Levi Rickert, editor-in-chief in Native Currents. Discussion »
WASHINGTON Thousands of American Indians and Alaska Natives journeyed to Washington DC to be part of the presidential inauguration events this weekend.
Utuqqagmiut, or "People of the Utukok River," reside in the small Inupiat community of Wainwright on the northern coast of Alaska
After the swearing-in ceremonies at the US Capitol, the Presidential Inaugural Parade will make its way down Pennsylvania Avenue to the White House where President Obama, his family and invited guests will review the parade.
For more than two hundred years, in times of war and peace, uncertainty and prosperity; presidents, their families, and citizens from all walks of life have marked Inauguration Day by marching down Pennsylvania Avenue, united at each and every moment in common purpose and bold determination to shape our future together.
It's the route charted by Thomas Jefferson in the first Inaugural Parade more than two centuries ago; the route bookended by the unfinished dome of the Capitol and the still-rising Washington Monument as Abraham Lincoln took office; the route millions of Americans watched John F. Kennedy travel in the new-fallen snow after he asked them to think anew with regard to serving their fellow man.
Wind River Dancers of the Wind River Indian Reservation
This year's parade features participants, floats and vehicles representing 60 groups. These talented groups and organizations represent the best values and traditions of our great nation - service to others, commitment to community, and faith that every American, no matter their background, can help build our nation's future. They embody the theme of this year's Inauguration - "Our People. Our Future."
The parade begins at 4th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue NW and continues along Pennsylvania Avenue until its conclusion at 17th Street. The President, Vice President and their families will view the parade from the presidential reviewing stand in front of the White House, on the south side of Pennsylvania Avenue. Along the route, there is a combination of public viewing and ticketed viewing. Tickets were made available to the general public and sold by the Presidential Inaugural Committee.
Native American Inaugural Parade Participants
Below are listed the participating Native groups in today's parade. Parade organizers have five divisions. They are listed in the order in which they will appear:
Kamehameha Schools "Warrior" Marching Band, Honolulu, Hawaii
The Kamehameha Schools "Warrior" Marching Band and Color Guard is from the Kapalama Campus of Honolulu, Hawaii. Through the years, the Kamehameha Schools Warrior Band and Color Guard has acquired national and international acclaim through its participation in tours, music festivals and competitions. Past national appearances include the 1984 Fiesta Bowl Parade in Arizona, the 1991 Orange Bowl Parade and the 1993 Presidential Inaugural Parade.
Utuqqagmiut Dancers, Alaska
Utuqqagmiut, or "People of the Utukok River," reside in the small Inupiat community of Wainwright on the northern coast of Alaska. The community is internationally known for its dance culture, and the Utuqqagmiut Dancers have been recognized in competiÂ¬tions for their talent. Their performance represents the culture of Alaska Eskimos through a celebration of gift-giving, feasting, and competition in a tradition that predates historical record. Their unique song and dance choreography is accompanied by the rhythÂ¬mic beating of drums made of caribou skin tightly stretched over handheld wooden hoops.
“We were stunned,”
said Mary Ellen Ahmaogak, of the Utuqqagmiut Dancers.
“We have no words to describe the honor”
Native American Women Warriors, Pueblo West, Colorado
The Native American Women Warriors is the first recogÂ¬nized all-Native women veteran color guard and will be marching dressed in traditional Ojibway "jingle dresses" with accessories of beadwork and feathers. They are known for their large service patches - veteran and combat patches placed on the back of the dresses which distinguish the members as Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine or Coast Guard.
Wind River Dancers, Wind River Indian Reservation, Wyoming
The Wind River Dancers from the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming is a group of Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho tribal members that dance and sing traditional American Indian songs. They are using hand drums, which are a mobile version of the larger drums traditionally used in ceremonial activities. The dancers of various ages sing songs and dance usually as part of their tribal culture for the benefit of the younger generations and others to enjoy. The Wind River Dancers travel the state of Wyoming to educate non-American Indians about American Indian culture and heritage through dance and music.
Navajo Nation Band, Arizona, Utah and New Mexico
The Navajo Nation Band began in 1925 when a small group of young Navajo men, recently graduated from federal boarding schools, joined together to continue practicing their musical talents. It has since become a widely-traveled band appearing in many public events coast to coast and has been awarded numerous honors and prizes. These tribal musical ambassadors have marched in three Presidential Inaugural Parades, parades at the Arizona and New Mexico State Fairs, and the Fiesta Bowl Parade. The Navajo Nation Band continues to attract admirers throughout the country and the world, and participates in Navajo Nation fairs and other celebrations throughout the Southwest.
The Native American Tribes of North Dakota, North Dakota
The Tribes of North Dakota is a group of veterans and students who are working to engage Native Americans in politics in their state. They are represented by Native American singers playing small hand drums and wearing tribal uniforms. During the 2012 election, the tribes of North Dakota successfully engaged thousands of American Indians in local and national politics.
posted January 18, 2013 9:40 am est