Canku Ota - A Newsletter Celebrating Native America
July 15, 2000 - Issue 14

"Mique Wush Tagooven "


Hello, my friend


Little Harvest Moon

Muscokee (Creek)

"We see the changes of day and night...the seasons, the stars, the moon, the sun. Any one must know it is the work of someone more powerful than man."

We salute- Notah Begay

His name in the Navajo language means "Almost There,'' which no longer seems to fit Notah Begay when it comes to his status on the PGA Tour.

When his 20-foot birdie putt on the 72nd hole curled into the right side of the cup, Begay became the only player this year to win tour events in consecutive weeks, and the first since Tiger Woods won three straight at the end of last season.


The Long Walk

While many Americans are spending the July 4 holiday barbecuing and frolicking, a determined band of activists is moving through the first steps of a two-month, 1,200-mile walk around Lake Superior.

The "Walk to Remember," led by Anishinaabe (Ojibwe)Native Americans, points out the need to protect Lake Superior, the largest freshwater lake in the world and source of drinking water and food for tens of thousands of people, organizers said. The unusual event also honors the memory of famed Native American activist Walt Bresette, who came up with the idea and a proposed piece of legislation that, if adopted, could change American environmental protections for generations to come.


Jerome Tiger

Jerome Tiger was a full blood Creek-Seminole, born in 1941 in Oklahoma. He grew up on the campgrounds that surrounded his grandfather's Indian Baptist church near the sleepy town of Eufaula. There and, later, in Muskogee he attended public schools, learned English, and became familiar with such marvels of white culture as running water, indoor toilets, and telephones. Tiger was a high school dropout, a street and ring fighter of exceptional ability, and a laborer. Tiger's legacy was his paintings: a body of work of exquisite beauty that revolutionized American Indian art.


A Resolution
by the Native American Caucus

Whereas the Washington state Republican Party, on June 17th, 2000, in a reprehensible and racist attack on the American Indian people, passed a heinous resolution calling for the termination of American Indian tribal governments; and their proponents have called for, in a time of peace and in a new era of tribal self-reliance, the use of military forces against tribal communities that would justly defend their right to self-governance; and the proponents of this outrageous and offensive measure have urged the American government to use “whatever steps necessary to terminate” tribal governments;



Crossing Over the Blue Line

At one point in his life, Commander John Herrington thought there was no better way to make a living than rappelling down the face of a cliff as part of survey crew.

In some ways, he says, he was right. But Herrington hopes to leave behind the cliffs of his youth for a new challenge as part of another survey crew — on the surface of Mars.


Nunavik Students Learn Science the Fun Way

What do lego, paper airplanes, and claymation cartoons have in common?

Some lucky Nunavik high school students can tell you that they're all neat ways to learn about science — and have fun at the same time.



The Rest of the Story

THOUSANDS of visitors celebrating the nation's birthday will walk or park near a spot closely connected to the birth of our country. No, the location is not in Boston or Philadelphia. It's here in downtown St. Louis, where Chief Pontiac and his story have been buried for more than 200 years.


English Only Initiative Causes Concern

For over 100 years, Navajo students weren't allowed to speak or be taught in the Dine language in the classroom as part of a nationwide attempt to eradicate Native cultures and heritage. If the Arizona Unz Initiative succeeds, those times could be back.



Dance of the Salmon

In a national debate over how to save declining salmon and steelhead populations, there has been a lot of rhetoric.

And there has been plenty of finger-pointing. It might be the fault of the four dams on Washington's lower Snake River. It could be timber, agriculture, terns, and sea lions. It could be ocean conditions beyond human control.

In the midst of all that, scores of Sho-Ban High School students are working on a project called Dance of the Salmon. They are abandoning words in favor of action and are raising fish eggs that could help boost salmon and steelhead numbers returning to central Idaho's rivers.


Immersion Programs Ensure Cultural Survival

Stepping into the Blackfeet Indian Reservation's language immersion schools is like stepping back into time.

Here, as with their ancestors, Blackfeet boys and girls from beginners not more than 2 through sixth grade are encouraged to think and speak in their native tongue. Here English is meant to be a student's secondary language.

Asked what he likes best about the program, Sam DeRoche says it is simple. "I can talk with my grandparents now. Before I couldn't understand them."



Shoshone Chief to be Latest Statue in U.S. Capital

Back in the mid-1800s, Chief Washakie united Shoshone warriors and European settlers, using his command of French, English and tribal dialects and becoming a statesman among Native Americans. A century and a half later, his regal, feathered, bronze likeness is about to find a home in the U.S. Capitol.

Congress voted recently to accept Wyoming's statue of Chief Washakie as the 97th figure in the Capitol's statuary collection, which began in 1864.

"I think he would have been happy to be honored in this way," said Wyoming's James Trosper, Washakie's great-great-grandson.


Basket Weaver Harvest Moon:
"We Need to Share our Tradition"

Sometimes preserving tradition means jumping onto the battered horse she calls her car and riding 150 miles to a remote Snohomish County logging town.

Now Harvest Moon sits at the head of a dining-room table around which are seated 14 women, each anxiously clutching strips of cedar bark as fog sneaks over the forested mountains outside.

Moon's own handiwork decorates the table - cedar baskets ringed in modular designs and filled with the multicolored raffia, a leaf brought to the Pacific Northwest by settlers, she tells them, who used it to pack glassware.



The Brower Youth Awards
Honoring Youth Leadership in Conservation, Preservation and Restoration


This Year at Mt. Graham
Apaches for Cultural Preservation Announce this Year's Mt. Graham Activities


About This Issue's Greeting - "Mique Wush Tagooven"


The Ute Indians ranged across much of the northern Colorado Plateau beginning at least 2000 years B.P. (before present). The very name ‘Ute,’ from which the name of the state of Utah was derived, means "high land" or "land of the sun." The Ute language, Southern Numic, belongs to the Numic group of Uto-Aztecan languages shared by most of the Great Basin tribes. The Utes, however, included mountain-dwellers as well as desert nomads

This Date In History


Recipe: Fruit Pies


Story: Manabozho and the Muskrat


What is this: Muskrats


Project: HomeMade Stickers


This Issue's Web sites


"OPPORTUNITIES" is from sources distributed nationally and includes scholarships, grants, internships, fellowships, and career opportunities as well as announcements for conferences, workshops and symposia.

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