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Canku Ota

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(Many Paths)

An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America


September 22, 2001 - Issue 45


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"He' Awenik "




"Hello People"










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"The longest journey you make in your lifetime is 18 inches, from your head to your heart, the centre of your being. That's where spirituality lies."
Fernie Marty


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By now, we're all aware of the events of September 11, 2001. Paul and I extend our profound sympathy to those who have lost loved ones and our prayers to those who were wounded.

While preparing this issue of "Canku Ota," many thoughts went through my mind. Should we publish? If so, how do we cover this tragedy? After all, we have made it a policy to not dwell on bad news.

As you see, we did decide to publish. If we allow what happened to stop us, then, those who have hurt us, have won. This issue is a bit smaller than usual, but we refuse to "give in" and stop or delay publication.

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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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Allan Houser

The 2002 Winter Olympics are five months away, but the Cultural Olympiad -- the arts festival surrounding the Games -- hits the ground this week with an outdoor exhibition of large bronze sculptures by the late Apache artist Allan Houser.

Sixteen of the sculptures are installed on the grounds of the City and County Building in downtown Salt Lake City and will remain on view there, day and night, through March 17, 2002. The Houser exhibition is the first of 10 Olympics-sanctioned public art shows to be mounted along the Wasatch Front between now and April.


Carrying the Flame
 by Dorreen Yellow Bird Grand Forks Herald

Angeline Alberts' house on the Spirit Lake reservation in Fort Totten, N.D., the humming of the sewing machine is like a lullaby to her grandchildren who live with her. The soft and steady clickety clickety never seems to stop.

Alberts, 62, is a master quilter.

That skill was handed down from her mother, Josephine Ross Dunn, who learned from her mother, Emma Left Bear. For their family, it is more than a learned skill -- it is their way of life and part of the culture.

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Kiowa Language Survives in Tribal Member's Text
by Marcia Shottenkirk News OK

For generations, grandmothers and grandfathers taught their children's children the Kiowa way. They sat together at night and spoke in the language, told the stories and sang the songs.

In this culture, nothing was written. The Kiowa relied on their "working dictionaries" -- family members who knew the language and customs by heart.

But, as they were swept into a sea of Western assimilation, the language began to fade.


Language Immersion Camp Successful At Second Mesa
by Debra Moon The Navajo-Hopi Observer

“No English Allowed” was the slogan posted in several spots around the language immersion camp at Second Mesa in July and August of this summer. The immersion technique helps to break barriers, especially for those who understand a lot of Hopi, but are hesitant to speak it. Since the whole point is to start speaking, eventually everyone does, especially as they see others doing the same thing. This is the advantage of an immersion camp. By the end of the three weeks, everyone is speaking a lot, and they will never go back to their original feeling of fear about making mistakes.

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Program Seeks to Build Bridges Between Seniors, American Indians
 by Dave Ranney Lawrence Journal World

Now in her 70s, Barbara Bertrand remembers being a first-year clerk in the Woolworth's store in downtown Lawrence.

"It was 1946 and I was 16 years old," she said. "And in those days, the girls from Haskell came in on one Saturday, the boys came the next Saturday. They were not allowed to be downtown together, and as I recall, they had to be back at Haskell fairly early in the afternoon."


Cherokee Nation Holds Cultural Camp

Dozens of people attended a three-day Cherokee cultural camp on tribal lands in Little Kansas, Okla. Camp attendees gathered to learn about Cherokee heritage, traits, and experience traditional foods all free of charge.

“I think this camp was a great success, even though it was kind of a ways out, the turn out was great and the overall camp was wonderful,” said Diana Mouse, a volunteer who helped run the Cherokee Youth and Elder camp.

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Dance for Life
 by Jeff St. John Anchorage Daily News

Dressed in pink and blue regalia dresses, Shirley and Sophie Bell danced to honor their cultures and the ties that bind all cultures together and to celebrate life in the face of tragedy.

As they danced Saturday at the ARC of Anchorage gym, a woman's voice rose above the sound of beating drums, joined by the assembled singers.

With their heads high, the Bell girls danced around the circle of drummers and singers and into a different world.


Oral Tradition Making a Strong Comeback
by Scott Richardson of the Pantagraph

Once upon a time, storytellers lived in every family, every tribe and every village.

When they spoke 'round the campfire or kitchen table, young and old alike came close to listen to the myths, the fables and heroic tales.

Sometimes, it was an old man, feet propped to warm at a potbellied stove at the general store.

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Local Plant Seeks to Save Sugar Cane for Basket Weaving
by Katina Gaudet
Houma Today

South Louisiana's tribal people predate the arrival of European settlers. Although many tribes have endured throughout the centuries. However, their members are having an increasingly difficult time keeping their traditions alive.

One such tradition is basket weaving, which is rooted in the origins of tribes such as the Chitimacha of Louisiana, the first federally recognized tribe in Louisiana. The Chitimacha date back to 800 B.C. and members still reside in the remnants of their ancestral homelands in St. Mary Parish.


Students Learn about Indian Ancestry: A Link to the Past
  by Melony Leazer Kentucky New Era

Students in Sherie Buchanan's class at Christian County Middle School knew they had some Native American heritage.

But as soon as the pupils began constructing various Indian projects, they began to better understand their ancestry and own links to the past.

"All the children have Native American lineage," said the teacher, herself of Native American descent. "They are having a ball learning the culture and finding out that the past is theirs."

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The Queen of the Pocagemah
  Our Thanks to Ondamitag

In the winter of 1846 I was trading at a place between the Snake River and Pocagemah Lake in Minnesota, and on the bank of the Snake River near its entry into Cross Lake, I built my trading house.

The name of the lake was derived from the name the Indians gave it, which was Pem-ma-che-go-ming, and means to cross or go through. In the Potawatomie language the word would be Kosh-ko-ming, a name they gave to a lake through which the Rock River runs in Jefferson County, Wisconsin.


Paddling in the Waters of Time
 by Eric Firpo Newspress Staff Writer

It's been about 150 years since the sight of Chumash Indians paddling a plank canoe to the Channel Islands was a common occurrence.

Now a group of Chumash from the tricounties will try to make that an annual sight -- and just possibly, a regular one.

In Saturday's predawn calm, Chumash paddlers cradled in a traditional tomol will leave Oxnard's Channel Islands Harbor, embarking on a 20-mile trek to Santa Cruz Island.

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Ten Aboriginal Youth Take Off on South Pacific Adventure

September 15, 2001 marks the beginning of a six-month South Pacific odyssey for 10 young Aboriginal Canadians. Through the internship program, these youth will immerse themselves in the work and daily life of indigenous communities in the Cook Islands, Vanuatu, Fiji and New Zealand. Their work placements will offer them a range of experiences in everything from indigenous tourism to coastal resource management, and from community popular theatre to traditional medicine.

Victoria-based Pacific Peoples’ Partnership has teamed up with the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade to offer this international program, now in its third year.


Programs Build Fond Memories
 by Rapid City Journal Staff

Having grown up on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, Maggie Ross knows how little there is for kids to do when school is out.

"I remember one time, briefly, when I was a child going to school at Loneman, they had a recreation program," Ross said. Years later, she still remembers the arts and crafts projects.

As head of the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program at Rockyford and Red Shirt, Ross tries to provide today's children with similar memories.

"What we're hoping is we'll build their self-esteem and really give them a good center," she said. "We hope that we build these programs so that they stay in school."

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American Indian Tribes to Invoke Blessings at 2002 Games
by Lori Buttars Salt Lake Tribune

American Indians are hoping to highlight the differences between the nearly 400 tribes residing in North America for visitors at the 2002 Winter Games.

"The idea is to invoke blessings on the Games and give people an up-close-and-personal look at the religious traditions of our native people," says Cord Edrington, development director of the Native American 2002 Foundation, which is helping coordinate the involvement of American Indians in the Olympic proceedings next February.

A series of morning-prayer rituals, featuring a different tribe each day, will set the stage for the Olympic festivities. The prayer ceremonies will take place on the steps of the State Capitol Building in Salt Lake City each morning at sunrise for seven days leading up to February 8.


Novato Fete Spotlights American Indian Heritage
Trade Feast a 'Big Time' Event

  by Chris Cone San Francisco Chronicle

The dance begins with the beat of the drums.

The singers' voices, rising and falling like the autumn wind, call the dancers forward step by prayerful step. One following the other, young following the old, the dancers create a sacred circle that binds them across generations and time.

Known among California American Indians as the "big time," the traditional fall gathering is a place where extended families come together to dance, sing songs, share news, trade supplies, seek mates, and partake of the annual acorn harvest. It is a time to honor the past and look toward the future.

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Devils Lake Educators Awarded Humanities Grants
 by Grand Forks Herald

"Lake Region State College and Devils Lake Public Schools have received $35,000 in grants for a project about Native American life and a project about Native American, Germans from Russia and Norwegian cultures.

Project directors for the grants from the National Endowment to the Humanities are Devils Lake educators Sam Johnson and Teresa Tande.

The first project, "Native Voices: A Study of Native American Life and Literature," received $25,000 to create a study group of 15 middle school, high school and college teachers of humanities, language arts and social studies.


Tribes Back Education Bill
by Benjamin Spillman The Desert Sun

California Indian tribes once again are rallying behind a measure that would change what school children learn about the history of tribal people in the state.

The tribes are supporting an education bill they say would give students a more accurate picture of how the gold rush impacted tribal people, how enslaved Indians contributed to the building of missions and the role of tribal governments in modern society.

Gov. Gray Davis vetoed a similar bill last year saying it circumvented the normal procedure for introducing new curriculum.

Proponents hope changes introduced to the current bill will satisfy Davis, but so far the governor has given no indication where he stands on the issue.

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Life Circles and Lenape Words


The Naming of the United States

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In Every Issue Banner

About This Issue's Greeting - "He' Awenik"


The LENAPE (len-ah'-pay) which means "The People" belong to the Algonquian linguistic group. They were among the first Indians to come in contact with Europeans (Dutch, English, & Swedish) as early as 1600. They were considered a "Grandfather" tribe whose power, position, and spiritual presence served to settle disputes among rival tribes.


This Date In History


Recipe: Cooking Catfish

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Story: How Catfish Got a Flat Head


What is this: Flathead Catfish

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Project: Preparing Feathers - Part Two


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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