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

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December 2013 - Volume 11 Number 12
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 The Haida Greeting
"Welcome here is the place of honor for you"

Male Greater Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) Displaying

Time of Cold
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"When asked by an anthropologist what the Indians called America before the white man came,
an Indian said simply, 'Ours.'" ~ Vine Deloria, Jr. ~
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We Salute
Joe Medicine Crow

A living legend among the Great Plains tribes marks one of the greatest milestones in life. An author, historian and a highly decorated military serviceman, Dr. Joseph Medicine Crow has tried to tie the past to the present.

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Our Featured Artist: Honoring Students
Speaking With Clay, Mud and Clowns: Pueblo Potter Roxanne Swentzell

Roxanne Swentzell’s feminine koshare sculptures are well known in Santa Fe, where she exhibits at Tom Ross gallery, and her own Tower Gallery, in Pojoaque. A mother, grandmother, artist, gardener, and builder, Roxanne has pottery in her blood.

Shennen's Dream

Shannen Koostachin, youth education advocate from the Attawapiskat First Nation in Ontario, had a dream: safe and comfy schools and culturally based education for First Nations children and youth.

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Our Featured Story: Northwestern Wisconsin First Person History:
Winter Stories and Ceremonies

Moonchildren settle back. Remember the cold. Remember the dark nights and short days of time before time and when the Earth is at rest. Sit closely together in the long nights of time and recall the stories told and retold.

Autobiography of
Black Hawk

Part 4
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News and Views Banner
Education News Preserving Language
Mission US – A Cheyenne Odyssey

THIRTEEN announces the launch of "A Cheyenne Odyssey," the third interactive game in the Mission US series of captivating, digital role-playing games created to engage middle grade students in the exploration of U.S. history. "A Cheyenne Odyssey" debuts on October 16, 2013, and supports the study of westward expansion in the middle grade American history curriculum. The game engages students as they take on the role of a twelve-year-old Northern Cheyenne boy in the 1860s.

Cherokee Nation Creates Cherokee Activity Books For Kids

The Cherokee Nation's Education Services, in collaboration with other CN departments, has created two activity books for children so that they can have fun while learning the tribe's language, culture and history.

"As a department we're always looking for ways to promote language, culture and history," Lisa Trice-Turtle, Education Services liaison, said.

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Education News Education News
Native Pride At Heart of 'Rock Your Mocs' Campaign

Elementary school students in western New Mexico are wearing their moccasins. So are students at Northern Arizona University, Purdue and the University of Michigan.

On the Cherokee Nation, there's a waiting list for Friday's moccasin-making class. And on a military base in Afghanistan, a soldier ties a beaded cross around her boot to symbolize her moccasins.

Showing Pride Through Moccasins

When Sherrie Benally put on her moccasins Friday morning, her 4-year-old daughter asked for a pair to wear to school.

Benally was surprised by her daughter's request but assured her that Santa Claus would deliver a pair. Benally said that moment made her proud because her daughter is taking pride in Navajo culture.

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Living Traditions Education News
Poet Heid Erdrich Turns Talents to a Cultural Cookbook Celebrating Indigenous Foods

When Heid Erdrich observed the growth of the "locavore" movement — the push to buy and consume locally grown food — she saw a disturbing lack in an otherwise laudable concept.

"Locavore folks were eating foods long-grown here by indigenous culture groups, but they did not know it," Heid said. "I asked, 'Where did this food come from originally?' It really wasn't of concern to people."

As an Ojibwe woman from Turtle Mountain in North Dakota, it was of concern to Erdrich. She believed the indigenous connection should be known.

Potlatch Fund Helps Change Lives in Northwest

The Potlatch Fund awarded $305,042 in grants this year to support community building, Native arts, language preservation and education, and participation in the Canoe Journey.

Grants ranged in size from $1,300 to $5,000. No matter the size, each made a big difference to the recipient.

Among this year’s recipients, the Yakama Nation Economic Development Department is using its grant to help support a foster and relative care program that provides cultural classes and Native food-gathering workshops. The Cowlitz Tribe Youth Board’s grant is supporting leadership training for 60-80 youth.

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Honoring Students Living Traditions
New DC Comics Superhero Inspired by Young Cree Activist

A new comic superhero for D-C Comics will take the form of a teenage girl from James Bay. Toronto cartoonist Jeff Lemire says Shannen Koostachin — a young Cree activist from Attawapiskat — helped inspire him.

Lemire said the 15-year-old, who led fellow students to Parliament Hill to lobby for a proper school, isn't far from his thoughts in drawing up the new superhero.

"I think if I can capture some of that heart and some of that essence in this character, perhaps she'll almost be a guiding spirit in the creation of this character," he said.

Graceful Glass Sculptures
by Preston Singletary

Tlingit artist Preston Singletary first started blowing glass at 19 years old, working at Seattle's Glass Eye Studio, and later studied at the Pilchuck Glass School. There he learned from American glass artist Dante Marioni and Lino Tagliapietra, a world-famous Venetian glass-blower from the Italian island of Murano, the Mecca of glass art. Singletary's artworks are exhibited at the British Museum in London, the Museum of Fine Arts of Boston, the Seattle Art Museum, and the Heard Museum in Phoenix, and he is represented by the Blue Rain Gallery (Santa Fe), the Spirit Wrestler Gallery (Vancouver), and the Traver Gallery (Seattle).

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Living Traditions New Technology
It's Not Firewood! Stunning Bowls by Cheyenne Wood Turner

"No, it's not firewood," says Nathan Hart of the big log pile in his Oklahoma City back yard. What the loosely-stacked pieces of pecan, hackberry, walnut, and oak could be are masterpieces in the making by the Cheyenne wood turner, who relishes making something beautiful and polished from conspicuously raw material.

"Nature provides a fantastic showcase of different types of wood with a variety of interesting grain patterns. What I like to do is assist in the process of showing off this natural beauty. I get wood and give it new life."

Google Introduces Virtual Tour of Iqaluit

Iqaluit is among a handful of locations throughout the world that Google has chosen to showcase with its virtual tours.

Google launched its Street View function for the Canadian city last month. The virtual tour also includes a guided audio tour and an explanation of the “Trekker” backpack, used to map the area instead of Google’s Street View car.

Virtual tours have been produced for a number of locations, including Mount Everest, the Grand Canyon, and the Burj Khalifa skyscraper in Dubai.

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Education News Living Traditions
Hopi Wins 24th Consecutive Boys Cross Country Title

After 24 consecutive state cross country titles, Hopi coach Rick Baker gave clues as to what could bring his dynasty down.

"This year was more challenging for the guys with distractions and all," said Baker, whose runners won their national-record 24th consecutive state title by capturing the boys Division IV title Saturday at the Cave Creek Golf Course in Phoenix. "When we have meetings and they are on their phone twittering or texting, I have to tell them to put the phone down. It's a bit more of a challenge now." Neither Twitter, Facebook or any other social media outlet was able to stop Hopi, which placed three runners in the top 20 to finish with a team score of 69 points, ahead of Pinon (124), Tucson Pusch Ridge Christian (147), Many Farms (195) and Glendale Prep (205).

Spirit of New Yorkers Carries Pine Ridge Reservation's Team One Spirit Across Marathon Finish Line

Amanda Carlow, Nupa White Plume, Kelsey Good Lance, Alex Wilson and Jeff Turning Heart competed in Sunday's ING NYC Marathon and raised at least $20,000 for a youth center on The Rez, as they call it.

Amanda Carlow's heel hurts. Nupa White Plume's calves and ankles are cranky, and his body begged him to stop with 385 yards to go. A year later than they'd planned, five runners from the Lakota Nation and the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota finally got to run the New York City Marathon Sunday, empowered by their cause and the crowds, even if the pounding and the wind roughed them up.

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Education News   Living Traditions
Students Get Muddy Digging Water Potatoes in Idaho

Mud and kids go hand in hand, so when the opportunity presents itself for youngsters to wade into a muddy marsh in the name of education, much laughter ensues. Such was the situation on the Coeur d'Alene Reservation when students from surrounding schools, both Native and non-Native, held an annual "Water Potato Day" in muddy marshes that have historically provided food for tribal families gathered here to spend the winter months.

Nine schools and roughly 325 students took part over three days in October in Plummer, Idaho.

The Coolest Cowboys Are From Indian Country At National Rodeo Finals

By the final round Saturday night at the Indian National Finals Rodeo, all Dakota Louis needed to do was stay on his bull for 8 seconds and score more than 53 points to win his third world-champion bull-riding title.

All the bull had to do was buck hard enough to throw him off before the whistle blew in this, its final rodeo outing before retirement.

The two knew each other. Three years ago, Louis was 18 when he first competed in bull riding at the finals, and he was on the same top-ranked bull, a behemoth named Slow Ride. Louis, a Northern Cheyenne tribe member from Montana, won that round.

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In Every Issue Banner
About This Issue's Greeting - "Tatsgwiik"
There are numerous people, mostly elders that still actively speak the language and in both Massett and Skidegate.

There are three dialects of the Haida language: Massett, Skidegate and Kaigani (Alaskan).

138 speakers in USA (1990 census); 225 in Canada (1991 M. Dale Kinkade); 363 total, out of 2,000 population total (1977 SIL). Most or all speakers are over 50. There is interest in reviving the language. Bilingual in English.

Haida is considered a linguistic isolate with no proven genetic relationship to any language family.
Nature's Beauty:
Greater Sage-Grouse
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This Issue's Web sites
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A Story To Share:
Blue Corn 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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