Archive for the ‘2008 July’ Category

I remember walking into a store in Old Colorado many, many years ago. That’s where my first Native American flute called to me. There was this beautifully carved eagle on it’s end. They wanted $125. But back then, times were tough. I barely had enough to make ends meet and I had little ones to take care of…still, I just knew I had to have that flute.

I asked the store owner if he’d consider a trade. I’m Chippewa, and I never met an Indian who didn’t love a good trade. That man wasn’t Native though, so I wasn’t sure how he’d respond. I was excited when he said yes, and so I headed back to my little jewelry shop to pick up a few things. I took a small animal hide and carefully selected some of my best work. I’m an silversmith by trade, and I knew the value of the goods I pulled from that display case. I made sure to take a nice variety, so he would have plenty to choose from.

When I returned to his store, I laid the hide on his counter and opened it up. Inside were rings, necklaces, bracelets…a sizeable selection worth many hundreds of dollars. He looked at them and said, “Alright,” and in one swift move reached over and took the entire bundle.

I knew he was aware that he was receiving far more than the value he was offering, and my heart sunk. I’d worked really hard to build up my inventory, as this was how I was able to support my family. Why would a person deliberately take advantage of someone, I wondered. My heart was on the ground.

I decided to take the flute anyway, realizing that I had been honorable in the transaction and that was what mattered most to me. I held the flute in my hand and stepped out into the afternoon sun. Up in the sky was an eagle, circling in the distance in the direction of my little shop. I held that flute high in the sky, and offered my thanks to the Creator. I knew I had made the right choice.

I didn’t know that day that the flute would take me on the journey I’ve been on for the last twenty years. I didn’t know it would take me around the world. Sometimes you have to be willing to give up everything for what you know in your heart to be true.

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What a GREAT day! We started with a foot ionizer detox…have you ever done that? It’s a pretty amazing experience. You sit with your feet in water and through a very low voltage charge running through your body you release a bunch of toxins out through the pores of your feet. It’s just wild to see it, and always leaves us feeling energized. When friends are here they love to experience it, too, and we sit around staring at each others’ water, wondering…how did all that come out of my body?!

Our people have always had a way to purify. We still practice those traditional ways today. The sweat lodge, or purification ceremony as we call it, is a powerful way to let all the garbage go…all the emotional sludge we carry around. We go there to pray, and to get right with ourselves, our Maker, and all our relations.

Releasing old patterns that hold us back from our true potential, our true self, that’s what it’s all about. Whenever we’re not experiencing the joy, wonder, awe and excitement of life we are usually stuck in an old pattern of thinking. We’re usually so caught up in what’s “wrong” that we forget to live in gratitude. No matter who we are or where we’re at, we have so much to be grateful for.

Life is a magnificent journey of self discovery…and it can be whatever you want it to be. But we have to be willing to let go of being right. Every time we defend where we are, we hold ourselves back from moving forward. We have to be willing to consider we may have a wrong, or limited, idea about that. We can ask ourselves, “What do I really want to experience?” and then gently welcome some new ideas.

Life can be a struggle or an incredible ride…you get to choose how you relate to it. Why wait? Start creating the life you want right now.

Gakina-awiiya (We Are All Related),


To hear our music, visit our site at www.thetalltrees.com

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Who are these people? That’s a question we saw floating around the ‘net about us today. Kind of made us smile…

That’s the best thing about being young. Not just young, even young at heart. There’s a natural sense of wonder…curiousity…that always pulls you forward. That’s a beautiful thing. It’s what we love most about being around children. They’re not afraid to just ask you straight up – there’s no pretense to it. Gotta love that!

It’s gotten really hard to trust that people are real today. There’s so many people pretending to be someone or something they’re not, just so they can feel like they “fit” somewhere. We knew a guy who created a whole “alter ego” on the internet. Like who he was just wasn’t good enough. That’s pretty sad. Mother Theresa once said, “The greatest disease on the planet is loneliness.”

And there have been many who have taken what doesn’t belong to them. There’s alot of unresolved grief from that. That kind of hurt takes a long time to heal. And it’s hard to heal a wound that keeps getting scratched open over and over again.

We are so blessed. We have the support of our family and in our culture, that’s so important. Wherever we go, before we speak we lay down a hand woven rug we were gifted from our clan matriarch, Akwagiishnaquay (Robert’s mother). She gave us permission to go out and speak about the things we share…and she told us to take that rug and stand on it, so that no matter where we are we will always know that we are not alone, that we are being held up by our family and our ancestors. Niishin…it is good!

So if you’re wondering about who we are and where we’re coming from (aniin di wayn jih bayan), we welcome you to come on in.  This internet “technology” is pretty new to us, so please be patient. We are doing the best that we can. From the generosity of others, we’ve had a site up for many years, but only recently started sending out messages and connecting with the world this way. But we’ve been walking this road for a long, long time – and we are grateful to our elders who have given us permission to share their wisdom with the world. Miigwech (Thank you)

Nin dinaway maganug (To All My Relations) Gigawaabamin miinawa (See you later)

PS (our friends call us “Trees”)


“Teach us love, compassion and honor…that we may heal the Earth and heal each other.” ` Ojibwe prayer

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