The Cherokee Origin of Strawberries… as shared by bear Medicinewalker

When the first man (a s ga ya) was created and a mate was shared with him, they lived together enjoying life and content with each other. After many seasons they began to change and often argued with each other. Finally the woman (a ge ya) left her husband and began walking east towards the Sunland (Nundagunyi).

The man decided to follow her trail, but was sad and lonely for he could not catch up with his wife as she continued ahead on her journey, never looking back. After awhile, the Creator took pity on him asking if he perhaps had lost his anger for her. The man replied he had indeed lost his anger. to which the Creator then asked if he would like to have her back again in his life. The answer came back a positive yes.

Soon the Creator looking down upon the woman, caused a patch of the finest ripe huckleberries to spring up along the path in front of her, but she passed by without paying any attention. He sat and gently thought what might catch her eye and soon placed a bush of blackberries on her path, still no response. So Creator continued placing other fruits, and then trees that were covered with beautiful berries beside the path to catch her attention, and still nothing happened.

Then suddenly she saw in front of her a patch of large ripe strawberries, the first ever known or seen. She stooped to gather a few to eat, as she picked them she turned her face to the west, and at once the memory of her husband came back to her and she found herself unable to continue her journey without him. She sat down and the longer she sat there, the stronger the desire to return to her husband. Gathering a bunch of the finest red strawberries she headed back towards her home and her husband. She soon met him on the path and they were both overjoyed at finding one another, apologizing and hugging each other until they gathered their things and headed back home.


bear Medicinewalker


Mama’s Love by Ryan Little Eagle


Story of the Salmon as shared by bear Medicinewalker

A young girl, who was daughter to the chief sat crying. She cried because no one could give her what she wanted, a great shining fish. Neither her father, nor the wisest elders of the clan could give her the great shining fish, none of them had ever even seen such a fish. As his daughter continued to cry they soon discovered that she was making herself very ill, and soon because of it, the chief ordered a great council fire to be gathered.

All of the tribal elders and medicine people sat around the fire as the most respected of them began to speak. “The child cries for a thing which she has seen in her dream walks. Many fish have we in our great waters, but none resemble the one of which she speaks. This fish may prove to be good medicine for our tribe that is being sent by our Creator. He looked at those gathered around the fire, “Perhaps one of you may know where such a great gleaming strong fish with such medicine may be found.”

Only one of them stood turning to address his Chief and the council,”The Raven, who lives among the cedars, is my good friend. She is very wise and knows many things that the wisest among us know not. Allow me to return with her to this Council Fire, in order for her to share her wisdoms.”
They all agreed to this and the chief gave his permission. Soon the warrior gathered his things and traveled to the cedars to find his wise friend. Raven seated on his shoulder began to speak, but only the ones of true medicine could follow her words. “What the girl is asking for is the giant fish, known as Salmon. In this full moon, they can be found far from here at the mouth of a mighty river, which flows into the other side of the lakes here.. Because those of your clan are considered friends, I will fly swift and far to gather one of these fish and return it to your village.”

Before the counsel could thank her, the Raven was high in the air flying far and fast until her keen eyes saw far beneath her, many Salmon swimming together at the mouth of the river. The Raven dived quick as a hawk and, by chance caught the little son of the Salmon Chief in his talons. Rising high in the air, with the fish held firmly in her claws, the Raven flew toward the distant village of her friends.
Salmon Scouts that were leaping high from the water in great flashing arcs, saw the direction that the Raven was flying. A school of Salmon, led by their chief soon began to swim rapidly in pursuit. As quickly as the fish swam, the fast-flying raven reached the village far ahead of them where Raven placed the great fish before the little daughter of the chief, she smiled, and cried no more.

Then the Raven told the clan that many Salmon would be sure to swim into the river to the village in pursuit, to try and rescue the young Salmon which he had caught. They all decided to have the people of the clan to weave a huge net. This they did quickly so that when the Salmon came, all of the fish were caught in it. To hold them prisoner, a long, strong leather thong was passed through their gills. One end of the thong was tied to a big rock and the other end was fastened to this great totem pole, which then grew as a tall cedar.

Ever since, it has been called the ‘Nhe-is-bik’, or tethering pole. On this pole – a totem pole – there was carved a mighty Thunderbird, an Indian Chief, a Raven and a Salmon, carved in that order from the top of the great cedar pole. Year after year, from that time, the Salmon have passed on that side of the river and continue to this day. They are held as sacred with the people and the story continues to be shared.

Mitakuye O’yasin
~ bear Medicinewalker

Imago written and performed by Joseph Strider, more information on this and more of Joe’s music available at

Oh that Scarey Thing Called Death…words shared from bear Medicinewalker


So I was reading something that someone posted last night and i sort of wanted to respond to some of it here …

Often times when we loose loved ones, as time goes on (especially if it was sudden, a child or young person) people find it difficult to listen, to talk or communicate about it . They act uncomfortable when a parent, a sibling brings the name up or tries to discuss the feelings of the emotional roller coaster they are on. What they fail to recognize, is death is a part of life… and talking about emotions, and allowing people to communicate about those emotions… is very healing for everyone. It is the Core reason we can perhaps understand not so much why it happens at times, but the fact that it does indeed happen for all of us at some point or another.

That by listening and responding in positive ways..we are also honoring the loved one that left the physical. They are not gone from our lives…for there is no death… they have moves to the next part of their journey… the grief, the mourning the loss… is left for those of us that are still walking this world.

So be gentler with people, don’t be scared to talk about it…it is not a disease… it is part of all of our lives… At the same time, help them walk back into life. Do not be the constant reminder of “Oh I am so sorry for your Loss” , and posting and putting up things on social media that keeps it fresh as a negative thing. Help them walk back into life…help them remember the wonderful memories… the positive impacts the stories have made on your own lives…perhaps the fact that something that was said or done, even inspired you to do something positive…

Our loved ones may have left us on earth physically…but they are around us each and every moment motivating, guiding, inspiring, watching over us. For that I have seen, bore witness to and completely understand. Help by listening, by encouraging… by sharing positives… Don’t ask people how they do it… tell them how much you love them and be there for them when they need you to be, Unconditionally…

Much love and many blessings~




Indian Paintbrush … as shared by bear Medicinewalker

indian paintbrush bearAs an artist and photographer I often find myself out in nature, it has been this way since I was very young and will probably be so until I leave this earth. One of my favorite flowers since I was a child has been the small bright red/orange flower called Indian Paintbrush. So today I would like to share with you a story that my Grandfather who could always be found out in his flower garden when I was young, shared with me.

Long ago there was a young Indian Boy who was born crippled. He longed to play as young boys should, yet he could not. His legs did not work the way the other young boys of his age did. He could not ride the beautiful horses of the fields, nor could he run in the meadows with his Sisters and brothers.

His spirit was low. He felt useless as he watched his family go through their daily chores, unable to help. And he felt even more of a burden for they had to assist him with so many things he could not accomplish by himself. Soon with determination, he learned to fish if someone could carry him to the river. He also began to help his Mother grind the corn into flour. But he wanted to do more, much more.

One day in the late summer sun, his Mother decided that the family should go on a picnic. As they sat smelling the sweetgrass, listening to the winged ones, and watching the clouds dance in the sky, the young brave prayed to the Creator.

“Father,” he prayed. “Please show me how to be useful to my people. I cannot hunt for game or plant corn to feed them. I don’t do enough to help them. Please show me the path I am to walk.” He patiently waited to be shown an answer, yet none came. He was again saddened fearing that Creator felt he was not worthy of an honorable path.

After some time had passed, his Mother watched her son, and her heart hurt for this gentle boy. Hoping to change his mood she decided to return to the meadow to connect with the Great Mother in hopes something would change for her young Son.

When they arrived, they found something new among the tall sweetgrass. Growing in the clearing exactly where the Young Brave had called to Creator for a sign, grew a beautiful and unusual small red flower.

Turning his Mother he looked at her puzzled, “What kind of flower is this Mother?”

“I don’t know, I’ve never seen a flower like this before,” as she looked out in amazement at the field splashed with little flecks of red dancing in the gentle breeze. Be fore the day was done they gathered some of the flowers and took them back to the village, certain that one of their Elders would be able to tell them what it was. Still, no one recognized the flower at all.

Excited they returned to the meadow, and they looked out at the field and saw that the number of flowers had doubled. “They are so beautiful!” cried the young brave. “I just wish we knew what they were called.”

As the seasons passed, the Young Brave made many trips to the meadow. Each time he went, more of the red flowers could be found. One day, he decided to draw a picture of the flower in hopes of capturing its beauty. He carefully sketched the plant and found that he had captured its shape and detail. But he was not happy with the drawings.

As he sat there pondering what to do, a deer wandered into the meadow. It grazed on the sweetgrass occasionally looking up at the Young Brave as he kept drawing.

“What’s wrong Young One?” the deer asked. “Why do you look so sad?”

“I cannot capture the true color of this flower in my drawing. It is so beautiful, but the dye I make from our berries is too purple, and when I mix water with the red earth for paint, the color is too brown.”

“Why do you not just use the flower? Wouldn’t it make the red color for you?”

The Brave looked up at the deer in astonishment, “I never thought of that.” He reached down and picked up the flower, dipped it into the water and brushed it across his paper. To his amazement, what it left behind was the perfect shade of red coloring.

The brave took his picture back to the village and presented it to the Chief. It was perfect. They asked him how he get the coloring so perfect. “I used this,” and he showed them one of the flowers. “It’s like a paintbrush.”

“Then that is what we will call it,” the Chief declared. “It shall be The Red Indian Paintbrush.”

From that time on, it was called Indian Paintbrush, and only that. The Young Brave had found his path, becoming a remarkable craftsman, painting pictures, pottery, and other items and selling them to help his people attain the things they needed to flourish within the village. Donating the profits to those less fortunate than him, For he had come to realize that although he had no legs, he was still useful.

The Creator had indeed answered his prayers with a simple red flower called “Indian Paintbrush”

Mitakuye O’yasin,

bear Medicinewalker

Grandmother Spider Steals the Sun

Grandmother Spider Steals the Sun

In the beginning there was only blackness, no one could see anything. People kept walking into each other and stumbling around blindly. Soon they gathered to discuss the problem, “What we all need is to be able to see.” They all agreed but were not sure what to do, they needed to find light.

Fox said he knew others on the other side of the world who had plenty of light, but they were too greedy to share it with anyone. Possum said he would be glad to steal a little of it. “I have a bushy tail, I could hide the light inside all that fur.” It was agreed and decided he could try to get some light for them all, so he set out for the other side of the world. There he found the sun hanging in a tree and lighting everything up. He quietly crept over to the sun taking from it a tiny piece of light and stuffing it into his tail. But the light was too hot and it burned all his fur. Soon the people discovered his theft and took back the light, and ever since, Possum’s tail has been bald.

“I will try,” said Buzzard. “I know better than to hide a piece of stolen light in my tail, I will place it on the top of my head.” He flew to the other side of the world and swooped straight into the sun seizing it with his claws. He then placed it on his head, where it proceeded to burn all his head feathers off. The people seeing him on fire and trying to steal what was theirs, grabbed the sun away from him, and ever since that time Buzzard’s head has remained bald.

Grandmother Spider said, “I will try!” So she set about the task of making a thick walled pot out of clay. Next she spun a web reaching all the way to the other side of the world. The fact that Grandmother Spider was so small, none of the people in the village of the sun even saw her coming. Quickly Grandmother Spider snatched up the sun and placed it in the bowl of clay carrying it back home along one of the strong strands of her web. Now her side of the world had light, and everyone rejoiced.

Grandmother Spider brought not only the sun to the Cherokee, but fire with it and she taught the Cherokee people the art of making pottery.

“I am Dedicated to Educating and sharing the Native culture with the World. It is not enough merely to teach the ways of our Elders. We must honor those traditions by sharing and educating the World. Inspiring others …Inspiring our Youth. Through the Music… the Arts…the stories…”
Mitakuye O’yasin
~bear Medicinewalker

bear dec 2015

“Join Me as I continue the Sacred Hoop Project into this Year 2016…the year of Truths!”

“Coyote Jump-Lightning Drum” available at