Beaver Chief passed away from us early 2001. We lost a good friend but his spirit is with us always.

Beaver Chief: "The Children, the children are our future."

I am a Northwest Coast Native American. My people are from the Puget Sound Area. Not until 1978, when a bill was passed which stated that we, Native Americans had the right to practice our way of life (some call it a religon; our people call it a way) did we start sharing our dreams and visions with people who have an open mind, and heart. The sharing of the teachings and dreams was to help heal the wounds between our Native American Indian culture and the White man's culture.

This music came about because a friend, Barbara Leischner asked me to do a ceremony for a special poem that was written for a friend who was sick with AIDS. Mark Nichols was asked to record the poem. At that time I sang the Cedar Tree Song. It was the first time Mark Nichols had heard the music of the Northwest Coast Salish people. That night the inspiration for this music came to be

I am proud of this music. It will help manifest my vision/dream of intercultural world peace. It bridges together traditions in a good way. It will help the children. It will help the healing. People who listen to the music in a good way will feel the magic of the ancient ways. They will feel the magic of the creativity that comes together from the music.

WHY the music came about.

Barbara: The music from the start had a life of it's own. It wanted to be born.

People from all walks of life volunteered time and donated money and resources to this project. It brought healing to everyone that touched it or accepted it in a good way. When I would get sad or discouraged, something magical would happen and another piece of the puzzle would fall into place.

I would get strength from people saying "... as she stood there listening to the music, tears came to her eyes. I think that with the state of affairs our world is in now, it's time to get back to the things that touch our souls." or "my friend is dying of cancer when I gave her this tape, she would listen to no other. It brought her such comfort."

Now that the music is born, my push is to get the music out there so that it can bring about healing. My wish for this music is that it will add to Native American children's pride of their heritage and assist them in believing in themselves; that it will inspire other cultures to receive in a good way the teachings of all Indigenous People and that it will bring about healing.

WHY the music came about.

Mark Nichols: I did this project because I love Beaver Chief and I love Barbara and I trust them.

I did it because I felt an instant connection to Beaver Chief's songs and the songs he carries with him.

I did it because the mixture of our two kinds of music made me completely ecstatic and obsessed. I spent 6 whole months working every day, all day, arranging the music and trying to learn and feel as much as I could.

I did it as a gift to the future. I am quite sure that someday people will realize there is nothing like this music existing in the world as we know it and that will make them very happy.

I did it because I wanted to understand the community of people who lived 5 miles from the house where I grew up, who, with the rest of my town, I had blasphemed and slandered in ignorance.

I did it because it fell into my lap. It was right up my alley. I had been waiting my whole life to do it. Just like everything I do with my whole heart.

My love for the project is summed up by what Beaver Chief told me at some point: that in the Salish language, the word "sing" is the same word as"cry." Singing and crying are the same thing, and for thousands of years a large group of people have not distinguished between singing and crying. When I was young I cried a lot. I know how powerful crying is.

People Said....

"It's so interesting because there is such a range here. And it's the range of funny; to soulful; to sad. There are some songs that I simply cry through, and then joyful songs and hopeful songs; all of it's there ...

Sometimes it gives your soul flight, I listened to it in the car with a 26 year old friend, as we were driving through the hills behind Santa Fe, New Mexico. I said "This is the perfect environment to listen to it, because there is the sky and the hills and this is what it's about. All of creation is here; I hear all of creation in this music! It's the song of the animals and the sound of the trees and the water, it's there...

I really believe that we've gotten so out of touch in our time, with the earth and what's around us, and that any tool, which helps us get more in touch with that, both inside ourselves and how we relate to life, is a real gift that we need, our culture needs, and our time needs."

Vicki Schoettle, excerpts from National Public Radio Interview conducted by Jane Fritz

"The only thing I would like to mention is that when I first played this in my office, my counterpart Shilah Morrow walked into my office to find out what I was listening to. I described it to her and as she stood there listening , tears came to her eyes. I think that with the state of affairs our world is in now, it's time to get back to the things that touch our souls. I think you'll find that in this tape."

Bobbi Miller, National Product Development Coordinator Warner/ Electra/Atlantic Corporation in a letter to the V.P.. of Marketing at Electra Records

Beaver Chief passed away from us early 2001. We lost a good friend but his spirit is with us always.

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