Friday, April 30, 2004

What do you eat at your Powwow?

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By Beverly Cox & Martin Jacobs

Spirit of the Harvest, Winter 1997

The Miccosukee and Seminole people of Florida were originally part of the Creek Nation, an association of clan villages in what is now Alabama and Georgia. The two groups, who today live in Florida, share many traditions, including good food.

Fried pumpkin bread and Indian burgers (fry bread stuffed with cooked ground beef) are favorite snacks at Seminole and Miccosukee powwows and festivals, as well as with everyday meals. While Indian burgers are popular nation-wide, our friend, Marie Osceola, a descendant of famous Seminole chief Osceola, who travels to Native American gatherings across the country, has only seen pumpkin bread in Florida.


When making pumpkin bread, some traditional cooks still use fresh pumpkin. Debbie Tiger of the Miccosukee Tribe's Information Center recalls that her husband's aunt, Irene Tiger, also made a wonderful old-fashioned version with mashed sweet potatoes. Today, many Seminole and Miccosukee cooks use canned pumpkin and self-rising flour.

Lorraine Flock, Nutrition Services Coordinator for the Miccosukee Tribe of Florida, gave us a tip that comes from the Miccosukee restaurant on the Tamiami Trail. After mixing the dough, refrigerate for about 2 hours, then divide into portions that can be kneaded on a floured board and rolled into 2 1/2- by 8-inch cylinders. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to one day before frying, or it may be frozen. When ready to fry, slice the dough into 4 to 5 equal pieces. Flour hands and flatten each piece into a round about 4 inches in diameter and 1/4- to 1/2-inch thick. If frozen, allow rounds tocome to room temperature before frying.

  • 2 cups self-rising flour, plus 1 to 2 cups for kneading
  • 2 cups cooked, mashed, fresh pumpkin or 1 16-ounce can pumpkin
  • 1 tablespoon warm milk or water
  • 3/4 cup brown or white sugar
  • Oil or shortening for frying
  • Place 2 cups of flour in a large mixing bowl. In 12 another bowl, combine pumpkin, warm milk, and sugar.

Make a well in the flour and pour in pumpkin mixture. Flour hands, and with the fingers and thumbs, gradually mix flour and pumpkin into a soft dough. Using four fingers, scoop up a portion of dough and roll into a smooth ball. On a floured surface, pat the ball into a round about 4 inches in diameter and not more than 1/2-inch thick. Place oil in a deep fryer, or fill a well-seasoned cast iron skillet a little more than halfway with oil. Heat oil to 350 F. Carefully lower dough into oil and fry for 4 to 5 minutes, turning after 2 minutes, until bread is a rich golden brown on both sides. Drain on paper towels and serve immediately. If desired, serve with butter and honey or maple syrup, or sprinkle with powdered sugar. Makes about 20 servings.


Indian Burgers are a kind of fried meat pie. The dough is same as that used for fry bread in this region--self-rising flour and water. Usually, the meat filling is ground beef cooked with onion, and salt and pepper, but chili powder or other seasonings may be added. The deep fried "burger" is cut open on top and ketchup and other condiments spooned in. Serve with a side of cole slaw.

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 cup chopped onion (1 medium)
  • Water
  • Salt and ground pepper to taste
  • 4 cups self-rising flour plus 1 to 2 cups for kneading
  • Oil or shortening for deep frying

In a large skillet combine beef, onion, and about 1/2 cup water. Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, until beef is no longer pink. Drain off excess liquid and season beef mixture with salt and pepper. Allow mixture to cool while preparing the dough.

Place 4 cups of flour in a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the flour and pour in 1-1/2 cups water. Gradually mix the flour into the water to make a soft, sticky dough. Scrape dough onto a well-floured work surface and knead for 3 to 5 minutes. Divide dough into 8 portions and,with floured hands, roll each portion into a smooth ball. Flatten the balls into rounds about 5 inches in diameter and 1/4-inch thick.

Place about 1/3 cup of beef mixture in the middle of a fry bread round. Gently lift the edges of dough and pinch and seal overlapping dough to enclose the meat filling. Deep-fry at 350 F. for 6 to 8 minutes until golden brown. Drain on paper towels and serve immediately.

Thursday, April 29, 2004

Artist: Gordon Miller

Original oil 24" x 36" by Gordon Miller © 1989

The great cedar plank houses and their awe-inspiring totem poles symbolize the extraordinary artistic and cultural achievements of the Northwest Coast Indians.

I used archival photographic records for this painting of a section of the Haida village of Skidegate in the Queen Charlotte Islands, circa 1860.

The story of Lloyd and Frances Hill began in 1946

Hills Native Art

Hill's Native Art
Our Story

The story of Lloyd and Frances Hill began in 1946 when they first acquired the Koksilah General Store and Post Office. Koksilah (pronounced coke-sy-la) is a small community on the East coast of Vancouver Island, just one mile south of Duncan.

During the early years, the Hills created an outlet for the local Native artists who were encouraged to display and sell their work. As time passed, visitors to Koksilah became aware of the Hill’s reputation and their unique art so word spread across the country. As the Hill family business expanded, new stores were opened on Vancouver Island in Victoria, Nanaimo and Campbell River. Hill’s flagship store, in the heart of Vancouver’s charming Gastown, is just steps away from the Frances Hill’s shop.

Gastown, founded in 1867, is Vancouver’s birthplace where you’ll be surprised and delighted by its historic Victorian architecture. Along its cobble-stoned streets are quaint courtyards, cafes, galleries, fine boutiques, shops and restaurants with day and night time entertainment. Every year, Hill’s Gallery becomes an integral part of the renowned du Maurier International Jazz Festival in June – an incredible multi-day event attended by 350,000 jazz enthusiasts.

With five outlets in British Columbia, Hill’s Native Art has acquired the largest and most varied collection of First Nations and Inuit arts and crafts. Hill’s has caught worldwide attention as the largest Northwest Coast Native Art Gallery in North America, and has exhibited hundreds of works by emerging and internationally renowned artists. At any given time, Hill’s features over 1200 Native artists and represents every Tribe and Nation of the Northwest Coast.

Hill’s (Gastown) has hosted special events in its impressive Third Floor Gallery. For a moment, just imagine a warm and colourful gallery adorned with spectacular totem poles, dramatic masks hanging from high beams and an impressive collection of Native art enveloped by the sounds of melodic music. This inspiring atmosphere will enchant you while discovering the magic and mystery of Canada’s First Nations’ heritage - up close and personal. Here you’ll experience memories that will last a lifetime.

The sister store - Frances Hill’s - features Canadiana and locally-designed fashion for adults and children, fine jewellry, pottery and a wide selection of the Vancouver-made "Australian Outback Collection" of oilskin ad cotton coasts, jackets, hats and shirts. This open and inviting place is where unique indulgences and specialty gifts featuring Native-inspired designs can be found on items such as Pewter picture frames, letter openers, serving dishes, canvas totes, kitchenware and sculptures. New to Frances Hill’s is the Pendleton blanket collection.

Celebrating over 50 years of quality, Hill’s welcomes you to experience us while visiting beautiful British Columbia.

Hill’s specializes in corporate gifts, incentive awards, delegate and presentation packages. Consider Hill’s for unique Christmas or any occasion gifts for friends, family or professional colleagues.

For Special Event & Convention Planners, Hill’s Third Floor Gallery offers a warm and inspiring atmosphere to host Native-theme receptions that will enchant guests and hosts alike with lifetime memories. Contact us for details on art or gallery space rentals at

Open daily with convenient parking at each location.

Worldwide shipping.
No sales tax on goods shipping outside of Canada.

Koksilah General Store and Post Office Hill's Native Art, Vancouver (Gastown), Canada Frances Hill's, Vancouver (Gastown), Canada Hill's Native Art, Nanaimo, Canada Hill's Native Art, Victoria, Canada

From Spirit In The Wind Journal


      In Native American culture, stories were passed down from generation to generation. The role of Grandparents and Elders were to tell the stories to the younger members of the tribe. These stories contained lessons to learn and the story of others who have gone on. They also had "proverbs" and poetry they shared. I would like to share with you stories, proverbs, and poetry I have collected. Each one contains something to learn, an insight into their culture and spirituality, and most of all gives us an understanding of a race of people who were (and still are) a proud people who have strong beliefs in their people, the Earth, and the Creator.

      In order to learn of their spirituality, I feel it is important to understand what life meant to them and I think you will find some of that in what you will read. Please allow time for the pages to load as some of them contain wav files of Native American music. So gather around the    and prepare to hear the words and stories of the Elders.
        Ancestor Song Earth, teach me to Remember Earth Prayer Oh, Great Spirit Mother's Words Offering of the Pipe What is the Soul? Spiritual Warrior Native American Prayers Native American speeches  more to come more to come  more to come more to come more to come more to come


Journey of Spirit

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Wolf's Wisdom

In Native American traditions, Wolf is said to be "teacher" medicine. Humans have followed Wolf for millenia, studying Wolf's ways of the hunt, learning from their social structure. Wolf is alied with Sirus, the Dog Star, and it is said in many cultures, that our ancestors and teachers came from there. This is agreed upon by Austrailian Aboriginees, and the Dogon tribe of Africa, as well as certain Native American tribes. Wolf has much to teach us, if only we will listen.

Wolf is allied to the moon and lunar energies, teaching us to respect our emotions and unconscious urges. Respect for the wildness of our animal natures, and willingness to face the dark within ourselves is an imperative for Wolf people. Trust in the unspoiled nature of your Child/Wolf self.

Because the Moon rules psychic perception, Wolf people should work on learning to trust their intuition and psychic urges, to listen for the still small voice within.

The communal nature of Wolf's culture and hunting helps us to learn to cooperate to acheive a goal. Wolf people make good "team players" and are fiercely loyal to those they consider part of their pack. They often have strong leadership qualities, however they must often learn to balance their tendency for "social dominancing." As a predator, Wolf culls the sick and weak of the herd. Wolves are often quick to scent when a situation is "sick," and will work to change it. It is important that they learn to lead the situation gently, and without tearing others apart, or the pack may turn on them.

Wolf's capacity for communication suggests that Wolf people should learn to utilize the strength of their voice and to be aware of their body language. When dealing with Wolf people, listening for the nuances of vocal tone and watching their motions will help in gaining an understanding of them. Wolves oftenmake excellent bards and storytellers.

Ritual is very important to Wolf. Both the little rituals of day-to-day conduct, and the bigger rituals of lunar howling. Whatever their spiritual beliefs, Wolf people will feel more in tune when they honor and re-link (the actual meaning of the word "religion") with the life force.

Wolf's Wisdom Includes:

Facing the end of one's cycle with dignity and courage
Death and rebirth
Spirit teaching
Guidance in dreams and meditations
Instinct linked with intelligence
Social and familial values
Outwitting enemies
Ability to pass unseen
Skill in protection of self and family
Taking advantage of change

Wednesday, April 28, 2004

Lets take a trip to another land



The Colibri Hummingbird is the Sacred Totem of the Taino Tribe of Jatibonicu'
A Jatibonicu Taino Island Girl from the town of Morovis of the Jatibonicu Region

StudyWeb StudyWeb



Tipi Tales

Tipi Tales

Associated Pages

Behind the Scenes at Tipi Tales
Lisa Meeches the Creator of Tipi Tales
The Sharing Circle
They Call Me Chief
The Everywhere Spirit

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Art Chronicles

Halls of the Gallery


Special Thanks To The FineArt Forum and Paul Brown for helping Trophies of Honor become a dream realized.

Nike Treads Into Indian Health Issues

Updated: 10:21 AM EDT
Nike Treads Into Indian Health Issues

BEAVERTON, Ore. (AP) - Sam McCracken has an unusual job in the corporate world. The Nike executive works with American Indians on improving the health and fitness of tribal members - while trying to win some loyal customers as well.

McCracken is himself an American Indian, from the Fort Peck Reservation in northeastern Montana. His mother died of complications from diabetes - a disease he is trying to help tribes fight in his job at Nike as manager of Native American business.

"Somehow, some way, my path as an individual took me here and allowed me to get my feet on the ground here at Nike, and it gave me a good understanding of what Nike could do for our population," he said.

McCracken is credited with brainstorming a project with Indian Health Service, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, to address health and fitness on reservations.

In one of the highest-profile alliances between the IHS and a for-profit corporation, Nike and the federal agency signed a "Memo of Understanding" last November to promote healthy lifestyles and choices for American Indians and Alaskan natives.

The goal "is to help those communities gain a better understanding of the importance of exercise at any age, particularly for those individuals with diabetes," the memo stated.

According to the IHS, diabetes levels among American Indians and Alaskan natives are 2.6 times greater than those in the general U.S. population. Of particular focus is Type 2 diabetes, also known as adult-onset diabetes, which can be controlled with diet and exercise.

Diabetes can cause blindness and kidney failure. It also increases the risk of heart disease and the need for amputation.

The National Congress of American Indians says the population served by the IHS has increased 11.5 percent over the past five years and as a result, per-patient spending has fallen.

Under the agreement between the IHS and Nike, the shoe company has begun holding workshops that bring together tribal representatives to teach them health and wellness techniques they can take back to their tribes.

In February, representatives from some 48 tribes, mostly in the Pacific Northwest, took part in two days of "Train the Trainer" workshops on Nike's Beaverton campus.

The first day was devoted to practical lessons in cardiovascular, weight and flexibility training. The participants walked around the on-campus soccer field, practiced basic yoga, and worked out with resistance bands.

When one woman asked what to do if her reservation couldn't afford the resistance bands, trainers suggested similar material could be found at a hardware store. Another wanted to know exercises for those who have lost their feet to amputation.

Vernon Kennedy, a prevention education specialist for the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, also attended the workshop. He works with tribal children, teaching them the dangers of tobacco and alcohol use, as well as the benefits of physical fitness.

Although the Grande Ronde runs the profitable Spirit Mountain Casino, its people are not immune to the problems facing many reservations.

"We don't have theaters and malls, many of the things you have in the city," Kennedy said. "We have little mini markets that sell junk foods. I think that's why we have health problems."

He said Nike can help, because the name is so recognized and respected among kids who like sports.

"I think it's great," he said. "It surprised me. I never thought the outside world would want to get involved with tribes."

He added quickly: "I wish they would do more."

Training at the workshop was coordinated by Beth Marie Baumgartner, Nike's program manager for group fitness.

"What I wanted to do was give them enough experience and enough knowledge to go back to the reservation and begin implementing some really simple programs," she said.

"A lot of these folks don't have fancy gyms on the reservations, a lot of them don't even have rec rooms, so how can you use things that you've got around, chairs, water jugs, canned food, to help create a workout environment."

The Indian Health Service is happy to get any help it can in helping promote wellness on the reservation, said Leo Nolan, IHS senior policy analyst for external affairs.

"We welcome new ideas to address health issues for Native Americans."

But the alliance between the IHS and Nike - the world's biggest maker of athletic footwear and apparel - does not mean the federal agency endorses the company's products, he said.

In March 2000, McCracken got a call from the diabetes coordinator for his tribe in Montana.

The coordinator had an idea for encouraging tribal members to get checked for diabetes - giving them Nike-donated sneakers if they came into the clinic to get blood work done.

At that moment, as McCracken put it: "the light goes on for me."

That phone call resulted in Nike's Native American Diabetes Prevention Program, which provides Nike products for fitness programs and partners with tribes to coordinate recreational events. The Nike program won the National Congress of American Indians Leadership Award two years ago, with McCracken accepting it at a ceremony.

Nike's work with tribes then spawned the Memo of Understanding with the IHS.

Last fall, Nike and the IHS held Native American Health and Fitness Day in Albuquerque, N.M., highlighted by a walk led by professional golfer Notah Begay, an American Indian.

Then came the workshops at Nike's campus. Nike is exploring ways to hold similar workshops across the country.

Through the alliance with the IHS, the diabetes prevention program and other efforts, Nike works with more than 60 tribes in the United States.

Jillene Joseph is associate director of the Native Wellness Institute, which collaborated in the workshops.

"Sure Nike is a huge corporation and money is the bottom line, but just like their slogan - "Just Do It" - the idea is getting people up and moving, which is what we want them to do, too," she said. "Hopefully they'll be a role model for the rest of corporate America when it comes to native people."

04/26/04 10:19 EDT

Sunday, April 25, 2004

Artist: Al Agnew

"Creek Walker

Singing of ...eagle.....peace...... Joanne Shenandoah:

All sung in her native Iroquois language, these songs tell the story of the Peacemaker who helped bring peace to all the Iroquois Nations. "One of the most beautiful voices recording today" (NAPRA Review) is accompanied by violin, viola, cello, guitar, bass, and a lush array of other instruments to bestow a profoundly moving message of peace.

"The world in which we live has caused us all to think of our children and of those yet unborn. In light of all the violence, war and pressure placed on the children of the 20th century, I was compelled to compose songs which tell the story of our beloved Peacemaker who helped bring peace to the Haudenosaunee, the People of the Longhouse, known also as the Iroquois. The prophecy of the Haudenosaunee says that one day everyone will hear about this great message of peace." Joanne Shenandoah

About Joanne Shenandoah:

Joanne Shenandoah is the daughter of revered elder and Wolf Clanmother Maisie Shenandoah of the Oneida Nation – Iroquois Confederacy and the late Clifford Shenandoah, an Onondaga chief and jazz guitarist. Her parents had a deep love for music, encouraging Joanne to study voice, flute, piano, clarinet, guitar and cello. Joanne's talent combined with her beautiful, clear voice enable her to embellish the ancients' songs of the Iroquois using a blend of traditional and contemporary instrumentation. After spending 14 years as a computer programmer and consultant in Washington, DC, Shenandoah became close with the tribal elders and her extended family who reaquainted her with the stories and songs of her people, which prompted a personal artistic reawakening in 1989. Since then Joanne Shenandoah has won several musical achievement awards, most recently she received "Best Female Artist" at both the 1999 AND 1998 Native American Music Awards and in 1997 she was recognized as a "Native American Woman of Hope." She has performed and recorded with many accomplished musicians in Europe and America, most recently Neil Young. From traditional chants to contemporary ballads of Native ways, her music has been described as an emotional experience, a "Native American trance."

"Shenandoah has become the most critically acclaimed Native American singer of her time" - Associated Press.

"The Native American scene is brimming with skilled, adventurous artists...arguably the best of all is the remarkable Joanne Shenandoah." -USA Today

"...She weaves you into a trance with her beautiful Iroquois chants and wraps her voice around you like a warm blanket on a cool winter's night."- Robbie Robertson

Clips are in MP3 format. Can't hear anything? Get Quicktime.
Joanne Shenandoah

  Prophecy Song



      Daughter Of Water

      Thunder Beings



      Creator's Song

      Deer Dance

      I Am Your Friend


Peace and Power

      Kaluhyanu Wes

      Prophecy Song

      When Eyes Meet


Peacemaker's Journey

      Aiionwatha Forgives

      Mother Of Nations

      Peace And Power

Artist: Susan Bankey Yoder (Great Job!)

Icy Perch
Mourning Doves
Gouache painting
Image: 20" x 24"

I hung this painting for the first time at Charleston this year, and it sold there, so no one got to see it anywhere else. I'd like it to be seen a bit more.

Saturday, April 24, 2004

Ceremonial Dress


Ceremonial Dress

This is a beautiful plains Indian Dress that captures the spirit of the beholder. Made out of either smoked braintan or commercial buckskin, this dress is used for those special occasions.

3 Hide Buckskin Dress
Made out of 3 deer skin hides,
this everyday dress can be
transformed with bead or quill
work to have a more decorative

Color of the hide can be Tan,
Maple, or Gold. White is
available at an additional cost.

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