Friday, March 10, 2006

Blog Moved

Hello Everyone...I'm very thankful to everyone who takes the time to read my blog. Paqspya will come to an end (unless my son eventually wishes to use it). As I mentioned before, Paqspya is my son's name, and as such, I feel I should leave that for him and publish under my own name. In hindsight, I'm not even sure why I used his name for so long. Anyway, it's time to move on. For all my readers, I respectfully request you to update your links and visit my site by clicking beow:

Sulustu - Where the Worlds Come Together

Thursday, March 09, 2006

My 35th Birthday

Me and the kids on my 35th birthday.
Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses.
I'm still playing catch-up from things I forgot to post earlier. I celebrated my 35th birthday a few days ago with a simple family dinner. My mom and my sister joined my little family and ate a delicious strawberry-raspberry cheesecake (my favorite). My kids got me a totally retro Pac-man video game to play on our television. Way cool!

Loon Lake, Washington

The Old School House at Loon Lake.
Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses.

Artistic representation of a loon by the old school.
Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses.

Still catching up; the other day I gave my aunt a ride to Wellpinit from Loon Lake. It was a beautiful day, though a new winter storm was just beginning to settle in.

Little Falls

Water spilling over Little Falls Dam
Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses.

Little Falls Dam.
Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses.

I haven't posted in a few days, so I"m catching up. I stopped by Little Falls Dam the other day and stood amazed at the power of the river pouring over the spillway. Our tribe has a lot of history at this place. Some of my earliest childhood memories are of my family driving over the old bridge by the dam.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

The First Amendment

The McCormick Tribune Freedom Museum recently published the findings of a disturbing survey showing a general lack of knowledge among Americans regarding the five basic protections of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. Only one out of every 1,000 people surveyed could name all five freedoms, whereas 22% of Americans could name all five Simpsons.

This information is quite shocking, especially during a time when so many Americans worry about losing basic constitutional rights and protections. Ironically, I’ve heard people from both sides of the political divide accuse the other of undermining American values, and yet I wonder, if so few people can actually name our basic freedoms (about 0.1%), how much of the national debate is based on a reasoned interpretation of the United States Constitution, and how much is based on emotion?

By the way, as a social studies teacher and a Simpson’s fan, I am one of a few Americans who can name all five Simpsons AND the five freedoms guaranteed in the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.

For review, I present the First Amendment in its entirety:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

The McCormick Tribune Freedom Museum operates a website and offers an interesting First Amendment quiz. Check it out by clicking below:
For more information on the study click below:

Monday, March 06, 2006


Michael Anthony Peña in Crash.

As a matter of coincidence, my wife and I watched the movie "Crash" from Neflix just as the film won the Academy Award for Best Picture. Neither of us had planned to watch the awards, but only happened to catch that portion of the show when the award was made. We were literally turning off the television to watch the movie when we saw the award.
We originally watched the movie because my mom recommended it, and Rhonda said Oprah had good things to say about it (I suppose Oprah's word is pretty darn near Gospel truth with my wife, so how could I resist?)
I'm sure most everyone who's going to see it has already done so, but I have to say the film was quite thought-provoking and troubling, all at the same time. It's a disturbing reminder of the prejudice and bias within all of us. I can't really say anything of substance about what I saw, except to say I found myself identifying with the characters in a deeply emotional and sometimes soul-wrenching way. In fact, I chose the image above of Michael Anthony Peña precisely because in that moment I no longer saw the characters on the screen, rather I saw myself holding my baby Whitney. Rhonda screamed during that scene, and I just sat there and cried. It had such an impact, and left me wondering how deeply racism still affects us all.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Whitney's Talk in Primary

McKenna and Whitney in primary.
Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses.
Whitney gave a talk in primary today based on a poster we have hanging in our dining room. The poster has a depiction of Jesus with the words, "It's nice to be important, but it's more important to be nice." I thought it is a very appropriate message for our day. You know what they say about words out of the mouths of babes...

Saturday, March 04, 2006

ARMS Banquet

Stacey Womack, Founder of ARMS.
Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses.

Ophelia Araujo-Islas, Director at ARMS in Spokane.
Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses.

Nancy McLaughlin, Spokane City Council,
Master of Ceremonies at ARMS Banquet.
Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses.

My wife and I attended a benefit banquet for ARMS, Abuse Recovery Ministry and Services, a non-profit organization dedicated to addressing issues of domestic violence and abuse from a Christian perspective. It primarily serves women, but it also offers services for men who become perpetrators of violence against women and children. It helps everyone affected by abuse to stop the cycle of violence.

Rhonda's longtime friend Ophelia Araujo-Islas is the director for the Northeast Washington region of the organization.

The banquet featured testimonials from women who survived abusive relationships and found inspiration and strength from the organization. It also featured music and a video presentation. I was very moved by the power of the message and the power of Ophelia's faith in God. ARMS is growing and will one day reach many thousands of women and men nationwide.

Angela Plays the Harp

Angela Merchant plays the harp.
Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses.

My sister-in-law Angela Merchant played the harp for tonight's ARMS Banquet while eveyone ate dinner and visited with one another. I think she must have felt a little insecure. At one point she asked me if everyone could hear and if people noticed her mistakes, but I think everyone loved her music. I heard rants and raves from several people. Angela playing the harp truly is a heavenly sound.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Diversity Breakfast

Saint Aloysius Catholic Church at Gonzaga.
Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses.

The Interfaith Council at the Diversity Breakfast.
Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses.

Kateri Caron of the Spokane Interfaith Council invited me to attend Spokane's Diversity Breakfast yesterday morning. The event took place on the campus of Gonzaga University, across the way from Saint Aloysius Catholic Church. Several local businesses and organizations took part, including Interfaith Council, the City of Spokane, Spokane Public Schoold District 81, and others. In addition to several thoughtful talks on diversity, interculturalism, and personal leadership, I reconnected with important people from my life, including Gordon Watanabe (who spoke at the event), Esther Louie, and others. I even got to hear a short presentation from Spokane's new mayor Dennis Hession.

David Thompson, the MAC, and the Elk Cafe

The Elk Cafe in historic Browne's Addition.
Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses.

Interior of the Elk Cafe.
Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses.

I visited the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture in Browne's Addition, Spokane. I've been working with the museum to complete a kind of internship in Plateau Salish curriculum. I'm very excited about the project as a possible creative outlet for my limited cultural knowledge.

After I set up my work space at the museum, I took a few minutes to visit some of the current exhibits. I was especially impressed with the David Thompson exhibit, which featured an authentic birch bark canoe, handwritten journal entries from his exploration of the Pacific Northwest, portraits of Native people he met along the way, and taxidermied samples of animals he observed. I felt a spirit in that place, perhaps something from the people he encountered who would have been forgotten to history if he hadn't written about them.

During the lunch hour, I walked from the museum to the Elk Cafe. I really wish Rhonda could have joined me for lunch. The Elk Cafe is a wonderful little place to eat. It has such a cozy, friendly atmosphere; it's just someplace I love to go.

Rachel's Baby

Yesterday was an intense day...I had meetings all day at different locations around the city, and then spent the evening with my niece Rachel at the hospital as she delivered her baby. I got to be present for the birth, and even though I've witnessed several births during my life, it still brings tears to my eyes. What a beautiful experience!