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August 19, 2014


Stinging Nettle Workshop with Elder Don Clarke

On May 17th, 2014,  talented elder Don Clarke shared his knowledge of the Stinging Nettle plant at Midwest SOARRING Native American Cultural Center to an attentive audience. Clarke has built his own birch bark canoe and two authentic Native American lodges. He lives in the utmost respect for nature on sixty acres in the country. He also weaves museum quality bags with captivating patterns from prairie plants such as Dogbane, Indian Hemp, Stinging Nettle, and Basswood.

Workshop participants learned where Native Woodland Indians gathered dried stalks from our region to create woven mats and bags. Each workshop attendee had the opportunity to strip a long strand from a dried Stinging Nettle stalk and twist it into a strong cord with a second strand. This was time consuming and took some skill.These twisted cords could then be used for a variety of purposes from lashing wigwam poles to weaving mats and bags.

Don Clarke's handwoven stinging nettle bag

Don Clarke’s handwoven stinging nettle bag

Clarke explained that Native people used warps on a bar or lap loom and a needle made from deer antler to weave their tribal designs into the piece. In this way they reinforced the strength of their tribe. Strands of cord were often dyed from plants such as the black walnut shell. One bag could take up to 200 hours to weave.

2nd Annual Indian Arts & Craft Market

June 21st and 22nd revealed a steady stream of visitors at the 2nd Annual Indian Arts & Craft Market, held at the Midwest SOARRING Native American Cultural Center. Vendors displayed handmade pottery, crafts, and clothing. Visitors watched exhibition Native American dancing, examining the Midwest SOARRING Foundation tipi, enjoyed the peaceful setting while they shopped.

The next Indian Arts & Craft Market to be held in conjunction with the Bison Blessing at the Elgin Museum in Elgin, IL on October 4, 2014.

SOARRING 20th Anniversary

Midwest SOARRING members and the honor guard gathered on Saturday, August 9, 2014 at the Sanctuary Golf Course in New Lenox to commemorate SOARRING’s 20th anniversary. The golf course is unique in that it strove to preserve the integrity of a Miami Village and burial site, which involved a three year struggle, beginning in 1993.

Festival of the Horse & Drum Pow Wow

On August 16 & 17th Midwest SOARRING Foundation hosted a wonderful Pow Wow in conjunction with the Festival of the Horse and Drum. Held at the Kane County Fairgrounds, in St. Charles, I,. Native American dancers wearing finely beaded regalia danced to the drum beat in the arena. Everyone—dancers, drummers, singers, and spectators had a great time.

Head Lady Jingle Dancer

Head Lady Jingle Dancer

The festive spirit was infectious. The emcee enriched the pow wow by sharing cultural information about the origin of each dance. Of special note, the Ho-Chunk Swan Dance and Fish Dance, as well as the Smoke Dance were performed.

During the course of the event, spectators were treated to a wide variety of horses and their special attributes.

20th Annual Midwest SOARRING Foundation Pow Wow

The excitement is building! In just one month, on Sept. 20 & 21st  the 20th Annual Midwest SOARRING Harvest Pow Wow will be held at the Naper Settlement. The family friendly event draws large crowds who are eager to watch the dancing and listen to the music in the arena, shop for Native American arts and crafts, partake of the food and enjoy this unique cultural celebration. Everyone is eager to see Laura Grizzly Paws, a Grizzly Bear dancer from Canada. She will perform in the pow wow arena throughout the weekend.

Bring your friends and family. To purchase advance tickets online please visit www.harvestpowwow.com. Tickets may also be purchased at the gate.

We look forward to seeing you!



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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