Monday, March 12, 2007


Thunderbird, originally uploaded by chanchanchepon.
Last weekend, I presented a paper at the Native American Literature Symposium, in Mt. Pleasant Michigan on the Isabella Indian Reservation which is home of the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan. The Chippewa are closely related to the Shawnee, so being in the midst of this place was really like being around family.

At the conference, I presented a paper looking at some of the language used in an old treaty formed with my tribe (and about a dozen others) and the United States. While my presentation went well, I was thoroughly amazed and awed by the overall experience I had while at the conference.

It marked the first significant amount of time I've been around a large group of Indian people in a long time. Overall, it was an emotional weekend, and it brought to rememberance many memories I never knew I had forgotten.

The hotel where I stayed was filled with art of various types, and this particular painting really struck me. The colors on the actual canvas were much brighter than they appear in this image, but I thought it was a great rendering of a Animake (Thunderbird) over one of the many lakes in the area. The art was captivating, and you could tell there was a lot of thought put into bringing beauty into the space.

I think we take very little time to think about bringing beauty into every area of our life like I saw all around me in this space. From the structural design of the hotel, to the floor, walls, doors, and various rooms, there was a lot of time, effort and energy taken to surround people with beauty.

I may blog more about my experiences and lessons learned later, but for now, I just want to encourage you to take a look around you today, and begin to imagine what the space around you could be. Your room, your desk, your home, yard, neighborhood, town, county . . .

1 comment:

Unknown said...

This is by a friend and teacher Dave Shananaquet