Monday, March 05, 2012

Monday, October 03, 2011

I am not Jesus Christ, nor do I consider myself a prophet of God, but during the early ‘90’s and after a lifetime of searching for “The Truth,” because I had to know it and I had to know it without a doubt, Creator began doling it out to me.

The Truth only began to come after I’d read The Bible for myself, with my first-ever-reading happening on October 10, 1991.

After reading and learning about Jesus Christ, from The Bible and after reading from Genesis to Revelation and after seeing how Mother Earth was being destroyed because of our Evil greed, I knew that my search had ended and that “now,” all that was left was for me to completely give myself-up to Jesus Christ, so that I could have The Truth and somehow help to stop the corruption and restore order here, because of the suffering and destruction that I’d seen happening to us and to beautiful, Mother Earth.

The very first bit of Truth came during the early 90’s and with power! It began on a nice, sunny, and warm, summer’s day and it caused me to cower and shake, because it came to me directly and not through another person, of which if it would have come via another, as it’s coming from me to you, I think that it would have felt safer and easier for me to accept.

First came Revelation Chapter 13:18,”for it is the number of a man”: 6 + 6 + 6 = 18. The very symbol of the system of all current things, because when can you vote, fight in wars, join the system, except at the age of eighteen?

From that came Revelation Chapter 13:16, “ receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads”. You use your right hand to say The Pledge of Allegiance. We’re supposed to love God, but when we use affirmations of any kind, we use them from the forehead and the, “I love my country; I love my flag; I love my president...” thoughts all begin in the forehead.

Revelation Chapter 17: The Statue of Liberty and all that she connotes and from the beginning of this current system’s power, The Seven Industrialized Nations.

Revelation Chapter 13:17: “And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.” Stand in the streets and announce that you do not love the USA, worship the president, or bow down to the flag and see if you will then be capable of buying, or selling...

Revelation, “The False Prophet”: Billy Graham, of whom every US president for more than a half century has summoned to The White House just before entering any war and he, Graham, blessed wars and helped to ease and resolve the moral issues and concerns in presidential minds, so that they could begin

Revelation 13 The Beast/The Antichrist: George W. Bush; George W. Bush’s (“Power”) popularity/job rating in his second and final term lasted for 42 months. His terms of office were from January 20, 2001 - January 20, 2005 and from January 20, 2005 - January 20, 2009. His rating went down in July, of 2008.

Blasphemy of The Holy Ghost, Matthew 12:31: Get away from The Old Testament - 2 Corinthians Chapter 3.

For those of you who have read The Bible, all will be evident, so read Matthew 10:27...and to everyone, pass this on and on and on...


Calvin Tatsey

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Update on Spice.

She was shot; I found a bullet where she'd passed, so someone must have shot her and then she'd passed later on.

I was collecting her tail to use to make a shield with and while pulling a section of tail up, the bullet was exposed.

I knew that it had to be worse than the cold, but couldn't figure out what.

The bullet is about the size of a 22 caliber.

Kids often pass by that area and I'm sure that it was a mistake.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

I lost one of my most loved horses today.

At approximately 4:49pm, on November 25, 2010, I went to feed my horses and found Spice still standing on her feel, held up by a snow drift, dead.

It was seriously cold yesterday and last night and when I went to feed yesterday, I thought that I’d froze my face and ears after returning to the warmth of my pickup, but thankfully I didn’t. The South-West wind was blowing and the snow was wet, so anything even slightly warm (like warm flesh) instantly became dripping wet and at the same time, the cold froze the moisture wherever it was.

I can’t figure out how a healthy, three-year-old horse with long, thick, winter hair could die like that, but after talking to a friend, he said that maybe the severe wind and cold could have frosted her lungs, causing her death -- when I found Spice she was facing directly into the wind. I thought that maybe she’d frozen to death; I don’t know, but she’s gone and I’m going to miss her a lot.

Today, while throwing hay to them, I’d noticed that there were only four horses present and I couldn’t see Spice, who is always present at feeding time and never misses a bite, so I began to call her name and she didn’t show. The wind was still blowing and snow was still drifting as it had yesterday, so I couldn’t see too well without blinking, but after a few minutes of looking into the snow-filled wind, I spotted something dark, slightly- protruding from the top of a snow bank. It was the top of Spice’s head, her ears, her mane and the tip of her withers, just barely showing.

Cakes took a photo of me using her cell which I’m posting above, as I walked (too many snow drifts to drive) to feed and just previous to finding Spice dead. It will give you some sense of what it’s like here and possibly an idea of the danger that the wet snow drifting within the wind and the low temperatures create.

Today I actually had an iced-up face and ears again, because this time I was in the cold longer than yesterday, looking for Spice.

I’m also adding a photo of Spice from last year (10-09-09), at two-years-old, while I was breaking her to ride.

She was beautiful and one of the most intelligent animals that I’d ever had the pleasure to know and become close friends with.

Saturday, October 02, 2010


This morning, Saturday, October 2, 2010 at approximately 9:00am, my little granddaughter got out of bed and Spots didn’t.

She said that Spots was still sleeping.

Cakes checked on him a little while later and found that he’d gone home.

We put him in the arms of Ksawkamatopi at approximately 9:45am, next to “Homedog,” my beautiful dog, and about a quarter mile from our house in “Depot Coulee”.

Cupcake #2 is still with us and doing well.

We’ll miss your loving nature, appetite and playfulness Spots.

Yesterday, we went to Great Falls, Montana and didn’t come home for about twelve hours and when we entered the house, Spots ran up and down the hallway, playing and romping, until after we’d all gone to bed, so I figure that with weighing well over twelve pounds and not getting much exercise that his heart just stopped beating.

Now this song has double meaning and sadness for me:

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

What I See

I see the beautiful mountains, lakes and streams, the air the animals and the trees, raped in disdain
I see our pitiful children, brothers and sisters, our friends and families, perishing from spiritual pain
I see the blood of ancestors, shed while sheltering Mother Earth from degradation, falling like rain
I see a black cloud forming above, laughing, as we sink the knife deeper for personal gain
I see blindness shielding many eyes, while our Spirits shed unbound tears in vain
-- Calvin Tatsey © 2008

Friday, October 10, 2008


Have you ever had a pet that you loved because it reminded you of a thoughtful, caring, Human Being?

On August 27th, 2008 my best animal friend went out my back door to enjoy the Sun for the last and final time. Her name was Cupcake, and she was the beautiful, calico cat, who broke my heart.

She walked into a warm, gentle and calm day, or evening rather, because it was approximately 6pm when she lovingly brushed against my leg and indicated to me that she wanted the screen door opened, like a million times before, so she could go out to catch bugs, play, and enjoy the sunshine.

I don’t know what happened exactly, other than that I was tired and mindlessly-forgot her outside when I went to bed. I woke-up the next morning before 5am, in the middle of a dream where she was attempting to feed me. In the dream, I was sitting at my, our computer, hers and mine, and she had brought-and-placed a grasshopper on my keyboard before completely disappearing.

My eyes would not focus correctly and my voice came as a croak, sounding anything but Human as I frantically-stumbled to my back door, croaking, “CUPCAKE, CUPCAKE!”

I ran around my house searching and desperately calling from the front to the back, under my vehicles, under their hoods, in the front again, in the back again, all the while calling her name, and all the while dressed only in my underwear. Beginning to cross the street to expand my search, I suddenly realized that I wasn’t dressed suitably, so I ran back into my house and quickly-slipped into pants and a T-shirt. Shoeless, I searched two square blocks, calling, “CUPCAKE, CUPCAKE!”

One day passed, then one week, two weeks, and I knew that she would never come home again.

Throughout the first two weeks I prayed to God to help her find her way back to me if she was still alive and my hope remained.

By the third day of that sad incident, I was lonesome and had developed a serious bout of writer’s block. Nothing of any value would come and nothing made sense to me when I finally did get anything written.

When she disappeared I had several well paying, regular clients’ writing projects on the table. The deadlines came-and-went and I lost some valuable clients, plus $600.00 which I would have earned that week. The next week mirrored the first, in terms of clients, project completion and accepting projects.

I like to write when it’s quiet, so Cupcake and I used to do it late into the night, and many times, all throughout the night while listening to music together. On the eighth night after she’d disappeared, I played a song that until then I hadn’t realized reminded me of her. The song is by the Stereophonics. It’s called, “Dakota”. One verse goes like this:

“Wake up call, coffee and juice
Remembering you
What happened to you?
I wonder if we'll meet again
Talk about life since then
Talk about why did it end”

Listening subconsciously, I suddenly developed a huge lump in my throat and my eyes began to water, releasing a wet, watery substance that flowed-freely down my cheeks. I felt it as it landed on my chest and completed its journey. I listened to the song again and realized that the aforementioned verse was the impetus and Cupcake was the principle behind the unknown substance.

I’ve never told anyone about the song incident and this is the first time that I’ve put anything about my loss into writing. I’ve never cried for as long as I can remember and I don’t want anyone to think that I’m soft. Besides, I’m too tough and too strong. In that context, if you happen to read this humble writing, please avoid mentioning it to anyone, or I will surely lose my perceived status as a hard and seasoned warrior!

If you haven’t heard the song before, you can find and listen to it here:

I have a huge computer screen and Cupcake liked to position herself on the overhang between my keyboard drawer and screen, and when she felt that she needed attention, or that she was being neglected, on the keyboard itself.

We’d had Cupcake for about 6 years. I say about, because when someone first gave her to us because of a mouse that we’d previously-spotted in our residence, I didn’t want her and I only agreed because I knew that after she’d grown some that she’d serve as a deterrent to further mouse infestation. I think that I had it in the back of my mind to get rid of her after a while, I don’t really remember.

She began to grow on me when after about a year of watching and being with me alone at night, she hissed and slapped at my wife when my wife attempted to take something from near my computer. We call my wife “Cakes”. Cakes returned to the kitchen and informed me of the, in her words, “…near fatal attack”! I didn’t believe that Cupcake would take it upon herself to protect what she must have considered my property, and I told cakes that Cupcake was most likely yawning and stretching and that she had misinterpreted Cupcake’s actions. I didn’t believe that she would actually become defensive over my computer. Cakes swore-up-and-down that that’s just what Cupcake had done and challenged me to accompany her back to my computer where she said that I could see for myself. I went along, wanting to laugh but disguising it with a feigned cough.

My wife approached my computer hutch as far away from Cupcake’s location as possible and slowly extended her hand. Cupcake’s tail fluffed-up as she quickly got between Cakes and my computer, hissing, spitting and growling, and I laughed! I approached the hutch and reached, but Cupcake didn’t seem to notice me; her attention remained centered upon Cakes, and I laughed again!

I couldn’t figure it out at first, and it wasn’t until other family members informed me of Cupcakes’ menacing behavior toward them when they were near my computer that I finally began to realize that Cupcake was actually protecting my computer and everything on-and-about it.

Cupcake was friendly and affectionate with everyone away from our computer, hers and mine, but let anyone appear to be trying to touch it and she would get dingy!

One time my wife came into the living room while I watched TV and must have appeared to Cupcake to be threatening me, because Cupcake cuffed up her foot until Cakes made her retreat back into the kitchen.

I wasn’t paying attention to what Cakes was saying when Cupcake attacked, but she later told me that she had raised her voice to call my grandson because he’d left something that shouldn’t have been there, in the middle of the living room floor. Cakes said that she had been positioned in what could have been interpreted by Cupcake as a menacing position to me while calling our grandson. Cupcake had become my personal bodyguard besides being our, her and my, computer’s watchdog!

That incident reoccurred several times between Cupcake and anyone who was foolish enough to raise their voice while near me, even kids, but she never used her claws, she only slapped and made a lot of noise.

When Cupcake wasn’t with me at our computer, hers and mine, she spent a lot of time chasing and attempting to catch flies. She sometimes tried to feed me flies. She would suddenly-show-up from somewhere, spring-up-and-onto the hutch and lay her prize upon my keyboard. When she initially-began that behavior I would throw the nasty fly in my garbage can, or flick it on the floor, but she would retrieve it if at all possible and bring it back to me. She wasn’t satisfied until I simulated placing it in my mouth and chewing.

She only got into trouble once while trying to feed me. On that day, she brought a mouse in from outside and dropped it on my keyboard! I didn’t notice what she had in her mouth and when she dropped it and it rolled onto my lap, I hollered, jumped up, and she went down the hallway with me right behind her!

I hated grasshopper season when the screen and outer door had to be left open because of the heat and Cupcake could freely exit and enter. She was good, no, she was a World-Class grasshopper catcher, and sometimes she would bring me so many grasshoppers that I had no other option but to end her hunting excursions by closing a door.

Right now I would accept all the grasshoppers and flies in The World, and maybe even a mouse or two from Cupcake!

On Friday, September 20, 2008 my youngest son returned from work and told me of a co-worker’s generous offer of a kitten from a litter that her cat had recently had. I have a six-year-old granddaughter and an eight-year-old grandson whom we are helping my oldest son, raising them as a single parent, raise -- he has his own house but they prefer to stay with us most of the time. Anyway, when my youngest son told us of the offer, I shit you not, I was more excited than my granddaughter and grandson about the prospect of having another cat (and I’m 52 years young) but in my heart I knew that the hole in my heart would never, could never, be repaired.

I was wrong and I truly believe that God answers prayers.

I drove my son and grandson to the lady’s house during the same evening of her offer, fully doubting that anything could ever successfully replace Cupcake and still searching every fleeting shadow, hoping that she would magically appear.

Before my son and grandson exited my truck to look the kittens over, I gave them the run-down concerning what I would accept: No long hair because of my allergies and the hair-on-everything problem (Cupcake had long, shaggy hair and it irritated my allergies but I put-up with her because she was Cupcake); no males because Cupcake was a female, and to honor her I would only accept another female; and, no more than one cat, no matter what!

My directive was, as always with young people, effective, because when they returned from the lady’s residence they showed me one black and white, male kitten with long hair. I looked at the cat and verbalized my discontent, but before finishing, my grandson pulled another furry bundle from within his jacket along with, “Look papa, Cupcake!”

I turned the dome light on again, ready to verbalize more because that made two kittens, when I noticed the most beautiful calico cat since Cupcake, being gently held within my grandson’s hands, and she was a she!

She let out a tiny meow and tried to climb up the side of my face while I held her and scratched behind her ears like I used to do for Cupcake. I couldn’t believe the exact, physical resemblance to Cupcake and gave a silent “thank you” to God. When Cupcake first came into my life, she’d acted the same way and she had looked the same, except for a slight age and size difference.

The little bundles of fur weren’t even weaned from milk as we later discovered. When we tried to feed them they didn’t know what food was and they wouldn’t drink water. We tried soft canned food, hard food, raw hamburger, and an assortment of whatever else we could think of or whatever else was recommended, but nothing interested them. They failed to eat all that night and into the following evening.

They reminded us of small babies, with a wobbly, almost falling over walk and stance, and their heads appeared to be bigger than their bodies.

At approximately 5:00pm on the following evening we went shopping for milk, both canned and cartoned. Milk didn’t evoke an interest and the lady had refused to accept a return, saying that she didn’t want to get stuck with them and that if she did accept them, we might not take them again and then she might not find anyone to take them; their brothers and sisters were still with the mother and no one had shown the slightest of interest, so I kind of understood her reasoning, but not her refusing to allow the mother to feed them.

Despite not eating, they still played and bounced around, looking like large dust bunnies. My granddaughter said that they reminded her of cartoons.

Following one last discussion, we went to the store again and returned with an expensive milk formula called, Enfamil, with iron. They were so young and innocent that although they could smell the milk inside the dish, they did not know how to lap it up. They got all excited, stepped in it, spilled it, and stuck their small faces in it until they sneezed, but they simply couldn’t understand how to get it from there to their bellies.

We had another meeting where my wife suggested finding a bottle for a doll and feeding them with it. By then the store where we had a chance of locating a bottle that fit the description had closed, so I bought a bottle of Visine at an all night convenience store, figuring that if the solution could be applied to something as delicate as the eye, then, it wouldn’t be a danger to their digestive systems. I emptied the contents and rinsed the Visine bottle with hot water for about twenty thorough rinses, which took approximately fifteen minutes.

The kittens were still playing and bouncing around when I finished. I mixed a fresh-hot batch of Enfamil and squeezed and sucked the warm formula into the Visine container, which took more time. The first one to be force-fed was the smallest, the calico.

I put the tip of the Visine dispenser to her mouth and she would not open, all she did was scratch and meow. After a few tries, we realized that-that would not work, so we got a towel, wrapped her so that she could not use her claws and held her lying on her back. That worked, but with some deception. I had to first place the tip against her mouth and squeeze a few drops so the milk would run around her mouth. When she opened to lick the milk or whatever she was doing with her mouth, I would sneakily-slip the tip into her mouth and block her head so she could not move and gently squeeze until she coughed. Her cough didn’t come immediately. She would hungrily swallow as much as she could. Her cough indicated that she needed a break.

The black and white kitten’s feeding session went the same. They ate a half bottle each before we could tell that they had-had enough.

Let me see, it’s October 10, 2008, they wouldn’t touch solid food, even small amounts of soft, canned food when we placed tiny bits into their mouths until the second of October; which means that we nursed them like Human babies for about eleven days. Maybe we babied them for too long, I don’t know, or maybe they just enjoyed being lazy; who knows? In any case, they are alive, healthy and eating greedily.

I don’t remember who named Cupcake, but all eight of my beautiful grandchildren came together to name these two. They named the black and white male first. After a lengthy argument, they decided on, “Spots”. The calico female received her name without argument. The name givers unanimously decided upon, “Cupcake,” because the kitten strongly-resembles the first Cupcake and that’s fine with me.

At the moment I’m attempting to train the new Cupcake to stay on the overhang between my keyboard drawer and screen, but she keeps pouncing on and scratching my hands as I hammer-out this article!

-- Calvin Tatsey © 2008

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

The Writer

The sky has begun to lighten and Natosi’s [The Sun] reconnaissance has turned its Eastern edge into a metallic blue, still animated by twinkling stars. Somewhere a siren sounds, oppressing the morning’s tranquility. In a small rundown house, a man shudders as the intrusion resonates within his soul and brings him back to the present, away from his escape, where he is most comfortable. He removes his fingers from his computer’s keyboard, leans back in his chair and closes his eyes.

He has been up all night, attempting to form short story; he has not been very successful. Fleeting thoughts and ideas came and went throughout the night; none lasted long enough for him to capture; some were beautiful, poetic images, some frightening and painful memories. “I’m all screwed up and I’ll never be capable of writing a legible sentence again,” he thinks.

His imagination begins to wander and he allows it to take him there.

Two people are standing and whispering by the back door of a small rundown house. [“Yes, that’s it,” he whispers to himself.]

Their attempt at stealth is obvious and if anyone were watching, they would suspect that a crime is about to take place, but no one has noticed. [“Good,” he thinks.]

“Where will we go; what will we do; what will happen to our families, our children, your wife, my husband?” asks a female of about twenty five years of age. [“Hmm, maybe a little older, maybe twenty nine,” his feelings lighten and he clasps his hands together.]

Her companion, a tall male of about thirty is squatting down, rolling a small twig between his fingers, staring up into her face. He says, “You are mine; we were meant to be together and as far as I’m concerned, things will be fine wherever we go! Our families will be fine! I know that you’ll miss your kids, and I will mine, but they’ll forget about us in time.” [“Great, great,” he mutters.]

She does not respond, instead, she begins to cry softly. [“Inaudibly, quietly?” his imagination takes full control and he smiles.]

He stands up and moves to her side. He wraps his arms around her and they stand silently. [He nods his head.]

A dog begins to bark on the next block, causing her to cringe and look toward the windows of the house. [“Oh yeah, g-o-o-o-d,” he says aloud and shifts his weight in the chair.]

She whispers, “You’d better leave, he might wake up and find you here.” [“Exactly!” he shouts. Clearing his throat, he happily thinks to himself, “I wonder if other writers find their muse this way?”]

The male angrily takes his arms from around her and says, “If you don’t come with me, I’ll take Amanda!” [“I don’t know about this sentence, it’s kind of ‘iffy,’” he ponders.]

Amanda is a girl he uses as a stand-in when he cannot be with the female to whom he is presently speaking. He is a bad man, a cheater, a womanizer, a philanderer of the highest caliber and he has broken many homes and destroyed many lives in the process; he has many enemies. [“This paragraph might sound callous to the reader, maybe though, hmm,” he deliberates.]

Annoyed by his statement, she looks up at the sky, and then lets her eyes rest on each visible neighboring window, guiltily searching for evidence of discovery. [“Sounds reasonable,” he says.]

“Why can’t we stay here and just keep on doing what we’ve been doing? We haven’t been caught yet, besides, I don’t think that I can live without my kids,” she says, in a pleading tone. [“Too dramatic?” he wonders.]

He turns his back to her and stares off into the distance. [“Cold, cold, no, cool, it fits his personality,” he decides.]

No words have passed between them for some time, so she begins to walk toward the door. [“Too quiet and passionless?” he asks himself.]

He turns his head and watches her as she gently opens the door, slipping inside. [“Maybe,” he utters.]

She tip toes into a bedroom and gets into a bed, where a male lies asleep, oblivious to the world. She turns her tear stained face to the wall. Feeling ashamed and depressed, she cries softly into her pillow and drifts into a shallow, troubled sleep. [“This could be a…”]

A vehicle’s horn sounds nearby and the man is startled. His eyes open and he watches the multicolored object that seems trapped, bouncing off unseen borders within his screen. “Trapped and stuck like me,” he thinks.

He listlessly enters a password and the 3D screen saver switches to the scrambled sentences that he has struggled over all night. “I must have fallen asleep,” he says to himself.

Getting up from the chair, he stretches and yawns lazily, walking to a window, he opens a curtain that reveals a sunny day.

The sunlight awakens an unsavory room, illuminating dirty dishes on the table, the countertops, in the kitchen sink, on the coffee table and on the floor near the computer. A half full coffee cup, an overflowing ashtray, a cigarette lighter and an empty cigarette pack litter the area near the computer’s monitor. The floor looks as if it has not seen a mop or a broom in days and the room and the man smell of stale cigarette smoke. Clothes lying scattered carelessly about and a blanket hanging half way off the couch complete the picture.

He picks up the blanket, shakes it and throws it over the couch. The sun’s path into the room immediately fills with thousands of dust particles. Annoyed, he waves his hand past his face and blows in an attempt at clearing the air.

Stepping from the illumination, he searches for the coffee container, locates it lying on the floor near the stove and prepares a fresh pot.

All throughout the activity, he thinks of his present circumstances and feels depressed.

Bending over the sink, he splashes water over his face and runs his wet hands over his hair and down the back of his neck. Returning to his computer, he shuts the screen off, leans forward and uses the panel as a mirror; he only sees an outline but it is enough, as he runs a comb through his hair. When he has finished he sits down and pushes the button and the screen comes to life.

The smell of fresh brewing coffee and the sounds of an awakening day replace the stale cigarette odor and the monotonous night, as the melodious rhythm of keys clicking on the keyboard bring him back to his safe haven.

-- Calvin Tatsey © 2008

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Greed Makes The Con

One of the long time street people, “wino” to the older generation, before the euphemisms all became politically correct, is shuffling along, following a well fed, another euphemism, gentleman down the street. He’s shuffling along, off the edge of the sidewalk, as if he believes that he doesn’t deserve to be on the same level as the well fed gentleman. The well fed gentleman is strolling along on the sidewalk, laughing at everything the street person has to say and not looking in his direction. To any observer, it would seem that the street person is telling the other, one funny joke after another.

“I’ll tell you George, when we were young, you were the person who’d ask me for help,” the street person says as he stumbles, recovers, and continues, “and, and I wasn’t ashamed to give it to you either, no, I was always the first to step up and help you,” he kicks at a stray dog that wanders too close, and continues again, “Remember that time that the kid down the road from you wanted to kick your a--? Well, I was the one who made him leave you alone and he never did bother you again after I had a talk with him…now you won’t even help me out with enough for a bottle?”

George begins to whistle as he walks.

“I ain’t shi---n you George, I will pay you back as soon as my GA check comes in. I’m expecting it on Saturday. What’s today, Monday or Wednesday? I don’t know, all I know is that I’m telling you the truth this time, and how much do I owe you, about fifty bucks?”

George walks on.

“I’ll give you sixty bucks when I get it if you lend me enough for one bottle, George. Please?”

George glances at the street person, at the passing vehicles and at the store windows, where it seems that everyone is watching, and thinks, “I hope they don’t believe that I’m friends with this guy. Where are the police when you need them? This is getting embarrassing!”

“Come on ‘Bro,’ lend me something? Listen here, I’ll tell my ol’ lady to pay you back when she gets her lease money next year. How does that sound? She’ll do it too, I promise.”

George sees his destination about one and a half blocks further on, and picks up the pace, hoping to outdistance the street person, but he is matched stride for stride.

The street person notices another street person walking along with her head down, on the opposite side of the street, going in the opposite direction. He waves and hollers, “Julene, wait for me by Big Bear Alley, I’ll be right back! I’m talking to my friend and he’s gonna help me out with a jug! Wait there!” he says, signaling and waving his hands.

“I’ll sign all my land over to you when the B.I.A. building opens up tomorrow if you help me out George.”

George slows his pace, breathing hard, because he’s so well fed and because he’s not accustomed to strenuous exercise of any kind anymore, and asks, “You don’t have any land left, do you?”

“Yes I do. I have two hundred and eighty acres. It’s out by Four Horn Lake and I’ll sign it all over to you tomorrow, if you help me out today, I promise,” states the street person emphatically.

“I thought you’d sold all your land that time you moved to Washington?” questions George.

“No, no, I kept half of it because I wanted to give it to my boy. He’ll be turning eighteen, next month, I think. I wanted him to have some place to live if he ever wants to live in the country.”

George stops and turns to face the street person.

“Phew, phew, I thought you’d never stop George. I was about to quit you right back there,” says the street person, relieved and smiling.

“Huff, huff, huff, now you’re not lying to me, are you?”

“Cross my heart, I’m telling you the truth. Do you think I’d lie to you? H—l, I’m doing my best to help you out and all you can do is ask me if I’m lying? Humph. I should just walk away right now and you’d miss out on some good land!”

Breathing hard, George asks, “What would your wife and son say if you were to give me your land? Wouldn’t they try stopping you?”

A vehicle horn sounds and George smiles and waves to someone driving by in a 2008 Chevy Avalanche.

“That’s my wife. She’s probably checking on me to see where I’m at. I’m supposed to meet with her for lunch, and I was supposed to be there about thirty minutes ago. Do you see what happens when a person meets up with a good friend on the street?” he says, condescendingly.

The street person spots a snipe nearby and picks it up. He places it between his lips and asks George for a light.

George says, “I don’t even smoke; so why would I carry a lighter?”

The street person angrily throws the partial cigarette down and begins to walk away.

“Wait! Wait! Why don’t you come with me and I’ll write a check, but first I’ll get you something to eat. You’ll get your drink my friend, I assure you, you will! If I have to take your land off your hands, I think that you should receive more than a, what did you call it, a bottle?”

The street person stops and walks back to George, but this time he steps onto the sidewalk and proudly brushes some of the street dust from the front of his coat. Smiling, and obviously satisfied, he puts his hand out, expecting George to shake.

George fearfully hopes that the street person hasn’t seen, as his face uncontrollably wrinkles and takes on a look of total disgust. “I sprained my hand this morning, and I can’t touch anything with it, because even a simple touch causes the worst pain. Let me give you a rain check until tomorrow, after you’ve signed the land over, ok?” George says.

The street person says, “Listen, George, you don’t have to feed me, I’d probably lose it if I ate today anyway. Why don’t you just write a check and give me some money now? I’ll meet you at the B.I.A. office bright and early tomorrow, and I’ll sign every acre over to you. After all, you’re helping me out today, aren’t you?”

George says, “Yes, absolutely my friend!” as he scans the street, hoping that none of his friends have seen him standing with and talking to the street person. “What would they think, he thought?”

“I’m really hung over George, so if you could get me the money right away, I’d be thankful,” says the street person, and then he asks, “Is there anywhere close by where you can cash your check?”

George looks around and says, “As a matter of fact there is, I can cash one right here,” indicating a small clothing store located about ten feet from where they are standing, then walks and enters the business.

The street person waits outside the door, smiling and greeting everyone who enters or passes by.

“Twenty five dollars, man, I thank you George! You are a friend indeed to the needy street people and I’m going to let everyone know that too! I’ll bet that the next time that you run for council you make it in!” laughs the street person as George hands him the money.

Before parting company, George asks, “Now you’re sure that you’ll be there at eight in the morning, promise?”

The street person swears up-and-down that he will be there on time and they walk separate ways.

George looks back before entering the restaurant and sees the street person talking to another, before they cross the street together and enter a local liquor store.

In the restaurant, George excitedly relates his good fortune to his wife, telling her to keep it to herself and not to say anything to anyone until everything’s final. She shares his excitement and they begin to make plans for the land’s use.

The next morning finds George exiting the B.I.A. building, angry and feeling like a genuine fool, after waiting for over an hour for the street person to show. He hasn’t seen hide-nor-hair of the man and he’s late for work.

At the same time, the street person is walking along the sidewalk, following a local merchant who is out enjoying some nice, fresh, spring air. To any observer, it would appear that the street person is telling the other, one funny joke after another.

-- Calvin Tatsey © 2008

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


The late-afternoon Sun bathes the snow covered road, the fences running parallel to it, and the lonely, snow-spotted fields that eternally flow into the nearby foothills, with brightness…

An old man stands upon the road, alone, coatless, and apparently distressed; his long-White-hair hanging in three neat braids, as eyes that have seen seventy-three summers search for a wolf that he’s heard howling, somewhere in the distant hills.

It is February twenty-third, and the quiet, sunny and windless late-afternoon, begins to define another time and place for him; so-much-so, that he repeatedly calls his wife’s name out-loud…

“Natoyist-siksina -- Medicine Snake Woman…,” then absolute quiet, interrupted only by the far away wolf’s howl again, as if in response to the agonized articulations of a heart and mind that have known happier times, have known a woman’s love, and have known a World that no longer exists.

Standing quietly and listening to the wolf, he thinks in Blackfeet, “Help me my brother, my heart is hurting…”

He sighs deeply and begins to walk again; his lowered head and slow step interprets a heavy heart and grieved soul.

As he walks on, he remembers, and time passes by without notice; the World becomes a shell where his body remains; his spirit once again runs like the wind and Natoyist-siksina is with him.

They sit together holding hands, on rich green grass along a riverbank, on a clear summer day thick with the fragrant smells of honeysuckle, peppermint, fresh air and clean water, where birds fly about and sing throughout the aspen leaves, fluttering in the breeze…Natosi -- The Sun -- smiles as he showers them with warmth, light and happiness; laughter and sounds of life float from the nearby camp, filling their ears with peace, paralyzing time...they are young again…

She watches a small child splash and play in the stream, as its mother laughs; she watches a group of young boys as they return from an imaginary buffalo hunt; she watches an eagle as it soars past the Sun and he watches her.

He can’t describe his feelings for her in simple words; he lets his heart describe them with song. All he knows is that he has never seen another woman as beautiful as she is and that she owns his every waking moment, where she personifies his dreams…

She looks at him and becomes embarrassed by his obvious regard. He places his arm around her shoulders and draws her nearer. They welcome the twilight and greet the stars together…

“Ooooooohhhhh…,” and his heart draws the memory away, sending it back into its world! He stumbles and stops walking, weaving slightly. “Ooooooooohhhhh…” resounds again and he slowly turns around. A large-black wolf stands on the road from where he has just come, not more than thirty feet away.

He smiles, lifts his hand and says, “Oki Niscunnie -- Greetings my friend. Nitaapiiwa -- How are you?”

The wolf’s eyes begin to smile.

They watch each other in silence, then the old man says in Blackfeet, “My only friend has gone to the other side; have you come to take me to her…?”

The wolf watches.

Fluent Blackfeet passes from the old man to the wolf again, “I want to go with her; I’m lost without her and I don’t know this World anymore…”

The wolf begins to howl and the old man walks off the dirt road and stops, clearing the snow from an area, he slowly sits and begins to sing his death song. His heart is bursting with pride, as he sings the song that has never been sung. Tears roll down his cheeks as the wolf sings along…

An Owl flies past and all is silent.

-- Calvin Tatsey © 2008

Monday, March 10, 2008


1:00 am on a night following a day filled with domestic-disillusionment and boredom: Sonny, a Native American man in his early twenties, is about to go to bed, when a knock sounds at the door of his one room shack. He quickly looks at the single bed near the table to see if the knock had disturbed his common-law wife, who lays there sleeping. No movement, so he quietly lifts the short-two-by-four that has been braced against the door and cracks it open. Mist escapes, as warm air meets freezing temperatures, blending with the visitors’ breaths, and then rising to nothing.

“Hey brother, it’s me,” a voice chimes from outside, in a noticeably under toned slur. “Can we come in?”

“Shhhh, Beverly’s sleeping and I’ll never hear the end of it if I wake her up!”

“Awww, come on, it’s cold out here,” says the man as he playfully pushes on the door and laughs. “I see that you got a hot fire in there, aaaaayyy, and we’re cold, aaaaaayyy…! Hey, you’re actin’ too good for us, enit bro? Whasup?”

A female voice drunkenly states from outside the door, “Yeah, Sonny, we’re hungry too, ooks…ha, ha…!”

Several people laughing from outside, both male and female cause Beverly to groan and make a sound with her lips, as if she’s eating a tasty meal.

Alarmed, Sonny visibly winches and glances at the bed again. “Wait, let me get my coat and I’ll be right out, shhh…”

Closing the door, he stands and stares at the bed for a few seconds, checking for any sign of consciousness; satisfied that his wife is still sound asleep, he tip toes to the end of the bed and rummages through a pile of clothing that has apparently been thrown over a wooden bench.

Not finding what he’s searching for, he takes a step and lowers himself to his knees, gazing under the bed. His arm disappears beneath the bed and retrieves a thick, brown, Carhartt coat. He stands up and his eyes once again search for animation on the bed -- all’s quiet on the home-front…

He quietly goes to the door and hangs the coat on the doorknob, then back to the wood heater, where he opens its front. “Shit!” he whispers as he vigorously shakes his hand and shoves a finger into his mouth. Blowing on it, he thinks, “Man, I should have used a glove, damn…!”

Before exiting, Sonny stops and looks over the one room shack, which he and Beverly have shared for the past two years. “She’s forever worrying about this place’s catching on fire…,” he thought. “She’s silly,” he verbalizes out-loud and immediately holds his breath, fearful that she’d heard, as he waits for her to call his name. No sign of movement from the lady on the bed. “Thank God,” he whispers.

Quietly pulling the door shut behind him, Sonny places his finger to his lips and says, “Shhhh, don’t say anything until we’re at least a mile from here; she has ears like a cat…!”

Everyone’s laughing and trying to outdo everyone else with humor as they walk through a snow covered alley. The sky is clear and the stars are bright; the visible streetlights appear to be reflecting straight up and each footstep makes a squeaking, crunching sound. A cloud of fog like mist follows the group, precipitated by their laughter, breathing and verbalizations.

“Where’s the party?” Sonny asks Coyote, his friend and the man who’d knocked on his door.

“Ha, ha…there’s a big one going on over at Leena’s house. We were all over there when your ‘chippie’ offered a fifth of ‘B.V.’ to anyone who’d go get you, geeeeze, ha, ha…you’re quite the ladies man enit? I asked who was man enough to brave the cold with me and, let me see,” doing a 180 while still in motion, he mumbles to himself, “…three, four, five, six…seven, seven of us volunteered and not all were men, my friend; I guess these skanks think they’re men, ha, ha…! We’re all crazy, home boy, too crazy…!”

While turning back around, Coyote slips on a patch of ice and nearly falls.

Laughing, Sonny stops, blows on his hands and asks, “Okay, who’s got a bottle? I know you winos wouldn’t walk three blocks without any minioakie, napioakie, or assockitsee stuffed in your empty pockets…!”

A shivering, high pitched female voice laughs, and says, “Ohhh, I knew you were gonna ask that…! Coyote just told us that you’ve been on-the-wagon for a while and that you wouldn’t drink with us, but I knew that you would! We even betted on it, ha, ha…! Coyote, oh Coyote, yoo-hoo, you owe me ten dollars my friend!”

“We came over dry Sonny,” says Coyote.

“Aw shit and I was just looking forward to some internal warmth, Dog!”

Everyone’s laughing hard and making fun of Sonny for his shallow resolution. Sonny laughs too and the group walks on, shivering, jabbering and jovial.

A male voice from behind asks, “Sonny, I thought that you and your woman were living in The Housing Authority, housing?”

The group laughs without pausing their fast, escape the cold walk and Coyote responds for Sonny, “Shit holms, he can’t get a unit from housing; not after he f----d up the tribal chairman’s son last Indian Days…! Hey Sonny, you kicked his ass good enit, ha, ha…!”

“Gooder,” came from behind, and, “I sure wish it was Indian Days weather now, ohhh, f—k it’s cold, brrrrrrr! Let’s walk faster!”

The reference to housing evoked a feeling of guilt from Sonny’s conscience. He thought of his and his common-law wife’s current circumstances and he immediately began pondering what she’d do when she woke-up, cold, probably lonely, and with him absent... He felt sad, but thought, “That’s alright, I deserve to get away from her once in a while…she always thinks that I shouldn’t leave her side, and now that she’s pregnant, she’s even more of a burden…besides, they said my ‘chippie’s’ there; I wonder which one…?”

“Bang, bang, bang,” and the wooden door, with a piece of plastic held on by duct tape, covering a gaping hole in the window, opens. Loud laughter and voices conjoin the exiting mist as the group enters.

Sonny pauses, assures the correct “sag” and unzips his Carhartt.

They pass through the kitchen, where Sonny notices empty beer cans scattered about the counters and the table, and looks down as his shoe encounters a broken bottle.

A shrill, female voice rises above the drunken pandemonium as he enters the next room. “SONNY! Oh my love, where did you come from? Oh my God, I can’t breathe! EWWWWW…ha, ha…!”

Sonny smiles as he recognizes Janet Kills Fast and all her glory…! “She’s the one I was hoping it would be,” he thought, happily.

Janet, a young lady of about nineteen, tall, voluptuous and beautiful, with an air of sensuality, health and good living about her, physically disengages herself from a fortunate young man and seductively-saunters over to Sonny, throws her arms around his shoulders, and buries her face in his neck, exclaiming, “I’m glad that you came; I really missed you…! Will you be mine tonight, honey, hmmm? I’m lonesome and I need…”

A clamor of scraping chair legs, falling beer cans and chairs, stomping and hollers abruptly-ends her exclamations of affection, as two males rise from their seated positions and begin to fight among the scrambling partiers.

Sonny pulls his date into the kitchen, out of the way of the beginning free-for-all, where, reaching into the refrigerator, he withdraws a beer, pops-the-top and begins to gulp.

He feels his date being yanked from his embrace and drops the can in surprise. Sonny recognizes the man who’d been hugging Janet upon his entrance. The man says to Janet, “Hey, where you goin’? You’re mine!”

She giggles and turns to face him, languidly-tossing her hair, she looks over her shoulder at Sonny. “I should f—k this dude up,” thinks Sonny, and reaches to reclaim his prize.

Simultaneously, a small boy of about 2-3, totters into view and crying, enters the melee occurring in the next room. A female screams for everyone to stop and demands that everyone leave the residence, while she snatches the child up, hugs him, and backs into the kitchen’s entrance, crying and still screaming.

Sonny stops, looks at the child and at the lady, at his prize, and thinks, “This party has gone south,” as he disgustedly turns and walks to the door.

He can hear Janet calling his name, screams, hollers, and a child’s frightened cry, all growing faint as he proceeds into the frosted night…

As he enters his one room hovel, Beverly, a plain, slightly overweight lady of about 22, is consumed with the task of adding more wood to the nearly burned-out fire. She’s cloaked in a quilt from the bed, her hair’s out of order and she’s angry; but Sonny thinks that he’s never been happier to see anyone in his entire life, as he warmly says, “Hi beautiful, get back to bed and I’ll do that...”

She glares at him, sniffs, and asks, “Where have you been? You smell like you’ve been drinking!”

In the morning, Beverly senses a noticeable change in Sonny, as he literally falls over himself, in efforts toward making her comfortable and happy.

She likes it, and she smiles as she feels the baby kick.

-- Calvin Tatsey, © 2008

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


Here are a couple of pictures from this morning’s hunt. The second picture is of my son (Greg) and my nephew (Mike). We were scoping-out a small herd of elk we’d spotted after walking a few miles, just below Looking Glass. Greg had a 338 Winchester and Mike had a 300, both Magnums. The elk were approximately three-fourths of a mile to the South-East of us. I took some pictures of them but in the finished product, they aren’t distinguishable from their surroundings – I forgot that I had zoom.

The first picture is of me posing with my baby, the 7mm Remington Magnum (Browning Bar), after the elk had skunked us. How do you like the tennis shoes -- INDIAN STYLE!

It was extremely exciting. After we’d gotten to the area where we’d last seen them, we followed the elk’s tracks-in-the-snow. They led us to about one mile West of the original location, right to a steep side hill, all covered with Pines, snow and patches of willows, very thick stuff. We watched the area for about thirty minutes and decided that they’d bedded down. We made a plan to split-up and make a sweep from the bottom. I thought I knew about where they’d chosen to bed, toward the middle, right where things were thickest. Mike’s pretty smart and had the same idea. He said he’d take the middle and told Greg and I that if he took the middle the elk would spook and run into one of us, attempting to make being positioned on either side more desirable than being in the middle. I knew what he was up to, and used my age and great wisdom to get the position for myself! I told them that I wanted the middle so that I could keep an eye on both of them. They didn’t like it but they went along.

Halfway up the hill, and putting more energy into picking a route than watching for elk, I surprised the elk and myself. All I saw and heard were white flashes and thumping hooves for about ten seconds! Subsequently, all I had time to do was holler, “Here they come!” That’s all I saw, they were gone in a flash! Greg and Mike didn’t see anything but both said they’d heard the meat running through the trees and up the hill…

The end, except for one thing: I can tell you that there are some very lucky elk in Montana, right now, and a lot of “What if’s” streaming from the mouths of my two hunting companions!

Many Thanks,

Calvin Tatsey

Thursday, November 09, 2006


The above photo is of some of the people who were involved in the initial preparations for the 2006 Blackfeet Sundance. From left to right: Tyler Many White Horses, Clayton ArrowTopKnot (Ohtikunni), Paul HairyBull, Calvin Tatsey (me), Greg Tatsey (my son), and a midget who'd wandered over from the roadway, ha, ha, naw, his name is (Clay Flammond).

A Holy-Blackfeet Bundle, the Natoas (Sundance Bundle), a.k.a. the Many White Horses Bundle, which hasn’t been used for a Sundance for seventy-seven years, was used during this past June, of 2006. The last time that a Sundance was held under the authority of this bundle, was in 1929.

There are other Sundances that occur here annually; however, they are not genuine-Blackfeet Sundances. Not genuine because of the bundles. One bundle is of Cree origin, another is of Sioux, and so forth… There’s absolutely nothing wrong with their power or medicine, they’re just not Blackfeet, and each bundle and its owner receives the utmost of respect and honor, of which they deserve.

To put everything into context before I go any further, that’s like using Catholic symbolic representation or protocol to conduct Pentecostal services, or Pentecostal to conduct Baptist services.

My Nawtoo Ohtikunni (Holy-Medicine Chief) Clayton ArrowTopKnot, is the current- owner of the Many White Horses Bundle; Clayton was also the Head Medicine Man of the 2006 ceremony.

The Sundance of 1929 was held on Two Medicine River; the Sundance of 2006 was also held on Two Medicine. The sponsor of the 2006 Sundance was, Mr. Terry Wellman, a well known and respected, local business owner and a member of the Blackfeet Tribe.

The next consecutive Sundance will be held on July 6, of 2007. The day might change slightly, but it will happen.

This year’s ceremony was attended by few, when it should have been attended by every traditional man and woman from our reservation. From what I’ve been advised, politics got in the way. Certain traditional people were whispering to others that if they had anything to do with it, that they would get hurt, because, “…it was ‘real medicine’ that was being used [it was real medicine and it will be the same next year and the year after that and the year after that]…” Clayton questioned what those people had been involved with previously. Our comments were of the same nature; we both wondered what they, being traditional and heavily involved-in traditional-ceremonial activities, had gotten used to, for them to fear a real Blackfeet Sundance ceremony. That reminded us of something that a dilettante would say.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006


I have a friend, who evidently has a hard time at making up his mind on which he is, a Blackfeet, or Cree, and his dilemma serves to confirm some superficial doctrine within my consciousness, instilled long ago by my early tribal influences.

Besides non-Indian teachers and celebrated people, like Jim Thorpe (the Great Indian Athlete), Charles M. Russell (the Western Artist), Will James (the Cowboy Writer, "Smokey", and other books), my childhood influences have primarily consisted of tribally enrolled or closely affiliated, Blackfeet men, women, and children.

The confirmation comes from observing my friend's behavior, combined with memories of how many of my early influences had commonly reacted in reference to my personal behavior. For example, if I excessively-displayed exploitative, penurious, or ostentatious behavior, they would say, "Yaw, you're acting like a `Cree,” or, "Look at this one, he's acting like a `Cree'”. If I chose ornate clothing (bright colors) during my once a year school-clothes shopping spree, that also fit into the category of being a Cree. Everything greedy, stingy, boastful, or having to do with dressing in bright colors, had become, being a Cree.

I wasted considerable time and energy during my youth, contemplating just what a Cree was, and had always thought that who-or-whatever they were, they must have been real-crazy people, who wore bright-colored clothing!

Not until I had become an adult did I finally disregard conventional introspection and conditioning, for intelligence, and begin actively applying any real energy to learning what a “Cree” is -- from Webster's New World Dictionary & Thesaurus: "Crees or Cree a member of a North American Indian people living mainly in the Canadian Prairie Provinces".

As you can see, a Cree is an Indian from another Indian tribe. They resemble contemporary Indians per se, and as a Race, do not display greedy, stingy, bragging and boasting characteristics. They resemble The Blackfeet, i.e., customs, ideas and comprehensive culture; however, their language is different.

So where did the misconceptions come from? Several elders have told me that a small group of Cree from a landless tribe had been evicted from Canada, during the early nineteen-hundreds and had migrated to The United States, seeking a place to live; that part of the group had settled on a North-Western section of The Blackfeet Indian Reservation; that The Blackfeet had pitied the group and had allowed them to remain; that some members of the Cree group had married into our tribe; and that the descendants of these unions were mistreated by the Blackfeet.

One of my many knowledgeably elders has theorized that the Cree that do personify the characteristics, presumably, do so as an ingrained defense mechanism and possibly, as a means to perturb their hosts.

My friend personifies, his behavior ranges from, e.g., attempting to display the persona of a Blackfeet elder, i.e., wisely telling stories and visiting calmly, carefully and respectfully -- to truth revealing, exploitative, ostentatious, and penurious spirited interludes! He is an otherwise intelligent person, possessing an M.A., and has previously taught at the University level.

He sells Blackfeet items from an internet site: buckskins, hard-copy publication(s) and e-books; and attempts to sell Blackfeet Culture, Language and Tradition.

During one particular discussion, I said and interpreted a tribal member’s Indian Name in Blackfeet, Ahpewmitah (White Dog), in the process of relating a story to him. He nearly ripped his shirt trying to get a pen from his pocket, while simultaneously requesting reiteration, in Blackfeet, even asking me to help him spell it. I did. That was before I had become aware of his enormous need to capitalize on everything, everything Blackfeet -- everything that he obviously hates, yet greedily capitalizes on.

The following incident solidifies his character within my Mind: I had been helping him with his computer for several hours, downloading, installing programs and clean-up, when evening and hunger arrived, so I asked for a piece of dried meat, of several, that hung in-plain-view, obviously dried. He said no. No explanation. No options, just plain and stingily, no. We were in the kitchen. The meat hung on a line strung parallel to the kitchen and living room’s division, and being familiar with Blackfeet custom and culture, I simply took it for granted that he would provide a meal. I left his home that evening, hungry, feeling sad for him, and disappointment in myself.

On another evening, we were visiting each other, sharing stories and ideas, forming plans pertaining to writings related to our shared-Blackfeet culture, and discussing local politics, when all-of-a-sudden, he began to talk loud and arrogantly of his being Cree, and of being proud of it. Nothing previously had been mentioned in reference to "Cree". In fact, he had recently finished speaking of how proud he was to be Blackfeet, and of practicing nothing but, “Traditional Blackfeet Religion” -- among other things, all Blackfeet. I sat and listened to his raving, saying nothing, waiting for him to finish so that we could continue. Subsequently, following a long discourse about someone who had previously made a disparaging comment in reference to his Cree heritage, he said, "These Blackfeet should be thankful that the Crees came here…that's where they got their (expletive) brains [intelligence]…they're sure a bunch of stupid (expletive) bunch of people…"

He has a habit of vigorously-describing past confrontations between himself and certain tribal members, with whom he allegedly and boldly responded to -- boastfully acting out all motions and verbal responses, literally, while motioning and speaking to me. I often wonder if he fabricates the stories, as a catharsis for some deeply established resentment, possibly-derived of something his parent(s) had related to him, concerning debasing treatment at the hands of some long forgotten, Blackfeet-Man, Woman, or Child, from the landless Cree's past.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006


Below, is a Picture of my Nawtoo (Holy) Ohtikunni (Medicine Chief) and Brother-in-the-Indian-way. It was taken on February 24, 2006 by my wife. He's pictured near his home at the time, the small-trailer. He's since moved up-in-the-World, and doesn't occupy the rsidence full-time anymore. Watch over him Estipatipeeophe (God, Holy Spirit, The Power, The Source Everything, etc.). Thank You.

Photo removed by Calvin Tatsey, on March 26, 2010 at approximately 7:30pm, by request.

Saturday, January 7, 2006 began as the day before that and the day before that, except for one thing: a powerful sense of angst, or excitement, I couldn’t decide which one, overwhelmed my personal psyche from the second I’d gotten out of bed, causing me to believe that something serious was about to happen. It was similar to déjà vu, in a sense, when you encounter a person, situation or location and receive that fleeting bit of insight, causing you to believe that you could have predicted the moment, then quickly lose that place in your consciousness where intuition, or what many call the sixth sense, hides.

That was my first day-off and halfway through breakfast I’d begun to worry because of the feeling’s intensity, thinking that maybe I’d made a mistake and it wasn’t, I checked my schedule -- it was my day off.

Following breakfast, I got my sweet grass and smudge bowl, smudged, and subsequently, my outlook improved a little, so I drove downtown to get the newspaper and have coffee.

The waitress took the order and left to get the coffee. I opened the paper and read a short article concerning an accident where a child had been severely injured. At that time, our son and his two small children were living with us. The article, my grandchildren, and the feeling which had by then, returned in full force, in the form of an ugly-nagging sensation, combined to trigger some sort of paranoia. Consequently, I left a dollar on the table before the waitress had returned and exited the restaurant. I walked to my vehicle and drove directly home. At home, everything was fine and all were alive and well.

I poured a cup of my wife’s excellent coffee and sat down to read. I read, but failed to absorb the articles’ contents. I finally flipped the pages until I came to the horoscope section. I didn’t believe in horoscopes, however, I thought that whatever was going on had to be paranormal because of its sheer intensity and weirdness. My horoscope told me that it was a good day and that I should be preparing for a long trip. I laughed to myself when I thought about what was currently in the air, a trip, of sorts, yeah, sort of like an LSD trip.

By noon, agitation had me uncharacteristically-walking the floor and receiving strange looks from my wife. After falling to think of a logical explanation for my predicament, I decided to inform her of the premonition. Not wanting to cause alarm, I told her that it felt like something good was about to happen, or someone was coming and I couldn’t put a name to what or who it was, when in all actuality, I had no idea, just that it was extremely disturbing. If anything unusual was about to happen, I’d wanted her to know that I’d known, beforehand – part of the Male Ego, I guess.

During the early evening, our dogs, Barkley, Sparkly, Home-Dog, and most of the neighborhood dogs began to howl for no apparent reason. By that time my nerves were frazzled and the dogs’ continuous drone sent chills up-and-down my spine. Looking out a front window I saw a female making a fruitless attempt at attaining order; she shook her broom and yelled. Her intimidation tactics failed to bring about a satisfactory result – to her satisfaction, or mine -- so she re-entered her house, shaking her head in disgust.

At approximately 7:00 P.M., my family and I were watching television when our dogs, who’d been quiet for a short time, suddenly started to howl again. Approximately five seconds later, someone knocked on our front door and the dogs’ howling ceased, which, by that time, didn’t surprise me at all.

I knew that whoever had knocked hadn’t visited our home in the past seven years, because we’d used the back door only, for that length of time. The front door’s shed had a freezer, shoes and assorted family items filling it up – not too fire-wise I know, but that’s the way we’d lived.

My wife immediately got up from where she’d been sitting and went to the kitchen window, to advise the visitor to go to the back door, where she’d either extend an invitation to enter, receive a message, or a ride or phone request – Indian Style.

Agitated and tense, I followed behind her. From the window I saw that it was one of my childhood friends, C-----n A----------t, whom I hadn’t seen in years. He was accompanied by two small boys. Glad to see him, I leaned over my wife and told C-----n and his people to go to the back door.

I shook C------‘s hand and he introduced his nephews, P-----p and N--k, I said hello and invited them into my home. While we walked from the back door to the living room, the lights blinked several times. Something that hadn’t happened in more than ten years of my family’s living in the Blackfeet Indian Housing Authority residence, and the dogs resumed howling. Strangely, the howling, which had been so terribly exasperating, had the opposite effect after C------’s arrival. It soothed and replaced confusion, with certainty, fortitude and calm – crazy but true.

When we entered the living room area, my wife stood near the television, looking up, as if she were waiting or listening for something. She said, “That’s strange, the lights were blinking off-and-on like somebody was flicking the switch…”

I had an eerie sensation, and began to suspect that C------’s visit was the reason behind the premonition I’d been experiencing.

We sat, ate, drank tea, sang Indian and visited all night – Indian Style. C------’s knowledge of songs seemed endless; my contributions were limited to what I could remember, and that consisted of bits and pieces. He’d sing two or three, I’d do what I could, and we’d stop to tell stories pertaining to the ceremonies and cultural events that we’d attended or participated in while growing up, which were many, because that was our childhood; our place to escape hunger, hardship and pain during our youth.

Our talks repeatedly came back to the hardships and experiences we’d lived through during childhood. I listened to C------’s stories and told mine, finally realizing that he had a lot to share, so I asked him if he’d be willing to come back and talk, while I wrote. He agreed and we decided that we’d begin our project after he’d gone home to rest. It was approximately 7:30 A.M., and cold, the Sun was just beginning to lighten the sky to the East.

C-----n gently-shook and called his nephews, waking them. They had fallen asleep, one at each end of the living room couch. I watched the gentle, respectful and courteous attitude with which he handled his nephews, and I realized that I was proud to have him as a friend and Brother.

On Sunday, January 8, 2006 at approximately 11:15 P.M., C-----n returned, alone. He brought my family large several pieces of roasted meat, all wrapped in tinfoil. I didn’t question where the meat came from, or ask who had prepared it, that’s not customarily polite, besides, I knew that coming from him, it would be safe to eat. He did tell me that his family had received it from relatives, who’d been visiting from The Blood/Kainaa Tribe, Alberta, Canada.

I asked my family, who were all in bed by then, if they’d wanted to feast. No one responded. I cut a large piece and offered it to C-----n. He declined, saying that he’d already had “plenty”. I grabbed a piece of my wife’s Nuh-pei-in (bread, the way it sounds to me), some onions, hot peppers and salt, and feasted near my computer until I couldn’t eat another bite. All the while, we remained quiet. The only noise came from my feast and intermittent sips from our Mason-jar-tea-cups – Indian Style. That was some good meat; it tasted like Moose.

After we’d gotten cookies and a tea refill, we began our project. His discourse, told throughout the night between breaks, follows my short introduction.

C-----n is a fifty-year-old, contemporary-Blackfeet Medicine Man, who believes that because of their unique upbringing, similar training and knowledge, he and F-------k H--n are the only “true” children on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation. He says that growing up as a child, he: “…sat with and learned from Indians who still remembered the Horse Days; Indians who remembered riding horseback to get commodity rations; Indians who had a direct connection to The Buffalo Indians; and Indians who still wore moccasins, braids and couldn’t talk English.” He remembers going to Standoff, Alberta, living with the B------e family, and J-m B-----s — called him “Gumoothes”, means thief, steal or take in the Blackfeet language. C-----n holds the biggest, holiest bundle of the Montana Blackfeet. They call it The Chief Bundle; The Natoas; The Sun Dance Bundle. He said that it was the only bundle transfer ceremony that was done properly in the last thirty years. C-----n is one of the last fluent speakers of the Blackfeet Language. He has been taught, retains and practices every traditional ceremony of the Montana, Blackfeet.

“Ah, was all-ceremonial, I remember my grandpa, ‘D---y’ B-------g M-------------s, and that’s where all the community ceremonies were held, we started in the afternoon and went all night, until morning time. I remember going to ceremonies like Feather Games, Ghost Dance, Holy Smokes, Black Tail, Shakin’ Tent, doctoring ceremonies and Thunder and Beaver Bundle ceremonies.

My Grandparents, P-----p and M----e A----------t raised me. P-----p was the Medicine Man of the Blackfeet Tribe. My grandfather, P-----p knew all the roots and knew all the songs to every ceremony of the Blackfeet culture. He was the owner of the last Blackfeet Medicine Horse Bundle. He also had the Crow Bundle, Thunder Pipe, Ghost Bundle and the Tobacco Bundle.

I grew up with the last of the Buffalo People. As a child I was always herded to the ceremonies. This didn’t give me much time to play with other kids. They call us gima-da-poka, pitiful babies or grandma babies. Growing up was just like that. It seemed like the school teachers knew. Somebody was telling them something.

I wasn’t an observer. I was on the inside of the circle because I was P-----p and M----e A-----------‘s grandson. P-----p A----------t was the last owner of the Blackfeet Horse Bundle. Because my grandpa and grandma were medicine people, just because they were medicine people, I was permitted to sit up front and participate. The other kids all had to go in the other room or go outside and play, but I was treated differently. Some of those old people would wait for me to show up and they would have a piece of candy or carve me something; they would almost fight over me; they would sit there and sing to me. The first years of my life were almost all ceremony.

Growing up, I’ve been around Indians who have talked about the past, when they would get shot on sight. Those were happy times [Growing up, not getting shot]. People would sing at night time, everybody was happy. That was before the flood you know, took away all that stuff [The 1964 Birch Creek, Swift Dam Flood]. I remember them old men and them old ladies’ clothing. Everybody used to bring something to the ceremonies, different foods, for a feast.

When I was growing up there would be about twenty medicine men and women, all sitting in one house together. It seemed like everything was really secretive, outsiders weren’t allowed, outsiders had no interest in these things, we were Indians.

Back then you know, ah, there was respect, honor, you never heard ‘cuss’ words, and even these other children that would come around once in a while, they would whisper and talk quietly and respectfully.

Back then, they still had a few ‘real’ Blackfeet chiefs. How do you say, tribally appointed? You know you always had those in the middle [The Chiefs].

Everybody used to bring their own medicine to the ceremonies. You weren’t allowed to step over smudges. They had an Alter. The bundles would sit there and they would use one at a time. I remember them using holy paint, painting faces and wrists. I remember when that spirit, when these animals and birds in the bundles would come alive. You’d see them flying and moving around in there. Weasel, skunk, otter and gopher, the animal skins in the bundles would come alive and the women would watch, become excited and show great fear, although they’d seen it all before. The Bundle’s medicine would go to work. Whatever sickness’ they had, the medicines would go to them and eat whatever sickness they had and then they’d go back to the medicine man and lay back down in their place. These things were done in broad daylight, with the lights on. That’s how supernatural these events were.

Everybody would bring their own bundles, whether it would have a wooden bowl with holy rocks in it; root medicine; plume medicine; paint medicine; eagle bone whistle medicine or rattles and drums. Everybody had their own song.

They made a lot of noises in these ceremonies, like horses running; or pounding under the floor; or in the ceiling, you would hear scratching; or a lot of people talking outside, like a lot of people, but you’d go outside and there would be nobody out there.

The air in there would shift, like one moment it would be laughter and fun and the next moment it would be all eerie and quiet.

I did these things from Standoff [Canada], to Heart Butte; to Starr School and right to Browning [Montana].

The way these medicine men worked, some days they were weak and they’d ask another medicine man to take over and they used to always say that the other medicine man was stronger. They used to build each other up, for the sake of the people and the ceremony. There was great respect for each medicine and other.

My first Sweat Lodge, I believe was in fifty eight or fifty nine, probably nineteen fifty nine. What I remember about that was all them old ladies were sitting on the hill and all the men were down there sweating. I was splashing around in the creek and they told me that I could go in there and sweat with them. What I remember about that ‘sweat’ was when everything was closed [sealed, so that heat could not escape] and when they splashed the water on the rocks, a breeze blew through.

Growing up with spirituality, I thought it was normal to smell burning sweet grass when there was no sweet grass; to smell sweet pine when there was none; to hear someone singing Indian when nobody was there; to see Indians appear and disappear; to hear drums and rattles when there was none.

I saw my grandma smoking with a spirit.

My grandma would leave me sometimes for four days at a time. I was three or four years old at a time. She’d tell me, ‘I’m going to Canada,’ but she’d leave me with a spirit. I’d go to sleep at night and wake up and my clothes would be off and folded. Now it would scare me, but back then it was a normal part of life, spirituality.

One time I was about seven years old, this Indian guy, I was home alone, he come knocking on our door. I opened him up and let him in without thinking about it on my part. I listened to him talk to me without moving his lips, by thought through his forehead. He asked me where everybody was at. I gave him tea and made him a sandwich. He smelled like sweet pine. He sat down and sipped his tea. I could hear him making noises while he drank. You could feel his kindness; he seemed like a kind old man. Back then I was used to having elders in the house, so I thought nothing of it. I stayed on the floor playing with my toys. When he was done eating and drinking the tea and sandwich, he got up and said, in Indian: ‘C--f S---t C---f (my Indian name) I’m done, good, those old people said they love you.’ He then walked out and that’s when I felt something strange. I went to lock the door; instead I opened it and peeked outside. It was broad daylight outside. I looked down and there was no tracks in the snow at all, coming to our door or leaving. Over my lifetime, this same man has visited me four or five times. Sometimes he lets me know he’s coming by the smell of sweet pine. It seems like he comes when things are hard, and times are tough.

When I was a little kid by Willow Creek, I went over there to catch frogs. I started imitating those elders, ceremonially. I started singing some songs. These two muskrats swam up the creek and they went on the other side of the bank, crawled out of the water and sat there looking at me. A magpie flew down and landed beside me and just sat there. What do you call those salamanders or lizards? He come crawling out of the brush and sat right along side of me on a rock, and he start singing and I jumped up and started running and took off home.

When I was a small kid the wind used to come through cracks and put me to sleep, it would sing to me.

I remember the old people would take their laundry down to the creek and wash clothes and they would sing water songs. They were really pretty songs. One song they said was an otter song; another, a beaver song; another, a swan song; another, a cleaning [washing-up] song.

The pipes, them pipes would move around and like almost shake, them old people would sit there and say they’re getting anxious to smoke [meaning spirits] we’d better light them up.

One time I saw my grandma cuss out a ghost, throw her shoe at it and chase it out.

Dreams, I’d talk to dead people, ghosts, from a very early age. They’d sing to me or just stand there or come in and walk around. In my dreams they were friendly. In my dreams I knew they were dead.

Right after the nineteen-sixty four floods, everything disappeared; everything went away, ended, when things were done.

My earliest recollection of spirituality, I think I was about two or three years old. I was dreaming that I jumped out of my body and I kept going up and up, until I was in space. I could see planet earth. Then I seen a big road, leading to Earth, and then a big ball going down that road, like it was going to collide with Earth or something. My memories of that are very sketchy now, but at the time, it made me very sick. It made me sick to where them old people had to doctor me, sick for about a month. I remember them painting my face. I think they stuck a black plume and a red plume above my head.

Another time was when we had all our relatives visiting at our house and all the adults left to do something, but all us kids stayed at our house. There had to be fifteen or twenty of us kids. We were playing tag and chasing each other, screaming at each other, screaming fighting, making a lot of noise. Too much noise, we woke up one of them bundles. We were wrestling and playing in the living room and that bundle came walking through that living room. It had the body of a man and the head of a buffalo. The head was big. I heard snorting and like a whole bunch of hoofs, like a stampede or something. We began to scatter, jumping out of the windows and exiting the house any way we could, running away and crying. The dogs which were outside sensed some presence also. They made all kinds of noises, yelping and howling, etc… We stayed outside until the adults returned home. When they returned my grandma went in there and made everything normal, safe, and put everything back in order. That was lesson number one.

For me lesson number two was my brother J---y. My grandma told me to get the smudge sticks down and that we were going to smudge and have a ceremony. While we were going about our business, my brother J---y and two lf his cool, non-traditional friends entered the house and I informed him of our plans. J---y began to belittle our traditions, telling us that we were in modern times and to forget about what we were doing. He then went outside and no more than three seconds later he re-entered the house, naked and in shock, he stayed in shock for about three days. The next day we found his clothes scattered up to a half a mile away, in all different locations. The thing about it was, J---y grew up with and in the ‘Indian Way’, practicing and aware of traditions, beliefs and culture, right along side of me, under my grandmother’s teachings. The lesson we learned from that was you have got to watch your mouth. You got to watch what you do and say around this holy stuff, these holy medicines.

Some of our neighborhood kids found a pipe; it was a old-cracked pipe, no stem, just a pipe. Their parents sent them to our house with the pipe, they set it on the table and left. At the time there was two old men and three old ladies in my house. Those old people broke a braid of sweet grass and stuffed it into the pipe and told me and my uncle to go put it away, outside. We brought it up to the foothills, west of Browning. We found a gopher hole, put it in the hole, stuffed it with dirt and put a big rock over it. We began to walk away and got no more than thirty or forty yards and then we heard this voice saying, ‘Hey, hey, hey.’ My uncle told me, ‘Don’t look back, don’t look back; keep walking.’ Being a young boy, I looked back, and this is what I saw. I saw an old Indian man standing, looking at us, waving and saying, ‘Hey, hey, hey.’ We began to run away. We ran far enough to where we couldn’t hear it anymore, and continued home. About four days later I had a dream and the old man was involved, he said in Blackfeet, ‘I’m going home now, sand hills [Blackfeet Heaven].’ Another lesson, some of the pipes are genuine.

Taboos, throughout my whole life, I was told not to eat rabbit; also not to whistle in a house. I was raised with a lot of instructions.

Adolescent years, at five years of age, my aunt G---e cut my braids off and I began to associate with my biological mother. My fondest memory of her is when she used to make dried choke cherry cakes. She’d take all of us kids to the creek and she’d wash clothes.

Coming into contact with the white people, I finally began to realize how poor we were; during those times of awareness I began to realize our poverty. For me it was a culture shock, waking up to the real World out here. It was like from a happy, sheltered, Indian life, to a nightmare.

Back then nobody had running water, most never had electricity, and practically everybody had outhouses. Once a month everybody would get relief checks, now they call them welfare checks.

It seems like every house I went to, the adults were drunk, and there was always somebody getting assaulted.

It seems like everybody went hungry, very little food in every household. I remember families going behind a local grocery store getting food from the garbage. I remember families going to the trash pile to pick food that they would attempt to feed their people with, or items that they would later try to sell or utilize in their own homes.

My grandmother would send me behind Buttrey’s Foods to dig out of the dumpster so we could have food to make soup. I remember eating horsemeat. The Old People, old man B—d E------s would bring us horsemeat so we could have something to eat.

I remember what seemed like kids disappearing, the welfare would always take kids from their families all the time. I have one family member who was removed from my family and it took him twenty-five years to find his way back home.

My sister, younger brother and I, were taken from my family at one time. It seemed like they would sneak up on us and take us. The night before they took us, our female dog had puppies, so we were all dusty and dirty. The welfare and police took us to a white foster home. That night, that white woman made us all bathe and washed our clothes. That night we talked amongst ourselves and ended up running away, back to our grandma. The next day we went to school and went back home. That was the end of that episode. It happened a few times, we’d run away from a foster home and we’d always return home.

My first encounter with the White man’s God. I met this white kid in school. I’d go to his house and play with him because his family always had food. This preacher and his wife, from Dallas, Texas, wanted to adopt an Indian child. I was 10 years old. They came up and met with my mother and they decided that I could go to their home and stay with them, like a trial run. These people used to like to go to big churches. They were rich. They sent me to an art school down there, Owens Fine Art Center, or something like that, Dallas, Texas. They gave me my own room, nice room. They had a big house. He was some editor or something in some newspaper down there, his name was S-----n D-----g The III and his wife’s name was D---i.

That was my first encounter with Blacks, Mexicans and whites, real whites, the kind that have never been around a Reservation, or Indians.

I was there about a month-and-a-half maybe, and I began to get lonesome. Because I was lonesome, I went to their backyard and got and used the local plants. With which I made a smudge. I removed my shirt and smudged myself and began to sing. D---i saw me, called her husband, and they began to watch me, along with a couple of their friends. After a while, they got afraid, and her husband ordered me into their house where he grabbed me by the shoulders and said, ‘Listen, you can’t do that anymore, you can’t conjure those things, not in this house, not in The Lord’s House.’ He said what he said in a violent way, which scared me.

That night something happened, because my grandma ordered them to send me home, right away. She felt something too, a thousand miles away that I should no longer be there. That’s why she ordered them to send me home. The strange thing about it is we didn’t have a telephone then. When I got home she said, ‘I knew something was wrong, I had to bring you home.’

Their church was real big. They all wore neckties and suits when they attended. While I was there, I attended their church with them every Sunday. After church, we got to pick a restaurant, very fancy, Greek, Italian and so forth. No fast food or anything, waiters, formal everything.

S-----n was a part time minister. During one Sunday session, during church services, I looked up toward the ceiling and saw floating lights; also floating lights around their statues of Jesus, Mary, Joseph etc. I personally know that these lights represent angels that I saw in the white man’s church. I see the same lights in our Sweat Lodges and Sundance ceremonies.

When I sang in his backyard I didn’t understand why his were better than mine, or so he made me think, or so he made me feel.

When I got on the plane to come home, the first person I met was a Blackfeet Indian, coming from Vietnam. That was my first experience with the white man’s God and their ways.

After my return from Texas, it seemed like everything had changed, because I was brought to a new level of awareness. At this new level, I began to realize that everything had begun to change. During that period, I became ashamed to be an Indian, because along with my recent Texas, experience, my friends, and it seemed like the entire neighborhood, began to call me a devil worshipper and make fun of my traditional beliefs and practices. I didn’t understand it then, and like they say, hindsight is twenty-twenty, but now I see that I completely shut down for about 10 years. I began to roam the streets, skip school, drink alcohol when I could, and just become a total wreck.

For example, three friends and I, broke into a service station and stole pop and candy. Consequently, we were sent to prison for that, our only crime was being poor and hungry. I did two years in a juvenile, Federal Facility, for that break-in.

While I was in that facility, I first learned about the American Indian Movement. What ‘AIM’ began to mean and represent for me was that it was finally my peoples’ turn to be recognized; the Blacks and Mexicans had their turns, now it was our turn. From ‘AIM’ I learned to be proud of who I was, of how I looked and of what I had learned.

Throughout America, Indians had seemed to find hope. They were rejoicing. ‘AIM’ had caused something in the air where everybody Indian had finally found something that restored pride. Where long hair, headbands, beads and just anything that to many, represented Indians, were en vogue.

While I was in that facility, I met three remnants of the past, a Shoshone, Navajo and a Sioux; they had to have an interpreter, real old time Indians, little or no exposure to the white man’s educational system. They were the real McCoy. For some reason, the four of us banded together, forming our own basketball team.

That’s when I first became consciously aware of spirit talk. For example, being in different dorms, one of my friends would come out of his dorm while I was outside of mine and we’d look at one another, understanding what the other was thinking, or wanted, across the distance, without saying a word.

One experience between my friends and I was when my Shoshone friend had a death in his family, one of his family members passed-away. Before the death was known about by any of us, including the Shoshone, we all felt a deep sadness and didn’t understand why. An experience that I now relate to this incident was that just two days before, all four of us were together, surrounded by hundreds of fellow inmates and despite the noise of everyone, we heard a wailing that to us signified death. No one else but the four of us heard the sound. At the time of the wailing we all looked at one another without saying a word, however, we all understood that death was at one of our doors. As I’ve said, the Shoshone was the unfortunate one.

This gift or curse whatever you want to call it, still remains with me to this day. I possess the ability to sense death before death visits someone close to me, anybody close to me.

We were always going to do ceremonies and the people couldn’t pay us. Most of the time they just gave us clothing or food, often, they just fed us. In the nineteen-sixties, when other kids found out we were going to ceremonies, they made fun of us and called my grandmother a witch, so we went to church and kept on going to ceremonies. We were still into healing. I was told church and ceremonies we prayed to the same God. While growing up I had to hide everything, because Medicine People were not accepted back then. I heard adults tell their kids to be careful with that kid and his family, to keep away from him.

In this work I am living now, I am still alone. When I grew up I watched actual power. We did our ceremonies in broad daylight. There was no trickery. It was done in the open. It was pure power. There were about thirty people that could do it, mostly men. Now there are only four to six people that have actual spiritual help that I know of, that have the real thing. They refuse to come out. What I saw or witnessed was truly the last of the Buffalo People. I know most of their pipes and their songs. I witnessed a show of respect, love and caring for each other. My job is to pray and take care of the whole tribe. If someone was sick, or having trouble or hard times, we would hear about it and pray for them. I don’t see that kind of caring for the whole tribe; it’s broken; the Circle is broken; we’re pitiful again. When I was young, we would go to their homes to do ceremonies, those days are gone.”