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September 13, 2002


Lots of GREAT things have been happening lately. Perhaps you tuned into NATIVE AMERICA CALLING this morning and heard Arigon doing her VERNA MANY SNAGS gag with the likes of Bruce King and Harlan McKosato. has already joined in on the fun. Check out their "In The Hoop" segment to see what we're talking about! A big AAAAY out to you, You folks are CRAZY! In a *goot* way, of course!

If you're in the Los Angeles area, please join Arigon at the Silver Lake Film Festival on SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 14th. There will be screenings of several Native short films -- then Arigon promises to entertain you with a solo-acoustic performance following the screenings. Both events ARE FREE!!!


(Sponsored by the Cabazon Band of Mission Indians)
Location: Micheltorena School
1511 Micheltorena St. (at Sunset Blvd.)
Los Feliz, CA
Phone: 323-661-2125
Films to be presented: STANDING CLOUD CHRYSALIS YADA YADA LAUREL RUNNING ON INDIAN TIME Reception Information: Solo Acoustic Performance following the Screening! Hollywood Hills Restaurant 1745 N. Vermont Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90027 (Between Hollywood Blvd. and Franklin Ave.) 323.661.3319 PARKING IN BACK
Additionally, the Film Festival will also screen "Rocks With Wings," about the championship Native women's basketball team from Navajo Land on Tuesday, September 17th at 9:00 PM and "Dancing On Mother Earth," featuring NAMA's Artist of the Year, Joanne Shenandoah, on Thursday, September 19th at 9:00 PM. I'll bet if you're nice, the Diva might even share her popcorn with you.


Received this important message from several of our Acjachemem friends here in Southern California. [If you're wondering how to pronounce that name, try Ah-HAWSH-Ah-Mahn.] Appreciate your taking the time to read and join us in a prayer to help the Tribe save one of their sacred sites!

Putiidhem is one of the traditional village sites and cemeteries of the Acjachemem/Juaneno tribe of Orange County. Portions of it have not been disturbed for hundreds of years. It is now a vacant lot on the corner of Junipero Serra and Camino Capistrano in the City of San Juan Capistrano. The site is being threatened with destruction as developers have proposed to build a Catholic High School on this cemetery. The site is registered with the Native American Heritage Commission, however, because the Acjachemem/Juaneno tribe is not federally recognized and the cemetery is on private property, we are struggling to protect and preserve it.

The Acjachemem would like you to join us in a peaceful Prayer Vigil on the site on SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 2002. We recognize the power of many collective hearts praying for a single purpose. Please join us. We would like you to arrive at 10:00 am and be in position so that at 10:30 am we will join hands in prayer for the protection and preservation of this sacred site. This will be the first time our tribe has asked the community to assist in this effort and we hope that you will. If you cannot attend, we respectfully ask that you take a moment at 10:30 am on that day to stop and pray wherever you are to help, not just us but the community who will lose the last vestige of a still living culture here in the city.

Directions: Take the 5 Fwy to San Juan Capistrano and get off at the Junipero Serra offramp. The site is just west of the fwy. It is a vacant field and has a chain link fence around it. It is private property so please do not enter the fence. We will be waiting for you to help direct you.
Thank you for your kindness,
Direct descendents of the village site and cemetery of Putiidhem
Sonia Johnston (714) 841-0441 or,
Rebecca Robles (949) 369-0361 or

September 11, 2002

Gone, But Not Forgotten We've been meaning to share this photo with y'all for quite awhile now. Arigon took this in 1998 during a trip to New York City. During that week, she did an interview on WBAI-FM, sang live at the American Indian Community House and met Ellen Bello of NAMA for the first time. "I also met Chris Eyre at the Mercury Lounge where Indigenous was performing. I'll bet they don't even remember I was there!" grinned Arigon.

"It sure was a special trip. It was hotter than heck, cos' after all, it was August. I have actually been to the top of the World Trade Center, like millions of other visitors. I'll never forget being up there the first time. It was in December 1995 and it was cloudy. My work pal Lily Chan took me there. New York City was engulfed in fog. Those elevators seemed like they took forever to get to the top. There was a heckuva good mall down in the basement as you went towards the subway. My other favorite place in the area was a discount clothing place called Century 21," Arigon said.

"I took this photo when my friends Janet and Ellen joined me on one of those Harbor Cruise things. We made a loop around the entire island of Manhattan. We saw the good and the bad...but couldn't help but gasp over the big towers. They certainly dominated the skyline," mused Arigon. "I still have the goofy plastic mug I bought on that cruise. It shows the Towers in all their glory. I still have my coffee every morning in that mug."

Can you believe it's been a whole year? We sure can't.


"Hey, Chad! Is there an intermission," cried Arigon as Chad passed her during the Nammy dress rehearsal. As Chad looked at her with concern, Arigon yelled out, "AAAAY!" and got a big smile from the current Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation. [That's Arigon at the after-party with Chad Smith and his lovely wife Bobbie Gail.]

Milwaukee was just swamped with Natives from all Nations. The Fifth Annual Native American Music Awards were on, in conunction with the Milwaukee Indian Summer Festival. The performers for the evening included Arigon's pals the Wolf River Band, plus crowd favorites Bill Miller (with Crystal Gayle), Howard Lyons and the Cherokee National Children's Choir.

Ice Sculpture - Do Not Eat!Arigon and Wacky CEO Janet Miner made the trip from Los Angeles in order to present the "Living Legend" award to Floyd Red Crow Westerman.

As you'll remember, Arigon played the Indian Summer Festival back in 1999. Milwaukee is a familar place to her and it was heartening for her to see old friends. "Jim DeNomie from Voices From the Circle, Gregg McVicar from EarthSongs, John Gregg from AIROS, Camille LaCapa from WOJB-FM, Kae Kotarski from WJFF, Donald Blackfox from, Charles Shoots the Enemy from KLND -- man it was radio central!" enthused Arigon. It was gratifying to hear that all of the stations are playing cuts from BACKFLIP. "Some of them were playing "Daddy's Records," others like the more rock cuts like "NDN Man" and "The Eagle Flies High." It was COOL!"

Arigon hooked up with Tim Sampson and did a bang-up job reading the teleprompter. The only bummer for Arigon (and the audience) was that Floyd was unable to make the awards show. Rocker Keith Secola accepted on Floyd's behalf -- and also let the everyone know that comedian Charlie Hill has been sidelined by illness. "Send prayers out to Charlie and his family," said Keith from the stage.

One of the most unusual encounters Arigon had was with Felipe Rose, who most of you remember from his days as "the Indian" in the Village People. "Hey, I was just doing my Diva act...and Felipe comes over to MY table and tells me how much he enjoyed my 'energy.' In fact, his whole group (including the label owner and his "significant other") came and sat and talked to me for awhile. I sure didn't expect that," giggled Arigon.Arigon and Sandra Schulman

The Diva also got some good scoop on the latest Nashville scene from Sandra Schulman, who's a publicist, freelance writer and one of the segment producers for the Nammys. We sure hope to see a Sandra-penned article in "News From Indian Country" soon.

[Side note: Some of you might have seen the rather lackluster review from Renegade Radio's Brian Wright-McLoud in a recent issue of NFIC. We're not sure what's cookin' with Brian, but he sure seems to dig Jana a lot! AAAAAAY! Based on the stack of reviews of BACKFLIP we've seen so far, Wright-McLoud seems to be in the minority on his opinions of the release. I'm sure he likes it like that, though! AAAY! -- Editor]Arigon with Kim Hall

Another friendly face from News From Indian Country is Kim Hall, who always seems to have her camera nearby. She was hustling during the show -- and even more at the after-party. She gave that backdrop a workout!

Speaking of fun people -- Lise King and her husband Frank drove all the way from Rapid City (about a 10-12 hour drive) for the awards. Lise & Frank publish The Native Voice -- and, as you know, have Arigon as their Arts & Entertainment Reporter. Arigon's piece on the Nammys will be in their next issue. Arigon story on the Santa Fe Indian Market actually graced the front page of the last issue of the paper. "Again....I didn't expect THAT," she laughedLise King with Arigon.

Another cool person from the Pacific Northwest was blues artist Gary Small. Both Gary and Arigon had a laugh over "finally" meeting each other. "I've heard all about you," laughed Gary. Gary's blues band (The Gary Small Band) is based in Portland and they play their music all over the country.

Arigon and Gary SmallArigon also spent time with Lily and Richie Plass, who were holding their own court in another part of the the very swanky buffet. Richie and Lily are heading back to the Menominee area from Ohio -- and not a minute too soon for Richie. "They sure don't know how to treat Indians out there," sighed Richie.

He also noted that the three-song medley to honor Hall of Fame inductee Kitty Wells they (performed with Canadian crooner Lorrie Church) went down well. "Ellen told me that Kitty, her husband and son watched the monitors backstage and were really smiling," said Richie.


Those of you lucky folks who know Arigon are well aware of her alter ego, Verna Many Snags. Verna is definitely from the Rez and she's addicted to Bingo. "Just know when I'm doing that voice, I'm for all the Grandmas, moms, sisters and daughters on the Rez," laughs Arigon. As a gag, "Verna" is going to make her national debut on the Friday edition of "Native America Calling." All we know about the show is...there's a Bingo element. You can listen to NAC at 1:00 PM Eastern/10:00 AM Pacific time on several stations around the country. The show can also be heard online at Maybe they'll let "Verna" take some calls! AAAAY!

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