Native News Network Staff in Native Currents. Discussion »
MANISTEE, MICHIGAN Early on a blustery day in October, one of the largest gatherings of Anishinaabek Eagle Staffs ever assembled met at the Aki Community Center for the 2012 Eagle Staff Gathering, 11th Year Celebration. 19 Eagle Staffs, carried by Tribal Warriors from across the Great Lakes Region, came together for what was one of the most important cultural events held at Little River in recent times.
Little River Band of Ottawa Indians Warrior Society hosted this year' event
The magic of the time began early with the Sunrise/Pipe Ceremony and gathering in the Lodge, a Long House type structure, about 7 am. When you entered the Lodge (properly from the East), the aroma of the fire; the blessing of Sema or tobacco; the instruction about the Water Ceremony and the voices of Elders all blended to recreate a time that could have been from 100 or more years ago. The faces of the Elders, the awe in the eyes of the young and the overall joy in gathering as Anishinaabek was clear to everyone! It was truly a magical moment and a wonderful beginning to the weekend.
Afterwards, everyone moved to the Community Center for some coffee and goodies.
Then came the Grand Entry of Staffs dancing to the sound of Urban Nation (Drum)! Led by Head Veteran George Martin, the assembled Warriors circled the room several times and then presented their staffs at the front along with the posting of the colors by members of the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians Warrior Society. Our own John Pete, a World War II Veteran and active member of the Warrior Society, was the Head Elder for the event.
Sponsors of the Gathering spoke briefly, including Little River Band of Ottawa Indians Ogema Larry Romanelli, Tribal Council Recorder Janine Sam and representing the Little River Casino Resort, Board member and Tribal Council member Virg Johnson who was followed by John Shano, Vice Commander of the Tribe'sWarriors Society.
Ogema Romanelli, in his comments, spoke of his appreciation for the ceremony and gathering but also spoke highly about the reference to the Anishinaabek being 'The Original People'.
Then the teachings began and continued with proper ceremony through the afternoon of the following day.
Everyone is to be congratulated on this successful gathering and thanked for their parts in bringing it together. A special note of thanks was voiced by many of the participants for the recently departed Warrior Commander Bill Memberto who worked since 2008 with Doris Boissoneau and the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians Warrior Society to bring this Event to LRBOI Community.
The Little River Band of Ottawa Indians Warrior Society would like say Chi Megwetch to the Staffs & Staff Carriers that attended and a special thanks to George Martin, Bucko Teeple, Dan Bissell, Punkin & Dave Shananaquet, John Pete, Phillip Memberto & Doris Boissoneau for their assisting us with this awesome event and the honor and opportunity to host this event in our Community.
posted October 18, 2012 7:59 am edt