October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. It is a time to shine a light on the abuse that impacts too many of our families and to let those who are suffering in silence know that help is available when they are ready.
The sun shone and the crowds gathered to celebrate the huckleberry harvest and indigenous culture at Rodgers Lake for the Kee-Boon-Mein-Kaa Pow Wow August 31 and September 1, after the Women's Water Walk. More than 350 dancers and singers from dozens of native nations competed for prize money in several categories and divisions. On Sunday Norell Wright and Chelsy Olson were crowned Lil Mr. and Miss Pokagon after exhibiting their leadership and knowledge of Potawatomi language and culture to the committee.
For the twelfth year Pokagon women and others who care about protecting water gathered for ceremonies, prayers, and a 13 mile walk from one Pokagon lake to another the Friday before the 34th Annual Kee-Boon-Mein-Kaa Pow Wow. The group seeks to bring awareness to issues about protecting water from pollution and keeping water sources clean for future generations.
Each year the tribal nations of the United States meet with their counterparts from the U.S. Departments of Justice, Health and Human Services, and Interior, to discuss federal administration of tribal funds and programs established under the Violence Against Women Act. This year the Pokagon Band was chosen to host the consultations, one of the few times the event was held in the Midwest.
Did you know it’s estimated that 40 percent of Native people earn income from traditional arts and cultural presentations? Or that small-business ownership is an effective strategy in strengthening Native American economies? The inaugural Pokagon Economic Gathering (PEG) in October will provide community members with resources for pursuing business goals.