I spent a wonderful evening at Widening the Circle: Native American and Hmong Indigenous Education Symposium. It is fantastic that they offer community dinners as part of the event. Tonight's meal was called Rethinking Thanksgiving. We ate wonderful food and much of it is native to this area. Much of it had been grown and harvested specifically for this event. We had wild rice, amaranth, venison, bison, turkey, sweet potatoes, corn soup, and much more. I was very thankful to be part of this special tradition. It is a great feeling to share a meal and fellowship with so many people and have that sense of thankfulness for all the work that has gone into the meal from the planting of the seeds to the actual cooking and serving.
I also loved that we were greeted with the Ojibwe word Boozhoo. I was happy to hear this as I just purchased a book with that title. I had not been certain of the pronunciation. Now I know! :)
This was a great evening of sharing and learning. We heard from Dr. Gregory Cajete, Director of Native American Studies at UNM, about the purpose of indigenous education. He explained that the goal of indigenous education is the well-being of the individual and ultimately the well-being of the community. He spoke to our need of being in relationship with the place we are in and also our responsibility to the place and our community. I know I will be mulling these things around in my head for some time.