On Friday evening, June 24, the Family Festival 2011 of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation started. There were games and vendors and eating and getting together with relatives. During that evening, Roger entered the checkers tournament and won second place ($100). On Saturday, the entire day was filled with activities and arts/crafts and more tournaments. Jason entered the pool tournament and won second place ($100).
It was a hot day but very relaxing as we sat and had much time with family and relatives Cousin George Godfrey and his wife Pat were in town, staying at Uncle Johnie's. George and Pat live in Springfield, Illinois, not too far from where I was born in Petersburg. Cousin Susan (Bergeron) Boyes and her husband, Stuart, came for the afternoon with four of their children (Dawn, Jennifer, Tricia and Scotland). Stuart and Susan and their family live in Oklahoma City. Mom stayed at the house because of the heat, but everyone went over and spent time talking with her. So, it was a lot of wonderful family time again.
That evening (Saturday), the stands in the arena at the Pow Wow grounds were filled for the annual gathering for the presentation of honored families and the dance competitions. We enjoyed the pageantry and color of the formal entrance and the drum circle and the dancers. George won second place ($400) in the men's dance competition.
The next day (Sunday), I taught mom's Sunday School class at First Baptist Church, Tecumseh. I love those senior adult women and we had a fantastic time of sharing and talking about what the Bible has to say about giving from a heart of love.
Mom wasn't at church, but it was for a very special reason. David had requested to be named at the naming ceremony during this Pow Wow weekend. There is a special ceremony that is held to give a Potawatomi name to all who desire to be named, and there were about 27 individuals total for this year's ceremony. David's two sponsors, one male and one female, were required to be there to accept the responsibility to assist in guiding and keeping him accountable to remain on the "Red Road," the right path of life that leads to heaven. David asked mom and cousin George to be his sponsors, and they accepted and attended.
David was given the Potawatomi name of "Gishek M'nisono." It is pronounced "Gee-Zhuk Mu-Neece-No." It translates to the meaning of "Sky Warrior." It is a spiritual ceremony with much symbolism. The ceremony lasted much of morning, so that's why mom was not able to be at church in Tecumseh. The family members attending this ceremony were David, mom, cousin George and his wife Pat, Sondra and our son Jason.
I must stop here and write another chapter to this account of our trip. Part Three is the last installment, I think!