events and news of the Inali Dancers, an intertribal native dancing, singing, and culture group in western illinois

Wednesday, March 29, 2006


I think some of you may have heard about this already. I just got this email with the story. I think I'll just let it speak for itself.

From: Becky West []
Sent: Friday, March 24, 2006 9:10 AM
>Subject: spread the word
>Date: Thu, 23 Mar 2006 16:30:17 -0600
>Just got off the phone with Don Drefke. Mike Russel was fined $500 for
>wearing Eagle feathers.(had possession) The Feds kept the bustles (they
>belonged to Robert Soto). Robert lost his roach Eagle feathers but was not

>fined. The agent is said to have stated that he had a list of the powwows
>and planed on being at them. THEREFORE LEAVE YOUR GOOD FEATHERS AT HOME.
>The Fed feels that you have to be a card holding Indian in order to have
>Eagle feathers. Also that feathers can NOT BE LOANED OR GIVEN to a Non
>Card Holding person. PLEASE FORWARD TO AS MANY AS POSSIBLE. I plan on
>making a donation to Mike to assist in this matter.


I'm not sure if Robert Soto is card carrying or not, but this whole thing makes me wonder even more about the Feds. Are they really out to get all native people? We all know some tribes were regulated out of official existence. Does this mean they can't have ceremonial regalia? If ANYBODY has any questionable feathers, leave them at home!
Don't forget practice Friday evening at Ellens. It'll probably be the last we have there for a while, she's going to New Mexico. More on this later.
Also, I'm going to try to get a couple mor links up real soon.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

great link

I just put a new link up. Check it out. It's kind of radical, but aren't we all?

Thursday, March 23, 2006

We had a great prison powwow saturday! The turnout was great, and quite a few guys stayed for a lot of the 3 hours. We took the big drum in, and as it turned out we needed it. Their singers often joined us for songs, and really seemed to enjoy it. A number of people danced at least some of the time, and during one round dance a lot of people were out dancing. They took a break for pictures and included us in them (the second time, we really felt honored), and after the smoke break a number of people left, but quite a few stayed for the whole time. The last few songs all the singers and others too joined at the big drum. I think someone said we had THIRTEEN men around the drum. We finished with all of us joining in on the freedom song. It was really moving.
We also had a great practice friday, we were very strong and up. Cody and his family were back, and I hope they all keep coming. Cody is a natural at the drum, I don't think I've ever seen anyone pick it up so fast, and his sister(I'm sorry, this is terrible but I forgot her name) would be a great shawl dancer. We really need more young people or we will fade away.
We had cake and ice cream for Ellen's birthday. I forgot to mention that th guys at the prison remembered her birthday and sang a birthday song for her.
Believe it or not, we don't have anything but practice scheduled for April, but I will try to find some things to talk about. Starting in May, things will get lively again!

Thursday, March 16, 2006


There is a great book called 500 Nations, which is about all the tribes across Ameica(there were about 500 of them, that's where the name comes from). Looking at it the other day got me thinking that all to often we seem to act as tho the plains tribes were the only ones around. Many times I have heard someone say something is "the indian way" or" the way the natives did it", when really it is just the way of one area or even one tribe. We need to go out and learn about other ways from around the country.
What about the northwest tribes. We always say the native peoples didn't value material things, but up there the leaders went out of their way to gather huge amounts of valuable things, then destroy them or give them away, to show how rich and powerful they were.
Or what about the southern California tribes. They were basic hunter gatherers, never farmed, didn't build huge mounds or stone buildings, yet their country was so rich they supported one of the highest population densities in north america, and their ceremonial life was among the greatest anywhere.
We owe it all these and all the others to get to know them too. The link here to native resources has some great starting places, and the library has some great books (check out 500 Nations).
Don't forget practice friday night at Ellen's, and the men's prison saturday (be there BY 11:30).
See you later.

Friday, March 10, 2006

another link

I just added a link to Matoska, a great catalog and fantastic source of cds and tapes.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

not much today

I don't have much to talk about today, but I added a couple of links to the blog. We had a small turnout at marigold nursing home, but we had an honor dance for Betty's birthday. Jerry had a new honor song, I think we will work on it, I liked it.
We had a good practice Friday, tho we talked as much as we sang.Sometime's it's good to just take stock of where we are. Brenda called during the practice, she had just got back from Iowa city and had pneumonia!
Get well and take care of yourself Brenda, we need and miss you.
Jerry and Joe are still going to the prison on the 1st wednesday of the month, and having some ups and downs there. Ask them about it.
I just learned about a powwow april 8 at washington university in St. Louis. I think it's a contest powwow, tho I'm not totally sure. I can get more info, or go to and check the upcoming powwows list. Most of you probably know that the wildlife prairie park powwow has been cancelled. Too bad, it was small but a lot of fun.
I added two links, the first for the index of native american resources on the web, the other for Check them out, I will add more as I get time.
Also, if you have a picture you want shown, just email it to me, I can upload it to the blog.
I don't know about you, but I am really looking forward to powwow season!