Blessings from Indigenous Peoples’ Day Philly 2018, a two-day celebration within Lenapehoking! Members of Indigenous organizations in Philadelphia came together providing a second year’s acknowledgment & celebration of their Indigenous cultures, shinning light on their unique presence in Philadelphia.
During the Friday evening Teach-In at Friends Center, Chief Brooks (Delaware Tribe of Indians, Bartlesville, OK) and Rev. Dr. J.R. Norwood (Nanticoke-Lenape, Bridgeton, NJ) spoke of Lenape Tribal history, culture, religion, and contemporary concerns; Christina Marie González spoke of Taíno identity and cultural development among Puerto Ricans and their homeland Borikén/ Puerto Rico; Peruvian musician, Richie Olivera, performed Andean Music using native South American instruments accompanied by a backing track; the short film “First Light,” an Upstander Project, focused our witness of genocidal “removal” practices – Indian children being taken from their homes and its inherent trauma; and finally, Felicia Teter closed the Teach-In with intentional reflective inquiries toward “breaking the cycles of abuse…so that we may all finally be free.”
The following day, in Hunting Park, during a mini-powwow, prayers and celebrations of cultural beauty unfurled – Nanticoke-Lenape Tribal Nation drummers, hoop dancer, grass dancer, womens’ fancy dancer; Andean musician; Taíno dancers and table display of cultural lifeways; Aztec dancers; Inter-tribal dances where all were invited to participate.
We can say WANISHI (Lenape) to express our gratitude for the work bringing everyone together. Being present, building relationship, matters. As way opens…may love and light guide a potential IPD Philly 2019!
Photo: Nanticoke-Lenape Fancy Dancer c) 2018 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED s, o’scheyichbi