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LRCC | In the News 6-25-15

 

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Indigenous Languages Symposium - 2015

opening prayer

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The 2015 Stabilization of Indigenous Languages Symposium was the first international conference ever held on the Wind River Reservation. The hosts and coordinators were members of the Arapaho Tribe. Their desire to help preserve their heritage through their language was inspiring.   Key note speakers were Teresa McCarty, Andrew Cowell, and Lance A. Twitchell. 

The Arapaho Tribe did an exceptional job of accepting, entertaining and informing the attendees about their culture and traditions. One of the most popular events was held at Arapaho Indian Elementary School. The school kids (who were on summer break) returned to school to perform traditional Pow Wow dances and music.   Three elementary boys played the drums and chanted with adult drummers, as the school children performed a variety of traditional dances.  Each one was dressed in beautifully decorated traditional outfits.



 

At the conclusion of the event at the Arapaho school, Burnett Whiteplume, a nonelected tribal leader, gave a speech.   He put forward the need for unity, cultural awareness, and language preservation. He invited and encouraged everyone to join him in the Friendship Dance. The crowd gathered on the floor, formed a large circle and began the Friendship dance.

 

pow wow

 Tim Rush Gourd Dance


 

During the culminating activities and final speech, Dr. Tim Rush asked us to think about what was the most important aspect of the conference and to share that aspect with the person sitting beside us. I turned to my partner and said, “Language preservation is more important to me today, because I see how important it is to so many people who are passionate about passing their culture on to their children.” 

~  Katy Maginn

Tim Rush
 

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