|October 3, 2013
Traditional hunting camp draws guests from Indian Country
By Alyssa Nenemay
A good haul: Hunters bring back one of many deer to process in traditional ways. Every part of the deer is used, and the camp teachers and leaders were keen to maintain that practice. (courtesy photos)
DIXON — The 8th annual “Traditional Youth Leadership Hunting Camp” attracted guests from across Indian Country. Connecting the youth with elders and experienced hunters, the four-day encampment provided educational opportunities to learn traditional values, customs, and the spirituality that is involved in tribal hunting practices.
Stories are told about the traditional ways as participant from near and far listen in. (courtesy photos)
This year’s camp leader was Frank Stanger and guest speakers included Danny Black Goat of the Dine Nation and Salish elder Johnny Arlee. Attendees were asked to keep the camp as traditional as possible by residing in teepees, limiting electronic use, and keeping busy with traditional crafts or work throughout the day.
The hunt, which was carried out by CS&KT members, successfully brought in one elk and three deer. The animals were processed by the entire camp; nothing went to waste.
The Hunting Camp was made possible through the collaborative efforts of the Salish Institute, the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, the Traditional Circle, and the American Indian Institute.
Vance Home Gun and Francis Stanger (center) and Johnny Arlee (right) comtemplate the lessons and stories told during the traditional hunting camp. (courtesy photo)
The American Indian Institute is a non-profit organization that provides administrative, financial, and program development support for the “Traditional Circle,” which is comprised of grassroots spiritual leaders from tribal nations across North America. Based in Bozeman, the Traditional Circle provides a venue for Native Americans to respectfully discuss Indigenous issues relating to traditional values.
The Traditional Youth Leadership Hunting Camp is part of the Traditional Circle’s initiative to develop the tribal youths’ cultural and spiritual awareness. The camps, which are hosted throughout the US, provide a “parallel to formal education” with the goal to preserve, strengthen, and renew Native culture, spiritual practices, beliefs, values, and worldviews.
Student - young and just a bit older - stretch a deer hide to show that all parts of an animal are used. (courtesy photo)
“The camp was qwaqwumt this year and it is really something special to see our tribal youth learn from so many people that lead by a good, positive, traditional manner,” said long time camp-goer and member of the Salish Institute Chaney Bell.
For more information on the American Indian Institute visit www.twocircles.org.