All Drums and Dancers Welcome! Admission is Free. Donations appreciated. No Drugs, No Alcohol, No Politics, please.
This is the admirable, and one might say intelligent, credo for the Kentucky American Indian Resource Center holds for itself and for its participants. This past New Year’s Eve they celebrated their 6th annual Sobriety Pow Wow at the Americana Center over the weekend, the Courier Journal reported. Around 400 people from over six states joined the abstinence-inspired festivities, starting on New Year’s eve and continuing the following day. Mary and John Fraire, part Navajo and Cherokee respectively, told the journal that when you go into circle and hear the drum beat, “it’s the heart of the people.” She said it reduces frustrations and anger. “It calms the soul. You are one with God and the earth.”
Dianne Travillian is the president of the Kentukcy American Indian group’s board, with Iroquois and Cherokee ancestry. She said the sobriety Pow Wow has special significance because of the threat alcoholism poses the Native American community. Also on the board is state Rep. Reginald Meeks, D-Louisville. He told the Courier Journal that in 2005 the founders believed Native Americans needed a support group in the Louisville area and Southern Indiana. Mr. Meeks spoke about how it was as recently as the 1940s that a Native American couldn’t own property in Kentucky, forcing many of them to hide their heritage.
Meeks has Ojibway and Cherokee ancestry, and arrived to the Pow Wow in full regalia, which included an eagle feather stuffed bustle which had survived in his family for generations.
The resource center is committed not only as a place of support committed to helping the community with alcohol issues, but also sponsors a back-to-school program for children every August and Pow Wow honoring veterans in November.