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November 8, 2014

20th Annual Harvest Pow Wow & 2014 Fall Events

Midwest SOARRING 20th Annual Harvest Pow Wow

Celebration of Diversity

Attendees at the 20th Annual Harvest Pow Wow experienced a celebration of diversity the weekend of September 20-21, 2014. Despite the intermittent rain, the festive and colorful event drew over forty-five thousand visitors to the Naper Settlement in Naperville, Illinois. In the main arena, Native American drumming and singing resounded, while Native American dancers – some as far away as northern Wisconsin-danced to the drumbeat throughout the weekend.

Beading of the Woodland Tradition

Beading of the Woodland Tradition

Everyone had the opportunity to order Indian Tacos complete with Fry Bread, or sample other Native foods. A children’s booth with arts and crafts and an honoring of military veterans was included at the pow wow.

A crowd pleasing favorite of the weekend is the opportunity for visitors to shop over thirty-five    vendor booths. The vendors feature a variety of Native American arts and crafts, including one of a kind rings, earrings, and necklaces; hand embroidered clothing with Native designs, colorful sweaters and jackets from the Andes mountains of South America, herbal soaps and body lotions,  artisan made Native flutes and a wide selection of Native music CD’s,  bright beaded earrings and hair ornaments, and hides.

A highlight on Saturday was the stirring performance by Laura Grizzlypaws, the only female Grizzly Bear dancer in North America. Laura resides in British Columbia, Canada, within her tribal community. She spoke to the audience first in her native tongue, and then translated in English, describing the importance of the Grizzly Bear as a teacher to mankind, and the necessity to protect its habitat.


Laura Gizzlypaws

This was followed by a haunting song in her native language. While the drum group played, Laura donned a large Grizzly Bear hide and moved into the arena, becoming one with the Grizzly Bear. Everyone was spellbound by his dance movements which resembled a large bear in the wild. For the Mid-westerners watching, her performance was breathtaking. Laura graciously met with the public later for photo opportunities.

At the dinner break, Hugo Guterriez and Ancestral Roots from Chicago performed authentic Andean music. The group entertained the audience with a wide range and size of Andean flutes.  Their music added to the diversity and festivity of the pow wow as several members from the crowd danced.  This was followed by Mark Jourdan, another favorite Chicago Native Musician, who played his guitar and serenaded the crowd with in song.

Plans are already underway for next year’s Harvest Pow Wow to be held September 26-27, 2015.

Westchester Library Pow Wow Photography Exhibit

During the months of August and September, the Westchester Public Library featured an exhibit of twenty Pow Wow photographs, taken at previous Midwest SOARRING Pow Wows by Colordance Design. The exhibit generated many positive comments and interest by library patrons. A second exhibit is planned for the Westmont Public Library in February, 2015.

Ojibwey Stories, Songs, and Drum Circle with Ron Kanutski

On November 15, 2014 at 2pm, Midwest SOARRING will feature an afternoon of Ojibwey stories,

Ron Kanutski, Little Medicine Wheel Cloud, Bear Clan

Ron Kanutski, Little Medicine Cloud, Bear Clan

songs, and drum circle with Ron Kanutski, Little Medicine Wheel Cloud, Bear Clan, from Thunder Bay, Ontario. Ron actively works in the mental health and addictions field as a consultant, group facilitator, counselor, college professor, trainer, healer, and cultural teacher. He has spent time with the Elders of the Woodland tradition, and enjoys sharing those teachings to people of all cultures. Don’t miss the opportunity to experience Ron’s humor, inspiring stories, and Ojibwey song. Discounted advance tickets are available online at http://www.midwestsoarring.org/calendar.html At the door ticket price are $25 per person.

Midwest SOARRING Annual Members Meeting

The Annual Members meeting will be held Saturday, November 22nd at 4pm at the Midwest SOARRING Foundation Cultural Center, 1 Hickory Lane, Westchester, IL.  This meeting is held to elect board members for the coming year, review the struggles, successes, and celebrations of our organization from October 2013 to October 2014, and discuss future aspirations. Following the meeting, a pot luck dinner will take place. Enjoy fellowship with other members as we catch up on all that has been happening this far. Please RSVP to 708.257.4300 by November 20, 2014. For more information visit http://www.midwestsoarring.org/calendar.html

Volunteer Appreciation & Members Holiday Party

On Saturday, December 13, 2014 from 5pm to 9:30pm, Midwest SOARRING will hold the annual party for volunteers and members at the Pilcher Nature Center,2301 Highland Park Dr., Joliet, IL 60432. This gathering is a celebration of the community we build by the work we do. Please bring a dish/desert to share. Meat, mashed potatoes,rolls, and beverages provided. Candlelight Walk at 5pm. Dinner and fellowship following the walk.

Everyone is asked to bring a gift/ item to share with those in need on local reservations, as well as a handmade ornament to place on the Spirit Tree.  For more information visit  http://www.midwestsoarring.org/calendar.html. This event is open and free to all 2014 MSF SOARRING volunteers and current members. Memberships can be renewed at the event or online at a nominal fee of $8 per person. Please RSVP to 708.257.4300.

We look forward to seeing you at these and future events.


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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