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Canku Ota
Canku Ota logo
(Many Paths)
An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America
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Meet Us
Here are the people who make "Canku Ota."
Our Editor
Some of our
Our Webmaster
Vicki Barry
Regular Contributors
Paul Barry
Our Mission Statement
Why We Do What We Do

"Canku Ota" (Many Paths) is an e-zine for and about Native America ... the native people of North America ... Native Americans, Alaskan Natives, and First Nations People. It is a celebration of the traditions and cultures of these wonderfully diverse people. Each monthly issue contains news articles, about events and issues, contributed by some premier writers and artists. We also share stories, recipes, nature articles, opportunities, school news, projects, and anything else of interest to our readers, young and old. We focus on positive, yet factual information. Our extensive resource pages offer links to some of the best, legitimate Native Web sites as well as many other Web sites of interest to students, educators and the general public. We also house all of our past issues and a coloring book.

In 1999, we were involved in a similar project, with others. Over time, it became clear that our goals and philosophies were not compatible with those of the others. We parted company and in January 2000 "Canku Ota" was launched.

When we began publishing our e-zine, we did considerable research and Web surfing to come up with ideas and sites to share with our readers. One site, in particular, disturbed us so much, that trying to combat its message became the basis for "Canku Ota." This site, an educational page done by a middle school teacher, in West Virginia, was talking about the Hopi People. The information was about Kachinas and all of the verbiage was in the past tense. For example ..."the Hopi USED to"... this teacher went on to have her class make Kachinas as a project. It became painfully clear to us that even in the year 2000, many people believe, and teach, that our cultures and traditions are no longer living or deserving of respect.

As the name "Canku Ota" (Many Paths) implies, Native Americans, Alaskan Natives and First Nations People are, perhaps, the most culturally diverse peoples, on earth! There are over 500 federally recognized tribes in the United States alone and many more in Canada. We can be found not only on reservations, but also in every major city and many small towns. We are United States Senators, educators, attorneys, artists, writers, athletes, traditional healers and everything in between. We are ALIVE and we follow MANY PATHS.

The one section that Paul and I are the proudest of is the "Kid's Pages." Last year, we were gifted with contributions from three reservation schools. Our goal, this year is to feature a school in every issue. We feel that by giving these children a voice, they can share their worlds with others and can also let folks know that they are basically no different from children anywhere.

Our audience is as diverse as our topic. Our subscribers mailing list includes readers ranging from elementary school students to grandparents. They live throughout the United States and Canada, from the southern tier states all the way to the far north, Nunavut. We also have readers in most of Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan. We are pleased to note that several educational institutions, elementary schools through universities, use our site as part of their curriculum. We are especially gratified by the comments that tell us we are helping people recover their heritage.

If I were to offer advice on using the Internet as an educational tool ... it is this ... be accessible. That means let your audience know as much about you as possible. Don't hide behind "screen names" and vague biographical information. Answer each and every inquiry/letter promptly and helpfully. We think it very important that a clearly visible e-mail address is present.

It is also esssential that sources are very carefully researched, both as a safety precaution and, due to the high volume of inaccurate and misleading "Native American" sites, as a credibilty issue. An outgrowth of our research is our annotated links pages, unlike most sites we provide the user with an introduction to each site, enabling them to better understand what will be found on that site.

"Canku Ota" was put on hold for a few years, as LIFE interferred with our passion. In January, 2013, we published the first new issue and are going strong. We are updating all of our links pages and are working hard to get back where we were.

"Canku Ota" is produced in our living room in Zachary, La. Early on, we established a network of friends and advisors from all over "Indian Country." All of them graciously offer advice and information. The articles that we use are also contributed by sources in both the United States and Canada. Each issue takes Paul and me about 40-60 hours to produce and publish. Ideally, this e-zine will continue for quite some time.

Perhaps the largest limitation that our project endures is funding. While not a huge problem, it does limit our options. Our "dream" is to be able to visit the reservation schools, to meet "our kids." We would also like to be able to attend some of the conventions of Native American organizations to extend our network of friends, contributors and advisors; to become members of these organizations; and, to increase our own knowledge and appreciation of our amazing. , diverse community. And, yes, we would like to be able to offer more state-of-the art features as they become more widely available to our users.

For many of the reservation schools, computer technology is not, yet, readily available. Neither is it commonplace in the homes of those children. But, the "Digital Divide" initiative is addressing this and we are hopeful that this disparity will be soon alleviated. We know there is a huge new and exciting world available. We are certain that this will help expand the "world view" of these children. We want to do our part to promote knowledge and understanding of our Native America and its contributions to the world.

Be sure to visit us on Facebook as Canku Ota. By friending us, you will be notified of updates to the site.

Paul and I welcome you. We also welcome your comments, questions and/or suggestions. Feel free to e-mail me at:

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Canku Ota is a free, bi-weekly, online Newsletter celebrating Native America, its traditions and accomplishments . We do not provide subscriber or visitor names to anyone. Some articles presented in Canku Ota may contain copyright material. We have received appropriate permissions for republishing any articles. Material appearing here is distributed without profit or monetary gain to those who have expressed an interest. This is in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 Fair Use doctrine of international copyright law. Please read our privacy policy.

Canku Ota is a copyright © 2000 - 2013 of Vicki Lockard and Paul Barry.
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The "Canku Ota - A Newsletter Celebrating Native America" web site and its design is the
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Copyright © 1999 - 2013 of Paul C. Barry.
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