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.
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.
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.