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|Thursday, 25 September, 2014|
Shoshonean Reunion presentation shows golden eagle to audience. (Alexandria Alvarez photos)
By ALEXANDRIA ALVAREZ
LAWTON, Oklahoma — On September 21, a reception for the 15th Annual Shoshonean Reunion began at the Tribes of the Plains Museum in Lawton, Oklahoma.
Friends and relatives gathered outside to listen to the sounds of a live jazz band, while they dined and visited with one another. Each year, a host is chosen to help coordinate and run the Shoshonean Reunion at a location of their choosing; this year Comanche Nation undertook the task, and tribes from all over the north came to enjoy themselves in Lawton, Oklahoma, home of the Lords of the Plains.
Each morning begins with a sunrise service, followed by a flag ceremony and introductions. Edmond Nevaquaya talked a little about the history of the Comanche Nation, and how they came to find their homes on the great plains stating that they sent out a few scouts to look for the perfect place for them; this particular scout searched high and low until he finally came across the perfect area, and when he returned, he led the Comanche people to their new homes.
“There are several stories out there about how the Comanche people came to this place, but this was just one of them. When a loved one passes away, we are told by our old people that they are out searching for a better place for us, and when they are ready, they will come back to get us. I thought I would share that little history, and as a people, and a Nation, we are trying our best to make a dent on our society,” said Nevaquaya.
On Monday, Comanche Nation Chairman Wallace Coffey gave a few opening remarks, and hoped that all the travelers who came this year enjoy themselves, and learn something or share something new with one another. Coffey also expressed how important it is to continue these gatherings, and that he was very pleased to see all the Shoshonean relatives in the heart of the Comanche homeland.
On Monday there were history presentations, a SIA presentation, which is the Comanche Nation Ethno-Ornithological Initiative Raptor Shelter and Feather Repository, and then various breakout sessions. Tribal member Mike Dann gave a workshop on beadwork and roach making, while members of his family set up a display table. Benny Dann showcased his Native art doll collection that he had showcased during the Eastern Idaho State Fair. The Shoshone-Paiutes had workshops on basket weaving, and medicine plants.
Different contests were held such as a hand drum contest, teepee-pitching contest, fry bread making contest, and a women’s shinny ball game which was facilitated by tribal member Michelle Hernandez.
On Tuesday afternoon, the Comanche Nation had memorial recognition for dearly loved ones who had departed, and tribal member Darrell Shay gave a small recognition on the passing of Delbert Farmer, who had been instrumental in helping to create and plan the Shoshonean Reunions since the beginning.
The activities are planned to continue throughout the week until Thursday, and visitors were encouraged to stay and enjoy themselves at the Comanche Nation Fair, which begins Friday.