August 17, 2008

Indians star on Democratic stage

Major Native event to open DNCThe grand entry will include the tribal officials, Denver area community leaders, the posting of the colors by veterans' groups, and singing by various drum groups in a dramatic display that will be "the first time a lot of them will have seen it," said Arnold Kinney of the media event.

In addition to grand entry, the official welcome in August will include performances by Denver-area drum and dance groups, including the Northern and Southern Plains Indian Dancers and Singers and other groups, said Deb Sankey, co-chair for Native planning for the event.

The Native presence at the media event will be followed by Tribal Unity Day on Aug. 24, when a Denver Indian Center-sponsored pow wow will be hosted across from the Denver City and County Building from 2 to 6 p.m. in Civic Center Park, the heart of many key public events at the DNC.

In addition to vendor and arts and crafts booths, buffalo cuisine will be sold at the pow wow. The meat will be supplied by the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate of South Dakota, said Jay Grimm, DIC director.

A painting, "The Grand Entry," by Sisseton-Wahpeton artist JoAnne Bird, will be featured on a commemorative poster for the DNC, said Kim Cameron, co-planner of Tribal Unity Day events. Local artists will also be showcased.
And:Other events are planned for the DNC by various Native groups in metro Denver, including:

* Public reception and other events at Denver Indian Center, with announcements posted at

* Various private events for tribal leaders and DNC delegates, including Native Gathering 2008 from 6 to 9 p.m. Aug. 24 at the Colorado State Historical Society, presented by the Procurement Learning for American Indian Nations and Societies, a nonprofit program for Indian- or tribally owned businesses.

* Native caucuses Aug. 25 and 27 at the Pepsi Center and Convention Center.

* A screening Aug. 27 of the independent documentary, "The Battle for Whiteclay," by Mark Vasina, for the Indian community of Denver. The film covers an eight-year period of controversy over alcohol sales in Whiteclay, Neb., to residents of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, just over the state line in South Dakota, where alcoholism is described as a major social problem.
Comment: I wonder what the Native presence at the Republican National Convention will be. Maybe a couple of hang-around-the-fort Indians touting their blame the victim philosophy? With "Get Over It" buttons and stickers to help their fellow Natives?

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