Mato Paha Forum – August 5th 2007

Mato Paha Forum – August 5th 2007

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John Ahni Schertow
July 22, 2007

The Mato Paha Forum is set to begin on August 5th, at the Mother Butler Center in Rapid City, South Dakota. As expressed in the media release below, this is the forum of it’s kind…

The Mato Paha Spiritual Forum: Religious Freedom and Human Rights will be held on Sunday, August 5, 2007 beginning at 1:00pm in the afternoon at the Mother Butler Center in Rapid City, South Dakota.

The Forum will gather Traditional Healers (Medicine Men) and Spiritual Leaders from the Oglala Band, Sicanju Band, Hohwoju Band of the Lakota Nation, and the Mdewakantonwan Band, and Sissetonwan Band of the Dakota Nation, and Arapahoe and Cheyenne Nations. The Healers and Leaders will come together to provide ancestral teachings regarding the spiritual significance of Bear Butte (Mato Paha) to the Oceti Sakowin (Great Sioux Nation) in the spiritual and cultural life-way of the people.

Guest speakers also include Chief Oliver Red Cloud of the Lakota Nation, Chief Oren Lyons, Faithkeeper of the Onondaga Nation, noted scholar Henrietta Mann, Cheyenne; and stateswoman Rosalie Little Thunder of the Seventh Generation Fund and South Dakota Peace and Justice. Reverend Gail Arnold of the SD Association of Christian Churches and John Sprague of the Christian Peacemaker Team will speak as well regarding Human Rights and Religious Freedom.

The Mato Paha Forum is the first time in decades that Traditional Healers (Medicine Men) from across many Tribal Nations have come together in one forum to speak to the people regarding sacred places and the traditional Lakota way of life, as well as sharing the Forum with the Christian Churches from the region, and from a global organization such as the Christian Peacemaker Team. Organizers of the Forum have scheduled this event to provide awareness to the general public in light of the increasing controversy over development related to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally that is occurring near Bear Butte.

The Guest Speakers are each well-known in the Human Rights and Freedom of Religion arena, from their work in their own Tribal Nation communities to organizations with a global view and impact.

The Mato Paha Forum is open to all, and all people from all walks of life are welcome to attend. There will be Lakota Drum Groups and Singers present and an evening meal is offered to all participants.

The Mato Paha Forum is sponsored by Bring Back the Way, the Black Hills Sioux Nation Treaty Council, Horse Owner’s Society, and the Seventh Generation Fund.

For more information please call

Debra White Plume
Owe Aku, Bring Back the Way
Manderson, SD 57756-0325
605-455-2155 Voice Ph

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