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An Afternoon with Wisdom of the Elders

"An Afternoon with Wisdom of the Elders" is the first in a series of four multi-cultural celebrations to be held monthly through May. The public is invited to attend the February celebration which will honor elders of Native American and African-American cultures and will be held on Saturday, February 19 between 4-9 PM at Portland State University's Smith Memorial Center Ballroom.

Now in its second successful year, these community celebrations offer a glimpse at the richness of Native American life by sharing prophetic wisdom, folklore, and prophesy from distinguished Native American elders, as well as tribal drumming, dance, and music. A special highlight of the February gathering is the performance of gifted Native American storyteller, Mary Louise Defender Wilson (Dakota-Hidatsu) from Standing Rock Indian Reservation in North Dakota. Mary Louise is 1999 recipient of the prestigious National Endowment for the Arts Heritage Fellowship for her folklore and oral tradition. Her mother, grandmother and great grandmother were all midwives and storytellers and her knowledge and experience lends a depth of understanding and meaning to her stories, making them rich encapsulations of traditional knowledge.

The later gatherings will honor and celebrate the rich cultural heritage of other ethnic groups from our region, giving an opportunity to learn from the wisdom of their exemplary elders. By gathering diverse community members together to experience each other's cultural richness and acknowledge the values we all share as human beings, WOTE aims to alleviate misconceptions and misunderstandings between racial groups and promote healing and reconciliation. Margaret Carter, Urban League Interim Director and former State Representative, is also a featured speaker at the gathering. She will share stories of her grandparents and the beauty of her cultural that has been passed down from generation to generation in her family.

When asked about the goal of the gatherings, Rose High Bear, WOTE's cofounder stated, "A closer look at traditional First Nations culture reveals that a grandparent's love has the power to heal. Their stories, passed down from generation to generation, have the power to transform. A native community guided by its traditional uncis and lalas (grandmothers and grandfathers) can restore knowledge of and respect for their distinctive First Nations heritage and rebuild the strong sense of character and identity needed within its young."

"An Afternoon with Wisdom of the Elders" will be held on February 19th from 4:00 PM until 9:00 PM at PSU's Smith Ballroom. The address is 1825 SW Broadway at the corner of SW Montgomery Street in downtown Portland. Donations of $5-$20 are accepted, yet nobody is turned away for lack of funds. Wisdom of the Elders, Inc. is primary sponsor of this series of multi-cultural celebrations. A Native American non profit corporation, their mission is the cultural preservation and sharing of indigenous elders' wisdom and cultural values. WOTE is sponsoring this series in partnership with Meyer Memorial Trust, Oregon Arts Commission, PSU's UISHE (United Indian Students in Higher Education), National College of Naturopathic Medicine, Oregon Uniting, and Metropolitan Human Rights Center.

For more information contact: Rose High Bear at (503) 775-4014 or wote@pcez.com. or check out the Wisdom of the Elders Website at www.pcez.com/~wote

An Afternoon with Wisdom of the Elders

Honoring African-American & Native American elders and the richness of their cultures:

Saturday, February 19, 2000, 4:00 PM until 9:00 PM at PSU's Smith Memorial Ballroom, 1825 SW Broadway Avenue in downtown Portland

Honoring Latino & Native American elders and the richness of their cultures:

Saturday, March 25, 2000, 4:00 PM until 9:00 PM at Mt. Hood Community College's Theater, 26000 SE Stark Street in Gresham

Honoring European-American & Native American elders and the richness of their cultures:

Saturday, April 15, 2000, 4:00 PM until 9:00 PM at Marylhurst University's St. Anne's Chapel, 17600 Pacific Highway #43 in Marylhurst between Lake Oswego and West Linn

Honoring Asian American & Native American elders and the richness of their cultures:

Saturday, May 6, 2000, 4:00 PM until 9:00 PM at Reed College Vollum Lecture Hall, 3203 SE Woodstock Street in Portland

Call for more information: Rose High Bear at (503) 775-4014 or wote@pcez.com. For more information, check out Wisdom of the Elders Website www.pcez.com/~wote

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