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

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February 2020 - Volume 18 Number 2
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"Hello! "

Belted Kingfisher (Megaceryle alcyon) male with prey
(photo by Ray Hennessy, Shutterstock)

"Kohmagi mashath"
The Gray Month
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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
Alexandera Houchin

 Alexandera Houchin is describing the mountain bike trail ahead of us in highly technical terms.

"There's some uppy-downy, then some flat and straight, and then some switchbacks as we climb," she says. "It's pretty rad up on the ridge."
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Our Featured Artist: Honoring Students

Joan Naviyuk Kane, Alaska

Some people call King Island the heart of a mountain.
My ancestors survived on King Island for millennia, but our language is facing the pressure of tremendous erasure. But I'm using my voice, my writing, and my family to preserve my heritage.

How A Native American Coming-Of-Age Ritual Is Making A Comeback

The Ojibwe, one of the largest indigenous groups in North America, with communities from Quebec to Montana, are revitalizing the "berry fast," a coming-of-age ritual for girls.
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Our Featured Story: History:

Maine To Become First State To Prohibit Native American Mascots In All Public Schools

Twenty years ago, Maulian Dana was watching a Maine high school basketball game between two teams called the "Indians" and the "Warriors." Her gaze drifted toward the student sections, where she saw kids chanting and dancing with fake feathers and war paint on their bodies. It was the first time she saw things she knew as "sacred and religious" to the Penobscot Nation being "mocked and degraded."

We Might Have Been Wrong About The Mysterious 'Lost Civilisation' Of Cahokia

Nestled on the banks of the Mississippi River, the forgotten city of Cahokia was once a bustling metropolis, the largest and most cosmopolitan hub north of Mexico, home to the Mississippian indigenous culture.

Today, no one knows what happened to it. Tens of thousands of its inhabitants are merely said to have 'disappeared', leaving behind their giant earthen mounds, spread across 13 square kilometres (5 square miles).


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News and Views Banner
Education News Education News

NTU Builds Second Campus

Navajo Technical University's (NTU's) Chinle instructional site began in 2006, and was originally housed in a modest 936- square-foot rental space within a strip mall. Today, the site occupies its own land and houses a 6,000-square-foot classroom building that opened in February 2019, and a 20,000-square-foot academic building that will open in May of next year.

How One Minnesota University More Than Doubled Its Native Student Graduation Rate

Charles Golding looked for two things when he was researching colleges: a top economics program and a connection to his native culture. A Google search led him to the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, a state flagship school with prize-winning economists and a history of indigenous activism.
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Native Vote Native Vote

Lt. Governor Flanagan Receives National Native American Leadership Award

Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan today was awarded the Native American Leadership Award by the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) in Washington, D.C. The highest-ranking Native woman elected to executive office in the history of the United States, Lieutenant Governor Flanagan was recognized for her work raising awareness of issues affecting Native communities, increasing civic engagement, improving lives in Indian Country, and transforming tribal-state relations in Minnesota.

North Dakota Tribes Score Key Voting Rights Victory

North Dakota officials have reached a settlement with two Native American tribes over the state's restrictive voter identification law.

The settlement, announced on Thursday, includes a legally binding consent decree to ensure that Native American voters are not disenfranchised. It is a major victory for the tribes and — pending formal approval by tribal councils — will resolve two lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of the law, which requires voters to show an ID with a residential address.

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Read!!! Read!!!

Band Member Wins Children's Literature Award

Johnny's Pheasant, written by Cheryl Minnema and illustrated by Julie Flett, is the winner of the twenty-third annual Charlotte Zolotow Award for outstanding writing in a picture book. The award is given by the Cooperative Children's Book Center (CCBC), a library of the School of Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Johnny's Pheasant was edited by Erik Anderson, and published in the United States in 2019 by the University of Minnesota Press.

Sorell Wins 4 American Library Association Awards

Three books and an audiobook written or co-authored by Cherokee Nation citizen Traci Sorell won four American Library Association awards at its mid-winter meeting held Jan. 24–28 in Philadelphia.
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Honoring Preserving Language

Cherokee Author Awarded $100,000 For Journalism Excellence

Rebecca Nagle received the American Mosaic Journalism Prize for stories on Native peoples, migrants and 'hidden' American communities

The Heising-Simons Foundation announced that freelance journalists Rebecca Nagle and Darcy Courteau are recipients of the 2020 American Mosaic Journalism Prize, which includes an unrestricted cash prize of $100,000.

According to the foundation's news release, the award is one of the largest dollar amounts ever given as journalism prize in the United States.


Mille Lacs Band Of Ojibwe Signs Historic Agreement With Minnesota Historical Society Press To Publish Multiple Books In Ojibwe

The Mille Lacs Band (MLB) of Ojibwe is getting serious about Ojibwe language revitalization and wants to deepen the resources available to advance the language. To this end, the MLB has signed a contract with the Minnesota Historical Society (MNHS) Press to publish three new monolingual Ojibwe books. MNHS Press has published many previous books on Ojibwe history and culture, and this foray into monolingual Ojibwe publications marks a new venture for the press. This partnership establishes the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe as the first entity to develop monolingual material for release and publication with MNHS. The three books are scheduled for publication in October 2020.
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Living Traditions Living Traditions

Sean Sherman’s 10 Essential Native American Recipes

Growing up on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in the 1970s, I ran wild with my cousins through my grandparents’ cattle ranch, over the hot, sandy South Dakota land of burrs and paddle cactus, hiding in the sparse grasses and rolling hills. We raced over the open plains, and through shelter belts of tall elm trees, the air full of dust and sagebrush. Our dogs chased prairie dogs, pheasants, grouse and antelope, and alerted us to rattlesnakes and jack rabbits.

Women Build Community Through Drumming

When people think of Native American drumming, a picture of men sitting around a large drum 2 to 3 feet in diameter often comes to mind. Tradition allows only men to play these drums, whether it's at a powwow, ceremony or social gathering. However, tradition encourages women to play smaller hand drums, roughly a foot in diameter or less, either on their own or with the men. Every week, several Citizen Potawatomi Nation women gather to practice.
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Natives Helping Others Saving Our Earth

Choctaw Nation Gives Back Through Community Partnership Fund

Community is an essential part of our Chahta culture. I'm so honored and humbled to be able to represent the Chahta people and be a part of this great community. With current events and what is happening with the Oklahoma Gaming Compact, I have realized that many people are unaware of the impact our tribes have on the State of Oklahoma. Sometimes we get so caught up in what we are doing for the Chahta community that we forget to share all the things we do for our local communities as well

Largest Tribal Organization In The Nation Calls On Federal Government To Protect Wild Salmon And Indigenous People

Bristol Bay tribes thankful for National Congress of American Indians support regarding Pebble Mine says Delores Larson

Last month, the largest organization of Tribes in America condemned the federal government's permitting process for the Pebble Mine, highlighting the government's failure to uphold its trust responsibilities to Bristol Bay tribes.
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Saving Our Earth   Saving Our Earth

Indigenous People Are At The Forefront Of Climate Change Planning In North America

TEMPERATURES IN IDAHO'S COLUMBIA, SNAKE, and Salmon rivers were so warm in 2015 that they cooked millions of salmon and steelhead to death. As climate change leads to consistently warmer temperatures and lower river flows, researchers expect that fish kills like this will become much more common. Tribal members living on the Nez Perce Reservation are preparing for this new normal.

Washington Tribe Saves Snoqualmie Falls Land, Held Sacred, From Development

For years, Native Americans who revere a towering waterfall in the misty hills east of Seattle have opposed construction of a subdivision, hotel and convention center on surrounding land they hold sacred.

Members of the Snoqualmie Tribe prayed, collected signatures and appealed to Congress. Their struggles to preserve the Snoqualmie Falls land mirrored more widely known attempts by Native Americans to protect sacred sites, such as protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline and a giant telescope planned on Hawaii's Mauna Kea mountain.
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In Every Issue Banner
About This Issue's Greeting - "Posoh"
In most respects Menominee is a typical Algonquian language. Menominee has six vowels rather than the usual four, and has complex rules governing vowel length, but otherwise the sound system is similar to Ojibwa, Mesquakie (Fox) and Shawnee. The vocabulary is also similar to the neighboring languages; especially, most Menominee words will have an exact equivalent in Potawatomi and Ojibwa. The noun inflections are similar to other Algonquian languages, but Menominee has a number of verb inflections not found in the other languages, and consequently some sentences are put together in a different way than in Ojibwa or Mequakie.
Nature's Beauty:
Belted Kingfisher
This Issue's
Favorite Web sites
A Story To Share:
Why the Kingfisher Always Wears a WarBonnet
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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 - 2020 of Vicki Williams Barry and Paul Barry.

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