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Canku Ota
(Many Paths)
An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America

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March 2013 - Volume 11 Number 3
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"Halito! Chi chukma?"
The Chickasaw Greeting
"Hello, How are you?"

Gray Partridge (Perdix perdix)

"Hotehimini kiishthwa"
Strawberry Moon
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"A Warrior is challenged to assume responsibility, practice humility, and display the power of giving, and then center his or her life around a core of spirituality. I challenge today's youth to live like a warrior."
~Billy Mills~
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We Salute
Cooperstown Central School District

The Washington football team isn’t the only one with the offensive Redskins moniker. But on February 4, students at Cooperstown Central School decided their school would be one less with the offensive nickname.

Cooperstown, New York is home to the Baseball Hall of Fame and where James Fenimore Cooper, author of Last of the Mohicans, grew up.

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Our Featured Artist: Honoring Students

Native Pride Dancers Journey Is Just Beginning

For Native Pride Dancers, a Minnesota-based group formed in 2003 by World Champion Fancy Dancer Larry Yazzie, the journey through song and dance is just about to cross borders as they travel the distance to express themselves.

It is perhaps due to Yazzie, 45, the visionary, that keeps the troupe known for its high-energy, colorful shows that blend modern and traditional Native American dance, always moving forward.

Five Native Youth Selected as Inaugural Class of Champions for Change

The Center for Native American Youth, a policy program at the Aspen Institute, announced Thursday the names of its inaugural class of Champions for Change. This new program at the Center is a spinoff of a White House initiative and is designed to shine a spotlight on positive stories in Indian country, promote hope among Native American youth, and engage these successful youth in leadership opportunities.

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Our Featured Story: Northwestern Wisconsin First Person History:
Tiokasin Ghosthorse Promotes Indigenous Voices

From humble beginnings on the Cheyenne River Reservation to New York City Radio Host, Tiokasin Ghosthorse is making a mark on mainstream society.

Growing up with oral traditions, he has taken the tradition on the road and used it to bring awareness of the crises facing Mother Earth and all people.


Chrysostom Verwyst's Geographical Names in WI, MN, & MI with Chippewa Origins

The following list of geographical names in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Michigan, having a Chippewa origin, is by no means exhaustive: it might largely be added to. Having no atlas or other work of geographical reference at hand, I give only such as occur to me.

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Education News Living Traditions
New Map Documents Tribes Across U.S. Circa 1490

A map is defined as a representation, usually on a flat surface, of the features of an area of the earth, showing them in their respective forms, sizes and relationships.

Defining the word map may be easy, but creating one isn't necessarily as easy.

Native cartographer Aaron Carapella found this out while on a 14-year quest to create a pre-Columbian map of the continental United States circa 1490. He completed his map, "Native American Nations: Our Own Names and Locations," six months ago.

White Shell Woman Workshop for Navajo Girls and Young Women March 23

Miss Navajo Council, Inc. presents its White Shell Woman Workshop March 23 at the Henderson Fine Arts Center at San Juan College in Farmington.

"In Navajo tradition the women are usually the teacher, they are responsible for not only their own family, but the whole community," said Sarah Luther, president of the Miss Navajo Council. "A number of us believe in that still. We wanted to hold a workshop where we could enhance what our grandmothers taught us throughout the years. We wanted to capture not only the oral traditions, but also how to apply it in today's society."

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Education News Education News
Chicago American Indians Celebrate the Writers' Group "Chi-Noodin" – We Write for Ourselves

Several Chicago American Indian families spent this past Sunday afternoon enjoying each other's company at the Chicago Public Schools T7 American Indian Education Program's "Festival of Stories and Public Forum."

The second edition of "Chi-Noodin" - or "We Write for Ourselves" was released at the event.


Goodrich Becomes KU All-Time Assists Leader

February turned out to be a good month for Cherokee Nation citizen Angel Goodrich as the Kansas Lady Jayhawks point guard became the school’s all-time assists leader in an upset win over No. 22-ranked Oklahoma on Feb. 17 in Allen Fieldhouse.

Competing in her 100th game at KU, Goodrich recorded a double-double with 17 points and 10 assists as she surpassed Lisa Braddy as the school’s all-time assists leader with 687 career assists. The record-breaking assist was nothing short of artistic.

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Living Traditions Healthy Living
Priceless 19th, 20th Century Comanche Items Return Home

Priceless Comanche items from the 19th and 20th centuries are on exhibit at the Comanche National Museum and Cultural Center (CNMCC) in Lawton, Oklahoma, as part of the third and final installment of the museum’s current exhibition All Things Comanche – A Numunuu Trilogy.

It’s all part of a a year-long exhibit celebrating the cultural uniqueness of the great Comanche Nation. Many seldom seen Comanche items, including a historic buffalo robe once belonging to captive Cynthia Ann Parker, have been on display since the exhibit opened in the fall of 2012.

Happy Teeth, Happy Smiles

How many toddlers do you know who get excited to brush their teeth? Eleven month old Maylee is one of them. It might have to do with the method her parents use. She is all smiles when she lays back onto her mother's lap. Next, her dad brings out the toothbrush and an even bigger smile spreads across her face.

Not all encounters with the dentist have to be bad. In fact, the staff at Chinle Dental Clinic say one of the best times to show up is when your teeth aren't hurting. Most kids will come in with a toothache and have a tooth pulled on their first visit. That initial unpleasant experience can have a lasting effect; and, children will associate pain with going to the dentist.

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Living Traditions Healthy Living
Cradleboard Exhibit Showcases Many Styles and Cultures of Infant Carriers

The People’s Center’s latest “Cradleboard Exhibit” recounts cultural uses of the carrier, from its historical origin to its role in modern life. “I think it really highlights the craftsmanship our people still have today,” said the exhibit’s coordinator Marie Torosian.

Cradleboards are traditional infant carriers that are constructed of a sturdy wooden frame. Infants are securely laced and swaddled within the frame in a buckskin or cloth bag. Torosian said that moss was used to line the bag and absorb bodily fluids-much like a diaper.


Diabetes Takes Deadly Toll On Apache Tribe

Health fair deploys dancers, testimonials to fight illness with information

"Even these children are educators," said Cassandra Stouder, diabetes coordinator for the Tonto Apache Tribe.

Tashina Smith couldn't a agree more.

She is a young mother from the tribe who never took her diabetes seriously until her son Isaac came along.

"Once my son got here, everything changed," she said.

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Living Traditions Education News
American Indian Storytelling Revealed with Truth and Lies

There is a humorous scene in the 1998 "Smoke Signals" film, written by Sherman Alexie, when Suzy Song, played by Irene Bedard, asks Evan Adams' character, Thomas Builds-the-Fire, "Do you want lies or do you want the truth?," and he responds, "I want both."

The line is both funny and real in that in life many times there is a fine line between truth and fiction.

From the Ground Up: Tribal College to Launch Basketball Program

Gerald Kingbird still remembers his stats.

"I scored 19 points in the fourth quarter," he says.

That includes 13 points in the final 1:15 of regulation in the 1997 Minnesota State High School basketball semifinals, leading the Red Lake High School Warriors from behind, only to lose 117-113 to Wabasso in overtime. They were the first all-Native team to reach the state tournament.

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Preserving Language Living Traditions
Senate Advances Bill to Help Preserve Native American Languages

Sen. Jonathan Windy Boy treated fellow state senators Wednesday to something they rarely hear: A greeting in his native Cree tongue.

"Ki-k-say pah-yo Kah-ki-yo Ni-wah-ko mah-kah-nah-k," he said as he closed on his bill to establish an Indian language preservation pilot program.

Native American Ghost Stories

Once upon a time, Natives gathered around a campfire to share stories. While these tales were used to educate, instill values, and preserve culture and history, they also provided us with a means of creative expression and intellectual dialogue, and they were entertaining too. In its purest form, ancient Native storytellers were some of mankind’s earliest improv performers, and a little embellishment was par for the course. We had a story for everything, from how constellations and landmarks formed, to wanagi (spirit) tales.

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Education News   Recipe
Writing Award

The James Bartleman Aboriginal Youth Creative Writing Award recognizes Aboriginal youth for their creative writing talent. Every year up to six Aboriginal students each receive the award of $2,500. The award is named after the Honourable James Bartleman who was the 27th Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, serving from 2002 – 2007. Mr. Bartleman was the first Aboriginal Lieutenant Governor of Ontario. The award was set up as a legacy to his efforts in promoting literacy among Aboriginal youth.

Quinoa (KEEN-wah)

March's Grain of the Month is Quinoa

High in the Andes, the quinoa harvest starts in late March, when farmers gather together for celebrations like the two-day Harvest Festival near the salt flats of Uyuni – a gathering of representatives from 4,000 family farms. By celebrating quinoa in March, we're honoring these timeless traditions, with information about this unique "mother grain."

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In Every Issue Banner
About This Issue's Greeting - "Halito! Chi chukma?"
The Chickasaw are of the Muskogean linguistic family and are one of the Five Civilized Tribes. Their native written language is nearly the same as that of the Choctaw Nation; their speech is also very similar. At one time, the Chickasaw language served as a medium of commercial and tribal intercourse for all the tribes along the lower Mississippi River, which was virtually controlled by the powerful and warlike Chickasaw Nation during the 18th century.
Nature's Beauty:
Gray Partridge
A Story To Share -
How the Partridge Built Good Canoes for All the Birds,
and a Bad One for Himself
This Issue's
SpeciAL Web sites
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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 - 2013 of Vicki Williams Barry and Paul Barry.

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