Canku Ota - A Newsletter Celebrating Native America
June 3, 2000 - Issue 11


The Inuit Greeting

The word asujutilli has been used in recent times as a greeting. Inuit traditionally didn't say anything when they greeted each other, preferring to communicate with a warm smile and a handshake. Conversation would begin after proper introductions, but words or expressions like "hello" or "how are you?" were historically uncommon in Inuktitut.

Asujutilli cannot be translated into a single English word; its closest meaning is something like: "it is truly you" or "you are truly you."


Moon When the Strawberries are Red


Plenty Coups - Crow 1889-1932
With an education you can be the white mans equal - without it you will
forever be his victim.

We salute- Floyd Red Crow Westerman

On Tuesday August 8, 2000, the 69th annual America Indian Exposition will honor an icon of the film and television industry. On that evening, actor, activist, and folk and country singer Floyd Red Crow Westerman will be named Indian Celebrity of the Year! Westerman will sing a concert of his music on Monday, Aug. 7 as part of the expo program.


The Feather Necklace Singers

We are very pleased and proud to introduce Travis Harden, The Feather Necklace Singers and their soon-to-be released album "Cherish The Children." These recordings are meant to serve as a teaching tool for young children and educators. It is meant as a fun learning experience as well as a sharing of cultural knowledge. Meet them and hear samples of their recordings.


Greg Colfax, Master Carver

Greg Colfax has been described as an “artist, fisherman, canoe company manager, poet, and philosopher.” He began his training as a carver in 1978. “I have no formal art training,” he says. “A few individuals have provided me with good advice: Art Thompson, George David, Steve Brown, and Lorne White.”


The Wallam Olum
A Legend of the Lenape Indians

WALLAM OLUM, meaning, red score, is a translation from the picture writing record of the Lenãpe Indians by Daniel G. Briton about 1860. In the language and dialect of the Delaware Indians and a legend of the Creation, the Great Flood, Migration and History from their beginning to the time of the coming of the white man to the eastern shore of Delaware. This is Book Four - History.



World Peace and Prayer Day

Mitakuye! (relative),
World Peace and Prayer Day has become a reality for thousands of people around the world, many honoring their Sacred Sites. Wopila, a great thank you! After completion to thev four directions we return to the center, "Heart of Everything that is,"Paha Sapa" the Sacred Black Hills.


Celebration of the Bear

It is time for the sacred Bear Dance -- the most significant four days and nights of the Ute year, filled with chanting of the old songs, dusting off the ancient tales while munching fresh, hot fry bread and chili, and dancing in rhythms and patterns handed down from the misty past.



 Ojibwe Barbeque King Shares Recipe for Success

For ``Famous Dave'' Anderson, Saturday's keynote speech for graduates of Fond du Lac Tribal Community College was another opportunity to inspire an audience.

But he wasn't there to share the recipe for the ribs that made him rich or give tips on how to take a company public. Anderson was there to share a message of hope, of overcoming obstacles and of making others happy.


Native American Youth Group Visits D.C.

For 10 members of Native Reign, the last four days in Washington have been a dream come true.

Native Reign has been spreading a drug-free message to schools and organizations for the past five years. Last year, Baucus asked the group to document its organization for the Library of Congress’s Local Legacies Project. The project will amass examples of heritage and culture in all 50 states. Twelve hundred groups, including five others from Montana, were selected to participate.



Brain Food

Once again I find my way to the key board of this machine. It seems that my mind tends to fill up and I seek a way to empty and make room. Usually after a good rip roaring pow wow, I find my mind over flowing. Not only has the season of the pow wow began in earnest, but it is also election time for the various reservations. And so, here I sit this morning armed with a hot cup of coffee and an over flowing mind.


Code Talkers

In the closing days of World War I, fourteen Choctaw Indian men in the Army's Thirty-Sixth Division, trained to use their language, helped the American Expeditionary Force win several key battles in the Meuse-Argonne Campaign in France, the final big German push of the war.



Wilma Mankiller Talks Straight but Makes Mischief, too

"A young man once asked Wilma Mankiller what he should call her. She was then principal chief of the Cherokee Nation, and twice elected as the leader of some 200,000 people. But this young man was uncomfortable with what he called a "male" term.

"Should we address you as chieftainess?" he asked. Mankiller didn't say a word. Then, after hearing the suggestion "chiefette," she responded. "I told him to call me 'Ms.-Chief' or 'misChief.' "


Two Languages in Mind, but Just One in the Heart

For years now I have been in love with a language other than the English in which I write, and it is a rough affair. Every day I try to learn a little more Ojibwe. I have taken to carrying verb conjugation charts in my purse, along with the tiny notebook I've always kept for jotting down book ideas, overheard conversations, language detritus, phrases that pop into my head. Now that little notebook includes an increasing volume of Ojibwe words. My English is jealous, my Ojibwe elusive. Like a besieged unfaithful lover, I'm trying to appease them both.



Origin of Disease and Medicine

The old ones tell us that at one time, the animals, fish, insects and plants could all talk. Together with the people, they were at peace and had a great friendship. As time went on, the numbers of people grew so much that their settlements spread over the whole earth, and the animals found themselves cramped for space. To make things worse, the people invented bows, knives, blowguns, spears, and hooks, and they began to hunt and kill the larger animals, birds and fish only for their hides. ...


Fishing Gets Educational Twist

The Dena'ina Athabaskan Indians of Eklutna practiced subsistence again this week by stringing a setnet like a volleyball net from the beach out into the cold water of Knik Arm.

But no one was really trying to catch anything. The tides weren't big enough, said Lee Stephan, the tribe's chief executive officer. So the pale green net lay flat and dry on the gray mud as Stephan showed fifth-graders from Chugiak Elementary how to tie a bowline knot.




Youth for Environmental Sanity (YES!) is an international, non-profit youth environmental group that has led 54 of its week long summer events in seven countries around the world reaching youth from over 20 countries. YES! has also organized 1,500 high school assembly presentations, and 112 day long youth empowerment workshops and reached more than 400 million people through television, print and radio news coverage.


 No Boundaries

Our site is supposed to be a kind of meet-and-greet for First Nations peoples all over the world, kind of an Aboriginal AOL. Each people will be represented by their version of the message "Let's all work together!" that will act as a link to different community websites, e-mail addresses/pop-ups, pictures and maps, etc that tell about the peoples.


About This Issue's Greeting - "Asujutilli"


Inuktitut, the language of the Inuit, is alive and growing. It is widely used throughout the North, and Inuit from across the Arctic can understand one another. Dialects and accents vary from region to region, but Inuktitut is a single language.

This Date In History


Recipe: Strawberries


Story: Okishkimonisse Saves The Summer Birds


What is this: Belted Kingfisher


Project:Inuit Sculpture


This Issue's Web sites


"OPPORTUNITIES" is from sources distributed nationally and includes scholarships, grants, internships, fellowships, and career opportunities as well as announcements for conferences, workshops and symposia.

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