August 2021, vol 14

Kwai Everyone

Welcome to the 14th issue of the Ko’asek Tribal Tidbits!  Today’s exciting segments are by  tribal members:  Chief Paul, Cynthia Chauhan, Candy Conners, Michael Byers and Angel Littlecrow. Thank you for your fantastic contributions!  

Quotes, thoughts and news:

Today’s quote for April is from “365 Days of Walking the Red Road” by Terri Jean (Thank you Chief and Elder Paul):

Quotes for August

Oklahoma” is a Choctaw word meaning “Red Men.”


I gaze into the running brook
And see my father's face
Both my grandfathers stand behind him,
As all my great-grandfathers do.

I look into the sky
And see my mother's eyes
With both my grandmothers behind her
As all my great-grandmothers do
  by Paul J. Bunnell, UE, Sub-Chief, 2006


Thank you Gary Lessard for telling us about the word Great Spirit and thank you Angel Littlecrow for the break down of the word, pronounciation key and usage!

“The pronunciation of “Kchi Niwaskw” I would phonetically write as “Kit-SEE (emphasis on the final syllable) NEE-wah-skw (emphasis on the first syllable)”. That “skw” sounds like “sk” (like in the word “mask”) but you hold your mouth in more of an “O” shape to pronounce it; so a breath of air leaves your mouth at that final” syllable. That’s what the “w” indicates!

Kchi can also be added to other relevant words because it means “great” or “big,” so you could say “kchi wliwni” (big thanks) or even “kchi mategwas!” (a big rabbit).” 

Tribal News!

Happy Birthday Chief Paul!!!!

Chief Paul celebrated his birthday on July 28th.  His family had a wonderful birthday party for him the weekend before!  Pictures are on Facebook to of the celebration!

Happy Birthday Chief Paul

From Theresa Styles, Tribal Council Member and Tribal Website Master: Our tribal website is switching domains.  Theresa is working hard:  “As we continue to grow, WordPress will provide us with a platform of options while creating exploration leading to expansion.”  The website address will remain the esame. If there are any technical difficulties occurring while using the new site, pleas notify Chief Paul and Theresa Styles.  Thank you.

Homeschooling Project update:  A huge thank you to Theresa Styles for producing and those involved in the videos for the homeschooling project!  We have the first 4 YouTube videos that can be seen on the Ko’asek Abenaki Education Channel.  The Homeschooling Committee is looking for more volunteers to help create videos.  Please contact Chief Paul.

Covid-19 and our tribe. Thank you tribal member Alicia Daigre – Isaslazo for your concern on how our tribe is doing during this time.  At this time, our tribe is safe.  Many have taken the vaccination.  Also please be aware of those who wish to take the vaccine, but are unable to due to chronic conditions etc.  We hold our tribe in safety.  

Update:  With permission from Bridgette, I am sharing this.  Please keep tribal member Bridgette Hocke – Hendry and her family in your prayers as some family members have been diagnosed with Covid.  Lifting you up in Spirit and smoke for you all Bridgette.  

Classes and Facebook Page News

Ko’asek Drumming:  In this month’s Tribal Council Meeting Daniel sang the Water Song while Mary H. Doonan and GiGi Brakeville drummed!  Come join our Zoom Drumming and Singing class! This wonderful class was organized by Chief Paul and Daniel Duhaime.  We learn Abenaki and Mi’kmak songs and discuss our tribal culture.  Plus we have a lot of laughter!  Please email Chief Paul and a Zoom link will be sent.  We meet every Sunday at 1pm EST except on the Sunday of the Tribal Council meeting.  We hope to see you!

Members of Ko’asek (Co’wasuck) Traditional Band of the Sovereign Abenaki Nation Facebook Page:  Our members are continuing to grow in the group! Thank you to all for sharing articles, videos, and news   

We have our DNA project up and running! Thank you Candy Conner for getting this all started!  We continue to add more GEDMATCH kit numbers to the Tribal DNA Project.  Many are excited to be involved in this.  Please remember it is private.  No kits may be shared outside the group.  This is a wonderful tool to help with genealogy and connect with others in the tribe.  For more information, please contact Candy Conner, Steven Wright or GiGi Brakeville (GiGi Dan on Facebook).

The Ko’asek Chatter House genealogy chat room 

Here’s an update from Steven – Agma Nosok 8wdi on what’s new in The Chatter House genealogy chat group:

“The diversity of people who combined within our respective family trees is really quite remarkable! We learn amazing things everyday! Come hear! Come share! Come learn!”

Today’s Bio features tribal member Cynthia Chauhan. Welcome Cynthia!

Cynthia Chauhan looking lovely!

K’wai. I am a widow with a wonderful son, Jai.  A retired clinical social worker from Louisiana, the daughter of a Cajun mother and a Scot-Irish father, I now live in Wichita, Kansas. I love my three dogs and gardening with native plants to make a sanctuary for wild life. I volunteer in cancer research and author and co-author articles including three books about kidney and breast cancers and chemo-induced neuropathy. I also paint and write poetry,  particularly enjoying writing Haiku:        

The poodle is Dixie, The midsized is Trixie, The little girl is Choti. Beautiful pets!                                               
Moths, bees, butterflies
Draw nectar from my milkweed.                    
My world is so sweet.

I am Ko’asek
Child of forests and rivers,
My spirit dances. 

Two meaningful moments in my life were visiting the Acadian diaspora monument in Canada and seeing an ancient Taos Pueblo lady who was the image of my grandmother and thinking how can this be? She’s Native American and my grandmother‘s French. Now, I know. 

Cynthia Wigi wijokagamet Chauhan 

Gems and Minerals by Candy Connor

They say gems and minerals date back to the Egyptians.  Facts are they are not the only people to use gems and mineral for their beauty, medical use and protection. 

Apache Tear

It was used for protection from evil and in battle.  Many indigenous tribes around the world believed in them also.  Each tribe had different gems and minerals depending on where they were located.  Some gems were made into amulets, and also put in weapons. 

The different tribes in the United States and Mexico are still known for their gems and minerals as they are used for jewelry and amulets in their trade market.   For instance, rubies and garnets are the most common gemstones used.   While both are red, the ruby grows in a hexagon shape and the garnet grown in round or odd shapes.  Garnets have also been found in granite and other sources.

Cristobalite on Obsidian pictured with small Apache tear                                                           

Each State is known for their gems and minerals.  To this day, not only do the indigenous people still collect them for different reasons, but also many so-called rock hounds or collectors still seek them out for their beauty. Some even claim that they have different energy and even healing powers. 

Abenaki History:  The Creation Story, Part I. Artwork by Michael Byers

In the beginning there was no color or sound

The Great Spirit “Gici Niwaskw” created the earth and filled it with light, sound, water and life below the water.

Gici Niwaskw then called forth the Great Turtle,”Tolba” from the water..

The Abenaki story of Creation will be continued in the next issue!

Western Abenaki: Strides in Listening, Speaking, Feeling by Angel Littlecrow

Middlebury College Language Schools welcomed the Western Abenaki language program for the first time during their Summer 2021 session. The immersive language learning course taught students the fundamentals of the Abenaki language and encouraged commitment to fluency from new speakers. At the end of the program, students shared their work from the 2-week period, ranging from poetry translations to original songs.

One contribution was the creation of the Abenaki Braille Code, or ABC, a proposed Braille code constructed by Angel Littlecrow of the Ko’asek Abenaki. The Abenaki Braille Code was built based on existing Braille codes for other languages, and introduces a way for blind and visually impaired learners to read Abenaki in a tactile form. Braille is a valuable learning tool, and a new Braille code opens up opportunities to print existing Abenaki texts for blind and visually impaired readers. With the framework of the ABC in place, doors are also opened for the future of other Algonquian Braille codes. Littlecrow continues to develop learning materials for the ABC that will allow speakers & learners to start learning to read Abenaki Braille themselves.

Please email submissions by the 15th of each month for publishing.  Also articles need to be between 100 and 120 words with 1 to 2 pictures.  Quotes, pieces of history, bios, recipes and everything is welcome! 

Please email submissions to:  snoopy8u@yahoo.comOlwini,GiGiBemosa Spiwi – Walks with the Earth

Have you seen our new website?

Our next Meeting is Sunday, July 18, 2021 at 1pm (Eastern Time).  Come share your thoughts and ideas!!

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