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Community Stories

Flint Hills Wisdom Keepers host conversation with Native American Elders

Flint Hills Wisdom Keepers Foundation invites you to join a conversation that began in 1979 outside Parkville, Missouri. Native American delegates met with international ethnic and spiritual leaders to share cultural traditions. They also discussed issues of sovereignty and cultural preservation. This important and lively conversation started long ago continues at our annual weekend gathering at White Memorial Camp, north of Council Grove, Kansas.

On April 28-30, 2017 five Native American Elders and Presenters will meet to celebrate and teach about their diverse cultures: Rupert Encinas (Eagleflying), Tohono O’ohdam Elder from Tuscon, AZ; Curtis Kekahbah, Kanza Elder from Pawhuska, OK; William Hensley, Inupiaq from Anchorage, AK; Terri Delahanty (Many Feathers), Cree/Ojibwa Presenter from northwest CT; Debra Bolton, Uncompaghre Ute/OhKay O’Wingeh/Dine’ from Garden City, KS. Read more about our history, events, and short biographical sketches of the 2017 Elders and Presenters at our website,

The weekend starts Friday evening but officially opens with the Sunrise Ceremony on Saturday morning led by an Elder as the Sacred Fire, or hotchka, is lit. Besides listening to the Elders and Presenters, attendees experience immersive activities. Past activities have included: a drum making workshop, singing and dancing, putting up the tipi, tending the Sacred Fire, a naming ceremony, a water blessing ceremony, traditional storytelling, a nature walk on the prairie, the Boulder Friends’ workshop Roots of Injustice, Seeds of Change: Toward Right Relationship with Native Peoples. We serve traditional Native foods like the Three Sisters Soup, a bison stew, and this year Debra Bolton is serving her traditional Dine’ Lamb and Juniper Stew, fry bread, and Blue Corn Meal Mush.

Other tribes represented at the gathering have included Southern Ute, Cree, Citizen Band Potawatomi, Muskogee Creek, Tuscarora, Taino, Algonquin, Onondaga, and Oglala Lakota.?If you have never met a Native American, if you have Native American heritage but no contact with your tribal traditions, or if you are Native and have lots of Native friends, this gathering is for you!

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