Canku Ota logo

Canku Ota

Canku Ota logo

(Many Paths)

An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America


November 17 - Issue 49


pictograph divider


"misYmin tRuhis"




"Good Day"






Month of the turkey & feast




pictograph divider


"Today is a time of celebrating for you -- a time of looking back to the first days of white people in
America. But it is not a time of celebrating for me. It is with a heavy heart that I look back upon
what happened to my People. When the Pilgrims arrived, we, the Wampanoags, welcomed them
with open arms, little knowing that it was the beginning of the end. That before 50 years were to
pass, the Wampanoag would no longer be a tribe. That we and other Indians living near the settlers
would be killed by their guns or dead from diseases that we caught from them. Let us always
remember, the Indian is and was just as human as the white people.

Although our way of life is almost gone, we, the Wampanoags, still walk the lands of
Massachusetts. What has happened cannot be changed. But today we work toward a better
America, a more Indian America where people and nature once again are important."

~Frank James~


pictograph divider


We Salute
Porky White

Walter White, known to thousands by his Ojibwe names Gay gway da kamigishkang (Prancing Horse) and Gahgoonse (Porky or Little Porcupine) died peacefully on November 13, 2001.

He was born at Federal Dam, Minnesota on October 18, 1919, the youngest son of Jenny and George White. As a boy of five, he accompanied his mother to her sugar bush stand at Sugar Point on the Leech Lake Reservation in Minnesota. He learned the complex process of making sugar from the sap of maple trees, and he practiced this skill in an annual camp located at Lake Independence, Minnesota from 1976 to 2001. His wife Deb ably assisted him in these camps as did his late camp co-director Madeline Moose of East Lake, Mille Lacs, Minnesota.

Read More Button

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:

Read More


Jodi Rave Lee

Jodi Rave is one of those fortunate journalists who are able to break ground for the entire profession. Her job permits her to cover the community that nurtured her and convey its concerns far beyond its boundaries.

As the first national correspondent--and the first Native woman, at that - to cover Native issues for the Lincoln Star Journal in Lincoln, Neb., and the entire Lee Enterprises newspaper chain, Jodi Rave hears the same question over and over, from colleagues, sources, friends and acquaintances. "Geez, what's it like in the newsroom? You're Native, a woman, and you're writing about Native issues."


John Rustywire

It was an old building; the buildings there were all old. Built in the early 1900's, they were red brick; some would say they were Victorian, this was a three-story building, big and square with peaked roofs from those early days. This was an Indian boarding school with kids from places like Beclabito, Teec Nos Pos, Ute Mountain, White Mesa, Towaoc and Shiprock all going to school there.

Many kids went there, they had been going to school there since way back in the early days, so long ago the dormitory aides were old and they had gone to school there as children themselves. Maybe some 300 kids or more went to school there, boys and girls. Some were seniors, some just little ones in the first grade, just 6 years old or so.

Read More


Read More

News and Views Banner

Tuba City School District Names New Primary Princess

In a tough competition that required each contestant to give an introduction in her native language and a traditional talent that also had to have a native base, Tuba City Primary named Charmaine Rose Yellow, a first grader, their new 2001-02 Primary School Princess. Princess Charmaine had 11 other contestants hot on her heels with varied talents that included singing songs in Navajo, grinding corn and weaving a rug on stage.


Onsae Named Native American Youth Ambassador

Recently, four young women competed for the honor of representing Flagstaff high schools as Native American Youth Ambassador 2001-2002. At the end of the evening, Jessica Onsae (Hopi), the daughter of Carroll and Debra Onsae, took the title against stiff competition. (Her maternal clan is rattlesnake. Her paternal clan is coyote and her father is from the village of Hotevilla).

Read More


Read More


pictograph divider

Native Language Program Nets Grant

The students at the elementary school in Arctic Village understand the Gwich'in language because they hear it at home.

But they don't learn it in school.

Caroline Tritt-Frank, who teaches the 26 kids at the school this year, wants to change that with help from a fledgling University of Alaska Fairbanks program that just received a $1 million federal grant.


Local Tribe Donates $900,000 for Indian Students

The Shakopee Mdewakanton Dakota Community recently made history by donating a total of $900,000 over a three-year period to the American Indian College Fund (AICF).

This is the first time that any tribe has given such a donation to the AICF. The donation, in three annual installments of $300,000, will be used to endow a scholarship fund for Indian students.

Read More


Read More


pictograph divider

Steeped in Tradition

When James Bruchac tells stories of the Native folk tradition to children of the Capital Region, they watch, listen and remember.

My daughter's fourth-grade Orenda Elementary School class visited Brookside Museum in Ballston Spa earlier this year to learn about Native American culture. She heard Bruchac tell a story about a tortoise and a beaver, and she recited the tale for her family at the dinner table.

Last weekend, Sarah and I visited Bruchac at his home base, the Ndakinna Education Center and Nature Preserve, where he was holding a fall trail walk and open house.


Cherokee Artist Gives Painting to New Museum  

FORT SILL -- Comanche tribal member Jhane Myers speaks with a passionate voice about the American Indian's place in Oklahoma history.

Cherokee Talmadge Davis speaks about the same issue with his paint brush.

The two advocates were brought together Tuesday to further their cause at the future site of the National Army Museum of the Southwest. Myers arrived with her words while Davis came to unveil his painting, "Brothers Gone But Not Forgotten."

Read More


Read More


pictograph divider

Tribal Schools Prevent 'Culture Cleansing'

ONEIDA - Take a peek into a typical high school classroom. While the color of the faces may be different, the styles, of clothing, hair, slang, will largely be the same.

Ninety percent of Native American students attend non-Indian schools, public or private, where culturally-aware teaching is lacking. Many believe the loss of traditional native knowledge and language is intimately related to the problems of high dropout rates and poor academic achievement - the achievement gap.

"It's all tied up with identity and cultural dissonance," said Rosemary Christenson, professor of American Indian Studies at the University of Wisconsin and an Ojibwa Indian. "The effects of that cultural dissonance are widespread and continue to grow."


Cherokees Tackle Diabetes with Education

A stickball game a day keeps the diabetes away-- or at least helps.

Like their Native American counterparts across the country, young Cherokees are in jeopardy of becoming diabetic as they grow older.

Diabetes is a silent epidemic among the Indian population, frequently developing long before its presence is detected. Working from within, it eventually can result in blindness, kidney failure, and amputations.

Cherokee Nation officials hope to cut down on the growth of diabetes among today's young tribal members through encouraging proper nutrition and physical exercise.

Read More


Read More


pictograph divider

Honoring the Culture of Native Americans

AUSTIN -- The beating of the drum shook the Toney Burger Activity Center on Saturday morning as hundreds of feathered and bejeweled Native American dancers stomped in a circle, raising their chants to the rafters. Throngs of families crammed into the gymnasium to watch the stirring tribal dances at the 10th annual Austin Powwow and American Indian Heritage Festival.

The all-day powwow was a benefit for the nearly 200 Native American children enrolled in AISD schools through curriculum supplements and college scholarships, and it draws thousands of people from around the country.


Chickasaw Nation Dance Troupe Spends Day at Trace

North East Mississippi - For the nearly 100 who gathered Saturday morning to see the Chickasaw Nation Dance Troupe perform, the day's events didn't disappoint.

"We're here to show our culture and tradition through dances, songs and stomp dancing or social dancing," said Larry Seawright of Ada, Okla.

Most Chickasaw live in the Oklahoma area, he said, but since Mississippi is the nation's homeland, "this is like a homecoming for us," he said.

Read More


Read More


pictograph divider

Indian Center Balances Past, High-tech Future

There's a constant balancing act of old versus new at Chicago's American Indian Center, as Native Americans struggle to preserve their culture while getting the education and experience they need for jobs paying a decent wage.

Computer training should help with both goals, said Joseph Podlasek, who became the center's executive director this year and has set up a small computer school there.

"Computer skills are mandatory now even to get a quality education,'' let alone a good job, said Podlasek, a computer professional.


Family Focus on Reading

Rankin Inlet (Nov 07/01) - They may not have the official title, but parents are the first teachers children have.

The children look up to their parents and, with a little direction, learning becomes fun and productive for both.

That's the basis of the Kivalliq Kindergarten Read-at-Home program.

Read-at-Home is part of the Tunngavik Homework Helpers program, which focuses on supporting parents in their role as teachers.

Read More


Read More


pictograph divider

Laguna Kids Prepare Teddy Bears for N.Y. Children

LAGUNA PUEBLO — When fourth-grader Candice Kasero heard the news of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, she immediately thought of the kids her own age who would be suffering.

"The kids of all those firefighters are going home with no parents," she remembers thinking. "We should give them teddy bears."

The idea clicked with people in Laguna Pueblo — located just an hour west of Albuquerque but a world away from New York City.

And it snowballed.


Atanarjuat Chosen as Canada's Official Oscar Entry

Canada has selected Atanarjuat, an Inuit-language film that won honours at the Cannes and Toronto film festivals, as its entry in the foreign-language film category at the 2002 Academy Awards.

Director Zacharias Kunuk's historical thriller Atanarjuat (The Fast Runner) had its world premiere at the 2001 Cannes International Film Festival, where it won the Camera d'Or, and was named best Canadian feature at the Toronto International Film Festival in September.

Set in Igloolik, a community of 1,200 people on a small island in the Baffin region, Atanarjuat is based on a centuries-old story from the Igloolik area.

Read More


Read More


pictograph divider

Natural History Lessons Bring Giant Teepee to School

VERNON, CT- As a rule, kindergarten students fidget by nature, but standing in the shadow of a giant teepee on Thursday, the students at Skinner Road School were hushed.

Kneeling at the door of the Native American lodge, her hair braided and dressed in beaded buckskin, Barbara Giammarino beat on a drum and sang a welcome to the warm sun, the birds above and the "two-legged" creatures standing before her.

A member of the Penobscot tribe in Maine, Giammarino led the class into the cavernous tent where they settled on blankets in a circle, whispering and pointing to the Indian artifacts strewn about.


Indian Festival Educates, Enthralls

The kids were swept up in the music Sunday, swarming into a circle at the invitation of Native American dancers.

Donna Saunders brought members of Girl Scout Troop 689 to Southfield for a chance to explore and enthusiastically experience Native American life through the ninth annual Autumn Harvest Indian Festival.

The festival was an opportunity for the girls to "learn about different cultures out there, and get them to expand beyond their community," said Saunders, whose 10-year-old daughter, Danielle, is in the troop based at West Utica Elementary in Shelby Township.

Read More


Read More


pictograph divider

U. Nebraska-Lincoln Program Aims to Put American Indian Teachers in Schools

(U-WIRE) LINCOLN, Neb. -- The countdown to graduation is nearly over for Donald Blackbird Jr., but not too much will change when he receives his degree.

Blackbird is graduating in December from the Native American Career Ladder Project, a collaboration between University of Nebraska-Lincoln Teachers College, Nebraska Indian Community College, Little Priest Tribal College and reservation school districts. The program is supported by a five-year federal grant.

The program's objective is to certify up to 30 American Indian teachers to work in Nebraska's reservation schools.


UTA Reaches Out to American Indians

ARLINGTON - Michael Palmer, the new First Nations counselor for the University of Texas at Arlington, wants the campus to be as comfortable for Native American students as home.

"I want to welcome the American Indian community onto campus," said Palmer, a Native American and the first person to hold the part-time position. "I want to support Native American students and make sure their needs are met."

Palmer, 37, is a designated supporter for UT-Arlington's 150 students who identify themselves as Native Americans, a figure up 8 percent from 2000. His job title refers to the nations that were in the Americas first, people who had established traditions and governmental structures long before Columbus "discovered" the New World.

Read More


Read More


pictograph divider

Native American Plant Gifts to the World

We eat more Native American foods today than foods from any other continent.


Rethinking Thanksgiving

The Pilgrims had the "first" thanksgiving feast in the New World in the fall of 1621. Isn't that what you were taught in school? Guess what? Nothing could be further from the truth!

Read More


Read More


pictograph divider

In Every Issue Banner

About This Issue's Greeting - "misYmin tRuhis"


The Mutsun, scholars say, come from land that stretches from the San Joaquin River west to the coast, and north from Morgan Hill to Soledad. About 200 Mutsun people live in Madera, California; 400 or so remain in the San Juan Bautista area, near the mission built in the late 1790s.

While Native Americans labored in the missions, they were forced to learn Spanish and abandon their languages. A woman named Ascencion Solorsano was apparently the last fluent Mutsun speaker; the language was thought to have died with her in 1930.
Learn about the Mutsun Language Foundation and their efforts to preserve their language:

Mutsun Language Foundation


This Date In History


Recipe: Let's Talk Turkey

Read More


Read More

Story: How Bear Lost His Tail


What is this: Canada lynx

Read More


Read More

Project: Weaving-Part One


This Issue's Web sites

Read More


Read More



"OPPORTUNITIES" is from sources distributed nationally and includes scholarships, grants, internships, fellowships, and career opportunities as well as announcements for conferences, workshops and symposia.

Read More

pictograph divider


Home ButtonFront Page ButtonArchives ButtonOur Awards ButtonAbout Us Button

Kids Page ButtonColoring Book ButtonCool Kids ButtonGuest Book ButtonEmail Us Button


pictograph divider

  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.


Canku Ota logo


Canku Ota logo

The "Canku Ota - A Newsletter Celebrating Native America" web site and its design is the

Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2001 of Paul C. Barry.

All Rights Reserved.