The 11th Gathering of the International Council of 13 Indigenous Grandmothers will meet July 26-29 in Lame Deer, Montana on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation.
The gathering will focus on “healing generational trauma, looking back at some of what mainly the Northern Cheyenne people suffered when they were relocated,” explained Laura Jackson, a publicist for the grandmothers.
After Gen. George Armstrong Custer was defeated at the Battle of the Little Bighorn, the United States government removed the Northern Cheyenne from their traditional homelands in Montana to a reservation in Indian Territory in Oklahoma. What came to be known as their “exodus” was the “bloody but futile attempt to return to their homeland in Montana,” says the description of In Dull Knife’s Wake: The True Story of the Northern Cheyenne Exodus of 1878 by Vernon R. Maddux and Albert Glenn Maddux.
The grandmothers have also invited Wolf Connection to join them. Their group of five staff and six members of the wolf pack will journey through wolf-hunting states raising awareness about wolves along the way from California to Montana.
“As a non-Native American organization, it is a privilege to be invited to such an event. Both the grandmothers and event organizers felt that the long history of collaboration between wolf and man also needed to be part of this gathering,” said Teo Alfero, founder and director of Wolf Connection, on the organization’s website. “We are honored that they felt that our human and wolf pack is a worthy representative of this unique bond.”
Wolf Connection will also be making a documentary about their journey to Lame Deer. The group will be joining a group of horseback riders in South Dakota for their final 110 miles of the journey to Montana. The riders will all arrive to the gathering on Saturday, July 28 to share the story of their journey.
The historic horseback ride was inspired by Grandmother Margaret Behan “Red Spider Woman,” who will be hosting this year’s gathering. Grandmother Behan is of the Beaver Clan of the Cheyenne Nation of Oklahoma on her mother’s side, and on her father’s side she is half Cheyenne and half Arapaho of the Rabbit Lodge.
“The 13 Grandmothers represent a global alliance of prayer, education and healing for our Mother Earth, all her inhabitants, all the children, and for the next seven generations to come,” reads a press release.
For more information—including camping costs—about the gathering visit GrandmothersCouncil.org. Cheyenne members will not be turned away for lack of funds.
And keep an eye on IndianCountryTodayMediaNetwork.com for pictures from the historic horseback ride.
Wolf Connection announces attendance at gathering: