A Newsletter for Kids from a Native American View

"Moonesquanimock Kesos" Algonquin
Month When Women Weed Corn

May 29, 1999 Issue 13, Volume 2

Teaching Respect for Native Peoples
[Second in a three-part series of guidelines for teaching Native cultures
in a respectful manner.]

• Do make sure you know the history of Native peoples, past and present, before you attempt to teach it. • Do present Native peoples as separate from each other, with unique cultures, languages, spiritual beliefs, and dress.
• Don't teach "Indians" only at Thanksgiving. • Do teach Native history as a regular part of American history.

• Do use materials which put history in perspective. • Don't use materials which manipulate words like "victory," "conquest," or "massacre" to distort history. • Don't use materials which present as heroes only those Native people who aided Europeans. • Do use materials which present Native heroes who fought to defend their own people.

• Do discuss the relationship between Native peoples and the colonists and what went wrong with it. • Don't speak as though "the Indians" were here only for the benefit of the colonists. • Don't make charts about "gifts the Indians gave us." • Don't use materials that stress the superiority of European ways, and the inevitability of European conquest. • Do use materials which show respect for, and understanding of, the sophistication and complexities of Native societies.

• Do use materials which show the continuity of Native societies, with traditional values and spiritual beliefs connected to the present. • Don't refer to Native spirituality as "superstition." • Don't make up Indian "legends" or "ceremonies." • Don't encourage children to do "Indian" dances.

Oyate On-Line

Spirituality and Creativity
MariJo Moore ©1999

[Cherokee poet/author/journalist MariJo Moore resides in the mountains of Western NC. Her published works include Spirit Voices of Bones, Crow Quotes, Tree Quotes, and the forthcoming Red Woman With Backward Eyes. She has also been published in National Geographic and Indian Artist magazines.]

Part 2

I believe this connection [with nature] starts in the womb. Reading to your unborn child, sending the baby thoughts, getting out into nature, sitting by a stream, telling the baby about the bigger picture are all extremely important. Once the child is born, continue this tradition. Children’s dreams, ideas, thoughts are often the product of creative energy. Their curiosity leads them. Listen to what your child has to tell you.

Children know innately when they touch a tree or hold a flower that something inside them is going to click. If we can instill in children that they are part of the whole—a part of everything—they won’t be as likely to abuse the land, each other or themselves. They will realize whatever they do effects so many other people.

Today, there are video games and television that are often more appealing to young people than finding their own creativity. Though I do not believe these things are all bad, they provide less of a creative outlet than other activities. There are many ways parents can help guide their children toward a spiritual connection through nature and the child’s own personal creativity. Creating brings healing.

Children need opportunities to express themselves. Having a child draw or write about a walk in the woods is a kind of ceremony because it is reconnecting the child with the earth. Poetry is ceremony. Dance is ceremony. Creating with clay, fabric squares, or even rearranging the furniture can be a child’s way of expressing connection.

American Indians do not have a corner on spirituality. The connection is in every one. We all owe it to ourselves and others to pursue our creative gifts. I think what causes so many people to be sick and depressed is they stifle their creative energy due to fear of failure. I have people tell me, "I'll write poetry, but it won’t get published." What difference does that make? If you’re a writer and you’re not writing, you’re going to stagnate. It will eat you up until you do write. I’ve never met anyone who wasn’t creative in some way.

Learn more about Marijo Moore
Marijo Moore
email marijom@aol.com

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Kids News-Kids Writings from Everywhere

We honor our veterans for their bravery and because by seeing death on the battlefield, they truly know the greatness of life. --Winnebago Elder

American Indian Medal of Honor Winners
(By Garnet1654)

In the 20th century, five American Indian soldiers have been among those receiving the United State'highest military honor: the Medal of Honor. Given for military heroism "above and beyond the call of duty," these distinguished warriors displayed extraordinary bravery in the face of their enemy. Two of these men sacrificed their lives.

Jack C. Montgomery
A Cherokee from Oklahoma and First Lieutenant with the 45th Infantry Division Thunderbirds during World War II

On 22 February 1944, near Padiglione, Italy, Montgomery's rifle platoon was under fire by three echelons of enemy forces. Jack single-handedly attacked all three positions, taking prisoners in the process. Because of his courage, Montgomery's actions demoralized the enemy and inspired his men to defeat the Axis troops.

Ernest Childers.
A Creek from Oklahoma and a First Lieutenant with the 45th Infantry Division during World War II

Childers received the Medal of Honor for heroic action in 1943. Up against machine gun fire, he and eight men charged the enemy. Although he suffered a broken foot during the assault, Ernest ordered a cover fire, then advanced up the hill, single-handedly killing two snipers, silencing two machine gun nests, and capturing an enemy mortar observer.

Van Barfoot.
A Choctaw from Mississippi and a Second Lieutenant in the Thunderbirds during World War II.

On 23 May 1944, during the breakout from Anzio to Rome, Barfoot knocked out two machine gun nests and captured 17 German soldiers. Later that same day, he repelled a German tank assault, destroyed a Nazi field piece, and while returning to camp, carried two wounded commanders to safety.

Mitchell Red Cloud Jr.
A Winnebago from Wisconsin, and a Corporal in Company E., 19th Infantry Regiment in the Korean War.

On 5 November 1950, Red Cloud was on a ridge guarding his company command post when he was surprised by Chinese communist forces. He sounded the alarm, stayed in position, and fired his automatic rifle at point-blank range, giving his company time to consolidate their defenses. Severely wounded by enemy fire, Red Cloud refused assistance and continued firing at the enemy until he, himself, was fatally wounded. His heroic action prevented communists from overrunning his company's position while the wounded were being evacuated.

Charles George.
A Cherokee from North Carolina and Private First Class in the Korean War

George was killed on 30 November 1952, when, during battle, he threw himself on a live grenade, smothering it with his body. By sacrificing his own life, George saved the lives of his troop. For this brave and selfless act, George was posthumously award the Medal of Honor in 1954.

"These are the wings which carry our Warriors home."
Remember our Warriors on Memorial Day, May 31, 1999.

10th Annual Protecting Mother Earth Conference
(by Tom Goldtooth, National Coordinator of the Indigenous Environmental Network)

(Logo courtesy IEN)

Dear Friends,

The Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN) and the Dinè Citizens Against Ruining the Environment (Dine CARE) are proud to invite you to the 10th Annual Protecting Mother Earth conference scheduled for June 10-13, 1999. IEN was formed as an alliance to help Indigenous Peoples and their nations to learn and share information on environmental issues that our communities are facing.

In 1990, Dine CARE hosted the first Protecting Mother Earth conference within the Navajo reservation at Dilkon, Arizona. Dine CARE and other Indigenous grassroots groups in attendance were the founders of this beginning alliance which would later be known as the Indigenous Environmental Network. It is only right that Dine CARE host this year's tenth annual conference to be held next to the Laguna and Acoma Pueblo in New Mexico.

The theme this year is Lle Tsoo (Uraninite) - A Creation Placed at the Foothills of our Sacred Mountains by our Holy People. The focus will be on uranium issues, including workshops on mining and compensation initiatives to Native radiation victims that were miners and millers in U.S. uranium mines. It will be held next to the Laguna Pueblo reservation, which was the site of the uranium mine contamination and U.S. federal Superfund site - the Jackpile Mine.

The National Indian Youth Leadership Project's Sacred Mountain Camp is the site for this largest outdoor camping conference in North America. Youth activities and workshops will recruit youth involvement in the environmental justice movement while providing leadership skills.

This four day camping conference follows the teachings of the sacred Fire that will burn throughout this historic event. Child care is provided. Limited travel subsidy scholarships are available for Native grassroots groups that are dealing with environmental issues in their community.

If you should have any questions, please call the IEN National Office at (218) 751-4967 and speak to either Charlotte Caldwell or myself.

Tom Goldtooth
National Coordinator

Corbis Picture Experience

The Storytelling Stone
(Story courtesy NACF Libraries on AOL--Keyword: Ethnicity)

Many many times ago when the world was still kind of new, life was hard for the people. The worst time was when old man winter and his friend the north wind were sitting hard on the people. They spent long days with snow piled against their shelters. Of course they had to out and hunt for food or they would starve.

There was one boy who was especially good, he was respectful to his elders, he always told the truth, and his heart was very kind. He went out to hunt one day for his people.

He shot several things as he was a good hunter. As he was walking home through the deep snow, he got tired and sat down next to a huge rock to rest. The rock was different than any he had seen, it almost looked like a head of a person.

All of a sudden, he jumped up when a voice deeply said, "I will now tell you a story."

The boy looked around to see if someone was tricking him. He could not find any body. "Who are you, where are you?" he said.

"I am going to tell you a story" said the voice.

The boy said, "ok."

The rock said, "first you must give me something."

So the boy put one of the birds he had killed on the stone. He called the stone grandfather and asked it to tell the story.

The stone told about how the earth was created--it was a long and wonderful story.

The boy thanked the stone when it was over and said that he was going to tell the story to his family and that he would be back the next day.

As the boy was walking home he realized that the whole time the stone was telling the story he had not been cold at all, and the snow seemed to have gone away.

The boy ran into his home feeling very happy. Every one came to see what he was so happy about he told the story the great stone had told him.

The story kept them from being cold, it made them happy, they slept and dreamed good dreams that night.

The next day the boy brought another bird back to the stone, and the stone told him another wonderful story.

Each day, of the cold blowing wind and snow, the boy went back to the stone and heard many wonderful stories. The stories were not just stories. The boy was being given important things to teach the people. How to live right and how they should do it.

One day spring was coming, and the boy brought his gift as usual. But the stone said nothing.

He asked for a story. He said, "Why wont you tell me a story?"

The stone said, "I told you all the stories I have. I gave them to you to keep for the people. If you remember and share with those to come, then the people will always know how to live right. Then more stories will come as you have lived your lives and these you will pass on to others so that all may know and remember the right way to live."

The boy shared all his story so that everyone could be happy and people thanked him. And every one that told stories that they may know and live by these many good things.

Told By: Aurora187

Other Rock Varieties

Below are three different rocks. Can you match the rocks with their names?

Rock Types: Turquoise Malachite Pyrite

Follow the link for the answer! And remember:
ALWAYS ask your parents or Elders before trying a "natural food."

Some are good for you, but some are NOT!

Trevor Hudson's Rock Collection

For more rock information, try this site:
Igneous, Sedimentary and Metamorphic Rocks

Answers to Picture Match in Volume 1
1.Geronimo 2.Dull Knive 3.Crazy Horse
4.Pontiac 5.Tecumseh 6.Powhatan
7.Red Cloud 8.Hiawatha 9.Sequoyah 10.Sitting Bull

Websites of the Week
What State do over 67 Native American Nations call home?
Student Guide
Then, when you are done, have some more fun!
Match Game

Distribute penny jars in your community. Help raise funds to protect the Rockies.
Wild Rockies Action Fund-Pennies for Wilderness

A detailed, easy-to-navigate site for the entire family! You will find great links, good ideas, and interesting information about strengthing family ties.
FamilyFocus.com - Helping to Strengthen Familie…

Lots of fun for the little ones and their older brothers and sisters.
Games for Preschool-Grade 4
Learn more about Geronimo and his people

USA: Geronimo, His own story

Fun for the entire family
Welcome to All- Mousepad Fun n' Games!!

High School students and parents--this monthly newsletter is for you. Tips about financial aid, scholarship, career and academic success...Go for it!