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Holy Road

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LANDER, Wyo. -- Air Force Master Sgt. Samuel Nathan Blatchford, one of the
most highly decorated American Indian veterans, died Dec. 23.

Blatchford, Navajo, was born at Fort Defiance, Ariz. on June 23, 1924.
After a boyhood spent on the reservation and an education in mission
schools, he first enlisted in the 7th Cavalry in 1941. He later transferred
to the Army Air Corps, where he served as a radio operator on a B-17G
"Flying Fortress" in the European Theater of Operations during World War
II. During WW II he was shot down three times, the last time over Brittany,

He was rescued by the French Underground and stayed with them for three
months, assisting in subversive activities despite being wounded. He was
captured by the Gestapo while trying to make his way back to England, and
was a prisoner of war interned at Stalag XVII-B for 18 months until he was
liberated by the 13th Armored Division of Lt. Gen. George Patton Jr.'s 3rd
Army. Despite his ordeal, he went on to serve in both the Korean conflict
and the Vietnam War.

During his military career he received 28 medals, including the Silver
Star, Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross with one oak leaf
cluster, four Purple Hearts, six Air Medals and the Prisoner of War Medal.
In 1990 he was adopted by the Sioux Nation and was given the Yellow Eagle
Feather, the highest honor a Lakota warrior can receive. He retired in
January 1977.

Following his military service, he earned a B.S. in civil engineering and
his master's degree in business administration, and served as a site
manager for Boeing Services International at a U.S. Air Force installation
in Turkey. A highly patriotic man, he remained active throughout the rest
of his life in both the military and American Indian communities. While
still in the military, he returned to France and reunited with his dear
friends in the French Underground. He was honored several times by both the
Underground and the French government.


Staff reports

BISMARCK, N.D. -- Beatrice Medicine, PhD., passed away Dec. 19 during
emergency surgery at MedCenter One Hospital in Bismarck. She was born on
the Standing Rock Indian Reservation at Wakpala, S.D. on Aug. 1, 1923 to
Martin Medicine Jr. and Anna Grace (Gabe) Medicine.

Medicine attended the Wakpala Public School and, after graduation, enrolled
at South Dakota State University (then South Dakota A&M) and earned a
baccalaureate in 1945. Further study in her chosen field of anthropology
followed at the University of New Mexico, Michigan State University and the
University of Washington. She earned a Master of Arts degree at Michigan
State in 1954, and completed her doctorate in 1983 at the University of
Wisconsin while teaching there.

Her lifelong commitment to the instruction of others began shortly after
her graduation from SDSU, when she was hired as an instructor at Haskell
Indian Institute in Lawrence, Kan. Subsequent teaching positions included
Santo Domingo Pueblo (N.M.) Agency School; Flandreau (S.D.) Indian School;
in Canada, the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia
and Mount Royal College, Calgary, Alberta; the University of Montana; the
University of South Dakota; San Francisco State University; the University
of Washington; Dartmouth College; Colorado College; Stanford University and
California State University at Northridge, among others. She was also
frequently asked to be a visiting scholar at universities and research
institutions across the United States and Canada.

In addition to her teaching role, Medicine was active in civic matters that
affected the rights of children, women, ethnic minorities (especially
American Indians) and gay/lesbian and transgendered individuals. She served
as head of the Women's Branch of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples
for the Canadian government, helping to draft legislation to further
protect the legal rights of Native families there.

She was actively involved in establishing American Indian centers in
Seattle, Vancouver and Calgary, and served as a consultant and adviser to
numerous cities and other governmental entities on social issues, as well
as public and private foundations nationwide. She served as an expert
witness in several trials pertaining to the rights of American Indians,
including the 1974 federal case brought against the individuals involved in
the Wounded Knee takeover of 1973.

Issues of indigenous peoples across the world were of great interest to
her, and she combined presenting American Indian ideas and concepts with
learning about other cultures, traveling to lecture and present her
research papers in Germany, Peru, Australia, New Zealand, Yugoslavia,
Portugal, the Netherlands, Russia, Botswana, Italy, Switzerland, Lithuania
and Britain. A chance encounter on one of these trips led her to return and
create a documentary video, "Seeking the Spirit: Plains Indians in Russia,"
juxtaposing footage of Russian hobbyists who re-enact idealized Plains
Indian culture and dance with the reactions to this shown by Lakota
residents of her home community on Standing Rock. This video has been shown
widely across the United States and Canada, to great acclaim and interest.

Medicine has received many awards, including several honorary doctorates
and distinguished alumni awards; numerous fellowships and citations; the
Ohana Award from the American Counseling Association; the Outstanding Woman
of Color Award from the National Institute of Women of Color; an Honoring
Our Allies Award from the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force; the
Bronislaw Malinowski Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Society for
Applied Anthropology; and, most recently, the George and Louise Spindler
Award for Education in Anthropology from the American Anthropological
Association. Another less formal award of which she was perhaps more proud
was having been the Sacred Pipe Woman at the Sun Dance at Sitting Bull's
Camp in 1977.

She was the author of two books on indigenous women and more than 100
articles on various subjects including bilingual education, gender studies,
Native education, alcoholism and sobriety studies, art, and ethno-history.
The University of Illinois Press published a collection of her writings
entitled "Learning to be an Anthropologist and Remaining Native" in 2001,
and Altameira Press was working with her on an upcoming publication at the
time of her death.

Her ongoing commitment to education and community is shown by her work to
help to ensure construction of a new public school for the Wakpala
community upon her return there after her teaching career. She also served
on the school board for the Wakpala-Smee School District after the new
school was built, and served as a member of both the Wakpala District
Elder's Organization and the Standing Rock Reservation Pardon Board.


By Dianne Stallings


RUIDOSO, N.M. (Ruidoso News) -- The great-granddaughter of Chiricahua
chiefs Mangas Coloradas and Victorio, Evelyn Martine Gaines, died Jan. 2 at
the Mescalero Care Center.

She was born Jan. 10, 1912, at Fort Sill, Okla., while tribal members
confined there were considered prisoners of war. During an interview in
April 2000 for her 88th birthday, Gaines said she recalled nothing of her
early days at the fort or of the trip to Mescalero with her mother, Lillian
Mangas Martine, and father, George Martine, both full-blooded Warm Springs
Chiricahua Apache.

"As history has it, in 1886, after Geronimo and his band finally
surrendered to the Cavalry of the U.S. government, Chiricahua men, women
and children were rounded up and herded onto trains like cattle and
transported to St. Augustine, Florida," said granddaughter Nettie Fossum.

The climate was hot and humid. After years of captivity, the Apache were
moved to Mount Vernon Barracks, Ala., where George Martine was born in
1890. He married Lillian Mangas, daughter of Dilth-cleyhen and Carl Mangas,
who was the son of Chief Mangas Coloradas. Dilth-cleyhen was the daughter
of Chief Victorio.

After 27 years, the Apache were moved again -- this time to Fort Sill,
where they were taught to farm and learned other trades, Fossum said.

When the opportunity was offered, Gaines' parents, along with many other
Chiricahua, decided to live with the Mescalero and Lipan Apache on the
463,000-acre reservation that abuts Ruidoso.

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When Gaines arrived with her parents in Mescalero, no houses were built in
Whitetail, a pastoral community in the mountains of the reservation that
became the Chiricahua base. For a while, they lived on the feast grounds in

One of her earliest memories is Christmas in Whitetail.

"It was the first Christmas I ever knew and we were in a big tent," she
said in 2000. "We had candles lit on the Christmas tree and when they would
start to burn down, the man folks would blow the candles out. I got a
little washboard from the Reformed Church."

Gaines also recalled being forced to stand in the corner at her school
because she spoke Chiricahua instead of English.

Her mother died in 1936 and Gaines took over raising her siblings. Her
little sister, Imogene, was only 11 months old at the time. The family
lived in a two-room house until 1937, when new and larger four-room homes
were built.

She remembered her house in Whitetail being destroyed by a bomber that
crashed dead center into the building in 1941, destroying family mementos
and photographs. The only thing salvaged was Imogene's straw hat.

She fondly recalled working as a midwife at the reservation hospital during
World War II.

"We had one doctor, one head nurse, one night nurse and four nurse's
aides," she said during the interview for her 88th birthday. "We wore blue
uniforms and they called us 'The Blue Girls.'"

Gaines lived through the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl days when even
from the mountains, she could see a dark cloud of dust coming from the east
and the ground cracked so deeply it frightened Imogene.

She slept through the first atomic bomb detonation at White Sands Missile
Range, although she remembered tremors.

Gaines smiled as she recalled the meals she prepared for her family for $1
a day. They often included venison and canned goods for 10 cents each. She
baked cakes from scratch and created her own yeast bread in a wood-burning

But as times changed and new people moved into neighboring communities in
the 1960s, Gaines became active in preserving the traditions of her tribe,
later helping to assemble the first Mescalero Apache dictionary.

She was known around Mescalero as "grandma" and in the 1970s, counseled
young people through the Traditional Counselors Program, trying to
reconcile the old and the new.

"Both she and Grandpa Amos [Gaines] were instrumental in teaching us to
bead, tan deer hides, show us how to make cradles for infants, identify
herbs used for medicine and to pick and harvest Indian bananas, mescal
plants, mesquite beans and to preserve them for later use in feasts,"
Fossum said.

Schooling always was important to Gaines. She attended schools in
Mescalero, Albuquerque and Phoenix. Illness prevented her from finishing
college, but her three daughters all graduated.

"My grandmother has shared many stories with me of long ago, which I will
share with my children," Fossum said. "Growing up, my grandmother
remembered working hard, doing chores and caring for her siblings. She was
responsible for them because she was the oldest after losing her older
brother Edward to tuberculosis when he was 3, shortly after coming to
Mescalero. Altogether, my great-grandparents had eight children.

"We as a family were taught to be respectful of our culture and people as
well as our elders. We were taught to be helpful and considerate,
especially when our elders are speaking to us."


By Richard Walker


PORTLAND, Ore. -- Warren "Rudy" Clements, chairman of the Confederated
Tribes of Warm Springs, died of complications from diabetes Dec. 28. He was

The Dec. 31 burial ceremony began with a procession from the Simnasho
Longhouse to the Agency Cemetery at Warm Springs.

Clements, whose Native name was Sta-xo-thali, was among the first in his
tribe to graduate from college, The Oregonian newspaper reported. He earned
his bachelor's degree in elementary education in 1962 from Eastern Oregon
University, taught and coached at Portland's David Douglas High School and
then devoted himself to improving the life of American Indians in Oregon.

Clements served on gaming boards, helped a state senator create the
Legislative Commission on Indian Affairs, and advised Oregon governors and
other elected officials on American Indian issues.

Former Gov. Vic Atiyeh, who as a state senator sponsored the bill creating
the Legislative Commission on Indian Affairs, told the Oregonian that he
and Clements frequently dined together and fished for trout on the
Deschutes River. He told the newspaper that Clements was a public servant
and a dear friend.

"It's a big hole in the tribe in terms of leadership," Atiyeh said. "It's a
big hole in my life."