A Newsletter for Kids from a Native American View

Cree Frog Month

May 1, 1999 Issue 11 Volume 1

Quote of Week

"What is life? It is the flash of a firefly in the night. It is the breath of a buffalo in the winter time. It is the little shadow that runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset."

Crowfoot, Blackfoot Nation, 1890, (his last words)
Touch the Earth, T.C. McLuhan

This week in NA History

May 1, 1528: Panfilo de Narvaez and 300 men begin marching inland near Tampa Bay.
May 2, 1803: The Louisiana purchase is signed.
May 3, 1493: Today through tomorrow, the Pope divides the "new world" between the Spanish and the Portuguese.
May 4, 1863: After defeating Minnesota's SANTEE SIOUX, the United States took their lands. The surviving 1,300 SANTEEs, including those who had helped the whites, began a forced removal to a DAKOTA reservation which could barely support life. During the first year, 300 SANTEE died.
May 5, 1969: The first American Indian wins a Pulitzer Prize today.
May 6, 1626: Purchase of Manhattan: the SHINNECOCK or CANARSEE Indians, according to which source you believe, sell it to Peter Minuit.
May 7, 1851: Yesterday, the CHEROKEE Nation opened a seminary (high school) for men. Today, they will open a seminary for females, north of Park Hill on the Cherokee Reservation in Indian Territory (Oklahoma). Some of the required courses will include: algebra, arithmetic, botany, geography, grammar, Latin and vocal music.
May 8, 1716: After learning NATCHEZ warriors have killed 5 Frenchmen, French commander Bienville surrounds and manacles 32 NATCHEZ warriors. He threatens to destroy their villages unless they bring him the heads of those responsible for killing the French.
May 9, 1885: Events in the Second Riel Rebellion take place in Canada.
May 10, 1864: CHEROKEE Stand Watie is promoted to Brigadier General in the Confederate Army, the first Indian to reach that rank. He is also the last Confederate General to surrender during the Civil War.
May 11, 1864: The third group of NAVAJOs leave Canyon de Chelly on"long walk" to the Bosque Redondo Reservation. During the walk, 110 of 946 NAVAJOs die due to severe winter weather and inadequate provisions.

(Manuelito of the Navajos)

May 12, 1872: Captain J.A.Wilcox, and troopers from the 4th Cavalry, attack a group of KIOWA Indians between the Big and Little Wichita Rivers, in Texas. Two Indians are killed, and 1 soldier is wounded.
May 13, 1540: De Soto leaves Cofitachequi today with the "Lady of Cofitachequi" joining him against her will.
May 14, 1971: San Carlos Reservation community radio station "SCCR" is dedicated today. It will be advertised as the first radio station on an American Indian reservation.


May 1 Buffalo Prayer Day

The Effect of Environmental Activists on the Dene
(by Garnet1654, from information provided by Dr.Wayne Allen, PhD)

For the Native Americans living at the top of our continent, the activities of environmental activists have been devastating. The Dene, a people who have existed with nature for many generations, have found their entire way of life being lost. These indigenous people survived conditions that most of us can't even imagine, by hunting and fishing.

In the 1980's the Animal Rights Movement began to lobby successfully for a ban on furs, as well as a ban on fur and animal-based products. Not only has this hurt the Dene in their ability to participate in a world economy, it has also harmed their traditions.

Native's in the north had been harvesting animals and trading furs for generations. The Dene elders and leaders believe that the Animal Rights Movement is a new form of cultural genocide. In fact, taking away this culture is having the same effect that the extermination of the buffalo had on the Great Plains, a century ago. By boycotting the fur trade, the Dene are losing their ability to live off the land, to practice their traditional language and ways, and have been forced to accept government assistance, just to survive.

The irony of this movement is that the Dene, as well as all Native Americans, have practiced "ecology" from the beginning. These people who live 50 degrees north latitude also realize that industry is far more harmful to animals and plants than their harvesting could ever be. Perhaps the last stanza of an old Canadian ballad sums it up best:

Frequently punished is the man or woman
Who takes the goose from off the common
But just as often the law lets loose
The industry that steals the common from the goose.

Learn about the geography of Canada

National Atlas

Want to find out about education and the Dene?

For some great crafts by the Dene check this out

Oceti Sakowin Update:
(By Garnet1654, rewritten from a press release by Charmaine Whiteface and information shared by Paul and Eileen Robertson)

On April 20, amid drum beats and sacred songs, the seven Lakotas who are occupying the island of LaFramboise, on the Missouri River, were inducted into an ancient warrior society.

After four weeks of tending the First Fire of the Oceti Sakowin ( the Seven Council fires of the Lakota Nation ), these young men were named members of the "Most Dependable Warrior Society," because of their great dedication to the Great Sioux Nation, as shown by their presence on the island.

The purpose of the occupation is to build awareness of the transfer of almost 200,000 acres of tribal land along the Missouri River, to the state of South Dakota. Although the seven Lakotas were the original inhabitants of the camp, it has now grown from one to six tipis, with between 20-30 regular inhabitants.

Joining these warriors are about a dozen horseback riders from Cheyenne River Reservation. These riders are known as Oomaka Tokatakiya ( Future Generations ). Two adult volunteers who have been very active with youth were also honored and will receive eagle feathers.

The ceremony was conducted by Harry Charger of the Sans Arc band which is located on the Cheyenne River Reservation. Although most of the seven warriors are Lakota, from the Pine Ridge Reservation, members of the Great Sioux Nation say the land along the Missouri was once held by all of the Sioux bands.

The Army Corp of Engineers has granted another extension until May 20, 1999.

Another gathering is planned on LaFrambois Island on April 29, the 131st anniversary of the signing of the Ft. Laramie Treaty of 1868. The camp is on record as noting that the authority to be on LaFramboise comes from this treaty.

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