The later half of 2013 proved to be a full and productive year for Midwest SOARRING Foundation. The calendar of monthly events included beading workshops, Fireside Talks, a first Tiospaye Honor Ceremony, and monthly Women’s Group meetings, Fall Equinox and Winter Soltice observances, in addition to the annual Harvest Pow Wow held in September.
MIDWEST SOARRING FIRESIDE TALKS
Midwest SOARRING Foundation hosted the first Fireside Talk, given by Cindy Hicks-Orth, Director and Founder of Giving Back To Wounded Knee Foundation on July 27, 2014 at the Westchester Public Library. Hicks-Orth presented on “Together In The Spirit” and covered the history and current day affairs on the Pine Ridge and Rosebud Reservations in South Dakota, two of the three most poverty stricken counties in the country. Hicks is of Shawnee ancestry and spends much of her summers planning and organizing her foundation’s annual Give Away for the Ogalala Lakota and Rosebud Sicangu Reservations in South Dakota.
As an activist for Native American issues, Hicks speaks on issues current and relevant to the people she serves, and those issues of historical value that may not be so familiar with “outsiders.” Hicks brought with her a large display gallery of Native American artifacts and books for the public to peruse. She was grateful to receive a truckload of donations from Midwest SOARRING Foundation members for her annual fall GiveAway.
Dave Nordin presented the second Fireside Talk on October 19, 2013 at the Midwest SOARRING Foundation Cultural Center. Nordin holds a BA in Modern European History in addition to his Juris Doctor from the University of Illinois College of Law. He spoke on the “Similiaries and Interaction Between the Native Nations and the Colony of New Sweden.” His fascinating talk introduced awareness of an immigrant group whose behavior did not fit the more common pattern of exploitation, deception, and violence in North America.
CALL TO ACTION
In early October Midwest SOARRING joined a rally in support of Racine Mounds, a cemetary where Indian burial mounds are located. Initially the funeral home sought to buy a piece of cemetery where Indian remains were located, yet, upon consultation with the Ho-Chunk Nation, backed out of the deal.
TIOSPAYE HONOR CEREMONY
On October 12, 2013 Midwest SOARRING Foundation held its first annual Tiospaye Honor Ceremony to honor family and friends who have passed on. A potluck dinner was held after the ceremony to encourage sharing and sense of community among participants.
MSF WOMEN’S GROUP
This year the Midwest SOARRING Foundation Women’s Group has met monthly (fourth Friday of every month) at 7pm at the Cultural Center. The well attended event encourages women gathering to share their life cultural experiences and build camaraderie with one another. November included a pipe ceremony with Joseph Standing Bear Schranz.
ANNUAL MEMBERS MEETING & VOLUNTEER HOLIDAY PARTY
The Annual Members Meeting was held on November 16, 2013. Board members were elected for the coming year, and Joseph Standing Bear Schranz gave a review of the struggles, successes, and celebrations of the organization since last October. He also provided an overview of future plans and aspirations which included initiating Phase II of the Recreated Native Village. Members enjoyed a tasty potluck dinner during the meeting.
A month later, holiday festivities were celebrated at the annual MSF Members and Volunteer Holiday Party at the Pilcher Park Nature Center in Joliet. A candlelight walk preceded the dinner and fellowship. Afterwards the annual tradition of sharing a handmade ornament for the Spirit tree occurred. This is a time of heartfelt sharing in community, giving thanks for the learnings, goodness and blessings bestowed on members lives during the past year. Members brought gifts of winter hats, mittens, non-perishable food items, household goods, or a new toys for those in need living on reservations.
PHASE II of RECREATED NATIVE AMERICAN VILLAGE
Midwest SOARRING is happy to report that many saplings have been cut in preparation for the Longhouse building which will begin this spring on the Cultural Center grounds. Comcast Cares will return to assist with the preparation and planting of the Midwest SOARRING garden in May. A meeting has been scheduled in January to plan the garden.