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Spirit Sisters' event at English

September 19, 2012
The Cherokee Spirit Sisters will host a Native American fall gathering at Sycamore Springs Park at English this weekend.

Saturday's gathering will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Sunday's will be from noon to 3 p.m.

Mike Bockting gives an offering of tobacco to the four directions as a sign of respect to Chief Ouiska’s monument. Tobacco is used in many Native American ceremonies and rituals and is often given when meeting someone for the first time as a token of friendship. Photo by Leslie Radcliff
This event is not a powwow or formal get-together but an old-fashioned gathering that will promote learning, sharing and family centered fun.

There will be dancing, drumming and storytelling, as well as Native American crafts and heritage tales. Demonstrations on beading and moccasin making also will be held.

"We will all be in full regalia," Mike Bockting, a Crawford County native and storyteller to the Cherokee Spirit Sisters, said. "It's really going to be something."

Along with Marengo American Legion Post 84, the Cherokee Spirit Sisters will host a re-dedication ceremony for the meditation area and the monument dedicated to Crawford County's Chief Ouiska on Saturday at 4 p.m. at the Post.

Chief Ouiska lived near the Big Springs area in Marengo. Later, the community called the creek Ouiska Run, which was later changed to Whiskey Run. Representatives from the Miami nation will be on hand to take part in the gathering and the re-dedication.

The festivities are not just a gathering and a celebration of re-dedication; there also will be a naming ceremony for Bockting.

The Crawford Countian has been studying Native American cultures for more than 20 years and will receive a traditional Native American name.

"I'm very honored and very excited to finally be getting a name," Bockting said. "I don't know what it will be, but I think it might have something to do with my storytelling."

Bockting is currently the storyteller for the Cherokee Spirit Sisters and a member of the Spice Valley Band of the Metis.

The Cherokee Spirit Sisters are a group of women from Campbellsburg. They are dedicated to learning their heritage and the language as well as the crafts and traditions of their Native American culture. They make and sell jewelry, moccasins, dream catchers and a variety of other items.

"We're just a handful of women trying to keep our culture from dying," Angela Sasko said. "That is what these gatherings are for."

Sasko said this is an event for everyone, not just those of Native American heritage, and all are encouraged to attend.

The event is free, and vendors are encouraged to come as there are no admission or vendor fees. No drugs, alcohol or firearms will be allowed at the park. There will be a community potluck each day for the meal.

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