Category Archives: Holidays

Remembering Our Veterans

“On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, was declared between the Allied nations and Germany in the First World War, then known as “the Great War.” Commemorated as Armistice Day beginning the following year, November 11th became a legal federal holiday in the United States in 1938. In the aftermath of World War II and the Korean War, Armistice Day became Veterans Day, a holiday dedicated to American veterans of all wars.”

psischiefs-org

psischiefs-org

Excerpts:

THE GREAT WAR & ARMISTICE DAY

“Though the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919, November 11 remained in the public imagination as the date that marked the end of the Great War. In November 1919, U.S. President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day. The day’s observation included parades and public gatherings, as well as a brief pause in business activities at 11 a.m. On November 11, 1921, an unidentified American soldier killed in the war was buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C.; the U.S. Congress had declared the day a legal federal holiday in honor of all those who participated in the war. On the same day the previous year, unidentified soldiers were laid to rest at Westminster Abbey in London and at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris.

FROM ARMISTICE DAY TO VETERANS DAY

American effort during World War II (1941-1945) saw the greatest mobilization of the U.S. Army, Navy, Marines and Air Force in the nation’s history (more than 16 million people); some 5.7 million more served in the Korean War (1950 to 1953). In 1954, after lobbying efforts by veterans’ service organizations, the 83rd U.S. Congress amended the 1938 act that had made Armistice Day a holiday, striking the word “Armistice” in favor of “Veterans.” President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the legislation on June 1, 1954. From then on, November 11 became a day to honor American veterans of all wars.”

native-vets

Category: Holidays

Natives Honor the New Year with Traditional Foods

“In the Northwest, some Native Americans celebrate New Year earlier than the rest of the western world. In fact, tribal New Year is December 20 . The Umatilla tribes of eastern Oregon hold their ceremony just before the winter solstice. ..Indian New Year is the time to celebrate the return of the sacred foods.”A.King, NPR

Tradional Native salmon cooking. Photo- ictmntiff

Tradional Native salmon cooking. Photo- ictmntiff

Excerpt: … New Year Is Time To Honor Traditions By Anna King NPR

“Armand Minthorn is the spiritual leader of the tribes that live on the Umatilla Reservation, on the dry side of Oregon. The celebration is called kimtee inmewit . This goes back to when the world was new, Minthorn explains. The first food that was created was the salmon.

For many Natives traditonal foods are a big part of cultural celebrations. Photo- pbs.org

Traditonal foods are a big part of cultural celebrations. Photo- pbs.org

We call nusux. The second food was the deer. We call the deer nukt. The third was the bitter root we call sliiton. To honor these sacred foods the tribe sings, drums, dances, prays and shares a meal together at the longhouse. Tribal elder Linda Jones teaches younger women and girls how to gather the traditional foods for the tribes. Every year she goes out to the mountains and bluffs to harvest the wild celery, bitterroots and huckleberries.

Traditonal foods are a big part of cultural celebrations. Photo- pbs.org

Traditonal foods are a big part of cultural celebrations. Photo- pbs.org

In the community kitchen some elder women prepare meat stew and Indian fry bread. Lynn Sue Jones is 62…She kneads a mass of tacky bread dough to a loose rhythm. She is taking on new responsibilities this year -– raising two granddaughters –- three and five. Jones says the foods are sacred because they nourish the people, but also, When our elders pass on and go back to the ground; this is how they come back to take care of us, in these foods.”

“Everything is passed by word of mouth and that’s how we were brought up and that is how we do things…Whoever will listen. It ends up coming down to that — who’s going to listen.”  ~ Lynn Sue Jones~

Wishing Everyone A “Free-Spirit” 2016!

New Year Horse

Category: Holidays

Hear Native Santa Sing In Navajo!

“For William P. Yazzie of Chinle, Arizona, it is as much about language preservation as it is about entertainment. On December 10, Yazzie, who is Diné, posted a video to his Facebook page where he sings the classic Christmas carol, Santa Claus Is Coming to Town in Navajo. Since then, the video has generated more than 54,000 views.” S.Moya-Smith

Discussion Questions for this post

CLICK VIDEO BELOW  to hear William Yazzie sing santa song.

CLICK VIDEO BELOW to hear William Yazzie sing santa song.

Excerpt:  Santa Claus Is Coming to Town’ Is Best Sung in Navajo By Simon Moya-Smith, ICTMN

“I didn’t expect this post to get as much attention as it did, Yazzie told ICTMN. It’s kind of scary. I got so many friend requests from this alone.

Native American Night Before Christmas by Gary Robinson , Jesse T. Hummingbird

Native American Night Before Christmas by Gary Robinson , Jesse T. Hummingbird

Yazzie, who is two years into his retirement from his career as a Chief Park Ranger with the National Park Service, said he has converted songs into Navajo since the 1980s.   Navajo was Yazzie’s first language. He has also converted Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Let It Snow to Navajo.”

“It’s fun. But the main reason why I do this is language preservation. It’s to get kid’s, young people’s attention that language is important.” ~William P. Yazzie~

Happy Holidays Snowman

Discussion Questions for this post
  1. What is William Yazzie’s first language?
  2. What was Yazzie’s career?
  3. Where does William Yazzie live?
  4. How many people have viewed his video?
  5. Name two other songs that  Yazzie also sings in Navajo.
Category: Holidays

Native Stories, Songs, and Santa!

O’siyo. To celebrate the Christmas season, read about some great Native organizations that help children and families, listen to Christmas carols sung in Native languages, and learn about  Native books for children for the holidays.

Please note that the following information was from a FaceBook page in 2013-Unfortunately, the page has since been removed.

Jicarilla Apache Tribe – Childrens' Christmas Powwow.

Jicarilla Apache Tribe – Childrens’ Christmas Powwow.

“For some of the children who will attend the 2nd Annual Children’s’ Christmas Powwow in Dulce, the gift they receive there may be the only gift they receive this Christmas.”

Viejas California Indian Center

Santa at Viejas California Indian Center talking to the young Native American children and California Indian families.

Santa at Viejas California Indian Center talking to the young Native American children and California Indian families.

“The San Diego County urban Indian community gathered on the Viejas Indian Reservation for their tribal TANF (temporary assistance for needy families) holiday party that included a catered luncheon, a personal visit by Santa Claus who handed out Christmas gifts to the children.”

Christmas Playlist: Classic Carols in Native Languages ICTMN

“Carols are on the air, surrounding us in a cacophony of fa-la-la-la-la, angels and light. That’s all well and good, but it’s mostly in English—and none of it in an indigenous language. Today we spice up the musical offerings with lyrics that may be familiar—that is, if you speak Woodland Cree, Ojibwe, Navajo, Cherokee or Arapaho. These tried-and-true melodies have been translated into various Native languages. Some of them even have lyrics so you can sing along.”  

Little Drummer Boy in Navajo, sung by the The Fruitland Gospel Trio, featuring Pastor Daniel Smiley

Hark the Herald Angels Sing, sung in Ojibwe by the Pine Family

Children’s Books That Summon the Native Christmas Spirit

Native American Night Before Christmas by Gary Robinson, illustrated by Jesse T. Hummingbird

Native American Night Before Christmas by Gary Robinson, illustrated by Jesse T. Hummingbird

“In Night Before Christmas, the setting is a tipi where moccasins are hung from lodge poles. “Old Red Shirt,” plump from eating so much fry bread, arrives on a sleigh pulled by eight buffalo. He leaves gifts and departs, calling “Merry Christmas to All My Relations and to all a ‘goot’ night!” The content, words, and jokes work especially well for Native readers, but for those who are not familiar with Native culture, the final pages provide background information on some of the content.”

Coyote Christmas- A Lakota Story, written and illustrated by S.D. Nelson.

Coyote Christmas- A Lakota Story, written and illustrated by S.D. Nelson.

“In S. D. Nelson’s lively story, ever-hungry Coyote schemes to get food from a family gathered round a table at Christmas Eve. He dresses up as Santa and stuffs a bag with straw. Knocking at the door, he is invited in, meets the parents and two children, one of whom is in a wheelchair. Raven has been observing Coyote’s antics and decides to outdo him with her own powers.”

Everyday is Christmas in Indian Country. Daily living is centered around the spirit of giving and walking the Red Road. Walking the Red Road means making everything you do a spiritual act.”  ~Floyd Looks for Buffalo Hand~

“When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed.” ~Maya Angelou~

Following A Star Artwork by King Kuka (Blackfeet). Manataka.org

Following A Star Artwork by King Kuka (Blackfeet). Manataka.org

 WE WISH EVERYONE A SAFE AND WONDERFUL HOLIDAY!

Category: Holidays

Holidays: Teaching Native Children…Truth

O’siyo. The hoilday season is here and now is the time to highlight a great Native book for children that discusses the true meaning of the “first Thanksgiving”. The People Shall Continue, by author Simon Ortiz, a member of the Acquemeh (Acoma) Pueblo is just the book. Ortiz’s  wonderful story begins with, “the moment that all things came to be, when the People were born.”  

The People Shall Continue, by Simon Ortiz. Amazon.

The People Shall Continue, by Simon Ortiz. Amazon.

Arthur Simon Ortiz. Photo- Ortiz Lectures-ASU.

Arthur Simon Ortiz. Photo- Ortiz Lectures-ASU.

Excerpt:  Beyond the So-Called First Thanksgiving…By Debbie Reese, ICTMN

“…Your local bookstore probably has a special shelf this month filled with books about “The First Thanksgiving.” In most of them, Native peoples are stereotyped, and “Indian” instead of “Wampanoag” is used to identify the indigenous people. When the man known as Squanto is part of the stories, his value to the Pilgrims is that he can speak English, and he teaches them how to plant and hunt. The fact that he was kidnapped and sold into slavery in Spain—if mentioned at all—is not addressed in the story because elaborating on it would up-end the feel-good story.

There are a multitude of works by Native writers who tell stories from their experience and history. While Thanksgiving is a good time to grab people’s attention about Wampanoag-European interactions, it does not need to frame the story. These books give a far more nuanced, and accurate, account of Indigenous Peoples. They will set children and adults alike straight on what really happened around the time of the so-called First Thanksgiving, and what Native life is like today.

The People Shall Continue, by Simon Ortiz (Children’s Book Press, 1977) The starting point for this picture-book poem, illustrated by Sharol Graves, is not 1492, nor is it 1621. The story begins the moment that “all things came to be,” when “the People were born.” This provides an immediate departure from the typical re-telling of creation stories by non-Native writers, who tend to cast our stories in a romantic and mystical realm.

Right off the bat, Ortiz tells us that the People differ in how they came to be:

Excerpt: The People Shall Continue, by Simon Ortiz. Amazon.

Excerpt: The People Shall Continue, by Simon Ortiz. Amazon.

[ What their special jobs were]:

Excerpt: The People Shall Continue, by Simon Ortiz. Amazon.

Excerpt: The People Shall Continue, by Simon Ortiz. Amazon.

As the poem progresses, the People start talking about strangers who seek treasure, slaves and land. Across the continent, the People fight to protect themselves:

In the West, Pope called warriors from the Pueblo and Apache Nations.
In the East, Tecumseh gathered the Shawnee and the Nations of the Great Lakes, the Appalachians, and the Ohio Valley to fight for their people.” Read more…

Kudos to Simon Ortiz for his wonderful stories and inspiration! To parents, teachers, and others, who continue to teach children the important values in life.

“We must ensure that life continues.
We must be responsible to that life.
With that humanity and the strength
Which comes from our shared responsibility
For this life, the People shall continue.”

~ Simon Ortiz~from his book, The People Shall Continue.

For Younger Children:

Naturally, Simon Ortiz’s  story is for older children. We want to begin teaching the younger ones things they should be “thankful” for (e.g., mom, dad, grandparents, siblings, teachers, friends, good food, etc.). Here are some fun ideas for  preschool, kindergarten and elementary learners from the Enchanted Learning website.  The materials for these projects can be found around the house, like egg cartons, cardboard, paper, boxes, string, crayons, etc. Click on the images to get instructions on how to make the projects.

Thankful Tree by Enchanted Learning.

Thankful Tree by Enchanted Learning.

Pine Cone Turkey by Enchanted Learning.

Pine Cone Turkey by Enchanted Learning.

Thankful Turkey by Enchanted Learning.

Thankful Turkey by Enchanted Learning.

Native Artist Geri Keams with students from Eagle Nest Int. School, Tuba City Az.

Native Artist Geri Keams with students from Eagle Nest Int. School, Tuba City Az.

Wishing Everyone A Day of Thankfulness!

 

A New Year…Happy Beginnings!

O’siyo. Native people are known for their intricate ties to  Mother Nature and her animals. As 2012 comes to a close, and 2013 opens the new year, we decided on these wonderful photos of  new born baby animals from around the world (and a few closer to home) as the final Talking Feather post for 2012. The animal site ZooBorns.com posted photos of their most “adorable” exotic babies, who are also endangered species.  Indian Country Today  posted an article about this amazing site.

Arctic Fox Pup (ZooBorns.com)

Marmoset (ZooBorns.com)

Rare Sand Kitten (ZooBorns.com)

Excerpt:

“Arguably the cutest, most adorable publication to have ever been created, ZooBorns is a zoology website and educational book series that announces animal births born in zoos and aquariums around the world.

Last month, they released their latest book from their series, ZooBorns: The Next Generation, which features fascinating facts and endearing photos of exotic animals from all around the world.

No, these cuties are not from the Zoo, but from Wylie’s Horse Nation site

3 Wylie at The Horse Nation

 

Photo-Wylie at The Horse Nation

Wylie at The Horse Nation

“When the Earth is sick, the animals will begin to disappear,when that happens, The Warriors of the Rainbow will come to save them.” ~Chief Seattle~

“I think I could turn and live with animals, they are
so placid and self-contained,
I stand and look at them long and long.”  ~ Walt Whitman~

Wishing All of Our Readers a New Year Filled With Beauty, Happiness, & Prosperity!

 

Category: Holidays