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This site redesigned
June 2007
Gloria Hazell
1997 - 2007
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This site designed by

 Dragonfly Dezignz

Graphics by Gloria Hazell 1997 - 2007
The background is from a quilled moccasin, graphic by Gloria Hazell
The medicine wheel logo was drawn by Solomon Derby and gifted to the Center for our use.
Thank you Solomon

Thank you for the skill with which you present your products. There are no big marketing schemes, just the simple truth. That is a good thing for people on the internet to discover.
Beth, MN. November 14, 2001

Thank you, both, for your efforts upon this site. It is extremely well done and informative. Thank you, for extending your time and energies to this site. Walk with the Sun; Dance with the Moon; Sing with the Stars; But always...Run with the Wind. -
Snow Owl, Nevada. December 8, 2001

Thank you for your continued educational and informational efforts to protect the Pipestone quarries from those who would misuse, abuse and deplete this precious resource! -
Kathleen, Indiana, April 2002


August 17, 2003:
We have found out who the people are who have taken over one of the False stone quarries. They have a website and give details of the transaction. They do say that this quarry is not at the Monument, which is good, but then they speak about the Monument and the sacredness of the quarries there. One of their statements is a bit of an exaggeration, "Only Native Americans are permitted to quarry on the Pipestone National Monument site. Local accounts tell us that although our quarry is not located on the monument site, various Native Americans also mined here." As far as we know that quarry was opened up by the owner about 25 years ago. Prior to that it was farmland. No Native Americans quarried there unless they were asked/paid to by the owner during the past 25 years.

They say "We feel that a wonderful opportunity exists to share a very special stone with all people". With words like that however people will still believe that this stone has special qualities, and will be disappointed when they find it doesn't. On their website they are offering pipestone in very large quantities, that would be impossible for a quarrier in Pipestone to do giving the way they quarry with hand tools. A quarrier in Pipestone will maybe birth about 300 pounds of the Catlinite from Mother Earth. This will equate to about 50" x 50" x 2" but of course the whole slab will not be consistant. Much will be thinner in places so that a pipe maker will have to cut around to find a nice piece for a pipe to be formed. The smaller pieces are given to the craftspeople to create turtles and other pipestone articles from. None is wasted, even the dust is used by sundancers as it is very special and healing. For one of the Pipestone quarriers to be able to offer 50 to 1,000 pounds of Catlinite would be unimaginable. Each one births as much as he needs for his own use and maybe for a few others who have requested some from him. None would be getting out that amount of stone, even from the larger quarries.

A number of years ago (1993) a report was written for the Little Feather Center that had findings from intensive research about how long one quarrier working under the usual conditions in the Pipestone quarries would take to fill one dumptruck up with Catlinite. The findings were very interesting because it showed that it would take 16 years. Time and conditions do not allow a quarrier to bring out much more than the 300 pounds. Yet the Pipestone Quarriers were being accused of selling the stone by the truckload. At that time we didn't have access to the information we do now about the False stone and wondered where these stories were coming from. Now we know. It is not the Pipestone quarries that have truckloads of stone going out from but the Jasper quarries. Just a few weeks ago 3 semi- trucks were loaded up and shipped to the east coast from Jasper. The stone there is not mined for spiritual purposes unlike in the Pipestone Quarries.

We promise to keep you up to date with any more news.

This is a page about the stone that is sold as Pipestone from the ancient quarries in Pipestone. More and more information comes to us about this stone and we wish to share some of it with you, with permission from the people who tell us.

The first is a story of an elder who obtained some stone via Chuck, the genuine stone that Chuck quarries himself. When asked if he would be making a Pipe from the stone the gentleman replied,
'No, this will be wrapped in red cloth and will go under my pillow for a while, then it will stay by the side of my bed. I know how sacred this stone is and I consider myself honored to have this piece. It will stay in my family as a special item, and will now be passed down thru the generations.'

This goes to show just how special the stone is.

We are being told by one or two people that the stone that comes from one of the Jasper quarries is as good as the stone from here in Pipestone, we are told that it can be carved just as easily. Maybe so, although we have seen no evidence of this, but what the people who are saying this are forgetting is that the stone and the Pipestone quarry area has been called Sacred for many generations, and by thousands of Native Americans. What they are losing in their misplaced belief is the reverence that these thousands of people hold fast to. The statement by that Native American elder brings it all into context. Pipestone Catlinite which is hand mined in the ancient quarries is unique in its' power and its' consistency.

Recently we were sent a web page by the man who wrote it after experiencing some of the false stone for himself. He was disappointed and amazed by the stone, he was also shocked that this stone can be sold under the pretense of being Pipestone/Catlinite. We asked him if we could link to the page from here and he has allowed us to, so please follow the next link and see for yourself what the false stone is like.

(The page will open in a new window so that you can come back here when you have read it.)

We have again been given some information from a friend who had bid on some stone via Ebay, thinking that it was true stone as it came from Pipestone. When they received it they found to their chagrin that they couldn't cut it properly, so they sent it to us and asked that we look into it.

We bid on some stone on Ebay from the same person that he did and won the auction, another friend wrote and asked some questions of the seller and was told that it was Catlinite from the quarries in Pipestone, and that it was the stone that Native Americans use. In the actual auction description it says, 'Thousands of Native Americans can't be wrong.' We have since notified the seller that the stone was unworkable and doesn't come from Pipestone, but have heard nothing. We were giving the seller the benefit of the doubt as we had thought that he was saying this because that was how he was informed, but now we wonder.

We have recently been asked 'what is 'false stone'? Stone is stone', according to the questioner. Well again maybe so, however the stone from the quarries here, where many Native people have shed their blood, sweat and tears, is full of an amazing energy that allows a person to send their prayers to the Creator, it offers that person the chance to be heard and to get an answer from the highest Spirit there is. If one offends around the stone, be it cursing, or behaving badly, the energies of the stone metes out due retribution. If one treats the stone badly the same thing happens. I know that I would never dream of doing or saying anything bad near the stone or on the Quarry grounds. I have seen the effects that can happen. I have witnessed the awesome power of the quarries, the stone and the Pipe.

On the other hand the 'false stone' doesn't have those energies. It is basically like a dead body, where the Spirit of the person has left. You cannot pick up anything alive in it. You can still see the physical body but you know that is all there is. That stone is just like that, physically it looks similar to Catlinite, but there is no spirit eminating from it. It is that 'Spirit of Catlinite' that Native people have picked up on and know that the Creator put it there for a reason.

I know it sounds far fetched, but spiritual things often sound that way. Spirit cannot be proved, but those who feel it KNOW that it is there, and those who use it have the FAITH that this is from the Creator. On the other hand those who know nothing about Spirit, cannot feel it, speak to, hear or see it will probably never understand what I am speaking about.

The lights are all around the quarries in Pipestone, the lights of those beings that we know hardly anything about, the SPIRIT LIGHTS. They may be small but they are powerful in their magnificance, and luminance. I've yet to see any in Jasper!

Right now on the Monument grounds Spirits are restless, they see and hear all that is going on and they don't like it. They have been heard by many people, (including Chuck & Gloria,) speaking together, playing music and singing. When the people have gone to see who is making the sounds they find nothing and no-one. Trouble is in the air and Spirit knows it. They are seeing the Original Dakota people in Pipestone being put down by those who are misusing their little bit of power, they are watching the anguish of those same Dakota people as they see their traditions being thrown on the garbage pile while new traditions are being accepted as fine and dandy by the Pipestone non-native Community. For the over 70 years the Dakota have resided in town they and their established cultural practices, rituals and unwritten laws have never been treated so shabbily, even with all the usual racism that occurs in predominantly non-native towns.

This story is on-going, and will be told in full when the time is right. There is much happening right now behind the scenes. If you are interested in hearing more do keep visiting the site. As soon as I am able I will put the full details on here.

More snippets from emails we have received about the false stone.........

"By the way I loved your story of the Jasper quarries. I purchased some stone at a Pow Wow here in Arkansas that I have a hunch came from there. I was assured that it could be shaped with a "butter knife". Well, these people must have better butter knives in their kitchens than I have in mine because I had trouble cutting this stuff with a carbon saw." - pup59

" I did not know about the false pipestone, explains a lot. We had been gifted some red stone that was said to have come from the sacred quarries. But was so brittle, when we started to work it, it just cracked and splintered." - Michael

I have in the past used stone from ......... I am tired of being ripped off by this guy!!!! with stone you could not cut with a diamond bit, or stone that is so fractured it is not usable, I don't make hundreds of pipes usually just a couple a year. - Marvin, May 2003

I've tried to carve my own pipe for prayer work before but the stone was very hard and eventually it broke. I thanked Wakan Tanka and asked to be shown why it broke. After reading this site I'm thinking that maybe I was sold a fake stone. - Andrea, Oklahoma, October 20 2001

A few years ago my brother had sent me a piece of pipestone and it was soft and very easy to shape. This year he sent another piece and it is, I'll use the term "hard as a rock", I am having a lot of trouble shaping it. - November 2002

I did get some of the fake stone that you mentioned from a seller on eBay. I don't know what in the world it was that he sent me, but it wasn't the real deal. When I'm able to do so, I should probably send the stone that I got from eBay to you to look at. Thanks again, - Del, June 2002

I have unsuccessfully tried to make a pipe from the few pieces of "not so great” stone I have been given, and it’s full of hard places and then crumbly places. I feel it has been very frustrating for a reason. I have been on the wrong path. I know real pipestone is the right path. - Joe, August 2003

I ordered some stone from someone else that I found on line. I had some problems. The first stone had a crack. It was a large piece. I was able to cut 2 pipe blanks from it. I had no problems getting it replaced. He even sent me an extra small piece. As you can guess the new large piece also had cracks. - Bill W, October 2004.

After reading your site on pipestone, i'm glad i didn't buy from the other sites i see. - E B, November 2004

The letter below came in from a lady in November 2004. I asked her if I could use it and she said 'Of course', after she received the genuine stone a few days later she again wrote and that is included here as well. Thanks Joni for letting us use your words.

Thank you for this wonderful information!! This explains a lot of things, such as, why some of the "pipestone" I've run across doesn't feel right, why a piece I had a while back behaved the way it did. I kept it for a long time before attemptng to carve it, it seems part of me was afraid to touch it. It had a weird vibe; it seemed to carry fear and confusion. So finally I gathered up my nerve and my tools and tried to carve it, but it bent and blunted my tools and finally broke in my hand. I got quite upset, fearing that the stone had judged me unworthy. I buried the stone in a deserted place and for a while I was afraid of Pipestone. I told anyone who would listen that Pipestone was dangerous to most people with regular human frailties, only the most perfect people could dare touch it with impunity. As you can guess, I didn't make too many friends, talking that way.

Well, that was some years back, and the years have smoothed and polished me like water running over rocks. I've always felt drawn to Pipestone, and recently came across your wonderful site when I thought I'd get some and make gifts for my friends. Now I understand! That stuff that gave me a good scare a while back was not Pipestone at all! It was not I who was at fault after all!

The other day I was in a rock shop and someone working there told me proudly that they'd just obtained some Pipestone. I asked to see it, and they showed me these huge chunks of something that didn't feel right. So I've sent your URL to the owner of that shop and I hope he visits your site. Most people I've met in the gem and mineral trade are good intentioned people who love the Earth and her stone children, and have decided to make a living working with what they love. They would not purposely try to defraud anyone, but too many people simply don't know! Thanks for getting the word out there. Some people who are making money off of others' ignorance and good intentions may give you a hard time. But you are doing a good thing and I hope you have a long life, a long and happy work, and many blessings! -- Joni


Just to let you know, it arrived safely and it is beautiful! As soon as I opened the box I smelled a wonderful aroma of sage, tobacco, Pipestone, and the indefinable scent of Something Sacred. I examined the pieces and I now see that there is no mistaking "the real McCoy" once you see it and feel it and know it. A while back, as a beginning artist, I asked a gem and minerals trader, how do you know the difference between real and fake diamond? He replied, the same as you know the difference between stone and glass or plastic, you just know how it's supposed to look and feel. I've seen a bit of so-called "Pipestone" and I always felt funny about touching it. Now that I see and feel these pieces you sent, I feel good about touching and working it, and there is no way I can ever mistake the fake stuff again. Every few months or so, I get some good organic tobacco from a trader in New Mexico. Like Pipestone, this trader regards true tobacco as sacred, and so he does not sell the tobacco itself, he only accepts payment for his work in obtaining and distributing it. Next time I get some, I'll send some to you for your work. And I'll be sure and pass along your URL to any trader I meet, who needs to know about the fake stuff vs the Real McCoy. Thanks and Blessings to you! -- Joni

317 4th Street North East, Pipestone Minnesota USA
littlefeather4 at hotmail dot com