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

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November 2017 - Volume 15 Number 11
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"Wáa sá iyatee?"
The Tlingit Greeting
How are you?

Snow Bunting (Plectrophenax nivalis)

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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
Indigenous Chef Joseph Shawana

Indigenous chef Joseph Shawana says seal meat will stay on the menu at his midtown Toronto restaurant, despite a petition calling for its removal.

"It's our way to pay homage to our northern brothers and sisters," Shawana told CBC Toronto on Wednesday. Despite some negative comments, he said, "We've seen a lot of positive feedback from community and far reaches from all over the world" since the controversy broke over the weekend.

His restaurant, Ku-kum Kitchen, currently serves two seal dishes, part of Shawana's vision for a place that puts traditional Indigenous ingredients in the spotlight.

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Our Featured Artist: Honoring Students


The Cherokee National Youth Choir's album "Celebration" was named Best Pop Recording during the 17th annual Native American Music Awards held Saturday, Oct. 14.

This year's award marks the fifth honor – referred to as a NAMMY — the Cherokee National Youth Choir has garnered since the choir's inception in 2000. The youth choir was also nominated for Group of the Year and Record of the Year for its latest album.

Tuba City High Students Attend Stanford University Pre-Collegiate International Institute

Ten of Tuba City High Schools' top academic achievers had the distinct honor and privilege to attend the two-week 2016 Stanford Pre-Collegiate International Institute August 16 - 28 in Stanford, California.

Cheryl Onsae, Tuba City High School (TCHS) Academic Advisor was the trip chaperone and mentor for tenth and eleventh grade students participating in the program. Students challenged high achieving students from the San Francisco region in a rigorous academic environment. The goal of the program was to stimulate, involve, expand and express crosscultural approaches to global issues and personal academic progress.

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Our Featured Story: First Person History:
Anishinaabe Teen Only Canadian Up For International Children's Peace Prize

A teen from Wikwemikong Unceded Reserve, Ont. has been nominated for the International Children's Peace Prize - the only Canadian among the nominees.

Autumn Peltier, 13, is a youth advocate for clean and sacred waters and said her Aunt Josephine Mandamin, a water walker, is one of her greatest inspirations.

Starved Rock

The Scene of the Extinction of the Illinois Tribe of Indians

Starved Rock is situated on the south bank of the Illinois River, about a mile above Utica, in La Salle County. It is a tall sand rock, rising perpendicularly at the water's edge to a height of 200 feet above the river. It is perpendicular on all sides except the southeast, where, although very steep, one can ascend the rocks (of which I will speak later), assisted by some flights of board stairs. The top of the rock is about a half acre in size, thickly covered with tall pines, cedars, and arbor vitae.

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News and Views Banner
Education News Education News
Young Native Storytellers Contest

The 3rd Annual Yale Young Native Storytellers Contest is sponsored by the Yale Indigenous Performing Arts Program to showcase the breadth of storytelling by indigenous youth. To support the next generation of storytellers, we invite indigenous youth to submit written versions of their plays and video versions of their songs, dances, stories, or poetry for consideration. Winners of the contest (and one parent/guardian for winners under the age of 18) will receive an all-expense paid trip to Yale University as a part of the Young Native Storytellers Festival on May 6, 2018.
Governor Signs Bill To Create Model Native American Studies Curriculum In California Schools

A bill authored by Assemblymember Monique Limon (D-Santa Barbara) that would create a model curriculum in Native American studies in schools has been signed by Gov. Jerry Brown.

Under Assembly Bill 738, schools for grades 9-12 would need to offer a course in Native American studies based on the model curriculum.
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Education News Education News

HUNAP Welcomes Wiradjuri Scholar, Jessa Rogers

Wiradjuri woman Jessa Rogers is a 2017 Fulbright scholar based at Harvard as a fellow from her role as Assistant Professor in Education at the University of Canberra. Jessa is a Fellow in the Department of Anthropology, working with the Peabody Museum and based at HUNAP for the length of her fellowship. Within her Aboriginal research, Jessa is furthering the development of Photoyarn, an arts-based Indigenous research method she is has been developing with Aboriginal and Maori girls attending boarding schools in Australia and New Zealand. Jessa will spend time researching with Kanaka Maoli girls attending Kamehameha Schools in Hawai'i, looking at their boarding experiences during her Harvard Fellowship.
Cherokee Chamber Singers Are Carnegie Hall-bound

Since 1891, thousands of the world’s best singers and musicians have performed at famed Carnegie Hall in New York City. Next spring, 26 members of the Cherokee (Central Schools) Chamber Singers will join those ranks.

The Cherokee Chamber Singers will perform six or seven pieces at the venue in March 2018 as part of WorldStride’s Festival at Carnegie Hall: National Youth Choir.

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Honoring Students Preserving Language
Two Tribal Members Recognized In Tomah's First Class Of Distinguished Alumni

Earlier this month, two Ho-Chunk tribal members were named Distinguished Alumni of Tomah High School, in honor of everything they have accomplished since their graduation.

"These are individuals who have really risen," said Tomah School District Superintendent Cindy Zahrte.
Classes Encourage Learning Cherokee Language

Cherokee language classes recently started online and in communities across the Cherokee Nation's jurisdiction, as teachers encourage students to read, write and speak the language to save it.

Part of the CN's Cherokee Language Program, the free classes are held each spring and fall for 10 weeks.
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Preserving Language Preserving Language
Osage Language App, Wahzhazhe, Ready For Download

The Osage Nation Language app, Wahzhazhe, is live and ready for download to the device of your choice.

The app features the new Osage Unicode Orthography, with 500 entries separated into more than 30 categories – with options of games, quizzes and learning tools within. The app aids the user with the spelling and sounds of the language, with the voices of Herman Mongrain Lookout and Stephanie Rapp pronouncing each word and sound. The app also features notes on the Osage culture, with audio, images, and video.


Wôpanâak Now Being Taught At Mashpee High School

Tribal students at Mashpee High School this fall are enrolling in a daily Wôpanâak Pasuq (Wampanoag Language I) course held daily in the Indian Education room for the first time ever. Students who successfully complete the course, taught by Wôpanâak Language Reclamation Project certified language teachers, will receive a World Language Credit on their transcript.

Wôpanâak Pasuq is listed in the course registration platform as an elective during this pilot year, and with Mashpee Public Schools (MPS) World Languages Department Chair Tim Rumberger as the instructor of record; however, the course is offered daily by WLRP Language Specialist Melanie Roderick and Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe’s Education Department Director Nitana Greendeer, PhD.

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Living Traditions Living Traditions
Green Corn Dance Places Emphasis On Work And Dedication For Food

The Ho-Chunk people, often revered for their immense gift of adaptation and survival, draws this strength from their pre-colonial way of life gathering foods and medicines, harvesting crops, tobacco, fishing, and hunting wild game. Everything needed to survive is there for us but it's not going to be sitting in an isle of a grocery store or in a drive through. Those who have grown food or medicine or harvested game and prepared these items for storage or use knows there's a lot of work, time, and thought that goes into it.

Clothes Tell A Story

Even though the Diné traditional style is fading away, it stood out through bold colors, vintage or handmade items and eye-catching patterns at the Elder Fest during the 28th annual Utah Navajo Fair.

Louise Nez, 76, from Mariano Lake, New Mexico, says looking at what Diné men and women are wearing in each of the five agencies tells just as much about the state of things as the language does.

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Preserving Language Living Traditions
Lower Sioux Aim To Revitalize Dakota Language In Minnesota

A language at risk of dying is taking on new life with Trella Oldrock and other teens.

This fall, for the first time, a class in Dakota is being offered for high school students here on the Lower Sioux Indian Reservation as part of a statewide effort to revitalize American Indian languages.

"Without our language and culture, we're just people," said Oldrock, a 15-year-old sophomore who signed up for the class. "I want to keep it alive."

Wild Rice Harvest Preserves Native American Custom

Thomas Howes is standing at the canoe landing of a small lake, about a half-hour outside Duluth. It's part of the reservation of the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa.

Deadfish Lake is almost completely covered with the tall green stalks of wild rice plants.

"You essentially don't see water when you're looking at this, you see what essentially looks like a field of grasses," Howes says on this sunny, fall day.

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Education News   Living Traditions
Kwel Hoy': We Draw the Line!

Kwel Hoy': We Draw the Line! is a cross-country tour, traveling museum exhibition and series of public programs uplifting Indigenous leadership in struggles to protect water, land, and our collective future.

For the last five years, the House of Tears Carvers and members of the Lummi Nation have traveled across North America with a totem pole to raise awareness about threats to the environment and public health. As the pole travels, it draws a line between dispersed but connected concerns, helping to build an unprecedented alliance of tribal and non-tribal communities as they stand together to advocate for a sustainable relationship between humanity and the natural world.

Mko Kno Soars

A juvenile bald eagle, hatched at the Citizen Potawatomi Nation Eagle Aviary March 21, was released Sept. 20. The release marks the second time that CPN; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; the Raptor View Research Institute in Missoula, Montana; and Sia, the Comanche Nation Ethno-Ornithological Initiative partnered to release and track a juvenile bald eagle. However, the occasion marks the first time that an eagle was hatched at and released from a tribal facility.

Although it's unusual for birds in captivity to show interest in nest building, Kyla and Charlie began to do so shortly after they were introduced to each other. Kyla laid her first eggs in 2015 but broke them due to her inexperience. In 2016 she laid again, but the eggs were not fertile.

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Living Traditions   Living Traditions
Navajo Nation Delegate Otto Tso And Big Navajo Energy Partner Provides Renewable Solar Energy For Navajo Family Near Tuba City

After living without electricity for over 40 years, Lloyd Billy now has power and heating in his home.

Navajo Nation Council Delegate Otto Tso (Tó Nanees Dizi), staff with the Office of the Speaker, and Big Navajo Energy president Dory Peters recently visited the home of Lloyd Billy, who lives near the community of Tuba City and installed a solar generator and heating system.

New Titles Released By Chickasaw Press, White Dog Press

The Chickasaw Press and White Dog Press released three new titles during this year’s Chickasaw Cultural Evening at the Chickasaw Cultural Center.

Chickasaw Press Releases

  • Piominko: Chickasaw Leader by Thomas W. Cowger and Mitch Caver
  • Constant Fires by Rebecca Hatcher Travis
  • Good Night, Trilobite by Steve Vanlandingham
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In Every Issue Banner
About This Issue's Greeting - "Wa s iyatee?"
"How are you?" is "Wa s iyatee?" in Tlingit. That is pronounced similar to "wah sah ee-yah-te." But that is not generally used as a greeting. Modern Tlingit people sometimes greet each other with "Yak'i yagiyee" which literally means "good day."
Nature's Beauty:
Snow Bunting
This Issue's
Favorite Web sites
A Story To Share:
An Ojibwe Myth
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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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