Native Describes Encounter with the Tlicho Sasquatch!

“A man who spent two days alone on an island after capsizing his canoe says he had a terrifying encounter with a mythical creature — and in the N.W.T.’s Tlicho region, he’s not the first.” H. Bird, CBC NewsOriginal-

Lac La Martre by trailer605

Lac La Martre by trailer605

Excerpt:  N.W.T. man tells of encounter with nàhgą — the Tlicho sasquatch By Hiliary Bird, CBC News

On July 17, after boating hours from Whati to the most northern tip of Lac La Martre, 42-year-old Tony Williah spotted some garbage in the water ahead of him — a plastic bag bobbing in the waves. Williah slowly brought his boat up beside it.

He reached in to get it but just as he did, a wave rocked the boat and he fell over the side and into the frigid water. He struggled to pull himself up back into the boat but his clothes, heavy with the weight of the water, kept pulling him down. He grabbed a plastic bag of supplies and began the long, tiring swim to shore.

Tony Williah recovers at Stanton Territorial Hospital. Photo- CBC News

Tony Williah recovers at Stanton Territorial Hospital. Photo- CBC News

I managed to swim to an island at the end of the point, Williah told the CBC in Tlicho in his Yellowknife hospital room last week. He says that’s when he encountered the bushman. All of a sudden, there was a big man standing beside me, he said.  

The creature's footprint reportedly measure 40 centimetres in length. CBCNews 2014

The creature’s footprint reportedly measure 40 centimetres in length. CBCNews 2014

He must have walked away because I heard some branches break throughout the bushes. I packed up my clothes in a white bag and readied myself to leave. When he was rescued by the RCMP and Canadian military, he would tell the story of his encounter with a bushman to whoever would listen.

Beings with powerful magic

For many in the Tlicho region the presence of bushmen, or nàhgą as they’re known in the Tlicho language, is a reality that goes back thousands of years. The terrifying human-like creatures are known for stealing people from bush camps. Tlicho columnist John B. Zoe described them in 2010 in N.W.T. News/North. Generally they are silent and for the unfortunate few who have seen them, these symptoms can be experienced: the back of the neck will tingle, skin will break into goose bumps, unstoppable shivers, the heart beats faster, accompanied by shortness of breath.

Tlicho elder Michel Louis Rabesca

Tlicho elder Michel Louis Rabesca

Tlicho elder Michel Louis Rabesca learned about nàhgą when he was a boy living in the bush with his parents. I got the story from my grandma because my grandma lived in the bush all the time, Rabesca says.

Rabesca says the Tlicho people and nàhgą have lived in the same region since time immemorial. He says nàhgą look just like human beings, and even wear modern clothes.

But, he says, nàhgą have powerful magic. They lure people toward them and steal them, never to be seen again. There’s even stories of nàhgą stealing moose and caribou carcasses. Rabesca says when he was little, his grandmother told him a story about one of his relatives who encountered a nàhgą and was never seen again.

They took him…Some people heard him talking, screaming ‘Help,’ but nobody can do nothing. Rabesca says that as development pushes people further into the bush, interactions with bushmen will only increase.”

“The Hopi elders say that the increasing appearances of Bigfoot are not only a message or warning to the individuals or communities to whom he appears, but to humankind at large… they see Bigfoot as a messenger who appears in evil times as a warning from the Creator that man’s disrespect for His sacred instructions has upset the harmony and balance of existence.”

Category: Culture

War and Death Story in Drawings

“June 25 was the 140th anniversary of the Battle of the Little Bighorn otherwise known as the Great Sioux War… The United States today is engaged in two deadly counterinsurgency wars in Afghanistan and the Islamic State…Examining the stunning drawings made in 1881 by Red Horse, a Mnicoujou warrior who fought at the Little Bighorn, provides timeless lessons about war.” S. Sagen, The New York Times

Drawing by Red Horse, “Untitled from the Red Horse Pictographic Account of the Battle of the Little Bighorn” (1881), graphite, colored pencil, and ink.

Drawing by Red Horse, “Untitled from the Red Horse Pictographic Account of the Battle of the Little Bighorn” (1881), graphite, colored pencil, and ink.

Excerpt: A Real War Story, in Drawings, BY Scott D. Sagen, The New York Times

“Red Horse, who surrendered the year after the battle, was living on the Cheyenne River Agency, a reservation in South Dakota, when he made the drawings. He spoke no English, and his initial account of the battle to American officials was delivered through Plains Indian sign language — coded hand signals that Native Americans on the Great Plains used to communicate across tribal lines. He later made the drawings with colored pencil and pen to help researchers check the accuracy of the interpretation of his sign-language testimony. But I think that the drawings are the real Red Horse testimony — more direct, eloquent and moving than the translation.

Drawings by Red Horse. Credit National Smithsonian Institution

Drawings by Red Horse. Credit National Smithsonian Institution

These drawings, housed at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, are the Little Bighorn through Lakota eyes. In one, of Last Stand Hill, where Lt. Col. George Custer and many of his Seventh Cavalry troopers were overwhelmed by Lakota and Cheyenne warriors, Red Horse displays his pride in the Native Americans who shot bullets and arrows into fleeing cavalrymen, pulled soldiers off horses or stabbed them with spears.

The cavalry horses appear in columns of two, mostly bluish-gray in the front row and sorrel in the back. This color coordination was not a figment of Red Horse’s imagination. Custer had issued a coloring of the horses order, forcing cavalrymen to trade horses with one another so that each troop company rode mounts of a uniform color.

Drawings by Red Horse. Credit National Archives:Smithsonian Institution

Drawings by Red Horse. Credit National Archives:Smithsonian Institution

Red Horse’s drawings are brutally honest and honest about brutality. His depiction of the scalped and mutilated bodies is an uncensored portrayal of the consequences of revenge and hatred.

In an era in which the Islamic State beheads its enemies, it is worth remembering that mistreatment of prisoners, mutilation and taking of body parts was once common in warfare. The Third Colorado Cavalry Militia killed more than 200 Cheyenne men, women and children in the 1864 Sand Creek Massacre, taking body parts and scalps and waving them for the crowds in their victory parade in Denver.

During the 2011 trial of the ‘Kill Team’ — American infantrymen stationed near Kandahar, Afghanistan, who murdered civilians for sport — it was revealed that one soldier carried home fingers of the victims as trophies. We should feel gratified that four of those soldiers were found guilty in the killings. Red Horse portrays the face of battle without the rules of war.”

“…stay the hand of vengeance in war, both to defeat the beast in our enemies and to control the beast within ourselves.” ~ Robert H. Jackson~ United States Solicitor General (1938–1940)

Dine College to Train More Navajo Police as Crime Increases on Rez

“The Navajo Nation banned alcohol from its reservation more than a century ago. But that hasn’t stopped people from drinking and in more recent years, doing drugs.The lack of jobs makes bootlegging and dealing meth, marijuana and cocaine all the more appealing. More substance abuse has led to a surge in violent crimes. And the tribe’s police officers say they’re overwhelmed.” L. Morales, Fronterasnavajo police

Excerpt: Diné College to train police officers, The Navajo Times

“Diné College is developing a plan to train police officers and establish a new police academy, according to a press release from the college. The initiative stems from a June 28 meeting between Diné College leaders and the Navajo Nation’s Law and Order Committee. Navajo Nation Police Sgt. Stanley Ashley stated at the meeting, The lack of police officers is a huge concern.

Navajo Nation police officers meet at Dine’ College for an academy status update. Photo: Tribal college

Navajo Nation police officers meet at Dine’ College for an academy status update. Photo: Tribal college

Inspired by the committee’s commitment to this imperative, Diné College is immediately pursuing a historic multi-state compact to fast-track the preparation of a significant number of new police officers for the Navajo Nation, the release states. The college will partner with communities, institutions, and other key entities in the states of Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah.

This plan, according to the release, will develop and implement a memorandum of understanding among all key stakeholders which will be centered on providing tailored educational services to prepare law enforcement professionals — as well as on securing land, facilities, equipment, and technology required to establish a state-of-the-art Navajo Nation Police Academy.”


Why Was There a Delay in Amber Alert for Ashlynne Mike?  U.S.News

Gunman Leaves Two-State trail of chaos Navajo Times

Recent Navajo Police Officer Deaths Expose Increased Violence By L. Morales, Fronteras News

Former Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly

Former Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly

“When I was growing up I remember a Navajo hungry or thirsty another Navajo will pick him up and feed him give him water,” What’s today’s world? You get beat up or you get killed. These are Navajos I’m talking about. Society is changing.”  ~Former Navajo President Ben Shelly~

Category: Law

Obese Polynesian god in Disney film ‘Moana’ sparks anger

“Shortly after the release of Disney’s trailer for its upcoming movie Moana, in which Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson provides the voice of the demi-god Maui, mixed reviews have hit social media, calling the character obese and insulting to Polynesian culture.” V. Schilling, ICTMN

Disney's Moana advert.

Disney’s Moana advert.

Excerpt: The Rock’s Husky Polynesian God from Disney’s Moana Gets Mixed Reviews Vincent Schilling ICTMN

“According to The Guardian, one woman on Facebook…(Tongan heritage), called Disney’s rendering of Maui half pig, half hippo.

When we look at photos of Polynesian men & women from the last 100-200 years, most of our people were not overweight and this negative stereotype of Maui is just not acceptable – No thanks to Disney, she wrote.

Dwayne The Rock Johnson provides the voice of the demi-god Maui, and is proud of his Samoan heritage.

Dwayne The Rock Johnson provides the voice of the demi-god Maui, and is proud of his Samoan heritage.

Others on Twitter have come to the defense of Maui and Moana – most notably Dwayne Johnson, who said he is proud and honored to share the movie’s trailer release.

Cecilia Sagote, the editor of SUGA a Samoan women’s magazine, told ICTMN via Twitter: The outrage on the depiction of Maui has been blown out of proportion and the uproar is not representative of Poly opinion. Pretty sure my ancestors were amazing, super-intelligent warriors. That’s why we are all looking fwd to celebrating Moana.Disney's Moana advert

Isoa Kavakimotu, a man from New Zealand who calls himself a pretty big guy, created a YouTube video in support of Maui. Kavakimotu said in his video that he was fine with The Rock’s portrayal, the size of the animated character and calls Maui a powerhouse who is capable of slowing down the sun, rescuing islands and fighting monsters.

Disney’s Moana is slotted for a 2016 Thanksgiving release and also features actress Auli’i Cravalho as Moana. The movie has songs and music by Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda, as well as Opetaia Foa’i and Mark Mancina.

Here is the official Disney Movie trailer:

For more information visit

chris cruz @NerdyCruz: Moana character, Maui, gives a dark skinned fat guy, like me, a perfect cosplay opportunity. Thanks! @TheRock

Michel Mulipola @bloodysamoan: I’m not phased by the way Maui is designed in this film. In Polynesian mythology, Maui is the demi-god who inspired many myths and legends. In this film, he would of done a lot of those amazing feats…

Faitala Limā : Why is everyone mad at the way Disney portrayed Maui? He looks boss and full of character.

Chris Worthington: “…I am concerned that the critics are upset about the body image of the character. As a ‘person of size’ I find this a bit problematic, because I think good and intelligent and beautiful people come in all sizes. …if the problem is that you want a slimmer hero, that might be promoting another type of bigotry, and that is sad to me.”

Category: Social

The ‘Unspoken’ PowWow Rules…

“At every pow wow there is a list of unwritten rules that just about everyone in attendance – of any age – knows that you dare not break. We are not talking about pow wow etiquette, which is important; we are talking about the rules of which we usually don’t speak. In fact, these rules are so seldom discussed, they are passed down, generation to generation, by intuition.” V. Schilling ICTMNPow Wow image

Excerpt: …8 Funny Unwritten Pow Wow Rules, By Vincent Schilling, ICTMN

Don’t Sit in That Elder’s Chair!

The Chair. Photo- ICMN

The Chair. Photo- ICMN

“You know you are not supposed to sit there. And don’t pretend you don’t know which chair we are talking about. It’s the super-deluxe, monogrammed elder’s folding chair with umbrella clamp, drink holder and mesh basket underneath the seat for holding specialty items.   

If you did sit in that chair? Well, let’s just say that elder is old-school, and you may not be sitting down again anytime soon.

Don’t Talk To That One Vendor Before He/She’s Had Their Coffeepow wow

This doesn’t need much explanation. You know the one we are talking about – you arrive late on Friday, camp until the morning, when everyone starts setting up. Steer clear of this vendor until coffee has been consumed … because … well let’s just say some ‘grumpy vendors’ have been known to throw things.

Parents of ‘Energetic Kids’ Are Permitted to Influence their Kids to Dance, ‘One More Time!’

Are we there yet? Are we there yet?

Are we there yet? Are we there yet?

We all know those native pow wow kids who always have an abundance of energy. They can only do so many craft projects that are supposed to keep them from asking “Are we home yet?” for the 76th time. So, dear parents of these “highly motivated kids,” you are permitted to give them a few gentle nudges to dance “One more time!” There is a lot of parental bliss in a quiet car filled with sleeping children after a busy, busy pow wow day.

The Weather Will Be in Opposition to the Regalia You Wear

It is a supreme rule of all our ancestors – who laugh like coyotes watching us from the other side – that the weather will be the exact opposite of what we need, based on our wardrobe that day. Wearing three layers of buckskin? It is going to be a humid 99 degrees that day. Going with a thin ribbon shirt or wearing a simple loincloth? Break out the sled: It is going to snow.”

pow wow humor

Category: Pow Wows

Native film “Rez Comedy” Breaks into Mainstream

“With this film, we hope to show the mainstream that Native American comedians are just as funny as Dave Chappelle, Louis C.K., and Gabriel Iglesias, says Jon Roberts, comedian and member of the Red Lake band of Ojibwe. If given the opportunity, [Native Americans] can give America a look at something they never knew existed.” K. Sievert, HPR

Native comedians Jon Roberts and Rob Fairbanks

Native comedians Jon Roberts and Rob Fairbanks

Excerpt: Rez Comedy Aims to break the Mainstream Barrier, Kaley Sievert HPR

Native comedians Jon Roberts and Rob Fairbanks

Jon Roberts and Rob Fairbanks

Roberts and Rob Fairbanks, comedian and member of the Leech Lake band of Ojibwe, are two Minnesota competitors in Project Greenlight, a reality show on HBO that creates a starting point for young directors. For years Roberts and Fairbanks have loved comedy and wanted to tell the behind-the-scenes story of trying to make it as a Native American comedian.

We are really underexposed and we have no airtime on mainstream,  Fairbanks said. If Native Americans do receive media recognition, it’s usually for disproportionately high rates of alcoholism, obesity and suicide, rather than positive messages about efforts to save the environment, contribute to education, or serve the community.

Leech Lake Weather Report 6/16

Leech Lake Weather Report pt.2

The two men want to produce a film that breaks that negativity and gives their communities hope for the future.

The movie is titled Rez Comedy, and follows Fairbanks and Roberts on a 12-day road trip to Hollywood as they try to make it in mainstream comedy. While on their journey, Roberts and Fairbanks meet fellow Native comedians who share stories about life, comedy and goals.

It’s to bring awareness to the stories and journeys of those using comedy as a tool to help their communities, Roberts said.”

“If we pull together I think we can make it happen, The movie is more than just me and Jon, it’s about hope. I want people to see that.”   ~ Rob Fairbanks~


Category: Social