to this Dakota owned Site and Center
2010: We are sorry that we have not updated this page for
a while. At the end of 2009 Chuck was very sick, losing weight
and having pains in his tummy, although he went to the doctor
a lot the doctor ignored his symptoms telling him he had H Pylori,
or spasms from having his gall bladder out in 2008. I arrived
back in Pipestone at the end of March, and we went to the doctors
again a few days later. I said that we wanted to go to the Mayo
Clinic because there was something really wrong with Chuck and
we needed to know what it was. He said, 'No you don't need
to do that we can deal with it here' and promptly (months
too late) put him in to have a catscan that day. A few hours
later we were in waiting for the results.... The doctor came
in didn't even look at either of us, just looked at the wall
and said, 'I don't like to give this sort of news but you
have something in your pancreas.' I said 'Something?'
He said 'A tumor' I said 'So what can you do for it?'
He said 'nothing much, Michael Landon died of this.'
And that was how Chuck found out he had pancreatic cancer. I
made arrangements the following morning to go to the Mayo in
Rochester. They did tests over 2 weeks and we were told he had
stage IV inoperable pancreatic cancer that has masticized to
his liver. he was told 3 - 6 months as a ballpark figure, but
we were later told that was without treatment, it should be
longer with treatment.
he is now having chemotherepy in Sioux Falls. He is very weak,
has lost over 40 pounds in weight, is usually very tired and
he uses a walker or wheelchair to get around in. Last week was
the end of one round of chemo and the tests came back that the
main tumor has shrunk by a cm, and the secondary ones in his
liver had also shrunk some. We are all very happy about this
as it shows the chemo is working. He started his second round
isn't quarrying of course and has no stone right now, he hasn't
made a pipe for a while and isn't well enough to do talks. However
we are still keeping the Center open as best we can. We have
been lucky because a young man came to us last year, loved the
area, loved the Center and this year has returned to help us
take care of it and keep it open. His name is Wyatt, he helps
at taco sales, cuts the lawn, greets visitors and is very personable
to everyone he meets.
news is that on May 1st Chuck and I got married legally, like
everyone says, 'It's about time!' I will now be taking care
of him through his illness at home here in Pipestone. I know
that many of you will want to come and visit him during his
illness, sometimes he welcomes people, at other times he is
just so tired he sleeps. We have a sign on the door if he is
sleeping. You may of course email him at email@example.com
but please don't expect a reply as he rarely does a lot on the
computer. I will keep his progress up to date on here as best
I can. Or you can ask to be a friend on Facebook as I update
almost everyday on there.
2010: Chuck passed away on the 7th of August, 4 months after
his diagnosis of Pancreatic Cancer. He died very peacefully
in his beloved Center with his sisters, daughter and myself
of you have probably heard about the so-called sweat lodge in
Arizona where 3 people died and more were taken to hospital.
This subject is close to our hearts and so we have dedicated
a page especially to this. Included on the page are our own
findings, the response from James Ray and Arvol Looking Horse's
statement about it. Please check it out HERE
(updated 28 Oct, 09)
2009: This summer we have had a lot of people visiting us
from all over America and Canada who have seen this website
and decided that they should visit us. It has amazed us that
so many of you want to come and meet us and see the Center.
We thank you all so much for spending the time and resources
to come to us. It has been lovely to meet you all.
the new header above you can see our tipi that is now standing
outside the Center, thanks Cindy and Greg for helping us with
it. We have had the tipi for years but didn't have poles for
it. This year we managed to get some from friends, and straight
away erected it. So far it has some items in it and we are hoping
to get backrests made for it shortly.
making and updating other people's websites I am again trying
to find the time to update and redesign this site! (G)
2009: Before I get down to the regular front page I have to
add the following update:
SOS We need help!
response to our SOS we were truly amazed at how many people
contacted us. Some sent money, some gave financial advice and
some gave support. We are thankful for all, and we are thankful
that our wonderful friends worldwide are so open to sharing.
am happy to announce that Chuck managed to pay the taxes up
fully last week, (May 2009) and we also managed to pay off part
of the next bill as well.
the advice part we are planning on working on this as well as
soon as I, Gloria, can manage to get back to the States. Chuck
and I have discussed our future plans for the Center and we
hope to be able to bring good news on that front in a couple
cannot name everyone on here who sent in donations, because
some was sent in by anonymous donors, others sent were a group
effort. However we do want to thank all of you from the bottom
of our hearts. You have shown us that the Center is important
to you. Many people said that the work that we do on education
and historic facts is invaluable and it must not stop, we agree
with you and are happy to say that it will continue as long
as we can do it. It is our passion and our life's work.
has been making little Pipestone thank you's to send to those
that we have names and addresses for. They should be with you
We are so thankful for your assistance in this, and you will
be in our prayers.
Gloria & Alice
Now back to the regular page
Koda, welcome to the Little Feather Center, we are located in
Pipestone, Minnesota, the home of the genuine stone that our
sacred Pipestone Pipes are made from. The Center is Dakota owned
and operated and the site is full of information on the Dakota
culture and other Native American issues. If you continue through
this site you will, I hope, learn much about the Pipestone Pipes
and the authentic Catlinite stone that they are created from.
By the time you leave you should be able to tell the difference
between the genuine stone from Pipestone and the look-alike
red stone from Jasper, and also know about the various styles
of pipes, the sacred pipestone quarries, quarrying and the history
of Pipestone. You may also have signed a petition or two!
am Running Elk (Chuck Derby), I am Dakota, please allow me to
introduce you to my life, spiritual and work partner Gloria,
escort you through the doors of the 'Little Feather Interpretive
Center' and show you around.
our Center you are only a stranger once!
and Gloria 2008
2009: This summer has been a busy
and exciting one for us, we have had many visitors to the Center
and have gone out to do talks and met a lot of other people.
We have also done Taco sales in a number of places. We put on
a lunch for 30+ elders from the Lower Brule Reservation, and
met with Paul LaRoche (Brule) and will probably be working alongside
of him on one of his new ventures. We had Sundancers coming
over to the Center for showers and security during a storm and
a new movie opened at the National Monument that Chuck was in.
We did a number of talks that were televised and had a good
turnout during the Rendezvous weekend in town. As stated earlier
we now have a tipi up outside the Center, and as of a couple
of weeks ago a sweat lodge. Chuck also met Kevin Costner a few
days ago and it looks as if we will be working with his venture
Tatanka, in SD. Photos from some of these things are
on a separate page HERE.
2009: Today we viewed 'Ancient Tracks' the next DVD in
the series Wakan Sota, it is in the final stages of production,
and it is very good. As before Nico has done a fabulous job
in putting it all together in order. Filming was done over a
2 year period, and yet he has bought it altogether in a wonderful
way. As soon as it is ready we will put information on this
page, please keep an eye out for it!
new DVD is now ready, we are just printing up the covers, so
if you want a copy, the title is 'Ancient Tracks', please
email us to order a copy. International Format only right now.
(Stills from the DVD are HERE)
also now have the US version of 'Sacred Smoke' for anyone
who has had problems viewing the international format DVD. Both
DVD's have a lightscribe label on rather than a paper one, and
the cover of the old one has been recolored.
am pleased to say that some of the local businesses have added
the 2 DVD's to their stock, you can get them from the Pipestone
County Museum, the Indian Shrine Association at the National
Monument and our friend Tammy has some at her new store in Pipestone.
You can't miss it as it has a big sign outside, 'Indian Crafts'!
we speak the next DVD 'And the Stone Sings' is being finalized
with extra filming, hopefully by next spring that will be available
Guns on the sacred Pipestone National Monument grounds
latest project we are working on is letting people know about
the new ruling that the government will be bringing in in January.
The ruling will allow anyone to be on National Park land or
National Wildlife areas carrying concealed weapons. This will
include the Pipestone National Monument, a place, where since
time immemorial it has been an unwritten law that weapons should
be buried before setting foot on the land. A place that is very
sacred to most Native American Tribes.
Park Superintendant is trying to get the Monument an exemption
from this ruling because of it's history and religious standing.
We have set up a facebook group for people to have their say
and to join to keep up to date on the issue. We have also set
up a website giving more details. A petition is being worked
The bill was overturned by a Judge in May 09.
Congress passed a bill for Credit Card reform in June 09 and
attached to that bill was the bill for the Concealed Weapons
on National Parks bill. So it has passed and will come into
effect in 2010. We are still working on getting Pipestone some
type of exemption
also now have a Facebook page for the Little Feather
Center, where you can become a fan. Updated news will be
put on there as it comes in, rather than waiting ages for it
to appear on here. The URL for the page is HERE
news that was on this first page has been moved to the News
page. Only the latest news will be on this page.
you wish to order some stone or a Pipe, join the Quarriers Guild,
or attend a workshop please use the form page HERE
sign our guest book to let us know you have visited. Just click
on 'View my Guestbook' and then click the 'post' link and enter
your information. We look forward to hearing from you. The guestbook
link is on most pages
Please send any queries to Gloria at the email address on the
graphic above. Please put LFIC as the topic - Thanks