* One hundred and ten years ago on the 25th of June, Lt. Col. George Custer rode forth against the Sioux and the Cheyenne and got his tail whomped. Not one of Custer's men lived through the Battle of Little Big Horn and for the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) it's a day to celebrate.

In honor of the event, the NCAI is conducting an auction Wednesday at 6 p.m. at the NCAI courtyard, 804 D St. NE. Several hundred participants are expected to attend.

"We will be auctioning off everything from handmade Indian shawls and blankets to jewelry, paintings and artifacts," says Wanda Moore, financial director of NCAI. Included will be smoked salmon, a star quilt, bead work and pottery, along with a few power lunches with sympathetic legislators -- Sen. Ted Kennedy for one.

Traditional, native Indian foods will be highlighted with the serving of buffalo stew, buffalo burgers, salmon from the Northwest and posole, a sort of hominy. For a $7.50 entrance fee, people will be encouraged to eat all they can and wash it down with beer donated by Coors.

"It is more of a goodwill type of gathering," says Moore. "The whole notion is not to make money, it is more to enlighten the community about the organization and the people we serve. We will be introducing native American Indian jewelry and it will serve to celebrate Little Big Horn."

NCAI is a nonprofit lobbying organization, serving American Indian and Alaskan-native tribes. Along with providing information, it serves as a general advocate for these tribes and monitors legislation affecting Indian affairs.

For your celebration, try the authentic American Indian recipe below. With salt and butter in your cupboard, it will take just one quick trip through The Road of Little Waits.

Express Lane: garlic, red pepper, oregano, onion, lemon, trout, corn tortillas TAOS PUEBLO FISH BAKE (2 servings)

1 clove garlic, mashed

1 teaspoon red pepper, powdered or crushed

1 teaspoon oregano

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 onion, minced

1/3 cup fresh lemon juice

1 1/2 pound trout, cleaned and scaled

Combine the first six ingredients and mix thoroughly. Let stand for 15 minutes. Marinate trout in mixture for at least 10 minutes on each side.

Place the trout in a baking dish and fill its cavity with half the marinade. Pour the rest over the fish. Bake fish in a 350-degree oven for about 1 hour. Serve fish with hot corn tortillas.

Adapted from "Pueblo and Navajo Cookery," by Marcia Keegan (Earth Books, 1977)