Updates from Indian Committee Grantees


We Are Still Here

Greetings from the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting Indian Committee. We’ve been around for a few hundred years, but you might have seen us this summer at Continuing Sessions workshop on How to Be an Ally to Indigenous Peoples

We thought you might like a report back on the outcomes of some of the grants we have recently administered

The Oglala Sioux Tribe Partnership for Housing created a neighborhood survey “Wiyot Omnicide: Neighborhood Organization” for the Fraggle Rock neighborhood to Buffalo Dreams- Recapturing the Spirit of Self-Sufficiency.

Teca Woasniye Wicoti (Youth Healing Camp) on The Pine Ridge Reservation is a Success! This healing opportunity was a way to give life to the values, gifts, and teachings provided by Tunkasila (Grandfather/Creator) for the healing of the youth that was incorporated into the facilitation of programming. They included: Wacante Ognaka—to have a warm, compassionate environment for youth; Woapiye –traditional healing for their spiritual wounds from the trauma, grief or loss; Wopakinte—spiritual purification from the negative residue left by any trauma; Woyuskin—to provide a happy, fun and accepting environment; Lakol Caswicatun Pi – to provide an opportunity for those youth who do not have a spirit name to receive one as a way to reinforce their Lakota cultural identity; Wicozani—to provide an opportunity for wellness screenings and Wowasake—to provide an opportunity to achieve resiliency.

We assisted Astrubal Torres, of the Tairona people of Colombia, travel to the Continental Congress of Abya Yala Meeting in Mexico. We hosted him 2 years ago during the visit of Pope Francis.

A travel grant for Dr. Ana Maria Tekina-einu to Puerto Rico has resulted in Sembrando Herencia 2017 – La Promesa Rebelde (Musical) which will take place in Austin, Texas on December 2nd & 3rd, 2017

A grant for branding, marketing, and website design resulted in the Wabanaki Marketplace We encourage you to browse the site and do your holiday shopping there.

Here’s a wonderful report back from the Mille Lacs Indian Muséum 

The total number of people for the three day Memorial Day Powwow event was over 1,000: 285 people on Saturday, 170 on Sunday and over 575 on Monday, for a total of 1,030 people. The event was free and open to all interested parties.

Mille Lacs Band Members Arlyn Sam and Pete Gahbow launched the Music Fest with some hand drum songs followed by Band Member Max Blake playing flute music.  He was followed by Thomas Barrett, who performed hip-hop and rap with the accompaniment of Arlyn and Max playing background music. Thomas was followed by Annie Humphrey who plays folk music and sings with a guitar.  (She brought her little grandson, who is a toddler, on stage to play a hand drum for one of her songs.) Our headliner was Corey Medina and Brothers and they played a bluesy/rock genre of music that was well received by the audience.

The Music Festival was scheduled from 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. on opening day and over 50 songs were performed.  A nearby food booth sold Indian tacos, Fry burgers, wild rice soup, goulash and pork chops.  In addition to performing, the musicians shared stories, talked about Ojibwe culture and history and discussed issues facing American Indians today.

Travis Zimmerman, the Site Manager, noted that”The Music Fest was a great component for an outdoor venue located near the shoreline of Mille Lacs Lake.”

We continue to be concerned and involved in the Carlisle Indian School Project. A grant Native Veteran Robert O’Brien’s travel expenses to Jim Thorpe Sports Day created a meaningful and moving experience for all.

We debated over the summer over whether to fund the Penn Treaty Museum and Park Field Trip Experience for Schoolchildren and decided to grant the full request. While this is outside our traditional scope of grants, these materials and experiences will enhance understanding and educate the next generation that WE ARE STILL HERE.

We hope that by spreading this good news of our work it will encourage you to donate personally to these initiatives. We invite you to join us – please email IndianCommittee@pym.org for more information.

“To Turn all the treasures we possess into the channel of universal love becomes the business of our lives.” – John Woolman