Canku Ota logo

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

Canku Ota logo

January 2014 - Volume 12 Number 1
pictograph divider
"Ka-hay Sho-o Dah Chi"
The Crow Greeting
Hello. How are you?

"Hotehimini kiishthwa"
Strawberry Moon
pictograph divider
"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~
pictograph divider

We Salute
Kan Do

Canku Ota is proud to showcase our Special Friends

The goal, of Kan Do, is to empower everyone:
women and men, children, special needs people, disabled people, and veterans.
I Kan Do anything if I put my mind to it, Don’t Tell Me I Kan’t!
This is a very powerful statement and we believe it!

Read More Button
pictograph divider
Our Featured Artist: Honoring Students
Rutherford Recreating Cherokee Feathered Capes

Lisa Rutherford's studio space in the Cherokee Arts Center is a testament to her artistic interests. Her pottery in the room mixes with her textile and beadwork. Also in the room are loose goose feathers that are to be part of capes she's creating because she's one of a handful of Cherokee artists who can make feathered capes and the only one currently doing so.

An Extraordinary Girl On An Extraordinary Path

Every year Boys & Girls Club of America elect one youth who demonstrates extraordinary leadership in their community and family, and possesses a strong moral character, to be Youth of the Year. This year, Tulalip's own Samantha Marteney has been chosen to represent the Tulalip Boys & Girls Club in the club's premier recognition program for young people.

Read More
Read More
Our Featured Story: Northwestern Wisconsin First Person History:
Indian Family Sees Its History in a Shirt

Ten years ago, lost to drugs and alcohol, Karen Little Thunder moved back to the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota, where, she said, she saved her own life by reconnecting to her Lakota heritage, particularly the legacy of her great-great grandfather.

Autobiography of
Black Hawk

Part 5
Read More
Read More
pictograph divider
News and Views Banner
Education News Education News
Tuba City High Student Selected For Stanford's Reischauer Scholars Program

Tuba City High senior Isaac Manrique, the son of Kathleen O'Neill and José Manrique, has earned a spot in Stanford University's 2014 Reischauer Scholars Program (RSP). The program selects 25 exceptional high school students every year from throughout the United States to engage in an intensive study of Japan.

School of Mines Native Students Take Awards

Two Native American South Dakota Schools of Mines & Technology (SDSMT) students were standouts at the recent 2013 American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) national conference.

The purpose of the Tiospaye in Science and Engineering Program is to increase the number of American Indian students graduating from South Dakota School of Mines with a Bachelor of Science degree in engineering, mathematics, and science fields through financial, academic, professional, cultural, and social support.

Read More
Read More
pictograph divider
Education News Education News
Guitars And Hydroponics

Every person learns differently. Some take to lectures and textbooks, while others need a more hands-on approach.

That is what the new elective science, technology, engineering and math classes at Ganado Unified School District are offering students this school year.

You can learn a lot about acoustics, for example, by building a guitar, or about botany by actually growing plants.

Jeanna Dowse, director of instructional services, said the district developed a five-year plan to incorporate more STEM-based classes into the GUSD curriculum as a way to get the students more excited about the fields.

Student-Athletes Prepare to Wow 8,000 Spectators at Lakota Nation Invitational

After a full day of classes, Christi Sioux Bob ‘14 walks into Red Cloud Indian School's recently expanded Wellness Center and eyes the new weights and training equipment. She has been preparing for the Lakota Nation Invitational, a yearly tournament of the mind and body, and it finally starts this week. The room is bright and clean and the walls are covered with motivational quotes and a list of state champions from years past. She looks up at one that reads, "Never let weakness convince you that you lack strength." And then she reaches for a weight and starts in on her regimen.

Read More
Read More
pictograph divider
History Lessons History Lessons
Native History: Indians Defeat Army to Protect Bozeman Trail

On December 21, 1866, the U.S. Army suffered its second largest defeat during the Indian Wars, second only to the battle with George Armstrong Custer at Little Bighorn. All 81 cavalrymen and infantrymen died in an intense fight that lasted just 40 minutes.

The history leading up to this fight started three years earlier, in the spring of 1863. The Bozeman Trail was constructed, leading north from Fort Laramie on the old Oregon Trail into the gold fields of Montana. This brought the trail and its hoard of immigrants right through what had once been the homeland of the Crow, later the Shoshone, and then the Teton Sioux. This is the Powder River country of what is now Wyoming. It was open land but good land as game was abundant and fruits and berries grew along the waterways.

The Spy And The Wolf
Tunwéya Na Šungmánitu Thánka

There were two kinds of scouts on the Great Plains in the nineteenth century. One kind consisted of Indians who enlisted in the US military as members of the US Scouts, an official branch of the US military. The Indian Scouts were charged with four basic responsibilities which included scouting the landscape for military expeditions, translating, running down deserters, and delivering US mail between military forts.

The other kind of scout served the native people by going out ahead of the main camp and watching for enemies, guiding the camp to the best campsites, and searched for game. The essential qualifications of the scout included truthfulness, courage, intuition, and a thorough knowledge of the landscape.

Read More
Read More
pictograph divider
Honoring Students Honoring Our Ancestors

Native American Day at SRCS

The Salmon River Central Schools (SRCS) Mohawk Club members shared their culture with their classmates on Native American Day, which they celebrated on Tuesday before Thanksgiving. Middle school students took part in the activities in the morning while the high school celebrated in the afternoon.

The student body was treated to two films, "Skennen Ratihawi" and the "Story of the ½ Blanket", that were produced by Katsitsionni Fox and students from last year's film class. Also, three music videos that were made in Ms. Fox's summer program called "Film Fundamentals." Two of them were Bear Fox songs called "Diamond" and "Rich Girl," and the other was "Water Song" by Kontiwenenhawi. Bear Fox had just barely returned home from performing in California and she showed up at SRCS to perform two of her songs "Kaieri Niionkwetake" and "Standing Skye." Rowisonkies Barnes and recent graduate Quinton Wilson did some hand drumming and singing. Senior Raienkonnis Edwards emceed the Native American Day activities.

Respecting The Fallen: Army of Volunteers Tidies Up Vet Cemetery

Armed with weed whackers, shovels, rakes and gloves, over a dozen people marched into the Fort Defiance Veterans Cemetery Friday with one mission: clean it up.

As a way to show their fellow veterans they are not forgotten, members of the Tsehootsooi Twin Warrior Society banded together to host the all-day clean-up.

The Tsehootsooi Twin Warrior Society started in 1989. It was named "Twin Warrior Society" to honor both male and female veterans, said Bill Watchmen, society member and a U.S. Army veteran.

Society member Eugene Atcitty, U.S. Navy veteran, said the event was hosted because the veterans who have been buried at cemetery, and all veterans past and present, are very important.

Read More
Read More
pictograph ider
Preserving Culture Preserving Culture
An Activist's Baskets: The Unique Art of Shan Goshorn

"While I may be relatively new to the art of basket making itself, I've always been a human rights activist," says Eastern Band of Cherokee artist Shan Goshorn, who thinks the two concepts go well together. And judging from the reception her artistic statements are getting, she's right. Goshorn is one of 16 artists tapped for a 2014 fellowship by the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation. The honor comes with a $20,000 grant.

Alamo Weaver: Weaving Leads To A Good Life

When 78-year-old Isabelle Pino-Thomas was a little girl, she herded sheep to the Saltwater, Two Hill and Owl Nest areas of the Alamo Navajo Reservation.

"That way my dad knew where I was at -- with the sheep," Thomas said identifying herself as a member of the Apache clan.

Historically, Alamo people named certain places, like the areas Thomas took her sheep to pasture, as a way to find people or animals or to remember something that happened there.

Read More
Read More
pictograph divider
Healthy Living Healthy Living
Reclaiming Our Knowledge of Indigenous Food Cultivation

Feel good time. Most of my knowledge comes from a natural sense of curiosity and an effort to find the good in local offerings.

Gardening is a livelihood we can learn from our elders, our neighbors, literature, the local county extension office, our Osage Historic Preservation office, hands on learning at the cultural center, YouTube videos, etcetera. When it comes to getting one's hands dirty and growing our own crops I believe we should express ourselves and not repress ourselves. I credit Deb EchoHawk of the Pawnee Nation for getting me excited about the correlation of food and mood in the growing and storing process.

The Healing Properties of Cedar

Beloved Western Red Cedar is known by Native people in this region by several names; "Long Life Giver, Mother and Tree of Life." Red Cedar is a tall evergreen tree with gray to cinnamon red bark that is found in moist soils in flat areas and mountain slopes. It thrives here in the moist forests of the Pacific Northwest.

Red Cedar provides for us shelter, canoes, basketry materials, clothing, medicine and more! This month I would like to share with you a few of the ways that Cedar can be used as medicine.

For generations Northwest Coastal People have traditionally depended upon cedar bark and leaf as medicine for a variety of illnesses.

Read More
Read More
pictograph divider
Living History Living History
Kituwah To Be Protected "In Perpetuity"

Kituwah is the "The Mother Town of the Cherokee" and is a sacred site that has existed for thousands of years. Now, it will be protected "in perpetuity".

Tribal Council passed legislation unanimously recently that states "there shall be no alteration to Kituwah and the Council hereby supports the protection and preservation of said property in keeping with the spiritual integrity of Kituwah."

Tribe Hopes New Trail Will Shine Light on Story of Ponca and Chief Standing Bear

The story of Chief Standing Bear detoured through an Omaha courtroom more than 130 years ago. It started when the U.S. government uprooted the peaceful Ponca Tribe and forced it to move to Indian Territory.

Read More
Read More
pictograph divider
Living Traditions Living Traditions
Influential SCIT leaders Featured in "Great Lakes Bay Women" Art Exhibit

What do Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe's very own Charmaine Shawana, Louanna Bruner and Judy Pamp have in common with Madonna? They are all featured in the art exhibit "Great Lakes Bay Women" by Edwina Jaques on display at the Saginaw Art Museum.

While Jaques currently resides in the United Kingdom, she is originally from Saginaw, Mich. The "Great Lakes Bay Women" exhibit features art that is of and about Michigan women.

Sold-out Native Cuisine Event Packs Museum

More than 300 people lined up Saturday, Nov. 16 at the Southern Ute Cultural Center & Museum for a taste of buffalo stew, Chimayo red chile and candied bear berries.

In its third year, the museum’s Taste of Native Cuisine & Culture Expo kicked off with two dance demonstrations, one by the crown dancers of New Mexico’s Jicarilla Apache Nation and the other by Southern Ute dancers, who exhibited various styles. A tour of the museum followed before lunch was ready.

Read More
Read More
pictograph divider
Nature's Ways Preserving Culture

Tribal Council Extends Special Protection to Rare White Deer Spotted on Reservation

The Southern Ute Indian Tribal Council passed a resolution Friday, Dec. 22 adopting emergency regulations to protect a rare all-white deer seen by hunters over the past two weeks on the Southern Ute Reservation.

The mule deer is not albino, but leucistic – a condition that describes a lack of all surface pigment but, usually, normally colored eyes. It has been seen several times on the reservation in mid-November by hunters and tribal staffers. To protect the animal, the tribe's Wildlife Resource Management Division declined to say where it's been spotted.

Annenberg Foundation and Hopi Nation Announce Return of Sacred Artifacts to Native American Hopi Tribe

Annenberg Foundation Vice President and Director Gregory Annenberg Weingarten today announced that the Annenberg Foundation has purchased 24 sacred Native American artifacts from an auction house in Paris – totaling $530 thousand– for the sole purpose of returning them to their rightful owners. Twenty-one of these items will be returned to the Hopi Nation in Arizona, and three artifacts belonging to the San Carlos Apache will be returned to the Apache tribe. "This is a great day for not only the Hopi people but for the international community as a whole," said Sam Tenakhongva, a Hopi cultural leader.

Read More
Read More
pictograph divider
Nature's Ways   Recipe
Candlelight Wolf Vigil Inspires and Fosters Community Awareness

The idea created to foster community awareness over misguided political deception won the day of Thursday, Nov. 14. The Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe joined others across the state in proceeding wolf ceremonies.

The SCIT Tribal Council voiced their concerns over the wolf hunt with other Tribes represented at the Oct. 23 United Tribes of Michigan meeting. They showed their support through a Tribal Resolution against the hunt.

Serious Blue Corn Cornbread

This is cornbread with the taste of full-on corn, and I like to use blue cornmeal because it has a higher protein content than yellow cornmeal, but you can use yellow for this recipe if you’d prefer.This recipe is also very quick and easy for everyday meals. The bread is very basic and rustic (but still moist), and is meant to be so (and since there is no wheat flour, it’s gluten-free). As an accompaniment to stews or hardy winter meals, this cornbread makes a great addition. But I’ve also eaten it for breakfast with eggs, or just a side of jam and butter.

Read More
Read More
pictograph divider
Preserving Culture   Living History
MSNBC's Melissa Harris-Perry Tackles the Broad American Mythology

MSNBC's Melissa Harris-Perry weekend program on December 1 featured a panel that discussed "the foundational myths perpetuated about America and the realities of inequality," according to

The two-hour program featured Ray Halbritter, Oneida Nation representative and CEO of Nation Enterprises, parent company of Indian Country Today Media Network, as one of the guest panelists.

Standing Rock Legend,
A Test Of Faithfulness

STANDING ROCK, N.D. – There are several variations of the story of Standing Rock, but all of them end with a woman transforming into stone. On the Northern Plains there are three tribes which have a Standing Rock story: the Cheyenne, the Arikara, and the Standing Rock Sioux. There is a different location associated with each story too.

The story of Standing Rock, in a way, mirrors the story of the horses' arrival. There are several variations of the story of first contact with horses, and in different places too. The common element of the horse story is awe and a renewed sense of respect for the mystery of creation. No one story is right, and no one location is the exact one.

Read More
Read More
pictograph divider
In Every Issue Banner
About This Issue's Greeting - "Ka-hay Sho-o Dah Chi"
In traditional and contemporary Crow culture, it is customary to greet each other with a quick glance away or a blink and nod of the head. If they are wearing a hat, they might tip the brim of the hat. Handshaking is a white man's custom and was only recently accepted as a greeting in Crow culture. You will rarely see Crow people embracing publicly. From: Vincent Goes Ahead, Jr., Museum Interpreter, Vice Chairman of the Crow Tribe
Nature's Beauty: Orion
Read More
A Story To Share: Why the Stars are in the Sky
Read More
This Issue's Web sites
Read More
pictograph divider
Home ButtonFront Page ButtonArchives ButtonOur Awards ButtonAbout Us Button
Kids Page ButtonColoring Book ButtonCool Kids ButtonGuest Book ButtonEmail Us Button
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 - 2014 of Vicki Williams Barry 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- 2014 of Paul C. Barry.
All Rights Reserved.
Site Meter
Thank You

Valid HTML 4.01!