Native American Traditions

Penn State hosts powwow; teaches Native American culture, spirituality

June 26, 2022

Penn State University sponsored a traditional Native American powwow Saturday and Sunday. People from a number of tribes and nations gathered at a State College middle school to celebrate Native American culture and spirituality.

It's an old tradition, but for many people in State College, this was their first experience with a powwow.

"It is many things at once," Victoria Sanchez, the powwow's associate coordinator, told 6 News on Sunday. "It is a celebration. It is almost like a family reunion where people come together and enjoy each other's company."

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2022 Azeé Bee Nahagha - Native American Church Summit raises concerns over peyote protections for Indigenous ceremonies and medicinal use

June 7, 2022

At this year’s Azeé Bee Nahagha - Native American Church Summit, the Navajo Nation Council discussed ways to protect the use of peyote for tribal ceremonies and medicinal use as outlined by the American Indian Religious Freedom Act Amendments of 1994.

The Navajo-Hopi Observer reports Navajo leaders raised concerns about the potential for the plant to be used recreationally by non-Indigenous people. Peyote is a sacred plant to many tribes and has been used for centuries as part of religious, cultural and medicinal ceremonies.

As some states, including California,...

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Sacred Hawaiian volcano is at center of centuries-old battle over Native lands

June 5, 2022

Sacred chants recited by elders, like Native Hawaiian cultural practitioner Noe Noe Wong-Wilson, reflect indigenous beliefs and worldviews that go back a millennium.

“In our culture, the elements have names and we consider them gods and goddesses, like the rain, wind and snow,” she told ABC affiliate KITV-4’s Lei U’i Kaholokula in the “Soul of the Nation” special “Together As One.”

“Maunakea is one of our most precious and special places, and it cannot be duplicated,” she explained.

Source:...

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Kwewag Indigenous Culture Church creates a space to preserve Indigenous culture and educate others

May 23, 2022

The mission of the Kwewag Indigenous Culture Church (KICC) is to “teach the world a new (yet very old) way to live, in harmony with our planet and each other, guided by our ancestors, spiritual connection to everything, and the descendants who carry these long-cherished secrets.”

“I work through spirit,” Dawn Moneyhan, the president, manager, and chief clergy of the KICC, tells Madison365. “Or I should say, spirit works through me.”

For the past several years, Moneyhan, a middle-aged Indigenous woman born and raised...

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The Fight to Bring Seminole Ancestors Home

May 23, 2022

Skeletons waited for Ryan Wheeler in the basement of a prestigious Massachusetts institution. It was November 2012 when the Floridian and archaeologist began pulling out rows of economically built wood filing cabinets, as if Ikea existed a century ago. He found bits of pottery and items that were buried with the dead over the course of centuries. They had been unearthed along with thousands of Native American remains that ended up in the institute’s storage. Wheeler knew none of them should be there.

For Wheeler, 53, the finds were equal parts exciting and overwhelming. He had...

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Native American group ends protest, vows to protect sacred land at Wilderness Park

May 16, 2022

A local Native American group has said it will end its protest of a new housing development in Lincoln.

In a statement released Monday, the Niskithe Prayer Group said it will start taking down the teepees from Snell Hill on Tuesday.

The group set up the teepees in response to the Lincoln City Council approving a new housing development near Wilderness Park.

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Ho-Chunk Nation, US Army sign agreement to protect, honor land at Fort McCoy

May 11, 2022

The Ho-Chunk Nation and Fort McCoy are working together for a better future. On Tuesday, the two groups signed a memorandum of understanding, allowing tribal members access to sacred sites and plants found on the installation.

This agreement was first signed in 1999, and has not been re-signed since.

“The land base that Fort McCoy sits on today is our ancestral land,” Marlon WhiteEagle, Ho-Chunk Nation president, said.

Source:...

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The Kaw people are choosing a site for a sacred boulder returned to the tribe

May 10, 2022

The huge red boulder standing bolt upright in a downtown park doesn't belong here.

And after almost a century, the Kaw tribe is reclaiming the rock that, for generation after generation, its people held as a sacred altar.

That 20-plus ton quartzite boulder is now bound for tribal land with the hope that it can strengthen the frayed bond between the Kaw, or Kanza, people and the state that took their land and their sacred stone — even their name.

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Native sacred spaces bring connection, healing and empowerment

April 22, 2022

According to the National Alliance to End Homelessness, Native Americans experience elevated rates of homelessness. Nationally, 45 out of every 10,000 Native American people experience homelessness, while white people experience homelessness at 11.2 out of every 10,000. A 2021 report funded by the Washington State Department of Commerce found that despite making up less than 1.5% of the Washington state population, Native Americans are 8.1% of the homeless and 11.9% of unsheltered homeless.

In January of 2022, the Native-led housing and human services agency Chief Seattle Club...

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Time in the White House and fighting for the sacred sea. A Lummi matriarch tells her story.

April 21, 2022

Raynell Morris, an enrolled Lummi Tribal member, is known for her activism as vice president of the Sacred Lands Conservancy. She advocated against the coal port at Cherry Point and to bring home southern resident orca Sk’aliCh’elh-tenaut from the Miami Seaquarium.

In her neighborhood, she’s the watchful matriarch and to her beloved grandchildren, she’s a dance party host and “Grandma Sparkles.” It’s little-known that Squil-le-he-le (her traditional name) was the first Native American staffer appointed to the White House.

Morris’ long journey to serve with President...

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Rappahonnock Tribe reacquires ancestral Virginia land along river that bears its name

April 4, 2022

The Rappahannock Tribe in Virginia has taken ownership of more than 460 acres of ancestral homeland along the river that bears its name, thanks to a groundbreaking partnership with donors, environmentalists and government agencies.

The acquisition, announced Friday by the tribe and Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, returns a section of Rappahannock River frontage known as Fones Cliffs to the tribe, which was driven away by English settlers more than 350 years ago and pushed almost...

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Rep. Raúl Grijalva defends sacred Apache land from mining companies with new bill

March 16, 2022

Oak Flat or Chi’chil Bildagotee, the mountainous patch of land in Arizona, is on a path to destruction, but the Native Americans who inhabit the surrounding land are fighting back. 

To the San Carlos Apache Tribe, Oak Flat is sacred ground and has been used for centuries to hold religious ceremonies and communicate with the Creator. 

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White House, Native Leaders Discuss Indigenous Sacred Sites

March 11, 2022

The White House wants to ​​to increase protection of and access to Indigenous sacred sites.

On Wednesday, the White House Council on Native American Affairs (WHCNAA) held a listening session with Native leaders to hear feedback on how to improve the land stewardship and preservation of sacred sites across Indian Country.

The listening session was a follow up to an initiative launched last November by Department of the Interior Secretary Deb Haaland. Following the Tribal Nations Summit last fall, eight federal agencies signed a ...

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Sacred dance regalia stolen from Indigenous dance group from Arizona

March 7, 2022

A group of indigenous dancers from Arizona are coming home with empty suitcases after their sacred Native American dance outfits were stolen during a business trip to Los Angeles.

Almost $15,000 worth of items were stolen from members of Indigenous Enterprise, an Arizona Native American dance group.

The dancers’ sacred regalia was stolen out of a car they took on a business trip to Los Angeles on Saturday.

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Great Salt Lake 'healing' needs Native American input, Shoshone leader says

March 2, 2022

To save the Great Salt Lake, Indigenous voices and knowledge need to be included, according to Darren Parry, the former chairman of the Northwestern Band of the Shoshone Nation.

When science and Indigenous wisdom collaborate, Parry said environmental healing can happen. He gave a public, virtual lecture this week through the University of Utah on protecting the Great Salt Lake and its watershed.

Parry said Indigenous people value the spiritual nature of land, water and people. He said the Shoshone people were among the first to live “in abundance” in the Salt Lake...

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