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Canku Ota

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(Many Paths)

An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America


August 11, 2001 - Issue 42


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Miiyu, greeting, singular.
Miiyuyam, greeting, plural


Ajachmem /Luiseno










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"Do not look outside yourself for the leadership you have been waiting for."
Hopi Saying


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We Salute
Navajo Code Talkers Honored With Congressional Gold Medal /Movie to Depict War Era
by Suzanne Westerly Photographer/Journalist

It was an emotional afternoon as President George W. Bush presented the Congressional Gold Medal to four of the five living Navajo (Diné) code-creators on Thursday, July 26, 2001. This is the highest civilian medal that can be given. During World War II there were 29 Navajo code talkers who developed the unbreakable military code, thus helping the United States win the war.

Following the award ceremony, MGM Studios hosted a reception at the Library of Congress in celebration of the code talkers and to publicly announce their soon-to-be-released epic motion picture Windtalkers, the first film to tell the story of the Navajo Marine code talkers' secret program of WWII.

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School News Banner

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:

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News Flash

We've added maps to our articles, so that you can see where the many paths of our People are. Additionally, we've provided these two maps of North America and a coloring book picture for you to print. We hope that this new feature is helpful.

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L. Frank Manriquez

L. Frank Manriquez is a Tongva/Ajachmem artist and cultural activist. Dedicated to the revival and preservation of Native California languages and cultures, she works with such organizations as the California Indian Basket Weavers Association, the Advocates for Indigenous California Language Survival, The Children of Tamaayawut, and the Native California Network. She has directed and participated in numerous conferences and workshops in traditional arts and language studies, and devotes time to working with and teaching children.


The Code Talkers Bring Home Importance of Language
by Doreen Yellow Bird Grand Forks Herald

Language is the vehicle we use to touch the mind and heart of others.

There is a concern in "Indian Country" that some of the Native American languages will be lost soon. Many others are in danger of being lost. Those languages contain a lot of our identity -- who we are and how we think.

In some tribal nations, you cannot participate in a ceremony unless you know the language - it is that important.

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Powwow Proud
by Rod Pocowatchit The Wichita Eagle

Wichita, KS - Sidney Toppah Jr. is waiting to have his picture taken on a hot July evening. The 7-year-old is dressed in his traditional regalia, known as the "fancy dance" style. The wind is blowing his feather bustles into a frenzy of color, a brilliant green-and-white blur. Not far away, a little boy on a skateboard stops to take a look, and gasps at Sidney's presence. But while some boys might duck their heads or retreat in embarrassment, Sidney simply stands there. He has no reason to be ashamed.


Heritage Dances to Different Drummer
 by Karen Klinka The Oklahoman

Oklahoma City, OK - Walking into Eugene Field Elementary School, a visitor could feel the throb of Indian drums almost before hearing them.

Inside the large two-story commons area, about 200 American Indian students, teachers and parents recently gathered for a powwow that included dancing, music and feasting on homemade Indian tacos.

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Students Embody Nature in Hoop Dance
by Denise D. Tucker of the Argus Leader

Sioux Falls, SD - Thirty middle school students learned about the four seasons and different cultures by performing a Lakota hoop dance Thursday at the Multi-Cultural Center.

After only one week of training, the group, led by World Hoop Dance champion Dallas Chief Eagle, displayed their newly acquired skills for an audience of about 40 people.


Iqaluit’s Musical Ambassadors
   by Miriam Hill Nunatsiaq News

IQALUIT — Thirteen-year-old Noodloo Pishuktie says she was surprised nerves didn’t get the best of her during the Aqsarniit Quviasuttittijiit performance in Ottawa over the Canada Day weekend.

"Just singing O Canada on Canada Day… it was really nice and it went fine," she says, reflecting on her adventure in the South.

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Canoe Trip Commemorates Chippewa Tribes Sandy Lake Tragedy
Story and Photo by Jennifer Simonson Ashland Daily Press

Jim Schlender and Neil Kmiecik are praying for good weather this week. They'll need it in order to complete an ambitious journey by canoe from Madeline Island in the Apostle Islands to Duluth, and up the St. Louis River to Fond du lac.


The Great Peace

August 4, 2001 — Three hundred years ago, the city of Montréal was a small French village on the banks of the St. Lawrence River called Ville Marie. Its 1,200 citizens -- ranging from noblemen and military officers to merchants and craftsmen -- witnessed the signing of one of the most remarkable peace treaties in the New World. It was both a trade and a security agreement between French settlers and the indigenous people -- a mutual understanding that would last well into the next century.

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A Child's Dream Becomes a Rare Exchange Between Two Cultures
  article and photo by Kay Humphrey Indian Country Today

A welcome dinner gave some 20 exchange students from Aschau, Germany, an opportunity to get reacquainted with their Santee hosts late last month.

Their trip is part of a two-year cultural exchange between the Pathfinders, a scouting organization, and students at the Santee Tribal School. They arrived here July 28.


In a Technological Age, Some Things Remain as They Always Were
by John Stromnes of The Missoulian

ELMO, MT - Indian families from Canada, California, Washington and Montana, plus a contingent of Hispanics from all over - children of migrant workers whose parents are in the Flathead area for this summer's cherry harvest - gathered at Standing Arrow Pow Wow Grounds on Thursday to begin the 2001 International Traditional Games.

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Indians Value Their Language

American Indians have learned that when language is lost, the culture is lost.

“You cannot separate language, culture and history,” said Howard Allen, director of the Kickapoo Nation’s School in Horton, Kan.

So for the past 15 years, children from kindergarten to 6th grade have been learning Kickapoo as a second language. The school also offers evening classes during the spring and fall for adults. Tribal schools that teach children under 7 and their families American Indian languages could be eligible for funding from programs outlined in an amendment to the Native American Languages Act of 1990.


Mohegans Rebuilding Language
 by William Weir The Hartford Courant

UNCASVILLE, CT - Fidelia Fielding, the last fluent speaker of the Mohegan language, died in 1908. Since then, echoes of the language have faded into obscurity.

But a combination of detective work and what could be called linguistic forensics have helped the tribe and a team of scholars reconstruct the language, word by word.

It's a daunting task, but one that tribal elders say is worth the effort because resurrecting the Mohegan dialect is critical to restoring the tribe's sense of identity.

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Pilchuck Totem a Big Step Forward for Haines Studio
  by Paula Dobbyn Anchorage Daily News

Last year, and for many years, it was an ancient tree growing in the rain forest of Prince of Wales Island in soggy Southeast. Next month, it'll be an avant-garde neon and glass object on display at an international art school outside Seattle.

Alaska Indian Arts, a nonprofit studio in Haines, is breaking ground through a collaboration with the Pilchuck Glass School in Stanwood, Wash., on a 20-foot red cedar totem pole. It's meant to commemorate the school's 30th anniversary and honor its founders..


Devotion to Dirt
story and photo by Brian Kelly Everett Herald Writer

Arlington, WA - Calloused hands, skin rubbed raw by a shovel handle. Sun and sweat, dirt and devotion. Taken together, it's an earthy education.

Last November, the Stillaguamish Tribe celebrated the launch of its BankSavers project, a native plant nursery and habitat restoration business located on the tribe's 56-acre farm near the Stillaguamish River.

Now, just more than nine months later, organizers have discovered that more than just red cedar saplings and sprouts of salal have grown stronger in the once fallow fields.

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Honoring a Tribal Elder
 by Kari McGinnis Skagit Valley Herald

LA CONNER, WA — Vi Hilbert seems much like any grandmother on her birthday.

She kisses her grandchildren and great grandchildren and marvels at the beauty of her new great-great grandchild.

Her face lights up each time someone new arrives at her party. She greets them with a handshake and a hug or kiss, and insists that they eat something.

But Hilbert’s birthday party is not like the celebrations many people host.


Through the Eyes of an Elder
by Emily Jones, Journal Writer

FORT HALL, ID — Sitting and breathing in the fresh air at the Fort Hall festival grounds, Layton Little John has the serious, knowing look of a man who has seen and has been involved in many things.

Little John’s life now spans 75 years. He might move a little slower than he did as a young man, but it’s with an air of experience and wisdom. And he speaks slowly, coming from a tradition in which the spoken word is important, sacred. He speaks carefully..

He has lived his entire life caught between two worlds:

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Rocky Boy's Embraces its Kids
  by Jennifer Perez
Great Falls Tribune Staff Writer

ROCKY BOY'S RESERVATION, MT -- Thursday was a special day, designed to help strengthen the cultural ties for children on the Rocky Boy's Reservation.

More than 200 kids were at the Rocky Boy powwow grounds for the first annual National Tribal Kids Day, a health symposium and the fourth annual youth powwow.


Kids Use Inuit Values to Try to Quit Smoking
  by CBC North News

CAMBRIDGE BAY, NUNAVUT - Kids aged thirteen to sixteen in Cambridge Bay are going to try a new way to kick a bad habit. A group of ten teenagers are going out on the land for a seven-day camping trip without cigarettes.

Fifteen year old Clarissa Koblogina has been smoking for four years. She says she's anxious to quit.

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Riding Club, Nez Perce Seeking Peace on Trail
  by Vin Cappiello Cody Enterprise

Bonnie Ewing hopes the trail she leaves behind is filled with anything but tears.

The Nez Perce woman from Lapwai, Idaho, is one of 175 riders and 12 tribal members who this week mounted their appaloosas to retrace 100 miles of the Chief Joseph Trail.

This is Ewing's 10th year taking part in the commemorative event sponsored annually since 1965 by the National Appaloosa Horse Club. She speaks with noticeable emotion about not only this year's ride but the devastating flight of her people in 1877.

"I visualize how it must have been for them and what they went through," says a glassy-eyed Ewing,


Birch Canoe Brings Back Memories and Traditions
by Angie Riebe The Mesabi Daily News

While June Porter diligently stitches together the honey-colored birch bark forming the outside of the canoe, Hank Goodsky asks the young firetender how the ribs are doing.

The ribs had been cooking in a large metal container for several hours over an open, crackling, smoky campfire.

"They smell good," says Jim Chi-nodin Lightfeather.

"Do you want to try our ribs?" asks Hank Goodsky.

Then he smiles.

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New Links - Ancient Heritage
by Kevin A. Schneider Albuquerque Tribune

WASHINGTON - Duane Blue Spruce is tracing his Laguna Pueblo roots in, of all places, Washington D.C.

After his parents divorced just after Blue Spruce was born, he had only family photos, American Indian pots and baskets, and some early childhood visits to learn about his dad, George Blue Spruce Jr. - a Laguna and San Juan Pueblo man who now lives in Arizona.

But Duane Blue Spruce has reconnected - both with father and his heritage, one he's hoping to bring to all Americans.


Indians Race to Save Languages
by Phil Magers

Many American Indian tribes are in a race against time to save their languages because young people are not learning their tradition and the elders who would be their teachers are quickly passing from the scene.

Language scholars estimate about half of the 300 or so native languages spoken before Columbus landed in the Americas are now extinct.

Most tribes have language preservation programs but in the past 10 years they have stepped up efforts to save the spoken words of their people because they know if they don't, that distinctive part of their culture could be lost, according to Indian leaders and experts.

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White Bison, Inc. and CSAT Network Together for September Recovery Events

National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month, as well as National Native American Wellbriety Month will take place this September.


CBS News Internship Program Welcomes Native Students

CBS News invites the Native American community to explore our internship program for college students. We place students at most of our news shows and departments.

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In Every Issue Banner

About This Issue's Greeting - "Miiyu"


The 1990 population of Luiseños on their reservations stood at 1,795. Many people still speak Luiseño.
Dialect: JUANEÑO.


This Date In History


Recipe: Corny Cooking!!!

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Story: How Fox Saved the People


What is this: Arctic Fox

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Project: Hairpipes - Part 4


This Issue's Web sites

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"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 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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