Levi Rickert, editor-in-chief in Entertainment. Discussion »
CHICAGO Among American Indians we are taught to revere our elders. Within most Native communities there are among the elderly those who are easily recognized for their many years of giving and giving to their communities.
Such is the case of Susan Kelly Power, 89, of Chicago.
Susan Power is an ordinary Native woman, who has provided an extraordinary example of living in two cultures in Chicago.
She left the Standing Rock Indian Reservation in North Dakota 71 years ago. She left rural North Dakota for the metropolis Chicago when she was only 17 years old.
“I cleaned houses when I first got here. I went to school at night. I learned to pull up my bootstraps,”
Power was recognized at the 15th Annual Cook County Commission Unsung Heroine Awards.
Furthering her education allowed Power to move beyond house cleaning. Power is a graduate of Gregg College, a business college, later absorbed by the Kellogg School of Northwestern University; there she trained in paralegal studies.
Sixty years ago she co-founded the American Indian Center of Chicago, which is the oldest urban Indian center in the United States.
Last Saturday, wearing a black shawl, adorned with a beaded necklace, Power attended her 60th American Indian Center of Chicago Powwow. She is the only person alive who has attended all 60 annual powwows.
“Susan is our most respected and loved Chicago American Indian community elder,”
Dorene Wiese, president of the American Indian Association of Illinois, posted on the story the Native News Network ran on Power on Monday.
“Absolutely love this women! She is an amazing person!”
wrote Jolene Aleck, coordinator of the Title VII Indian Education Program of the Chicago Public Schools.
Our Photo of the Week was an immediate hit when it was posted during the Chicago Powwow on the Native News Network's Facebook page.
The Native News Network salutes Susan Kelly Power.
posted September 21, 2013 7:40 am edt