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COMMUNITY, FAMILY and SPIRITUALITY:
SPIRITUALITY

In much of Native American life, the secular and sacred are intertwined: A Powwow is a fun social event and family reunion, while at the same time it provides a setting for spiritual enrichment through traditional rituals and individual reflection. Dancing, as a form of personal expression, cultural identity, physical enjoyment and worship, embodies this duality of purpose at Powwow. Another aspect of Native American spirituality is the belief that all elements of the world- the sky, the grass, the rocks, the animals, the wind, the sounds, the people - are relatives, and are to be recognized and treated with appropriate respect. Worshipping, singing, dancing and helping others are all means of spiritual participation by which the Indians unite with these elements and with each other.

LITEFOOT, a Cherokee rap singer and actor from Oklahoma, feels that "If we have Indian problems and we have Indian questions, we cannot find Indian answers in mainstream society. We have to look to our Indian ways. I think it would have to be re-establishing that walk with our creator. I mean, we are a praying people."

Barbara Feezor-Stewart, an Yankton Sioux Dakota and Anthropologist: "As I sit here and the wind goes by, I realize that God is here, that Wakantanka is here to make this wind blow, to make my mouth move and the sound waves that go. The spirituality of American Indians is intertwined in everyday life."

Walter LaBatt, a Sisseton Wahpeton Dakota traditional dancer, drum maker and artist, says. "We are the original people here, and we have tried to hold on to those good ways, because those good ways have to survive for thousands and thousands of years. Our way is not better, it just works for us."