A Newsletter for Kids from a Native American View

"Muway Buug" Warmth Spreading Moon
(Havasupai )
April 17, 1999 Issue 10 Volume 1

Quote of the Week

"I wonder if the ground has anything to say? I wonder if the ground is listening to what is said? I wonder if the ground would come alive [along with] what is on it..."

Young Chief, Cayuses, 1855
Source: Touch the Earth, T.C. McLuhan

This week in Native American History

April 17:1680: Tekawitha, MOHAWK, dies. Niece of a MOHAWK Chief, she met a Jesuit missionary who baptized her as Kateri (Catherine). Tekawitha became a Catholic nun in 1677, was recommended for canonization in 1844, and was beatified in 1980.
April 18: 1892: The last formal ghost dance is held in Oklahoma.
April 19: 1842: Tustenuggee's SEMINOLE warriors fight 400 US soldiers near Lake Ahapopka, Florida. Leaving their provisions behind, many SEMINOLE escape. Some consider this the last battle of the Second SEMINOLE War.
April 20, 1769: OTTAWA Chief Pontiac is killed by a KASKASKIA warrior. April 21, 1869: Donehogawa, (Ely Samuel Parker), SENECA, is the first Native American appointed Commissioner of Indian Affairs.
April 22, 1970: First Earth Day for the Worlds Peoples. Today is Earth Day #29. Celebrate with us, and help our mother heal.
April 23, 1897: The Dawes Commission is created to break up Indian reservations. Plots of land will be given to each Native while the rest is open to settlement.
April 24, 1971: After a three day conference in South Dakota, Native Tribal leaders assure that all federally recognized tribes-- with and without reservations--will be represented.
April 25, 1951: Mitchell Red Cloud gets the Medal of Honor.
April 26, 1906: A law is passed granting the US President power to choose the CHEROKEE Chief.
April 27, 1877: Red Cloud carries a message from the US army to Crazy Horse. The message promises Crazy Horse his own Powder River area reservation if he surrenders at Ft. Robinson. Crazy Horse agrees to surrender.

(Photo of Red Cloud courtesy NACF Library on AOL)

April 28, 1806: Lewis and Clark parley with the WALLAWALLAs and the CHIMNAPOOs.
April 29, 1851: One in a series of treaties is signed with California Indians promising to set aside their lands and protect them from Americans.
April 30, 1861: Anticipating their need elsewhere in the Civil War, Federal troops abandon Indian Territory forts.

On This Date In North "American Indian" History by Phil Konstantin

Hero of the Week-Richard Ettinger
(By Garnet1654)

In June 1999, New Mexico's Native American Preparatory School (NAPS) graduates its first class. This school, modeled after Eastern prep schools, educates gifted Native American students. Sadly, the school's founder, Richard Ettinger, did not live to witness the event. He passed away from cancer in 1996.

Son of a wealthy publisher, Richard Ettinger found his life changed in 1970 after reading Dee Brown's "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee." He dedicated himself to Native American education by funding scholarships and developing summer enrichment programs. Finally, he purchased 1600 acres in New Mexico's Pecos River Valley. This land is now campus for The Native American Preparatory School.

The Native American Preparatory School's focus is on raising Native college graduation rates. In 1995, the school opened to adjustment problems: NAPS's 50 students came from 32 different Native nations, and teachers had little experience teaching Native American students. But by working together, students and faculty overcame these obstacles, and today the school has 74 students.

The Native American Preparatory School offers a unique prep-school curriculum. Typical Anglo subjects are presented from a Native American viewpoint. For example, during history classes, students study the Iroquois Confederacy's political system. And in shop class, students study traditional Native silversmithing.

Thanks to Richard Ettinger, the primary funding source is the Ettinger Trust. It costs $25,000 annually for one student's housing and education at NAPS. 90% of the funding comes from scholarships, and all students have full or partial scholarships.

The school promoted inventive fundraising campaigns. For instance, Dale Chihuly, founder of Seattle's Pilchuck Glass School donated both a major piece of artwork and royalties from his book. Actor Wes Studi hosts several school auctions. And other celebrities add their time and talents to help raise extra monies.

Richard Ettinger left a legacy from which new traditions begin. Perhaps one his school's mission statements says it best:

"Native American Preparatory School strives to blend the best features of Native American and Western education in ways that enhance the potential of each student."

We salute Mr. Ettinger and the 1999 graduating class of the Native American Preparatory School.

Kids Healing Program
(By Garnet1654)

For centuries, Navajo needed only the earth, wind, water and sacred tradition for spiritual and physical healing. But this has changed with Western medicine. The number of Navajo medicine men is declining, and young Navajos skeptical of tradition are shunning old ways. The combination is endangering ancient healing practices.

Thanks to a new program, The Navajo Traditional Apprenticeship Program, traditional healing is once again being taught. Seven young Navajo are learning from traditional elders how to perform those ceremonies on the verge of extinction.

"Medicine men are, for the most part, the people who hold all the teachings and spiritual aspects of the community," says Alfred Yazzie, a Navajo language instructor at Arizona State University. "They still hold a lot of the history and undocumented history."

Training is difficult. All lessons are learned orally, and it takes up to ten years to learn all the ceremonies. According to Eddie Tso, program director, only 34 traditional ceremonies remain, and six of those are nearly extinct. "If we don't do anything about it and look back in 20 years there won't be any ceremonies left."

Arizona state senator Jack Jackson, Navajo, hopes to get state recognition for Navajo medicine men.

"What we have to do is give our traditional ceremonies a higher level of dignity and give these medicine men names equivalent to doctors," he said.

Jackson hopes the apprentice program shows young Navajos that ceremony is not only religion, but part of the Navajo health care system.

" We have to grasp what tradition still means," he says. "If we lose that there will be a higher degree of a feeling of hopelessness."has led to a new program and new hopes.

(Artist Tom Kronan's mural greets school visitors.
Featured Website: Santee Public School
(By KispokoT)

"Hau-Koda, Miye Iuskin Niye Ha!" ...you are greeted when you arrive!

Students at Santee High School in Niobara, Nebraska, have created a website filled with information about their school and the Dakota Sioux Nation. Interesting visuals, audio, and good writing make this site an excellent student resource for learning more about the Dakota culture.
TURTLE TRACKS invites our readers to drop by the site and congratulate Ms. Baldwin's advanced computer class for a job well done!


"The First Fire of the Oceti Sakowin"
(rewritten by Garnet1654 from Press Releases provided by Robert Quiver of the Lakota Student Alliance)

(Artwork: ChanelWlkr, courtesy Turtle Island Libraries, AOL)

On March 27, 1999, a meeting reminiscent of the 19th century took place between US Army officers and members from several Sioux Nation bands. US Colonel Robert Volz and the Corps' tribal liaison, David Vader, joined Native Sioux on the Missouri River's La Framboise Island just south of Pierre, SD. Dressed in combat fatigues, Colonel Volz entered the tipi and joined Sioux members around the sacred fire to field questions about the Mitigation Act.

The Mitigation Act calls for the Sioux Nation to transfer nearly 200,000 acres of Missouri River land to the state of South Dakota. Governor William Janklow (R,SD) and Senator Tom Daschle (D,SD) coauthored the controversial legislation. They are pushing for a quick land transfer.

On March 22, seven young Oglala warriors established a tipi camp on La Framboise Island and have named it "The First Fire of the Oceti Sakowin" (Seven Council Fires.) The young warriors state their camp affirms both aboriginal rights and Sioux Nation treaty rights (1851 and 1868) to the Missouri River land. But Colonel Volz claims La Framboise Island is under federal jurisdiction.

In his message, Volz assured Seven Council Fires members and supporters that the Corps is committed to a fair and comprehensive Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) prior to land transfers. An EIS study could last from nine months to several years. He also presented a letter permitting camp members to remain there fourteen days after his visit. He indicated extensions may be authorized.

Rick Two Dogs, a Lakota spiritual leader, differed. He reminded Volz that the "The First Fire of the Oceti Sakowin" camp exists under treaty rights, which is the only authority needed.

At this printing, one extension has been issued.

Crayon Changing Colors

by Lisa611402

Imagine a mother asking her 7- year old why colors were given certain names. This is what happened when one Mom asked her son about crayons.\

"Burnt sienna is for coloring houses and trees," he said. "Brick red is for fireplaces. Goldenrod is for the sun...and Indian Red is to color Indians."

Indian Red? Crayola is changing this crayon's name because teachers complain that students associate the color with Native Americans.

"Little children take words and names very literally. To them they think Indian red is the color of the Native American skin," said Louise Cosgrove an art teacher.

Children across American are suggesting new color names. This name change is only the third in the 96 year history of Crayola Crayons.

"All Spirits Sing"

In April 3's TURTLE TRACKS's issue, GrayDeer shared an article about Joanne and Leah Shenandoah's new disk, "All Spirits Sing." You were invited to guess GrayDeer's favorite song. Did you guess:

My favorite song off of Joanne Shenandoah's album "All Spirits Sing" is "Everybody Else Can Sing". When I first heard this song, it brought a smile to my face. I love the way Joanne sings it.

Rock with Red Earth!

Monday, April 19: From Albuquerque, New Mexico, Red Earth is a hot young Native band with a high-energy sound. And you can hear them online! Visit the Native American Calling website for program time and more information:

Native American Calling