Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Another song, this time by a pro!

Talitha MacKenzie of Edinburgh, Scotland is one of our students at she included this cut on her latest CD, "Indian Summer"

Friday, November 14, 2008

Cherokee song, with lyrics

A song from 1700... repeat and learn!

Monday, November 10, 2008

What month is it? Take your pick!


We are in the lunar month of Tsiatloha, the solar month of Nvdadequa.
This Wednesday is a Flower Day, a day to increase our prayers for peace and reconciliation between humanity and the natural world.

These days are important in our old traditional calendar, but I've I've had very little interest or response to my recent posts on these matters, so I'm undecided on whether to go to the efforts of creating a calendar for 2009 as I have done for the past two years.

However, I've had response from people who want their birth dates calculated according to the old calendar. I'll begin taking orders this week, and will advise you shortly about the web page where you can learn more and place your orders. Because these take several hours to do, I will only be able to do about two dozen before Christmas, so if you want this for a holiday gift, act quickly.

You can also check Even Heaven Falls Apart for information on the web book, and 2012 Revealed for continuing reports about the Cherokee-Mayan-Aztec calendar and the prophesied changes leading up to the inauguration of the Sixth World in December, 2012.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

22 Natives From 11 States, 16 Tribes Win Elections

22 Natives From 11 States, 16 Tribes Win Elections

November 5, 2008
TULSA, Okla.—INDN's List made history Tuesday when 22 American Indian candidates from 11 states and 16 tribes won their state and local elections, including Denise Juneau (Three Affiliated Tribes) who is the first American Indian woman elected to statewide office in Montana, and only the third tribal member ever elected statewide.

Juneau is the Superintendent of Public Instruction-Elect in Montana, winning 50.74 percent of the vote. Juneau and her staff attended INDN Campaign Camp in 2007, where she was trained on all aspects of campaigning. Throughout the campaign, Juneau faced down anti-Indian rhetoric and was the first Indian woman to run statewide and face anti-Indian scorn.

With the results on Nov. 4, INDN's List has 23 candidates who won this cycle, with Bruce Curnutt (Choctaw) overwhelmingly winning his Sheriff's race in the Oklahoma runoff election in August.

"This is not just an historic year for America, but for Indian Country as we elected more tribal members to state and local office than ever before," said Kalyn Free (Choctaw), president of INDN's List. "In 2006, we elected 20 American Indians, and in 2008 we elected 23. Because of our efforts at INDN's List, tribal members are engaged at all levels of government in an unprecedented manner. To shape history, you have to be willing to make it."

In the South Dakota Legislature, two Campaign Camp alumni, Kevin Killer and Ed Iron Cloud III, won both seats in District 27, gaining Democratic seats there. They both attended INDN Campaign Camp 2007, and they are both enrolled members of the Oglala Sioux Tribe.

In Pennsylvania, Barbara McIlvaine Smith (Sac & Fox) won after being targeted by Republicans. She won the seat narrowly in 2006, when INDN's List first endorsed her, and flipped control of the Pennsylvania Legislature to the Democrats. Last night, she was victorious again.

Todd Gloria (Tlingit-Haida) won his San Diego City Council race at age 30, becoming the youngest member on the council and giving Democrats a 5-3 advantage.

With winners in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Montana, Nevada, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Washington and Wyoming, and 23 out of 37 endorsed candidates winning, INDN's List has an impressive 69 percent total win rate.
By assisting American Indians with achieving elected office, INDN's List is ensuring that issues that affect Indian Country are heard in state legislatures, city halls, and county jails and courthouses across the country.

"It was a bittersweet evening as not all of our candidates were successful," Free said. "We have tremendous respect for our first-time INDN candidates who challenged Republican incumbents but came up short.

"Our hearts are particularly heavy as we lost two excellent advocates for Indian Country, with the losses of Rep. Scott BigHorse in Oklahoma and Rep. Don Barlow in Washington. They will be deeply missed in their state's legislative chambers. Scott and Don have been champions of progressive causes and outstanding role models and leaders for all of Indian Country.
Unfortunately, they were attacked and defeated for being just that. If they stand again, INDN's List will proudly stand with them."

Of the INDN's List winning candidates, six are women, 11 are first-time office holders, two are upsets and several attended INDN training.

Courtney Ruark is political director of INDN'S List, a nonprofit that recruits and trains Democratic Native American political candidates.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Native American License Plates


It's Native American Heritage Month, and today in our state capital of Frankfort, KY, a new personalized license plate was unveiled:
There's also a slogan "Native Americans share our grandparents stories with our children." County clerks around Kentucky are taking orders for these now. When there are 900 orders, they'll go into production.

I'm proud not only because there is finally some recognition of a Indian presence in what was once one of the most a densely populated areas of ancient North America, but also because of the artist.

Jannette Parent of Princeton, KY is a Cherokee descendant, and has been one of my most diligent language students for almost four years. She incorporates the language into her artwork as well. In fact, if you want to congratulate Jannette, just leave a comment on this blog; she'll see it.

Just a question: does your state have a Native American license plate option? Let me hear from you! Leave a comment.

Brian Wilkes

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Last Fluent Mandan Speaker Turns 77

Twin Buttes, North Dakota --

Edwin Benson of the Fort Berthold Reservation is believed to be last person to speak the Mandan language fluently.

Recently turning 77, he has cut back his hours at the Twin Buttes school, where he has taught the language from the past 16 years, from full time to part time.

“Grandpa” Benson and his helpers work to document as much of the language as they can. He marks the steep decline of Mandan language use to two incidents: the relocation the Mandan, Arikara and Hidatsa communities in the 1950’s to allow construction of Garrison Dam, and the prohibition against speaking Mandan in the classroom.

My cousins and friends, there are at least 20 North American languages spoken fluently by ten people or less. Cherokee is in a better position because of the sheer number of Cherokee people, but the fluent speakers are increasingly elderly.

You can be part of the solution, and preserve our language by enrolling today.

- Brian Wilkes