Sunday, October 7, 2007

NINTH ANNUAL AWARD WINNERS+ Opportunity at Alcatraz!

Red Road Community Calendar:

Reports from NAMAPAHH on the Road, breaking news & announcements:

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Oct 7, 2007 12:50 PM

Arvel Bird "Animal Totems 2"

Corn-Bred "Corn-Bred"

"Heart of the Navajo Land" Various

Shelley Morningsong "Out Of The Ashes"

Women of Wabano "Voices"

Susan Aglukark "Blood Red Earth"

"A Tribute To Johnny Cash" Floyd Red Crow Westerman

"Welcome To Your Rainy Day" Tonemah

Robert Tree Cody "Heart of the Wind"

"Comfort & Joy" Cherokee National Youth Choir

Brule' & AIRO "Silent Star Night"

"Remember Me Grandfather: Lakota Pipe & Ceremonial Songs" Wahancanka

"Alluvia" Evren Ozan

Robert Mirabal "Pueblo Christmas"

"Voice of a Dakota" Gerald Primeaux, Sr

"Kinship" Brule'

"American Indian Story" Jana

"Crazy Woman Mountain" Gary Small & The Coyote Bros

"Long Winter Nights" Northern Cree & Friends

Tom Bee "Voice of the Drum"

"The Total Package" Night Shield

"Good Ol' Fashioned NDN Lovin'" Pipestone

'Have Hope' Jennifer Kreisberg

"Anishinabemoin" Keith Secola & Karen Drift

"Dancers of Mother Earth" Todi Neesh Zhee Singers

Arigon Starr "The Red Road"

Inchelium - Jim Boyd

"The Trail of Tears Cherokee Legacy" Rich Heape Films

"Cultural Legacy: Traditional Music from Equador & Bolivia"

Peter Buffett "Spirit – The Seventh Fire"

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By the way here another is a quick Red Road Community Calendar Announcement just in!


Alcatraz Island will be hosting the second Native American Heritage month celebration.

We are planning cultural events for the first weekend of November, which is the 3rd and 4th.

We just received some funding and looking for a few Story Tellers and musicians.

We can pay a $100 honorarium for about 1 hour of your time and a free ferry ride.

There are only a few slots left, and we need to have people confirmed by Oct. 20th.

Any Story Tellers or Musicians please call Ranger Jose Rivera Alcatraz Island American Indian Liaison at (925) 765-2841

(and if you call Jose, tell him Robin says hello, we used to work for California State Parks together!)

NAMAPAHH First People's Radio: THIS Sunday 10-7-07: 4-5pm PST : Please Tune in!

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Photo by Orranhawk

NAMAPAHH First People's Radio
Host/producer: Robin Carneen

webstreaming here at:
[PLEASE SUPPORT equal access for listeners & radio streams URGENT:]

KSVR 91.7 FM Mt Vernon, WA
THIS Sunday 10-7-07
4-5:00 pm PST
Studio Line: (360) 416-7000
Special Phone guest: Corbin Collins (return guest!)
Topic: Native Americans & Social Justice Allies to Rally at UC Berkeley to Protect Native Ancestral Remains & Sacred Objects
Reports on Sproul Plaza-UCB Rally:
When did it take place? October 5th, 2007: High Noon
Also on Thursdays 7-8:30 pm(Topics & music TBA)

News, Views & Music from in & around Indian Country...

Featured music tracks from: Peter Buffet's 500 Nations; Annie Humphrey's The Heron Smiled; Shelley Morningsong's Out of The Ashes...and many more native voices.

"500 Years of Genocide, who's left to hear?" Annie Humphrey...The Heron Smiled

This is an open invitation for anyone who is out there on Mother Earth to tune in to a special follow up interview with Corbin Collins, who is a Bay Area writer and communications director for the Native American NAGPRA Coalition, Corbin was on my show on 9-27-07 introducing us to the issues and actions that many Native Americans & Social Justice Allies spearheaded to protest the UC Berkeley Phoebe Hearst "restructured" their NAGPRA department review committee. Recently, this crucial department was been disbanded and is now void of the direct Native American advisory personnel, according to Corbin and his Native American NAGPRA Collation. His own wife , was one of three Native American staff that worked in this capacity and they have now been relocated to a different parts of the infrastructure, however one staff person has resigned. The Native American NAGPRA Collation feels this move by the UCB, Phoebe Hearst Museum jeopardizes the existing NAGPRA laws & policies and threatens the process all other Museums are obligated, honoring and using to fulfill repatriation claims. Corbin and the Native American NAGPRA Collation also feels it threatens existing protection for Native Ancestral Remains & Sacred Objects, making it hard for Native American tribes to actually repatriate human remains belonging to their tribes, as well as funerary objects.

As a side note: I did invite the UCB Phoebe Hearst media department to speak on NAMAPAHH at any point, but was told by a woman name Shirley that "no one is available to speak on this issue". Apparently this refusal to speak to at least Native American Press was not their preference and so we will continue to depend and give airtime to those willing to speak up about this serious issue. According to two other guests I will also have on, who took part in the protest & rally last Friday, over 1000 people came "to be heard" by the Chancellor and his staff. I appreciate Corbin's initial & continued willingness to talk to my listeners and fill us in on he and his Native American NAGPRA Collation concerns.

My two new guests, who will also be phoning in on NAMAPAHH, will be Native American eyewitness' and grass roots news reporters Mike Ali and his with Linda:

Mike Raccoon Eyes, is a Cherokee Native activist for Human and Civil Rights in Indian Country. He is a front line advocate in the San Francisco Bay Area and the Indian Country Violence Prevention Movement. His role (one of many) is to work with our " high-risk, marginal Native youth and young adults" to stop the violence, gangs and killing. He is bringing attention to the heart breaking and serious problem of the killing and violence in his urban area streets and neighborhoods. He is also teaches and lecturers through a inspirational and motivational series called:"'TEACHING THE VALUES OF PEACE" . He is the author of a paranormal Native novel-'The Road to the Ohlone Moon, A Story of Old and New California', as well as a Native Cultural Resource advisor to non Native agencies and corporations.

His wife is Linda, also known as Orannhawk.She is a writer for Indian country and Editorial Chief of staff for "Cherokee Native Pride News", an online news gathering agency. She and Mike were part of the UCB-Phoebe Hearst Museum Protest that happened this last Friday, that Corbin will be talking about. For Linda and Mike, all the needed was an invitation like Corbin's. She is also an advocate not only in California but also in the Southwest and Texas for Human and Civil Rights in Indian Country. She also is a strong advocate for Leonard Peltier.

Her other reputation is as a multi-medium Cherokee Native artist, currently working as Co- Director on the new Native Room exhibit with 'Touchable Stories' in San Francisco Bay Area entitled 'We Are Still Here'
Her portion of the exhibit will be a cultural and historical look at Native Peoples of the West. Featured will be hard hitting subjects from interviews of local Native People, artistically created and presented to compliment the audio dialog of the interviews and bring attention to the realities of Native life, past and present.

Linda also known as Orannhawk took helped write the blog about the protest and took some wonderful pictures, here is that report & a link:

BAY AREA Native reporters!
October 5, 2007 - Friday - 3:44 PM
by Raccoon Eyes and Orannhawk

BERKELEY-(Cherokee Native Pride News, San Francisco Bureau)

Over one thousand people showed up at the at the historic Sproul Plaza at the University of California-Berkeley today to demand the return of 13,000 Ancestors skeletal remains and funerary objects along with that U.C. Berkeley reinstate compliance with Native American Grave Protection and Reparation Act (NAGPRA)

Scores of California Native American activists demanding the return of Ancestors before over one thousand people that came to support the demonstration. Many spiritual leaders and tribal councils from North and Northwest Native California offered prayers, songs , drumming and inspirational speaking to address that UC-Berkeley return the Ancestors to their Native homelands.

Mewuk Elder Norman Wounded Knee De Ocampo of Vallejo Inter-Tribal Council, stated that Ancestors must come home and that UC-Berkeley must act in a responsible and timely fashion to ensure they did their part in returning the 13,000 Ancestors to the homelands. He stated that the 'Longest Walk 2' would draw national attention to the plight of our Ancestors still held by colleges and universities.

Chairperson Silvia Burley of the California Valley Miwok Tribe, gave a spiritual poetry read regarding the Ancestors being returned home. While reading her beautiful poem, it quite obvious there were people who were shedding tears at the power of her oratory in the huge crowd.

According to Cherokee Native Pride Editorial Chief of Staff Orannhawk

" Purpose, focus, determination. This is the glue that binds us as a people, that held us today in demanding that our voice be heard, with respect to the Ancestors and the tribal objects be returned in the proper way to their respective tribal families.

I watched the people who gathered there as I held the banner for United Native Americans; the college students, the elders, the young families with children at their sides .... all there with the one common goal, the repatriation of the Ancestors. The scent of sage drifted across the plaza, the drums were singing and low and behold, there were university 'suits' walking into the midst. For a few brief moments I toyed with the thought that perhaps there might actually be someone coming there in response to our pleas. Alas not, only the vacant looks on vacant faces in shiny suits.

However, the eloquent speeches held strong, 'RETURN THE ANCESTORS'. More than one voice directed the statement to the university that echoed my own thoughts ... we would not do this to your ancestors !

The multitude of police officers present along the pathway to the administration offices where we walked in protest also spoke volumes. This university administration was expecting something other than a respectful gathering of the Real People of Turtle Island. What they received from the REAL PEOPLE was a honest, respectful appeal for the proper return of the Ancestors. It is past time for ceremony and these souls to be laid to rest within the embrace of Turtle Island.

It is past time for this university and ALL the others like it, to be accountable for their actions as grave robbers.

U.C. Berkeley ... IT'S TIME TO BE ACCOUNTABLE, RESPONSIBLE, RESPECTFUL AND HUMAN. IT'S TIME FOR THE U.C. B. Chancellor to ACTUALLY speak to us, to make the proper arrangements for the return of the Ancestors. Where was he ? Most likely sitting in his office, sipping on some Starbucks, perhaps a sly and fearful glance out the window at all of the Indigenous people gathered outside his offices before scurrying out of sight .... cos' he certainly did not come out and address the gathering or make any effort to comply with NAGPRA.

What is it going to take ?

It will take us ALL, continuing to demand the return of the Ancestors, properly and respectfully. IT IS TIME. TIME FOR THE ANCESTORS TO REST.

On this eve of the day of the lost Spaniard, we stood together ... and we will continue to do so. WE ARE STILL HERE ! "


The rally then proceeded with intensive drumming as the huge crowd of demonstrators marched to the very heart of the campus to the Office of the Chancellor. Organizers attempted to send a delegation of five Native activists to have a meeting to with the Chancellor to have the NAGPRA reinstated at UC Berkeley and the immediate return of the Ancestors from there, among other demands.

One organizer was able to get response from the Chancellor's office to have his representatives come to the crowed entry way filled with Native Activists, to hear the demands with regards to NAGPRA and the Ancestors being returned to their homelands.

There was a fifteen minute exchange between the Native organizers and the Chancellor's representatives. The UC representatives listened intently as the organizers made their demands quite clear. Spectators started chanting and demanded that Ancestors come home. With the demands having been heard ;the UC reps quietly exited back into the safety of the Office of the Chancellor.

Currently as of this writing, there are over 700,000 Ancestors in private collections and another 500,000 in universities, colleges, galleries and museums throughout the United States. The University of California system has 146 sites where they have the Ancestors in captivity.

United Native Americans Vice-President Quanah Parker Brightman noted, " It was good to see our fellow Brothers and Sisters in solid support of of both a common cause and goal. The political pressure is on and the victory will be when our Ancestors are returned home soon!"

From the frontlines of more Human and Civil Rights for Indian Country,

Wado and A-ho!

Raccoon Eyes and Orannhawk-CNP


"We ARE still here"

~please join us~

Robin Carneen

Red Road Community Calendar:

Reports from NAMAPAHH on the Road, breaking news & announcements:

Shelly Vendiola (
Sent: Thu 10/04/07 7:40 AM
To: A Shelly V's Email List (

Reminder! Please spread the word. Hy'shqe, Shl

Hello all, I wanted to forward this announcement about WomenSpirit Coalitions's DV conference "The Journey from Invisibility to Visibility" October 18-19 in case you haven't seen it already.

The conference agenda and registration form can be accessed from their website (on the right side):

best regards,

Katrin Wilde
Outreach Coordinator
Women's Human Rights Action Team
Amnesty International Seattle Local Group 4


NAMAPAHH First People's Radio
Host/Producer Robin Carneen
Thurs 7-8:30pm Sun 4-5pm PST
Ways to hear our show online:
Or shorter segments via MYSPACE!
Main myspace page:
Stay tuned on Thursay nights for: 8:30-10pm
The Massive Mix Session w/Dj Defkawn

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On 10/4/07, Travis Pinto wrote:

Please Forward to Tribal Chair and Historical Preservation Officer

Dear Tribes:

You may have received a letter from the Chancellor of UC Berkeley justifying the elimination of the autonomous NAGPRA unit at the Phoebe Hearst Museum. If you are attending the THPO meeting in Palm Springs, we hope you will come to the 9:30 morning session on Monday morning where members from the Native American NAGPRA Coalition (NANC) will discuss UCB’s position in detail. Although NANC will address most of your questions there, one claim in the Chancellor’s letter is particularly troubling and needs to be corrected.

The Chancellor states that the NAPGRA unit only hosted four tribal visits in the year prior to its elimination. This is simply untrue and the misinformation unfairly reflects on how hard the unit worked and what it accomplished. The NAGPRA unit hosted more than 16 tribal visits last year, which required considerable preparation and follow-up. They were also in consultation for over twenty sites in the “culturally unidentifiable” inventories. The services that tribes requested with respect to these inventories were often research-oriented rather than visit-oriented. Consultation took place not only during the visits but on a continuous basis over the phone and via email. NAGPRA duties included responding to numerous and ongoing requests from tribes to examine documents, search collections for specific items, search records at the Bancroft Library, etc. The staff received many similar requests from Federal agencies with collections at the Museum, e.g. the Army Corps of Engineers, Forest Service, etc. Besides these duties, the unit played a significant role in non-NAGPRA-related outreach activities and worked hard to serve both tribal and museum interests and to build collaborations between the two. Although the NAGPRA program was underfunded, the staff compensated by devoting many hours of unpaid overtime to assist tribes with their NAGPRA claims.

Hope to see you at our October 5th peaceful demonstration at Sproul Plaza, UC Berkeley.

Corbin Collins


NAMAPAHH First People's Radio
Host/Producer Robin Carneen
Thurs 7-8:30pm Sun 4-5pm PST
Ways to hear our show online:
Or shorter segments via MYSPACE!
Main myspace page:
Stay tuned on Thursay nights for: 8:30-10pm
The Massive Mix Session w/Dj Defkawn

Home of NAMAPAHH First People's Radio:
Feeling bloggy?


Get yours now!

And now on Facebook!

Saturday, October 6, 2007

10-5-07:Real Butter-Frybread Heart: Robin Carneen's Blog

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10-5-07:Real Butter-Frybread Heart: Robin Carneen's Blog

Here are some tidbits of my last couple of days...a sneak preview (if you will ) of the soon to be articles and radio shows to come. I will start first with a smattering of how I came to be here in Skagit County, WA:

I have often felt like a visitor since moving here in 2003, after being raised and born in Northern California, where my Swinomish grandmother moved to in the late 50's. I get homesick from time to time, especially because my two boys, other family members, good friends and lots of memories of where I lived most of my life are still there. However, I got a "calling", a "pull" to come home to the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community and I will tell you a little of how my homecoming came to be....

I am sure it was the Spirit of my grandmother Marge and her father, my great grandpa Jack aka John Williams, that brought me here. I was also having my mid-life crisis and was really ready for a change, when this amazing chain of events happened, which answered my wondering my whole life, who I was and where I came from. Many wonder how I came to be in Skagit County. Due to the internet and a geeky computer nerd roommate of mine, I was introduced to the cyber world via his computer, back in 1999. It was a quiet,lonely and soul searching night, back in Pt Arena, CA and I had just turned 38 years old and was newly divorced, depressed, scared and not ready to really strike out on my own. It had been a rocky marriage with my sons' father. He was a good Dad, but he was the town Sheriff Deputy. His job combined with the tight knit and isolated beautiful coastal community plagued with the old school diseases caused by alcoholism, drug use was the death of our 'white picket fenced" life. We lived and worked in a mixed community of Coastal Pomo Indians, pot growers, retired folks, government workers (like me), business owners, some families and individuals that were trying to make it on welfare, immigrants (some illegal) and those who fell into other walks of life, including my new roommate Randy, a Blackfoot "brother" of mine.

Randy moved into a spare bedroom of my three bedroom house. I really needed the financial help, being unprepared for single motherhood and not wanting to be without some kind of male presence for my small boys. I was scared to be on my own and unsure if I had made the right decision to divorce my husband of seven years. I shut myself in and did not want to socialize in such a small town, tongues would wage and people would naturally gossip. I sunk into a deep depression and Randy saw this. One night he told me about this on line social inter-active environment called a "chat room" which were available on the internet. He said there were even Native American "rooms" and I could hardly believe him, until I found Ray Fryberg from the Tulalip Tribes, who was a moderator in a significant room. He told me he lived on a reservation located near Marysville, WA. I was clueless where that was, but because he was from one of the tribes in Washington state, I latched onto him, to have some thread of my long gone grandmother, who died when she was 40 years old, a year, almost to the day before I was born.

When Ray and I met that night we did not know we were practically relatives, we became fast friends and tried to stay in touch in the years to come. He was like a surrogate father to me, he even let me call him "Dad". He kept telling me there was something familiar about me and he invited me to join another on line Native American community called the Washington Canoe Society, which I gladly did. He also was the head of a Tulalip Canoe Family who are traditional singers and dancers. I eventually interviewed him about their group traveling and performing overseas in Korea, on KZYX & Z 90.7 FM, on my first Native American Public Affairs radio show, called Metate. Little did I know, that Ray's connection to me or visa versa, was finally the key to the door home.

Ray and I figured it out one day, due to a string of circumstances that unfolded for about 5 years The Spirit door finally opened one fateful afternoon in 2003, when my Mother, Connie Allen, who had been living with me for a year, received a copy of for her birth certificate and also her mother Marge Williams' death certificate, which she needed so she could qualify for SSI-Disability. Her knees were going out on her, due to all the care giving she had done for many countless Elders over the years. I had moved her down and into my home, from Depo Bay, Oregon, in late 2002, so I could help her get better medical help and so she could help me raise my two sons. There is a lot more amazing clues that have lead me here, where I am now today, an enrolled Swinomish Tribal member, since 2004. Since moving here, I have been trying to absorb as much as I can of our Salish culture,language, history, etc. I am very glad my own sons will not have to wait their whole lives to know their Salish roots, there is so much to know and be proud of. Just the fact that today, I could hug Chet Cayou, Sr, one of our tribal senators and Elders,when I saw him at the Social Services building at Swinomish, has been a dream come true. Sometimes I feel like it is all so surreal, that I might be suddenly sent back to the "great unknown" again: forced to learn about "Indians" as others depicted us in school books; on main stream TV; in newspapers that may not have all the cultural facts or sensitivity; or in cowboy movies, where most of the Native Americans, were really white people in black wigs with war paint.Now that I have been home, nothing could be farther than the truth and I am glad to be a catalyst through multi-media outlets I am involved in.

It has been this mixed blessing, being "home", yet I would not trade any of this for anything else in the world, with the exception of some way to also be with my sons, like I use to be, when we were living in Northern California. They have chosen to only come for visits, being very close to their Dad. I could not blame them, never growing up with my own, but miss them terribly.However my oldest son has lived here for two short stints before and is going to move up here again in December, just before his 20th birthday. Three times may be a charm, like they say, I just remember how excited we all were when we all first came home and met all of our countless Salish cousins and saw the totem poles, learned about canoe pullers, played and watched "Rez Ball", visited great-grandpa John's grave and saw what a incredibly beautiful place our reservation was situated on, right on the Puget Sound, with a Channel that runs between Swinomish and the town of La Conner.

Not everyone gets to find their roots, it has truly been a healing for my family and a miracle, and has answered many questions. Many of my relatives are glad that Marge's descendants have found their way home, at least some of them. Others may still not know how to feel, including my own two sisters and brother, who are pretty entrenched with their own lives. My sister Allison and half-brother Scott live in Oregon and my other younger sister Susan, lives with her family in Northern California. She is the only one who has not come to Swinomish for a visit yet. She has married into a Kashya Pomo Indian family in Sonoma County, California and they have Native American children of their own. She is not only Swinomish, but she also has blood lines connected to a federally unrecognized tribe, the Yosemite Valley Miwok Tribe. Her husband is very traditional and she has embraced his culture and all that goes with it. Again, there are no accidents. Even though we were not raised in an "Indian way", our mother always told us "we are Indian and don't let anyone tell you any differently!" In the past, I fought hard with a few "card carrying Indians" (ones with claim to full blood lines of their tribe and/or who had an enrollment card). The ones who were born and raised on their reservations often felt threatened about "wanna-bes", a term used describing those claiming to be Native American, but could not get enrolled for lack of proof or recognition. I wish I could tell them that I understood their anger and resentment towards those, like me, who claim and embrace Native American ways as their own. I hope they have heard my story and now realize that there are really people, like my own family and myself, that truly are from a long line of "First People", that it was by pure chance and the Creator that we were finally able to find our way home. There are some who do claim ancestry of their own, some who are not Native American at all. Some of them take the Native Culture, sometimes the spiritual practices, amongst other things and then use all of this to make money for themselves. These folks are known as "Plastic Shamans". These are the ones my past doubters need to be on the look out for and confronting, not long lost relations like my family and myself.

For me, there have been many personal sacrifices, such as leaving California and trading all that I have known away for this brand new life. Yet, there was no avoiding it, there are too many clues that have lead me here, coincidences that would help illustrate how our path is more destined than we realize. For those who read this and are still hoping and looking, I say "DON'T STOP", the clues are right in front of you and all around you. There are no accidents, slow down a little, take inventory, take note of what kind of art you like,what places you are drawn to, even places you have never been, people who seem familiar.

With all that said, here is an example of a couple of delicious days in my new life. I was very blessed to have days like I have had, especially today, and I am glad to be sharing them with you:

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Friday: 10-5-07
11:15 am:

"A Remedial Investigation and feasibility study of Fidalgo Bay-Tommy Thompson Trail will be conducted by the Samish Indian Nation":

Starting at my radio station (KSVR 91.7 FM) interviewing a Seth Preston, Communication Manager for "Department of Ecology Toxic Clean Up and Air Quality Program", where he is based in Olympia, WA about the funding the Samish Indian Nation were awarded to start investigating and identifying possible creosote leakage and other contaminants that may be leaching into the Fidalgo Bay and what might be done to clean it up. They will also be working with a Nisqually Dive Team, who will help them with the study. These efforts will lead to a healing that is coming for the land, water, and those beings that have suffered by affects of human progress. Those generations that came before us may not have realized the damages they have caused for those of us that have inherited the pollution and food chain repercussions. Mother Nature got "toxed" and though I am not saying that this is true of the Fidalgo Bay(not until the new studies are done and we all know what we are looking at) it can't be good if there are any amounts of contaminates in our hunting and fishing grounds, locally and in many parts of the world. The Samish people will be acting as stewards and investigators, doing their part in conjunction with other agencies and the City of Anacortes. An example of how concerned parties with same interests, can come together to find some valuable long standing solutions to salvage this critical link for generations to come.

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12: 30 pm:
"Fill The Boot: Local fundraising efforts in Skagit County:

While leaving the station, heading West down College Ave, I was thinking about a million other things. Nothing could turn my head faster than a fireman walking along the sidewalk with turn out gear. He wasn't just any fireman, but he carried a vivid sign and a boot in one hand, that said "Fill the Boot". With my personal and professional curiosity peaked, I pulled into the Safeway gas station parking lot, where there were other Mt Vernon Fire Department members, A Skagit county paramedic and a spokeswoman converged around a stack of pizzas. I had obviously caught some of them taking a lunch break, but they gladly gave me an interview. Lisa Wolcott who is a full time fundraiser for the Muscular Dystrophy Association and Jennifer Russel a Skagit County Paramedic explained to me what the organized commotion was all about. They, along with the male members of the Mt Vernon Fire Department were raising money, on foot, by walking up and down College Ave, stopping traffic and asking for donations for MDA. Literally they were having generous folks drop whatever contributions they could, into the fire fighter's boot. Last year, Lisa said, they raised close to $5,000 in 6 hours! We already know they are our heroes, these men and women, who put their lives on the line everyday, because they love us and want to help. Every day they rush to save lives, showing up at car accidents, house fires, or even on a street corner, like the ones I found them on today, asking simply for donations for a cause that was spearheaded back in 1953. Many people dropped a $20 bill or whatever they had into these boots; boots that may come to your rescue sometime or to aide a neighbor, friend or others who may end up in an unfortunate emergency. It felt good to speak to them and I know they were glad they were acknowledged. One firefighter asked me if I was with another local paper, I said that I was not but was reporting for a smaller newspaper, in La Conner,called the Channel Town Press. He said, "Oh, the CTP?". I guess acknowledgment works both ways! We both left smiling.

But let me back track and share yesterday now:

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Thursday: 10-4-07:
5:00 pm:
"Making History: one piece at a time":

I was at my own "Rez" at about 5pm interviewing a Swinomish family who was diligently sanding down a brand new racing canoe in the driveway of my third cousin Michael Porter's home. When I had first pulled in during the early evening, I noted a hefty truck with a pod of canoes strapped on top, easily 20' in length, maybe more. This is a familiar site when it is the season for competing out on the open waters of the Puget Sound, but I knew that time had passed. I knew the driver of that rig was Michael's son Brian Porter, who is the head of the Swinomish War Canoe racing club, War Chief. I also recognized an eight year old girl, Briana Porter, Brian's daughter, Michael's grand-daughter. Another tinier girl was doing her share too, Brandy James, who has only four years old, who grew up watching her siblings race in similar canoes.

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Fast forward to today
Friday: 10-5-07:

5:30 pm:
"Making History: one piece at a time" (cont.):

I had been invited back to observe the next step of "history in the making", This was the first time a canoe of this nature was being made on the Swinomish Reservation. I had been there two weeks prior, dropping in on Michael Porter, who has lived in Skagit County his whole life and on the "Rez" for 27 years. He had been busy nailing, gluing and clamping multiple wood strips together,made of countless measured and cut to specific sizes, scraps of milled cedar, that were starting to shaping a skeleton of a 21' vessel that would eventually race through the water and give other canoe clubs a run for their money.

I stopped in again today to check in on the progress Michael and his son Brian who were making their first "from scratch" racing canoe.They had moved the canoe into their living room, where it was warmer and had just finished laying on a sheet of fiberglass and were carefully and patiently applying the first coat of epoxy on the hull side of the hand made canoe. For six years, they had talked about making their own racing canoes. Back then, Brian had borrowed a woodworking "how to build a strip vessel" book from another friend and fellow Swinomish employee, Sina Fillahi, who is also a cabinet maker.

It is not surprising that Brian's father, Michael Porter, took to canoe building right away. Michael comes from a long line of woodworkers,on both sides of his family. During High School, Michael had built wooden items, like small chairs and other things. Since then, he has been a "jack of all trades", working with his hands and in different capacities ranging from farm tasks to carpentry. Those life experiences and job skills have come in handy when he decided to act on he and his son's dream to build a canoe. He says it was really "Spirit" that finally moved him to build this first canoe. I throughly enjoyed watching them working side by side patiently mentoring the eager and young ones, who were getting a rare chance to learn how to nail, glue, sand and hear about the culture of canoe racing as they worked along side.

Over the last month, when they first started the crafting the canoe, they had other children, like the two young girls who were donating their time, stop in and work on the racing canoe too. Elijah Porter, the younger brother of Briana, showed his inherited skills and future potential, by trying his hand at hammering finishing nails into the canoe as instructed by his father and grandfather Michael. Others like Sina, dropped by from time to time, like he did this evening, to give them encouragement, moral support, and consultation. Soon the finished canoe will be launched and christened at the nearby Snee Osh Beach.The same little ones and other family members who helped build this first cedar strip canoe, will be getting their first ride in it, making a dream a reality, something that was only spoken about, or built by other canoe master carvers, or pictured in a woodworker's book, like Si's.

As the first coat of glue was dripping and drying and the sun was going down across the Valley, I decide to leave the intimacy of that historic scene (this'll be the first cedar strip canoe ever made at Swinomish) to running my two dogs along the Swinomish Channel. Last week, Sandy Stokes, editor of the Channel Town Press, where I free lance report, showed me a new trail where I could let my four legged companions and thoughts roam free. I was glad I had a camera, because I couldn't help but take pictures of this beautiful place I now call home, from a new perspective. This is my root place, and I wondered about all those who had walked this same winding path, past and present. I wondered if there will be others like me, that find their way home?

I absolutely love being by the water and wish I could find a rental, even a houseboat, set up camp and never have to leave the shores.My "rez dogs" would like that too,they got a long overdo swim in too. We walked until I was tired, but if we could have kept going, we would have walked all the way to the opposite shore where you can see the Twin Bridges that go over the Channel, which is Highway 20 East to West. We had to walk amongst some fallen apples, ripe with time and teased by the winds until they gave up their grasps. It was a forgotten fruit tree where some bees were busy gorging themselves, too intoxicated to swarm us. I was feeling a little heady myself, thinking about what an incredible day my dogs and I have had. I was given a lot to digest and share with you all.

7:00 PM:
"Personal Reflections":

As I drove home along Chuckanut Drive, coming full circle in my day, images were strongly etched in my head and words and thoughts so diverse, it made me anxious to share them as soon as I could, via multi-media with you all. In just a few hours , within a 15 mile radius of my current home, I was awed by the many stories that are happening,waiting to be told and re-told in such a short amount of time and space.

It is such a precious life we all lead and yet we do not even hardly know what our neighbors are doing, not always. This is not the first time, nor will it be the last time I have this revelation. Whether it be witnessing an incredible canoe being pieced together to help enhance, revive, and contribute to a canoe culture; to enjoying the evening that was unfolding before me as I hit the top of that one last high ridge and wondering if others were thinking about what a beautiful day it had been too and how wonderful people can be.

Tonight the Samish Islands floated like black silhouettes over a soft hue of blue Puget Sound water that was almost mystical in appearance, enchanting haunts of the Kikialus, some of the first indigenous people here. The spirit of this place fills us all and I know I am amongst my ancestors. They called me home as a witness to these new stories and have placed me in a role to document them, a way to un-earth genetic memories: ancient and mesmerizing, just waiting to be re-discovered and re-born. It doesn't even matter what race you come from, we are all related somehow, we are all members of the human race. However, as a Swinomish woman, I can see the past, whispering through the sand papering hands of four and eight year old Salish girls, who listen, learn, and follow their male mentors and relations, as the make a canoe that will soon carry them across the water highways of their relations and back in time.

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