February 15, 1998
P.O. Box 484
Bemidji, MN 56619
To: Whom It May Concern
From: Clara NiiSka, a.k.a. Clara M. NiiSka-Ngiratregd
Re: Estate of Wub-e-ke-niew
Upon the death of Wub-e-ke-niew (a.k.a. Francis Blake, Jr.), it was my expectation that everything could be worked out in a
harmonious way, in accordance with Ahnishinahbaeotjibway values and with respect for all that was important to Wub-e-ke-niew.
Despite certain subsequent actions of particular individuals, this remains my ardent hope.
When I left Red Lake on the evening of October 22, 1997, my intent was to deter further escalation of conflict. I did not
willingly abandon any property or rights then, and have no intention of doing so now. Out of respect for those whom Wub-e-
ke-niew claimed as his children in the Bear Dodem, I have waited, pursuing only those actions which appeared urgently necessary,
for nearly four months.
Now, it does not appear that time, alone, will adequately resolve the problems which have arisen since Wub-e-ke-niew's
death. I have been strongly advised by legal counsel, to compile a list of my personal property, Wub-e-ke-niew's and my
joint property, and other property and rights in which I may have an interest, and to formally notify Valerie Blake and certain
other parties that I have done so.
The following list constitutes such formal notification.
PARTIAL LIST OF PROPERTY
Most of the property and other assets herein listed were acquired jointly by Wub-e-ke-niew and Clara NiiSka by virtue of
mutual toil and effort, in the context of what we understood as valid marriage under Ahnishinahbaeotjibway custom and tradition,
as well as working partnership. This list is not, for reasons presently beyond my control, an exhaustive inventory, and
exclusion from this list does not constitute a relinquishment of any rights which I may have to that which is not listed.
Locations specified are those as of 10/22/97.
House: 16x32, frame construction, sawed-log siding, insulated, sitting on concrete blocks. Built by Wub-e-ke-niew and Clara
NiiSka in 1984, moved to present [as of 10/22/97] location in November, 1989. In October, 1997, the roof of the house fairly
urgently needed replacing; Wub-e-ke-niew and I discussed the prospects for getting the house roofed before winter shortly
before his death. After his death, several of our friends volunteered to re-roof the house, and extended the offer to
Valerie and Michael Blake, who, I am given to understand, did not accept the offer. The door-frame at the bottom of the front door
also needed replacing; the lumber to fix it was leaning against one of the pickup trucks in the front yard on the evening of
Approx. replacement cost of house: $30,000-45,000.
Outhouse: approx. 4x4, board construction with tin roof, portion of floor repaired with plywood, bird's nest with sentimental
value on back ledge under roof
Tool shed: pole and beam construction, includes built-in bench and shelving, window
Sugar-shack: pole and beam construction, tin roof and siding, built-in shelving
Syrup-boiling structure: pole and beam construction, in need of repair on 10/22/97
Doghouse: frame construction, fully insulated, sawed-log siding, windows and porch
Capital and Labor Investments in Land
Access roads, including to sugarbush, garden areas, etc.
Clearing for house
Gardens, partially-completed gardens, raised beds and planter boxes
Rights in Land under Ahnishinahbaeotjibway
Custom and Tradition, Including:
Use of land near house--approx. 396 acres, described by Wub-e-ke-niew in letter to the Secretary of the Interior--for
permacultural, household and other purposes. Given present circumstances, it may be helpful to note that these include
habitat for bears, Wub-e-ke-niew's grave, aesthetic and religious aspects of the land and associated water, etc. It may also be
helpful to note that, in accordance with both Ahnishinahbaeotjibway custom and tradition, and Wub-e-ke-niew's
expressed wishes, shortly after Wub-e-ke-niew's death I told Norby Blake (in her capacity which Wub-e-ke-niew had described to
me as "clan mother" of several of his children) that I had no objection to their building homes of their own on that land.
Perennial Cultivated Plants
Jerusalem Artichoke Plants
Swamp Tea Plants
Apple Trees: designated by Wub-e-ke-niew as a part of his legacy to Jesse Blake. One grafted, nursery-stock eating-apple tree,
one grafted, nursery-stock crabapple tree, and about forty heirloom apple trees
Permacultural species, including acer saccharum, and medicinal and other species
Gardening Equipment and Supplies
Lawn Mower, parts and supplies
Heirloom and other seeds, including several indigenous varieties of corn, squash, beans and tobacco
Rototiller, broken by falling tree, probably good for parts only
Metal file box and ammunition box containing heirloom seeds
Glass jars containing heirloom seeds
Trowel and other hand-tools
Antique cultivator, rebuilt with bicycle tire; old wheel decorating side of house
Other Miscellaneous Tools
1985 Chevrolet 4WD Pickup Truck, brown and black. Minnesota license plate 621 HFH, VIN 1GCEK14HXFJ126715. Motor,
transmission and four-wheel drive mechanism replaced since purchase, vinyl toolbox in back; recently partially painted.
Excellent running condition as of 10/22/97. Wub-e-ke-niew had offered to title this vehicle in my name during the summer of
1997. To the best of my knowledge, this vehicle is no longer insured.
1981 Chevrolet Diesel Station Wagon, Minnesota license plate 355 NNK, VIN 1G1AN35N3BJ235784. Running, but in need of a timing
chain. Wub-e-ke-niew was trying to sell it shortly prior to his death, and had discussed a proposed sale with Pat Pierre of
Little Rock in the week before his death. Parked in the garden with battery-charger attached as of 10/22/97. Vehicle had not
been driven since December of 1996, and did not carry Minnesota liability insurance in October of 1997.
Home-made trailer, Minnesota license plate B39005. Filled with straw for the dogs' bedding, which we purchased early in the fall
1979 Chevrolet 4WD Pickup Truck, light blue. Minnesota license plate 326 MYB, VIN CKL149F315694, white metal toolbox in back.
Purchased in July of 1997 at a garage sale in Wilton; I wrote check #5040 out of my student financial aid (loan) account, i.e.
this truck was paid for with a debt in my name, for which I remain liable. The title had not been transferred from the
previous owner as of 10/22/97. Wub-e-ke-niew and I replaced the front-wheel-drive and did other repair work during the summer of
1997, as well as replacing the tires. Excellent running condition as of 10/22/97. Wub-e-ke-niew and I intended to use
this truck as a "woods truck" on our property, and so it did not carry Minnesota liability insurance. There was a bottle of
herbal mosquito repellent in one of the pickup trucks, probably this one.
1977 Chevrolet 4WD Pickup Truck, "monster truck." Minnesota license plate 387DHG, VIN CKR147F390145. Still registered in
Grant Heine's name as of 10/22/97. Ran but needed drive-train repair.
Dodge Van, approx. 1965. Running when parked just south of sugar shack in 1989; needed minor repairs. Used for storage. Last
registered in my name.
Volkswagen Quantum, silver, parked in the garden, needed repairs. Former owner: William Hartwell, title had not been transferred.
2 Chevrolet 4WD pickup "parts cars," one with camper used for storage, in yard north of house.
1985 Mitsubishi Tredia, Minnesota license plates 512 HNJ, VIN JA3BF46D0FZ406758, purchase price $35, repaired by Wub-e-ke-niew, registered in my name. Totaled in an auto accident 1/3/98 in San Diego; I was not at fault but Wub-e-ke-niew and I had not
purchased collision coverage on the vehicle. Sold to a junkyard in San Diego during February of 1998.
Assorted and sundry parts for motor vehicles, including rims, tires, alternators, transmissions, engines, etc. Ranged from
good parts to a pile of scrap metal (on east side of main garden, south of sugarbush road) which we intended to give to Roman
Junkyard, west of outhouse on south side of road, including two Hondas, one diesel sedan, the remnants of two Vegas and a pickup
truck, etc. The vehicles in the junkyard were being used for storage and parts, and, excluding some stored contents of
vehicles, the junkyard is an explicit part of Wub-e-ke-niew's intended legacy to Jesse Blake. He consistently referred to the
junkyard as "Jesse's Junkyard."
Furniture and Large Appliances
Double bed, used by Wub-e-ke-niew and myself
Baroque nine-drawer dresser on west end of house
Antique dresser on north-east end of house, used as wash-stand
Bookshelves, including one metal bookshelf, seven bookshelves made by myself (one moved outside during the summer of 1997), one
(about) 4x6 varnished hand-made bookshelf, a bookshelf which was part of the built-in desk, and an assemblage of wooden boxes and
2x4s supporting books on the west end of the house. A varnished-wood shelf containing sweaters and other articles of clothing was
also a part of the dresser/bookshelf/clothes-rack storage complex along the west wall of the house.
One television-cart, with color TV and remote control
Built-in desk, leather covered
Two office chairs in house
One plastic chair in house, by table
One round, leather-covered restaurant stool in house, one outside
One tall barstool-type chair in house
Black formica kitchen table
Olive drab metal typing table, with drawer
Electrified treadle sewing machine under southwest window
Treadle sewing machine, in good working condition, stored outside of house
One zigzag sewing machine
One "rollaway" bed, with two mattresses
Two freestanding kitchen cabinets, one on each side of kitchen stove, along east wall of house
Two propane kitchen stoves, one stored outside under plastic
Propane tanks, regulators, copper tubing and pipe wrenches
Two electric refrigerators, one stored outside under plastic
Two freezers, one upright and in use, the other stored outside
One wood stove inside house, with stovepipe, damper, and metalbestos chimney
One antique cream can, used to store flour
One oak office desk, stored outside under plastic
One three-piece "computer furniture" office desk, stored outside under plastic
Four antique chairs, stored in sugar shack, needing restoration
Rocking chair, outside, partially broken
Outside-table, made by Wub-e-ke-niew
Assorted lawn furniture
Assorted plastic chairs for use in sugarbush
Electric-cable spools for use in sugarbush
Tin sheets used during washing of sugar-pails, near sugar-shack
One bathroom "vanity" with sink, outside, used for storing water containers
One large vinyl garbage-can, used for inside storage of drinking water
One small office-type table, outside
One magazine-rack end table, stored outside, probably in sugar-shack
One Maytag wringer washer, in working condition; we may have still had some parts from another wringer washer
Double laundry sinks, fiberglass, used with washing machine, in good condition
Various parts of office chairs, stored in sugar shack
One light beige/off-white area carpet, in house
Other outside fixtures and stuff
Windows and screens, including some very good double-glass windows
Rack for skinning deer
Tree with chain for changing motors
Clotheslines and clothespins
Antique enamelware kettle, used as bird-feeder, fastened to stump
Old enamel turkey roaster
Barrel, used to store ashes
About five-gallon galvanized pail, used to carry ashes
Small shovel, to empty stove of ashes
Three come-alongs, used for suspending boiling kettles
Iron hooks for suspending kettles
Plastic garbage-cans, used for temporary storage of sap
Large shallow-pan sap-boiler, with stainless-steel evaporating pan
Large plastic barrels--parts for intended sap-hauling trailer
About five hundred bucket-suspending taps: some of them nylon, some of them tin
About 100 5-gallon sap-collecting pails, with about 80 hose-and-taps
Long-handled dipper for testing sap
Several hundred #10 cans, washed and drilled, for collecting sap
About 100 medium plastic pails, for collecting sap
About ten four- to six- gallon plastic pails, for hauling sap
Nylon filters and elastic cord, for sap
Three large sap-boiling kettles, steel with bails
About 100 covers for large sap-collecting pails
Two antique fire-pokers
Electric extension cords and lights for sugarbush
Sheet metal and car hood for sugarbush fire
Large enamel coffeepot for sugarbush
Several hundred mason jars, used for canning syrup, both quart and pint size
Glass gallon jars
About ten institutional-size muffin tins, for making sugar-cakes
About five smaller muffin tins, for sugar-cakes
Hand-carved basswood sugar-mold
Deer tallow, stored in freezer, for making sugar
Truckload of slab-wood, stored on west side of yard
Chains used in construction of sugarbush and to hang kettles
Small trailer, intended as parts for construction of sap-hauling trailer
Also in Sugar Shack
Simon-Omega auto-focus photographic enlarger, optics stored in box in attic inside house
Four-reel stainless-steel film developing tank, with reels
Miscellaneous parts to oil lamps, including Aladdin lamp with broken chimney
Boxes of crockery and other kitchen items, including plastic pitchers, etc., etc.
Assorted mixture of stuff and junk
And Stuff In and Near Toolshed
Assorted containers of nails and screws, including set of plastic drawers full of nails, washers, etc.
Tin cans containing bolts and other small mechanical parts
Electric drills, including contractor's drill
Various car parts, including antique Model T parts, an assortment of belts, etc.
Wire cutters, fence-stretcher, wire, etc.
Various "parts" chainsaws, chains, etc.
Floor-model electric fan
Large assortment of antique tools, including hand-operated contractor drill-bits, hay-bale hooks, etc.
Pliers, wrenches, screwdrivers, etc. in shed
Odd antique vise and old standard vise
Anvil, which Wub-e-ke-niew told me was "Mike's"
Tap and die set
Assorted faucets, pieces of pipe, and other plumbing stuff
Box of electrical outlets, switches, and other electrical stuff
Box with small electronic stuff: switches, fuse-connectors, etc.
Logging and tow chains
Carpentry tools, including several squares and antique wood plane
Aluminum level, bent
Hydraulic jacks including floor jack
Hammers, including ball-peen, sledge, carpentry, and large hammer
Skilsaw in good condition; second skilsaw in possibly repairable condition
Table saws, including antique table saw on oak frame, and raftsman table saw
Various useful things like clavises, trailer-hitch balls, etc.
Flashlights and other items hanging from roof beams, one with a bird's nest on it
Boxes of assorted stuff in Toolshed; rusty old tin washbasin with nails and assorted hardware in it
Large box of new nails
Several toolboxes containing large assortment of sockets, ratchet-drives and breaker bars, open-end wrenches, gappers, box-end
wrenches, torque wrench, adjustable wrenches, socket-drivers, etc.; some stored in pickup trucks. Tools included just about
anything a person might need to fix a motor vehicle.
Pliers, vise-grips, screwdrivers, etc., stored in trucks
Chainsaw tools, including bar-greaser, wrenches, files, file guides, etc.
Antique wrecking bar and somewhat damaged pry bar
Wood- and metal-files
Cans of axle grease and other containers of lubricants
Oil wrenches, oil drainpans, containers of motor oil, hydraulic oil, gasoline, two-cycle mix, and mixed gasoline
Monkey-wrench for Model A or T Ford, in house
Other assorted tools, ranging from fairly new to antique
Electric water pump and hoses, in-well filter
Antique hand-operated water pump
Large galvanized tubs, used for collecting rainwater in summertime
PVC pipe, outlet to sink, with catchment pail
Large and small water containers by well
At least five square five-gallon commercial-gauge plastic water bottles, stored mostly on old bathroom vanity in yard
Large dark-colored plastic water-hauling container
Five- and six-gallon plastic buckets with watertight lids, for hauling water
Two plastic basins used for washing and bathing inside
Channel-lock pliers kept with water pump
Large enamel kettle with lid, inside, used to heat water on wood stove
Antique washboards, stored behind cupboard in house
Things Stored in Camper
Sugar buckets, enumerated above
Additional canning jars, including new pint jars and some antique quart jars
Alpaca and silk quilt, handmade
Two hand-made block quilts (probably both in camper)
Boxes of kitchen stuff, including set of stainless-steel pans.
We were accumulating extra kitchen implements, intended, as Wub-e-ke-niew said, for the use of "the people who are going to build
Other stainless-steel and cast-iron pans, including antique bean pot with cover
Extra kitchen stuff also included a platform mixer
Oil-filled space heater
Boxes of miscellaneous stuff
Things Stored in Van
Coffee-cans of porcupine quills
Antique lids for mason jars
Heavy-duty canvas soil-sample bags
Other boxes and oddments of stuff. Somewhere outside the house, possibly in the van, are an old World War II pair of sheepskin
flight pants, a box of silk scarves, and a pair of black rubber waders. There may be some boxes of packing material, like foam
peanuts, in the van. We had a considerable quantity of "might come in handy some day" stuff, and I, Wub-e-ke-niew, or both of
us together, could usually recall that we owned a particular item and could find it, sometimes after looking for awhile; but
the "tour with the mind's eye" that compiling the present list involves, reveals a certain amount of indeterminate clutter.
Stored in Cars in Jesse's Junkyard
Various car parts
Boxes of personal papers, including photographs taken by myself in Sri Lanka in 1972, some of my mother's papers, etc.
Set of encyclopedias
Boxes of old clothes
Personal mementos, including trophies awarded in high school
Packing boxes for computer
Large number of cans of automotive paint
Old fish nets (may have been moved), extra net floats are probably in old cars
Fishing tackle belonging to Jesse
Large ammunition box containing toilet paper
Detachable toilet seat
In and on antique dresser in northeast corner: personal toiletries used by Wub-e-ke-niew and myself, including
deodorant, soap, tweezers, razors, toothbrushes and toothpaste, combs and brushes, small pair of Fiskars scissors, surgical
scissors, gauze and surgical tape, shaving cup with shaving brush, shampoo, etc.
Black-and-yellow plastic butter container which may have contained Wub-e-ke-niew's dentures on 10/15/97--I was in too much
of a state of shock to think about them until about three weeks later
Some oddments of medicines
Hot water bottle
Towels and wash cloths
Box of Q-tips
sheets and/or blankets in drawers, probably including hand-crocheted baby blanket
In old medicine cabinet attached to wall: band-aids, assorted medicines probably including a baby-food jar
of dried pine pitch, probably a prescription for penicillin-type antibiotics for Valerie Blake, which she had given to Wub-e-ke-
On east wall adjacent to medicine cabinet: medium-sized mirror nailed to wall
In and on top cupboard on north side of east wall:
sheets and pillowcases
antique pressure-cooker formerly belonging to my grandmother
blue-flecked enamel canner
Hanging above east window:
round shaving mirror, one side with magnifying mirror
jar-openers and can-openers
In and on bottom cupboard on north side of east wall:
Coffee-can containing kitchen implements--potato mashers, large spoons (slotted and plain), large fork, spatulas including
stainless-steel institutional spatula, etc.
Piece of formica used as counter-top
Towels, hand-towels, kitchen-towels, etc.
At least one of our three mosquito nets was probably in this cupboard
Dish-towels made from cloth roller-towels
Large block of paraffin wax in green plastic bag
Hanging on east wall, or from rafters adjacent to east wall:
Large, medium and small antique cast-iron fry pans
Large and medium institutional cast-aluminum stock pots, used in sugar-making
Chrome-plated ladle with long wooden handle, used in canning and sugar-making
Very large antique enameled cast-iron kettle, hanging from rafters
Cast-iron kettle with lid, antique, hanging from rafters
Antique kerosene lamp, hanging from rafters
Old telephone-switchboard headset, hanging from electrical wire strung across rafters
Small old red kerosene lamp
Green-painted Coleman lamp
Medium-sized enamel coffeepot
Large rack for canning-kettle
Hanging from rafters along east wall, on south side of house:
kitchen implements hanging from nails in rafters, including food mills, strainers, an assortment of old and antique food-
preparation tools, colanders, etc., etc.
On and in freestanding cupboard immediately to the south of stove:
Small cast-aluminum pressure-cooker
Various rarely-used kitchen implements
On top of cupboard in southeast corner, on shelf above window, and on counter below corner cupboard:
Institutional stainless-steel pot
Recently purchased stainless-steel pot
Large cast aluminum pressure-cooker
Stainless-steel mixing bowls, several sets, including two very large bowls
Frequently-used cooking utensils, including yellow enamelware soup kettle, stainless-steel soup kettle, large and small yellow
enamelware frying pans, set of green enamelware mixing bowls, stainless-steel and enamel saucepans, lids for pans, plastic food
containers, vegetable steamer, stainless-steel coffeepot (antique enamelware coffeepot probably in sugar-shack or tool-shed),
Wax paper, aluminum foil, plastic wrap, sandwich bags, etc.
Hanging on nails on east wall, just south of frying pans:
Pot-holders, mostly hand-crocheted, including some fairly new ones which were a recent gift
Old aluminum rack for use inside kettle
Antique tin kitchen-match holder
In drawers in southeast corner of house:
Assorted stuff, sometimes organized with categories written on top of drawers, alternating with a somewhat randomized state.
Included various kinds of tape (duct, stranded, masking, cellophane), string, tacks, staples and staple-gun, drawer full of
electrical and electronic parts (small plug-in transformers, adapters, cables, wires, coax plugs, etc.), and other
miscellaneous and possibly useful stuff
In space between drawers and other cabinetry: paper and plastic bags
Dish-drainer and rubber drain-mat on top of counter: containing some dishes, silverware, cooking utensils and maybe the red-
Drawer and cupboard under dish rack:
Canning equipment and supplies, including jar rings and lids, old small lids, plastic lids fitting standard mason jars, rubber
rings for jars, some canning jars, jar-lifting tongs, rubberized jar wrench, loop-ended tongs, home-canned foods (some also stored
in cupboards on other side of sink) including: jams and jellies, pickles, applesauce, home-rendered lard, etc. Pickles which I
had made recently may have still been on top of the cupboard just to the south of the stove. Some of our dish-towels may have been
in this cupboard in mid-October of 1997.
Corner cupboards above counter:
Mostly dishes, bowls, soup bowls, cups, glasses, pint jars used as glasses, etc. Included an old white stoneware platter.
Remnants of several sets of china, including a floral-pattern Corelle set purchased by Wub-e-ke-niew and myself in 1984, and a
gray-and-white set which was from the Blakes in Minneapolis. China also included two recently-purchased, largish orange-tan
bowls. Included a miscellaneous assortment of coffee-mugs, old-fashioned soup bowls of several patterns, etc. Also contained
three canning funnels, two aluminum ones and one plastic one.
Cupboards below counter on west side of sink:
Mostly food, including home-canned food, canned fruit and tomatoes, canned soup, etc. Drawer just below counter contained
an assortment of kitchen utensils: can-openers, rolling pin, candy thermometer (may have been in canning-supplies drawer),
oven thermometer, tea-strainers, tea-balls, etc., etc., etc.
Antique pastry blender sometimes came to rest in this drawer.
Blender sometimes resided in cupboard, sometimes on counter.
Mirrored shelves above counter on west side of sink: spices, herbs and spices in half-pint and pint mason jars, heirloom seed
corn (listed above), medicinal herbs, and some bulk food. Some of the mason jars on this shelf were antiques; quart jars
included chili peppers brought by a friend back from the Southwest as a gift.
Counter just to west of sink: dish detergent, scouring powder, square plastic container for scouring pads, etc.
Fine-grained, long whetstone (formerly Goni's), assorted junk.
Cupboards above counter, just to east of blocked-off back drawer:
Mostly food (pasta, canned goods, chocolate, etc.); also (in or on top of cupboard) an electric fry-pan (another one was just
behind the sugar-shack), an electric hot-plate, a partial box of light bulbs, extra boxes of kitchen matches, salt, baking powder,
cornstarch and other staples; possibly this is where the electric knife-sharpener was. Two kerosene lamps on top of cupboard.
Lazy-susan cupboard in southwest corner of kitchen area: mostly food, including several containers of bulk food: dried beans,
etc. Also contained several jars of heirloom corn seed, enumerated earlier. Marble slab for candy-making was just above
this cupboard on counter, as was a toaster, and several gallon glass food jars.
Cupboard immediately to the north of lazy-susan cupboard:
Top drawer: silverware drawer, containing an assortment of mostly stainless-steel flatware, kitchen knives, whetstone, metal-files,
etc., organized in a plastic drawer-organizer. The garlic-press was sometimes in this drawer.
The cupboard underneath this drawer was designated for food, and had several jars of home-canned food in the back in mid-October
Cupboard immediately adjacent to filing cabinets:
Stack of drawers. Top drawer contained batteries, electronic testing devices, light bulbs for flashlights, flypaper, etc.
Lower drawers contained an assortment of artists supplies (paint, brushes, etc.), glue, a plastic box with stencil-letters, etc.
Countertop adjacent to filing cabinets, along west end of kitchen area:
Food, including a box of macaroni, a glass jar with spaghetti in it, a wooden bread-box with a roll-top front, books and papers,
Top of filing cabinets:
Can of insecticide, box of German flash-cards, stacks of papers and books, container of pencils, wooden bowls with junk (screws,
small parts of things, etc.) in them, framed photograph, bottle of lotion, bottle of Vicks, boxes of shells, binoculars, blank
cassette tapes, assorted stuff, etc. I may have left some of the taped interviews made this summer in the house.
Floor adjacent to filing cabinets: bag of dog food with aluminum pan as a scoop.
Metal shelves behind kitchen counter, near south side of house:
Boxes containing sewing and craft supplies, including seed beads, beading needles and thread, leather needles, etc.
Large spools of nylon thread and other craft materials
On top of boxes of papers next to south door: "green head" Halloween decoration, which Wub-e-ke-niew said he
was going to give to "Timmy or Jesse"
Above south door: battery-operated electric clock
About ten fly-swatters hanging from nails in rafters
Seed-corn and other items hanging from rafters
Coats along south wall, hanging from nails in board along wall,
including blue hooded winter coat used jointly by Wub-e-ke-niew
Above southwest window: .22 rifle, given by Wub-e-ke-niew to
Jesse, with the caution that he needs to be old enough to use it
responsibly and safely
On left side of southwest window: thermometer-humidity meter
Venetian blinds on both southwest and southeast windows
Television, listed above; framed photograph of Jesse on top of TV
Radios, including short-wave radio, AM-FM radio
Telephone answering machine and caller-ID device; several old telephones stored outside house
On pipe hanging from rafters along west wall of house: Articles of clothing--shirts, jeans, etc. The clothing which I
wore was mostly toward the south end; the clothing which Wub-e-ke-niew wore was mostly toward the north end, but our clothing
was not clearly divided. Wub-e-ke-niew did the laundry, including clothes which were exclusively used by myself, on
October 15, and had put the clean clothes away--and he usually hung our clothing interspersed. I had no reason to believe that
I would be evicted from our house, and, in my shock and distress following his death, had not looked at our clothes prior to the
evening of October 22. I had several pairs of jeans, shirts, blouses, and other articles of clothing hanging on that pipe,
including clothes which I wore frequently. Most of the hangers which we used were plain wire hangers, but there were also some
On top of dresser and on shelf above dresser:
More clothes--same comment applies as to hanging clothing. Wub-e-ke-niew and I shared the use of some sweaters, sweatshirts,
etc. Items of Wub-e-ke-niew's exclusive use included some other sweaters (at least two were gifts from a friend of ours), quilted
long underwear, one-piece "union suits" (probably in the dresser rather than on the shelf), and some scarves (the brown and yellow
handknit one had particular sentimental value for him), etc. Also on top of dresser were papers, containers of pencils, floppy
disks, at least one package of computer software (SimAnt), etc.
Same comment as above applies. The top left drawer of the dresser contained almost all of my underwear; Wub-e-ke-niew had
left some of the drawers open after he put away the clothes. The left three drawers of the dresser also contained other items of
sentimental value for me, including a stereo viewer and a box of stereo pictures (including one of me with a Porsche I owned in
1975-7), a silk scarf which my father brought back from China, etc. The contents of the middle three drawers included articles
which Wub-e-ke-niew and I shared, including some pairs of socks, certain T-shirts and some pairs of long underwear, as well as
men's briefs and other articles of clothing used exclusively by Wub-e-ke-niew. The top right drawer of the dresser contained
small items of sentimental value for Wub-e-ke-niew, as well as clothing, probably still including a hand-warmer. (He had given
away his old lighters shortly before his death, and may have given away other items.)
Probably beside dresser, possibly in niche behind lazy-susan cupboard:
Cardboard mailing tube containing posters and a signed print (a gift)
Roll of gold foil wrapping-paper
In black portfolio on right side of dresser: maps, prints, etc. Some of these are a part of Wub-e-ke-niew's and my joint research
and intellectual work.
On varnished bookshelf:
About 2.5 linear feet of anthropology books, legacy of a retiring anthropologist at the University of Minnesota, some out of print
and potentially expensive to replace
Family history, including photographs, compiled by my father, in 3-ring binder.
In aluminum case below west window:
leather, including two elk hides, a piece of moose hide, deer and rabbit hides, and two large pieces of cow-hide which belonged to
Marty Busby, as well as other leatherwork and craft materials
In old green suitcase in one of the cars:
pieces of leather, feathers, and porcupine quills
In cardboard box on rafters:
pieces of leather, including oak-tanned cowhide, leather punch and other leather-working tools, lacing, etc.
In cupboard above northwest window:
3-ring binders, mostly empty; I may have left a few books in that cupboard
On shelf just below northwest window: bird books, stack of audio tapes, other oddments
On nail just to left of northwest window:
Fijian seed belt, sentimental value
In attaché case, behind seat in black/brown pickup truck at time of Wub-e-ke-niew's death, brought into house on October 17:
Important personal papers of Wub-e-ke-niew and myself; included bank statements from bank account in my name, insurance papers,
In cardboard box labeled "fragile, glass" on rafters near west wall of house:
Optics for enlarger, previously enumerated; also microfiche carrier
Two IBM selectric typewriters, one without a type ball (there is a type ball in one of the wooden dishes on top of the filing
cabinets, but it doesn't fit)
On desk: brass florescent light
Mounted on bookshelf built into desk: black drafting light
On floor, somewhat adjacent to desk:
Old portable manual typewriter, of sentimental value; there are a couple of other typewriters around somewhere (possibly an
electronic one in the attic).
Somewhere in house, probably leaning against the desk by the door:
Broom and dustpan
Assorted food, including several pounds of venison in the freezer compartment
On top of refrigerator:
Box containing audio tapes
Metal tape measure
Fastened with magnets and/or tape to refrigerator:
Calendar with photograph of Jesse over calendar picture; pockets of calendar contain receipts (almost all of our receipts are
Recipe for Mary's pickles
Other bits of wisdom
On shelf just to the east of refrigerator:
Coffee-maker, recently repaired, sitting on top of books so that the cord will reach the outlet
Coffee and coffee-filters
Metal paper-holder, fastened to shelf
Wooden box containing X-acto knives is probably on this shelf
On narrow wooden shelf under northeast window:
assorted boxes of tea, probably cappuccino mix, various herbal and other dietary supplements, empty Crazy Horse beer bottle, various
condiments, Arizona ginseng-tea bottle, antique cough syrup bottle, antique sad-iron with wooden handle, antique shoe-last,
assorted other stuff
Ashtrays: glass, gray ceramic, aluminum with a picture of a moose in the bottom, "Joe Camel" (probably on top of filing cabinet
filled with oddments like .22 shells, rubber bands, etc.), etc.
Somewhere on or near kitchen table:
Pentax camera lenses, intended for Norby
On kitchen table:
white thermos-type coffee carafe. There is another, restaurant-style coffee carafe around somewhere, possibly on the counter or
under the sink
Salt shaker, handmade by Wub-e-ke-niew
Pepper mill, wooden, may be on kitchen table
Other stuff; there is a red-and-white checkered vinyl tablecloth around somewhere
Next to wall on west side of kitchen table: cardboard carpet-tube containing seed pods for some kind of perennial flowering plant,
with purple (edible, high in vitamin C) flowers from the Brassica family
On kitchen floor: green institutional-type rubber floor mat
On wall above northeast window: two drawings by Michael Blake, one tacked over the other, the lower one entitled "Road Kill,"
the upper one a drawing of Groucho Marx and John Lennon, entitled "Marx and Lennon"
Items Related to Heating
Log-splitter, hydraulic, covered with blue plastic tarp. (We had a number of these plastic tarps.)
Axes and splitting mauls
Chain saw in working condition
Stove pipes, dampers, etc., probably in camper
Four wood-stoves in yard, covered with plastic, most purchased by Wub-e-ke-niew and myself during the summer and early fall of
1997. In September or early October, Wub-e-ke-niew said that these stoves were for the use of the people who "would build
Fiberglass duck boat, in need of repair; there were some paddles around someplace
Assorted gas tanks for pickup trucks, most (but not all) of which leak
Pile of gravel near house, intended by Wub-e-ke-niew for our use in building a porch
Somewhat rickety aluminum ladder
Stack of 2x4's in toolshed
Antique shotgun on nails over front door; Michael's gun
Additional boxes of shells, probably on top of refrigerator or on shelf next to filing cabinets
Metal gun rack designed to fit behind seat of pickup truck
Watering cans, large and small
Green sleeping bag, used as blanket on bed
Metal yardstick, square varnished yardstick
Yellow bicycle in yard, in need of a tire
Machete in kitchen cupboard
Yellow rain slicker
Hummingbird feeder, probably in tool-shed
Large electric light used to illuminate gate area
Green gate, with reflectors and political signs on it
Stack of cement blocks
Metal stand and grille
Box of fancy needle-work, including tatting, made by my grandmother
Venison, home-made apple sauce, and other food in upright freezer outside
Large ammunition can containing ears of corn, feathers, etc.
Other ceremonial items, including abalone shell, feathers, pipestone, etc.
Large dremel tool, with bits, in black plastic case
Wooden box containing old hand-drill bits, formerly belonging to my great-uncle
Jar of World War II surplus airplane rivets, formerly belonging to my father
Antique tools formerly belonging to my grandfather
Laundry soap and stain-remover
Two plastic laundry baskets
Fur coats and backpack, hanging near ridgepole in attic
Boxes of miscellany in attic
Four 4x1x12 pine boards, in attic
Rubber boats and insulated winter boots, some on boards in attic, some intended for use by Grant, Francis III, and others
Shoes and boots belonging to Wub-e-ke-niew and myself
Personal and household papers of Wub-e-ke-niew and myself, some in filing cabinets, some mixed up with other papers in boxes
Magnifying glass in little gray cardboard tube
Stationary, in filing cabinet and elsewhere
Gift-wrapping paper and ribbon
Box containing Christmas lights
Personal and family correspondence
"orange" hand degreaser
Various containers of tobacco
Personal and family photographs; negatives of same
Windex and other cleaning supplies
Gallon bottle of carpet-shampoo
Breaker Box and Outside Outlet on pole
Electrical Transformer (property of electric co-op)
Motion-sensitive outside light
Meter and meter-pole
Hundreds of feet of outdoor extension cords
Electrical tape, wire nuts, etc.
Non-electric soldering iron
Electric soldering iron, which may or may not work
Light fixture in van, with glass broken
Other fixtures, including insulated ceiling light
Floating stock-tank heater
Canon Rebel autofocus camera, flash, etc., hanging in black fabric case on coat-hanger suspended from rafters on west side of
Partially-constructed kitchen cabinets
Sandpaper, spar varnish, paint thinner, assorted cans of paint, spackle and sheetrock mud, paint brushes, paint-rollers and
Two dogs, who more-or-less own themselves, but need attention, food and shelter. I care about those dogs.
Joint Property Related to
Writing, Research and Other Work
done by Wub-e-ke-niew and Myself
About 150 linear feet of books used for reference, most of them stored in the house. Some of these books are out of print, rare,
antique, or autographed by the author; the value of some of these books would not be apparent to someone not deeply involved in our
About three linear feet of recreational-reading fiction
About 10-15 linear feet of documents bound in three-ring binders
About 35 linear feet of archival documents, filed in filing cabinets, stored in document-storage boxes, mixed with other
papers in cardboard boxes, in file-folders on bookshelves, in piles around the house, in Wub-e-ke-niew's attaché case, etc.
Most of these are photocopies of documents in various archives; some are irreplaceable. Interspersed with these documents are
about five linear feet of miscellaneous papers, about six linear feet of Wub-e-ke-niew's and my personal and household papers, and
(especially among the papers stacked in cardboard boxes) some junk.
Also filed in the filing cabinet is one folder with papers belonging to Valerie, which Wub-e-ke-niew said he was "keeping
for" her, probably near the front of the second-from-top drawer of one of the north-facing file cabinets
Notes, mostly in my idiosyncratic shorthand, in notebooks, on scraps of paper, on backs of envelopes, on drafts of written
work, etc. Some of these notes have been transcribed; most have not. The value of these notes, especially those written on junk-
mail envelopes, etc., might not be apparent to someone other than Wub-e-ke-niew or myself.
At least sixty computer diskettes
Database and document files in computer
Box of audio tapes in attic, including interviews, broadcast material, speeches, and computer data. There are other audio
tapes in tape-storage folders on the bookshelf, on top of the refrigerator, laying around the house, etc., as well as the
previously-listed commercial audio tapes on the shelf under the northwest window. Some of these tapes are irreplaceable and
Photographs and photographic negatives, mostly in boxes, some negatives in negative-files in three-ring binder on the
bookshelf, some photographs and negatives are interspersed with other papers. A small percentage of these photographs and
negatives are family photographs, many have sentimental value, most are related to the work which Wub-e-ke-niew and I were
doing. The photographs were taken by both Wub-e-ke-niew and myself, usually using the same camera--and most rolls of film
include photographs taken by both of us.
Items stored in attic, including boxes of back issues of newspapers
Maps, some listed above
I realize that some items in our reference library are meaningful and have sentimental value to Wub-e-ke-niew's children, and
observe that there are equitable ways to share those items, including making copies of documents, computer files, audio tapes
and photographs, and the possibility of commercial-quality scanning of some of the photographic negatives. I also observe
that I am continuing the work which Wub-e-ke-niew and I were doing, in part pursuant to what amount to deathbed commitments
made by myself to Wub-e-ke-niew on October 9-13, 1997, as well as agreements and commitments made previously, and note that it
would cost at least three-quarters of a million dollars, in labor and expenses, to re-compile the replaceable parts of our
reference library. It may also be worth mentioning that a significant portion of our reference library was compiled with
the assistance of outside funding (and other) sources--and all of those with whom we worked closely were aware of the collaborative
nature of Wub-e-ke-niew's and my work. I also observe that the mutual toil and effort embedded in our work included a period of
years, prior to the publication of We Have The Right To Exist, during which Wub-e-ke-niew and I did not leave the house
unwatched, for reasons of document security.
Other items related to research, writing, etc.:
Tandy TRS-80 computer, in black vinyl case, sitting on top of books on varnished bookshelf
IBM PS-series computer with enhanced memory, including monitor, keyboard, mouse, and printer which is sitting on top of a plastic
Extra computer paper
Old printers in attic, one compatible with TRS-80
Software for TRS-80, on cassette tapes
Typewriter(s), microfiche reader and platform, etc., listed above
Tape recorders, excluding one recently given by Valerie to Wub-e-ke-niew, which was still in the box, and which she took back
shortly after Wub-e-ke-niew's death
Other: Some of the writing coming out of Wub-e-ke-niew's and my collaboration has been published, some has been publicly
presented by us, together and individually, and some has been circulated, formally and informally. Wub-e-ke-niew and I both
discussed our work with a wide range of other people, sometimes at great length--together and individually. By mutual
agreement, and for a variety of reasons, Wub-e-ke-niew stood, as he said, "out in front," and I remained in the background in most
contexts. During the last year of his life, I had, with Wub-e-ke-niew's support, begun to take a more publicly visible
There are a number of other issues, some directly connected to our household and joint work, including membership and capitol
credits in the electric and telephone company. There are almost certainly other items which I have forgotten to list, etc. My
primary concerns at the moment include maintenance of viable possibilities for the future for the Bear Dodem (Wub-e-ke-niew
was particularly concerned about protecting inherent rights to Ahnishinahbaeotjibway land), keeping the possibilities for future
harmony, and the safety and overall integrity of property in which I have or may have an interest, particularly the documents
and photographs. The household which Wub-e-ke-niew and I built together, and the land with whom I have become deeply connected,
hold a great deal of sentimental and other value for me. Among the people who know me well, it would be obvious that I don't
particularly care about the material aspects of a can of paint or whatever, although some things (including unimpeded visiting of
Wub-e-ke-niew's grave) I find quite important.
It is to be expected that the firewood would be burned during the course of the winter, and that much of the food in the
house would be eaten, propane used and replaced, etc. I also expect that I, Wub-e-ke-niew, and our relationship (both personal
and working) will be treated with respect.
a.k.a. Clara M. NiiSka-Ngiratregd
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