It was a busy and productive year for Midwest SOARRING Foundation. Many events were held throughout the year for Lockport, IL., area youth including a summer camp with the Lockport Park District, and several educational events for area seniors, Girl Scouts, and Boy Scouts. Since the Midwest SOARRING Native American Cultural Center is open twice a week during the year (as well as by appointment, some Saturdays, and for special events), stimulating educational public tours are available. Visitors can peruse several cultural and historic exhibits, and have the opportunity to shop our unique gift shop. Custom tours for your group can always be arranged by calling 708.257.4300.
SOARRING Talking Circles
In 2018 SOARRING rekindled a long standing tradition by offering several monthly talking circles. These are always well attended. Talking circles provide an opportunity for individuals to connect with our community over many issues of daily life as well share their spiritual concerns. For those who have not participated in a talking circle we encourage you to get involved. No politics are discussed. Everyone has an opportunity to talk and be heard.
Following each circle there is ample opportunity for fellowship, as we enjoy a feast. We have a tradition of each member bringing a dish to share with others. While we do not have an oven, crock pots, casseroles, salads, and desserts are welcome. Please bring enough to share with others. This is also a time to share each other’s favorite recipes. Check our calendar for upcoming monthly talking circles.
Comcast Cares Volunteer Work Day– April 21, 2018
For the sixth year in a row, Comcast employees generously donated their time and energy to work along side Midwest SOARRING members and volunteers in the Heritage Village, IM Waterway Canal, and the Lockport Historic Train Station where the Midwest SOARRING Cultural Center is located. Attendance at the event included over fifty volunteers, which was a record for SOARRING.
Some worked to clean the IM Waterway Canal picking up trash. Others spruced up the building interiors and cleared invasive weeds in the Heritage Pioneer Village. Another crew planted and mulched the SOARRING medicine garden. Many Comcast employees and SOARRING members weeded and mulched the entire historic Lockport train station area and planted additional flowers where the Midwest SOARRING Cultural Center is located. The City of Lockport received a $60,000 grant to beautify the historic Lockport station, which included plantings of a variety of perennial flowers and placement of limestone boulders adjacent to the station. The results were impressive.
Midwest SOARRING Foundation 24th Annual Harvest Pow Wow
The 24th Annual Harvest Pow Wow held at the Naper Settlement in downtown Naperville, on September 22 and 23rd. It was SOARRING’s largest pow wow which offered the most varied experiences to date of Native Culture. Activities and offerings encompassed supervised archery with target for everyone, our most popular children’s corner, a special canoe exhibit with authentic scaled down birch bark canoe models, a live horse and birds of prey exhibit that included the Deska, The American Bald Eagle, hawks and owls. The event hosted over 40 vendors with the largest assortment of food vendors; the most SOARRING has hosted at our pow wows. Award winning Al Jewer played native flute while Mark Cleveland performed and sang with his guitar. The Aztec dancers, Ocelotll-Cihuacoatl initiated a sacred ceremony with dance and drum. In the evening, acclaimed guest musicians, Hugo Gutierrez and Wayco entertained the audience with riveting music from the Andes, complete with guitar, charango, percussion, wind instruments and vocals. At each the Grand Opening, Midwest SOARRING honored many veterans with valor medals for their service to our country. The 2018 Janet Sevilla Scholarship was awarded to a young nursing student from the White Earth Reservation in MN. And, Midwest SOARRING unveiled its colorful new tipi. It was a popular location for everyone to take selfies and photos.
We were blessed with exceptional weather the entire weekend. Everyone that attended was smiling and enjoying every aspect the Harvest Pow Wow had to offer. An annual crowd favorite is the colorful dancing and drumming in the arena. Our announcer educated the public about Native American concerns regarding water, and spoke about the value of horses to Indigenous culture.
Our entire organization is deeply indebted to Janet Sevilla, Vice President of Midwest SOARRING, who through her dedication and devotion to SOARRING made this 24th Harvest Pow Wow , along with the help of many volunteers, our most successful to date.
Ron Kanutski Social Drum Circle & Traditional Teachings
In late October, cultural educator Ron Kanuski, tribal member of the Lake Helen Reserve/Red Rock Band (Obijiwanong), traveled to Chicago area from Canada to sing, drum and share traditional teachings from the Ashinabe Native culture. He spoke and sang from his heart. Everyone enjoyed hearing his life experiences. Ron brought with him a knowledgeable guest from Thunder Bay. Over the two days attendees had an opportunity to ask questions and relate informally to Ron and his guest.
SOARRING Holiday Markets
On two Saturdays in December, Dec. 1st and Dec. 15th, two holiday markets were hosted at the SOARRING Cultural Center in Lockport, Il. These holiday markets feature Native themed vendors who give shoppers an opportunity to purchase unique Christmas presents for loved ones. It is also an informal time to visit the center and share a cup of hot chocolate with SOARRING members.
Volunteer Appreciation Dinner & Annual Holiday Party and Members Meeting
Saturday, December 8th, 2018, Joseph Standing Bear Schrantz welcomed everyone to the holiday celebration and annual members meeting. He summarized the 2018 SOARRING events and the exciting plans for 2019. The festivities began with our customary candlelit spirit walk in the woods followed by a delicious feast. Traditionally members bring homemade side dishes to share. It has also been a long standing tradition for each member to craft an ornament to place on our Christmas tree while telling a story of what ornament means in their life. This sharing includes a wide range of emotions—from sadness to happiness. This tree stays decorated until the end of the season as a visual and cultural gift to the Pilcher Nature Center in Joliet, IL. Holiday gifts were also brought to share with those in need. Our raffle winner spontaneously donated their prize money back to Midwest SOARRING Foundation.
Call for Talented Volunteers for 2019
If you have special gifts or abilities and would like to volunteer your energy and time, please call our director Joseph Standing Bear Schrantz at 708. 257.4300.