Joseph Standing Bear Schranz
Midwest SOARRING Foundation invites all people to gather into an ever-widening 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.
Imagine the once vast prairie, woodlands, and pristine forests of the Mississippi Valley. This land was home to many diverse American Indian tribes - the Ottawa, Ojibwe, Sauk/Fox, Kickapoo, Miami, Illinois and Shawnee, as well as many others. People of Algonquin descent possessed similar language and culture resided on the land now named the states of Wisconsin and Illinois. Sharing the banks of the Fox River were the Winnebago of Siouian ancestry. Their much earlier ancestors, the Mississippians, left evidence of highly cultured life over many thousands of years, in the earth mounds discovered at Cahokia and Dickson in Central Illinois, at Azatlan in Wisconsin, at the Serpent Mound in Ohio, and at Angel Mound in southern Indiana.
When the French explorers and missionaries came to "Illinois Country" in 1675, this land was rich with game-bear, deer, wolf, bison, beaver, raccoon and squirrel. The varied Native tribes hunted, fished, built their homes of cedar and bark, traveled to visit relatives and gathered for ceremonies. They lived in harmony with the earth in a more natural, simpler world. Each tribe struggled with political and economic forces in their own territory before they were relocated against their will to land west of the Mississippi in 1835.
The nearest scattered reservations now are located in Wisconsin and Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Kansas. While there is tribal land in Illinois, highways, farms, towns and complex cities replace what once was Native American land. Today the modern world increasingly recognizes the wisdom in Native American culture. Growing numbers of people ask how can we heal ourselves and live in harmony with Mother Earth?
We invite you to join our circle. Dance at our pow wows. Attend our cultural events. As you listen, you will learn. Together we become the Spirit of the ancestors and this land.
Midwest SOARRING Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization. All donations are tax deductible to the extent allowable by law.
Joseph Standing Bear Schranz - Enrolled Member of the White Earth Band Minnesota Ojibwe Nation