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August 9, 2023

SOARRING 2023 News

Now that COVID is over, Midwest SOARRING Foundation is busier than ever with land acknowledgment requests and pow wow planning. In November 2022, Midwest SOARRING Foundation held it’s 26th Annual Harvest Pow Wow indoors at the DuPage County Fairgrounds in Wheaton, IL. Our family friendly Harvest Pow Wow was well received with four to five thousand people in attendance. SOARRING received many, many appreciative compliments on the event. In all ways SOARRING volunteers work hard to make the difference with our annual Pow Wow.

This years’ 2023 Annual Harvest Pow Wow will be held at the same indoor location, the DuPage Cty Fairgrounds October 14th and 15th. In addition to the Native American drumming and dancing filling the arena throughout the day, a live raptor exhibit is planned and a few other surprises are in store. Check the pow wow website for the latest updates. Online discounted tickets are available now at https://www.harvestpowwow.com/tickets.html

Guiding SOARRING’s land acknowledgement work is the principal that each event include a way to take responsibility for past historical wrongs by providing a better future for Native people. One way this is done is through the provision of scholarships for qualified Native applicants provided by an organization.  Often a special honor dance occurs with the donors and scholarship recipient present.

As we progress with beautifying our Native American Cultural Center in Lockport, SOARRING is looking for individuals to donate perennial wildflowers from their gardens in the fall. Please send us an email if you have perennial wildflowers to donate to msf@midwestsoarring.org. To further SOARRING’s environmental work, we will be hosting several clean –up days with locations to be determined.

Upcoming Events
Plans are underway for a large Fall Equinox ceremony on September 23rd in Churchill Woods Forest Preserve in Glen Ellyn. If you have suggestions for Zoom programs for the fall and winter please send us an email with the topic, suggested speaker, and their contact information. msf@midwestsoarring.org. Finally, Brookfield Zoo gifted SOARRING with a number of free admission tickets, so SOARRING will be planning a fall outing to the zoo, with the date to be determined.  Check our calendar page for the latest information. https://www.midwestsoarring.org/calendar.html

Also SOARRING will feature two Native films for the public at the Roxie Theater in Lockport on September 30, 2023 at 3pm and 5:30. Check our calendar page for movie descriptions and tickets. https://www.midwestsoarring.org/calendar.html

We are planning a late summer picnic and a winter holiday party at Pilcher Park Nature Center in Joliet.

If anyone has a used pickup truck in good shape, SOARRING would welcome the donation.

Finally, we are seeking scholarship applicants. You may download the 2023 scholarship package at https://www.midwestsoarring.org/scholarship.html

SOARRING looks forward to hearing from you!

Warm regards,

Joseph Standing Bear Schranz

February 14, 2022

SOARRING Standing Bear Flea & Craft Markets May-October 2022

SOARRING invites everyone to attend our Standing Bear Markets Craft and Flea Markets, the last Saturday of the month, May through October set in the rustic, historic town of Lockport, IL. The market hours are 10am to 4pm. The market location is the parking lot adjacent to 171 Archer Road near the Lockport Historic Train Station at 133 West 13th Street, Lockport, IL, adjacent to the Midwest SOARRING Foundation Native American Cultural Center.

Admission is free. No pets allowed.  No drugs, alcohol or weapons. Markets take place rain or shine. Plenty of free parking.

Enjoy the scenery of the beautiful I & M Canal. After the market take in a meal at one of Lockport’s eating establishments.

Interested vendors can download the application and market rules form. The cost is $35 . Vendor setup hours are 8am to 10am. Tents are permitted with weights to hold them down. No stakes pounded into pavement. No electrical provided. Questions? Call 773.585.8613


January 6, 2022

SOARRING Fall 2021 News

Midwest SOARRING has experienced a busy fall season with a number of events. The fall equinox celebration was held at the Heritage Pioneer Village in Lockport, followed by SOARRING’s participation in Pioneer Day at Stacy’s Tavern with the Historical Society in Glen Ellyn. Joseph Standing Bear opened the event with a blessing followed by Native American dancing. SOARRING looks forward to future events together.

In October a land acknowledgement ceremony was held at on the grounds of the Downers Grove Public Library complete with Native Dancers performing a traditional healing dance.  Read the land acknowledgement in full detail here. An exhibit of SOARRING’s Native American Pow Wow photographs and artifacts were on display inside the library and attendees had an opportunity to learn more about the Red Dress Project and The Orange Shirt Society.

Jaime Black Red Dress Project

Native Book bundles were also raffled off for all ages. SOARRING was pleased to experience a crowd of over 300 individuals and welcomed their questions and concerns about Native issues.

The following day, a large Native American Fall Gathering was held at the beautiful Lincoln I & M Landing in Lockport, IL. Highlights included Native American dancing and drumming and the fast stepping Aztec Dancers Ocelotl-Cihuacoatl in their colorful regalia. This first ever day- long event drew four to five hundred people and included Native musicians, children’s activities, craft and food vendor. Author Susan Kelsey signed her book titled Billy Caldwell: Chicago and the Great Lakes Trial. A bigger event with more features is planned for next year.

Aztec Dancers

Aztec Dance Group Oceloti-Chihuacoatl

SOARRING hosted three virtual Zoom talks this fall. Erik Redik (Misko-anang) author and Anishinaabe language director of the Oshki Ogimaag Community School on the Grand Portage Reservation spoke about the Lake Superior Ojibwe Treaties-The Treaties that Built America. Redix cited his research of the treaties of 1837, 1842, and 1854 which provided essential resources for the growth and expansion of the United States. Three prime resources of lumber, copper, and iron ore which in turn constructed buildings, created the telephone and electrical wires, and built trains and later cars for contemporary America.

In November, author Susan Kelsey gave her Zoom presentation detailing her curiosity learning about the Caldwell reserve in her Chicago neighborhood, and how it was named after a Potawatomi Chief whose trail she followed to write her book and produce her documentary film. Later in November, a second virtual talk was presented by Naomi Smith Indigenous Artist and Educator, titled No Word for Art: Exploring the Indigenous Roots of Creativity.  Naomi’s talk was quite popular as viewers enjoyed seeing her native artistry that adorned everyday objects such as baskets and bags.

SOARRING also hosted a candlelit call to action Prayer Vigil for an ancient mound on the west side of Gougar Road. The Gougar family are strong supporters of protecting the mound from any further disturbance. They have passed down stories of their ancestor’s friendly contact with Chief Shabbana and his request to protect the mounds present on their land.

In December, SOARRING held the annual member’s meeting via Zoom and the officers were reelected. A holiday open house followed at the Native American Cultural Center. The year ended with an outdoor winter solstice celebration and land acknowledgement at Churchill Woods Forest Preserve in Glen Ellyn, adjacent to the McKee House and DuPage River.  Over three hundred people attended the event. It was obvious they were moved by the ceremony and lingered after the event ended. SOARRING greatly appreciates the generosity and interest of the many people seeking to help us with our goals.

June 6, 2021

SOARRING Spring 2021 News

Pilcher Park Totem Pole, Joliet, Illinois

Earlier this winter a woman noticed the poor condition of the totem pole located outside the Pilcher Park Nature Center in Joliet, Illinois. She mentioned it to Sandy Vasko, the director of the Will County Historical  Museum.  Sandy, in turn, contacted Joseph Standing Bear Schranz, Director of Midwest SOARRING Foundation, and asked him to evaluate it. Joseph found the totem pole of Alaskan Coastal origin to be damaged from the woodpeckers and the elements. He reported that if it was left outside for another three to five years, it would totally be degraded.

Pilcher Park Totem Pole

Pilcher Park Totem Pole

Joseph envisioned SOARRING members restoring the totem pole to it’s original condition under the supervision of master woodworkers, restoration experts at the Field Museum, as well as tribal consultants.  This idea was proposed to the Joliet Park District at their March 2021 meeting.  It appears that a wealthy Joliet hardware store owner in Joliet purchased the totem pole in the early 1900’s and brought it back to Joliet to put on display. According to Joseph totem poles serve seven or eight purposes for Native peoples.  As the project stands now further research is needed about how to restore the totem pole in a respectful and proper way. A second meeting will be held with the Joliet Park District once the research is complete.

Virtual Zoom Presentations

2021 has been a productive a busy year for SOARRING to date. SOARRING has sponsored a number of interesting virtual Zoom presentations led by knowledgeable leaders in their field since January. These include:

  • Copper-Sulfide Mining in Minnesota given by Water Legacy board member Don Arnosti,
  • Cultural Burning by Margo Robbins, Executive Director of the Cultural Fire Management Council of the Yurok Tribe in northern California,
  • Native Americans of Glen Ellyn, Illinois Past, Present and Future: a roundtable discussion with representatives from the College of DuPage Native American Studies Program, Glen Ellyn Historical Society, the Glen Ellyn Library, and SOARRING.
  • Restoring the Wild, Migratory Bison to the Yellowstone Ecosystem by James Holt, Executive Director of the Buffalo Field Campaign and member of the Nez Perce tribe in Idaho,
  • Bird Feeding Without Bird Feeders presented by Kate Caldwell, Interpretive Naturalist at the Plum Creek Nature Center near Beecher, IL.
  • Bear Ears National Monument and It’s Place In Utah’s Wilderness, given by Clayton Daughenbough, Organizing Director for the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance. If you missed this presentation you can view a recording of it at this link: https://vimeo.com/545173904/b9a4a2dfdb. Senator Durbin re-introduced “America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act” into the U.S. Senate on May 10. Please thank Sen. Durbin by phone at 202.224.2152, by email https://www.durbin.senate.gov/contact/email, and/or in reaction to his Tweet at https://twitter.com/SenatorDurbin/status/1391876769356070912 including #ProtectWildUtah.  Please also contact Sen. Duckworth and thank her for promptly co-sponsoring America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act (S.1535) 202.224.2854 and/or email https://www.duckworth.senate.gov/connect/email-tammy. Utah’s Red Rock Wilderness is a spectacular landscape and instrumental to addressing climate change and protecting Native American cultural resources from looting and vandalism.

Stay tuned for more stimulating Zoom programs in the fall. Check our calendar page or join our email newsletter list to be notified of upcoming events.

I&M Old Canal Days

Midwest SOARRING Foundation participated in the I&M Old Canal Days celebration held in a new location across from the Heritage Pioneer Village in Lockport, IL. on Saturday, June 12 and 13, 2021. SOARRING provided Native American dancers who danced in full regalia on Sunday afternoon as well as an artifact table which included bows, arrows, and jewelry. It was an opportunity to meet and greet the public and to encourage visitors to explore the old buildings of the historic Heritage Village Pioneer Village and visit the Midwest SOARRING Native American Cultural Center located in the historic Lockport Train Station, at 113 W. 13th Street.

SOARRING Summer Equinox Celebration

On Sunday, June 20, 2021 at 11am the summer equinox celebration will be led by Joseph Standing Bear Schranz at the Medicine Wheel Garden located at the Heritage Pioneer Village in Lockport, IL. All are welcome to attend. Following the ceremony, the Miles Goddard Scholarship will be awarded to two deserving candidates. Cake and coffee will follow.

SOARRING Community Picnic, Dellwood Park, Cardinal Pavillion, Lockport, IL. Saturday, June 26, 2021

Join SOARRING members to spend an afternoon in the sun. All are welcome. Our picnic begins at 11am.
To minimize germs we will break our potluck tradition and ask everyone to bring or arrange your own food. Also, to avoid musical park-benches bringing your own lawn chair is recommended.

Dell wood Park, Lockport, IL

This is a mask-optional event. If you want to maintain distance, keep your mask on. If you are vaccinated and want to share smiles and hugs, take your mask off! If you’re afraid, we understand and will miss you and look forward to seeing you again when you feel safe to join us. If you have any symptoms in the 2 weeks before the picnic, please stay home. Masks will be on the honor system.

This is a family friendly, drug and alcohol free event.

March 28, 2017

Fall 2016 SOARRING News

22nd Annual Harvest Pow Wow-September 24 & 25, 2016

A wonderful celebratory mood enveloped the 22nd Annual Midwest SOARRING Foundation Harvest Pow Wow the weekend of Sept. 24 & 25th,  at the Naper Settlement.

Naperville Mayor Steve Chirico

During the Grand Entry processions proud Native American dancers from  many Midwestern  tribes filed into the arena, led by veterans carrying flags. Throughout the weekend these dancers entertained the public in their colorful regalia and dance styles.  Scout troops, families, couples and friends of all nationalities savored the entertaining, educational, and family friendly event.

Over thirty five vendor booths with Native themed arts & crafts filled the settlement grounds providing visitors ample shopping opportunities. Vendors sold jewelry and handcrafts from the Southwest and indigenous Mexico,  skillfully made wooden Native flutes,  indigenous herbal remedies,  and sweaters and bags from the high Andes mountains.

Attendees had the opportunity to learn about several non-profit organizations with booths at the Pow Wow which included the CANA FoundationS.O.A.R. (Save Our American Raptors), and veteran’s services.  Many waited in lines to taste the popular Indian Tacos made with fry bread as well as grilled bison burgers, and sample an assortment of other tasty offerings.

Families and friends rested in the shade with lawn chairs while the arena was filled with the brilliantly dressed Native American dancers, moving to the beat of the

Petting Horse

Petting Horse

drums.  Dance demonstrations highlighting the different Native American dance styles were held throughout the day. Other Harvest Pow Wow highlights included two dramatic drumming and dance performances by the Aztec Dancers. Special guest  Native American celebrity Moses Brings Plenty mingled with the crowd, signed autographs and was available for photo shoots and discussions about CANA with pow wow goers.

During the dinner break Moses spoke to the arena audience about the efforts of the CANA Foundation, a non-profit organization with “re-wilding” as it’s reason for being, where wild horse herds as family groups are relocated on to Native American reservations.

He also described the Native American protest against the Dakota Pipeline at the Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota. Later, a blanket dance and offering was collected as a donation to the Standing Rock Sioux. Over $1,000 was collected.  Midwest SOARRING also sold a number of NO DAPL t-shirts at the pow wow.

Popular activities at the children’s area included flintknapping (making an arrowhead), art projects (beading, sandpainting) and decorating a horse shoe created by a blacksmith. Many families enjoyed visiting and taking photos by the Midwest SOARRING tipi. An all time favorite was petting and observing the live mustang horse, painted in true Native style next to the CANA booth.

Later, in the arena hoop dancer Randy Preston thrilled the packed arena with his athletic and artistic moves. He created animal shapes from six or more large hoops dancing all the while. Audience favorites, talented musicians Al Jourdan sang and played guitar, and Al Jewer played Native Flute.

Hoop Dancer Randy Preston

The joyful pow wow atmosphere was contagious, as the number of dancers and crowd numbers continue to be attracted to the Native American cultural event.  Next year’s Harvest Pow Wow is scheduled for September 23 & 24th, 2017 and promises to bring more cultural education and entertainment to Naperville, Illinois.

America’s first people and Native American culture is alive and vibrant in the Midwest.

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Aanii Boozhoo

Midwest SOARRING Foundation invites all people to gather into an ever-increasing wider circle that preserves Mother Earth, and the rich traditions of the ancestors. We invite you to learn about the many intertribal Native American lifeways that provide wisdom and direction in our contemporary world. In keeping with this path, Midwest SOARRING Foundation works to maintain the traditions of the ancestors and to conserve and restore to health the natural environment.

We invite you to join our circle. Dance at our pow wows. Attend our cultural events and support the bison herd-our nation's greatest herbivore and symbol of hope and survival for all people. As you listen, you will learn. Together we become the Spirit of the ancestors.

Joseph Standing Bear Schranz

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