A Newsletter for Kids from a Native American View

Time of Drumming Moon

"Cauyarvik" Inuit (Bristol Bay)

November 27, 1999 Issue 26, Volume 2

This Date in Native American History

November 27, 1868: OSAGE Indian trackers lead General Custer to Black Kettle's camp on Oklahoma's Washita River. 103 warriors were killed, 53 women and children captured, and 800 horses or ponies shot. The Army also captured 875 horses, 1123 robes, 535 pounds of gunpowder, and 4000 arrows.
November 28, 1729: The NATCHEZ attack and destroy the French Fort Rosalie. Approximately 200 whites are killed.

Natchez Buffalo Hunt

November 29, 1837: SEMINOLE warrior Coacoochee (Wildcat) and other SEMINOLE warriors are being held as prisoners in a St. Augustine prison. By refusing to eat, the warriors lose enough weight to slip through a barred window and escape undetected. They rejoin their people.
November 30, 1804: William Clark tells local Indians he will lead a raid against their enemies.
December 1, 1881: The Secretary of State declares Hawaii as part of the United States.
December 2, 1964: The government returns small plots of land to the tribal ownership of the Confederated SALISH and KOOTENA Tribes on the Flathead Reservation.
December 3, 1598: Zaldivar "discovers" ACOMA.
December 4, 1674: A mission in Chicago is established
December 5, 1969: The CHOCTAW Community News is first published.
December 6, 1866: Red Cloud, Crazy Horse, Yellow Eagle, High Back Bone, and their follower attack Colonel Carrington and his troops near Fort Phil Kearny in Northern Wyoming. The Indians call it "Battle of the Hundred Killed." Whites call it the "Fetterman Massacre."
December 7.1855: Americans kill WALLA WALLA leader Pio-pio-mox-mox and parade his scalp and ears through white settlements. This action moves many neutral northwest tribes to a war status.

Walla Walla conference, 1855
December 8, 1840: Tustenuggee, MIKASUKI SEMINOLE chief attack soldiers escorting officers wives from Ft. Micanopy. 4 soldiers and one woman are killed in the fighting.
December 9,1864: The SIOUX leave their longtime captive, Fanny Kelly, at Ft. Sully. She later writes a book about her experiences as a captive.
December 10,1991: The Custer Monument is renamed the "Little Big Horn Battleground Monument."
On This Date in NA History


Why The Buzzard Flies So High

Retold by Little Jumper from Indian Campfire Tales by W. S. Phillips


In the beginning, the birds had no feathers at all, and when winter came, they were very cold. So they held council with the gods and asked for something to cover themselves with. The gods replied that feather coats were already made and waiting for them. The feather coats, however, were far away and only one bird could go and bring them back for the others.

Immediately, Buzzard offered to go because he wanted first choice of all the coats. After beginning his journey, Buzzard traveled for such a long time that he ate up all the food he brought along. He became so hungry that he ate everything he could find, which he still does to this very day.

After a very long time, Buzzard reached the place where the new feather coats were stored. He picked out the most beautiful one and tried it on, but it didn't fit. So he tried on another coat, then another, always the finest and brightest, but nothing fit. After a very long time, only one coat was left, and he tried it on.

It was black and not long enough to reach his neck, and there was nothing to go on his head at all. But it fit otherwise, so Buzzard decided to wear it and to get something for his head and neck when he saw the gods again. So he gathered up the all the smaller coats of feathers and started back, flying high in the air.

The coats were so heavy that some kept falling off the pile, and Buzzard would have to stop and circle around and around, hunting for the coats which had dropped. When he found them, he had to circle down, pick them up, then circle around and around to get back up high enough to continue home. This is why buzzards fly in circles high in the air.

When Buzzard arrived back at the council grounds, everyone was gone, so he started out again, flying in circles for a long, long time. As he flew, he called to all the birds, giving each one a new feather coat, the same coats they wear now. But when Buzzard searched for the gods, he never found them, so he couldn't get any more feathers for himself. Since that time, Buzzard has learned to get along as best he can without any feathers on his head and neck. And ever since then he has had to wear the same shabby black coat.

Even to this day, Buzzard's head and neck are naked, and he is not a handsome bird. But he can fly higher and further than most birds and has learned to be satisfied with his short black feather coat. This is the way everybody should be in life, to accept the best one can have!

Talking to the Clay

By Lee Ann Cheromiah-Photos are of Lee Ann's Pottery

In 1972, my mother, Evelyn Cheromiah revived Laguna Pottery. I watched her as a child and was inspired to also become a potter. As my mother and I worked together, I learned different aspects of pottery making, other than the physical techniques, that she would teach me. These were the traditional beliefs that have been passed on from generation to generation, and from potter to potter.

Working beside my mother, she would tell me about making pottery; from mining, cleaning, grinding of the pottery shards and the mixing of the clay, to the sacred belief we have for Mother Earth. While preparing to mine the clay, I was told to make food offerings. My offerings came from my breakfast, as we always went for clay in the morning. In addition to these food offerings, I would always bring some corn meal. With these I would offer and pray to the Clay Woman. In my prayers, I would ask that I be allowed to mine the clay safely, and that the clay would be easy to mine. I would also pray that my work with the clay would be easy and plentiful, meaning that I would be able to sell my pots and use the gifts (money) for my family and home, and that I would be able to help others when in need. After the clay was mined I would take it home, welcome it to my home, and invite her in.

At home, the clay for Laguna pottery is laid out in the sun and sprinkled with water for a few days until it is broken down into small pieces. During this time I am still talking to the clay. My mother would tell me to talk to the clay as if it were another person. I would tell the clay to be my friend and that I would make her into pretty pots.

Because pottery shards come from clay, I ask the shards to be easy to grind for I need them to mix with the clay. When the clay is ready to mix with the fine powder of the pottery shards I ask the clay to be easy to mix. The clay is very heavy, but I need the clay to be light so l can finish soon, The first time I mixed a small amount clay it took only a half a day, but I was sore for many days afterward. The clay or mud is kneaded four times, symbolizing the four directions and the four seasons. The clay is then left to rest, as I will too.

It is now time to start making pottery. I get a ball of clay into my hands, and I begin by squeezing it and rolling it. Again, I ask the clay to be my friend and to work with me. During the time that I am making my pottery I am talking with the clay. For example, when I have finished the pot and put it out to dry, I always tell the clay how pretty she has become, and what a pretty shape she is. There are days when I cannot make a single pot, or it seems that it takes forever to complete one. When this happens, I believe that the clay does not want to work with me, and that she doesn't want to be my friend.

After the pot is set out to dry, it is ready to he smoothed and sanded. White slip is then applied and stone polished. Next, I sketch a design in pencil to make sure images are in the right place and are balanced. A long time ago potters skipped this step because they were confidant of their skills. All of my paints are natural and from the earth. Red, is made with red clay, black is concentrated wild spinach juice, and the white is made with gypsum clay. When I have finished painting my pot, I always tell the clay again how beautiful she has become.

Firing pottery is the last step. On a calm day, usually in the morning, I would take my pots where my family and I fire all our pots. While building my kiln, with cow dung and pottery shards, I ask the spirits to help me. I ask the spirits to pray with me, that my pots will fire safely, with no popping, cracking or fire spots, and that they will come out perfect. For the firing, food offerings and flowers are put into the kiln. Food is for those spirits who have helped me, and flowers to impart their beauty. I wait, wonder, and listen for any popping sounds from the fire. When all the cow dung has turned to ash, the pots are ready to be removed. I always give thanks for a good firing whether the pot has survived or not. When a pot does not come out in
perfect form, I feel that it was not meant to be, and that this is how the spirits wanted it. When a pot is fired perfectly, I admire it again, and tell it how beautiful it has become.

When a pot is sold and it is time to relinquish my possession, I tell the pot to go and he happy wherever it may go. I also tell the pot to bring happiness into the home and to take care of that home. Finally, I thank the clay again and say good bye.

This article was first published in “Tribal Tales,” Vol. 5, Issue 3, Winter 1997


Learn more about Pueblo pottery at these sites:
Tracing the Art of Pueblo Pottery


IPL: Pueblo Pottery Exhibit

Red Lake Nation Logo

Johnson Loud, Jr.
Artist of the Red Lake Nation Logo

Logo by Johnson Loud, Jr

The Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians wanted a symbol of our nation; our sovereign nation.

The design represents many things, the shape of the upper and lower Red Lake has been our trademark due to its unique shape and what it means to us: fresh water and food (walleye).

The circle represents the powerful "Circle of Life" for our and countless other tribes. Unity without end.

The trees mark our dependence on them for shelter, transportation, warmth and many feelings of belonging to the land.

The feathers of the eagle are also a powerful symbol to our tribe. The eagle's heartbeat is echoed in the drum beat of practically all tribes.

The clan symbols from the left are the bear, turtle, bullhead (fish), mink, eagle, pine marten (sable), and the kingfisher. Seven clans representing the main clans of the people of the Red Lake Reservation.

The colors of the flag are white for snow and clouds; green for trees and life; blue for sky and water; and red for spirit and strength.

The stars represent the four villages of the Red Lake Reservation which are ( from the left) Little Rock, Red Lake, Redby and Ponemah.

Red Lake Elementary

(by Garnet1654 from letters to "TurtleTracks" by the students at Red Lake Elementary)

Ojibwe Culture
by the students of Ms Haller's 4th Grade
the following is a collection of essays written for TurtleTracks

Do you like powwows? I do. Sometimes I like dancing. My clan is the Bear. I don't have an Indian name, but I learn lots of Ojibwe. I like Mahnomen. I like seeing nice costumes that people dance in. My brother danced more than me. I went to a powwow with my cousin and we had fun. Sometimes I go to the powwows at the school. My Friend's like going to powwows and so do I, because you can dance and eat. I can wear nice costumes.

I love powwows. It is fun. I have an Indian name. It is Bear. My sister is Bear too. Those Indians in the picture are happy. They are having fun in my picture. I like my story about the Indians. I like them because it makes me happy. I like the bird and the deer and the girls in my picture.

My cousin was going to the powwow in Redlake. She said do you want to dance pow wow with me. I said no, I don't know how to dance pow wow. Then I started to dance pow wow with my cousin. We went to other pow wows to go dance just me and my little cousin Nikki. My mom made me and my cousin a new outfit to go and dance pow wow. I think that pow wows are pretty cool.

In Redlake there are lots of clans. There are seven different clans. The Bear, Turtle, Catfish, Bird, Kingfisher, Eagle and Otter clans. Those are the seven clans of my Ojibwe culture. I belong to the Bear clan. There are medicine people in the Bear clan. The Bear helps their clans.

I was going to school at Staples Elementary and for my fieldtrip I went to Paul Bunyon Fair. After the field trip we went to McDonalds. After we went on the fieldtrip, we went back to the Staples and my teacher gave us a candy bar. The day after me and my mom went to a football game and when we got back we went to bed.

I was wild ricing with my grandma. We were in a small boat and hit the weeds with two sticks. We used a long stick for a paddle and we got the rice to fall in the boat with the two sticks. It is better on a calm day because you don't flip easy. It is easy to get the rice on a calm day and you only have to use a small stick. You have to use a long stick on a windy day.

by the first grade at Red Lake Elementary

Autumn begins in September
The Ojibwe word for fall is
Many birds fly south.
The Ojibwe word for south is
In the fall we rake leaves,
play football, go trick or treating,
eat turkey, wild rice,
and carve pumpkins.

Red Lake Reservation
by the students in Ms Brown's 4th grade class
the following is a collection of essays written for TurtleTracks

Red Lake is located in Beltrami County in northern Minnesota. It is near the Canadian border. Red Lake is the home of the Ojibwe Indians. We have a hospital with the nursing home for sick people. Dentist to fix teeth and for pulling teeth. We have 5 different towns. We have 2 different lakes.

Red Lake is located in Beltrami county in northern Minnesota. It is near the Canadian border. Red Lake is the home of the Ojibwe Indians. Red Lake has a lot of wild life and trees. We have modern homes and a police Dept. We have doctors and nurses. Red Lake has a group home and a foster home. Red Lake has a school. Red Lake has a casino. We have a post office. We have lots of jobs. Red Lake is a closed Reservation.

Red Lake is located in Beltrami County in northern Minnesota. It is near the Canadian border. Red Lake is home of the Ojibwe Indians. In 1889 the chiefs went to Washington D.C. We have two big lakes that are used for fishing. We have school for our children. We have many stores, in the villages of, Redby, RedLake, and Ponemah. There are big and small animals that live in the trees. We have winter with snow and ice, some winters have rain. On July 4 we can have fire crackers. We have high school football and basketball and D.N.R. departments.

Red Lake is located is in Beltrami county in Northern Minnesota. It is the home of the Ojibwe Indians. Red Lake has a police station for our law and we have our own courts. Red Lake has a casion for gambling. Red Lake has a DNR Services for our land. We have treaties because our chiefs made a land agreement in 1889.

The Red Lake Reservation is in Beltrami county in northern Minnesota. It is near the Canadian border. Red Lake is the home of the Ojibwe Indians. We have lots of trees and two large lakes. We have a police station, DNR services and four different towns. We have a hospital and a nursing home and there are lots of jobs. The chiefs thought of having our Red Lake in 1889 and they went to Washington D.C. to make an agreement to form Red Lake Reservation. They wanted a special place for the Ojibwe Indians.


Red Lake Elementary


Find out even more about Red Lake
Chronological History

Third Grade Student Alex tells us about the Ojibwe Clans

The Red Lake Clan System

by Alex


Mr. Eklund's Third Grade Class

The Kingfisher eats worms and fish.

They live in North America.

The Pine Marten Clan.

This is the warriors clan.

Martens are about two feet long.

They eat mice and squirrels.

They live in hollow trees.

The Eagle Clan

They have courage and spiritual knowledge.

Eagles make their nests high up in trees.

The female eagle is the largest.

They eat fish.

The Mink Clan

The mink is about 14 to 25 inches long.

They eat frogs, fish, mice and small birds.

Minks live in North America.

The Bullhead Clan (fish)

This clan has the teachers

This fish lives in lakes and rivers.

This fish eats worms, minnows and plants.

The Turtle Clan

Turtles have a hard shell on their back.

They lay their eggs in the sand.

They sleep under the frozen water.

Bear Clan

They are the enforcers and know about medicine.

Bear facts: They eat fish, bugs, honey and berries.


Treaty Tracks

by Ondamitag

Even with all the listening and reading I have done, it was not until I sat down and read all the Treaties that I felt I possessed a good framework, to build upon. History is merely a collection of opinions. I often seek to understand the motivation of the individuals because they are the ones to stir the 'pot of time' by writing on the pages of history.

I have been studying the Treaties, not as any requirement for a class, but as an act of self-education. My studies (as usual) were motivated by internal questions bubbling up to the surface. When I study something I have a two step approach. First I sit down and type into the computer the text of what I am reading. I find this is a way to stick the words into my mind without letting it wander off on a million tangents. When I have typed all the text, I go back and read it letting my mind wander, but in a form that knows some bounds. This is exactly what I have done with the Treaties, except that I have read them after the typing 3 times.

The Nations/Tribes and Federal Government made 368 Treaties that made it through the Treaty Process. There were an additional 17 Treaties and Agreements that were reject by the US Senate. The state of California is an entire situation. There were approximately 300 treaties made that the US Federal Government doesn't recognize. I have never been able to find a copy of these California Treaties and would love to add them to my 'studies.'

The state of New York also has a couple of 'problematic' treaties. It appears that a group of 'entrepreneurs' decided to put on a little vibrato and came to some of the Haudenshaunee in the guise of Federal Agents. These 'down-state' entrepreneurs were able to get very large tracts of 'up-state' for there own purposes. Through their political connections they were able to get the Senate to approve the Treaties.

What I have gleaned from all my reading is that they are an excellent look at the 'political' approaches that they US Government presented the Tribes with. I learned to see the United States as a way too paternalistic society, Father doesn't always know best. My eyes were opened to the level of greed that motivated those involved in the treaty process. Greed always leaves a mess and we are living in the stench from it today.

Treaties are the laws of the land. One of the things that has always bothered me about these treaties is that the one party (the US Government) is the final arbitrator of the Treaties. That has always seemed way out of line to me. It has always struck me as very facist.

These Treaties have divided the country like nothing else. Even after the Supreme Court said that removal under a treaty was illegal, Andrew Jackson had the Cherokee removed onto the Trail of Tears and said to the Supreme Court, "Stop me." They could not.

It goes on and on. One of the things I would love to read are the reports that the US Commissioners, the interpreters and other observers to each treaty making were paid to submit. I have seen just a few pieces of these reports and they offer so much more depth. The tribal members were not ignorant they were under duress and that in my book is not the proper atmosphere to make a treaty under.

Treaties set the limits and bounds on this land.

Do you know which treaties were made over the land you live on?

Do you know the continuing requirements of these treaties?

Do you know the history of the misuse of these treaties?

That is your local history, the one that cuts to the bone.
Treaties are not meant to shame, but we need to learn from them. That is one way to learn to live


To learn more about the treaties of your area visit these sites:





Websites of the Week

A great source of resources about Canadian and US Aboriginal Peoples
NAPE Aboriginal Links - An Indigenous Peoples Web Directory


Adhering to traditional Lakota philosophy, as an extension of the group, this website will be a forum for grassroots Lakota people to share their views so voices from traditional tiospayes can be heard internationally without censor or misinterpretation. The purpose of this website is to inform and educate.
Lakota Oyate Home Page


Mrs. Fuller's 3rd Grade Class
learns about
Native Americans
Native American Tribes


Pemaquid: built in 1677, it fell to the Indians in 1689. Rebuilt in 1672, it again fell to the Indians and French allies in 1696. Rebuilt once more, it was attacked during the French and Indian wars (mid 1700s) and was finally demolished in 1776. Learn more about its modern-day resurrection.
A Remembrance, Pemequid, Maine


Cherokee, Lakota, Dakota, Nez Perce...Resources for classroom use from the Discovery Channel
Click here: How the West Was Lost - Program Overview


Conjuto music has a complete record industry, a growing number of radio stations, and supports hundred of full time musicians. Yet this truly original music remains a secret to most of the world. Learn more about it and from
a top musician,
Juan Tejeda, Conjunto Musician


Have a new pet? Love those you have? Find or learn more about Pet names.
iVillage.com - Pets - Pet Name Finder


What would you do with $100,000,000 worth of computer space?
Find out what one man did!