Treasures, Treasuries, and Thoughts

I swore I would never do a blog! So much for swearing. I didn't think that I would have much to say or share. I was wrong! I have been so blessed with a wonderful family, loyal friends, sharing colleagues, and the support from so many that I will never run out of topics to write about.

I have opened an on-line store at a place called Etsy (rhymes with Betsy). The items on the left are available for purchase there. These will change from week to week to show you my latest creations. The link to the store is in the upper left corner of this page.

I also have items for sale listed on Art Fire. The link to my Art Fire Studio is

I hope you will visit this blog, my Flickr page ( and my Etsy and/or Art Fire stores often. (

So come along on my Trail of Treasures! It will be a Spirit Journey for me and I invite you to join me on the trip.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Is There To Be No Honor or Respect For Our Ancestors?

Pta Lowansa (Buffalo Singer)
Illustration by Kicking Bear available for purchase at

National Native American Heritage Month for 2010 is growing to a close. The theme for this year’s celebration was “Honor Our Heritage, Respect Our Ancestors”. Once again, our government is demonstrating that our people, living or dead, should not stand in the way of “progress”.

I received this newspaper post via e-mail this morning and am absolutely out-raged!

Will it never stop? Can’t the bones of our ancestors be given a modicum of respect?

Wasn’t it bad enough to remove and re-bury them? Now they can’t even remember where they re-buried them? This is an outragious claim. How can one forget the place of their re-location?

Oh, I forgot…..they are just the bones and teeth of ancient Indians!

Our ancestors mean nothing. After all they took our land, destroyed our culture, demeaned our people while they were living…can we expect more respect for our dead?

Here is the article. You decide.

Tribes angry, Everglades projects halt after workers dig up major burial ground but don't tell

In May 2008, archaeologists began the tedious task of exhuming the remains of Native Americans at a remote site south of Lake Okeechobee and reburying them at another remote site, to make way for a man-made wetland needed to restore the Everglades.

The Miccosukee and Seminole tribes signed off on the project after being told that the archaeologists would carefully and respectfully re-inter the miscellaneous collection of bones and teeth that had been found.

But the more the archaeologists dug, the more they found.

After nearly two years, the tribes learned that what they'd been told were some teeth and bones turned out to be partial remains of 56 men, women and children moved from an ancient burial ground so significant that it would have been eligible for listing on the National Registry of Historic Places.
The Seminoles are angry. They believe they should have been notified immediately when archeologists realized they were dealing with more than isolated bones and teeth. Now the Seminoles want all 901 bones and 245 teeth returned to their original resting place.

"We're not OK with relocating a burial ground," said Tina Osceola, the Seminole Tribe of Florida's Historic Resources Officer. "You're talking about too many individuals and that disturbs the balance between our ancestors and those who are walking today. We want them put back."

The controversy has created a nightmare for the South Florida Water Management District, the agency responsible for the Everglades Restoration.

Construction near the four burial sites has stopped, delaying the vital project at a time when two angry federal judges are demanding the district speed up the cleanup.

Archeologists hired by the district to move the remains have said they may not be able to return them to their original burial sites because they don't know exactly where they reburied them. Even if they can be located, many of the remains could be damaged if moved again.

Returning the remains would mean engineers would have to redraft Everglades restoration plans, to avoid the burial sites or build structures such as berms, to protect the sites from flooding. That means permits must be modified or new permits issued, a process that can take months.

The controversy has further strained relations and eroded trust between the tribe and the agencies involved in restoring the Everglades. The timing could not be worse for the district, as more construction projects are starting in remote areas where more remains and artifacts likely will be discovered and the tribe's cooperation will be needed.

"As far as our confidence level is concerned, I can't say it's been shaken," Osceola said. "I can't say as a tribe we had any confidence in the government to begin with."

The Miccosukee Tribe, which raised the most concern when the project began, has said little about the controversy. The Miccosukee Tribe's lawyer did not return a call for comment.

For now the Seminoles are more concerned with the fate of the remains than assessing blame. They want the remains returned and they want their rules followed:

Flat shovels must be used to scrape the soil until the white sand covering each burial site is exposed. Then, a hand-trowel must be used. To ensure the remains are not mixed, only one burial site at a time can be worked on. The bones should be reburied within two days and the orientation must match the original position. For example, some of the bodies were lying face up,others face down and some on their sides. Most were buried with the head facing east.

"To native people, culture is our religion and spirituality," Osceola said. We have tribal members who are angry, scared and very deeply, deeply concerned with this issue. So much so that during every tribal meeting I am asked to give an update on this."

As for blame, there may be none, at least legally. Janus Research, the archeological firm hired by the district, has complied with the permit it obtained in May 2008 to move the remains. The three agencies involved - the district, Army Corps of Engineers and State Historic Preservation Officers -have said they followed the conditions set forth in a memorandum of agreement signed in December 2008.

During the excavation, weekly conference calls were held between the three agencies and the archeologists about what they had found and the status of the reburials. The tribes were not included, according to notes from the district.

However, in January the archeologists asked for guidance: There were so many remains found at one of the sites that they were faced with the ethical dilemma of whether to preserve the site or continue with removing and reburying the remains.

The agencies notified the tribes about the concerns. Tempers flared. In May, tribal representatives walked out of a meeting with the district, corps and State Division of Historic Resources when discussions focused on what happened and not what will happen, Osceola said.

"Let's come up with solutions and then deal with the blame later," Osceola said. "Until the parties were willing to talk about a solution, we weren't going to come to the table. They are playing by our rules now."

Earlier this week, the tribe escorted officials from the district and corps on a tour of the sites, hoping to educate them about the tribe's traditions and the significance of the remains. The tribe insists the remains be returned and new permits and rules be put in place to ensure that the tribe is contacted throughout the process.

Despite the tribe's demands, it does not have the legal right or final word on what will happen, in the corps' view.

"We're doing everything we can to work with the Seminole Tribe and we take our relationship with the nation very seriously," said Tori White, chief of the corps' regulatory division in Palm Beach Gardens, which is handling the project. "At the end of the day, it's the corps' decision."

Would you be willing to place a bet on what that decision will be? Tori White, have you no shame?

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanks From Behind Prison Walls

Yesterday, Thanksgiving, Leonard Peltier sent this e-mail from his prison cell.  Unfortunately, I failed to open my e-mails as I was busy preparing food for our family gathering.  But even though it may be a day late as a Thanksgiving reminder, perhaps it will serve to remind us that Thanksgiving should not be relegated to a single day each year if one is free and in good health. 

Here is what Leonard had to say.

Greetings, my relatives.

It seems another year has gone by since the last time we gathered like
this. I say we, although I am not there with you in body, my spirit
certainly is. We have coined this day, a day of mourning, as opposed
to a day of thanksgiving. It's a shame that for the most part
thanksgiving is relegated to only one day. And mourning is something
that relates to unhappy circumstances that have taken place. We
certainly can't change what has happened. This very day is ours and
tomorrow hasn't happened yet and, is uncertain.

I really don't like to dwell on the mourning aspects of life but instead,
on what we can do to prevent those unhappy and sometimes terrible
times in our history.

I may have mentioned it once before but I once read about a
union organizer named Joe Hill that was framed by the copper mine
owners to be executed. And I believe he said what really needs to be
said upon his death. His words were "don't mourn, organize".

And those are also my sentiments.

There are a lot of things that happened in the past that can be
prevented in the future. There are losses that can be regained. But
we must organize to do it. We must find it within ourselves to be in
touch with the Creator for I can tell you from a heartfelt fact that
when they've pushed you away, into a dark corner, not just your body,
but your mind, your soul, your spirit, there is no one that can
sustain you but the Creator himself.

Dark moments come and go in all our lifetimes.
And there are those in political office, who will try
to turn your head away from the obvious truths.
They will lie to you about what they believe.
They will try to get you to follow what they consider politically
correct while ignoring the truth, such as protests against the Mosque
being built within blocks of the fallen Trade towers,
which incidentally was a monument to wealth and wealth

I am not trying to demean the innocent people whose only
cause of their death was seeking a place of employment to feed their

While they protest the Mosque, no one mentions the Native
American sacred places that by treaty are seriously violated daily.
Our Sacred Black Hills of South Dakota, sacred to many tribes, have
the faces of many of our oppressors carved on them.

The place of vision seeking, Bear Butte in South Dakota, sacred to us for
millennia, has a bar built at the foot of it and there is talk of
having helicopter flights around it to attract tourism. And, there is
even talk of drilling for oil and gas.

Every time I have to write or I should say dictate, one of these
statements, I try to think of what I would say if this was the last
time I got to speak. The thing that comes to mind in some of our
sacred ceremonies and that is thoughts of our relationships with the
ones we love and the Creator of all life.

Not to take away from the theme of this day, but if you can hold the person you love,
be thankful.

If you can walk on green grass, touch a tree, be thankful.

If you can breathe air that didn't come through a ventilation system,
or a window with bars, be thankful.

If you can stand in an open field or some other place at night and
look up at the heavens, be thankful.

No one appreciates the simple things as much as a man or woman locked
away. I know sometimes some of my friends may have thought I had
become institutionalized and there may be some element of my thinking
behavior that has become calloused from this continued imprisonment.
But I have not for a moment forgotten the needs of my people and the
atrocities committed against them or the circumstances that all the
poor and impoverished face in this world at the hands of those who
take more than they need and exploit for gain, the futures of our

I paint pictures of them sometimes, people I've known,
People I've met, places I've seen, and places I've only seen in my
minds eye. And if my paintbrush was magical, rest assured I would
paint for myself one open door.

I wrestle with what to say to you and words are sometimes so
inadequate. So if you are free today, un-imprisoned, be thankful.

Give the person next to you a hug for me.
May the Great Spirit bless you always in all ways with the things you need.
May you find joy in doing what is right and righting what is wrong
and seek to be the best example of what a human should be in our lifetime.

In the Spirit of those we mourn, those who gave their lives and those
whose lives were taken from them.  I really don't know what else to say
because in writing this, my heart has become heavy with the emotions of this time.

In the Spirit of Crazy Horse, who gave his life for what was right and
tried to right what was wrong.

Your Brother,
Leonard Peltier

Free Leonard.  It is the right thing to do!

Monday, November 8, 2010

A Little Thanksgiving Request

As many of you know, I have the distinct honor and priviledge of  beading bracelets from the logo of Eve's Fund.   Eve’s Fund is a Native American Health Initiatives Inc. that promotes programs to help Native Americans. It was established in 2005 by Dr. Robert M. Crowell, a retired neurosurgeon and named in memory of his daughter, Eve Erin Crowell, who died tragically in February of that year. Eve’s Fund is a
non-profit 501 (c)(3) organization incorporated in New Mexico.

While I support this organization year round, I actively solicit donations for the children’s literacy program during November. It is a part of my personal celebration of National Native American Heritage Month and a way of expressing my thankfulness for the blessings of literacy. Literacy is taken for granted by most of us.

Last year, Eve’s Fund’s website posted an article that got my full and undivided attention. It reminded me of all that I have to be thankful for.  I was shocked by the fact that there are so many Native children who do not own a single book of their own!

Can you imagine your growing up without owning a single book? Can you imagine your Grandchildren not owning a single book? But it is true that there are many Native children who don't have the luxury of book ownership. I find this fact to be very sad and I am so thankful that Eve's Fund is playing an active role in promoting literacy by providing children with books of their very own.

This year, Eve’s Fund has partnered with Betty Metz. Betty Metz is a remarkable person and the founder of Books-a-Go Go. Betty’s organization is a not-for-profit group that gives away books to needy kids. Fortunately, for Eve’s Fund, Betty has pledged to donate books to Navajo children. In May of 2009, the first shipment of 2,000 books arrived at Red Mesa Arizona. Now, a year later, Books-a-Go Go has donated another 3,200 books (2,600 pounds worth) to Navajo schools in New Mexico and Arizona. As Betty says, “it’s all for the kids,” and she has certainly touched a great many of them. Betty’s mission is to give books to children from low-income families and thus pave the way to education and more fulfilling lives.

For a mere $5.00 donation, Eve's Fund will ship a book to each of five Native children.

Remembering the pleasures of reading books to my three grandchildren and in purchasing books for them, this morning I decided to have 15 books shipped to 15 Native children in the names of my three grandchildren.

We take so much for granted!  We forget how blessed we are that someone taught us to read!  We had our very own books!  And even in these troubled economic times, we can a difference with even a modest donation. 

If you would like to make a similar Thanksgiving gift in the names of your children or grandchildren, it is very simple. Go to this site.

There are several options as to how you can help.  Click on "Donate".
You can designate the way you want your donation to be applied.  In the purpose, I wrote "Ship 15 books in the names of Sydney, Mason, and Olivia Stinson."  You can pay with Paypal.

Or if you prefer, you can send a check to:
Eve’s Fund/ThinkFirst Navajo
c/o Robert M. Crowell, MD, President
180 Elm Street, Suite 1, PMB 168
Pittsfield, MA 01201

What a simple way to give "Thanks" for all the pleasure books have given you over the years and to provide that experience for another child. Won’t you join me in giving at least five children the pleasure of book ownership this Thanksgiving?

Saturday, October 30, 2010

It's Official: November Is National Native American Heritage Month

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release October 29, 2010 Presidential Proclamation--National Native American Heritage Month




For millennia before Europeans settled in North America, the indigenous peoples of this continent flourished with vibrant cultures and were the original stewards of the land. From generation to generation, they handed down invaluable cultural knowledge and rich traditions, which continue to thrive in Native American communities across our country today. During National Native American Heritage Month, we honor and celebrate their importance to our great Nation and our world.

America's journey has been marked both by bright times of progress and dark moments of injustice for American Indians and Alaska Natives. Since the birth of America, they have contributed immeasurably to our country and our heritage, distinguishing themselves as scholars, artists, entrepreneurs, and leaders in all aspects of our society. Native Americans have also served in the United States Armed Forces with honor and distinction, defending the security of our Nation with their lives. Yet, our tribal communities face stark realities, including disproportionately high rates of poverty, unemployment, crime, and disease. These disparities are unacceptable, and we must acknowledge both our history and our current challenges if we are to ensure that all of our children have an equal opportunity to pursue the American dream. From upholding the tribal sovereignty recognized and reaffirmed in our Constitution and laws to strengthening our unique nation-to- nation relationship, my Administration stands firm in fulfilling our Nation's commitments.

Over the past 2 years, we have made important steps towards working as partners with Native Americans to build sustainable and healthy native communities. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act continues to impact the lives of American Indians and Alaska Natives, including through important projects to improve, rebuild, and renovate schools so our children can get the education and skills they will need to compete in the global economy. At last year's White House Tribal Nations Conference, I also announced a new consultation process to improve communication and coordination between the Federal Government and tribal governments.

This year, I was proud to sign the landmark Affordable Care Act, which permanently reauthorized the Indian Health Care Improvement Act, a cornerstone of health care for American Indians and Alaska Natives. This vital legislation will help modernize the Indian health care system and improve health care for 1.9 million American Indians and Alaska Natives. To combat the high rates of crime and sexual violence in Native communities, I signed the Tribal Law and Order Act in July to bolster tribal law enforcement and enhance their abilities to prosecute and fight crime more effectively. And, recently, my Administration reached a settlement in a lawsuit brought by Native American farmers against the United States Department of Agriculture that underscores our commitment to treat all our citizens fairly.

As we celebrate the contributions and heritage of Native Americans during this month, we also recommit to supporting tribal self-determination, security, and prosperity for all Native Americans. While we cannot erase the scourges or broken promises of our past, we will move ahead together in writing a new, brighter chapter in our joint history.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim November 2010 as National Native American Heritage Month. I call upon all Americans to commemorate this month with appropriate programs and activities, and to celebrate November 26, 2010, as Native American Heritage Day.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-ninth day of October, in the year of our Lord two thousand ten, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-fifth.


Monday, October 25, 2010

"Pride in Our Heritage. Honor to Our Ancestors ."

November is just around the corner and will be celebrated as National Native American Heritage Month. The theme for this year's heritage month is "Pride in Our Heritage. Honor to Our Ancestors ."

With thought in mind, I decided to do this blog to honor my paternal Grandparents and share a little of their history with you.

My father’s parents were named Edward and Eula Walker. They are both listed on the Dawes Rolls as Creeks and were numbers 3407 and 3408. 

Edward Hendricks Walker was descended from the Daughter of Big Warrior and Tustinnugge Thlucco. He was born June 6, 1861 in Bearden, Indian Territory. 

He married Eula Muskogee Coody, daughter of Joseph Coody and Mary Hardege.

Eula Coody was born October 18, 1875 near Fort Gibson, Indian Territory
Eula Coody was the great, great, great, great Grand daughter of Ghi-Goo-ie. Ghi-Goo-ie was the Grandmother of John Ross, Principle Chief of the Cherokees in the late 1800’s.

                                                             Eula Muskogee Coody Walker

When I was looking for a name for my jewelry business, I decided to use Ghi-Goo-ie. In addition to being my great great great great great Grandmother, her name translates as “Sweet Heart”. I liked that. I hope that my work and my business would honor her.

While enrolled as Muscogee Creeks, both Edward Hendricks Walker and Eula Muskogee Coody Walker are included in the book, Old Cherokee Families by Emmet Starr.

Edward Hendricks Walker died March 19, 1932 in Stidham, Oklahoma.
Eula Muskogee Coody Walker died February 15, 1911

Their children included:

Mary E. Walker….born 1899, died November 15, 2002 in Portland, Oregon

Mineola Walker….born 1901, died November 13, 1992 in Orange, California

George Washington Walker…born July 31, 1901, died June 3, 1988 in Tulsa, Oklahoma

Edith Walker…born December 10, 1904, died June 2, 2002 in Eufaula, Oklahoma

Emma Walker ..born March 15, 1907, died July 21, 1909 in Stidham, Oklahoma

Edward Walker…born April 30, 1909, died June 06, 1909 in Stidham, Oklahoma

John H. Walker..born February 17,1910, died May, 1970 in Tahlequah, Oklahoma   (My Father)

Eula Coody’s life must have been beyond difficult.  She was of the first generation of babies born after the Trail of Tears relocation to what was to become Oklahoma.  After marrying my Grandfather, she lived on a dusty farm (land allotted by the Federal Government) in Mc Intosh county.  She died after giving birth to seven children at age 36. Two of her children died at very young ages. My father was the last of her children. She died one year after his birth of tuberculosis.  This tread disease cost the lives of many of my ancestors.

I did not have the opportunity to know either of these Grandparents as they were gone before my birth.

However, through the aunts and uncle they gave to me, the stories recounted by them and my father, I know they were a proud and caring people.  They did the best they could with their lives and those of their children given the hand they were dealt.

I am and will always be proud of my Native Heritage.  My ancestors endured much but thrived in spite of it.  They weren't given any breaks or advantages.  They were not always well accepted in "polite" society.
But they continued to hold on to their values and their culture.  They are my heros.

I look forward to the November 2010 celebration of "Pride in Our Heritage. Honor to Our Ancestors ."

Edward H. Walker and Eula Muskogee Coody Walker, I am proud to be your Grand-daugher and I honor you! 

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Eve's Fund/ThinkFirst Navajo Raises More Than $3000 For Injury Prevention

As many of you know, I am proud to be associated with Eve's Fund, a foundation supporting health causes for the Navajo.  I loom bracelets featuring the Eve's Fund logo as a part of their fund raising endeavors and support them in any way that I can.   

I just received this information about their successful October event and wanted to share this great news with you.

From the Eve's Fund Blog:
On 10-10-10, more than 38,000 runners participated in the Bank of America Chicago Marathon. We were proud to have three runners representing ThinkFirst Navajo, and even more proud to say that all three members of the team finished the race.

Echohawk Lefthand, Christina Zubieta, and Matti Dodson all completed the 26.2-mile course, and together they raised more than $3,200 for ThinkFirst Navajo’s injury prevention programs.

Echohawk, program director of ThinkFirst Navajo and leader of our Boy Scout Troop 928, trained for months with Christina, who is a public health nurse with the Indian Health Service. You can see Echohawk’s moving personal story, "Rebalanced: Live Life and Learn from the Lessons of the Past," on YouTube.

Matti, a Wisconsin resident, recently turned 40. She was inspired to commemorate this phase in her life by running a marathon and raising money for ThinkFirst Navajo’s education programs. You can read about Matti’s journey to race day on her Facebook page, Run Matti Run.

Through their efforts, the team raised awareness of ThinkFirst Navajo, and their success was reported on by the Farmington, New Mexico, newspaper, The Daily Times.

With the funds raised by this dedicated ThinkFirst Navajo team, we’re grateful to be able to reach more Navajo youth with our injury prevention message. If you’ve been inspired by their story, please consider making a contribution to our ThinkFirst Navajo program. You can learn more about what we are doing by visiting our ThinkFirst Navajo web page.

If you would like learn more about how you can assist Eve's Fund and the wonderful work that they do, please visit their website.


Monday, September 27, 2010

It's Football Season!


Bacone Indian College Football Team

My Daddy, Johnie Walker, attended Bacone from the time he entered school through Junior College. Along with all of his sisters and his one brother, he was packed off to Indian Boading School at a very young age.

Each fall when the football season kicks off, I reminded of how much my Daddy loved that sport! 

This is the Bacone Football Team in or around 1930.  If you look at the photo from left to right, Daddy is the second from the last person on the seated row.  I put an "X" under him. 

Having completed his Junior College years at Bacone, he went on to Texas Tech to finish his college education and to play football.

He was offered a position with the New York Giants after his college career was over.  But at the time, the pay was not so great and he determined he would rather coach high school football.  That was a good  decision for me as he met my Mother during his early coaching career. 

When I was a youngster, pre-television, football games would be on the radio every Saturday afternoon.   Daddy made a game board from a piece of plywood.  He painted the football field, made a score board with movable pieces and even painted people in the stands around the parimeter.   I wish I still had it as it was truly a work of art.

I was allowed to select the team I wanted to be and the coin I wanted to use.  As the game was broadcast, we moved our teams (the coins) up and down the field and put the score pieces on the score board.
When my team won, it was always such a thrill.  I was sure I was a better player than Daddy!  

I learned the game very well (better than most boys) and still enjoy it though I spend less time watching than I used to. 

Daddy left coaching in 1938 and began his career with the Bureau of Indian Affairs. But even still, he continued to referee high school football for many years to come.  

Those Saturday afternoons in the fall of the year were very special to me.  They are wonderful memories that I will always cherish....but I sure do wish I had that wonderful game board!   

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Happy Birthday Leonard Peltier!

Leonard Peltier

American Indians share a history rich in diversity, integrity, culture and tradition. It is also rich in tragedy, deceit and genocide. As the world learns of these atrocities and cries out for justice for all people everywhere, no human being should ever have to fear for his or her life because of their political or religious beliefs. We are in this together, my friends, the rich, the poor, the red, white, black, brown and yellow. We share responsibility for Mother Earth and those who live and breathe upon her.

Never forget that.

It is sad but Leonard had to celebrate his 66th birthday today behind bars! 

I just received this e-mail and wanted to share it with you.

Forwarded on behalf of the Leonard Peltier Defense Offense Committee

September 6, 2010

Sisters, brothers, friends and supporters,

I wish I could sit across the table from each of you right now. We'd share a meal and reflect on changes in this world over these 35 or so years. Yes, I pay attention to things on the outside (as much as possible). I know the world is in turmoil and I ache for the Native people who languish in utter poverty on reservations and in inner cities across America.

As a young man, all I wanted to do was make a positive differencein the People's lives. I'll turn 66 years old next week and I still want that. It's difficult to have an impact in my currentcircumstances, though. That's a constant source of frustration for me. On the outside, given the chance to roll up my sleeves once again, I suspect I'd still be somewhat frustrated. All that mustbe done is more than any one person can accomplish. I'd still likethe opportunity to do my part.

Thinking back to those days on Pine Ridge, what I remember is thefunerals. There were so many funerals... So many families lost loved ones.

There was a powerful force at work on the reservation back then one with a single purpose-to stamp out the last resistance of the Lakota people

We (the Oglala traditionals and members of the American IndianMovement) stood up because we were trying to defend our People. It was the right thing to do. We had-have-the right to survive

The land was being stolen, too… used for mining mostly. No thought was given to the disposal of toxic waste. The rivers were full of poisons.

Not much has changed, I hear. In those days, though, the reservation was torn apart by a tribal dispute and the federal government armed one group against another. The result was a long line of tragedies for the People of Pine Ridge… and for the People who were there that day in June 1975

I honestly understand the pain and anguish suffered by all concerned and I have been part of that suffering. I have watched people lie on the witness stand countless times and felt the doors closing on me. I have heard judges admonish prosecutors for allowing false evidence in and, in some cases, for participating in the falsification itself. The government hid evidence, too. Or manufactured it. Literally.

The courts say none of this is even in dispute anymore. So I wonder if the American standard of justice is still "beyond a reasonabledoubt," why am I still here

Some people have had their convictions overturned because of one constitutional violation. The number of constitutional violationsin my case is staggering. Yet, I continue to wait here for the same justice to be applied for me.

I hope that someday someone can put it all on the table and show the enormity of the railroading I have been victimized by

Last year, as you know, my parole was denied. That was adisappointment, but I am not defeated. My fight for freedom-for my People and myself-is not over. I am a pipe carrier and a Sundancer. Abandoning The Struggle is not-never will be-aconsideration

I am an Indian man and proud of it. I love my People and culture and spiritual beliefs. My enemies like to suggest otherwise and seek to rob me of all dignity. They won't succeed

When I look back over all the years, I remember all the good people who have stood up for me, for a day or a decade. Of course, many have stayed with me all along the way. I think of the hundreds oft housands of people around the world who have signed petitions for me, too... people on the poorest of reservations to the highest of political offices.

As we have learned over these many years, my freedom won't comequickly or easily. To succeed, the coming battle will have to behard fought. Please continue to help my Committee and legal team as you have always done. Your support is more important now than ever before. When freedom comes, it will be due in no small part to the actions you take on my behalf

Again, thank you for remembering me. You can't know the comfort you bring to an innocent man locked away from the world for so very long

Leonard Peltier
US Penitentiary
PO Box 1000
Lewisburg, PA 17837
Launched into cyberspace by the Leonard Peltier Defence Offense Committee PO Box 7488, Fargo, ND 58106

Phone: 701/235-2206

Fax: 701/235-5045



Time to set him free... Because it is the RIGHT thing to do.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

This About Says It All!

This photo was sent to me by one of my Etsy friends, Claudia.  Yesterday I announced on our Native American Forum Thread that I had to do some cleaning but would rather bead.  Since Claudia is also a beader she related to my words.

Claudia recently posted a bracelet on Etsy that I loved and shared with my friends on Face Book.  Everyone thought I had made the bracelet....they missed that it belonged to Claudia.   I had to post a clarification that it was not mine and was done by Claudia. 

Later she sent me the instructions for the bracelet and I did do one in different colors.  I appreciate her willingness to share.  Her is Claudia's bracelet:


And here is mine done from the same pattern with different beads:

It is amazing how different two braclets made just alike can be.

To see more of Claudia's wonderful work, please go to:

Thanks Claudia for sharing my thoughts on cleaning versus beading, for your willingness
to share techniques, and being my "Beading Buddy"!  

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Coincidence or Something Else?

Amanda and Aunt Joni At The Zoo

On Monday of this week, my older son, Scott, dropped by our house for a visit.  He, Patrick and I started discussing the "good old days".  I am not sure what triggered a conversation about a trip we made to the Omaha Henry Doorly Zoo in their younger years. But we had a nostalgic discussion about a zoo trip when my niece, Amanda, was here visiting us.

Amanda is my sister's daughter.  She lived in New York. She loved visiting our local zoo and we usually went each time she came to visit. When she was younger, she called the animals “aminals” and she was never through looking at them when time came to leave. She would announce in a persuasive tone that she wasn’t through seeing the "aminals"!   I can still hear that sweet little voice pleading to stay longer!

The trip we were discussing on Monday was an especially memorable one as it was an "X" rated trip. It seems mating season was on for about every cage. Amanda was full of questions and her mother, Marilyn, had to be creative and quick in her explanations as to why the “aminals” were behaving that way.

Being creative and quick was never difficult for Marilyn. She had some great explanations!

Of course we always took a few pictures of our zoo trips. It is fun to look back on those visits. Sweet Marilyn left us several years ago and I still miss her everyday.   Amanda is now a grown and beautiful woman with a husband, Rob, and a new home in Stamford, Connecticut.  As you can see, I have aged a bit….but the memories are still fresh.

After Scott left, I came downstairs to check my e-mails. I opened one from Paul, my brother in law and Amanda’s father. I nearly fell out of my chair.

Guess what it contained?

This photo of Amanda and me at the zoo the year of the “X” rated visit.

Now Paul has had this photo for 25 years or more!
I had never seen it before.
Why did it surface in New York on that day?
What motivated him to share it at that time on that day?
Marilyn, have you moved from feathers to relaying messages?

Was it coincidence or something else?

I wonder………………

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Native American Forum Thread: The Anasazi Challenge

We have a Native American Forum Thread on Etsy. The Thread has been on-going since November, 2009. This spring, Kicking Bear, our wise man and mentor suggested that the regular contributors to the thread do a “challenge” on a periodic basis. Everyone loved the idea and our first challenge was begun.

This challenge was in honor of the Cherokee Spring Frog Dance. There were 28 entries in our first challenge: The Walosi (Frog in Cherokee). If you are interested, you may view all of wonderful pieces here:

Now, there are no” prizes” for winning these challenges. While votes are cast, each artist who enters creates their own prize…...stimulation of creative thought, increased knowledge of the topic, and pride in their resulting piece.

The first challenge was such a success that a second challege was presented. The theme for it is “Anasazi, the Ancient Ones".

I have just completed my entry. In order to understand the piece, you need to know a little Anasazi history.

From 1200 B.C. to A.D. 1300 in the Four Corners Area of Southwestern United States lived the Ancient Ones or Anasazi. The name "Anasazi" has come to mean "ancient people," although the word itself is Navajo, meaning "enemy ancestors." The use of the term is offensive to many Native Americans. There remains a great debate as to what these Ancestors should be called.

On a cold December day in 1888 Richard and Al Wetherill and their brother-in-law Charles Mason discovered abandoned Anasazi dwellings. This discovery essentially began the history of archaeology in the American West.

The grandeur and mystery of an ancient city built into a canyon wall, which they called Cliff Palace, brought professional archaeologists from all over the world to the region. Pouring over the sparsely populated Colorado Plateau, they uncovered one of the richest archaeological records on earth. There were literally thousands of largely intact prehistoric stone structures, including granaries, pithouses, cliffhouses, kivas, and watchtowers.

The Anasazi or Ancient Ones had a great society, were talented pottery and jewelry artists, architects, farmers, and built marvelous homes in the cliffs.

And then they disappeared!

Like their name, this disappearance is also a subject of great debate.

One theory is that they were driven away from their cultural centers by a “Great Drought. It is known that a severe drought began in 1130 and lasted for 50 years.

Another theory is that their migration was for religious ideology.

Tree ring study, carbon-14 dating and the study of bones support the enviornmental impact theory. Bones show evidence of malnutrition. The evidence of malnutrition is used as an indicator that they were no longer to produce food in abundance for all.

Most feel that ultimately some combination of climatic change, over population, and perhaps a social or religious crisis led the Anasazi to abandon their spectacular cities in the cliffs at the close of the thirteenth century.

There are many Native American stories handed down through the generations of tremendous migrations away from the pueblos. There are accounts of natural events and recollections of times when the ancestors lived in specific places in the Southwest. All of this oral history is correlated with historical and astrological records, rock art, pieces of pottery, and tree-ring dating.

Through these great efforts there is a high degree of certainty as to which clans built and occupied major sites, when those particular sites were built and when they were abandoned.

But why the inhabitants moved may continue to be a mystery.

This necklace was done as a tribute to the Anasazi or Ancient Ones.

The base is done in gold seed beads to symbolize the golden era of the Anasazi and the respect for this one time rich culture that has been passed to subsequent generations.

The center focal area of the necklace is made from a dense variety of beads to symbolize the glory years of this ancient society teeming with activity and flourishing as a people. Shades of turquoise represent the sky, green represents the fertile land, and purple represents these regal people.

As you move away from the center, there are “bands” of beads that symbolize both the beginning of the migration away from the hub of these ancient cities and the tree banding that has provided information about it.

The areas of the necklace that are less populated with beads and the blank areas represent the migration of the Ancient Ones and their disappearance from the hub of their ancient cities.

At the ends are new “bands” of modern Natives who have not forgotten the ways of the Ancient Ones.

We are contemporary Native Americans who continue to respect the laws of nature. We continue to honor all living things, large or small. We continue to hone our skills and share our knowledge. We give Thanks to these Ancestors, whether they are called Anasazi or The Ancient Ones.

We band together and pray for a better tomorrow. Without this, we, like the once prosperous and talented ancient culture of the Anasazi, could see the world as we know it disappear..... leaving behind only the remnants of what was once a grand society.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Enjoy Freedom? Thank A Veteran

Left To Right:  Joni Stinson, Howard Miscee (wearing his roach*), Patrick Stinson

As America pays tribute to its Armed Services men and women, past and present, what better way to celebrate a part of the 2010 Memorial Day week-end than to attend an Omaha Warrior Society Pow Wow. Earlier in the week, we had received a phone call from our friend, Howard Miscee, Omaha, to let us know about the Warrior Society Pow Wow in Carter Lake, Iowa.

Howard is a Veteran, an Omaha Ceremonial Dancer and a member of the Omaha Warrior Society. Historically, no man was eligible to the Warrior Society who had not won, through the ceremonies of the Tent of War, the right to proclaim his warlike deeds. Modern day Warrior Society members are Veterans.

For the event yesterday, our friend, Howard, had been asked by the Warrior Society to be the Head Dancer. This is a high honor and we wanted to be be present to see Howard dance and receive gifts from his fellow warriors.

Native Americans of all tribes have valiantly performed in the military services of our country throughout history. Patrick and I were pleased to have the opportunity to share this day with a few of them and give our thanks for their personal sacrifice and valor in serving us. As we always say, “If you enjoy your freedom, thank a Veteran.

*A roach is a crest of stiff porcupine guard hairs with a deer-hair center that male dancers wear on their heads.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Which Is Your Favorite Walosi (Frog in Cherokee)?

Welcome to our Cherokee Spring Frog Dance!

This is your opportunity to view the frogs made by various artists from the Etsy Native American Forum Thread Walks In The Wind.

Kicking Bear, a Cherokee elder, is our wise man and mentor. We sit around our "cyber" camp fire while he amuses us with his wit and wisdom. Recently he told us of the old tradition of the Cherokee Spring Frog Dance. He then challenged us to produce a walosi piece to honor this tradition and the frog. 28 pieces were offered up for this challenge.

We invite you to view all of the wonderful walosi and select your favorite. There is voter widget at the end so that you may cast your vote. Just scroll down on the bar to find your favorite artist.

Those of us who participated had a great time and we hope you will enjoy helping us with our celebration of the Cherokee Spring Frog Dance.

                                                                            Van Fleet Street Design

           Bead Lady 61

1 Egg Man  1

1 Egg Man 2

   White Buffalo Designs

Wolf Moon Traders 1

Wolf Moon Traders 2

To Vote:  Use the "white portion" of the bar to scroll down the list of names.
Click on the "dot" to the left of the name.
Click on "Vote"
To see the Results, Click on "Results"

Friday, March 26, 2010

I Am A Fairy!

My Fairy name is Tangle Rainbowwand

Tangle Rainbowwand is said to be a fortune bringer.
She lives at the bottom of tangled gardens and in hedgerows.
She is only seen when the seer holds a four-leafed clover.
She wears tangled dresses of multicoloured petals.
She has multicoloured wings like a butterfly.

Joan L, one of my Bbest Team Mates on Etsy suggested that I go to a fairy website and I would learn my “fairy name”. She then offered to do a personalized water color ACEO of me as my namesake fairy. I immediately took her up on her generous offer.

I have long been an admirer of Joan’s work. While she does like fairies, she also does wonderful paintings of birds and has a “Neighborhood Girl” series that I really enjoy.

Joan lives in Philadelphia, PA and has a store on Etsy. Joan says, “I have always been an artist ever since I can remember but not able to do it full time until recently. It is my one passion in life. I hope you enjoy what you see and remember it is made with a lot of love and care. You can view her work at

And here I am……Tangle Rainbowwand!

Now in addition to my Cherokee name, saguu gago widuyugodv, I have a Fairy name as well!

Wado, Joan for my portrait!

If you would like to learn your Fairy name, go to:
Get your free fairy name here!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Etsy Bead and Jet Team Treasury: 3/17/10

As you know, I sell my jewelry on Etsy. Etsy has a feature called "Treasuries". A member of Etsy selects 12 of their favorite items around a theme and if they time it just right, they can "snag" a treasury. They are then called the curator of the treasury.

Etsy also has teams. The number is vast. A team is made of people who share a common interest. Treasuries are often used to promote one's team and/or team members.

This morning I found out that my Mandala Earrings (third row, middle shot) were featured in this treasury curated by one of my teammates in the Etsy Bead Team. She is Debbie and owns an Etsy store called stoutdg2. Debbie also belongs to the Etsy Jet Team and used items from both of her teams in this beautiful treasury.

Debbie does amazing jewelry design and I think she must search the world over for her beads. I don't know where she locates the amazing lamp work beads that she uses in her designs. In her shop announcement she says, "I create one-of-a-kind fun, whimsical jewelry including necklaces, bracelets, and earrings. I use artisan handcrafted lampwork beads in my designs as well as gemstones, sterling silver, vermeil and gold filled metals." You have to just see her work to gain full appreciation of the quality and creativity. I am showing two of my favorites here.

Now in order for you to see more of this fabulous artist's work, please visit her Etsy store at You will be glad that you did if you love gorgeous one of a kind jewelry made by a skilled artisan!

Debbie, thank you for including my earrings in your wonderful treasury! I truly am humbled and appreciative.