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Ancient Voices - Contemporary Contexts

American Indian Institute, Bozeman, Montana


No. 045, December 2014


"The Cherokee Word for Water"
-- A True Story of Wilma Mankiller

by Ronald Rand

(with an excerpt from Every Day Is a Good Day: Reflections by Contemporary Indigenous Women by Wilma Mankiller)

"The Cherokee Word for Water" is an unforgettable film telling the story of the work that led Wilma Mankiller to become the first modern female Chief of the Cherokee Nation.

"Based on the true story of the Bell Waterline Project in Bell, Oklahoma, the film is inspired by the true story of the struggle for, opposition to, and ultimate success of a rural Cherokee community to bring running water to their families by using the traditional concept of 'gadugi '- working together to solve a problem. Led by Wilma Mankiller, who went on to become the first woman chief of the Cherokee Nation, and full-blood Cherokee organizer Charlie Soap, they joined forces to help build nearly twenty miles of waterline using a community of volunteers. 'The Cherokee Word For Water' was filmed completely in Tahlequah, Oklahoma." Read the entire article.


Living Her Dream: Eldena Bear Don't Walk Discusses Her Law Career

Heather Steinberger

"It's perhaps unsurprising that these particular parents expected their children to take advantage of every opportunity. And she and her two older brothers did exactly that.

'My oldest brother has a business degree, and my middle brother is a Rhodes Scholar,' Bear Don't Walk said. 'He's currently working on a PhD at the University of Chicago. I was lucky, because he was at the University of Montana when I was there. So I had a support system, family close by; lots of Indians don't have that when they go away to school." Read the entire article.



Click to watch a YouTube trailer

Tribal leaders from around the world gather in ceremony to witness the coming of a 20,000 year old prophecy. Click the image to watch a YouTube trailer. You can order the DVD for $19.95 HERE.


Black Mesa communities continue stand against mine expansion
Liza Minno Bloom
December 15, 2014

A banner that was displayed on Black Mesa during the impoundments in October. (WNV / NaBahe Kateny Keediniihii)

"This October, as many Americans returned to work after their Columbus Day holiday, rural Dineh, or Navajo, communities in the Black Mesa region of Northeastern Arizona were rocked by an invasion. SWAT teams descended upon this remote region, navigating unpaved, washed out roads, while drones and armed helicopters flew overhead.

"Why? They were there for the sheep." Read the entire article


Haudenosaunee-U.S. Treaty of 1794 Comes to the Museum

Nation to Nation: Treaties Between the United States and American Indian Nations, opening September 21, offers people a rare opportunity to see documents that have shaped our history and still define our mutual obligations. The treaty between the Haudenosaunee Confederacy and the United States is one of the earliest negotiated between Native Americans and the U.S. government under the Constitution. Read the entire article.


Without Respect for Indigenous Rights, There Will be No Solution to Climate Change Report from Lima
By Alfredo Acedo | 12 / December / 2014

"The People's Summit on Climate Change began with a strong indigenous presence with a message to the world: humanity is going through a crisis of civilization, on an exhausted planet where we can no longer tolerate the biological illiteracy of those do not know how to read life.

"During the first day, the Third National Unity Pact of National Organizations of Indigenous Peoples of Peru was held, while the Andean Coordinator of Indigenous Organizations (CAOI) discussed and unveiled its position against the effects of change climate...." Read the entire article.


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© 2014 American Indian Institute, Bozeman, Montana