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

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September 2013 - Volume 11 Number 9
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"Bo zho, Bode'wadmi ndaw!"
The Potawatomi Greeting
Means “Hello, I'm Potawatomi”


Yellow Leaf Moon
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"Birds have always been important to the Indian because they go where they wish, they light where they may and they're free. ...The eagle flies highest in the sky of all the birds and so he is the nearest to the Creator, and his feather is the most sacred of all. He is the highest of the birds and so belongs to all the tribes, to all the peoples."

Buffalo Jim-Seminole
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We Salute
Obama Nominates Cherokee To Ambassador-Rank Post

President Barack Obama has nominated Cherokee Nation citizen Keith Harper of Washington, D.C., to an ambassador-rank post within the United Nations.

On June 10, Obama announced Harper as his pick for U.S. representative to the United Nations Human Rights Council. If confirmed by the Senate, Harper would be the first Native American in an ambassador post.

The United Nations Human Rights Council addresses human rights issues around the world. Prior U.S. representatives have included former first last Eleanor Roosevelt and vice-presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro.

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Our Featured Artist: Honoring Students
Miss Navajo Commemorative Shawl Honors All Diné Women

When Miss Navajo Leandra Thomas and Navajo Arts and Crafts Enterprise unveiled the special edition Miss Navajo Pendleton Shawl to the public on Friday, the more than 100 people in attendance whispered "ohhs" of surprise and offered their applause.

They were astounded by the colorful Pendleton shawl, which is officially called "Naabeeh— Asdzáá Bééhániih" in the Navajo language. "Ayoo shil bahozho," said Thomas in Navajo about the first-ever specialty shawl manufactured by Oregon-based Pendleton Woolen Mills.

New Native SMSC Scholarship Recipients Graduate, Plan To Give Back

Although Jason Champagne didn't grow up on a Native American reservation, he visited relatives on them growing up and saw nutrition was a major issue. Now, the 37-year-old University of Minnesota graduate student wants to change that. Like many Native American students in Minnesota, Champagne relied on tribal-funded scholarships to help pay for his college degree.

The fall of 2009 marked the first year University students were awarded the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community Endowed Scholarship, which aims to increase Native American students at the University and is offered in part on students' intent to serve native societies when they graduate.

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Our Featured Story: Northwestern Wisconsin First Person History:
A Sidekick's Little-Known Leading Role in Lacrosse

At Iroquois Lacrosse Arena in Hagersville, Ontario, the home of the Six Nations Chiefs, box lacrosse champions of eastern Canada, a photograph from 1931 hangs on the wall. Gazing ahead resolutely and gripping a lacrosse stick is a handsome dark-haired Mohawk man with a bandage over his right brow.

Autobiography of
Black Hawk

Part 1
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Living Traditions Education News
Indian Ink! Tattoos Expressing Iroquois Pride

As European explorers and Native chiefs set-up the translation protocol of their meetings, in the background, sailors and warriors would check out each other’s tattoos and piercings. You could say those were the first cross cultural exchanges in the Americas. Tattooing and body art was widespread among most tribes but because of Christianity and acculturation it disappeared or went underground for a century or so. Since the late 1960’s, modern society has seen a resurgence of all types of tattooing, with tribal designs especially trending. Before, it was the domain of subcultures like bikers, sailors, gangs, clubs, and inmates. Then the 1980’s saw the rise of Punk and a Youth culture of non-conformity and body art took off. Tribal tattoos now reflect Clan symbols and legends, totems and spirit protectors, family traditions and Native languages. Tribal members now modernize traditional arts like wampum designs and pictographs into body art to update and re-affirm cultural identity.

Android Navajo Keyboard App Now Available

Continuing their success of the Navajo keyboard released last November for the Apple products, the staff of Native Innovation Inc. having been working hard this past month testing the application that will Android device users download a Navajo keyboard.

Last evening in Flagstaff, Native Innovation staff held a launch party at the Native American Cultural Center at Northern Arizona University to celebrate their success.

“This is our contribution to the Diné Language Revitalization among our tech savvy youth,” commented Jerome Tsosie, president and co-owner of Native Innovation Inc. to the Native News Network prior to the launch party.


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Education News Education News
Keweenaw Bay Ojibwa Community College Celebrates, Looks to Future

The Keweenaw Bay Ojibwa Community College was recently granted full accreditation, as described in last Saturday's Daily Mining Gazette, and Friday afternoon the achievement was celebrated.

A ceremony was held at the Big Bucks Bingo hall in Baraga, with several key stakeholders reflecting on the college's history and looking forward to its future. Several other dignitaries joined in the celebration.

Student Science Leads to Accidental Innovation

When Red Cloud Junior Myriam Rama '15 learned about the Research Apprentice Program, or R.A.P., at the University of South Dakota, she knew it would give her exactly what she wanted: the opportunity to work with a professional chemist in a university lab. She spent this summer in the lab of Dr. Kadal Marriappan, focusing on metal ions and how to increase the efficiency of metal detectors.

What she didn't expect was that a small mistake in her research would lead to an innovative breakthrough—and put her name in print alongside seasoned scientists.

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Living Traditions Education News
Not Dollars But 'Scouts': Crow Tribe Hopes To Have Its Own Currency

Ceivert LaForge hopes that people buying and selling goods and services on the Crow Indian Reservation are soon dealing with "scouts," not with U.S. dollars.

The scouts would be copper, silver and gold coins created and issued by the Crow Tribe, a "sovereign currency" for what is already a sovereign nation.

Cheyenne River Teens Learn Healthy Eating and Diabetes Prevention

Over the summer 11 Cheyenne River teenagers provided 60 hours of service during the Cheyenne River Youth Project's first teen internship program. They focused on youth wellness and the two-acre Winyan Toka Win ("Leading Lady") garden in Eagle Butte, South Dakota.

The students earned a $500 stipend for their hard work.

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Living Traditions Living Tradions
Dyeing To Learn Women Teach Weaving From Wool To Rug

On a plateau near Fort Defiance that felt like the top of the world, students and a teacher gathered sagebrush and lichen to dye wool.

It was once a common sight, but these days few weavers gather plants for natural dye.

"You don't need more than what you need," cautioned Mary Walker, a bilagáana weaving instructor for the weaving class. "That's greedy."

Akwesasne Museum Hosts Children's Basket Making Class

Her baskets have been shown in three continents in world-class museums, one of her baskets was presented to Pope Benedict at the Vatican, and now ten lucky students had the opportunity to learn from master basketmaker Sheila Ransom. Children from 9 years old to 14 years old met two times a week for a two-hour class at the Akwesasne Museum. Ms. Ransom’s specialty is making fancy baskets, but for this class she taught the skills she had learned from another master basketmaker, Henry Arquette, to make a small pack basket.

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Living Traditions Honoring the Ancestors

Fourth Annual Hopi Native Arts and Music Festival Sept. 28-29

The fourth annual Hopi Native Arts and Music Festival takes place Sept. 28-29 in Heritage Square in downtown Flagstaff. Organizers expect to draw several thousand visitors daily to Flagstaff.

The Hopi Tribe Economic Development Corporation (HTEDC) sponsors the event. The group's mission is to create economic opportunities for the Hopi people. Kevin Lombardo, CEO of the corporation, believes that the festival in Heritage Square is an economic opportunity that creates a venue where people can come and gather and present their wares and have others come and look, and hopefully, buy them.

Native History: The Day Tecumseh's Prophecy Rocked the World

This Date in Native History: Earthquakes and eclipses of the sun were among the deeds attributed to Tecumseh and his brother, but legends surrounding Tecumseh are as great as the truths, said Shawnee Second Chief Ben Barnes. "It is hard to know without proof or specific oral history just exactly what happened" on August 11, 1802 he said.

There is evidence that Tecumseh and his brother, Tenskwatawa, were prophets and visionaries who may have changed history had there been a little more help from the British, and more faith from certain tribes. As for help from the Creator, or "Master of Life," the evidence follows.

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Living Traditions Living Traditions
Potawatomi – "Keepers of Fire" – Fire Still Burning Brightly

The 19th Annual Gathering of Potawatomi Nations is now history, but it will be long remembered as a place where Potawatomi from nine bands gathered under bright skies and green trees to celebrate who they are as Potawatomi people.

Known as the "keepers of the fire," the Potawatomi have had a presence in Michigan for centuries, so for many descendants who were in Dowagiac, the home base of the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi, it was a time to remember where their ancestors lived up until the mid-1840s when they were forced to Kansas and Oklahoma.

Horse-eating Part of Navajo Tradition

Horsemeat is not only a delicacy in Europe and China, it's also one here.

Since at least the 1500s, Navajos have harvested and consumed horses. This is according to Tim Begay, a Navajo Cultural Specialist with the Navajo Historic Preservation Department, who added that horse consumption on Navajo was and is mostly a way to combat the common cold and flu, and an alternative food source for families during the winter months.

"It was used as medicine, which is totally different from slaughtering and selling them to different countries," Begay said of why Navajos harvest horses.

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Living Traditions   Healthy Living
Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian Accepts Mishoon (Dugout Canoe) from Plimoth Plantation into its Collection

Plimoth Plantation's Wampanoag Indigenous Program (WIP) is proud to announce that a mishoon (a traditional Native American canoe) has recently been accepted into the collection of the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian, one of 19 museums, research centers and zoos that comprise the Smithsonian Institution.

Drop the Can! 3 Soda Substitutes After Pop Linked to Aggression in Kids

Five-year-olds who consume four or more sodas daily are more than twice as likely to attack others, fight with them or destroy their property, according to findings from a study by the Children's Hospital Medical Center, published August 16 in the Journal of Pediatrics.

Many studies have confirmed a relationship between adolescents' soft drink consumption and aggression, depression and suicidal thoughts; but this is the first time scientists have identified this association between soda and young children.

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About This Issue's Greeting - "Bo zho, Bode'wadmi ndaw!"
The Potawatomi language belongs to the Algonkian language group; as such it is related in structure and vocabulary to the Ojibwe, Menominee, Kickapoo, Miami-Illinois, Shawnee and Cree languages, and most closely resembles Ojibwe and Kickapoo. Linguists classify it as a separate language that became a distinct entity long ago. Most Potawatomi who are involved with the language feel strongly that this is so.

The most important characteristic of the language is that it is oral. English, by comparison, is a written language. Pretty much all of us started school when we were young and quickly learned that words have definite shapes and boundaries, defined by blank spaces. In a truly oral language, that isn't the case.

Potawatomi has been written down from time to time, but a definitive and commonly accepted writing system has never been developed. There is a "traditional" orthography, and several others that were developed over the years, including ours. For the most part, though, people are free to write the language as they hear it, and no one is criticized for misspelling in Potawatomi.
Nature's Beauty:
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A Story To Share:
Walks All Over the Sky

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This Issue's 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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