. When kids are pushed out it's a desperate
situation. And they don't have the access to lawyers and advocates who
are going to fight on their behalf."

But New York City lawyers from the ACLU decided to advocate for a few
dozen families in this town. The ACLU argued in its complaint that the
school district was able to get the federal case closed in 2004 by
presenting "a grossly distorted" picture of race relations in the

"It's shocking to see the statistics coming out of this district--they
are off the chart in terms of egregiousness," said Catherine Kim, an
ACLU lawyer handling the case. "But I also think Winner makes it clear
that these issues are not confined to urban schools perceived to be
dangerous. Winner is an ordinary American town but in terms of race
relations, Winner is very far behind a lot of other places."

Winner School District officials acknowledged that the region suffered
from a history of
discrimination, but argued in its response to the ACLU complaint that it
now "takes pride in its efforts to stamp out discrimination through
education [and] sound policy."

Supt. Mary Fisher, a former elementary principal who took over the
district after the superintendent named in the Chasing Hawk case left
the Winner district, said she's upset about the lies that have been
spread about her schools. She said national advocates are making a major
case out of isolated complaints from disgruntled families.

"We have great kids here, and very little trouble," Fisher said during a
tour of the middle school this fall, when she boasted of school
offerings that ranged from high-tech distance learning to a new golf
team. "I'm a strong believer that you can always improve. But if you
discipline kids you're going to have parents who are upset."

Noah Running Horse gave up thinking things would improve. He was
suspended after defending himself from a fellow student who hit him with
a tennis racket, he said. Another teen threatened to shoot him, and when
his father complained to the principal, the threats were treated as "no
big deal," Wayne Running Horse said. Noah dropped out of school and
married the mother of his baby. Now 19, he is thinking about a job at
the local McDonald's.

A review of disciplinary reports from 2002-2004 submitted as part of the
2000 civil rights case complaint revealed that an Indian boy in middle
school was suspended for two days for walking through an alley rather
than using a crosswalk; an Indian girl got the same punishment for
chewing gum. An 8th grader drew a 90-day suspension for disrupting class
and "insubordination"--an infraction that calls for a maximum punishment
of four days suspension. Another 8th grader drew a four-day suspension
for gang-related activity--drawing a medicine wheel and writing "Native
Pride" on his notebook.

`Race card' too easy

The Winner district's lawyer challenged some of the conclusions
presented in the ACLU complaint, particularly the assertion that school
leaders ignore racial harassment of Native American students.

"It is easy to play the race card when children of different racial or
ethnic backgrounds have problems with each other. But very often the
truth is that such difficulties arise from human nature, not from racial
prejudices," wrote district lawyer Paul Jensen in his August 2005
response to the Education Department's Office for Civil Rights.

He did not dispute statistics that show Indian kids get in trouble more
often than their Caucasian peers or that the number of Indian students
who leave Winner schools is high. School officials say they are not to
blame for the misbehavior or the Indians' exodus.

"The lack of parental involvement and sponsorship of their kids'
education, high rates of alcoholism and chemical abuse, and many other
factors play a role in the unfortunate figures that are reported,"
Jensen wrote, adding that "teen pregnancies appear to be increasing in
some of these cultural groups."

"The dropout rates of Native American students in this district are
fairly consistent with other similarly situated school districts in
South Dakota, perhaps nationwide," Jensen said.

Indeed, the outcome for Indian children nationwide is grim. About half
of Indian children drop out in high school, according to two national
studies. Only 18 percent scored as "proficient" in reading tests on the
2005 National Assessment of Educational Progress, compared with about 40
percent of their white counterparts tested in 4th and 8th grades.

But the exodus of Indian students is not reflected in the district's
graduation statistics because the Native American children who leave are
not counted as dropouts unless they formally report themselves as such.
And when they do leave for reservation schools, their
educational prospects dim. In the Winner district, 59 percent of all
Native American students meet state standards in reading. In the Todd
County reservation schools, only 42 percent of middle and high school
students pass reading tests.

The legal battle is playing out in a declining town where jobs are
scarce, school funds are tight and allegiances run deep. The school
lawyer also is the town's only prosecutor, and the closeness of Indian
clans often forces younger children to suffer the legacy of their
older cousins' and siblings' misbehavior.

Winner administrators say their "discipline matrix" is objectively
applied, but educators know that discipline decisions involve a lot of
discretion. It's the teacher who decides whether to ignore adolescent
surliness and when to punish someone for insubordination. An
administrator can decide which schoolyard fights merit a call to police
for battery and which are best mediated in a back office.

Tribal lawyer's complaint

"If it's a white kid doing something wrong, it's a kid being a kid. If
it's an Indian kid, it's a kid being a criminal," said Dana Hanna, a
former New York City criminal defense lawyer who is the attorney general
of the Rosebud reservation's Lakota Sioux tribe.

"They are educating Indian kids for the role they expect them to fulfill
in society, that of criminal defendant," he added. "Schools are
abdicating their job to police, prosecutors and judges. And they don't
see it as a problem."

Casey Chasing Hawk learned that role during his two months in jail, his
parents said. When he returned to Winner he lost all interest in
schoolwork and shut down around his teachers. He dropped out of school,
left home, started abusing alcohol and getting into trouble with the
law. The 19-year-old's slide is devastating to his parents, who raised
Casey in a traditional Lakota home and hoped he would be a leader in the
tribal community.

"His spirit was broken," his mom said.


'America is Indian country'

By: Editors Report / Indian Country Today

In a packed lecture room at the City University of New York Graduate
Center, editors and columnists from Indian Country Today shared
anecdotes and analyses of current events. The occasion, sponsored by the
Flying Eagle Woman Fund and Fulcrum Publishing, was the publication of
the book 'America is Indian Country: Opinions and Perspectives from
Indian Country Today.'' It convened old friends who recalled mileposts
from the Indian consciousness movement of the 1970s to today.

''America is Indian Country'' represents a collective production of the
core group of editorialists and columnists who write for these pages.
Twenty-one contributors of editorials and perspective pieces ranged
through myriad topics and themes in the book; and five of these, Katsi
Cook, John Mohawk, Associate Editor Jim Adams, Executive Editor Tim
Johnson and Senior Editor Jose Barreiro, attended the Manhattan event.
Mohawk, Cook and Barreiro recounted anecdotes from their 30 years of
collaboration, which goes back to the early publishing of the Indian
movement publication called Akwesasne Notes.

In the introduction to ''America is Indian Country'' the reader is
invited to consider Indian country from the viewpoint that American
Indians - our families, peoples and nations - hold in common principles
of community and tribal ways, and have many jurisdictional matters to
defend. These concerns deserve the clearest of thinking. They also
deserve a wide-ranging discussion, where all well-argued positions are
considered openly and respectfully. We believe that our points of view
must rightfully range and sometimes clash, tribally and nationally. This
must be possible without destructive approaches. The widest reporting
and deepest debate comprise exactly the recipe needed to establish the
kinds of solutions-oriented discussions that make achievement possible.

From direct experience, the generation that refashioned this newspaper
carries in its memory those times when poverty was endemic and, even
worse, when most governments responded to Indian demands with police or
military action. Little hope prevailed. Within this generation,
disadvantage has begun to turn toward advantage. So it is that we shared
and respected the vision that a high-quality national American Indian
newspaper must be of benefit to all Indian peoples, each of whom can
learn from each other's experiences.

Former Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell wrote in his preface to the book:
''Indian country has needed good, serious journalism, one backed by
intelligent curiosity, always with tough, penetrating questions and yet
always, too, consciously respectful in the handling of people and
information. We all benefit from professional reporting and crisp

At the event, Mohawk noted the urgency of the Indian movement era. He
recalled having to choose either an early career in academia or, in
recognition of the potentials of the times, throwing his lot in with the
movement. Akwesasne Notes, which Mohawk described as a precursor to the
modern ICT in terms of carrying the crux of the national Indian
discourse, became the Indian information vehicle in the 1970s. Mohawk
recruited Barreiro, Cook and many others to that work.

The term ''sovereignty,'' which became the driving wedge of the Indian
movement, was heard increasingly in the mid-'70s. Cook, a midwife and
ICT columnist, recalled a meeting of traditional Haudenosaunee chiefs,
clan mothers and activists which took place at Loon Lake, N.Y., in 1977.
''Some of the most interesting thinking about how to prepare for our
future came out of those days of meetings,'' she said.

Applying some of the best thinking from among the people, the folks in
attendance at Loon Lake sought an Indian definition of sovereignty. In
its most encompassing approach, what is sovereignty? When can a people
in fact assert their inherent freedom to be who they are?

A useful framework that outlined five major areas of sovereignty
emerged from that meeting. In order for a people to be sovereign, they
have to have control of these main areas of community or nation life:
governance, land and economy, education and socialization of young
people, health and reproduction and psycho-spiritual definition. ''In
each of those areas, people could work toward sovereignty. It was the
one on health and reproduction that caught my attention. I understood
then that my work on midwifery had everything to do with sovereignty,''
Cook said.

Barreiro stressed the importance of the Native self-expression
explosion of the past 20 years - in the arts, literature, academic
research and journalism. Education, once a weapon used to destroy Native
culture, is now increasingly in line with pride in culture. Educated
Native professionals are now present in every walk of life, while the
international indigenous work at the United Nations dovetailed the need
to create alliances for remote Indian communities.

At the event, this newspaper's editors spoke of the collaboration
principle of the group that reworked ICT into a national Indian
newspaper while Adams, formerly with the Wall Street Journal, let it be
known that his association with ICT is the most prized of his long and
distinguished career. A traditional conservative, Adams has a keen
appreciation for the injustices still suffered by Indian peoples.

While ''America is Indian Country'' is not a comprehensive volume of
every major American Indian event that had national ramifications in the
years 2000 through 2004, the new book provides readers with a
contextual view, framed by American Indian editors, of events and ideas
that shaped American Indian opinion at the beginning of a new century.


Schmidt: Have gaming tribes bought California?

by: Robert Schmidt /

Unlike previous years, Indian gaming is an issue in just a couple of
local elections in California. But politicians and pundits are still
using inflammatory language when they talk about the state's tribes.

For many, raising the specter of Indians on the warpath is still a
useful tactic.

In September, an Irvine city council member sounded an alarm over
''salivating'' Indian tribes and ''relentless'' gaming interests. A
political commentator wrote that the state's Indians are seeking gaming
on ''any land the staggeringly rich gaming tribes can buy with
acquiescence from politicians.'' As he's done before, Gov. Arnold
Schwarzenegger slammed the first Americans, saying big tribes ''control
the legislators.''

The supposedly liberal media joined the fray, with one newspaper
claiming that wealthy inland tribes - not the state legislators who
actually vote - had blocked two gaming compacts. Even public radio
station KPCC confused the issue by asking ''Are Indian gaming and
off-reservation casinos beneficial to California?'' in an online
questionnaire, as if reservation shopping is intrinsic to Indian gaming
in California.

With all this anti-gaming and anti-Indian rhetoric, it's worth asking a
pointed question: ''Have gaming tribes bought California?'' The answer
is no. Tribes are getting a bum rap when it comes to the ''buying
influence'' charge.

The assertion that the tribes ''bought Sacramento'' to pass Proposition
5 in 1998 and Proposition 1A in 2000 remains specious. The money they
spent went into a public awareness campaign (TV commercials and so
forth), not into politicians' pockets. That's how the initiative process
works - and the Indians played the game fair and square.

One could say Indians tried to influence the 2003 recall election by
making large donations to Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante, a longtime friend of
Native causes. The fallout from that election offers a cautionary tale
for tribes thinking of entering politics. But people should note two

For starters, the bulk of the donations came from one gaming tribe.
There was no concerted action among California's tribes, each of which
is an independent and sovereign nation. In fact, other tribes criticized
these donations as a public relations nightmare.

More important, Bustamante LOST. It's ridiculous to claim Indians are
buying the state capital when their candidates lose. Clearly, putting a
supportive politician in office takes more than just money: candidates
have to resonate with voters, no matter who's backing them financially.

California's tribes continue NOT to control Sacramento, despite their
occasional campaign contributions. The Legislature doesn't hesitate to
kill bills that tribes support avidly. Two recent examples are the bills
that would've protected sacred sites and banned Indian mascots. How
exactly are Indians subverting the state if they can't get their wish
list passed?

As for gaming, either the governor or the Legislature can halt a casino
project that faces strong local opposition. Schwarzenegger's recent
decisions show that the system is working as it's supposed to. Despite
the lack of tribal contributions, he's approved some deals and rejected
others. It's difficult for gaming money to influence a sitting governor,
and there's little evidence that it has.

While the chattering classes attack Indians, other campaign
expenditures are getting less attention. As the Oct. 28 Los Angeles
Times reported:

The nation's drug makers, shattering spending records on California
initiative campaigns, have poured $76.5 million into television ads,
mailings and other activities to persuade voters to embrace their cause
on the Nov. 8 ballot, reports filed with the state on Nov. 3 show.

The pharmaceutical industry's spending exceeds the $65 million that
Indian tribes spent in 1998 in an effort to legalize gambling on their

So drug companies are spending a record amount to pass one proposition
and defeat another, but no one talks about ''Big Pharma'' buying
Sacramento. Why not? There are 100-plus Indian tribes in California and
only a few big drug makers, so the latter have more concentrated power.
Why no righteous pontificating about how corporate money is subverting
our democracy and endangering our children?

The answer is fairly obvious to anyone who has followed the politics of
gaming. The ''buying influence'' charge still has a whiff of racism
about it. Drug companies can spend millions on initiatives, and
Schwarzenegger can accept millions from business interests, but only
Indians are the bogeyman behind the tree.


Young Northwest leaders challenge racism as philosophy

by: Editors Report / Indian Country Today

The range of ideas covered by political philosophy and opinion is vast
these days. Sometimes it's hard to predict who will fire at ''the
Indians'' next or from what vantage point.

Understanding and critically examining the public discourse, which
includes identifying ideologies and groups whose missions include the
reduction and destruction of American Indian peoples, is crucial for
tribal leadership in this age of communication. With the communication
of ideas - even bad ones - more prevalent today through the explosion of
the Internet and rapidly advancing telecommunications, it has become
increasingly important that tribal leaders comprehend the nature and
ramifications of this new era.

Hence, we were delighted to participate in an intense and innovative
training seminar for American Indian youth this summer. Held on the
campus of the University of Washington in Seattle, the Northwest Young
Nations Leadership Challenge brought together some 40 Native high school
students from that region to nurture and strengthen their leadership
potential. The seminar's central themes included drawing awareness to a
seemingly rising tide of anti-Indian rhetoric at the national level and
encouraging the development of pragmatic communications skills tribal
leadership needs to effectively respond.

Veteran American Indian educator Robey Clark, of the Northwest Regional
Educational Laboratory in Portland, Ore., in partnership with the
Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction and the
University of Washington, designed within the program sessions that
examined attacks on Indian peoples that were found within mainstream
newspapers and in columns distributed by organizations such as the Ayn
Rand Institute.

The students worked together in teams to conduct research sessions
designed to rebut much of the misinformation contained within the
anti-Indian writings, including one written by a schoolteacher (believe
it if you will) from the state of Maine and another written by Michael
S. Berliner, a board member of the ARI.

Following the research sessions, the students developed theatrical
performances aimed at pointing out the falsehoods, contradictions and
hypocrisies prevalent in the articles. Clearly visible over the course
of the three-day seminar was the growth and development of the students
in their abilities to work together as teams and in their
self-confidence and intellectual awareness. Encouraging and motivating
the students were prominent educators Denny Hurtado and John Pope of
WOSPI, along with Nancy ''Lynn'' Palmanteer-Holder of Washington
University and Indian Country Today's Executive Editor Tim Johnson. We
congratulate all those who worked to make the seminar a success and
encourage tribal educators across the country to replicate the
methodologies of the Young Nations Leadership Challenge. It deals with
building up the skills necessary for encountering the real world.

Since the seminar, of course, the public discourse dealing with
American Indian peoples and our issues continues unabated. The wordsmith
warriors of ARI, as but one example, continue to slice away with abandon
against the very notion of Indian peoples, cultures and nations.

The ARI is a ''think tank'' that purports to represent the vanguard of
a movement of adherents of the philosophy of ''objectivism,''
brainstorm of noted Russian-American philosopher and novelist Ayn Rand.
It has a wide circle of writers and commentators who prodigiously
produce opinion pieces and letters to the editor.

Often interesting, if always doctrinaire, ARI's positions grow out of
objectivism, in which reason, individualism and capitalism are central
guideposts. Objectivists appear strongly libertarian about personal
behavior, interestingly against faith-based politics, while being
completely domineering and insulting against Indians and Native peoples
as legitimate communities of human beings. Their arguments are presented
in directly anti-Indian fashion and in the general context of disdain
for multi-cultural concerns of any kind. Willing to rail insultingly
against entire peoples, they do so with facile arguments spoken gravelly
as absolute truths, as if they had no possible response.

So be it - as many organizations such as this decide purposely to be
divisive, to see no trees but for the forest they would happily cut down
to impose their favored ideology, even if desolate and bigoted. But
there is response. As Vine Deloria Jr. said deliciously once: ''We talk,
you listen.''

Let's consider one argument by ARI writer Thomas A. Bowden, who posits
that ''[b]efore Europeans arrived, the scattered tribes occupying North
America lived in abject poverty, ignorance and superstition.''

This preposterously all-encompassing statement fails of its own illogic
by lumping hugely diverse situations and cultures together as one.

* ''Scattered''? No; the tribes were all very much in place. Even
so-called ''nomadic'' tribes simply moved for economic reasons, but
within specific territories and within patterns of long-term
inhabitation incomprehensible to most Westerners at the time. These
facts obviously remain imperceptible to the bunch at ARI.

* ''Abject poverty''? Oh? Like the overcrowded, squalid and
disease-incubating cities of Spain, England, France, Germany and
Holland? Countries whose destitute peasantry was corralled under lords
and kings and who gladly invaded other peoples' lands, stealing
everything in sight, killing off indigenous peoples and voraciously
consuming all means of natural production?

Periods of want and famine are natural for hunting and gathering
cultures; but overall, as Stanley Diamond showed in his book ''In Search
of the Primitive,'' the life-supporting economic practices of indigenous
peoples (when free from rapacious settlers and exploiters) often
provided quite well for human needs and build socially balanced
interdependency and inter-support among peoples. This community-building
skill is essential for most human societies still connected to their
places of origin. Indian poverty was the result of contact with

* ''Ignorance and superstition''? Oh? As opposed to bleeding diseases
out of people, or burning heretics and witches at the stake by the
hundreds? Time and again, history shows how Natives' vast, traditional
knowledge of natural medicines and food crops, reflecting ages-old
concepts and tried-and-true practices, contributed to humankind a huge
treasure of productive achievement. In fact, and as but one example, the
folks at ARI might starve if they were to stop eating Indian foods. Were
there religious excesses in some Native cultures? No doubt. Was there a
dialectic of change and progress in its own non-Western logic? Of

Bowden tried to soften his superior attitude by asserting that this
reality of lesser human quality, the inferiority of the Natives, is
''not due to any racial inferiority, but because that is how all mankind
starts out (Europeans included).''

The ''science'' of the ascendant steps to ''civilization'' is what all
human societies are assumed to go through. You know, ''white man's
burden'' and all that. No doubt human societies and cultures grow,
shrink, adapt and even progress. But implicit in Bowden's old-hat
argument is that the European is beyond the ''state of barbarism,''
whereas the Indians were or are not. This explains the ''superiority''
straightaway, as inherent in the relationship between the ''developed
West'' and the rest of the peoples of the world.

He is saying: ''We went through the steps of civilization and you did
not. Ergo, we are superior to you.'' Such an assumption of superiority
sets the rationalizations, and positions the true motivations that
follow - namely, the legitimization of conquest and the stealing of
Indian land and resources.

Bowden argued that America's policies toward Indians, which he
described as ''generally benign,'' only erred by ''treating Indians
collectively, as 'nations' entitled to permanent occupancy of
semi-sovereign reservations.''

He went on, in the most brazen language of the U.S. termination policy
era, that ''[i]nstead, Indians should have been treated as individuals
deserving full and equal American citizenship in exchange for embracing
individual rights, including private ownership of land.'' Of course, any
serious student of American Indian history can read between these lines.
By destroying Indian governments, their lands are opened up to
non-Indian ownership, a la the General Allotment Act or Dawes Act of

The ARI writers, among others, distort how most Native peoples see
themselves. The lesson for American Indian leaders is to notice how
these organizations have proliferated across North America and how often
and how many of them carry - directly and indirectly - damaging and
often bigoted positions against American Indians and our rights to
self-government. The fact that across North America most Indians will
assert that only through the right of tribal self-government can their
peoples prosper is completely lost on Bowden and, apparently, the ARI.
Or maybe not.

Here is the argument extended to the polemics of today. According to
these would-be followers of Rand: ''Multiculturalism is the view that
all cultures, from that of a spirits-worshiping tribe to that of an
advanced industrial civilization, are equal in value.''

Pitting the ''value of a free, industrialized civilization'' against
what it calls ''primitive tribalism,'' ARI writers equate this struggle
as between what is ''life promoting [read: civilization] from that which
is life negating [read: American Indian culture].''

This is intellectually dishonest. The proper approach to the
understanding of culture does not ignorantly pit one whole culture
against another. Rather, the question is one of understanding the
superlatives as well as other possible scales of positive and negative
(which found in every society) rather than the racist and decrepit idea
of the inherent superiority of the West.

Here is the ARI's take on Columbus Day: ''On Columbus Day, we celebrate
the civilization whose entrepreneurs, men such as Rockefeller, Ford, and
Gates, transformed an inhospitable wilderness populated by frightened
savages into a wealthy nation of self-confident producers served by
highways, power plants, computers, and thousands of other life-enhancing

''Frightened savages''? What insult could be next? Rand - the deep and
talented thinker, whose name and memory are evoked by these racist
polemics - should be turning in her grave. So too should our ancestors
who watch as Indian country fails to act responsibly to the venom that
works its poison in the public discourse. Strength and courage of
conviction to our young Northwest leaders.


Interesting websites:

This is a very interesting optical illusion. Read the instructions and
check it out.

On the Effectiveness of Aluminium Foil Helmets: An Empirical Study

Birthday Calculator:


Humorous or interesting non-Indian material:


From Alan in Louisiana:

Baton Rouge, Louisiana (AP) -

A seven-year-old boy was at the center of a courtroom drama in
Baton Rouge, LA, yesterday when he challenged a court ruling over who
should have custody of him.

The boy has a history of being beaten by his parents and the judge
initially awarded custody to is Aunt, in keeping with child custody
law and regulations requiring that family unity be maintained to the
degree possible.

The boy surprised the court when he proclaimed that his aunt
beat him more than his parents and he adamantly refused to live with
her. When the judge then suggested that he live with his grandparents,
the boy cried out that they also beat him.

After considering the remainder of the immediate family and learning
that domestic violence was apparently a way of life among them, the
judge took the unprecedented step of allowing the boy to propose who
should have custody of him.

After two recesses to check legal references and confer with
child welfare officials, the judge granted temporary custody to the
New Orleans Saints football team, whom the boy firmly believes is
not capable of beating anyone.


More from Alan:

Here are a few things to think about that you probably have never
thought about:

Can you cry under water?

How important does a person have to be before they are considered
assassinated instead of just murdered?

Why do you have to "put your two cents in"..      but it's only a
"penny for your thoughts"? Where's that extra penny going to?

Once you're in heaven, do you get stuck wearing the clothes you
were buried in for eternity?

Why does a round pizza come in a square box?

What disease did cured ham actually have?

How is it that we put man on the moon before we figured out it
would be a good idea to put wheels on luggage?

Why is it that people say they "slept like a baby" when babies
wake up like every two hours?

If a deaf person has to go to court, is it still called a hearing?

Why are you IN a movie, but you're ON TV?

Why do people pay to go up tall buildings and then put money
in binoculars to look at things on the ground?

Why do doctors leave the room while you change? They're going
to see you naked anyway.

Why is "bra" singular and "panties" plural?

Why do toasters always have a setting that burns the toast to a
horrible crisp, which no decent human being would eat?

If Jimmy cracks corn and no one cares, why is there a stupid song
about him?

Can a hearse carrying a corpse drive in the carpool lane?

If the professor on Gilligan's Island can make a radio out of a coconut,
why can't he fix a hole in a boat?

Why do people point to their wrist when asking for the time, but don't
point to their crotch when they ask where the bathroom is?

Why does Goofy stand erect while Pluto remains on all fours?
They're both dogs!

If Wyle E. Coyote had enough money to buy all that ACME
crap, why didn't he just buy dinner?

If corn oil is made from corn, and vegetable oil is made from
vegetables, what is baby oil made from?

If electricity comes from electrons, does morality come from morons?

Do the Alphabet song and Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star have the same

Why did you just try singing the two songs above?

Why do they call it an asteroid when it's outside the hemisphere,
but call it a hemorrhoid when it's in your butt?

Did you ever notice that when you blow in a dog's face, he gets
mad at you, but when you take him for a car ride; he sticks his
head out the window?

Do you ever wonder why you gave me your e-mail address in the
first place?


More from Alan:

1. What do you put in a toaster?

Answer: "bread." If you said "toast," then give up now and go do
something else.   Try not to hurt yourself.   If you said, "bread," go
to Question 2.

2. Say "silk" five times.   Now spell "silk." What do cows drink?

Answer: Cows drink water.   If you said "milk," please do not
attempt the next question.   Your brain is obviously over stressed and
may even overheat.   It may be that you need to content yourself with
reading something more appropriate such as Children's World.   If you
said "water" then proceed to question 3. !

3. If a red house is made from red bricks and a blue house is made from
blue bricks and a pink house is made from pink bricks and a black house
is made from black bricks, what is a green house made from?

Answer: Greenhouses are made from glass.   If you said "green
bricks," what the devil are you still doing here reading these

If you said "glass," then go on to Question 4.

4. It's twenty years ago, and a plane is flying at 20,000 feet over
Germany   (If you will recall, Germany at the time was politically
divided into West Germany and East Germany.) Anyway, during the flight,
TWO of the engines fail.   The pilot, realizing that the last remaining
engine is also failing, decides on a crash landing procedure.   
Unfortunately the engine fails before he has time and the plane fatally
crashes smack in the middle of "no man's land" between East Germany and
West Germany.   Where would you bury the survivors?   East Germany or
West Germany or in "no man's land"?

Answer: You don't, of course, bury survivors.   
If you said ANYTHING else, you are a real dunce and you must NEVER try
to rescue anyone from a plane crash.   Your efforts would not be
appreciated.   If you said, "Don't bury the survivors", then proceed to
the next question.

5. Without using a calculator - You are driving a bus from London to
Milford Haven in Wales.   In London, 17 people get on the bus. In
Reading, six people get off the bus and nine people get on. In Swindon,
two people get off and four get on. In Cardiff, 11 people get off and 16
people get on. In Swansea, three people get off and five people get on
In Carmathen, six people get off and three get on. You then arrive at
Milford Haven. What was the name of the bus driver?

Answer: Oh, for crying out loud!   Don't you remember your own name? It
was YOU!!


Here are some random historical events for December:

December 1, 524: Palenque Maya Lord Chaacal I dies
according to the museum at Palenque.

You can see a copy of my photo of Palenque on this page: or

December 2, 1794: A treaty (7 stat. 47) is concluded with
the Oneida, Tuscarora, and Stockbridge Indians, at Oneida,
New York. The treaty is a gesture of thanks for the tribes
help during the Revolutionary war. They receive $5000 for
damages suffered during the war. Grist and saw mills are
built, and salary for their workers are provided for three
years. They receive $1000 to build a church. No further
claims are made by the tribes. The treaty is signed by
Thomas Pickering for the United States, and by eleven Indians.

December 3, 1598: Juan de Zaldivar "discovers" the Acoma.

December 4, 1833: Twenty-one Chickasaw Chiefs arrive at
Fort Towson, in eastern Indian Territory (present day
Oklahoma). They assess the lands the United States wants
them to move to when they are removed from Alabama.
Meeting with local Choctaws about buying land from them
proves to be unfruitful.

December 5, 1855: The Columbia River volunteers, under
Nathan Olney, are near Fort Walla Walla, in southeastern
Washington, when they encounter Pio-pio-mox-mox's (Yellow
Serpent) band of WallaWallas. Pio has looted the Hudson
Bay Company's Fort Walla Walla, but he has always been
neutral or helped the Americans in the past. He advanced
under a flag of truce and wanted to return the booty.
But an agreement cannot be reached. Pio refuses to fight,
and Olney's men take Pio, and four others, prisoners.

December 6, 1866: Red Cloud, Crazy Horse, Yellow Eagle,
and High Back Bone, and their followers, have been
harassing Colonel Henry Carrington's troops from Fort
Phil Kearny, in northern Wyoming. They stage several
raids and ambushes along the road from the fort to the
nearby woods. Colonel Carrington leads his troops in
some of the fighting. Several soldiers are killed in the
fighting. Carrington is called "Little White Chief" by
the Indians. This skirmish sets the stage for the
"Fetterman Massacre" on December 21, 1866.

You can see a copy of my photo of the area on this page:

December 7, 1868: Sheridan and Custer leave Camp Supply
(Oklahoma) leading 1,600 soldiers and 300 supply wagons.
They are en route to Fort Cobb. It is primarily meant as
a show of force to the local Indians. It proves the army
can march during the winter months.

December 8, 1818: Secretary of War John C. Calhoun
presents a report to the House of Representatives. Among
the report’s proposals are: tribes should no longer be
treated as sovereign nations; Indians should be saved from
extinction; and Indians should be taught the correctness
of the concept of land ownership.

December 9, 1861: Colonel Douglas Cooper, again encounters
the pro-Union Creeks and Seminoles, under Chief Opothleyahola,
in a battle on Bird Creek, north of Tulsa. Many of his
Cherokee troops, under John Drew, defect and join the
pro-Union forces. Cooper withdraws to Fort Gibson. This
is often called the "Battle of Chusto-Talasah," or the
"Battle of Caving Banks."

December 10, 1850: Federal agents sign a treaty with the
Lipan Apache, Caddo, Comanche, Quapaw, Tawakoni and Waco
Indians near the San Sabá River in Texas.   

December 11, 1833: Captain Page, and almost 700 Choctaws,
reach their destination at Fort Towson, in eastern Indian
Territory (present day Oklahoma). The others in the group
have split off and gone to Fort Smith.

December 12, 1531: According to most sources, Juan Diego
(Cuauhtlatoatzin), a Nahua, sees the apparition of the
Virgin Mary on a hill called Tepeyacac in Mexico again.
He first saw her on December 9th. According to Juan Diego,
the Virgin Mary instructs him to carry some roses in his
macehualli (a cloak) to the local Bishop as proof of her
appearance. When the macehualli is opened before the
Bishop, an image of the Virgin Mary appears on the cloak
among the rose petals. The macehualli is still on display
in the church (Our Lady of Guadalupe) built to honor the

You can see a copy of my photo of it on this page:

December 13, 1640: A deed for Indian land is signed in
New England. It says, "It is agreed that the Indians above
named shall have liberty to break up ground for their use
to the westward of the creek on the west side of Shinecock
plaine." In town meeting, 1641: "It is agreed that any
person that hath lotts up on Shinecocke playne in which
there are any Indian Barnes or wells lying shall fill them up."

December 14, 1763: A band of almost five dozen frontiersmen,
called "the Paxton Boys," attack a peaceful Susquehanna
Indian village in Conestoga, Pennsylvania. They kill eight
of the twenty-two inhabitants in this unprovoked raid.
"The Boys" continue their rampage during the next two weeks.

December 15, 1890: Sitting Bull is killed while being
arrested at Fort Yates, South Dakota by Eighth Cavalry
soldiers and Indian police, near Standing Rock on the
Grand River in Montana.. Thirty-nine police officers and
four volunteers were assembled to arrest Sitting Bull.
Before it was all done, over 100 of Sitting Bull’s
supporters arrived at the scene. Several people are
injured or killed in the subsequent fighting. According
to army documents, four soldiers and eight Indians are
killed. Three soldiers are wounded. Later this week,
the editor of the "Aberdeen Saturday Pioneer," writes
a editorial about Sitting Bull. One of the passages is
as follows: "The proud spirit of the original owners
of these vast prairies inherited through centuries of
fierce and bloody wars for their possession, lingered
last in the bosom of Sitting Bull. With his fall the
nobility of the Redskin is extinguished, and what few
are left are a pack of whining curs who lick the hand
that smites them. The Whites, by law of conquest, by
justice of civilization, are masters of the American
continent, and the best safety of the frontier
settlements will be secured by the total annihilation
of the few remaining Indians." The author of this
editorial is L. Frank Baum, best known as the author
of "The Wizard of Oz."

December 16, 1811: The New Madrid earthquake takes place
on the Mississippi River around 2:30 am. Many tribes tell
tales of this event for generations. Many people say that
Tecumseh predicted this earthquake.

December 17, 1890: Sitting Bull and the police killed during
his arrest are buried with honor. Today, members of the
Hunkpapa Sioux arrive at Big Foot's camp of Minneconjou
Sioux seeking refuge. However, today will also see the
issuing of an arrest warrant for Big Foot, himself, for
his part as a "trouble maker" in the ghost dance religion.

You can see a copy of my photo of his graves on this page:

December 18, 1892: Congress approve a monthly pension of thirty dollars
for Lemhi Chief Tendoy.

You can see a copy of my photo of the town named after him on this page:

December 19, 1980: Chaco Canyon (New Mexico) is officially
designated as the "Chaco Culture National Historic Park."
It is the home of many Anazasi ruins.

December 20, 1812: Sacajawea dies at Fort Manuel, South Dakota,
according to some sources.

December 21, 1866: Red Cloud, Crazy Horse, Yellow Eagle,
and High Back Bone, and their followers, have been
harassing Colonel Henry Carrington's Second Cavalry and
Twenty-seventh Infantry troops from Fort Phil Kearny,
in northern Wyoming. They stage several raids and ambushes
along the road from the fort to the nearby woods. Captain
William J. Fetterman had once said. "a company of regulars
could whip a thousand, and a regiment could whip the whole
array of hostile tribes." A convoy of wagons carrying
wood leaves the fort. It is attacked by a decoy group of
Indians. Following up on his claim that he "could ride
through the Sioux Nation" with just eighty men, Fetterman
pursues the decoying Indians away from the fort. Here
the Indians’ trap is sprung. Fetterman’s entire force
of three officers, forty-seven infantry, twenty-seven
cavalry and two civilians are killed in the fighting.
The soldiers call this the "Fetterman Massacre." The
Indians call it the "Battle of the Hundred Killed."

You can see a copy of my photo of the area on this page:

December 22, 1898: President McKinley, by Executive Order
establishes the Hualapai Indian School Reserve for the
purpose of educating the Hualapai Indians in Arizona
Territory. The reserve is in section 10, township 23
north, range 13 west.

December 23, 1855: White volunteers surround a "friendly"
Rogue River Indian village they had visited the day before.
The village is mostly unarmed. The whites attack, and
nineteen Indian men are killed. The women and children
are driven into the cold. The survivors arrive at Fort
Lane, in southwestern Oregon, with severe frostbite,
and frozen limbs.

December 24, 2012: One interpretation of the Maya
calendar predicts today will be the end of world or
the present creation.

December 25, 1839: After the defeat at the Battle of the
Neches on July 16, 1839, Cherokees under Chief "The Egg"
attempts to escape to Mexico. They make it as far as the
Colorado River, before they meet resistance. Colonel
Edward Burleson leading Texan and Tonkawa forces engage
them in a fight. Seven Cherokee warriors are killed,
and twenty-four women and children are captured. Among
the dead is The Egg.

December 26, 1862: The thirty-eight Santee Sioux
condemned for their actions in the "Santee Uprising" are
hanged at Mankato, Minnesota. This is the largest mass
hanging in American History.

December 27, 1875: President Grant, by Executive Order,
establishes reservations for the Portrero, Cahuila,
Capitan Grande, Santa Ysabel, Pala, Agua Caliente,
Sycuan, Inasa, and Cosmit Mission Indians primarily
in San Diego County, California. This order is modified
on: May 3, 1877; August 25, 1877; September 29, 1877;
January 17, 1880; March 2, 1881; March 9, 1881; June 27,
1882; July 24, 1882; February 5, 1883; June 19, 1883;
January 25, 1886; March 22, 1886; January 29, 1887;
March 14, 1887; and May 6, 1889.    

1952: Phil Konstantin, author of these pages and a member of the
Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, is born. Thanks, Mom and Dad!

December 28, 1520: According to some sources, Hernán Cortés
and his army start their second excursion to Tenochtitlán
(modern Mexico City) from Tlascala, Mexico. This time they
have made and bring a group of smal boats to use on the lake surrounding
the city.

December 29, 1890: The Wounded Knee Battle or Massacre
(depending on which version you read) takes place.
According to army records, one officer (Captain G.D.
Wallace), twenty-four soldiers (including Captain G.D.
Wallace), and 128 Indians are killed. Thirty-five soldiers,
and thirty-three Idians are wounded in the fighting.
The army will give Congressional Medals of Honor to the
following soldiers: Sergeant William G. Austin, for
"using every effort to dislodge the enemy"; Company E
musician John E. Clancy: "twice voluntarily rescued
wounded comrades under fire of the enemy"; Private
Mosheim Feaster, Company E, for "extraordinary gallantry";
First Lieutenant Ernest A. Garlington for "distinguished
gallantry"; First Lieutenant John C. Gresham for leading
an attack into a ravine; Sergeant Richard P. Hanley,
Company C, for recovering a pack mule loaded with ammunition,
while under heavy fire; Private Joshija B. Hartzog,
Company E, First Artillery, for rescuing his wounded
commander while under heavy fire; Second Lieutenant
Harry L. Hawthorne, Second Artillery, for distinguished
conduct; Private Marvin C. Hillock, Company B, for
distinguished bravery; Private George Hobday, Company A,
for conspicuous and gallant conduct; Sergeant George Loyd,
Company I, for bravery, especially after being severely
wounded through the lung; Sergeant Albert McMillian,
Company E, for leading by example; Private Thomas
Sullivan, Company E, for conspicuous bravery; First
Sergeant Frederick Toy, Company C, for bravery; First
Sergeant Jacob Trautman, Company I, for "killing a
hostile Indian at close quarters" and remaining with
the troops even though he was entitled to retire;
Sergeant James Ward, Company B, for fighting after being
severely wounded; Corporal Paul Weinert, Company E, for
assuming command of his artillery piece when his officer
was wounded; and Private Hermann Ziegner, Company E,
for conspicuous bravery.

You can see a copy of my photo of the area on this page:

December 30, 1950: A Constitution and By-Laws for the
Eskimos of the Native Village of Buckland, Alaska is
ratified by a vote of 17 to 13

December 31, 1590: Spaniard Gaspar Castańo de Sosa is
exploring the area of what is now New Mexico. A few
days ago, several men in his group have a fight with
some of the residents of the Pecos Pueblo. Sosa’s main
body reaches the pueblo. There is a brief fight, and
Sosa takes some of the Indians captive. Sosa would
later return to the pueblo and get a better reception.


That's it for this newsletter.

Have a great month.

Phil Konstantin

End of Phil Konstantin's December 2005 Newsletter

Start of Phil Konstantin’s December 2005 Newsletter - Part 2


Here are a few other things I have put together. One of
them is an interesting new feature that will map the
location of any subscribers who wish to participate.

Happy holidays,



You can visit this website and see where newsletter
subscribers live. Placing yourself on this map is totally
optional, but I find it interesting and fun.


The Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian has some
interesting articles online this month. Here are some links:

First American Art Exhibition

Sign up for the National Museum of the American Indian E-newsletter at
the following link:


Joseph RedCloud (a veteran) sent along this poem:


The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,
I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.
My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,
My daughter beside me, angelic in rest.

Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,
transforming the yard to a winter delight.
The sparkling lights in the tree I believe,
completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.

My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,
Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep.
In perfect contentment, or so it would seem,
So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.

The sound wasn't loud, and it wasn't too near,
But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear.
Perhaps just a cough, I didn't quite know,
Then the sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.

My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,
And I crept to the door just to see who was near.
Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night,
a lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.

A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old,
Perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold.
Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,
standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.

"What are you doing?" I asked without fear,
"Come in this moment, it's freezing out here!
Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve,
You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!"

For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,
Away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts,
To the window that danced with a warm fire's light.
Then he sighed and he said "Its really all right,
I'm out here by choice. I'm here every night."

"It's my duty to stand at the front of the line,
That separates you from the darkest of times.
No one had to ask or beg or implore me,
I'm proud to stand here like my fathers before me.

My Gramps died at 'Pearl on that day in December,"
Then he sighed, "That's a Christmas 'Gram always remembers."
My dad stood his watch in the jungles of 'Nam',
And now it is my turn and so, here I am.

I've not seen my own son in more than a while,
But my wife sends me pictures, he's sure got her smile.
Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag,
The red, white, and blue... an American flag.

"I can live through the cold and the being alone,
Away from my family, my house and my home.
I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,
I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat.

I can carry the weight of killing another,
Or lay down my life with my sister and brother
Who stand at the front against any and all,
To ensure for all time that this flag will not fall."

"So go back inside," he said, "harbor no fright,
Your family is waiting and I'll be all right."
"But isn't there something I can do, at the least,
"Give you money," I asked, "or prepare you a feast?"
It seems too little for all that you've done,
For being away from your wife and your son."

Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret,
"Just tell us you love us, and never forget
To fight for our rights back at home while we're gone,
To stand your own watch, no matter how long.

For when we come home, either standing or dead,
To know you remember we fought and we bled
Is payment enough, and with that we will trust,
That we mattered to you as you mattered to us."


I am passing these messages along from a subscribers. As
with all such messages, I am only passing them along &
not vouching for their validity.


Georgia Cherokee Indians, Georgia Tribe of Eastern
Cherokee, Cherokee Indians has been chosen by
to assist us in reaching
our Mission Goals.

Any ONline purchases you make thru this site will assist
us in meeting our Mission Goals of a Great Georgia Cherokee
Museum, Cherokee Council Grounds/Ceremonial Grounds,
learning Center, and general aid for our more
disadvantaged members.

We are hi-lighted for the full week starting Dec. 13
thru Dec. 20th. 2005.

Read the Beautiful Story they have written about us.

You may however go online anytime in the future, and
when asked what organization you wish to benefit: Choose
the Georgia Tribe of Eastern Cherokee Indians,

Then Go Shopping at over 1,000 stores and Merchants.
A portion of your purchase will go toward our Mission
Goals and Building Fund to meet our stated Goals.

Read our Mission Statement and Goals at:

Also visit our sister site under construction:

Please tell your family and friends that they too can
be a part of our Dream for Georgia Cherokees and all
who wish to learn of the Great History of Cherokee
Indians in Georgia.. Forward this Great Announcement
to all you can.

Working all together, there is nothing we can't accomplish.

Thanks, Merry Christmas
Georgia Tribe of Eastern Cherokee .com


I hope you can find the time to read these wonderful words from a gifted
and wise man.
Bless you, one and all.
----- Original Message -----
From: John Two-Hawks
To: Circle of Nations Members
Sent: Saturday, December 10, 2005 11:17 PM
Subject: December 2005 Edition

Hau kola na tiyospaye (Hello friends & extended family),

Welcome to all new Circle members! Each section of the
Circle of Nations newsletter is written 'facing' one of
the four sacred winds, beginning with the east, then the
south, west and finally the north. This is to honor the
old ways. It is to teach and to help us to focus and
find the center. I have designed the Native Circle
website in the same spirit. I welcome you all to the

EAST - Wiyohinyanpata - Yellow (Four Winds)
I am not a perfect man. And the longer I live, the
less ‘perfect’ I realize I am. Have you ever met anyone
who was perfect? How about someone who acted like they
were? Tough people to give that unconditional love to,
aren’t they! This time of year was and is for Lakota
people the season of the winter solstice. This is when
we have our shortest day of the year, when Mother Earth
completes her northern journey away from the sun and once
again begins her return.   It is also when each of us have
completed our yearly journey, and once again turn to face
Spirit and ourselves with what we have learned and where
we have erred and succeeded in this last living cycle.
It is now, when we give ourselves this honest look, that
we must take into account our mistakes, and our basic human weaknesses.
We must not only observe these realities, but
we must do our best to commit to remedying the ill effects
of anything we may have done or said to another.
Recognizing our fallibility as human beings is an important
step in the direction of wisdom, for true wisdom comes in
the absolute humility of the soul. We need. We need Spirit -
WakanTanka. We need Mother Earth - Maka Ina. And we need
each other. Of course, it is good to be confident, to have
a good self-esteem, and to feel good about oneself.
However, it is never good to esteem oneself so highly that
we place ourselves above another. We must always remember
our own weaknesses, for this is not only where humility is
born, but the greatest strength, power and wisdom comes
from the ability to recognize our own frailness, and
therefore, the frailness of all. When we can see this
frailness in everyone and everything, we can begin to
understand how necessary it is to walk soft and walk in
beauty with all of it. Yes, it can be hard to show Spirit
love to those who are unkind, cruel or pious. But if we
can see our own weaknesses, it can help us to see theirs.
During this season of new beginnings and deep reflection,
may we all find some measure of the peace that grows from
the seed of wisdom which is humility. And may we take the
beauty and power of that humble peace and honest love into
our world as we journey into a new year’s cycle, and yet
another winter solstice ceremony....

SOUTH - Itokagata - Red/White (Red Earth)
A word from Peggy....

I visited with my friend Jeanne today. She is dancing
with cancer right now, in the middle of her treatments.
I thought a lot about life after I saw her. I told John,
“you know, life is a debilitating disease.” I guess that
is why we need to learn to dance with it. We can fight it:
the worry... the fear... the heartache. Or we can dance:
the trust... the faith... the love. We have all
experienced the loneliness and pain that can accompany
the holidays. In one way or another, someone is always
missing. And in one way or another, someone is always
present. It was uplifting to visit with Jeanne, she has
a wonderful attitude and an incredible zest for life.
If you want to really feel the fullness of this season,
give of yourself fully. Do the extra, the things you
don’t have time to do. Give what you cannot afford to
give. And be what you are becoming!!
Much love and Merry Christmas!!

WEST - Wiyohpeyata - Black or Blue (We are STILL Here!)
There is a flute in my flute family which has a special
gift. It is the flute which has called forth amazing
songs like: Wind Voices, Daybreak, and Black Cherry Moon.
Well, a couple weeks ago, the beautiful man who made this
flute, Nev Autrey, made his quiet journey to the Spirit
World. I am sad for so many reasons, yet I know that his
spirit is soaring on the other side. Amazingly, Peggy was
able to secure for me the last flute that Nev ever made.
It is an incredibly ornate, yet somehow humble little flute,
made of deep red cedar and crafted in Apache Spirit Flute
style. The flute is wrapped with 3 inches of flawless
beadwork done in the Sacred Gourd/Peyote Stitch style.
With it came a rare writing from Nev, in which he shares
that each bead was sewn on with a prayer, and that the
red and black feathers in the beaded pattern are the
feathers of the woodpecker. He goes on to explain that
a Pima/Apache holy man once cured him with a ceremony using
a woodpecker feather. This feather was given to Nev, and
he wore it around his neck the rest of his life. The
illness from which he was cured never returned. So I now
have two of Nev’s blessed creations in my flute family.
The first having already poured its gift out for so many....
The second, this remarkable little Spirit Flute, yet to
be heard by those other than my close friends and family,
will soon share its special voice with the world. But it
will be different with this flute. It was Nev’s last,
and as it was created with such immense prayer and loving
attention to detail, it is my intention to use this flute
in a way which honors the spirit Nev poured into it.
Thank you Nev. May your spirit soar with every note of
every amazing flute you ever made, and may I in some way,
honor you with the songs your flutes call forth for me....

Whatever your gift is, use it. Share it with the world.
You cannot know the lives it will touch.

NORTH - Waziyata - White/Red (Words of Wisdom)
I will make a humble attempt at sharing some words which
could possibly be regarded as ‘words of wisdom’.... You
decide what is wisdom for you....

Be kind to strangers.... you cannot know their pain.

Be kind to those you know.... you cannot know how you
will ease their pain.

Watch the sun set.... it will never set the same way again.

Never curse the wind.... it is the Creator’s breath,
bringing forth all life.

Finding your humility now is a gift.... finding it later
is a given.

Life is made up of moments.... live fully in each of them.

Give.... way more than you take.

There is always good fortune hidden somewhere in misfortune.

In all things, seek balance.... even in your seeking of

May Wakantanka encircle you and yours with faith to
believe, hope for the future, and love for all....    

As always, in the spirit of mending the sacred hoop of
the nations of the world....
Your Oglala Lakota friend and brother,
John Two-Hawks


Here is an interesting website which let's you adjust a Christmas scene.
It is a cute use of online programming.


That's it for this newsletter.

Have a great month.

Phil Konstantin

End of Phil Konstantin's December 2005 Newsletter - Part 2
Start of Phil Konstantin’s December 2005 Newsletter - Happy Holidays


Here's wishing you a Merry Christmas, Cherry Chanuka, Happy Kwanza,
Festive Saturnalia and a day off, if you don't participate in any of the

Here is a link to a cute, online, animated Christmas carol.

Happy holidays,


End of Phil Konstantin's December 2005 Newsletter - Happy Holidays

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