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Walela: Cherokee Sisters Sing Their Way to Stardom

Walela: Cherokee Sisters Sing Their Way to Stardom

On February 9, 2002, Walela—the trio of Rita Coolidge, her sister Priscilla Coolidge and Priscilla's daughter Laura Satterfield—sang for their biggest audience, an estimated 4 billion people worldwide, at the opening ceremonies of the Salt Lake City Winter Olympic Games, alongside musicians Robbie Robertson and Jim Wilson.

May-June 2003
Native Scientists Taking Off

Native Scientists Taking Off

Native Americans are renowned as great artists. Their history as proud and courageous warriors is well known. And they are with equal measures of romanticism and reality revered as mystics exploring the edges of human consciousness and being. But today, laboring in obscurity, they are also electrical, aeronautical, software and materials engineers, research biologists, oil geologists, hydrologists, doctors of medicine, inventors and even astronauts.

November-December 2002
Anishinaabe Actor Adam Beach

Anishinaabe Actor Adam Beach

Adam Beach, an Anishinaabe member of the Saulteaux tribe of Dog Creek Lake Reserve in Manitoba, Canada-and star of films ranging from Squanto to Smoke Signals-is perhaps the most visible and sought-after young Native American actor working today in Hollywood. On November 24, PBS will premier his latest work, Skinwalkers, in which he stars as popular hero Jim Chee, with Wes Studi (Cherokee) playing Joe Leaphorn.

September-October 2002

Fire & Ice Totem Pole

 On August 29, 2001, under blazing-hot sunshine, several hundred invited guests gathered on the grounds of the Pilchuck Glass School near Seattle, Washington to witness the raising of a very special totem pole commissioned to celebrate the roles that artist Dale Chihuly and benefactors John Hauberg and Anne Gould Hauberg played in the founding of this renowned institution. The unique totem pole is the first to combine traditional red cedar with cast, etched and blown glass components, as well the subtle use of neon lighting.

November-December 2001
Actress Irene Beddard

Actress Irene Beddard

They say good things come in small packages. Native actress Irene Bedard surely qualifies. Though small in stature, Bedard possesses a big personality, exudes personal warmth and radiates a wealth of goodwill. With her infectious giggle and head-turning looks, one can see why she has been wooing film fans and Hollywood hitters since her 1993 debut movie role in Squanto: A Warrior's Tale.

November-December 2000
Chief Offenders

Chief Offenders

The Washington Redskins just won the pro-football jackpot. No, not the Super Bowl. The team has gone home with the highest bidder for a record-breaking $800 million, the top price ever paid for a commercial sports franchise.

The team made other big news this year, also off the field and involving lots of cash. A federal panel of judges decided April 2 to cancel trademarks for the team\'s name, long despised by Native Americans.

Summer 1999
Through A Glass Brightly

Through A Glass Brightly

In his mind's eye, Isleta Pueblo sculptor Tony Jojola already can see the forms: water jugs, seed jars, decorative pots of every design and description, all blessed by the same sacred element as clay-fire-but made of a substance that radiates the sun-glass. Lloyd Kiva New (Cherokee) believes a studio glass center and glass-blowing project now taking form at Taos Pueblo will evolve into "one of the most significant Native American art movements since beadwork in the 1700s and metal-smithing and the use of silver in the 1850s."

Spring 1999
Eastern Cherokee

Eastern Cherokee

Just west of Cherokee, North Carolina, a grass-capped dome of earth rises gently from bottom land along the Tuckasegee River. Look closely-it's easy to miss. The dome, or mound, used to be much higher, but it has been plowed over many times by farmers, ground down the way eons of wind and rain have smoothed the Great Smoky Mountains looming close by.

Winter 1999
Brothers of the Seals

Brothers of the Seals

Captured with a noose pole and pinned down, the seal struggles. Carefully, three teenagers immobilize the muscular body on a restraining board. One wrong move and flashing canines will sink into the nearest hand or leg, slashing it or tearing a chunk of muscle as big as a ripe plum. Around the seal's neck, an ugly wound reveals a loop of emerald-green fishnet…

Fall 1998
Gifts from the Whales

Gifts from the Whales

Clad in his white hunting parka, Malik braced one Sorrel boot against the wooden sled. He grabbed the rope that wove back and forth atop a load of camping gear, and with a mighty tug tied everything down. Then he turned his face into the east wind. "I feel really good today," the Iñupiat Eskimo hunter said, smiling. "A whale is coming. I can feel it. Someone is going to catch a whale today."

Summer 1998
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