News and Events: Mississippi Headwaters Gathering; Healing Place Festival; and More

Items in this blog:

  • Protecting our Sacred Water: A Gathering at the Mississippi Headwaters, Sept. 22-23
  • Healing Place Festival, Sept. 15
  • Why are Native American Women Vanishing?
  • Artist, Design Selected for the National Native American Veterans Memorial in DC

Protecting our Sacred Water: A Gathering at the Mississippi Headwaters, Sept. 22-23

Headwaters of the Mississippi at Lake Itasca. (Photo courtesy of Bsstu through Wikimedia Commons.)

All are invited to an interfaith gathering at the Mississippi Headwaters to honor this source of life, celebrate Minnesota’s incredible lakes and rivers, and build friendships that will carry us forward in protecting these waters. (Facebook Page here.)

Together, participants will learn first-hand about the very real dangers to the Mississippi River — and those who hold it dear – from the Line 3 crude oil pipeline. They will learn where the proposal Line 3 route would cross the Mississippi headwaters. They will have the opportunity to visit wild rice beds and the White Earth and Red Lake nations and learn about the history of indigenous treaty rights for these lands.

The weekend will culminate with a vigil at Lake Itasca where leaders from every major faith tradition will affirm the sacred nature of water and our moral commitment to protecting life.

The event is co-sponsored by Honor the Earth, the Minnesota Council of Churches, and Minnesota Interfaith Power and Light. Please RSVP so organizers can plan for the right number of people: Sign up to attend here. This event is open to all. Donations are appreciated to cover food, lodging, and travel.

This event builds on the leadership religious leaders have provided on this important issue, including the public letter signed by 500 faith leaders in moral opposition to Line 3.

Healing Place Festival Sept. 15

The annual Healing Place Festival will be held Saturday, Sept. 15, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. at the Mill City Museum. According to the Facebook Page, the event will have activities about the Mississippi River as a source of healing and a place that needs healing. It will include hands-on activities, interactive performance, visual art, panels and presentations, cooking demos, media art and more.

Discover the connections between indigenous understanding of place, the environment, water, language, the arts, and the Mississippi River. The festival will begin on the riverfront with words led by Janice Bad Moccassin and then an interactive art piece of Marcus Young. Other activities include Čhokata Nažiŋ (The Dakota Language Table); Wičhóie Wótapi (Feast of Words) during which participants learn about indigenous place names and foods; Mniówe, the indigenized version of the popular pop-up “Water Bar”; Makhá Wičhóie (Dakhota Wordscapes), an installation of Dakota words stenciled onto the sidewalks. More highlights include; a focal activity of participatory weaving by Amoke Kubat and friends, cooking demonstration with Austin Barthold, and presentations by Healing Place partners.

The event is organized by Healing Place Collaborative, an indigenous artist-led group of artists, educators, researchers, and activist.

Why are Native American Women Vanishing?

MPR ran an AP story on the ongoing and disturbing problem of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women:

No one knows precisely how many there are because some cases go unreported, others aren’t documented thoroughly and there isn’t a specific government database tracking these cases. But one U.S. senator with victims in her home state calls this an epidemic, a long-standing problem linked to inadequate resources, outright indifference and a confusing jurisdictional maze.

Now, in the era of #MeToo, this issue is gaining political traction as an expanding activist movement focuses on Native women — a population known to experience some of the nation’s highest rates of murder, sexual violence and domestic abuse.

Click on the link above for the full story.

Artist Selected for the National Native American Veterans Memorial in DC

Artist’s rendering of “Warriors’ Circle of Honor.” Image courtesy of the National Museum of the American Indian.

IndianZ reports that a Cheyenne/Arapaho man was selected to create the National Native American Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C.

A jury of experts unanimously chose “Warriors’ Circle of Honor” by artist Harvey Pratt for the National Native American Veterans Memorial, the National Museum of the American Indian announced on Tuesday morning. The winning design pays tribute to the countless numbers of Native veterans who sacrificed their time and even gave their lives in defense of their homelands.

“Through meeting thousands of Native American veterans, I learned most of all about the commitment these veterans have to the well-being of the United States,” Kevin Gover, a citizen of the Pawnee Nation who serves as director of the NMAI, said in a press release.

“These veterans are perfectly aware that they are serving a country that had not kept its commitments to Native people, and yet they chose—and are still choosing—to serve.,” Gover continued. “This reflects a very deep kind of patriotism.”


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