Canku Ota - A Newsletter Celebrating Native America
September 23, 2000 - Issue 19

"Oki Ni-kso-ko-wa"


Hello, greetings my relative

"Manoominike-giizis "


Anishinaabeg, Ojibwe

"Never again will we allow unflattering and stereotypical images of Indian people to deface the halls of government or lead the American people to shallow and ignorant beliefs about Indians. Never again will we attack your religions, your languages, your rituals, or any of your tribal ways. Never again will we seize your children, nor teach them to be ashamed of who they are. Never again." Kevin Gover

We Salute
Claudia Vigil-Muniz

The Jicarilla Apache tribe Friday turned its top job over to a mother of two who admires Cherokee leader Wilma Mankiller, quotes baseball Hall of Famer Tommy Lasorda and believes some tribal ceremonies should be reserved for men.

Incoming Jicarilla Apache President Claudia Vigil-Muniz, the first woman to hold the tribe's highest office, said what distinguished her campaign from past efforts was teamwork with her unofficial running mate Lamavaya Caramillo, a veteran parole officer for the Jicarilla Tribal Court.


Protecting U.S. Native Languages

Native Americans are invited to join Kidlink's Who-Am-I? educational program in their languages. Out of 176 living languages listed, most are endangered, and spoken by less than 2 million American Indians, Eskimos, and Aleuts. The list includes famous names like Apache, Blackfoot, Cherokee, Comanche, Cree, Inuktitut, Mohawk, and Navaho.

Jointly with Canku Ota (Many Paths), Kidlink proposes its eight-month, multilingual Who-Am-I? as a vehicle to protect United States' indigenous heritage. Key is the program's record of motivating children and youth to read and write in their own language.


School News

The information here will include items of interest for and about Native American schools. If you have news to share, please let us know! I can be reached by emailing:


Robert Tree Cody

Nominated in seven categories, for this year's Native American Music Awards, Robert Tree Cody Red Cedar Whistle, Native American flutist, dancer, artist, educator and actor, has performed throughout the United States, Europe, Canada, Scandinavia, the United Kingdom, the Far East., Central and South America. A prize winning traditional dancer, 6 foot 10 inch Cody is well known on the pow wow circuit as a northern traditional dancer, master of ceremonies and arena director.


Bravehearts Revive Tribal Traditions

The Braveheart Women's Society is opening a center on the Yankton Sioux Reservation and hoping to help restore fading family traditions.

With the help of grant money and more than five years of effort, Braveheart members have the money they need to turn a former youth shelter into its center.

"We're quite gratified that the leadership of the Yankton Sioux Tribe recognized the work of the families of Braveheart and the impact that is being made," said Faith Spotted Eagle, one of the organization's co-founders.



Naturalists' Knowledge Enriches Love of Prairie Plants

The prairie plants, like we humans, can differ from each other. Some have healing spirits, while others might be obnoxious and greedy.

With the help of environmentalists such as Glinda and Richard Crawford, I've come to know some of the formal names of some prairie plants, their history and details about different species in this area. And I have been introduced to some unpleasant plants.


The Wild Rice Moon

Manoomin is a centerpiece of the nutrition and sustenance for our community, a gift given to the Anishinaabeg from the Creator. The word manoomin itself contains a reference to the Creator, who is referred to as Gitchi Manidoo. In the earliest of historic teachings of Anishinaabeg, there is a reference to wild rice as the food which grows upon the water; the food the ancestors were told to find so they would know when to end their migration to the West. This profound and historic relationship is remembered in the wild rice harvest on White Earth and other reservations. It is a food uniquely ours, a food used in our daily lives, our ceremonies, and in our thanksgiving feasts.



Havasupai Tribe Joins the 21st Century


It's a blessed way of life and a barrier for the future of the Havasupai Tribe.

This small, close-knit tribe of 500 mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles and cousins lives on a 500-acre reservation at the bottom of one of arms of the Grand Canyon. It's a place where the time line of their ancestors and the canyon run parallel.


Joining Culture and Studies

An experiment in good medicine begins in the five blue-gray portable classrooms behind the Tulalip Boys & Girls Club.

This is where some 60 students in grades six through 12 will take part in a new program with high expectations and many challenges. Teachers and administrators of the Heritage School, a new alternative middle- and high-school program in the Marysville School District, hope to give education new meaning and relevance to the lives of their mostly Native American students.



New Native School Opens with Emphasis on Art and Culture

In September, the Native Arts School will open its doors to its first class of students. The school is an outgrowth of Ogitchidag Gikinooamaagad, a summer program for youth which is now in its sixth year. Ogitchidag Gikinooamaagad, meaning Warrior Teachers, represents the philosophical concept that empowers the program. Both teachers and students learn the strength of cultural teachings and carry those teachings into their personal and social world.


Retired Couple Donates Land to Indian Tribe

A retired couple who found Indian arrowheads on their property have donated much of their land to the tribe that inhabited the region 300 years ago.

"It's terrible what we did to the Indians," said Peter Galantino, 78, who gave 11.5 acres, about 40 miles west of Philadelphia, to the Delaware Tribe of Western Oklahoma. "This is their land. We just gave back what was already theirs."



Blackfeet Begin to Build State’s First Wind Farm

The Blackfeet Tribe is teaming up with one of the nation’s leading wind power companies to build Montana’s first commercial wind farm.

SeaWest WindPower, an 18-year-old company based in San Diego, has developed wind projects that produce 544 megawatts of electricity in Wyoming, California, the United Kingdom and Spain.

“The Blackfeet have a tremendous wind and land resource,” SeaWest President Jan Paulin said. “This project will tap that resource to create highly skilled employment opportunities on the Blackfeet Reservation and a true, commercially viable export industry.”


Bouncing Baby Buffalo:
White Cloud's Baby Needs a Name

Rain Cloud? Dust Cloud? You decide

Name that baby buffalo.

White Cloud, the famous albino buffalo, gave birth to a healthy female calf back in July. Since then, officials at the National Buffalo Museum where mama and baby live have been pondering the perfect name for this special calf. Soon, they realized it was a much bigger job than a few people could handle.



Ship's Visit Brings Back Memories

IQALUIT, NUNAVUT - The St. Roch II made an emotional stop in Iqaluit on its re-enactment of the historic journey of the first ship to navigate the Northwest Passage.

The ship -- the 20-metre aluminum hulled 'Nadon' -- pulled in to the Bay last Friday evening, and received a warm, and sometimes poignant, welcome from the community.

In 1940 a 104-foot schooner called St. Roch left Vancouver on a secret military mission to demonstrate Canada's sovereignty over the north.


Aboriginal Students to Receive Financial Support for Information Technology Studies

EDMONTON, Sept. 12 /CNW/ - The dream of an advanced education became reality for eight Canadian Aboriginal students today as Xerox Canada Ltd. announced the winners of its 2000 Aboriginal Scholarship Program. Winners were honoured during a luncheon ceremony at the Provincial Museum of Edmonton.


Lessons from Geese

About This Issue's Greeting - "Oki Ni-kso-ko-wa"


Blackfoot is an Algonquian language spoken by about 5000 people of the Blood, Peigan, an Siksika tribes in southern Alberta and Northern Montana. Its closest sister within the Algonquian family is Cree. There is no native or standard Blackfoot orthography although D.G. Frantz has developed one in order to write the Blackfoot Dictionary.

The language is currently in a period of rapid change between what its speakers classify as "Old Blackfoot" and "New Blackfoot"; dialects spoken by older and younger generations respectively.

This Date In History


Recipe: Wild Rice Recipes


Story: The Eagle and the Goose


What is this: Canada Goose


Project: Craft Recipes


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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