Canku Ota Logo

Canku Ota

Canku Ota Logo

(Many Paths)

An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America


April 17, 2004 - Issue 111


pictograph divider


Why There Are Indians


Long, long ago, when Creator first thought about making this North American continent, there were many things for Him to consider. There was the problem of land, forests, animals, and food. He decided that these things would have to be undertaken in steps, so that everything would work properly.

First, Creator put the Lands out in the vast Ocean. These Lands were made of Rocks and Sands, which are the oldest things upon this Earth. With both the North and South American continents, the Oceans were divided. That is why there is a number of different Oceans surrounding them. Now, these Lands were barren. Creator looked upon them and was not happy. They looked too much alike to suit Him, so He created Mountains and Streams. Some Lands were made to be much higher than others were. Some were meant to be Deserts, and some were meant to be near the Oceans. And some Lands were meant to be very cold. Now, Creator was happy.

Second, He made the great Forests and the Plains. He let these things grow and mature, and let them learn how to exist in relation to the Rivers and Streams. He sent rains upon these things, so that they might grow and be nourished. The thunder and lightning were signs of His power and might. He allowed the plants to make air, clean and pure. Creator put great beauty in these creations, such as flowers and many-colored leaves. He allowed these Trees to bear seeds, nuts, berries, and shade for future uses. To every Tree and plant that He put here, there was a purpose assigned. Creator looked upon this and He saw that it was good.

Third, Creator placed the many varieties of Birds and Animals upon this Land. They all learned how to find food and shelter, and they all had a wonderful harmony among them. To each creature that He made, He assigned a purpose. The Creator looked upon these things and He saw that it was good. As Creator looked upon the vast beauty of the Lands, the Trees, the Animals, the Birds, and the Waters, He smiled. He thought, "I must put Man here to enjoy all of My great creations. I will put him here, and give him the purpose of Keeper of all of my great creations."

So, fourth, the Creator put Man upon this continent. Some were created out of the Desert sands, some were created from the grasses of the Plains, some were created out of the great Mounds, some were created out of the great Forests and Swamps, some were created out of the great Mountains, and still others were created from the Ice and Snows of the far Northern Lands.

The Creator did not call these people Native Americans or Indians. He called them Human Beings--People. These people were created in the image of our great Creator. Creator was very pleased with these native peoples. They used His creations with care and honor. Human nature being what it was, the different tribes sometimes fought over territories, but there was great peace across the Land as a whole. Although they spoke many different languages and dialects, they could all communicate with each other. The Creator looked down upon this and He saw that it was very good. He smiled upon all of His Creations.

That was many thousands of years ago. Our people no longer have possession of the Lands or control over the Animals and Forests. But some of us still remember the Creator's purpose which He gave to our Ancestors, and we still try to do these things.

Print and Color Your Own Trumpeter Swan
Trumpeter Swan

pictograph divider

Magnificent Trumpeter Swans

Trumpter SwansWhat is the largest flying bird in North America? Why the trumpeter swan, of course!! The trumpeter swan has a wing span of 7.5 - 8 feet (228 - 244 cm) and can weigh up to 35 pounds (13.6 kg.) These beautiful and graceful pure white birds have ebony black bills, legs, and feet. They are a sight that few of us get to see in our lifetimes. They earned their name due to their distinctive "trumpet-like" sound, caused by a loop in their larynx.

Once found throughout North America, these swans now spend their winters in British Columbia, Washington, Northern Oregon, and a few other areas. Flying north in the springtime, trumpeter swans find lakes, rivers, and estuaries in Alaska, Minnesota, Wisconsin, north British Columbia, Alberta, and southern Yukon. A pair of swans (males are called cobs and females are pens) will mate for life, and each spring, make a nest near a lake or in a marsh. The female trumpeter swan lays 5 - 8 eggs. These eggs incubate for around a month, producing a brood of 2 - 4. The juvenile swans, cygnets, follow their parents south in the fall.

The trumpeter swan is a modern-day success story. These majestic birds were hunted for their skins, feathers, and meat while others found their natural wet habitat changed. By the 1920's, trumpeter swans were in serious trouble and were close to vanishing from the earth. Passage of laws protecting them as well as other programs have brought the trumpeter swan from the brink of extinction to around 16,000.

What are these programs responsible for the return of this swan? One very interesting program involves the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. Eggs are removed from Alaskan nests, incubated and hatched in a zoo, then the cygnets were raised in one of two ways:

For two years the cygnets are raised on a pond with their flight feathers trimmed to keep them from flying. They are then relocated to northern Wisconsin. It is only normal for some of these swans to become used to humans. In fact, there is a true story of a trumpeter swan who loved peanut butter sandwiches!!

Trumpeter Swan signetsThe other group are flown to northern Wisconsin soon after hatching. Separated into groups, they are cared for by university interns who sit inside floating blinds that had a floating adult swan decoy attached. The intern "mom" shows the cygnets where and what to eat, how to act as swans, and to fear predators without the swans learning to trust humans. Alas, no peanut butter sandwiches but more safety for the swans.

The Wisconsin programs now have 100 swans living in the wild. Other states and Canada are also reintroducing swans.

Other programs throughout North America help manage the adult trumpeter swans. Since swans eat grass as do cows, programs help farmers and wildlife agencies work together for the betterment of all. Ten adult swans will eat as much as one cow. For areas with growing swan populations, this can mean the farmers are having to feed the equivalent of 200 extra cows without receiving any monetary benefit. As well as eating the grass, hungry trumpeter swans can over graze fields, compact the soil and make huge depressions in muddy fields. All of this can add up to lose of precious feed for the farmers' cows as well as a big expense. The swan management programs, such as the one in the Comox Valley of British Columbia, have developed workable solutions to these problems.

There are, of course, still problems for the trumpeter swans. Some hunters mistake these protected birds for snow geese. Other swans eat lead shot from the bottom of lakes. [Although lead shot illegal now, the lead shot from years past still remains at the bottom of lakes and in marshes where the swans eat.] But the trumpeter swan populations are increasing, due to programs like the ones above and public concern. If all goes well, our children and their children will thrill to the sight of one of these magnificent creatures or hear their call to their mates in the foggy and misty mornings.

Swan Identification
There are three species of swans in North America. The Trumpeter Swan (Cygnus buccinator) and Tundra Swan (C. columbianus) are indigenous, while the Mute Swan (Cygnus olor) is a Eurasian species that has been introduced and now breeds in the wild in some areas. All three are very large all-white birds.

pictograph divider

Home PageFront PageArchivesOur AwardsAbout Us

Kid's PageColoring BookCool LinksGuest BookEmail Us


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, 2003, 2004 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, 2003, 2004 of Paul C. Barry.

All Rights Reserved.

Site Meter
Thank You

Valid HTML 4.01!