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

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March 2017 - Volume 15 Number 3
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"Bo zho, Bode'wadmi ndaw!"
Means “Hello, I'm Potawatomi”

Ocelot (Leopardus pardalis)

Seal Pups 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
Amber Poleviyuma

ASU Student Receives MLK Award For Increasing Awareness Of Native American Communities

Amber Poleviyuma and her dance partner participated in a "social dance" with other dancers from the village in an effort to make it rain. She said to her grandfather, "We are going to make it rain, just us — not the other dancers."

After two days of dancing, Poleviyuma said she finally felt the first drops of rain and returned home to her grandfather who said to her, "You did make it rain."

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Our Featured Artist: Honoring Students
The Origin of
Counting Coup Honor
Began With Birds

The traditional war honor of counting coup reaches back to a time before the First Nations walked upon Makoce Waste (Beautiful Country; North America). When the Oceti Sakowin (Seven Council Fires; the Great Sioux Nation, or "Sioux") arrived, they learned to survive by first observing nature.

When the Oceti Sakowin learned warfare, they were prepared for the First Battle by Thokeya (the very First man), aided by Inktomi (the Spider Nation in this instance, not the legendary trickster) and Zitkala (the Bird Nation).

SpearChief-Morris Becomes First Indigenous Student President of Harvard Law School's Legal Aid Bureau

Congratulations to Julian SpearChief-Morris (Blood Tribe) on his recent election as President of Harvard Law School's Legal Aid Bureau, (HLAB). As one of Harvard's historical honor societies at Harvard Law School, the HLAB provides an opportunity for law students to engage in legal practice with real clients involving a myriad of issues ranging from housing and immigration to family law. With over 50 students involved, the program is the second largest provider of legal aid services in the Boston area.

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Our Featured Story: First Person History:
9,000-Year-Old Kennewick Man Set To Receive Native American Burial After Decades In Limbo

Beer in hand, 21-year-old Will Thomas bent down in the middle of the Columbia River to grab what he thought was a rock.

It wasn't until after he lifted the skull out of the water that Thomas realized his jest wasn't factually incorrect.


History of the
Ottawa and Chippewa Indians
of Michigan

Chapter Twelve
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News and Views Banner
Education News Education News
Little Singer Community School Takes Home Big School Jr. Championship

The Birdsprings Little Singer Community School basketball team captured the Big School Jr. High Basketball State Championship 19-0, against Sonoran Trails Jr. High School Feb. 13 in Phoenix.

With an enrollment of 60 students, the Birdsprings school was very excited to show off its talent.

Kylie Begay, a seventh grader, broke a state record with 37 points — the most points ever recorded for a player and 10 three’s in the semifinals and was awarded MVP of the state tournament.

Tsi Niiohahò:ten: Choosing Our Path

In Tsiothóhrha/December 2014, the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe's (SRMT) Environment Division collaborated with the Ahkwesáshsne Freedom School (AFS) on an education project proposal to the St. Lawrence River Research and Education Fund (SLRREF) called, "Tsi Niiohahò:ten: Choosing our Path." The project was awarded in 2015 and enabled AFS students to participate in spring and summer environmental activities that promoted traditional teachings; language; and science lessons of fish, wildlife, and medicines from the Áse Tsi Tewá:ton Program. The Tsi Niiohahò:ten project created a unique new link to the Tribe's cultural restoration efforts by creating a "Jr. Apprentice."

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Education News Education News
Bronson Koenig (Ho-Chunk) Selected As This Year's Winner Of The US Basketball Writers Association Most Courageous Award

Those words describe the journey of Bronson Koenig, a senior guard at Wisconsin and this year's winner of the USBWA's Most Courageous Award.

Last summer, Koenig closely examined who he really was. He's a Native American member of the Ho-Chunk tribe.

Healthy Lifestyles On Display At 2017 Navajo Parks Race Series

Little Colorado River Gorge, AZ —The windy conditions and rocky terrain didn't deter runners from turning out in droves for the 3rd annual Little Colorado River Gorge half marathon and 10K trail runs Feb. 11.

The LCR, as the tribal park the Grand Canyon.

The gateway to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon is in the center of the most picturesque landscapes on the Navajo Nation.

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Living Traditions Living Traditions
Pueblo Farming Project

Farming is a fundamental part of Pueblo identity—one that is integrated into every aspect of traditional Pueblo culture.

Pueblo leaders are concerned with preserving knowledge about farming and ensuring that this knowledge is transmitted to younger generations. Crow Canyon researchers and educators are interested in learning about traditional agriculture in order to better understand ancient farming practices—and to gain a deeper appreciation for the role of corn in Pueblo society, past and present. The Pueblo Farming Project is a collaborative effort that addresses the interests of both groups.

Tocabe To Open Its Third Location This Summer

Last spring, Denver's Tocabe became the largest Native American restaurant chain in the nation when it added a food truck to its arsenal. Now, Tocabe intends to grow its forces by adding a third brick-and-mortar location in Aurora. The location has still yet to be revealed but the company hopes to open this summer.

In the meantime, the eight-year-old restaurant still has plenty of other irons in the fire with two new additions to its menu and an expansion of locally source indigenous ingredients.

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Presrving Language Education News
Native Language Spotlighted During
Coca-Cola Super Bowl Ad

One of the seven languages used in the Coca-Cola commercial called "It's Beautiful" was Keres, a language spoken by Pueblo people.

The commercial showed various scenes of the country from mountains to desert and from rural to inner cities with people singing "America the Beautiful" in their language.


Tribal Member Carmelita Wamego Skeeter Honored For Service To Tulsa Indian Community

For four decades, the Indian Health Care Resource Center of Tulsa has provided quality, comprehensive health care to the city's Native American people in a culturally sensitive manner. Born out of a need to serve an urban Indian population underserved by the city's existing healthcare facilities, the IHCRC has worked to eliminate health disparities and strengthen the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual wellness of those it serves.

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Living Traditions Our Past
A Festival Atmosphere Provides Cultural Learning At Winter Camp 2017

Wood smoke curled into the sky and the sound of people's cheerful voices filled the cold winter air behind the Tribal Office Building in Black River Falls.

About 300 people attended the Winter Camp 2017, held on Saturday, Jan. 28. Half of those in attendance were children, and all came to enjoy the festivities.

Cahokia, America's Great City

Larger than London or Paris in its time, what is now America’s heartland had a magnificent city between 1030 and 1200 CE. Now known as Cahokia, the city occupied the wide floodplain where the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers meet, near present-day St. Louis. Like traditional capital cities around the world, Cahokia displayed monumental architecture, making it an awesome theater of power. In its center was (and still is) a mound larger than the Egyptians’ pyramids at Giza, a mound nearly as huge as the Pyramid of the Sun at Teotihuacan or the Great Pyramid of Cholula, in Mexico.

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Native News Living Traditions
Notes From The Chief

Over the last year, an elite group of professional athletes shared many successes while proudly representing their tribe. It is true that we have Cherokees in the NFL and MLB, but we also have tribal citizens who are champions in professional sports that are played closer to home on a slightly smaller, but just as prestigious stage.

Watching these Cherokee athletes in their quest to show the world the many talents and skills found throughout the Cherokee Nation and northeast Oklahoma is gratifying and inspiring.

The True Story of Pocahontas: Historical Myths Versus Sad Reality

Despite what many people believe due to longstanding and inaccurate accounts in history books and movies such as Disney’s Pocahontas, the true story of Pocahontas is not one of a young Native Powhatan woman with a raccoon friend who dove off of mountain-like cliffs off the coasts of Virginia. (Note: there are no cliffs on the coast of Virginia.)

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Living Traditions   Living Tradition
Karuk Fishermen at Ishi Pishi Falls, Still Dipnet Salmon Traditional Style

Brian Tripp is well known for his gifts—poet and painter, sculptor and ceremonial singer—but he has another gift besides. He seems able to talk me into things.

I pondered this as I followed his vintage Ford Crown Victoria from the Somes Bar store, slowly down the steep road into Ka'tim'îin, past the ceremony grounds and then to a parking place where the road ends abruptly at a rocky bluff.

Down below was the Klamath River and the traditional Karuk fishing spot at Ishi Pishi Falls.

Osage Nation Officials Witness Second Phase Unveiling Of Osage Legacy Statue In Missouri

Osage Nation officials traveled to Cuba, Mo. to witness the second phase unveiling of the 35-foot steel Osage Trail statue that located off Interstate 44 to commemorate the Osage history in the region.

On Jan. 27, Principal Chief Geoffrey Standing Bear, Special Advisor Johnny Williams Sr., and Wah-Zha-Zhi Cultural Center Director Addie Hudgins joined Cuba city and civic officials for a commemorative ceremony to witness the second sculpture erection of an Osage woman carrying a baby in a traditional cradleboard.

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Our Past   Living Tradition
Could This Giant Polar Bear Skull Be The Legendary 'Weasel Bear'?

Aboriginal hunters from Arctic Canada have a couple of names for what they say is an extremely rare polar bear that is huge, narrow-bodied, fast-moving and lithe: "tiriarnaq" or "tigiaqpak," meaning "weasel bear."

Now the thawing and rapidly eroding Chukchi Sea coastal permafrost has produced evidence that one of these legendary weasel bears — or some other strange kind of bear — roamed Arctic Alaska centuries ago.

First Foods & Life Cycles

The three tribes spent most of their time in the area which is now northeastern Oregon and southeastern Washington. They had lived in the Columbia River Region for more than 10,000 years. There were no buffalo in this area. The most plentiful foods were salmon, roots, berries, deer and elk. Each of these foods could be found in different places and each was available in different seasons. This meant that the Indian people had to move from place to place from season to season to their food and prepare it to be eaten and to be saved for the winter. They followed the same course from year to year in a large circle from the lowlands along the Columbia River to the highlands in the Blue Mountains.

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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:
This Issue's
Favorite Web sites
A Story To Share:
The Ojibwe Who Slew the Wiindigo
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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 - 2017 of Vicki Williams Barry and Paul Barry.

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