Zine 20v6: First Nations
Collated by William Hillman
Assistant Professor ~ Faculty of Education ~ Brandon University


Native American Words of Wisdom
Art Gallery
Raymond Castel Pukatawagan Art
Woman Who Fell from the Sky
Reference Links


Listen or your tongue will keep you deaf.
~Native American Proverb

The only thing necessary for tranquility in the world is that every child grows up happy.
~Dan George

Take only memories, leave nothing but footprints.
~Chief Seattle

We will be known by the tracks we leave behind...
~Dakota Proverb

Good words do not last long unless they amount to something.
~Chief Joseph,1879

    We are what we imagine. Our very existence consists in our imagination of ourselves...
The greatest tragedy that can befall us is to go unimagined.
~N. Scott Momaday

Before you put on a frown, make absolutely sure there are no smiles available.
~Jim Beggs

A handful of pine-seed will cover mountains with the green majesty of forest.
I too will set my face to the wind and throw my handful of seed on high.
~William Sharp

When a white army battles Indians and wins, it is called a great victory,
but if they lose it is called a massacre.
~Chiksika, Shawnee.

These stories were the libraries of our people.
In each story, there was recorded some event of interest or importance...
A people enrich their minds who keep their history on the leaves of memory.
~Luther Standing Bear, Lakota.


"There is no doubt that the Indian held medicine close to spiritual things. As a doctor he was originally very adroit and often successful. He employed only healing bark, roots, and leaves with whose properties he was familiar, using them in the form of a distillation or tea and always singly. The stomach or internal bath was a valuable discovery of his, and the vapor bath was in general use. He could set a broken bone with fair success, but never practiced surgery in any form. In addition to all this, the medicine-man possessed much personal magnetism and authority, and in his treatment often sought to reestablish the equilibrium of the patient through mental or spiritual influences.

The Sioux word for the healing art is "wah-pee-yah," which literally means readjusting or making anew. "Pay-jee-hoo-tah," literally root, means medicine, and "wakan" signifies spirit or mystery. Thus the three ideas, while sometimes associated, were carefully distinguished.

It is important to remember that in the old days the "medicine-man" received no payment for his services, which were of the nature of an honorable function or office. When the idea of payment and barter was introduced among us, and valuable presents or fees began to be demanded for treating the sick, the ensuing greed and rivalry led to many demoralizing practices, and in time to the rise of the modern "conjurer," who is generally a fraud and
trickster of the grossest kind."

Excerpts from the book "The Soul Of The Indian"
by Ohiyesa (Charles Alexander Eastman),
first published in 1911 by the University of Nebraska Press


 "You have noticed that everything an Indian does in in a circle, and that is because the Power of the World always works in circles, and everything tries to be round. In the old days when we were a strong and happy people, all our power came to us from the sacred hoop of the nation, and so long as the hoop was unbroken, the people flourished. The flowering tree was the living center of the hoop, and the circle of the four quarters nourished it. The east gave peace and light, the south gave warmth, the west gave rain, and the north with its cold and mighty wind gave strength and endurance. This knowledge came to us from the outer world with our religion.

Everything the Power of the World does is done in a circle. The sky is round, and I have heard that the earth is round like a ball, and so are all the stars. The wind, in its greatest power, whirls. Birds make their nests in circles, for theirs is the same religion as ours. The sun comes forth and goes down again in a circle. The moon does the same, and both are round. Even the seasons form a great circle in their changing, and always come back again to where the were. The life of a man is a circle from childhood to childhood, and so it is in everything where power moves. Our teepees were round like the nests of birds, and these were always set in a circle, the nation's hoop, a nest of many nests, where the Great Spirit meant for us to hatch our children."

-Black Elk Speaks, John G. Neihardt, University of Nebraska Press Lincoln and London, 1932

Raymond Castel Gallery

Visit the Raymond Castel Gallery
to see more art from this fine artist from Pukatawagan

Photo Interpretation Ideas
Think about the who, what, when, where that could be happening within the picture. Ask yourself "who are these people in the picture?", "what are they doing?", "when was the picture taken?", "where was the picture taken?" Comment on the significance of objects and backgrounds visible in the photo. Then expand with details about the lives of these people.

Woman Who Fell from the Sky
from the Iroquois Creation Story

                               In the beginning, in the Sky World, a pregnant wife asked her husband
                               to fetch the delicacies she craved. But she wanted the bark of a root of
                               the Great Tree in the middle of the Sky World, which none were
                               permitted to touch. Finally, however, he gave in, and scraped away
                               soil to bare the root of the Tree. Underneath was a hole, and as the
                               woman peered down into it, she fell through. The birds helped
                               transport her as she fell, and  the great Sea Turtle received her on his

                               Here, on the Sea Turtle's back, she planted bits of the roots and plants
                               she had brought from the Sky World. And she walked across the
                               turtle's back, planting, praying and creating the Earth that we know as
                               Turtle Island.

                               The woman who had fallen from the sky then had a daughter, who
                               became impregnated by the West Wind. While in the womb, the
                               daughter's unborn twins began to quarrel about how they should
                               emerge, the left-handed twin refusing to be born in the usual way.
                               Instead, he forced himself out of his mother's left armpit, killing her as
                               a result. The newborn twins then buried their mother, who became
                               Corn Mother, source of corn, beans and squash, the Three Sisters of
                               the Iroquois. From her heart grew sacred tobacco, used to send
                               messages and thanks to the Sky World.

                               The two brothers continued to compete with each other as they created
                               the animals and plants, and in the process, represented different ways
                               of living. Right-Handed Twin created the beautiful hills, lakes,
                               blossoms, gentle creatures; Left-Handed Twin, the jagged cliffs and
                               whirlpools, thorns and predators. Right-Handed Twin was always
                               truthful, reasonable, goodhearted, and "straight-arrow";  Left-Handed
                               Twin lied, fought, rebelled and made "crooked" choices.

                               Because Right-Handed Twin created human beings, he is known as
                               "Our Creator," and "The Master of   Life." But Left-Handed Twin
                               helped, and invented rituals of sorcery and healing. The world they
                               built included both cooperation and competition, lovingkindness and

                               After they finished their creations, the continued to compete in other
                               ways - by gambling, by playing lacross, then fighting with clubs.  One
                               day, grasping a deer antler, Right-handed Twin finally prevailed, and
                               killed his brother, throwing the body of Left-Handed Twin over the
                               edge of the earth. As a result, Right-Handed Twin rules day and the
                               Sky-Worldand Left-Handed Twin prevails over night and the lower

                               Grandmother Skywoman was furious that Right-Handed Twin
                               murdered his brother, and accused him of wrongdoing. Angry, and
                               believing that grandmother had always favored the errant Left-
                               Handed Twin, he cut off her head and threw it up toward the sky,
                               where it became the Moon. Then he threw her body into the ocean,
                               where it became all the fish of the sea.

                               The Iroquois believe that both Left-Handed Twin and Right- Handed
                               Twin are necessary for the world to be in balance. During festivals,
                               day activities honor Right-Handed Twin, and night activities such as
                               feasting, singing and dancing honor Left-Handed Twin. This tension
                               and struggle for balance between the two brothers and principles of
                               life is  incorporated into Iroquois festivals and cycles of life.

Up To Webzine 25 Title


PUKATAWAGAN: Reflections of a Wimistikosiw Visitor
Pukatawagan: The English-Cree Dictionary
David Westfall's Northern Manitoba Mosaic
Index of Native American Art Related Exhibits on the Internet
Honoring Our Elders
Daily Inspirations
Red Hawk Woman
This Day In North American Indian History
Tipis for a New Generation
Photo Gallery
Tribal Index
American Indian Studies
Iroquois Indian Dreamwork
Pukatawagan: Reflections of a Wimistikosiw Visitor

Webzine 20: Vol. I
Webzine 20: Vol. II
Webzine 20: Vol. III
Webzine 20: Vol. IV
Webzine 20: Vol. V
Webzine 20: Vol. VI
 Webzine 20: Vol.VII - Puk Piks
Webzine 20: Vol.VIII - Europeans
 Webzine 20: Vol. IX - Sherridon-Lynn Lake
David Westfall Pukatawagan Project
Westfall's N. Manitoba Mosaic
Westfall's N. Manitoba Mosaic
From the Past: Archive
Westfall's N. Manitoba Mosaic
The Land
Westfall's N. Manitoba Mosaic
Westfall's N. Manitoba Mosaic
Westfall's N. Manitoba Mosaic
Elders ~ Work & Play
Northern Manitoba Mosaic II
A Photo Journal: Page 1
A Photo Journal: Page 2
Kayanway and the Windigos
Sidney Castel Tribute
Island Lake Dictionary of Idioms
Still Photo Film Captures
Still Photo Film Captures II
Still Photo Film Captures III
Still Photo Film Captures IV
Zine 20v10: 19th Century Articles


William Hillman

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