Let me begin by saying that I love the month of November. I have written in years past about the changing of seasons, the cooler air, the beautiful foliage, the hunts and all the stories this season brings. I enjoy all of these markers of time that confirm
it is the month of November. Thanksgiving is in November. My wife’s birthday is in November.
I love this month and the gatherings that come along with it. They are cherished staples in our lives that provide the setting for stories to be told and the scene for memories to be made. While these gatherings are a part of this month I love, they are but a sample of the events that made this November special.
November brings us Veterans Day and the annual gathering at our Peoria Cemetery to remember an end to the first Great War. We meet to hear from our honored veterans, remember those who served and since walked on in fellowship with one another on peaceful ground set aside for our Peoria People. This year we also gathered for a special Veterans Day
Pow-Wow. Our Cultural Preservation Department, along with a tremendous Head Staff, celebrated and honored our community Veterans. During this year’s event, the Peoria Tribe formally and publicly honored battle wounded veterans and was named a Purple Heart Nation.
Lastly, this November brought the White House Tribal Nations Summit. A call was put out for tribal leaders from across the nation to convene at the Department of Interior in Washington, D.C. There we gathered with America’s first Native American Secretary of the Interior to discuss the Biden Administration’s unprecedented commitment to meaningful consultation with federally recognized tribes. Corporately, Indian Country listened as both the President and Vice President came and spoke with us. Over the two day gathering Secretary Haaland brought panel after panel filled with cabinet level Secretaries to share a new spirit of commitment to First Americans from the Federal Government.
The common thread this month became clear to me as I wrote this letter–the impact made in our lives as we answer the call “to gather”. Whether we gather as families or as friends, when we gather as Nations or as a Nation, let us look forward to our next Peoria gathering.
Be Well, Chief Harper