Canku Ota

(Many Paths)

An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America

November 4, 2000 - Issue 22


"Neenjit dagoonch'uu "


How Are You?



Fledgling Raptor Moon


"A nation is not conquered
Until the hearts of its women are on the ground.
Then it is finished,
No matter how brave its warriors
Or how strong their weapons."

Cheyenne proverb

We Salute
Peter Campbell

There are dozens of Native Americans throughout the Northwest who credit their college degrees to Peter Campbell.

There are thousands of music and literature lovers who discovered contemporary Native American artists thanks to Campbell.

And he was about to have a similar impact on the art world.


National American Indian
Alaska Native Heritage Month
November 2000
“Celebrating Our Strengths”


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:


Don't Forget the NAMMY's

The Native American Music Awards helps America remember its heritage, honor its unique culture, and celebrate its achievements.

The highly acclaimed Native American Music Awards has previously delivered two consecutive sold out events during National Native American Heritage Month, ranging from 1,500-2,000 in attendance.


Echo Dene Students Receive National Award

A project by Echo Dene school students beat out more than 100,000 across Canada.

A Web site created by students was named the National Grassroots Committee's project of the month for September.

It was initially named project of the week for Sept. 4. It then went on to capture the monthly award and is now enshrined in the GrassRoots' Hall of Fame.



AFN Brings Old-Home Week to Natives Living in the City

Until I moved here, I had always been intimidated by Anchorage. I came from Kotzebue, 550 miles northwest, on the Arctic coast. We only had a few miles of gravel roads, virtually no traffic and little that relates to our largest city.

After living here for seven years, I don't notice things that stood out when I arrived. The smell of exhaust and the roar of traffic, the neon lights, the huge buildings and stores, fast food are all second nature to me now. I even drive like an Anchoragite, if you know what I mean.


Mission to Mars May Begin on This Idaho Reservation

The door of teacher Ed Galindo's classroom at Shoshone-Bannock High School reads: Yih'Yih'Tzin Agudu Duvoponeed.

In the local Uto-Aztecan dialect, it's a rough translation of the word "biology." And every Friday, teenage members of the "NASA Club" gather here to prepare experiments for Space Shuttle missions, which, sometime in the future, could lead to putting a human on Mars.



Antiquity of Ancient Canoes Confirmed

Archeologists have confirmed the antiquity of more than 85 Indian canoes discovered sticking out of a lake bed near Gainesville, Florida, earlier this year.

The discovery of the prehistoric canoes in Newnan's Lake was the largest of its kind in the United States.

The Florida Bureau of Archaeological Research confirmed the canoes range from 500 to 5,000 years old, with most built between 3,000 and 5,000 years ago.


Newfound Cave an Ancient Indian Art Treasure Trove

Archaeologists have discovered a deep cave in southwestern Wisconsin that contains more than 100 primitive charcoal drawings, more than doubling the number of such ancient artworks known in the state..

Representatives of the Mississippi Valley Archaeology Center said Wednesday they could only speculate on what the drawings and carvings found in the cave meant to the people who lived in the region more than 1,000 years ago.



S.D. Men Start Hollywood Film Company

Two men with South Dakota roots have founded a Los Angeles based multi-media production company run by American Indians.

Floyd Red Crow Westerman, chief executive officer for Red Crow Creations, was born on Sisseton-Wahpeton tribal land. He moved from the area more than 30 years ago and began a successful entertainment career.

Now Westerman is using that experience to help others. He named 25-year-old Sydney Beane of Flandreau president of his new company. Beane is a member of the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe.


Trailblazer Keeps Flame Alive for American Indians

David Risling, walker in two worlds, casts his line into the shimmering waters of the Klamath River. Almost instantly, his pole bends like a willow branch and a powerful flash of silver breaks the surface.

Soon, he has landed a brawny steelhead, one of thousands of trout and salmon he has caught in his nearly 80 years, and one of perhaps millions that have fed his Hoopa, Yurok and Karuk Indian people since forever, which is how long the Indians say they have lived here along the Trinity and Klamath Rivers.



Inuit Language to Incorporate Modern Words

Inuit translators in northern Quebec are preserving an ancient language by enhancing it with modern terms.

Science, CD player and robot are among the words that will soon have official Inuktitut translations following an annual meeting of Inuit elders, translators and interpreters in Nunavik, Quebec's arctic region.

Many medical terms, legal concepts and technological words are missing from the language. English words have slipped into Inuktitut speech as a result and Inuktitut words have been stretched past their original meanings.


Native Americans March Against English-only Initiative

"Mr. Unz, go home—and take Proposition 203 with you!" exclaimed Salt River Pima-Maricopa President Ivan Makil, speaking at an October 13 rally opposing Proposition 203, the "English-Only" initiative slated for the November 7 ballot.

This initiative would end bilingual education programs in Arizona public schools. Many tribes fear that their efforts to preserve Arizona’s 17 native languages would be imperiled by the initiative’s passage.

"This is an issue of all cultures," added Makil.



A Resource More Valuable Than Oil

What's remarkable is not just the antiquity and ingenuity of this tool, but its material: The scraper was chipped from the femur of a caribou.

Sometime in the centuries separating the creation of this tool and its 20th-century discovery, the descendants of its maker diversified across northeast Alaska and the Yukon, becoming the people we now know as Gwich'in. Today more than 7,000 Gwich'in make this wilderness their home, and although Gwich'in life has changed, the basic source remains the same. The caribou, as seen in a 15,000-year-old piece of bone, and as seen today, are the basis for survival in the uncertain north.


Traditions Live Through the Arts

When Anna Brown Ehlers apprenticed to one of the last traditional Chilkat weavers, her teacher was 92 years old. Now, 17 years later, Ehlers is being recognized nationally for continuing the art.

Ehlers is one of five Native Americans to receive this year's Community Spirit Award from the First People's Fund. The artists will be honored Nov. 2 at the Denver Art Museum.

Ehlers knew at a young age that she wanted to become a weaver after watching her uncle march in Juneau's Fourth of July parade wearing a Chilkat blanket.



Shoshones Asked to be Host Tribe at Olympics

The Shoshone-Bannock Tribes have been asked by the arts and cultural division of the Salt Lake Olympics Organizing Committee to be the host tribe at the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City. They will represent over 500 Indian tribes across the nation in the role.


Witherill Keeps His Blood Ties

The Cory Witherill story has yet to reach its zenith, but for those who watch California Speedway's back-to-back Indy Lights fourth-place finisher return to race , know that his day is coming. Witherill, 28, is positioning to become the first full-blooded Native American to qualify for the Indianapolis 500.



Being Indian Is ...


Did You Know?


About This Issue's Greeting - "Neenjit dagoonch'uu"


The Gwich'in Athapaskan language has also been known as Loucheux, Kutchin and Tukudh. It is used in Northern Yukon, Northeast Alaska and Northeast N.W.T. The people of the Gwich'in community of Old Crow call themselves the Van Tat-Gwich'in, or people
who live among the lakes (ie., Crow Flats)" (The language is referred to as Kutchin, or Tukudh.)

This Date In History


Recipe: Cajun Cooking


Story: Why Possum Has a Bare Tail


What is this: OPossum




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.



Canku Ota is a free 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.

Canku Ota is a copyright of Vicki Lockard and Paul Barry.


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