We recently completed a powerful week full of heart led dialogue with relatives of Red wing & Prairie Island Indian Community through the "Mitakuye Owasin - Honoring Dakota Project". I say “relatives” with absolute clarity and intent, as these recent days have been about establishing, healing, and building relationships.
As we collectively begin the process of acknowledging uncomfortable truths and exposing long neglected social wounds, it requires willingness, commitment & vulnerability from all involved. The ability to be present, compassionate, and understanding of one another has made way for new perspectives and positive seeds planted amongst both communities. Where there is a will there is always a way, and there is no shortage of will here.
From the beginning, partners from the City of Red Wing, Red Wing Arts, Goodhue County, Prairie Island Indian Community, wholeheartedly engaged this project from its evolution as a mural project to something much greater and far reaching that would ultimately bring the lives of both communities together. I commend each of the partners for setting such a poignant example in their own willingness to be the living, breathing examples of what we are facilitating for all. Not only are we creating a better quality of life, better communities, but we are each growing and becoming in our own humanity. Any amount of breath and effort given towards that pursuit, is more than just.
Throughout the week, we were met with welcome and intrigue, always followed by sincere conversation and want to be a part of this healing movement taking root before us. While elders shared personal experiences and curiosity towards solutions, youth quietly contemplated their present environments and thought forward with new optimism, considering their ability to seed change.
A recurring theme of conversation has been, that blindly accepting what has been, as how things will always be is counterintuitive and ultimately detrimental. We each create our relationships by the choices we make, not those of our ancestors. It is our breath that carries the words that will ultimately nurture or undermine what is to come. All of this being said, thank you relatives for relating and truly investing. Let’s continue!