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  • Indigenous Peoples Day
    Los Angeles where she became involved in Native American theatre and film working with Charlie Hill and Hanay Geigohmah Millie Vernon and her children also lived in Oklahoma during this period After Vernon passed away in 1986 Millie rebounded by pursuing a college education In 1990 she enrolled at the University of California at Berkeley where she pursued a double major in Native American studies and film In 1991 she became one of the founders of Resistance 500 This group brought out the truth about Columbus invasion and helped to stop the Quincentennial Jubilee plan to sail replicas of Columbus armada into San Francisco Bay In 1992 the Berkeley Resistance 500 Task Force endorsed by the Berkeley City Council brought about the end of the Columbus Day celebration in Berkeley replacing it with Indigenous Peoples Day The next year Ms Ketcheschawno helped organize the first Berkeley Indigenous Peoples Day Pow Wow Millie was coordinator of the pow wow from 1995 to 1999 helping to make it one of the most popular in the Bay Area In 1993 she was named Student of the Year by the National Indian Education Association That same year Millie was assistant producer for the feature film Follow Me Home In 1994 Millie was named Outstanding Woman of the Year by the City of Berkeley That same year Millie began work on an ambitious project as Associate Producer Consultant of the production of the Golden Gate National Parks Association s exhibit video We Hold the Rock commemorating the 1969 71 occupation of Alcatraz Island Today millions of visitors pass through the permanent Alcatraz occupation exhibit every year to see and hear firsthand accounts of the occupation and the Red Power Indian activism it inspired Millie went on to produce the Alcatraz Occupation 30th Anniversary Celebration held

    Original URL path: http://www.ipdpowwow.org/Millie.html (2016-02-11)
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  • Indigenous Peoples Day
    participants and others began organizing in their communities Native people of Northern California organized the Bay Area Indian Alliance which joined in a broad coalition with non Native people to coordinate 1992 activities with Indigenous leadership called Resistance 500 The Bay Area had been chosen by the U S Congress as the national focus for the planned Quincentenary Jubilee celebration with replicas of Columbus s ships scheduled to sail into the Golden Gate in a grand climax eventually canceled because of widespread opposition The Berkeley Resistance 500 Task Force set up by the City Council proposed replacing Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day and in October 1991 the City Council unanimously declared that Indigenous Peoples Day would be commemorated annually The Berkeley Pow Wow quickly became a local tradition Here is one story told about Coyote the trickster in a version from the Caddo Nation of Oklahoma It reveals a bit about Mark and the way he dealt with the world In the beginning death did not exist Everyone stayed alive until there were so many people that there was hardly any room left A council was held to determine what to do One man arose and said that it would be good to have the people die and be gone for a little while and then to return As soon as he sat down Coyote jumped up and said no that will not solve the problem if people return soon there will be not enough food or room for our grandchildren to live on earth The others objected saying that there would be no happiness in the world if their loved ones died forever All except Coyote decided to have the people die for a little while and then to come back to life The medicine men built a large grass house facing east The next time someone died they assembled in the medicine house and sang for the spirit of the dead A whirlwind blew from the west circled the grass house entered through the east and from the wind stepped a handsome young man All of the people rejoiced except Coyote The next time someone died Coyote hurried to the grass house and quietly sat by the door as the others sang When he heard the whirlwind coming he suddenly shut the door The spirit in the whirlwind passed by The people were very angry and chased Coyote away and since then he has had to run from one place to another But ever since then the door has been shut and Coyote s trick preserved the world for all the future generations Celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day with us in honor of all our ancestors the people continuing the spirit today future generations Mark and Coyote Proclamation of the City of Berkeley September 27 2011 In Recognition of Mark Gorrell and his Many Contributions to the City of Berkeley and Humanitarian Service on Behalf of Others Whereas for four decades Mark Gorrell has selflessly given his knowledge

    Original URL path: http://www.ipdpowwow.org/Mark.html (2016-02-11)
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  • Indigenous Peoples Day
    tribes and through the dance former enemies made peace Pow wows gained momentum after World War II when they were held as local honoring ceremonies for returning Indian veterans In the mid 1950s many Native people began traveling between communities dancing in pow wows and promoting Intertribal culture But as I already reported they weren t very prominent until after the Alcatraz occupation of 1969 1971 when an intense intertribalism revitalized Native culture With time and many different tribes adding their individual characters to the dance the Iruska took a variety of forms Grass Dance Fancy Dance the Northern and Southern Traditional and many more At first women did not dance but today women have a wide variety of dances including the Jingle Dance Shawl Dance and forms of the Northern and Southern Traditional Pow wow dancing today is based on spiritual values the commemoration of warriors who struggled for their people former enemies dancing together peacemakers and peace cultural survival and spiritual resurgence The Pow Wow Circle That first year of our Berkeley pow wow in 1993 and every year since we borrowed a chalker from the city parks department the kind with wheels that they use for marking softball playing fields to lay out the pow wow circle In the late afternoon of the day before the event our pow wow committee met on the grassy lawn of Civic Center Park We brought a rope about 12 paces long the chalker and a large bag of powdered chalk We needed to explain what were doing to all the high school students and others relaxing there or playing Frisbee Berkeley High School is across the street Once they understood they gladly moved to one side so we could chalk the circle One member of the committee held an end of the rope in the exact center of the park We tied the other end of the rope to the handle of the chalker and Mark Gorrell pushed it in a perfect circle with about a 60 foot diameter On the east end of the circle he chalked a turtle s head facing the fountain dedicated as the Turtle Island Monument on the west end a tail and four turtle feet in between It became a special place the turtle pow wow arena circle representing the American continent Mark Gorrell performed that task from the first pow wow until his untimely passing The pow wow dancers dance inside the turtle circle and at particular times the MC also invites all spectators into the circle to join in certain dances That first pow wow in 1993 set a pattern we would follow every year after The turtle s head marks the entrance into the arena To one side are tables for the MC the arena director the coordinator and other organizers Posted near the MC table are an eagle staff and flags including the US flag These will be carried around the dance circle by honored elders during the Grand Entry at the beginning of the pow wow and at the closing The eagle staff a high curved wooden staff with eagle feathers attached can be thought of as the Native American flag At the south end of the turtle circle is the host southern drum and at the north end is the host northern drum The northern and southern drums represent different styles and traditions Continuing around the dance circle are shade canopies where the dancers and their families and friends rest between events The circle beyond that is a walkway and finally the outside circles consist of Native vendors selling arts and craft items mostly hand made and Indigenous food Inside and around the pow wow circle violence drugs or alcohol are never permitted The arena has been blessed with prayer and sage it has taken on a special atmosphere and become spiritual ground The Drums Pow wows often have two host drums one Southern and one Northern All other drums are invited and some often show up unannounced The drums usually take turns unless the MC or arena director specifically asks one drum to play a particular song Many drums travel from powwow to powwow each week and are in high demand Many have recording contracts and each year drum groups are nominated for Grammy awards in the Native American category The drum is heartbeat of the pow wow Each drum has a lead singer and a second lead The lead singer is responsible for knowing any kind of song requested by the MC or arena director When the lead singer sings a line the second lead usually repeats it in a variant key There are two basic styles of pow wow drumming and singing Southern and Northern These are not geographical locations so much as different styles and arrangements Southern singing is in a lower pitch and slower than Northern which is often in a high fast falsetto Songs are usually in Native languages Sometimes the songs are not in words at all but in vocables syllables of sound carrying the melody and meaning A pow wow drum is considered a sacred instrument In many tribal traditions it is never left unattended nothing is ever placed on top of it and no one can reach across it It is constructed with a wooden shell covered on both ends by the stretched hide of a deer buffalo elk or steer The tension on the drum heads tune it determining pitch and voice Usually about 26 32 inches across standing off the ground it is large enough for five to ten people to sit around There are usually at least four drummers one for each of the directions The drummers beat it in unison with hide covered sticks They are also singers and their song arises from their unique blend of voices and drumming Each group of singers is called a drum Most drums are all men but some have women members and some are all women Drummers usually

    Original URL path: http://www.ipdpowwow.org/Archives_4.html (2016-02-11)
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  • Indigenous Peoples Day
    for Native Peoples as an essential ingredient for any positive social progress in this hemisphere to empower our constituencies to be an instrument of positive social change affecting the policies of the US and other governments and non governmental organizations toward Native Nations We work to expel stereotypes and promote new understandings about and among Indigenous Peoples we support Native expressions of their human rights against colonialism and imperialism We work to affirm the continuation of tribal societies and values educating the public on the necessity of Native wisdom for human survival of this planet stressing the symbiotic nature of all peoples and the environment We work to assist Native peoples today through an annual commemoration of the enormous Indigenous contributions to the world publicizing the history and present state of Native struggles for survival We work to reverse the historical human rights violations against the Indigenous peoples of this hemisphere to bring sovereignty issues recognition of religious expression and environmental issues into a new forum where the Native community can interface with majority community institutions to reach constructive solutions We organize events throughout the year including Indigenous Peoples Day annually on the closest weekend to October 12th Our group

    Original URL path: http://www.ipdpowwow.org/IPDC.html (2016-02-11)
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