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

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JUNE 2013 - Volume 11 Number 6
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The Mvskoke Creek Greeting
pronounced - henz-cha
Means hello or greetings

Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos)

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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
Crystal Lameman

Excitement was in the air last week as the 11th Annual Global Exchange Human Rights Awards ceremony was held at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco, California.

Crystal Lameman, a member of the Beaver Lake Cree First Nation, was presented with the 2013 Grassroots Award. Ms. Lameman is an ardent fighter for her community and land, and for the rights and sovereignty of First Nations in Canada.

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Our Featured Artist: Honoring Students
Mahpíya Kinyan (Flying Cloud) Glí

I had been in contact with S.D. Nelson since the South Dakota Book Festival of 2012. I happened to pass him by one afternoon there. He had just finished a conversation with another festival attendant and it was obvious that he had other business to attend to, and I had wanted to meet him so I called out to Nelson. He gave me a nod and wave, and intended to continue on, but when I said, “I’m from Standing Rock.” Nelson immediately stopped in his tracks, turned around and made time to visit with me.

Congratulations to the Graduates of Navajo Technical College

On Friday, I had the honor of addressing a class of graduates at Navajo Technical College in Crownpoint, New Mexico. The Navajo Tech graduating Class of 2013 earned certificates in 34 fields that will provide the tools they need to serve their community as teachers, nurses, engineers, mechanics, bankers, chefs and countless other opportunities all made possible by their commitment and dedication to improving themselves through the pursuit of a higher education.

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Our Featured Story: Northwestern Wisconsin First Person History:
Mississippi Water Walkers Arrive in Louisiana With Water From the River's Source

Today the mouth of the Mississippi River will drink from its source, tasting its healthier beginning and, it is hoped, remembering and healing.

For two months, walkers have carried prayers of hope and well-being along with a pail of water drawn from Lake Itasca, Minnesota, source of the 2,500-mile-long waterway. A half dozen people have journeyed steadily along its banks since March 1, joined here and there by well-wishers who took up portions of the walk.


A Historical Romance - The Derivation of the Word Milwaukee

It has remained for the historians of this late day to furnish the key in a long locked matter, namely, the derivation of the name of this city. The pioneer writers, many of whom had the advantage of consulting interpreters of the Indians languages, were unable to determine the point, owing to a singular contrariety of information. Augustin Grignon had been told by an old Indian that the name was derived from a valuable aromatic root used by the natives for medicinal purposes. The name of this root was 'man wau', and hence, man-a-waukee, or place of the 'man wau.' The Indians represented that it grew no where else, to their knowledge, that it was considered very valuable among them, and that the Chippewas on Lake Superior would give a beaver skin for a piece as large as a man's finger.

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Education News Education News
Student Work Featured at CHS Art Show

Cherokee High School hosted its annual student art show on the night of Thursday, May 9. The show, which featured a variety of art from paintings to beadwork, ran until the next day.

"We will always have artists," said CHS art teacher Alyne Stamper. "These kids are gifted. They are very easy to teach."

"They have the talent.

Chickasaw Woman Making Dynamic Impact on Her Students

"If you can read this, thank a teacher," the bumper sticker ahead stated triumphantly. It takes passion to be a teacher. It takes devotion. It requires patience and it requires an understanding some students are going to excel in a vocational setting while others will earn doctorates.

It is why yesterday, America observed National Teacher's Day.

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Healthy Living Education News
Senecas Turn to Native Diet, Exercise to Combat Diabetes

Food is medicine.

It also can wreck your health.

Mike Jimerson knows the reality of both.

A steady diet of processed foods and a fairly sedentary life took Jimerson onto a path that pushed his weight to 377 pounds by the time he was in his early 40s and into a health condition far too common on Seneca Nation of Indians territory: diabetes.

Tribal Nations Map Released

I grew up knowing about my Cherokee heritage. My maternal grandparents are both mixed-blood Cherokees from Oklahoma. They would tell me, “You are part Native American, and you should know about it.” At 6 years old my grandpa gave me a Scholastic book called Custer and Crazy Horse. Reading that book solidified in me an understanding of the injustice that had happened to tribes in this country. It was the start to the eventual path I was led on. I went from reading Native books, to attending Powwows, to getting involved in local tribal meetings and concerns, to joining the American Indian Movement of Southern California. It also led to the creation of the Tribal Nations Map.

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Living Traditions Honoring Students
Jack Gladstone, Haida Heritage Dance Group Captivate in Coeur d'Alene

When Jack Gladstone, “Montana’s Blackfeet Troubadour,” performed at North Idaho College, he captured the attention of his audience with both his songs and his easy manner, sometimes asking them to sing along and at other times regaling them with the history behind his songs. He knows Native history and legend far better than most, talking easily of events involving many tribes and many individuals and his songs, written and produced by him, frequently relate these events in lyric form.

Shiprock School Shines at Solar Competition

When all was said and done, teamwork, timing and design of their car are what helped the Bombers from Mesa Elementary School in Shiprock win this year's 2013 Zia Solar Car Race.

After five rounds of elimination last Friday at the Albuquerque Explora Museum, the Bombers coasted their solar-powered car to the championship, where they beat Native Pride of Santo Domingo Pueblo. The 19th annual solar race, sponsored by Public Service Co. of New Mexico, had a field of 28 teams, including several from Mesa Elementary.

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Healthy Living Preserving Language
Website Available for Tribal Food Systems, Agricultural Efforts

A new website has been launched to be a valuable online resource for Native American tribes, organizations and individuals involved in food systems and agricultural efforts and/or aiming for better health and nutrition for their families and communities.

The site,, was created by the Longmont-based First Nations Development Institute with funding provided by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

Addressing the Crisis in the Lakota Language

With only 2 to 5 percent of children currently speaking Lakota, Thomas Short Bull, president of the Oglala Lakota College, said the time has come to raise the alarm.

As the day begins at the Lakota Language Immersion School, a young boy passes an abalone bowl of sage to each child sitting on the floor in a circle. Children from kindergarten through third grade gather for the morning ceremony with prayers, songs, and a short discussion of things to know and remember.

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Living History Healthy Living
Local Exhibit About Dakota-U.S. War Makes It To The Smithsonian

An exhibit created by the Nicollet County Historical Society and students and faculty at Gustavus Adolphus College is headed for the biggest stage in the museum world.

"Commemorating Controversy: The Dakota-U.S. War of 1862" will be displayed by the Smithsonian Institution in New York and Washington, D.C.

Free Fat, Calorie Counter Available for Native People

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ National Diabetes Education Program is offering a free fat and calorie counter that contains a list of foods commonly eaten by American Indians and Alaska Natives.

This food list helps people keep track of fat grams and calories eaten so that they can choose the healthiest food options. People may order the fat and calorie counter by emailing or visiting or go to the disease and lower the risk of complications.

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Preserving Language Living Traditions
Cherokees Win Awards at Native Language Fair

Students representing the Cherokee Nation's Cherokee Language Immersion School, Sequoyah Schools and Rocky Mountain Elementary brought home nine awards from the 11th annual Oklahoma Native American Youth Language Fair on April 1-2 at the Sam Noble Museum of Natural History.

The immersion school's second grade won first place in the Pre-kindergarten to Second Grade Large Group Spoken Language category with its tale of "Why the Possum's Tail is Bare."

At Peace With Many Tribes

One sunny afternoon early this month Jeffrey Gibson paced around his studio, trying to keep track of which of his artworks was going where.

Luminous geometric abstractions, meticulously painted on deer hide, that hung in one room were about to be picked up for an art fair. In another sat Mr. Gibson's outsize rendition of a parfleche trunk, a traditional American Indian rawhide carrying case, covered with Malevich-like shapes, which would be shipped to New York for a solo exhibition at the National Academy Museum.

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Education News   Living Traditions
Hopitutuqaiki Opportunity Quilt Takes First at Arizona Quilt Competition

Five Hopi quilters created a quilt last summer under the watchful eye of Linda Visnaw, master quilter for the Hopitutuqaiki Art School.

The quilt has been on tour for nearly half a year and has been helping to raise money for the Hopitutuqaiki Art School, which is in its ninth year of operation on the Hopi Reservation.

A Group's Quest to Find and Save Indian Trail Trees

In 2002, a group of retired men began hiking together once a week in the Southern Appalachian Mountains and started finding old, scenic trails they claimed nobody knew about. They decided to revive these trails and make them available to the public, first forming a nonprofit group called Mountain Stewards, headed by president Don Wells.

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In Every Issue Banner
About This Issue's Greeting -"Hescha"
Another name for the Creeks is Muscogees. Muscogee is also the name of the language of the largest group within the Creeks. Other groups spoke Alabama, Koasiti, Hitchiti, Natchez, Yuchi, and Shawnee. Often when people refer to speaking Creek or to the Creek language, they mean Muscogee, but it's not always clear which language they are referring to.
Nature's Beauty: Northern Mockingbird
This Issue's Web sites
The Rooster, the Mockingbird and the Maiden
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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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