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Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The Fish-Man


Somewhere near the mouth of the Fraser River lived a girl who had refused all suitors.
After a while, a man came to visit her and lay with her at night.
The girl said to him, "You must stay until daylight, and show yourself to my parents."
He answered, "No, I am too poor. Your people would not like me."
As he continued to come every night, the girl told her parents, and they were very angry. Then Fish-Man caused the sea to recede for many miles from the village. He let all the freshwater streams dry up, and no rainfall. The animals became thirsty and left the country. The people could get no fish, no game, and no water to drink.
The girl told the people, "My lover has done this because you were wroth with him and refused him."
Then the people made a long walk of planks over the mud to the edge of the sea. At the end of this they built a large platform of planks, which they covered with mats. They heaped many woolen blankets on it. Then they dressed the girl in a fine robe, combed and oiled her hair, painted her face, and put down on her head. Then they placed her on the top of the blankets and left her there. At once the sky became overcast, rain fell, the springs burst out, the streams ran, and the sea came in. The people watched until the sea rose and floated the platform with the blankets. They saw a man climb up beside the girl
They stood up, and the girl called, "Now all is well. I shall visit you soon."
Night came on, and they saw them no more. In two days she came back and told the people, "I live below the sea, in the fish country. The houses there are just the same as here, and the people live in the same way."
She returned again with her husband bringing presents of fish. She said, "Henceforth people here shall always be able to catch plenty of fish."
Once more she came to show them her newly born child. After that she returned to the sea and was never seen again.
Source: Franz Boas, Folk-Tales of Salishan and Sahaptin Tribes = Memoirs of the American Folk-Lore Society, vol. 11 (Lancaster and New York: American Folk-Lore Society, 1917), p. 131.
This tale was collected by James A. Teit.
A note by Teit concerning his source: "This myth ... I collected at Hope [on the Fraser River], where interior influence is rather strong. Similar versions are said to be current among the Spuzzum Indians. The narrator was an old man who could speak some Thompson.
The Fraser River flows through British Columbia, Canada, into the Strait of Georgia at the site of present-day Vancouver.
Artist: Carl Ray, a self-taught artist, was born in 1943 on the Sandy Lake First Nation reserve in Northern Ontario.
Title: "Fish"

Friday, June 12, 2015



Ravens are the largest songbird in North America. Raven are often referred to by some indigenous tribes as the 'secret keepers' and are the subject of many stories. Their ebony black color is sometimes associated with darkness. Ravens are very intelligent and are able mimic the sounds other birds and can squawk out some human words. Ravens are found in many different regions and climates.


The raven spirit guide is not chosen by those who seek its wisdom. The raven only comes to those to whom it may speak in private and share its secrets with the knowledge its mysteries will be well guarded by one who already possesses wisdom.

The raven is known as the 'Secret Keeper by some native tribes because of their way of silently perching near people and 'listening' to conversations then flying away in a flutter shrieking an eerie sound or mimicking a human word. Because of their inky black color they are linked to a place where fear and secrets are kept.

When the sun shines on the ravens shiny body it sometimes reflects many colors is therefore sometimes said it has the ability to transform itself, especially when it makes the call of another species. If the raven is seen in dreams or visions it may mean significant changes are about to take place.

Ravens are intelligent and can be seen in the wild 'instructing' other birds and animals. From the raven, we may learn ways to become better teachers and understand the languages of many.

Regardless of common European belief, the raven is not an omen of death and should never be feared as its messages are those that can benefit the listener. The Creator did not make any evil creatures on Mother Earth.

Because of ravens ability to make a variety of sounds and high pitched vibrations are known to alter consciousness, the raven is sometimes credited with the ability to transform, move into other dimensions or to shape shift. We may expect frequent changes if the raven is perched on your shoulder.

~Arapaho Proverb


Before eating, always take the time to thank the food. 
~ Arapaho Proverb


Thursday, June 4, 2015

10 Things You Need to Know About Native American Women:

10 Things You Need to Know About Native American Women:

1. “A lot of people think that us women are not leaders, but we are the heart of the nation, we are the center of our home, and it is us who decide how it will be.”–Philomine Lakota, Lakota language teacher, Red Cloud High School, Pine Ridge, S.D.

2. The art forms Native women practice stand as reminders of cultural endurance. “Their crafts survived the Greasy Grass (Battle of Little Big Horn), Wounded Knee One (1890) and Two (1973),” writes Christina DeVries in Native Daughters. “Their spirits survived the Trail of Tears, the Relocation, and Termination program and continued struggles against cultural annihilation.”

3. In 1997, Ms. magazine named Winona LaDuke (Anishinaabe) Woman of the Year. That same year, the activist also debuted her first novel, Last Standing Woman.

4. Of nearly 2 million women enlisted in the U.S. armed forces, 18,000 are American Indian women. Their representation in the military is disproportionately high—and Native women are more likely to be sexually harassed, which increases their chances of developing post-traumatic stress disorder.

5. The number of Native women applying to medical school has increased since 2003, peaking in 2007 when 77 Native women applied nationwide.

6. In 2007, when Cassandra Manuelito-Kerkvliet (DinĂ©) was named the president of Antioch University, she became the first American Indian woman president of a mainstream university. Not only that, but about half of the nation’s tribal colleges are led by Native women presidents.

7. Cecelia Fire Thunder (Lakota) became the Oglala Lakota Tribe’s first woman president. She has fought against domestic abuse, saying it’s not a part of traditional culture, and been a leader for women’s reproductive rights. In 2006, when the South Dakota state legislature prohibited abortion, Fire Thunder announced plans to build a women’s clinic on the reservation, and therefore beyond state jurisdiction. She was impeached by the tribal council, who said she was acting outside her duties as president.

8. Women lead nearly one-quarter of the nation’s 562 federally recognized tribes.

9. “Through the late 1700s, Cherokee women were civically engaged. They owned land and had a say during wartime,” writes Astrid Munn in Native Daughters. “But this changed after the tribe ceded large tracts of land to the U.S. government in 1795.” Since the mid-1980s, though, a generation of Native women activists, lawmakers and attorneys have been changing that history and working to empower women again.

10. Indian Country could never survive without Native women.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

When this world was almost lost in the waters a frog predicted it. One man seized the frog and threw it into the fire, but another said, "Don't do that." He took it, cared for it and healed it, and it said to him, "The land will almost disappear in the waters. Make a raft and put a thick layer of grass underneath so that the beavers can not cut holes through the wood." So he cut long dry sticks of wood and tied them together and put a quantity of grass underneath.

When other people saw this they said, "Why did you make it?" He answered, "A flood is going to cover the whole country." "Nothing like that can happen," they said. Some persons stayed about laughing at him. After some time, he finished his raft and the flood came. When it arrived fish came with it and some of the people killed them and said, "We are having a good time." The man and his family got upon the raft along with the frog.

When the water rose the raft went up also, and some of the people said, "We want to get on," but no one got on. When it rose higher all of the other people were drowned. Then those on the raft floated up with it. The flying things flew up to the sky and took hold of it, with their tails half in the water. The ends of their tails got wet. The red-headed woodpecker was flat against the sky and said, "My tail is half in the water."

(According to the Koasati version a lizard fell into the fire. One man took pity on it and pulled it out. Then the lizard said, "I am not going to die before the flood comes." The man cared for it until it got well. The rest of the story is much the same.)