Canku Ota

(Many Paths)

An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America

December 30, 2000 - Issue 26


Da go Te' (Dag-TaY)

means “Hello!”







"Silence, they say, is the voice of complicity.
But silence is impossible.
Silence screams.
Silence is a message,
just as doing nothing is an act.

Let who you are ring out and resonate
in every word and every deed.
Yes, become who you are.
There's no sidestepping your own being
or your own responsibility.

What you do IS who you are.
You are your own comeuppance.
You become your own message.

You are the message."

Leonard Peltier
Prison Writings...My Life Is My Sun Dance

We Salute
Tillie Black Bear

The president recently awarded Black Bear one of five Eleanor Roosevelt Human Rights Awards in celebration of Human Rights Day. The award was established in 1998 to honor Roosevelt's commitment to the principles of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which she helped bring about.


We Salute
Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve

"In the years since, her love of words and a deep pride in her Native American heritage have propelled her to write more than 20 books of her own, including several about her Lakota Sioux people. A gifted teacher and story teller, she has devoted the past three decades to educating children and others about Native American culture, to breaking down stereotypes and replacing them with knowledge and understanding." President William J. Clinton

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:


Casper Loma-da-wa

As he walked down a dirt road in the Jamaican countryside, he thought he might as well have been back on the Hopi Reservation in northeastern Arizona where he grew up. Replace the Caribbean island's tropical rain forest with the desert mesas that house the reservation and the scene becomes all too familiar.


by Lazorleter

It's Christmas Day. The first of the new century. I woke up this morning and immediately dropped into the "poor pitiful me" mode. I was alone, and far away from my family. I was greeted with phone calls from loved ones, wishing me a wonderful day. I mumbled "you too" and shuffled off to the coffee pot, turning on the radio on my way by. Christmas carols cheerfully spieled out. I thought to myself, "great just what I needed, endless cheer."



School Offers Homeroom for Tribal Kids

BONNERS FERRY, Idaho-- School complicated Crystal Weaselhead's life.

Her mind swirled with bigger problems than passing eighth grade.

The teenager's mother was in an Arizona prison. Her father lived in Montana.

Besides, she says, other schoolchildren were never too nice to Weaselhead or other Native Americans from the Kootenai Reservation.


Young Stars
Red Mesa High students’ talent earns trip to Vienna, Austria

RED MESA, Ariz. - Seventeen-year-old Charlene Saunders of Sweet Water, Ariz., found a book entitled "European History" in the hallway of Red Mesa High School Tuesday (Dec. 5). She joked she was going to read it.

Whether she does read it, one thing is certain: She'll be in Vienna, Austria in May practicing the few words in German she knows on a continent she knows little about.



Dances with Buffaloes

On Christmas Eve at Nambe, a small (population 650) American Indian village and sovereign Indian nation, 20 miles north of Santa Fe, the buffalo come out to dance by the light of a great bonfire. They come after evening Mass at the ancient St. Francis of Assisi church, and dance for just a little while before returning to the kiva, the underground ceremonial chamber, center of the pueblo's traditional religious life.


A Christmas Message from the Commissioner of Nunavut

IQALUIT — When I was growing up in my beloved homeland in the Naujaat-Repulse Bay area in the 1950s and 1960s, the Christmas season was an important time for my family of five. My mother was very religious and strongly believed that no matter what, we had to be in Naujaat for the festive season.



The Old Men of the Sea

Eskimo harpoon tips, acids in eyes show whales might have roamed arctic seas during the Civil War

Next time you hop a whale-watching tour or gaze out across the ocean from the coast's edge, consider this: Some of the whales out there now may have been swimming around during the Civil War. Or even when Thomas Jefferson was president.


Tribal Carver Helps Cedar Canoes Take Shape

LA CONNER -- Canadian master carver Keith Point has come to the Swinomish Indian Reservation to show two tribal members the finer points of carving canoes.

Point, who is half Swinomish, is helping two tribal members carve racing canoes while he works on a river canoe commissioned by the tribe.



A New Institute at Portland State University Will Train Tribal Leaders

When Elizabeth Furse was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1992, she attended a weeklong training course for Congressional freshman at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, learning the ins and outs of Washington, D.C.

Now Furse, who retired from Congress two years ago, hopes to provide the same kind of crash-course in governance to newly elected tribal leaders.


Begay, Witherill Inspire Youth at UNITY Benefit

PHOENIX—Dreams can come true, Navajo professional golfer Notah Begay III told a thrilled audience at the 5th Annual Bill Denney Memorial Dinner and Golf Classic. This year’s event, “Honoring Tribal Leaders of the New Millennium,” brought together 320 people on December 7 from tribal government, youth groups, private business and the sports world to raise funds for United National Indian Tribal Youth (UNITY), and to honor the event's late cofounder, Bill Denney.

Begay encouraged the audience to keep family and friendships in the fore.



Group Returns Land to Chippewa Band

GRAND PORTAGE, MINNESOTA When a 300-acre parcel that included the highest waterfall in Minnesota was put up for sale more than a decade ago, it could have been scooped up and developed as a resort or closed off entirely.


Santa Arrives in Diomede

In the middle of the Bering Strait, flanked between east and west, new world and old, lies Little Diomede, which turned out to be one of Santa's first visits. In place of eight reindeer, an Alaska National Guard Blackhawk helicopter carried Santa and his helpers to what is certainly one of the most unique locations on earth.



Rocky Pins Down His Olympic Message

Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson has an important message and a space only the size of a quarter on which to present it.

Tradition holds that mayors of Olympic host cities have a few personalized lapel pins on hand to pass along as mementos to dignitaries and other guests during the Games.

Anderson's Olympic calling card?

"Strength Through Diversity"


A Request From Belgium

I'm a Belgian teacher Social Activities (also French/History). With my students I developed a basic idea for a better world, idea which we resumed in one sentence. We would like to see the sentence translated in as many languages as possible - also minority languages - (already 197 at this moment!!! and 361 "versions"). Maybe you could send us a translation in Native American language f.e. Ojibwa, ...... (we received translations from several organisations, schools, Universities,...)



About This Issue's Greeting - "Da go Te"


The Apaches, a tribe of Athapascan stock, have thier home in New Mexico and Arizona. They're related to Navajos and speak a similar tongue. The name "Apache" is a Yuma Indian word meaning "fighting men", and was probably given to the Apaches by neighboring tribes of Yuman stock.

This Date In History


Recipe: Duck Soup?


Story: The Frog and The Crane


What is this: Whooping Cranes


Project: New Year Fun


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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Canku Ota is a copyright © 2000 of Vicki Lockard and Paul Barry.


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