Canku Ota logo

Canku Ota

Canku Ota logo

(Many Paths)

An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America


April 6, 2002 - Issue 58


pictograph divider


'Hau! (Men's Speech) - Han! (Lady's Speech) "


The Dakota Greeting - pronounced - How (male) - Han (Female)


"Hello.", "Hi."


Robin Among Apple Blossoms



Budding Month



pictograph divider


"The caribou is not just what we eat, but who we are. It is in our dances, stories, songs and the whole way we see the world. Caribou is how we get from one year to the other."
– Sarah James, The Spokesman-Review (Spokane, WA), March 18, 2001


pictograph divider


We Salute
Elouise Cobell

Montana State University will award four honorary doctorate degrees at its 106th graduation ceremony May 11, including one to the Blackfeet woman who has battled the federal government over billions of dollars owed to American Indians for a century of trust land mismanagement.

Elouise Cobell of Browning, plaintiff in the class-action lawsuit against the federal government, will be honored, along with Stuart Conner of Billings, who is a leader in the preservation of rock art and Indian oral history; Whitney MacMillan, retired president of Cargill, who is active in world hunger campaigns; and Mary Munger of Helena, a nursing leader who fought for collective bargaining for nurses.

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

Special Announcement
"Sharpen your pencils!

We are excited to announce that Canku Ota is teaming up with Peace Party for an art contest!!

The winners in each age group will receive prizes including the Peace Party Native-themed comic books. And, you can have your art displayed on our "Kid's Pages".
This should be a great opportunity for you to stretch your imagination and have fun too."

Read More
  LOOK HERE button

Robbie Romero

The crowd moved in as Robby Romero, also known as Red Thunder, began to sing at a reception for him sponsored by Tanana Chiefs Conference.

A yelp of recognition came from the back of the crowd as Romero began the chorus of "Heartbeat," a song made famous by a statewide television show called "Heartbeat Alaska."

"There's a heartbeat, loud as thunder," Romero sang as he strummed his acoustic guitar, adorned with a single eagle feather.

"Revolution is in the air," he softly sang.


Northern Cheyenne Tribal School Needs You!

A few months ago I put out a call for assistance to be directed to the Northern Cheyenne Tribal School in Busby, MT. Since that time, there have been several donations sent in to the school. I have been told that Christmas presents, usable winter clothing in good condition, as well as some funds have been sent to the school. On March 20th, I and fellow Texas AIM (formerly South East Texas AIM) co-founder Lawrence Sampson (Delaware/ Eastern Band Cherokee) returned from a trip to the campus. We went there to drop-off clothing donations as well as some computers.

Read More


Read More

News and Views Banner

Big Dreams Take Shape Over Minnesota's Big Bog
by Dorreen Yellow Bird

With a bit of wind at my back and some snow on the roadside, I headed northeast Tuesday to Thief River Falls. I crossed the "Thieving River," as I was told it was once called, to the Northland Community and Technical College, where I talked with a group from the community.

Ah, this community was like a bunch of wild woodland flowers - a bouquet of friendly smiles. They were my excuse to get out into the woodlands.


Native American Women Honored for Service

Voice quivering with emotion Saturday night, Fort Peck tribal member John Pipe thanked the woman who saved his life when he was 6 years old - Anne Standing Woman Hancock.

"She was the one who discovered I had diabetes," Pipe said. "She was the one who gave me the insulin shots. It's because of her that I am here tonight to honor her as a tribal council member."

Hancock was one of seven Native American women recognized for their contributions to their tribes at the Good Woman Comes Out program.

Read More


Read More


pictograph divider

Cashing In On An Education

Mashantucket, CT - Kimberly A. Peters spends her days taking care of artifacts at the Mashantucket Pequot Museum & Research Center. She spent one recent morning photographing necklaces made of wampum — the shells and beads the tribe once used in trade — and then updating the museum's database.

Peters is working with a mentor whose job, collections manager/registrar, she eventually will assume. She is one of 33 tribal members who have received college degrees through the Mashantuckets' higher education program and have taken jobs with the tribe. One of the tribe's goals is to educate members so some of them can take on jobs with the tribal government or Foxwoods Resort Casino.

"We would like to see tribal members in management positions," said Thomas Christensen, director of higher education.


'Dreaming' a Language Back to Life

On the Mashantucket Pequot Reservation, in the brightly colored Child Development Center, words are being uttered that haven't been heard in hundreds of years.

To the children in the tribe's development center, it is simply the "Flag Song." But these children are a link to the tribe's past, to its culture, to its language.

The simple song about honoring a flag was developed with the few words the Pequots have recovered so far and has been put on tape.

"I'm so proud when I hear the children at the Development Center singing," said Charlene Jones, a member of the Pequot Tribal Council who is spearheading the effort to retrieve lost Indian languages. "They have a greater understanding of who they are and every parent becomes emotional."

Read More


Read More


pictograph divider

Multicultural Storytelling and Drumming Festival

Anchorage, AK - Stories and rhythms from around the world will fill the Alaska Native Heritage Center during the New Trade Winds Multicultural Storytelling and Drumming Festival April 13 and 14, 2002. Storytellers from Alaska, Hawaii and Massachusetts, and a wide array of drummers and percussionists will perform throughout the two-day festival. Storytellers from each state will present traditional stories from their respective cultures. In each case, the stories have a connection to drumming.


IU Pow Wow to Offer Glimpse of Heritage

Indiana University may not seem like the logical place for a pow wow.

Only 81 students out of more than 35,000 claim American Indian heritage. Only 317 Monroe County residents out of 120,000 are listed as American Indians on the federal census.

Rather than being an argument against a celebration of American Indian culture, tradition and history, however, IU professor Wesley Thomas believes those numbers are the best argument for the pow wow.

Read More


Read More


pictograph divider

Snowshoe Artisans Still Follow Tradition

ANCHORAGE, AK - Nick Dennis travels by snowmachine to the outskirts of the tiny Native village of Nikolai looking for rare stands of birch. Two hundred miles north in Huslia, George Yaska scans ridgetops for birch stands during the fall moose hunt.

The two Native snowshoe artisans do not know each other, but they are on the same mission - searching for the perfect birch tree.

To Yaska, the perfect tree is straight, with no limbs for about six feet and no knots.


Navajo Students Doing the New York City Thing

RED MESA, AZ - All roads lead to Rome, or in this case a quantum leap into the Big Apple.

New York City will soon feel the soles of five Red Mesa High School students traversing its sidewalks and subway platforms far below its canyon walls. Their view of the world, a sandy-mountainous landscape in Red Mesa, 40 miles west of Shiprock, will be replaced by the hardened-concrete sidewalks of Times Square, Broadway and the Battery.

The students and staff were excited about the opportunity.

Read More


Read More


pictograph divider

Mohawk Ironworkers to be Honored at WTC Ceremony

New York, NY - They were the “bones” of Manhattan Island, put in place with the help of Mohawk ironworkers on what was once Mohawk land. They were the World Trade Center towers and their absence is like an open wound on the tip of that island; a wound that must be healed before everyone affected by their tragic loss can move on.

As part of National Victims’ Awareness Week, an annual candlelight vigil to be held at the West End Collegiate Church on April 21 will include a memorial ceremony for all those who died or were injured in the September 11 attacks. The American Indian community has been asked to participate in the ceremony as a result of the close relationship its members have had with the construction of the World Trade Center as well as in recovery efforts at Ground Zero.


Winnebago Tribal Executive Profiled in People Magazine

What is Lance Morgan, a member of the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska and head of the tribe's economic development corporation, doing alongside stars like Halle Berry, Denzel Washington and Julia Roberts?

Being one of People's "crusaders."

Featured in a special double issue of the magazine hitting the stands today, the 33-year-old Morgan gets a short but sweet two-page profile of his efforts to bring success to northeastern Nebraska. Past the big spread on the Oscar's, readers will find "Native Son," a description of how Ho-Chunk Inc. grew from a small tribal business to a $50 million economic enterprise with holdings as diverse as convenience stores, hotels, web sites and a home-building firm.

Read More


Read More


pictograph divider

Tribe's Showcase Nine Years Old

WORLEY, ID - The dancers circled the floor, honoring their elders and heritage.

They stepped with the pageantry of ages, seeking to preserve the future.

But the traditional grand entry dance didn't parade into the center of the main camp, as custom dictates. Instead, it entered a huge building that hosts boxing events and concerts.

The Coeur d'Alene Tribe on Saturday hosted a powwow to commemorate its ninth anniversary of the tribe-owned Coeur d'Alene Casino.


Students Take Water Cause to Washington

A group of Native American students from the Navajo and Hopi reservations are fired up over water.

Earlier this month, they took their enthusiasm to Washington, D.C., where they educated their peers from all over the country about water issues on northern Arizona tribal lands and got to meet with four top officials in the Interior Department.

"There was one from Pinon, Forest Lake, Shonto, Kykotsmovi, we all drove down in my truck, packed with all our stuff and flew out of Phoenix," said Enei Begay.

Read More


Read More


pictograph divider

Native American Program a Big Draw

BRIGHTON, MI - "Every few weeks, when regular classes are done, Brendan Ostrom returns to the classroom at Brighton High School for lessons he doesn't find during the traditional school day.

And tradition - Native American tradition - is part of the curriculum for Brighton's Indian Education program.

"I learned stuff I never knew before about my ancient heritage," said Brendan, 10, a Maltby Middle School seventh-grader. "I learned about Native American artists, and also learned the Navajo language was a major part of World War II; it was the only code the Japanese couldn't break."


Group Studies Tribal Pupils

Ann Hollins will never teach the fourth-grade lesson on California missions and American Indians the same again.

The Temecula teacher recently read a book on the state's early history. The chapter on the state's Franciscan missions gives a different perspective from typical public school textbooks, Hollins said.

Instead of a benevolent group of missionaries bringing culture to the natives, the book describes the often-violent demise of Indians in the California region. It's a side of history that shocked Hollins, even though she had taken plenty of multicultural courses.

Read More


Read More


pictograph divider

Palm Beach Schools Exhibit Chronicles 'Trail of Tears'

Dreaming of a country that spanned a continent, U.S. government officials forced the people living on land they loved to leave their homes and move westward.

But the struggles of the many Native American tribes didn't end with what the Cherokee call the Trail of Tears, a forced migration carried out with a 116-day march in the late 1830s. Their fight to survive with their cultures intact was captured with a technology still relatively new at the time -- the camera.

Next month, 37 images focusing on the aftermath of that cross-country march will fill the lobby of the Palm Beach County School District's headquarters in an exhibit called "Moving the Fire."


Children are Vital to Weekend Pow Wow

Sometimes they stumble and occasionally they refuse to dance, but the children contribute to a powwow like no other participants.

"They are sacred to our future," powwow announcer Burton Pretty On Top Sr. said. "They honor us with their innocence, their purity."

Whether they are dancing in an intertribal, a special dance that recognizes their contribution to the gathering, or the competitive sections, children have special places at powwows. Kids made up about a quarter of the more than 100 dancers registered at the Montana State University-Billings Intertribal Indian Club Powwow.

Read More


Read More


pictograph divider

Makah Prepare to Hunt Whales

NEAH BAY, WA - A month after gray whales began their 5,000-mile migration from Mexico to the Chukchi Sea off Alaska, three Makah families from here are preparing to set out with their cedar canoes and harpoons.

The hunt for the whales, which may begin as early as the second week in April, would be the first off the northwest coast of Washington since the spring of 2000, a year after the tribe revived its ancient tradition amid fierce protests from animal-welfare groups.

Read More


pictograph divider


In Every Issue Banner

About This Issue's Greeting - "Hau, Han"


Dakota, Nakota and Lakota are American Indian languages spoken by many people in the north central plains of the United States (Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana and Wyoming). In addition, the Dakota language is spoken in the Canadian province of Manitoba.

Dakota, Nakota and Lakota are members of the Siouan family of languages. Other members of this language family include: Catawba, Biloxi, Omaha, Ho Chunk, Ponca, Mandan, Hidatsa, Crow ....


This Date In History


Recipe: Rhubarb

Read More


Read More

Story: Why the Mountain Lion is Long and Lean


What is this: Mountain Lion

Read More


Read More

Project: Regalia - Outerwear - Delaware, Fox and Huron


This Issue's Web sites

Read More


Read More



"OPPORTUNITIES" is gathered 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, 2002 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, 2002 of Paul C. Barry.

All Rights Reserved.

Thank You