Joy Sorensen Navarre, long-time volunteer for the Mendota Mdewakaton Dakota Tribal Community Wacipi (Pow Wow), writes about her experience there and invites you to join and help.
Wacipi Means ‘We Dance’. It also means we work in the kitchen!
Every year I close my consulting business for three days to run the outdoor kitchen at the Mendota Mdewakaton Dakota Tribal Community traditional Wacipi or Pow Wow. My family laughs when they hear I’m running a kitchen, because at our house my husband cooks. I do it because the kitchen supports the Wacipi. The Wacipi is healing, resistance and love.
HMS blog readers know that state and federal law prohibited the Dakota from practicing religious ceremonies and cultural traditions for one hundred years, until 1978. Many Mendota Dakota grew up without the Wacipi—without dancing.
Eighteen years ago Bob Brown and other Mendota Dakota leaders re-started the Mendota Wacipi. For the first time in their life, Mendota Dakota elders danced. They danced with tears running down their faces. Tears of sorrow, of joy, of hope for their children. The Wacipi heals. If you come with an open heart, you will feel it, too. Continue reading