Thursday, December 13, 2012

Native Children's Book of The Month: December

The story of the bear stealing the chinook, the moist warm wind that usually blows from the west, is an old Blackfoot story. As a Siksika Native I am partial to Siksika children's books whenever I can manage to find them in my area. If there is a tribe in an area inhabited by bears, chances are that tribe has two bear dances every year. The first bear dance puts the bears to sleep. I don't mean euthanasia. I mean actual sleep. This is usually done as the seasons change which coincides with the hibernation cycle of bears. The second dance is done, depending on the geographical location of the tribe, sometime between January and March. This dance is intended to wake the bears to kick start the beginning of the new season. When Bear Stole The Chinook is an adaptation of the Siksika tale of how the bear stole the chinook and how a boy had to steal it back and release it. 
It is not a book intended for beginning readers. This is definitely a read-aloud book for younger children. The illustrations are simple yet colorful. The illustrator even used the Pendleton blanket National Parks Collection Glacier design for the boy's blanket. The story is told in a way that helps your child remember the traditional story with ease. I originally read this story to my son last winter. But he still thinks of this story the moment he sees the leaves turn yellow and orange in the fall. He asks, "Is it time to put the bears to sleep?" When winter is too cold he asks, "Should I go steal the chinook back from the bear?" This book has become a seasonal classic in our family. 

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Five Steps To A Thicker Braid

 We all want our hair to be long and thick. The problem is, the longer it grows, the thinner it gets. The weight of our own hair causes it to thin out. Then there are the constraints of day to day life. Schools require your hair to be pulled back and in place, causing the use of damaging hair products. Your boss wants your hair to stop at your collar so you may be wearing a constricting bun that breaks your hair off in the most inconvenient places. Here are some steps to help grow a thicker, longer braid. After about five weeks, your braid should appear to be at least 50% thicker than before.

Step One: Change Shampoos

If your hair is frizzy, that doesn't mean it needs more moisture. In fact, it means the opposite. Humidity causes frizziness. You need a smoothing shampoo to make your hair sleek. Smooth hair is less likely to wind up in a tangle around the bristle in your hair brush. Less tangles means less hair loss.

Step Two: Less Conditioner

If you go overboard with the conditioner, you can weigh your hair down thus preventing fluffiness. Frizziness is your enemy, fluffiness is your friend. It makes for a thicker braid. Try using the matching conditioner for your shampoo. It would be better to go without your conditioner if you can't find it. Use a conditioning styling agent such as cremes and serums.

Step Three: Skip The Hair Ties

Most people put them on too tight to begin with. This suffocates the hair causing it to break right where the hair tie was. No matter what the label on the Goodie brand wrapper says, it will break your hair. Use hair gel on the tips of your hair to keep the braid from unraveling. Don't use hair ties at the beginning of your braid or your hair will thin out at that very spot. If you must use a hair tie, use the plastic elastic bands usually found in cheap hair supply stores.

Step Four: Wetter is Better

If you're going to braid your hair, there is no need to blow dry it. A wet braid is smoother and straighter than a dry one. Hair is most vulnerable when it is wet. So rather than walk around with a wet head of flowing hair, braid it. Never brush wet hair. If you must have your hair dry, use a heat protection product to lubricate your hair to prevent breakage.

Step Five: Leave it Down

Even braids can stress your hair. So only braid it when you need to. If you're going out, cleaning house, cooking, sleeping, you may want to braid it to prevent tangling. Otherwise, leave it down to let it breathe.

Monday, November 5, 2012

10 Things Native Americans Want Non-Natives To Know

1. We don't care what tribe your great great grandmother on your father's side is. Just say "hello", tell me your name, and shake my hand.

2. Some of us like wearing our hair short. Stop asking us if we cut our hair because somebody died.

3. Asking to see our tribal ID is like asking to see our drivers license. Unless you're a cop or a clerk accepting my application for something, don't ask to see it.

4. Don't take my picture without asking me first.

5. We come in all the colors of the rainbow.

6. Not all tribes powwow.

7. If I use the term "Indian" to describe my own people, don't proceed to tell me that I am not politically correct.

8. We're not all casino Indians. Some of us are one welfare right alongside you.

9. If we agree to teach you something, bring a gift to the first meet up as gratitude.

10. We're quiet because we're observing.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

4 Ways To Integrate Tribal Language For Your Children

1. Translations- Select one of your child's favorite picture books. My son likes Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? By Eric Carle. The simpler the better. Books that contain colors, numbers and names of animals work best. When reading the book to your child, read the pages in your native language. If your child already knows the words to the book in English, she will easily understand what you are saying in your tribal language. This is an excellent and swift way to integrate your language because it takes what they already know and translates it. If the picture book is a wooden or cardboard book, you can use a label maker or attach printed labels over the English words. This is beneficial for children who are or have learned to read. The key here is to use familiar, simple books.

2. Spanglish Approach- When I was learning to speak Spanish my neighbor spoke Spanglish to me. She would speak completely in English except for the simple words I should have already learned in Spanish class and a few words that I didn't know. Before long, I didn't realize she had completely converted her speaking to Spanish. The same approach can be used to teach a tribal language. Simply exchange one or two English words per sentence for the equivalent word in your language. For example, "Give me that candy" becomes "E-giat that candy." Make a motion that demonstrates the candy being given to you. Another example, "Put on your consuss", wave a pair of pants at your pantless child. They will be able to figure out what you are telling them to do. Before long, they won't need the rest of the sentence to be in English because they remember what some of the non-English words mean and can figure it out.

3. Photo Albums- You can make a regular habit of looking through your photo albums like a picture book. Each time you come across a family member your child recognizes, state the non-English word that describes that person. For example, when you come across a picture of yourself, you wouldn't say, "Mom." You would say, "Pia." (Or whatever the word for mom is in your language.) Another way to use your photo albums are to upload them to PowerPoint and record your voice saying the coordinating term in English and in your native language.

4. Homework- Most elementary school homework is basic and relatively easy to translate to your native language. Take a basic addition problem for example: Jack has 4 birds. Peter gives him 2 birds. How many birds does Jack have? Assuming you have already taught your child numbers and animals, this should be easy to convert. For example, Jack has watsokwee cheepa. Peter gives him wahi cheepa. How many cheepa does Jack have? Answer, nobohee cheepa. Keep the conversions simple and within the realm of what your child knows.

Monday, October 8, 2012

The Senselessness of Columbus Day

Even if I wanted to, I could not keep track of the number of times someone rolled their eyes at me for not celebrating Columbus day. It's usually followed by a sigh or a comment like, "What's the big deal?" I am told how it all happened so long ago or to be grateful. I am told to be grateful that Columbus founded America because none of us would be here if he hadn't. I normally keep my mouth shut and post some sarcastically hilarious photo from with a witty comment about how I really feel about the subject on my Facebook wall. But today, I thought I would give an actual opinion of why Columbus should not be celebrated.

It amazes me that in this day and age we still have to inform people that he did not in fact discover America at all. He landed in the Caribbean. For whatever the reason the man never made it to the main land. It was Amerigo Vespucci that cleaned up his mess. Not only did he make his way to the main land but he went from the Caribbean to Central America all the way down to South America. Columbus thought South America stopped at Brazil. Amerigo figured out it was much larger. After realizing that Columbus was a liar, Amerigo was dispatched to do the job right. As a result, the Americas were named for him. Still, neither actually discovered any part of the Americas as Native Americans were already here.

Many still believe that Columbus was Spanish. Perhaps it is because he worked for Spain. But he was actually Italian. This could be part of the reason why it is so difficult to banish this country of the shame of the failed navigator. Every year in New York, a parade and celebration takes place to commemorate this famous Italian. Like him or not, he is a part of their history. When you consider Ellis Island and the other elements of Italian history, one can understand why they want Columbus to remain a beloved hero. Yet, no one seems to want to acknowledge Amerigo Vespucci, the navigator that helped to exposed Columbus as a fraud and did what he set out to do.

Two days following Columbus' arrival in the Bahamas, he recorded in his personal log, "These people are very unskilled in arms, with 50 men they could all be subjected and made to do all that one wished." In November 1493, on a return trip to Hispaniola, Columbus ordered the enslavement of six indigenous women for the purpose of allowing his crew to rape them, as the voyage was long and on previous voyages, the crew were resorting to "unholy interactions." In February 1495, Columbus rounded up 1,500 Arawak women, men and children, and imprisoned them. He then selected the 500 of them that he deemed the most marketable and shipped them to Spain. Only 300 arrived alive in Seville. In 1498, documents indicate that Columbus enslaved another 600 Carib people. By the decade's end, Columbus had kidnapped at least 1,400 indigenous people to send back to the Spanish slave markets.

No one would dare celebrate the Dutch in America for bringing over the first African slaves. We all know how the South was built on the backs of African slaves and much of what we have in this country today is due to interactions with those slaves. Yet there is no Dutch holiday, there is no specific day of remembrance for the Dutch traders who brought them over, but we have done just that for Columbus. So the argument that we wouldn't be here if it wasn't for Columbus is a ridiculous one. He was never here, but Amerigo Vespucci was. He didn't help build this country in any way, but slaves did. Why isn't there a national day to remember the lives of the slaves that suffered after being brought to the country against their will? Why do we take a day off to observe Columbus but not to observe Native American Heritage day?

Consider this, my parent's generation born from the 1950's and 60's are old enough to remember boarding schools. They remember suffering at the hands of the Spanish long after Columbus had died. Should they celebrate him anyway? I had a great aunt that was 107 years old when she died. She was old enough to remember boarding schools and slavery. When she was placed into a home, they used restraints to keep her from running back home. She suffered painful flashbacks of being tied down at a time when slavery was supposed to be over. She did not survive the year. Many have described her as having Post Traumatic Slavery Syndrome, (PTSS). Should she have celebrated the "accomplishments" of Columbus?

There comes a point when you have to think for yourself and stand up for what's right. It may be uncomfortable to move away from the crowd, but celebrating someone who caused so much pain makes even less sense. 

Saturday, June 9, 2012

What You Should Be Doing With Your Per Cap Check

Today, I went to a pow wow hosted by an Indian casino. It was a very nice pow wow. But just as I was leaving, an Native man cut me off. The most memorable thing about him was his car. It was a convertible Mercedes...with eyelashes on the headlights. You know, the same ones intended to make VW Bugs and Beetles look cute. I couldn't help think how cheap this Mercedes looked. I wondered what kind of person would ruin the luxurious impression the Mercedes gives off? Then it hit me, the type of person who doesn't appreciate the fact that the price tag of a car like a Mercedes makes it luxurious. The type of person who could buy this car with one per cap check and still have change. The new Native millionaires. I've heard the jokes from comedians. "Native Americans are millionaires with bad teeth." As tasteless as that jokes is, talk to a bunch of non-per cap Indians and they will agree with the joke.

There's a term most widely used in the Black community, "hood rich." It means, the moment the poor person from the ghetto gets a hold of funds they spend it on material things rather than take care of necessities like health or dental care. The reason is, when you've been poor for so long, the last thing you feel like doing when you finally receive money is spend it on something you can't immediately enjoy, like a material possession. Native people have gone without for so long that it's hard to see spending that large check on something reasonable. It's like winning the lottery every month. But just in case one of my readers is one of those lucky per cap Indians, here is a list of things you should be spending your money on, rather than a depreciating car.

Native American Child Care Centers

The first 5 years of a child's life are the most important in their emotional and intellectual development. Yet many Native families are forced to place their children in someone else's care in an effort to support themselves. It's bad enough that the person is a stranger, but now the person has virtually no understanding of your child's culture. Before you know it, your child is having self worth issues that you can't seem to understand. A Native American child care center, off the reservation or rancheria, would help preserve Native culture and improve self-image and self-esteem.

Native American Sports League

In the memory of Jim Thorpe, there should at least be a football or track league solely for Native athletes. A movie was just released about a Native American lacrosse team. Why not keep that fire going by creating a league in your area? Maybe even create the Native American Olympics?

Native American Production Company

Whether it's television or film, the best way to change Native American stereotypes is to make your own movies and TV shows. If it weren't for BET and Tyler Perry, there would continue to be a steady stream of Roots, The Color Purple and Jason's Lyric type movies. Tyler Perry took White America from seeing a Black cast in a movie as a "Black" movie to just a movie. The fact is, when people see Natives in movies, people see Dances With Wolves or Thunderheart. It's time to show people the other side of Native culture. What better way than to control your own media.

Native American Radio Station

We're not talking pow wow radio here. There are enough of those out there. We're talking about Native American pop and rap stars, jazz, country, R&B etc.

No matter what you spend your money on, make sure you give back to the Native community around you. What good is money if you loose your soul?

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Mother's Day Gifts For Native Women


You can never go wrong with a Pendelton blanket. Make sure to choose something with a really meaningful design. If she already has a blanket, there are Pendelton purses and other accessories she would love to receive for Mother's Day. 

Cradle Basket or Cradle Board

It doesn't matter if she is a new mother or a Grandmother. The gift of a cradle basket or cradle board is very special. If she is about to become a new mother she will have a new heirloom to pass on. Many women like to collect these and place dolls inside of them. Just make sure that you get the right style for the right person. Where I come from, it is important to keep the cradle board laced and tied. Otherwise, you might signal the spirits that you are ready to have another baby to put in it. 

Mommy Ink

Some women like jewelry that never comes off. Let her express herself with a tattoo. Before you buy her this gift, be ready to pay top dollar for it. You don't want her to have a low quality, prison budget tattoo forever. Look around. Find someone with experience tattooing dark skin with bright colors. Find someone who has done a considerable amount of tribal or Native tattoos. Neither of you will regret it. 

Honor Shawl

This isn't your daughter's dance shawl or your grandmother's, "I'm cold" shawl. This is a shawl made especially for mom to wear to special occasions. There should be colors and appliques that represent her personality, things or people that are important to her, or how she makes you feel. She will have this shawl to wear proudly to gatherings, feeds, and other Native events with pride. 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Tomboy At Play

You're the t-shirt and jeans type of girl. It's comfortable and you have no intention of changing who you are. But you would also like to shut up those nagging friends and family members who keep begging you to wear a dress. Then there is the pesky job interview or night out at the club. These five tips will help you integrate into the overtly posh world around you without surrendering your identity.

1. Change your shirt. 

No one is saying you can't wear your white t-shirt and Dickies. But you don't have to wear a man's shirt. By simply swapping out the potato sack white t-shirt for a women's, fitted shirt you go from looking like a former gang member to a woman that happens to like Dickies. It's amazing what a slight reveal of your feminine figure can do for your image. You can amp it up by wearing a color other than white. Any bright color will do. If you're self-conscious about your weight, you can rock the layered look. Make sure that the under shirt is longer than the top. For a more flattering figure make sure the shirts reach your hips. The shirts should be contrasting colors. Like white and blue.

2. Accessorize.

It's amazing what a pair of long feather earrings can do for a plain white t-shirt. They are incredibly feminine and are usually bursting with color. Like these earrings from Etsy seller Chablee, (

By simply accessorizing with colorful and unique jewelry, you can go from athletic to trendy in seconds.

3. Make-up.

I know what you do when you try to doll yourself up. You load up on thick eyeliner and fumble around with 3 or 4 shades of eyeshadow because some guru on YouTube told it was the hotness. But you don't need to go through all that. The funny thing is, because you are a tomboy, you probably have great skin. So you don't need a face full of make-up. Simply apply one striking color of eyeshadow to your lids and draw a natural line around your eyes. For more drama, line your bottom lid and add falsies to the corners of your eyes. For a more natural look, use brown instead of black liner and a neutral shade of shadow. For a pop of color use an unusual shade of eyeliner like yellow or blue. Instead of that dark burgundy or maroon lipstick you hold onto tighter than your email password, try a neutral or nude color or a soft shade in lip gloss.

4. Wedge it.

Let's face it, your friends won't be happy until they see you in heels. But you are very uncomfortable in heels. Here is your happy medium. Wedges, they are not only on sale right now but they are in style from spring through summer. They come in every color in the rainbow and they make everyone's legs look great. You can wear them to the club, beach, park, anywhere.

5. Curl it. 
Dealing with your hair is easier than it seems. If it is long and straight, curl it. It doesn't take a lot of curling to accomplish this. But of course, the more curls you add the dressier you look. If your hair is curly, straighten it or pin it up. I your hair is too short to curl or straighten, accessorize it. You can add clips or fascinators, or dye it another color. If you like your hair the way it is. Any of the other four tips will doll you up enough to make your hairstyle unimportant. Remember, styling products are your friends.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

3 Problems With Indian Casinos

An editorial by Shadow McClain

Fresno, the heart of California's Central Valley, America's breadbasket. It also happens to be surrounded by 5 Indian casinos. In no particular order they are: Chuckchansi Gold Resort and Casino, Table Mountain Casino, Tachi Palace, Mono Wind Casino, and Eagle Mountain Casino. The most relevant to this post are Table Mountain Casino and Chuckchansi Gold Resort due to proximity. When many non-Natives think of these Indian casinos they assume that the money goes back to the Natives in their communities. Sadly this is a misconception. The following list shows the 3 major problems with the Indian casinos in the Central Valley.

1. Henry Madden Library- Never heard of it? That's because the new unofficial name of this Fresno State University library is the Table Mountain Library. Why does this matter? Wikipedia reports, "The Table Mountain Tribe, which runs Table Mountain Casino north of Fresno, donated $10 million to this project. The library features Native American elements in its architecture. The expanded and remodeled library is among the largest libraries in the 23-campus California State University system and is the largest academic library in the Central Valley."

What Wikipedia does not know is that Fresno State University pleaded to have a respected California Indian basketweaver weave baskets specifically for display in their library. There are plaques posted throughout the library boasting the Table Mountain name. However, Saturday, April 14th 2012, the annual campus powwow was held in a parking lot, beside a ravine, the size of a small McDonald's building. If you are unfamiliar with Native American dance, now would be a good time to go to YouTube and research Grass Dance, Jingle Dress, Men's Traditional and Fancy Shawl. You will notice there is a lot of hopping. You will also notice that in all competition powwows the dancers wear moccasins. As a dancer, I can tell you that hopping around in moccasins on asphalt is uncomfortable for too many reasons to name. As I sat in the audience, I listened to the spectators on the powwow trail and they said, " This is embarrassing. Why are we shoved to a back, side parking lot like a bunch of homeless people?" Another complained, " This is insulting, these dancers come all this way to dance on asphalt when there's grass a few feet away!" Hearing this I decided to find out why our dancers were confined to a cracked parking lot, why everyone had to hold their children closer for fear they would fall into a ravine and drown, why we had to step over parking dividers to visit vendors and drummers. I contacted the school and was told, " There's a noise problem. We don't want our students to complain about the noise from the powwow when they have a Saturday class."

I am very rarely speechless and this was one of those moments. Here is what I should have said. "It's one day out of the year. Are you telling me your students can't have one class cancellation?" I also should have said, " All of the money that Table Mountain Casino has donated to this school over the years, and you treat their Indian people like this? The football field is empty. The auditorium is empty. You're telling me one of the largest Universities in the State of California can't find an alternative to having the powwow on a raggedy parking lot?" I know what you're thinking. Why didn't I say that, right? The last person to say something in the school paper about the lack of tribal support almost cost the university it's grant funding from Table Mountain Casino. You see, Table Mountain Casino is well aware of the poor treatment of Natives by the university but it takes no action. The reason is because it is more concerned about having it's name on the library than it is concerned with the betterment of the Native students and cultural pride of other natives in the community. Many people were hurt and angry with what they saw at Saturday's powwow. But no one wants to complain because they recognize how little support the Native student organization that hosts the powwow receives. They did the best they could with the lack of support they had.

2. Get Your Own Clinic

Before each casino could open up in its community, it needed community support. Let's face it, there aren't enough members in any one Central Valley tribe to garner the votes to open a casino. So like "We Are The World" the tribes and the non-Native communities banded together to bring in the votes. This was done under the promise that the casinos would contribute to the communities that it profits from. They kept their promise. One casino donated an entire burn ward at a local hospital and another, Chuckchansi, has their name on the ballpark in downtown Fresno. Yes, that same tribe that recently feuded so deeply over enrollment and disenrollment, that people were being murdered. As we speak, the Clovis Rodeo is completely sponsored by Table Mountain Casino. What used to be called Clovis Hat Days is now Table Mountain Hat Days due to the repeatedly large donations. So what's the problem? Clovis is a city known for it's racial violence against Native Americans. Just last year a Pomo woman was assaulted and dragged from her car and beaten with a tire iron in Clovis. Although the criminal was caught, and there were over a dozen witnesses that saw the swastika on the man's shirt, the Clovis Police Department claimed there was no evidence that this was a hate crime. The man was released. Within 30 days, he was arrested again for attacking a Native American man at a Target store. This is the city that hosts the rodeo and Big Hat Days events that Table Mountain Casino proudly supports. These events are frequented by a majority of white patrons and a fewer amount of Hispanic patrons. However, the Central Valley Indian Health clinic, also in Clovis, does not receive financial support from any of the surrounding casinos.

CVIH is intended to serve the Native community, however, it serves anyone with health insurance or cash to pay for services. The same as any clinic. Here is a typical day at CVIH from a male patient, who chooses to remain anonymous.

"I had an appointment at 8:30am. I got there at 8:20. I signed in and waited. I was not called into the the patient room until 10:30. I sat there, blood sugar crashing, as I was told to fast for the blood work that needed to be done. At 11:45 I questioned a nurse about the wait time. He told me that my doctor would see me at 12:45...when she returned from lunch. If I left, I would have to reschedule. The lab technician took my blood. No one offered me orange juice or something to eat. I was told to wait. 1:15 came around. I was told that they took too many walk-in appointments and that I would have to reschedule. The last time this happened, my wife was in my shoes. She was there for a birth control shot. She is now four months pregnant and is being criticized by the clinic for not using birth control. The icing on the cake is that my blood test was read by a doctor, that never saw me, and I was referred to the nutritionist. I was apparently obese, and in danger of contracting heart disease and diabetes. So I got on the ball and took care of my diet and exercise. I got a job that came with health insurance, PPO. The doctor gave me a full physical before apologizing. It seems the doctor at CVIH was wrong. I was no near the danger of heart disease or diabetes. And although I was overweight, Obesity was 67lbs away. That's more than a pregnant woman gains in 9 months. When I confronted the clinic, the employees complained about funding."

Clearly there is an employee problem here. But more importantly, where is the tribal assistance? Why does the clinic have to employ doctors and nurses with poor people skills? Why are the doctors making mistakes like these? Another patient noticed that every time a child comes to the clinic, with no pediatricians on staff, they are told they have an ear infection. She decided on a second opinion and found that a PPO doctor found no evidence of an ear infection but did find a molar growing in and offered Baby Orajel. After researching, I found that the doctors at this clinic are doctors that are simply working off their student loans, or are doctors that have too many complaints to work for anyone else. But, they are all the clinic can afford so they take what they can get. There was a time when the surrounding casinos first opened that the Indian clinic received funding and the healthcare received by Natives was average and above. But once the casino received all of its votes, it decided to build its own clinic, open only to its own tribal members, leaving the Indian clinic to scrape up funding from a bankrupt state.

3. We're both Indian...So What?

Although the neighboring casinos wouldn't exist without the surrounding Native and non-Native community, the Native community would be hard pressed to find support from the casinos. Have you ever heard of the California Indian Film Festival? Exactly. A group of volunteers tried to start a film festival that would introduce the nation to the true identity of the California Indian. All the organization needed was funding for the theater rent. All of the neighboring casinos declined to support the festival in any way, stating "It fails to meet the needs of our tribal members." The founders went to Canada. They were instantly funded.

Have you ever heard of the Clovis Unified School District Native American Graduation? No? That's because a request for funding, $500, was declined by the neighboring casinos. The same is true for the Tiny Tot powwow, Big Time, Hand Games Tournament, Native American Scouting program etc. The local Indian casinos have plenty of funding for hospitals and clinics that the Natives in its own community cannot afford. They have money to fund the expensive, non-Native, cultural events of a city that covers up hate crimes against other Natives. They have no money to fund scholarships, medical care, or cultural preservation for its own people.

These 3 things should be investigated and never forgotten. Voting season is coming soon. Remind these casinos of their shortcomings before you cast your next vote.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Native IPhone Apps

Cherokee Lite (Oklahoma)

It is the miniature version the paid app Cherokee. It includes a short syllabary with the characters and audio for pronunciation. There are numbers, months, colors, kinship terms, animals, greetings and a message from the teacher. There are five words for each section. If you purchase the full version of the app you will have access to more vocabulary. It's a great start for those deciding to learn Cherokee.

Navajo Toddler

This app is intended for children. It shows the numbers and colors etc, and speaks the words when you tap it. If you are an adult and are introducing yourself to the Dine language, you can read the words underneath the pictures. The app features a learning function and a playing function, which is learning disguised by playing. The playing function show three images and a word is spoken. You are to tap the picture that corresponds to the word. This app is still under development so vocabulary is still developing.

Chickasaw Basic

This app is anything but basic. The lessons are quite extensive. There are 27 sections to learn from. These sections include hymns, videos, and dance songs. This is the way all Native IPhone apps should be. This isn't for children or toddlers. This works best for the teenagers and adults. There are no pictures or game functions but it is quite effective.