Fourth Annual Elder's Gathering held in Red Lake - P31
There were at least 400 Elders that attended Red Lake's Fourth Annual Elder Gathering at Seven Clans Casino Event Center on Monday, March 31, 2014.
It all began with registration and breakfast, followed by the Opening Ceremony with Spiritual Elder Eugene Stillday, the Red Lake Nation Color Guard, drum group Young Kingbird led by Mark Kingbird, Welcome remarks by Red Lake Tribal Chairman Floyd "Buck" Jourdain and the keynote address by Tatanka Means, Oglala Sioux--which focused on "Laughter is good medicine."
In the lobby area of the Event Center were about a dozen booths set up, ranging from the Red Lake ENP Program, Red Lake Tribal Accounting and Enrollment, to Wisdom Steps--all focused on the elderly.
Red Lake Nation Youth took over the entertainment at 11 AM, which included the Red Lake High School Boys and Girls Basketball Teams--who also assisted elders throughout the conference--the Red Lake Nation Royalty Dance Exhibitions, the Red Lake Elementary Dance Troupe, songs by Noel Zeller, Red Lake member from Trek North in Bemidji, and Brendan Strong, Red Lake member from Kelliher High School with his hand drum.
During lunch Dana Bonga performed several selections from a variety of music genres, with facilitators Cheri Goodwin and Delwyn Holthusen presenting Traditional Family Values; What our Elders Say, a slide presentation by Georgia Downwind and a performance by singer and dancer Jackie Bird.
The conference continued throughout the afternoon and evening with Limo rides and a tour of the Red Lake Reservation, and tournaments in Black Jack, Cribbage and a slot tournament facilitated by the Red Lake Casino.
Scheduled activities for Tuesday, April 1, 2014 include keynote speaker Gyasi Ross of the Blackfeet and Squ8amish Tribe, "Endazhi-Ojibwemonotaadiying" Master Apprentice Program, the annual King and Queen selection, and a talent/variety show before lunch and the closing ceremony.
Bill Spears, Akiwenzi (male elder) and Ramona Manuel, Mindimooye (female elder) were the first selected last ytear and will give up their crowns.
Registration starts at 8 AM for the Day Two session.
The 2013 Elders Gathering is sponsored by the following Programs and Enterprises:
• Red Lake Tribal Council
• Red Lake Gaming Enterprises
• Red Lake Nation Fishery
• Comprehensive Health Dept.
• Red Lake EMT
• Red Lake Chemical Health Programs
• Redby Community Coordinator
• New Beginnings
• Red Lake Vocational Rehab Program
• Red Lake IT Department
• Red Lake VFW Post
• Red Lake Nation Royality
• Red Lake Youth Council
• Red Lake High School Girls Basketball Team
• Red Lake High School Boys Basketball Team
• Jourdain/Perpich Extended Care