Canku Ota


(Many Paths)


An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America


March 24, 2001 - Issue 32




The Umatilla Greeting.



month of the crane


"The one who tells the stories rules the world."
--Hopi proverb

We Salute
Joan Timeche

TUCSON - The University of Arizona's Joan Timeche is as much an educator as the tenured professors strolling around campus between classes. But her students and curriculum are taught on Indian reservations.

The first Native American to be named Small Business Advocate of the Year by the state Small Business Administration, Timeche teaches management and business development skills to tribal leaders on Arizona's 21 Indian nations.


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:


Susan Aglukark

Born in Churchill, Manitoba, Susan moved around the Northwest Territories for the first twelve years of her life with her father, (a Pentecostal minister), mother and seven brothers and sisters. They eventually settled in Arviat, NWT., a community of 1,300 people on the northwest shore of Hudson Bay. Susan later accepted the position of Executive Assistant to the political lobby group, Inuit Tapirisat (Brotherhood) Of Canada. Shortly after taking this position, her musical career began to take off.


'Listen to the Wind' the Old Turtle Croons
by Dorreen Yellowbird

If a turtle could dance, he surely would have kicked up his heels this weekend.

The old man -- the wise spirit of the turtle -- was in Grand Forks for the "Old Turtle celebration." It was a weekend of stories and songs at the local schools and Dakota Science Center, and the old turtle even sat in with the Greater Grand Forks Symphony Orchestra. He was the cello.



Designing Weavers

Navajo blankets are not pre-designed, says Wesley Thomas, Idaho State University professor of Native American studies and a Navajo weaver.

"They're not sure what colors or designs they'll use until they start envisioning the design; they develop their own aesthetics," Thomas says. "They see how it turns out at the middle point and then weave the rest in reverse."


Astonomy Played a Major Role in Region's Native Cultures

Before the arrival of Spanish missionaries in the 1700s, American Indians in San Diego and Southwest Riverside counties used the sun, moon and stars extensively in creating stories, ceremonies and calendars. As the Indians' numbers dwindled, the two main tribal groups, the Luiseno to the north and the Kumeyaay to the south, lost much of their sky lore.



Documentary Honors Blackfeet Nation Firefighters

Fighting wildfire has become a family tradition among some members of the Blackfeet Indian Nation in Montana - a tradition through which they can identify themselves as a warrior society in a modern world.

The Chief Mountain Hot Shots from the Blackfeet Reservation represent an elite corps of American Indian firefighters who have achieved the respect of their peers throughout the world.


Whalers Rely on Skill of Sage

Barrow -- When whalers take to the ice in May, they hunt the huge marine mammals from age-old boats made from rawhide seal hides, sewn together and stretched over a fragile wooden frame.

With nothing but a piece of leather between them and the lethal waters of the Arctic Ocean, the men hunting the whales are very particular about the seams in the skins.

That is why Priscilla Sage works on most of the boats made in Barrow.



A Blessing for the Kids

EVERETT -- Climb into the authentic American Indian canoe and imagine paddling through the waters of Puget Sound.

Hear children from the Tulalip Tribes singing songs in the Lushootseed language. Smell the subtle waft of cedar used for basket making. Touch and play the hand-held drum. You can see and do all that and more at the new American Indian exhibit at the Children's Museum of Snohomish County at 3013 Colby Ave. in Everett.


How Can Raccoon Twins, a Fox, a Bear and a Puffin Teach Parents About Fetal Alcohol Syndrome?

QUESTION: Is it possible for a pair of raccoons, a fox, a bear and a puffin to make life more manageable for children and adults suffering from Fetal Alcohol Syndrome?

ANSWER: Yes, it definitely is possible when these wild creatures are brought to life through the stories and word pictures of a Native American storyteller in an award-winning new video series developed especially to help families who care for children and adults with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and Fetal Alcohol Related Conditions.



Comanche's to Reintroduce Horses

In an attempt to divert Comanche youth from drug dependency and other ills that plague many poor youth in America the Housing Authority of the Comanche Nation is going to reintroduce the horse. The horse symbolizes Comanche history and cultural values. Too often the young do not feel a connection their past (the result of years of assimilation policies) and they become easy prey for the predators of society who introduce drugs, crime and other socially damaging and self destructive behavior.

In order to combat these social problems the Comanche Housing Authority will hold an encampment for young people, director Donald Parker has announced.


Red Cloud Rising

Chief Red Cloud of the Oglala Lakotas is the latest bronze sculpture completed by Lawrence sculptor Jim Brothers. On Thursday, the sculpture will be unveiled in a ceremony at the Nebraska state capitol in Lincoln, where the piece will be permanently displayed. A second bronze of the chief will go to the Oglala Lakota tribe.

Brothers said he tried to capture the essence of a proud American Indian warrior in his latest sculpture. The bronze bust will be placed in the Nebraska capitol building during the induction ceremony.



1918 Uprising Only Sought To Keep Peace

Few know it, but America's Indian wars came to die in Utah. Consider the Goshute Uprising of 1918.

Despised by the first Europeans who met them, the Newe of Utah's west desert were -- and are -- a proud people who brilliantly adapted to one of the hardest places to live on planet Earth. The first white settlers ruthlessly shot and poisoned the tribe, but members fought to stay on the land they loved.


Aglukark Talks to Kids in Kivalliq

Sometimes good news comes right out of the blue.

And so it was for Qitiqliq High principal Fred Durant in Arviat this past month when Canadian recording artist Susan Aglukark called to ask if it would be OK if she came and performed for students at the school.

Aglukark also visited schools in Rankin Inlet, Baker Lake and Whale Cove, as well as brief stops at the Repulse Bay and Coral Harbour airports.



The Tribe

Singer-drummers get to the heart of their culture

The members of The Tribe gather around a drum in a small apartment off 23rd Street. The beat is strong, the rhythm consistent, and singing harmonious.

The song, written in the Ojibway language by member Wayne Silas Jr., speaks about seeing his late grandfather dancing in the sky. The pine-and-cow-hide drum, made by Haskell Indian Nations University employee Henry Collins, carries an unfinished image of a horse, a symbol of powerfulness.


Keeping Culture Strong

TSAILE, Ariz. (March 8) - It is an event to perpetuate the use of the Navajo language at a time when - according to the Office of Diné Culture/Language - only about half of all Navajo children start school with at least some ability to speak Navajo.

Over 700 students from 24 schools across the reservation converged on Diné College in Tsaile this week to take part in the Fifth Annual Diné Language Arts Fair.



Tribes' Focus Targets Youth

Improving the academic performance of Native American students while reducing their school dropout and truancy rates are the goals of a new plan implemented by the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation.

Educating its youth is considered the most important issue facing the tribes today.


Earth Day Groceries Project

You and your schools are invited to participate in the eighth annual Earth Day Groceries Project! This activity is coordinated entirely on the Internet. There is no cost, the rewards are many, and registration is not necessary. This project is a sure-fire way to increase environmental awareness at your school, empower your students as teachers, and build strong community ties. It all happens on Earth Day, April 22nd.



Red Ink

RED INK is designed to promote both scholarly and grassroots publishing by and for Native and non-Native members of--as well as advocates for--indigenous communities. Our goal is to provide a journal that is accessible to non-academics, while also providing a forum for serious scholars. By showcasing a variety of topics as well as literary, scholarly and artistic genres, we hope to appeal to a broad spectrum of people with diverse interests.


About This Issue's Greeting - "Nich-che-coogh!"


The three tribes (Cayuse, Umatilla and Walla Walla) are part of a much larger culture group called the Plateau Culture. The Plateau Culture includes the Nez Perce bands of Idaho and Washington, the Yakama bands of Central Washington and the Wasco and Warm Springs bands of North Central Oregon on the lower Columbia River. There were many other smaller bands and groups such as the Palouse and Wanapum.

This large body of people belonged to the Sahaptin Language group and each tribe spoke a distinct and separate dialect of Sahaptin. The Umatilla and Walla Walla each spoke their own separate dialect, while the Cayuse in later years spoke a dialect of the Nez Perce with whom they associated a great deal. The original Cayuse language, which is extinct today but for a few words spoken by a few individuals on the Umatilla Reservation, is closely related to the Mollala Indian language of the Oregon Cascade Mountains.

This Date In History


Recipe: Tea


Story: Why Coyote Quit Imitating Others


What is this: Pileated Woodpecker


Project: Beading Series-3


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 © 2000, 2001 of Vicki Lockard and Paul Barry.


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