. . . ============================================================== Start of Phil Konstantin’s December 2005 Newsletter ============================================================== Greetings, 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. Phil ======================== X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X ======================== 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: http://www.library.yale.edu/beinecke/native1.htm ======================== X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X ======================== 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 claims.. You can see a transcription of the treaty here: http://digital.library.okstate.edu/kappler/Vol2/treaties/one0037.htm ======================== X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X ======================== Events and Notices: ---------------- SCHOLARSHIP ANNOUNCEMENT CALIFORNIA INDIAN LAW ASSOCIATION 2005-2006 ACADEMIC YEAR 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. Requirements •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 SCHOLARSHIPS ARE PROVIDED TO THE EXTENT FUNDING IS AVAILABLE 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. ---------------- CONFERENCE ON ENDANGERED LANGUAGES AND CULTURES OF NATIVE AMERICA 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 discussion. 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 documentation. 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 authors.) • Address: Please send abstracts to: email@example.com (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 Website www.guesthouse.utah.edu (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, refreshments] Additional information: for further information contact: Zeb Pischnotte firstname.lastname@example.org, or for particular questions, write to Lyle Campbell at email@example.com. 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 E-mail: IACcoorfirstname.lastname@example.org Program URL: http://www.gdnet.ucla.edu/iacweb/postdoc.pdf SYNOPSIS: 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: http://www.infoed.org/new_spin/spin_prog.asp?07507 ---------------- 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 email@example.com; or go to: http://www.dosomething.org/awards/brick/application-2006.php ---------------- 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: http://www.admissions.college.harvard.edu/hfai/ ---------------- SOCIETY FOR AMERICAN ARCHAEOLOGY 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 Scholarship. 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. Deadline 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. ======================== X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X ======================== News stories: Traditional healers treat veterans http://www.cnn.com/2005/HEALTH/12/02/veterans.medicineman.ap/index.html Lummis enlist fire, an old ally, as they battle scourge of drugs http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2002659378_burning02m.html ======================== X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X ======================== E-mails from subscribers: ------------- Greetings! 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 http://www.nativevillage.org 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 donation. 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 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.LinkCenterFoundation.com 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 it! 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 statue. * Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them. * 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 maker. * If you can't be kind, at least have the decency to be vague. * 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 By BETHE DUFRESNE 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!” Ooops. 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 money. 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 http://www.cga.ct.gov/2003/tob/h/2003HB-05336-R00-HB.htm 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 http://tinyurl.com/db9hc and http://tinyurl.com/cxh6r and also a "Timeline of Eastern Pequots and Schaghticoke petitions" at http://tinyurl.com/94mrw 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: http://tinyurl.com/dzj84 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, see: http://tinyurl.com/47589 •(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." http://tinyurl.com/8jfyj 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: http://tinyurl.com/74496 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." http://tinyurl.com/9plu9 •(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 group. 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: http://www.angelfire.com/hi2/hawaiiansovereignty He can be contacted at: mailto:Ken_Coemail@example.com HawaiiReporter.com 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 mailto:Mal-@HawaiiReporter.com -------------------- 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 Court. 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 Psychiatry. 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. ======================== X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X ======================== Editorials: -------------- 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 KentTribune.com 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 conduct. "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 siblings. €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 district. "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 analysis.'' 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 / Pechanga.net 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 points: 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 reservations. 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 Europeans. * ''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 course. 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 1887. 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 products.'' ''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. ======================== X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X ======================== Interesting websites: This is a very interesting optical illusion. Read the instructions and check it out. http://americanindian.net/illusion.html On the Effectiveness of Aluminium Foil Helmets: An Empirical Study http://people.csail.mit.edu/rahimi/helmet/ Birthday Calculator: http://www.paulsadowski.com/birthday.asp ======================== X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X ======================== 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 tune? 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 questions????? 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!! -------------- http://www.flashfunpages.com/couple.swf ======================== X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X ======================== 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: http://americanindian.net/mexico14.html or http://americanindian.net/mayae.html 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: http://americanindian.net/2003m.html 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 event. You can see a copy of my photo of it on this page: http://agentwilson.tripod.com/mexico.html 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: http://americanindian.net/2003u.html 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: http://americanindian.net/2003d.html 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: http://americanindian.net/2003m.html 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: http://americanindian.net/2003s.html 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 http://americanindian.net ========================================================== End of Phil Konstantin's December 2005 Newsletter ========================================================== . . . . . ============================================================== Start of Phil Konstantin’s December 2005 Newsletter - Part 2 ============================================================== Greetings, 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, Phil ======================== X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X ======================== 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. http://www.frappr.com/philkonstantinsamericanindiannewsletter ======================== X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X ======================== The Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian has some interesting articles online this month. Here are some links: First American Art Exhibition http://www.nmai.si.edu/exhibitions/first_american_art/firstamericanart.html Sign up for the National Museum of the American Indian E-newsletter at the following link: http://nmaiwis.si.edu/enews/ ======================== X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X ======================== Joseph RedCloud (a veteran) sent along this poem: A DIFFERENT CHRISTMAS 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." ======================== X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X ======================== 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 www.ShopforCharityday.com 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: www.GeorgiaTribeofEasternCherokee.com Also visit our sister site under construction: www.CherokeeIndians.com 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 Circle.... 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!! Peace, Peggy http://www.nativecircle.com/redearth.html 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 balance. 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 http://www.nativecircle.com http://www.johntwohawks.com ======================== X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X ======================== Here is an interesting website which let's you adjust a Christmas scene. It is a cute use of online programming. http://www.powerpres.com/xmascard03.html ======================== X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X ======================== That's it for this newsletter. Have a great month. Phil Konstantin http://americanindian.net ========================================================== End of Phil Konstantin's December 2005 Newsletter - Part 2 ========================================================== . . . . . . . . ====================================================================== Start of Phil Konstantin’s December 2005 Newsletter - Happy Holidays ====================================================================== Greetings, 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 preceding. Here is a link to a cute, online, animated Christmas carol. http://www.reuters.hu/card_dom/index_content.html Happy holidays, Phil http://americanindian.net ==================================================================== End of Phil Konstantin's December 2005 Newsletter - Happy Holidays ==================================================================== . . . .
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|Indian Moons||Personal Photos||My Biography|
|Sleepy Driver||The Space Program||Ancient Ruins in Central America|
|Maya Ruins in Mexico||Whales||Awards & Webrings|
|Cherokee Holiday 2001||Cherokee Enrollment||My Newsletters|
|My Store||California Highway Patrol||Indian Era Forts|
|Articles I Wrote||Northwestern USA Indian Country||American Indian Museum in D.C. 2004|
|Movie & Book Reviews||KUSI TV, my other job||Mesa Verde and Utah in 2006|
|My Mortgage Loan Company||2006 SDSU Powwow|