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Canku Ota

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(Many Paths)

An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America


June 1, 2002 - Issue 62


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'Kisuk Kiyukyit"


The Kootenai Greeting






Strawberry Moon



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"I dance for it lifts my spirits. I reach out and touch the hands of my ancestors and know that I've come home."

- John Active, Bethel, Alaska


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We Salute
Damion Killsback

The young man who would soon be honored scanned the powwow crowd looking for his mother.

Two of Damion Killsback's three brothers were there, along with a sister. His 5-year-old daughter, his nephew, an aunt and an uncle were there, too. But Jackie Tang could not be found in the sea of faces, and if she did not show up soon, Damion's Honor Ceremony would not happen.

Finally, she emerged from the young dancers dressed in brilliant tribal finery milling about the passageway to and from the arena floor at the University of Montana's Adams Center.

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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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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."

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  LOOK HERE button We Have Entries!!!!

Phillip M. Haozous

Phillip M. Haozous, who accompanied his father's sculptures to the Olympics, is one five sons born to Allan and Anna Marie Houser. Phillip promotes his fathers legacy by sharing his art with the public at the Allan Houser Compound, a 110-acre area nestled in the sandy, softly rolling high desert dotted with juniper, near Santa Fe in New Mexico and speaking throughout the world. The Allan Houser Sculpture Garden was a collaborative project between Phillip and his father, each piece thoughtfully positioned in the beautiful open landscape with Santa Fe Mountains as a backdrop.


Memories of a Reindeer Herder - Jimmy Komeak - Part two

As a part of the environmental review of Kunnek Resource Development Corporation's (KRDC) development known as "Revitalization of the Western Arctic Reindeer Herd", the Environmental Impact Review Board (EIRB) sought information about reindeer herding techniques. This report summarizes the results of interviews with residents of Tuktoyaktuk, Inuvik, and Aklavik who had experience herding reindeer in the Western Arctic.

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Thunderhawk's Strange Encounter
by Geoff Hampton

Writer Geoff Hampton shares this story that should delight both young and old.


Tolerance 101
A project by Southern Poverty Law Center

In the next issues of Canku Ota, we are going to share ideas with you about learning and teaching tolerance. Perhaps this will inspire you to come up with your own ideas to share.

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News and Views Banner

Giant Bugs – Zoomobile Comes To Tuba City's Dzil Libei School


Reservation bugs have nothing on the gigantic roaches from Afghanistan. These huge one-half hand sized creatures brought the most squeals and interest from the primary students at TC District’s Dzil Libei School in Cameron.

The Phoenix Zoo and education outreach presenter, Nancy Bohl, paid a visit to Cameron school to show and discuss animals from foreign places. These extension services were provided to the Dzil Libei school free of charge, as a courtesy service from their Phoenix facility through a traveling exhibit called "Zoomobile."


Head Start Grads Mark First Success

Surrounded by graduates in caps and gowns, speaker Bruce Long Fox congratulated the Class of 2002 on Friday and thanked members' parents for setting them on the pathway to a solid future.

The students already have learned so much. Just imagine what they'll do when they get to kindergarten.

At 4 and 5 years old, all 35 graduates of Dakota Transitional Head Start will start kindergarten next fall - and they're ready for the challenge.

"Really, Head Start just prepares them for a kindergarten-classroom setting," DTHS director Anne Reddy said. "They know what it's like to be at a school. They learn how to socialize so that they can go and make friends."

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'Cub reporter' Tries His Hand at Southern Ute's Bear Dance

"You with the notebook," a man said over the loudspeaker. I looked around. People conversed, dined or just stood around, but no one had a notebook. "Come in and take a seat," he said.

This was the beginning of my first Bear Dance.

I walked hesitantly into the corral – the Southern Ute Indian Tribe holds its annual Bear Dance there to celebrate spring – as Bear Dance chief Rudley Weaver, sub-chief Byron Red Sr., accompanying musicians and spectators looked on.


Nez Perce Keep Culture Alive with Camas Root

For generations, the camas root was a staple of the Nez Perce Tribe.

But development is taking its toll, and tribal member Gwen Carter is committed not only to keeping the root as part of the Nez Perce diet but also to preserving the remaining digging grounds.

"The problem we have is they are so difficult to find," said Carter, who talked about the root at Monday´s annual Weippe Camas Festival commemorating the role of camas in Nez Perce culture and the arrival of Lewis and Clark.

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Creighton Graduation Especially Memorable for American Indians

Saturday was a happy time for the parents, grandparents, other relatives and friends of Creighton University's 1,180 graduates.

But for three American Indian families from South Dakota, the day was especially memorable.

Not only did they watch their daughters stride across the stage at the Omaha Civic Auditorium to accept their diplomas, they saw the university's highest student award - the Spirit of Creighton - bestowed on one of their own.


Hopi Student Dartmouth Bound

Carlene Tenakhongva, a senior at Hopi High School, will attend Dartmouth in the fall. Tenakhongva, who is the Valedictorian for Hopi High School’s 6 p.m. May 24 graduation, said she is excited about attending the Ivy League school.

"I’m anxious to go. I’ve wanted to go to Dartmouth since I was a freshman. It’s been one of my longtime goals, and now that it’s here it’s cool that my dream became a reality," she said.

Tenakhongva said she is especially honored to be the first student from Hopi High School to attend Dartmouth. "I hope it shows others that it’s not out of reach," she said.

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SuAnne Big Crow Boys & Girls Club Grand Opening

May 28, 2002 – There will be much to celebrate for the residents of Pine Ridge, South Dakota on Saturday, June 1. Boys & Girls Clubs of America (B&GCA) announces the Grand Opening of the new state-of-the-art SuAnne Big Crow Boys & Girls Club.

The celebration is expected to draw a large turnout, including tribal government officials such as John Steele, Oglala Sioux president; Kelsey Begaye, Navajo Nation president; Tex Hall, Three Affiliated Tribes of North Dakota Tribal chairman and president of the National Congress of American Indians; and Greg Bourland, Cheyenne River Sioux Tribal chairman. Senator Tom Daschle (South Dakota), as well as several federal, state, and local officials are also expected to attend.


White House Drug Czar Unveils American Indian Anti-Drug Advertising

LOS ANGELES, CA - John P. Walters, Director of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), today unveiled a new series of new drug prevention advertisements targeting American Indian audiences. The ads are part of the ONDCP's National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign, a five-year effort designed to help America's youth reject illicit drugs. Developed by Albuquerque-based G&G Advertising, an American Indian firm, the new ads promote the positive alternatives to drug use and model parenting skills that help keep kids drug-free. The new broadcast and print ads, and earlier Media Campaign advertising directed toward the American Indian market, represent a research-based effort to combat youth drug use in this community.

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Kuwanhoya Tawahongva, Winner In Heard Museum Competition

Kuwanhoya Tawahongva took first place and five other Hopi High School students took home ribbons as Hopi High dominated the computer assisted art category at the Heard Museum’s Native American Student Art Show.

Tawahongva won first place with his "Seasons of Spring." Rolan Torivia placed second with "Midnight Mesa." Josh Polivema finished third with "Rain Prayer. Three students from Hopi High took home ribbons for honorable mention: Stewart Ryan Dukepoo for "Ogre Family," Daryn Melvin for "Spirit of the Eagle" and Louis Abeita 3rd for "Kachina Season."


Red Cloud Students Win New York Film Award

A short film created by students at Red Cloud Indian High School won top news honors at the 12th annual Kid Witness News New Vision Awards ceremony Monday in New York City.

Panasonic sponsors the annual film contest, which is judged by students from Columbia University’s film school, along with educators, broadcasters, journalists and others. It is part of the company’s Kid Witness News video-education program, which encourages students to express their views using Panasonic digital-video equipment.

Five students in Guerin Gray’s multi-media class at Red Cloud produced this year’s winning video, "A Lakota Sports Classic."

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Artist's Vision Woven Into Blanket

One of the first carvings Ron Manook created was a replica of a young woman he had a crush on. Taught to whittle as a pastime when the family went camping, he worked the miniature figure out of cottonwood.

But Manook, then 13, was too embarrassed to give the less-than-perfect carving to the woman.

Today, three years after the popular West Valley High School Native arts teacher's unexpected death, his sister treasures the work.


Indian Carvers Captivate

American Indian artist Ralph Bennett chisels the yellow cedar tree, forming rough outlines of a bear and a medicine man's face.

"Every single person on this planet comes from a tribal culture," Bennett said Tuesday to elementary school children.

The Haida Indian loves sharing his culture and encourages others to learn about their own cultures.

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Diabetes Teaches Us Important Life Lessons

Diabetes on reservations is so common that if you lived there, you would be more likely to become diabetic than you would be to catch the flu during flu season. Native Americans who live in North Dakota will develop Type II diabetes at a rate four to five times greater than the rest of the U.S. population, some of the websites about diabetes tell me.

So I guess I shouldn't be surprised that most of the people that I know have diabetes. Unfortunately, the incidence is changing from older people to teen-agers and even some young children. One of my aunts has had diabetes since she was 48. She will turn 79 in August.


Winnebagos Give Blessing to New Healing Garden

A few seeds, ceremonially scattered to Tuesday's brisk wind, marked the first plantings of a healing garden here.

"Wherever it falls, it's good," Cecelia Earth pronounced, as she and other participants let loose finger-pinches of native grass seed. The action marked the end of a ceremonial blessing of the small plot of land and the garden's mission. Earth is treasurer of AiKiRuti, the grass-roots community organization that dreamed and prayed its way to that moment.

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Indian Achievement Honored

There are little moments in life that stick in a person's memory forever.

Keilani Burroughs seemed to realize that Saturday afternoon was one of those snapshots in time as she traced her finger over the lettering on a plaque she had just been handed.

Burroughs, a student at Axtell Park Middle School, was one of 36 Native American students honored for their work in schools.

"Getting this award today is knowing that what I have done is good, helps me carry on and keep on doing what I am doing," she said.


Native American Preparatory School Graduates its Last Class

For the graduating seniors at the Native American Preparatory School, commencement was a bittersweet affair.

Because of financial difficulties, the Rowe school is closing, and this was its last graduation.

Twelve seniors, representing seven different tribes, approached the campus stage, set up under a shade canopy, on the arms of friends and family to accept their diplomas from Arthur Scott, head of the school. Some wore traditional dress, others draped their caps and gowns with pueblo and tribal beads, turquoise belts and silver jewelry.

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NASA Teacher Started at Reservation School

The teacher who will fly into space in 2004 got her start in a schoolhouse on the Flathead Indian Reservation.

Barbara Morgan was the backup teacher to Christa McAuliffe, one of the seven astronauts who died in the Challenger disaster in 1986. NASA recently announced that she would take part in a mission to the International Space Station in 2004. On that flight Morgan will serve as a fully functioning member of the crew as well as preparing lessons from space.


On the Right Path

Bobbi Jo Sherwood has seen her share of misery at Wellpinit.

Now she's ready to run away.

First, she wants to run for her first medal at next week's State B track meet in Cheney.

Then she wants to extend her leave from the Spokane Indian Reservation by running off to college in New Mexico.

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Summer Program to Train Young Indian Filmmakers

Organizers say they hope a summer program will awaken the cultural pride and college aspirations of the county's American Indian students.

The six-week Young Native Scholars Summer Program at UC San Diego will teach students basic film production, Web page design, radio and television broadcasting and the history of local Indian tribes, organizers said.


Sherman Students Win Design Contest

Sherman Indian High School students beamed with pride when they found out they would share their heritage with visitors and residents of Los Angeles.

KNBC-TV weatherman Christopher Nance announced Thursday that the students had won a contest to design an angel that will be included in "A Community of Angels," a public art program. The announcement was made during a live news broadcast. The contest was sponsored by the station.

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In Every Issue Banner

About This Issue's Greeting - "Kisuk Kiyukyit"


Kootenai is spoken in southeastern British Columbia, northwestern Montana, and northeastern Idaho. It is also known as Kutenai, Ktunaxa, and Ksanka.

The Montana Kootenai live together with the Salishan speaking Flathead in what is now called the Confederated Salish-Kootenai Tribes. This association between the Montana Kootenai and Flatheads apparently dates back before European contact.

Kootani is an isolate, not known to be related to any other language


This Date In History


Recipe: Lemons

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Story: Turkey Makes Corn


What is this: Wild Turkey

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Project: Bath Time Fun


This Issue's Web sites

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"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.

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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, 2002 of Vicki Lockard and Paul Barry.


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