Good Spirits

Studying the dangerous water spirits of European folklore makes me think about Niagara Falls, New York’s most famous waterfall. How much, if at all, do water spirits matter there? If we look at descriptions of the Falls in tourist brochures and online, we find legends of sudden death, with emphasis on Native American folklore. There are, of course, mentions of various people who foolishly went over the Falls in barrels and other doomed receptacles, but the most dramatic legends tell of Native American struggle and sacrifice.

ALN8BAL8MO: A Native Voice

Writer, storyteller, healer, athlete,
and crane operator—in many ways, Ted
Williams was an original. In other ways,
he was also the inheritor of more than
one tradition from his Tuscarora people.
Born in 1930, on the Tuscarora Reservation
near Niagara Falls, New York,
Ted’s father Eleazar Williams was a Turtle
Clan sachem and an Indian doctor whose
reputation as a healer was widely known.
His mother, Amelia Chew, served as the
Clan Mother of Ted’s own Wolf Clan.

From the Editor

We saw the Strawberry Moon rise over
Eldridge Swamp two nights ago. Just south
of our home in Shushan, New York. At a
place we had never visited. Nor knew of its
existence. No interfering lights. No one else
nearby. No other sounds. Only the chorus of
frogs encouraging the moon’s performance.

ALN8BAL8MO: A Native Voice

Have you ever heard of Peter Paul
Wz8khalain? Probably not. But over the last
several years, as I’ve become more familiar
with his life story, the journeys he took, and
the work he did during that complex span
of some 90 years, I’ve come to consider
him one of indigenous America’s most
fascinating early writers and publishers.
He also was a true Native son of New
York State, born in the Adirondacks on the
Raquette River around 1800.

ALN8BL8MO: A Native Voice

It was Arthur C. Parker
who, through his extensive writing, his
professional career as a museologist (his
own description of his work), and as an
activist, did much to dispel the stereotypes
about Indians that characterized his time
and make visible to the wider world the
history and the contributions of the