Manataka American Indian Council
Australian Students and Teachers
Inducted As Honorary Manataka Members
A vision of bringing four loves together
Graham Osceola Waters, an artist of Muskogee Creek ancestry now living in Darwin, Australia contacted Manataka in June, 2007 requesting two DVD movies about Chief Sitting Bull and the Great Indian Wars. After receiving his videos Graham continued conversations with Manataka on a variety of subjects and often talked about the similarities between indigenous peoples of North American and Aboriginal people of Australia. He often spoke of his son, Nokose, and his wife, Jenny and their work at the Henbury School for special needs children in Darwin. He talked about a special mural being painted at the school.
It became very clear that "Osceola" has four loves in his life. Jenny, Nokose, his grandson Kakke and other members of his family are top on the list. The Henbury School comes in a close second followed by his art.
The study of American Indian and Australian Aboriginal cultures is also an important part of his life.
Osceola later contacted Manataka and said there are many students at the Henbury School who want to become honorary members of the Manataka American Indian Council. He explained the students, teachers and staff all have a great respect for the American Indian culture and the giant mural being painted at the school is an expression of that love and respect for Manataka.
Michael Jones, Principal of Henbury School wrote: "We have discussed at School Council the concept of being part of Manataka. We would like to make an official request that you consider this."
Mr. Jones official request was presented at the next Elder Council meeting and discussed at length and unanimously approved. Manataka chairman, David Quiet Wind Furr said, "We have a responsibility to give recognition and thanks to these kids. They are our future." Patti Blue Star Burdette was appointed as liaison to the Henbury School and its principal, Michael Jones. Mr. Jones then sent all the names of students, teachers and staff.
After several weeks of planning and work, Patti Blue Star, who also serves as Ceremonial Elder, prepared official certificates of membership and wrote protocols for ceremonies to be conducted at the school.
In the meantime, as a symbol of unity between all people of the earth and echoing the Way of Manataka,
students and staff began creating a large, colorful mural and Graham Osceola Waters sent dozens of pictures. .
MAKING OF A RELATIVE CEREMONY
Lynn Dream Dancer Smith Guy Officiated
NEW MEMBERS ROLL CALL:
The following are of the names of students, teachers, staff and volunteers at the Henbury School who are now honorary members of Manataka.
Department of Employment, Education and Training
4 Henbury Avenue,
Wanguri, Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia 0810
2007 - 2008
Student names are omitted to protect their privacy.
Michael Jones, Principal
Bruce Obv Douglas Packet
Graham Birdman Osceola Waters
Kellie Fuswv Hokte Waters
Jennifer Anne Paloosa Waters
Sean Dillan Tenekte Waters
11 Assistant Teachers
11 Relief Teachers
20 Relief Staff
151 New Members
MEANING OF THE MURAL
The Henbury mural is about unity between all people. It is about creation of the raven in the medicine wheel, protection, endurance, courage and charity. The raven brings these things to these children and tolerance to the teachers.
Medicine Wheel: The birth of Mother Earth and all life. The cycle of all life, the four seasons, four winds, four directions, and four sacred colors. Red, black, white and yellow, they represent the four nations, harmony and peace for all people of the world. The Hoop stands for courage, wisdom, humility and generosity, It maps out our beginning and our end and our resurrection. There's no beginning and no end to the Sacred Hoop. It holds knowledge the key to the past and to the future. It is a great healer and teacher.
The Raven: The Creator Aspect. Raven is seen as giving life. He is primarily a helping, nurturing spirit. There is also a certain amount of self sacrifice in his actions. He does what he does to ensure the happiness of others.
The Butterfly: Harmony of balance takes flight. Butterfly you’re a beautiful sight. Know the changes and the will of nature. Being whole and one with your maker.
The Snake: Remembrance of birth. Forward rearrange. Shedding of skin. Time of change.
Dragonfly: Brings magic as it dances between air and water, reminding us of the need to balance the mental element, air, with the emotional element, water.
Humming Bird: Pueblo people have always associated Hummingbird with rain and strength. Their ceremonies are linked to its energy to bring rain which symbolizes joyfulness.
Pictures of Student and Teachers at the Mural
Pictures of students that clearly show their faces are omitted to protect their privacy.
Teachers and Staff Get Involved
Graham Osceola Waters
Works of Art
"The mural project with the kids and teachers gave me identity. I now feel Indian. I have given. My wife Jenny has given something that money cannot buy. We have received a lot of love from these kids and teachers. I would not trade that for anything."
"The students and teachers at Henbury have great courage. The Principle, Michael Jones makes wise decisions beneficial to the wellbeing of all at the school. The teachers are compassionate and patient. They are humble in their achievements. Teachers go well beyond their duties and the time I spend here has helped me more anyone will ever know," said Graham Osceola.
"I want no credit for this project, I want all the credit going to the teachers and the kids, it breaks my heart to see them struggle so much. I could not have done this with out my wonderful partner, Jenny. I love her dearly. Thank Manataka very much for your compassion and interest in these kids. I feel that Manataka is my family now. We have shared so much. May the Creator bless you."
Graham Osceola Waters is fighting prostate cancer and chronic rheumatoid arthritis. Pray for him in the traditional way.
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