Levi Rickert, editor-in-chief in Native Currents. Discussion »
CHICAGO - The busyness of getting ready to go back to school was mixed with celebration, as American Indian students, parents, family and friends endured a hot and humid evening, on Thursday. They gathered to eat, receive school supplies and to dance.
After a community potluck dinner and getting the school supplies, most of the community members stayed for a Back to School powwow. Three drum groups sat in the middle of the circle taking turns as the community danced.
Some 250 students received back packs or bags filled with school grade-appropriate school supplies. Parents were pleased with receiving the school supplies, as they will not have to spend the money out of their pockets in these economic challenging times.
“I came to be with my family and friends,”
said community member, Sylvia Dames, a Choctaw who has two small daughters, who each received school bags. "The school supplies are helpful so I don't have to spend money."
The annual event is sponsored by the American Indian Center of Chicago.
Newly appointed director of education, Janna Cotto, a tribal member of the Little Bay Bands of Odawa Indians, was pleased that Department of Public Health Immunization Program was on hand to provide required immunizations.
The American Indian Health Service of Chicago, Inc. was also a collaborator to the event.
"This is great to see," commented Josie Dykas, Yaqui, served as the emcee for the community powwow. "This is my first powwow I ever emceed. I am usually doing comedy standup," continued Dykas, who is a professional comedian. Earlier this year, she served as the state coordinator for the Longest Walk 3 for Illinois.
By the look at the American Indian Center of Chicago, the students will be ready to begin school next Tuesday.
updated 1:12 pm edt; updated 8:28 am edt; posted September 2, 2011 6:00 am edt
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