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

Friday, December 29, 2006

another post

Really, the title kind of says it all. Not much to talk about, just another post.

We've got practice next friday, the 5th, at Ellen's, plus tues. the 9th and 23rd at Jerry's. Don't forget the powwow at Hamilton jan. 20th and 21st, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. that we're singing at. If you want a motel room for this, make sure to contact Jerry as soon as possible, or Ellen or one of us, the arrangements have changed a little, we won't be making reservations for everyone.
I'm trying to get some more links up on the list, be patient, I'm not sure what I,m putting up.
There's a winter dance jan. 6th at Bradley University, I don't know much about it, but Rainbow singers and Eagle Ridge are supposed to be there. I'd like to make it, I'll see, the way things are going I probably won't be able to go skiing anyway.
I just picked up a used book of short stories by Sherman Alexie ( he wrote the screenplay for Smoke Signals, plus the book it was based on), I haven't even looked at it yet, but I'll get back on it. I'm way behind on my reading.

Saturday, December 23, 2006


A few things to catch up on, I kind of lost track of time.
We had an okay powwow at the men's prison last week, there was only three of us, but we did fine. Because the chaplain wanted sunday off, they had sweat and the powwow the same day, which meant we didn't have a lot of time to sing. The guys did come back inside after the inipi, and we had a nice pipe ceremony before we started singing.
Everyone was tired after the sweat, but we had a good time anyway.
A lot of car trouble, Scott lost his transmission, thats 800 bucks if he fixes it, I just found out I've got 800 dollars to spend to keep my car going (see Daryl's Den), and Brenda just blew out her exhaust (probably the catalytic converter). WOW! Maybe we ought to just walk.
Good news, Dinah's lung doctor was very positive monday, she's beating it, but she still needs our support and prayers.
We are pumped for Hamilton! We had a great practice tonight, a lot of energy, if you can be there, it's going to be great!
By the way, that's Merry Christmas in Cherokee.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Nerds really do rule

In case you haven't heard yet, us bloggers are Time magazines person of the year.
Here's the article, I had to put it up.

The other day I listened to a reader named Tom, age 59, make a pitch for the American Voter as TIME's Person of the Year. Tom wasn't sitting in my office but was home in Stamford, Conn., where he recorded his video and uploaded it to YouTube. In fact, Tom was answering my own video, which I'd posted on YouTube a couple of weeks earlier, asking for people to submit nominations for Person of the Year. Within a few days, it had tens of thousands of page views and dozens of video submissions and comments. The people who sent in nominations were from Australia and Paris and Duluth, and their suggestions included Sacha Baron Cohen, Donald Rumsfeld, Al Gore and many, many votes for the YouTube guys.

This response was the living example of the idea of our 2006 Person of the Year: that individuals are changing the nature of the information age, that the creators and consumers of user-generated content are transforming art and politics and commerce, that they are the engaged citizens of a new digital democracy. From user-generated images of Baghdad strife and the London Underground bombing to the macaca moment that might have altered the midterm elections to the hundreds of thousands of individual outpourings of hope and poetry and self-absorption, this new global nervous system is changing the way we perceive the world. And the consequences of it all are both hard to know and impossible to overestimate.

There are lots of people in my line of work who believe that this phenomenon is dangerous because it undermines the traditional authority of media institutions like TIME. Some have called it an "amateur hour." And it often is. But America was founded by amateurs. The framers were professional lawyers and military men and bankers, but they were amateur politicians, and that's the way they thought it should be. Thomas Paine was in effect the first blogger, and Ben Franklin was essentially loading his persona into the MySpace of the 18th century, Poor Richard's Almanack. The new media age of Web 2.0 is threatening only if you believe that an excess of democracy is the road to anarchy. I don't.

Journalists once had the exclusive province of taking people to places they'd never been. But now a mother in Baghdad with a videophone can let you see a roadside bombing, or a patron in a nightclub can show you a racist rant by a famous comedian. These blogs and videos bring events to the rest of us in ways that are often more immediate and authentic than traditional media. These new techniques, I believe, will only enhance what we do as journalists and challenge us to do it in even more innovative ways.

We chose to put a mirror on the cover because it literally reflects the idea that you, not we, are transforming the information age. The 2006 Person of the Year issue—the largest one Time has ever printed—marks the first time we've put reflective Mylar on the cover. When we found a supplier in Minnesota, we made the company sign a confidentiality agreement before placing an order for 6,965,000 pieces. That's a lot of Mylar. The elegant cover was designed by our peerless art director, Arthur Hochstein, and the incredible logistics of printing and distributing this issue were ably coordinated by our director of operations, Brooke Twyford, and director of editorial operations, Rick Prue. The Person of the Year package, as well as People Who Mattered, was masterfully overseen by deputy managing editor Steve Koepp. Designing a cover with a Mylar window does create one unanticipated challenge: How do you display it online when there's no one standing in front of it? If you go to, you'll see an animated version of the cover in which the window is stocked with a rotating display of reader-submitted photos. Maybe you'll see yourself.

Bloggers Rule!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

an infamous anniversary, a good book

We had a sort of impromptu little party at Ellen's house tuesday evening before drum practice. Her good friend richard from New Mexico is here for the week, and since I had a good time in Taos with him this summer, we wanted to get together before he left. Apparently, Ellen and him decided what the heck, let's make it a party, we had several people come who wouldn't usually be there on tuesday nights, we had fried potatoes, bean stew, and fry bread, and had a good time.
All we have coming up is the men's prison this saturday (be there by 11:30), and of course Hamilton in January, plus of course regular practices, the next one friday the 22nd at Ellen's.
I forgot about it until now, but we just passed the anniversary of the Wounded Knee massacre (the original one). While I think it is always important to remember this, it is especially relevant to what is going on in the world today. Never forget, the Lakota were not killed because of going to war, or anything hostile, but because they were trying to practice their religion. When we allow ourselves to become intolerant of others beliefs, it becomes easy to dehumanize them. The next step is Wounded Knee.

I just picked up a classic book, A House Made Of Dawn, by N. Scott Momaday. I haven't read it yet, but it is supposed to be fantastic. When I read it, I'll tell everyone about it.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

just want to post this

I've been waiting to put this up,it's long, this is chief Seatle's speach:

Yonder sky that has wept tears of compassion
upon our fathers for centuries untold,
and which to us looks eternal, may change.
Today is fair,
tomorrow may be overcast with clouds.

My words are like the stars that never set.
What Seattle says the Great Chief at Washington can rely upon
with as much certainty as our paleface brothers can rely upon
the return of the seasons.

The son of the White Chief says
his father sends us greetings of friendship and good will.
This is kind,
for we know he has little need of our friendship in return
because his people are many.
They are like the grass that covers the vast prairies,
while my people are few
and resemble the scattering trees of a storm-swept plain.

The Great, and I presume, also good,
White Chief sends us word that he wants to buy our lands
but is willing to allow us
to reserve enough to live on comfortably.
This indeed appears generous,
for the Red Man no longer has rights that he need respect,
and the offer may be wise, also
for we are no longer in need of a great country.

There was a time when our people covered the whole land
as the waves of a wind-ruffled sea covers its shell-paved floor.
But that time has long since passed away
with the greatness of tribes now almost forgotten.
I will not mourn over our untimely decay,
nor reproach my paleface brothers for hastening it,
for we, too,
may have been somewhat to blame.

When our young men grow angry
at some real or imaginary wrong,
and disfigure their faces with black paint,
their hearts, also, are disfigured and turn black,
and then their cruelty is relentless and knows no bounds,
and our old men are not able to restrain them.

But let us hope that hostilities
between the Red Man and his paleface brothers
may never return.
We would have everything to lose and nothing to gain.

True it is, that revenge,
with our young braves is considered gain,
even at the cost of their own lives,
but old men who stay at home in times of war,
and mothers who have sons to lose,
know better.

Our great father Washington,
for I presume he is now our father as well as yours,
since George has moved his boundaries to the North
- our great and good father, I say,
sends us word by his son,
who, no doubt, is a great chief among his people
that if we do as he desires he will protect us.

His brave armies will be to us a bristling wall of strength,
and his great ships of war will fill our harbors
so that our ancient enemies far to the northward
- the Simsiams and Hyas,
will no longer frighten our women and old men.
Then he will be our father
and we will be his children.

But can that ever be?
Your God is not our God!
Your God loves your people and hates mine!
He folds His strong arms lovingly around the white man
and leads him as a father leads his infant son
- but He has forsaken his red children,
He makes your people wax strong every day
and soon they will fill all the land;
while my people are ebbing away
like a fast receding tide that will never flow again.
The white man's God cannot love his red children
or He would protect them.
They seem to be orphans who can look nowhere for help.

How, then, can we become brothers?
How can your Father become our Father
and bring us prosperity,
and awaken in us dreams of returning greatness?

Your God seems to us to be partial.
He came to the white man.
We never saw Him, never heard His voice.
He gave the white man laws,
but had no word for His red children
whose teeming millions once filled this vast continent
as the stars fill the firmament.

No. We are two distinct races,
and must remain ever so,
there is little in common between us.

The ashes of our ancestors are sacred
and their final resting place is hallowed ground,
while you wander away from the tombs of your fathers
seemingly without regrets.

Your religion was written on tablets of stone
by the iron finger of an angry God,
lest you might forget it.
The Red Man could never remember nor comprehend it.

Our religion is the traditions of our ancestors
- the dreams of our old men,
given to them by the Great Spirit,
and the visions of our Sachems,
and is written in the hearts of our people.

Your dead cease to love you
and the homes of their nativity
as soon as they pass the portals of the tomb.
They wander far away beyond the stars,
are soon forgotten and never return.

Our dead never forget the beautiful world
that gave them being.
They still love its winding rivers,
its great mountains and its sequestered vales,
and they ever yearn in tenderest affection
over the lonely-hearted living,
and often return to visit and comfort them.

Day and night cannot dwell together.
The Red Man has ever fled the approach of the white man,
as the changing mist on the mountain side
flees before the blazing morning sun.

However, your proposition seems a just one,
and I think that my folks will accept it
and will retire to the reservation you offer them,
and we will dwell apart and in peace,
for the words of the Great White Chief
seem to be the voice of Nature speaking to my people
out of the thick darkness that is fast gathering around them
like a dense fog floating inward from a midnight sea.

It matters little where we pass the remainder of our days.
They are not many.
The Indian's night promises to be dark.
No bright star hovers above his horizon.
Sad-voiced winds moan in the distance.
Some grim Nemesis of our race
is on the Red Man's trail,
and wherever he goes he will still hear
the sure approaching footsteps of the fell destroyer
and prepare to meet his doom,
as does the wounded doe
that hears the approaching footsteps of the hunter.

A few more moons, a few more winters,
and not one of all the mighty hosts
that once filled this broad land
or that now roam in fragmentary bands
through these vast solitudes or lived in happy homes,
protected by the Great Spirit,
will remain to weep over the graves of a people
once as powerful and as hopeful as your own!

But why should I repine?
Why should I murmur at the fate of my people?
Tribes are made up of individuals
and are no better than they.
Men come and go like the waves of a sea.
A tear, a tamanamus, a dirge
and they are gone from our longing eyes forever.
Even the white man, whose God walked and talked
with him as friend to friend,
is not exempt from the common destiny.
We may be brothers after all.
We shall see.

We will ponder your proposition,
and when we have decided we will tell you.
But should we accept it,
I here and now make this first condition,
that we will not be denied the privilege,
without molestation,
of visiting the graves of our ancestors and friends.

Every part of this country is sacred to my people.
Every hillside, every valley, every plain and grove
has been hallowed by some fond memory
or some sad experience of my tribe.
Even the rocks,
which seem to lie dumb as they swelter in the sun
along the silent shore in solemn grandeur
thrill with memories of past events
connected with the fate of my people,
the very dust under your feet
responds more lovingly to our footsteps than to yours,
because it is the ashes of our ancestors,
and our bare feet are conscious of the sympathetic touch,
for the soil is rich with the life of our kindred.

The sable braves,
and fond mothers,
and glad-hearted maidens,
and the little children who lived and rejoiced here
and whose very names are now forgotten,
still love these solitudes
and their deep fastnesses at eventide grow shadowy
with the presence of dusky spirits.

And when the last Red Man
shall have perished from the earth
and his memory among white men
shall have become a myth,
these shores will swarm with the invisible dead of my tribe
and when your children's children shall think themselves alone
in the field, the store, the shop, upon the highway,
or in the silence of the woods,
they will not be alone.
In all the earth there is no place dedicated to solitude.

At night, when the streets of your cities and villages
shall be silent and you think them deserted,
they will throng with the returning hosts
that once filled and still love this beautiful land.

The white man will never be alone.
Let him be just and deal kindly with my people,
for the dead are not powerless.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

winter won this one

That was some storm! You may already know that the performance for the cub scouts in Kewanee last thursday was cancelled because of weather warnings. I thought for a while that evening we had made a mistake, but I'm sure glad now Jerry went ahead and called it off. Over a foot of snow in one night! WOW!
This is a slow time for a while. We have practice friday at Ellen's house, we're going to work on songs for Hamilton.
The men's prison powwow is saturday the 16th. Be there by 11:00.
I heard Rich got caught in the storm on the road and didn't get home till saturday evening. It's times like that when he has to wonder why he's driving a truck.
I just heard about a new book that sounds interesting. The title is:
A Great and Godly Adventure: The Pilgrims and the Myth of the First Thanksgiving
it's written by:
British historian Godfrey Hodgson.
I haven't read it so I don't know much about it, but since the author is british he shouldn't have any emotional baggage on the subject.
I have a couple of other books I want to talk about soon, they are really worth it.