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• Ric Laselute: “Cain Wept” • Denise Smith-Cover Model • Saving Damsels New Album • Coco Bahnai’s Cupcakes • Men of the Navajo Calendar • Brian Young’s Movie Review • Culture Shock Camp

From the publisher... When people say, “time sure does fly”, it really does. Because, it wasn’t that long ago the 1st edition of WOTN was uploaded, and now on the 4th edition is here. And soon, WOTN will begin its second year of existence. But, the year 2011 seemed to go by very quickly. Allot of stuff in the news in 2011, Dallas Mavericks won the NBA Championship, Osama Bin Ladin is killed, 8.9 magnitude quake devastates Northeast Japan, Apple Founder Steve Jobs dies, the Libyan Revolution, the war in Afghanistan goes on and the U.S. economy staggers into 2012, just to name a few. As the year 2012 nears, we can’t help but to think what lies ahead for mankind. If the world will end according to the ancient Mayan calendar or will it be another failed prophecy. To help ease your stress, WOTN will seek to provide some insight and possibly answers from local tribes on the subject. There could be reason to be afraid, and you may have find ways to survive a major apocalypse headed your way. That will be one of our select topics in the upcoming issues. On a lighter note, the tribal fairs are all winding down throughout the Southwest. We hope you stocked up on green chile, and picked up one of the many native calendars that are floating around. From the last count there must be at least 8 different calendars to choose from. Of course, the Women of the Navajo calendar is always available as well. Again, we appreciate you staying with us and checking out the 4th edition of WOTN. There were some stories that we wanted to run but because of timing factors, they will have to wait for the next edition. We think they will be more relevant to the year 2012. FYI: The Navajo Nation Fair made history this year by offering something totally new and different. They brought in the band “KORN” for Navajo metal fans, the concert was held on September 11. According to various reports, the fair ended on a thunderous note. Now, that will be hard to top. Congratulations to the fair staff. Can’t imagine who will be coming next year.

Publisher: Larry Thompson Associate Publisher: Krista Thompson Art Director: Larry Thompson Contributors:

Well, that’s it. Enjoy....

Bonnie Kline Brian Young

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Denise Smith: Cover Girl Models sign at Chevron Coco Bahnai’s Cupcakes Brian Young’s Movie Review J.J. Otero’s “Saving Damsels” Zuni Author: Ric Laselute The Elusive Poster Girl

Celebrating 20 Years

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After being prodded by her grandmother to attend a calendar audition, Denise Smith had no idea she would become the cover model for the calendar’s 20th edition. The 20 year old coconino Community College architecture student from Tolani Lake, Arizona was estactic when she learned of calendar producer’s decision. “I was happy just to be in the calendar, but the cover, that’s crazy.” Denise was also thrilled to take part in our question and answer section. 08 - WOTN-The Magazine

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WOTN: Can you introduce yourself to our readers and tell us something about yourself? I am Red Running into Water (tobacco clan), born for Towering House people, my grandfathers are Edge Water clan, and my father’s clan is Red Running into Water (Zuni clan). My parents are Loren and Christina Smith; I have two brothers Thoren and Brent Smith. I am the middle child and only girl in my family. My goals are to become an architect and to make my family proud. WOTN: Tell us something about your hometown, Tolani Lake, Arizona? Tolani Lake is where I grew up for most of my childhood. It is located 15 miles North East of Leupp Arizona. There once was a lake there, but it is dried up and gone. Tolani also has a beautiful view of some mesas which I love to know, I’m home. The population is about 800 people, it has its own chapter house and school. WOTN: Who and what aided in your decision to study architecture? I want to become an architect because of my curiosity as a child, looking at houses and wondering how they were constructed. On vacations or road trips, I tried to imagine what the inside looked like and who built it, how the architect came up with the plans for this particular house. I still have that curiosity to know how every house was built and someday I will know what it is like to say “I designed the inside and outside of that house”. WOTN: While you travel through towns, what goes through your mind when see some of the building designs. Is there a weird building that makes you say “What were they thinking?” Traveling through the reservation, I would see these Hogan structured houses and I think about how this house would look like in a big city. I have never seen a Hogan design anywhere in a big city, which someday I hope to An Arts & Entertainment Publication

change. Then there are the houses for which I cannot understand why they put things where they did. The most awkward house I can think of is a house in Kansas where the shower being in a closet and right as you walk out of the shower, there’s the living room. And while the shower is in the living room, the toilet and sink were somewhere else in a different closet. WOTN: America is going through another bad recession with no end in sight, how are young people that you know coping with it? There is a recession, and young teenagers are coping with it by doing their own thing as in sports, and hobbies. It’s a chance for them to escape from the realization happening around them. WOTN: There are many selfempowered, educated native women doing great things today, is there anyone that has truly inspired you? The Native American that truly inspired me at my lowest point in life was a woman name Sue George. She gave me words of encouragement about school and how important it is to keep going no matter what the obstacle. She is a wonderful lady with a smile on her face every time I see her. Even though I hardly knew her, she went out of her way to give me advice which I still use to this day WOTN: What educational advice or suggestions can you give to the youth across Indian country? To the Native youth, the most important advice I can give you is to stay in school. Education is vital to your future, and I would love to hear of Native Americans getting famous by what they achieved/invented. There are not a lot of Native Americans out there who have fulfilled their dreams/goals. Your education will take you further than you can imagine and it starts with you doing your best in school. Stay in there and keep striving for that goal and someday I hope you will achieve it.

WOTN: What was your and family’s reaction upon learning that you were selected for the cover of the Women of the Navajo? Being selected for the cover of “Women of the Navajo” was overwhelming for me. My family reacted with congratulatory statements, hugs, kisses, and mentioned how much they were proud of me. The most shocking statement was from my eldest brother who said “I’m very proud of you”, which I knew for him it wasn’t easy to say. WOTN: What has been your most memorable experience since joining “Women of the Navajo?” My most memorable experience was the night I was selected among 11 other women for the calendar. Sitting there, I didn’t think that I wasn’t going to be selected and I began to get nervous as the announcer was reading down the list. Then I heard a “Denise Smith!” and I felt a big sense of relief just lifted instantly off my shoulders. And afterwards, standing there with the other 11 women I still was in a bit of shock. I will always remember that moment. WOTN: Is there something you would love to change, what would it be? If I could go back and change anything in my past, I think it would be making better grades and taking my high school days more seriously. It seemed so fun to be with my friends and going to all of the special events. But now that I realize what I did, I would do it all over again just to receive better grades and better opportunities. WOTN: Sometimes “its good to be bad”, what your opinion? There is a time to be aggressive and there’s a time to be nice. The phrase “it’s good to be bad” in my opinion, is an expression people use to have more attitude and to let everyone know that they are fearless. You have to know your limit with how “bad” you want to be. Use the phrase mentally and not physically. WOTN-The Magazine - 09

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Former Women of the Navajo Model-Erica Yazzie (2004), drops by the booth to wish the new 2012 models happy modeling. 14 - WOTN-The Magazine

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Navajo Police Officer Vernon Nelson receives a warm greeting from Miss July, Tanya Lister. An Arts & Entertainment Publication

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Photography by: Bonnie Mitchell

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In addition to featuring the 2012 models, the beautiful 20�x30� poster also lists the names of individuals who were featured in the calendar since 1991. 20 - WOTN-The Magazine

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Coco Bahnai’s Word-of-Mouth-Watering Advertising By Bonnie Kline

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Brittani with her mother Corrina New technology and old family recipes are proving to be a successful combination for a fledgling cupcake and catering business. About a year ago, the owners of Coco Bahnai’s Sweet Treats joined Facebook and now friends of friends are spreading the word. Once people sample their products, they are eager to tell others. It was the urging of friends that got the mother and daughter team to start their business in 2007. For its name, they combined mom Corrina’s nickname, “Coco,” and daughter Brittani’s middle name, “Bahnai.” It sounded good and everyone raved about their food – especially those cupcakes!

Justin Bieber cake and one with a “Cars” movie theme. The most unusual request they have gotten was for the red velvet cupcakes without any frosting – which says a lot for that family cake recipe! Just the names of their other cakes and pies are enough to make you hungry: sweet potato pie, maple pumpkin pie, carrot cake, 7-Up cake, tres leches cake… Their entrees span the culinary globe: lasagna, jambalaya, enchiladas and paella. For now, the Williams women do small orders at home and rent space as needed for bigger catering jobs.

Red velvet cupcakes are still the most popular item, made with a recipe that has been in their family for a long time. Topped with cream cheese frosting, and white roses, the morsels are beautiful to look at and irresistibly delicious - according to their many fans, including this magazine’s publisher and his family.

Brittani, White Mountain Apache tribal member, recently graduated from Arizona State University with a degree in agribusiness, which she hopes helps her to make a good living. Ultimately, she would like to open a bakery shop or restaurant with her mom, not too big, but one with wonderful food. For now, they are happily baking and catering for friends, and friends of friends, and their friends…

Most of Coco Bahnai’s orders are for birthday parties and other events. They can create special designs with fondant frosting. Brittani says they recently did a

Coco Bahnai is based in the Phoenix area. They can be reached at: 602-367-4041 or or on facebook, of course, at Coco Bahnai.

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The Journals of Knud Rasmussen, 2006 Directors: Zacharias Kunuk and Norman Cohn Written by: Pauloosie Qulitalik and Madeline Ivalu Run time: 1 hour 52 minutes Rated PG for nudity and Mature Theme

By Brian Young

The Journals of Knud Rasmussen The Journals of Knud Rasmussen (2006) examines events set during the “Great Sled Journey.” The “Great Sled Journey” refers to the fifth Thule Expedition, in which Danish explorer and anthropologist Knud Rasmussen would be the first European to cross the Northwest Passage by dog sled. At the beginning of his travels in 1922, rasmussen and a team of seven individuals had lived with an Inuit tribe. During this time frame, the anthropologist collected specimens, interviews, and excavations; many of his artifacts and journals still are displayed in Denmark museums. Zacharias Kunuk’s second film with Norman Cohn, The Journals of Knud Rasmussen, utilizes these historical events to construct an Inuit drama centered in assimilation and acculturation. As the last great shaman and leader of his tribe with which Rasmussen resides, Avva contemplates the conundrum of maintaining his cultural heritage or acculturating to save his starving people. A blizzard ravages the already barren 24 - WOTN-The Magazine

landscape. Food and supplies, such as fire oil, run string thin. Physically disabling diseases capture the tribes’ people health. As a shaman, Avva has the ability to call upon aiding spirits whom he calls “helpers.” These helpful phantasms come at a rigid cost, however, as Avva is unable to eat certain parts of animals lest his forfeit his shamanic identity. Taboos and restrictions dictate Avva’s life

and the lives he struggles to sustain in the harsh arctic. Avva knows that a powerful taboo has been broken and causes these plentiful ailments. It’s his duty to find out who broke which taboo and to eventually appease the upset spirits. Rasmussen’s arrival to this tribe serves to only challenge Avva and his ability to keep his people upholding their traditional songs, ceremonies, and taboos. Impulsively, Avva’s son agrees to take Rasmussen and his two companions (the anthropologist Therkel Mathiassen and the trader Frank Freuchen) to the Christianized community called Iglulik. Along the journey, Avva can only watches as his tribes’ people trade their cultural taboos for the Ten Commandments as he slowly discovers exactly who and which taboo has been broken. Like its predecessor, Atarnarjuat: The Fast Runner, Journals is a massive beast. It is as complex and thought provoking as it is emotion arousing and deep. Journals compares traditional Inuit lifestyle to Christian lifestyle. An Arts & Entertainment Publication

Continued Indigenous Movie Review with Brian Young

The Journals of Knud Rasmussen As the shaman of his tribe, Avva will lead his people in song much like the Inuit preacher he will meet in the latter half of the film. The complex traditional songs play a stark contrast to the structured hymns as well. Individuals who have assimilated with European cultures wear different parkas. Instead of having the fur on the inside like their traditional counterparts, the furs on their leggings billow in the wailing winter winds. This decision sets up the visual comparison when both traditional and assimilated individuals interact and mingle with another. It also helps keep the viewer aware of who is who in this tribe. It’s a good thing there are accommodations for non-Inuit viewers as Journals immediately tosses you into the grinding narrative fray. The film opens in 1912 with Avva’s daughter, Apak, narrating to the camera. From there, the film jumps ahead ten years to the time of Rasmussen’s Great Sled Journey. Every now and then, the film will show an aged Apak smiling as she remembers her father. These little tidbits of past and future have no indicators to tell viewers they are traveling through time. The shots, lighting, and audio are exactly the same throughout the film. It’s very easy to interpret Apak’s reflections are a part of the 1922 events and to incorporate her older self into the tribe itself. Storytelling is experimental and non-linear so don’t expect to immediately comprehend the first run through . Exposition and detailed back stories consume the first forty minutes of the movie. Many of these minutes are devoted to Avva’s realization as a shaman and the taboo that dictate his diet and lifestyle. Of course, Rasmussen’s character in this film plays the conduit for the non-Inuit audience. Asking questions and challenging belief systems, Rasmussen and his crew meticulously record every story, song, and action. When the tribe and Rasmussen begin trekking to Iglulik, however, the pace picks up and the stakes become much more apparent. Don’t expect to enjoy this movie lounging, full attention must be paid to fully appreciate the story being told. Journals continues Zacharias’ camera choice giving the overall film a documentary quality. Instead of outside shots showcasing the frozen tundra, the majority of this film is shot inside igloos thereby highlighting the personal lives and An Arts & Entertainment Publication

interactions. The fourth wall often splinters as characters dart their eyes to the camera lens and traditional dancers bump into the camera only to laugh with their tribal audience seconds later. The presentation and constant camera teasing work to draw the audience into this world not as an observer but as a participant. Enough cannot be said of the audio component in this film. The initial shot of this film shows an Inuit sounding out his name with written symbols. The joyous laughter of children contrasts the wailing of ailing spirits as individuals convert to Christianity. When Rasmussen asks the tribe to sing him a song, the tribe demand a trade a song for a song. Rasmussen sings an Italian opera aria. His singing then transforms into a gramophone playing the same aria for a group of Inuit children who stare at the contraption with awe and disbelief. The audio and visual components of Journals are extraordinarily thought out and fleshed out. With its experimental storytelling and compelling subject, The Journals of Knud Rasmussen appeals to a limited crowd of patient film aficionados and Inuit individuals. The first time through can be quite the grind figuring out what time frame the movie is currently in. The slow pacing of the beginning takes its precious time lovingly examining minute details of Inuit livelihood, as much as an anthropologist would. It pays no accommodation to any attention span and demands meticulous examination. Aside from these setbacks, Journals tells an astonishing story about the consequences of sacrificing culture for life to continue. Like the wailing spirits at the conclusion, this film will echo through your mind and haunt your subconscious.

ABOUT BRIAN YOUNG Brian was born and raised on the Navajo Reservation. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Film Studies from Yale University in 2010. This column reviews movies that portray or are constructed by Native Americans. Each issue, Brian will review a recently released film or a critically acclaimed film. On his spare time, Brian enjoys reading, video games, and has modeled for the 2011 Men of the Navajo Calendar. If you or someone you know has a film that portrays or is made by Native Americans feel free to email Brian at

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Marcus “Quese IMC” Frejo was born in Oklahoma. He is from the Wolf band of Pawnee and Bear clan of Seminole Indigenous People. He also has roots from Silao, Guanajuato. Quese IMC has been writing, performing hiphop since the age of 7. He first performed in the 3rd grade, a hip-hop song promoting the D.A.R.E program, which promoted an alcohol and drug-free life. Quese IMC has lived an alcohol and drug-free life. This choice of a healthy life-style, even within the hip-hop industry has set him apart from others. Quese explains “I don’t condemn how people live their lives, I live my life alcohol and drug-free because my people were doomed by the attempt from this united states governments use of alcohol as a weapon to destroy our peoples spirits, minds and culture. Besides, we indigenous people don’t have the enzyme to break down alcohol.”

Quese IMC has been producing music for over a decade. He has also acted in a few movies, both major and independent. Quese IMC is a true hip-hop artist trained in the original artform that through a medium of music, struggle can be expressed for a positive change.

Quese IMC has performed [ both national and international worldwide and also keynotes and does workshops on topics ranging from cultural awareness, empowerment and leadership, hiphop, art and activism, social justice, organizing and healthy lifestyles. He continues to work with and within indigenous communities across the country, as well as inner-city youth programs, high schools, universities, youth conferences, multi-cultural impact building and cultural exchanges. Quese IMC also works with programs geared towards suicide prevention on and off reservation communities. Quese IMC is an award winning indigenous hiphop artist. His music has been in film and animation film both major and independent. He has performed with the likes of

MARCUS “QUESE IMC” FREJO Run DMC, Ludacris, Knarles Barkley, Atmosphere, The Pharcyde, Kumbia Kings, DJ Grandmasterflash, Petey Pablo, Clipse, Poor Righteous Teachers, Mos Def and Tinariwen, just to name a few. Quese IMC is one of the founding members of the world-famous group, Culture Shock Camp. He truly loves the artform of hip-hop expression and uses this instrument to bring forth awareness, consciousness and change within people and communities, not by force but by invitation. This invite consists of building bridges with the people and aligning ones ideas and spirit so that true spiritual change can be moved about through the power of word, music, art and connection.

Quese IMC lives and practices the indigenous way of life of his people and also promotes cultural empowerment. He has performed in front of elders at a nursing home to thousands of G8 protesters on the streets of Berlin, Germany and one thing always stands true within his performance and presentation and that is the power of truth. We all have gifts, some use them and some ] don’t. Quese IMC has a gift and it has reached thousands of people across the world and has yet to reach the millions. Quese said “In our creation story we come from the stars and even the star people had to make long journeys in order to create the truth and sometimes even up there sacred beings didn’t believe, but when the beauty and light shined through the creation of what they did, it was then we realized that we are that same instrument here on sacred mother earth. We have the ability to change the world within the actions and movements of using our gifts. So I operate in my gift and I love living the dream.” Quese IMC is a young, vivrant indigenous MC, Producer, Activist, Actor, Educator, Artist and Speaker following the path layed out for him by his ancestors. But yet, He is not the only one.


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BRIAN FREJO “INDIGENIUS SHOCK B” Brian (Pawnee/Seminole) is a highly talented and multi-faceted individual who is best known for his work as a Drug/Alcohol Free Motivational Speaker, “Cultural Activist,” Youth Advocate, Performer, DJ, Mentor & Wellness Trainer . Brian is one of the most sought after Youth Trainer, Emcee, Performers, DJ, music producer and promoter in Indian Country. As “Indigenius Shock B” he has performed with some of the most popular acts in music today. Brian also has his finger on the hottest and most up and coming Native music talent that has enabled him to produce a range of successful concerts, tours and special events that has gained him the reputation as one of the premier music promoters and special event organizers in Indian Country. Brian is also honored to be a part of the 2002 Grammy–nominated drum group “Young Bird.” Brian is an accomplished actor who has appeared in twenty feature films and television series in his career, including “Last of the Mohicans,” “Geronimo,” “Under Seige,” and “Murder She Wrote.” He appears in the lead recently in the Indie film movie Trailer “6 Pack and Gas Money”, just cast in the upcoming production of Drunktown’s Finest (filming in NM 2011), New Line Cinema film “New World,” starring Collin Farrell and Wes Studi. Brian had the honor of screening the film at the United Nations in New York City with Q’orianka Kilcher who plays ‘Pocahontas’ in the film. Brian who also appeared in the film the “New World,” walked the ‘red carpet’ at the film’s Los Angeles premiere attended by national and international press and dignitaries. He is also in Pre-production for filming a new Music Video ‘Roamin Buffalo Flows” for his upcoming Album release “The Ceremony” with filming locations in Oklahoma City, Los Angeles, South Dakota, & New Mexico. Brian also served as a promotional spokesperson for Native Threads Clothing, one of the hottest and most successful businesses in Indian Country. Brian and his

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brother Quese IMC were also Spokemen for the NARF (Native American Rights Fund) campaign called MODERN DAY WARRIORS. Brian travels year round doing marketing and promotions for CSC and Up-and-coming Native talent at concerts, powwows, conferences and various special events across the U.S., Alaska, Hawaii and Canada. Brian was also the spokesperson for the Pawnee Nation of Oklahoma’s new tribal college, the Pawnee Nation College. Through Brian’s assistance and promotion of the college, the College has been able to significantly bolster the college’s visibility, student recruiting and fundraising efforts. Similarly, Brian has assisted numerous tribe’s and Native organizations in planning various special events including: music festivals; talent shows; pageants; fashion shows; basketball tournaments; educational, cultural, wellness, and conflict resolution trainings. Brian has gained a respected reputation as a Keynote Speaker, Youth/Young Adult Trainer, Cultural activist/Language preservation and Special events Emcee and organizer. “We all have the Opportunity to help ourselves, family and people. I was given a Message in ceremony that ‘when we help our People we help Ourselves’ and that stuck in my mind for a loong time and was inspiring in my Journey to keep doing Positive things”

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New Horizons and A New Album for “Saving Damsels”

Followers of “Saving Damsels” Band will be thrilled to know that their new album will soon be available. The popular rock band, based in Albuquerque, New Mexico, is including ten songs that followers will recognize from their shows, plus two new songs. The full-length album, still unnamed at this point, will be available around the first of the year. A centerpiece of this second album will be “Protected – Beauty All Around,” a song in the Navajo language. J.J. Otero, the group’s lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist, is Navajo and Hopi. He sang in both Northern and Southern traditional pow-wow styles in his younger years and traces can be heard in his rich, resonant voice. Band members say they play “Native Soul Rock.” Others have categorized their music as “red pop,” but audiences describe it as a blend of rock, bluegrass, and soul - with maybe a little country and blues. It’s quite a potent combination that fans in the Albuquerque area have come to appreciate. Saving Damsels plays at venues such as Low Spirits, The Press Room, and Malarkey’s. They have also played in Santa Fe and will be performing 32 - WOTN-The Magazine

at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center in November. Although coordinating the schedules of five “weekend warrior” musicians and traveling can be difficult, the group welcomes opportunities to play in Arizona and other locations. The music has evolved since 2007 when J.J. Otero first teamed up with Carlo Johnson as lead guitarist, Joe Pacheco on bass guitar and Pax Garcia on drums. The focus was on J.J.’s vocals and acoustic guitar. Says J.J. “We now have a bigger wall of sound, but it’s still Saving Damsels. In 2009, Douglas Bellen joined the group and expanded the repertoire with a multitude of keyboard sounds. Audiences and radio listeners remark on the presence of great organ and piano

sounds provided by the skilled hands of Bellen. The lead guitarist is now the talented Chuck Hawley who joined up in 2009. Hawley’s first love is piano, but he enjoys playing with different instruments such as the mandolin for an “old timey” sound and slide guitar for a blues feel. His guitar playing is featured prominently in “Sweet Girl,” a soulful song that lingers in the mind’s ear. J.J. is the lyricist for the group. He writes about what he feels and experiences. One of the biggest sparks for early songs was the breakup with his girlfriend. He found solace in creating music. Through counseling for sobriety issues, he discovered that he has “Hero Syndrome.” A person with this syndrome, often a firefighter, nurse or policeman, seeks recognition or self-worth by An Arts & Entertainment Publication

J.J. is the lyricist for the group. He writes about what he feels and experiences...

helping others. J.J.’s heart goes out to women hurt by their men. Thus the theme of several songs, and the name of the band, “Saving Damsels.” As the band has found success, working, playing on the weekends and getting ready for the next show has left less time for introspection and writing. For a while, J.J.’s creative energy was spent in getting the band known through organizing events such as “Rock the 9,” a concert/party after the Gathering of Nations that has become an annual event. He wrote an original song for a TV commercial for the Northern International Livestock Exposition and recorded it with Saving Damsels members and other musicians. Sometimes, for inspiration, J.J. turns to poetry he wrote in the past. For example, the unreleased song, “Blackbird,” is from a poem he wrote about the Exxon Valdez and the Gulf oil crisis, when white and gray birds became black with life-endangering oil. He says he was in a writing slump for a few weeks, but that is about to change; he has been jotting down

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ideas and getting the itch to write again. One topic he has been mulling over is Wall Street and the transfer of wealth. The song that is taking shape is somewhat along the lines of an earlier one, “Money Changers,” about greedy capitalists. Another subject is the over-abundance of information filtered by “experts,” says J.J. He adds that people should question “authorities,” - preachers, politicians, media, the president, even parents. “Don’t always believe what you hear, question it, question authority – no matter who that is, even Mom and Dad.” The lyrics of Saving Damsels’ songs deal with tough issues – both personal and social. After all, hero’s syndrome is a compulsion to make the world a better place. The band may not have all the answers, but they care – they are still trying to save damsels and society from distress. And their latest music has a brighter, more optimistic feel. As they sing in “Hide,” “I wish I could free your soul from the bondage that takes hold; I wish you knew you had the answer…Hope is believing, without seeing the end.” For more information, music

samples, and videos of Saving Damsels visit the group’s website: Saving Damsels’ first CD “Empty Rooms,” is available on Songs From Saving Damsels’ Second Album: Black Hair Money Changer Stuck The Show Tease Trickster The Toad Sweet Girl Chasing Demons Hide Protected (Beauty All Around) The Coming Light

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A Murder Mystery at Zuni By Bonnie Kline Zuni, New Mexico is the setting for a soon-to-be- published book, Cain Wept. This dark murder mystery entrances readers while exposing secrets and sins of the tiny community. It is a microcosm of society as a whole, says author Ric Laselute. The suspenseful story takes place in a one week period in 1978 when a Navajo sheep herder discovers a body in a rock pile. An investigation by tribal rangers, an FBI agent and a social worker leads to a shootout and surprising revelations. The story moves swiftly, carrying readers into deep, dark places they may not want to visit, but the book is difficult to put down. The plot unfolds in a sequential way that makes one feel present at the events, yet several unexpected twists catch the reader off guard. Laselute says that when he writes, he is seeing a movie in his head. He has been told that his descriptions are so good that sensations of the scene can be seen, smelt and felt. Like most good writers, Laselute writes what he knows; Zuni is his home and he was a tribal ranger for a time, affording him a behind-the-scenes look at everyday life in the rural village and surrounding reservations. The rangers in the story are patterned after his brother and himself.

The project has taken awhile, as life seemed both to inspire and conspire against him. He has had tragedy in his own life and seen the devastating effect of society’s woes on its youngest members. He and his wife became foster parents to two boys for whom no one else seemed willing or able to provide a home. But divorce ripped his family apart and the boys were swept away into the child protective system again. The death of the oldest was the catalyst that motivated him to finish the book.

Zunis are proud of their traditional ways, but the ones who will carry it forward, the youth, are being pulled away from their roots.

This is Laselute’s first book, written with the encouragement and support of his college teachers. The concept came to him in 1984, but he didn’t start to flesh it out until he took a creative writing class and wrote a short story. His teacher, Dr. Norman Smith, realized it was a piece of a bigger tale - by a writer with promise. He urged Laselute to write more, and offered to proof and edit. When his mentor died, professors Gloria Dyc and Robert Hoffman read 34 - WOTN-The Magazine

Laselute’s work and also saw its potential. He says they compared his writing favorably to that of Southwest writers Tony Hillerman and Leslie Marmon Silko. Laselute is grateful for the professors’ aid on the book’s long road to completion.

Ric Laselute would like to make a living for himself and his young daughter as a writer, but he has another motive, as well: to open people’s eyes. Zunis are proud of their traditional ways, but the ones who will carry it forward, the youth, are being pulled away from their roots. He hopes that while he entertains, he can also hold a mirror up to his community. If they see what is truly happening, perhaps he can have some positive influence. Meanwhile, readers will be eagerly awaiting Laselute’s next book, The Stars Spoke, a prequel that he has already begun to write.

For more information on the book and its availability, contact Ric Laselute at: An Arts & Entertainment Publication

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The Elusive Poster Girl - Teshina By Larry Thompson

I met Teshina a year ago (October 2010) at the Northern Navajo Fair in Shiprock; she was strolling the fairgrounds selling posters with her image on them. She approached me and made a quick sale. While I was digging in my pocket for the cash, I couldn’t take my eyes off of her. I admit, I was busy admiring her look. I was thinking how great it would be to photograph her. I gave her a ten dollar bill, she signed my poster and off she went. After she was long gone, she continued to linger in my mind for the rest of the day. I was angry with myself for letting such a beautiful opportunity slip through my hands. Then, I had this crazy thought, “she’s probably still on the fair grounds.” All of a sudden I was on a mission to find her. This time, I’m was gonna get her number. So, I put on my shades and began slowly moving through the crowd, looking here and there, but after roaming for an hour, no poster girl. There’s a philosophical saying, the more you pursue something, the more it will elude you. In this case, that’s what happened to me. I thought, “no big deal.” Her image eventually faded from my memory and I went back to doing what I was doing, but this story is just beginning. A whole year went by and I was at another fair in Window Rock, doing my own thing. Lo and behold, out of nowhere,

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there was the poster girl again. Right there in front of me.

referring to was this photo spread for the WOTNOnline Magazine).

Of course, when you find yourself in this situation, you try to act cool. So, there I was - fumbling, stumbling and mumbling out a “hi.” She remembered me - that was assuring! She asked how I’d been and how things were going. I lied and said “good,” when I knew things could be a whole lot better. But, I remained cool.

During our shoot, I realized how versatile Teshina is with her looks; she has a keen ability to transform from one look to another with ease. It was obvious that she had been in front of the camera many times. Every image exudes the confidence of proud native women. She easily uses her powerful facial features in combination with her natural beauty.

Again, she was strolling around the fair selling, this time she was selling a calendar that featured her as “Miss December 2012. “ Teshina is a cool-headed Apache-Navajo woman, led by her entrepreneurial spirit and charm.

At the end of the photo shoot, we drank some homemade coffee, even though she preferred Starbucks, and quickly ran through the images. She was happy with the results.

As we were making small talk, I was again checking out her look. A year had gone by and yes!, she was older but still had a very interesting appearance. So then, I asked her to call me about a project that I wanted her to be a part of. (The project that I was

And, I was happy to have finally got my initial wish to photograph my elusive poster girl. This is a girl you will also want to keep an eye out for. To Teshina: you were a pleasure to work with. Best wishes in all your modeling endeavors.

An Arts & Entertainment Publication

An Arts & Entertainment Publication

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An Arts & Entertainment Publication

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An Arts & Entertainment Publication

An Arts & Entertainment Publication

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An Arts & Entertainment Publication

An Arts & Entertainment Publication

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A Native American Arts & Entertainment On-line Magazine


A Native American Arts & Entertainment On-line Magazine