TRAVELS WITH CONSCIOUSNESS
USA - SOUTH DAKOTA
16 - 18 March 2018
BLACK HILLS, SACRED MOUNTAINS.
We will join in prayer in the Black Hills with Lakota youth in a prayer for safety and abundance of water to the Earth and to encourage the younger generations to learn about their heritage.
We invite you to partake on a journey to rediscover our connection and interdependence with nature. The adventure begins in Rapid City, South Dakota, where we will embark on a journey to the Black Hills. Once at the sacred Black Elk Peak, we will have the magical opportunity to participate in the Lakota traditions and prayers for the safety and abundance of water in Mother Earth.
This ceremony "Welcome Back the Thunders" was recently reestablished among the Lakota people in an effort to reignite the light of the vibrant culture and encourage the younger generations to learn about their heritage. This tradtion is becoming increasingly important, specially in today's climate, as deregulation of Native American land begins to take place, and the continued violations of the Dakota Access Pipeline ensue.
Chief Izzy has kindly invited Nativo Experience to join in this year's prayer, not only to invoke awareness and consciousness, but to spark the motivation necessary to begin to protect our environment from complete obliteration.
This march from 16th to 18th, we will visit the Black HIlls of South Dakota to hear the stories of the Lakota people, and take part in their tradition for encouring the protection of our water for generations to come.
For this reason, we invite you to join Nativo Experience in this celestial ceremony meant to pay our respects to Mother Earth and the water we so often take for granted.
Because we are all Nativos!
The “Welcome Back the Thunders” ceremony is held every year for the Spring Equinox, at Harney Peak, the highest part of the Black Hills. According to tradition, this peak is the most sacred region of the mountains, and therefore where the offerings are made to the Great Spirit. This celestial ceremony was banned for a long time but was revived 28 years ago by some Lakotas spiritual leaders. It is meant to encourage younger generations to return to the sacred regions of the Black Hills and relish in their heritage. In this way, the youth, along with the wise elders of the community, pray and offer sacred objects to the Spirits of Thunder for peace and harmony on Mother Earth. The ceremony is also meant to bring the arrival of water harmoniously to the Earth.
"Future generations and life on Mother Earth depend on our offerings, prayers, and good thoughts."
Chief Arvol Looking Horse (19th Generation Keeper of the Sacred White Buffalo Calf Pipe)
“This is the time of the thunders coming back, coming back to contribute their process for the continuation of life for all the Earth. Everything and everyone on this planet cannot survive without the thunders, they bring the water, “miniwakan”. So the ceremony is done to honor the thunders and thank them for coming back to help and take care of us. Also, while we are all praying and giving our thanks, all of the animals and other life are doing the same. The trees, the plants, it is all one big ceremony for all of life.”
DAY 1 - FRIDAY, MARCH 16th
WELCOME & INTRODUCTION
Arrival at Rapid City Airport in South Dakota
Airport shuttle to the Comfort Suites Hotel in Rapid City ($9 for shuttle service from the airport to the hotel).
The shuttle departs every 20 minutes and it takes 10 to 15 minutes to reach the hotel where the Nativo Experience team will be awaiting your arrival.
After check-in you will have the rest of the afternoon off to get to know the city and rest from your travels.
6 pm Welcome dinner in the Conference Lounge of the hotel, hosted by the Nativo Team and Uncle Izzy Zephier, Chief of the Yankton Sioux Reservation.
Program presentation by Nativo Team
Introduction to Uncle Izzy
Explanation of the intention of the ceremony, “Welcome Back the Thunders,” and the importance of our presence supporting the Lakota youth in the preservation of their tradition.
9:30 pm Rest
DAY 2 - SATURDAY, MARCH 17th
CEREMONY IN BLACK ELK PEAK
6:00 / 7:00 am Breakfast at the hotel
7:30 / 7:45 am Transfer, pick-up to the Black Hills
8:30 am Arrival at Silvan Lake Picnic Area where we will meet the rest of the youth and Lakota chiefs. Start of the 3 hours hike to Black Elk Peak where the ceremony will be held.
After the ceremony and the offerings, we will descend the mountain and take transfer back to the hotel. We will be back at the hotel by 19:30 app
Once back at the hotel, we will have free time for dinner. Room service is available, as well as walking down to the hotel restaurant or going to any of the nearby restaurants listed below:
1325 N Elk Vale Rd
At 0,1 km from Comfort Suites hotel & Convention Center Rapid City
3920 Cheyenne Boulevard
At 0,2 km from Comfort Suites hotel & Convention Center Rapid City
4040 Cheyenne Blvd Ste A
At 0,4 km from Comfort Suites hotel & Convention Center Rapid City
DAY 3 - SUNDAY, MARCH 18th
FAREWELL LUNCH AND CONCLUSION OF THE CEREMONY
6 / 10 am Breakfast at the hotel
12:30 / 2:30 pm Lunch will be served at the Hotel with Uncle Izzy, concluding the ceremony.
Goodbyes to everyone involved in the ceremony and our journey to the Black Hills.
Be sure to bring good boots for hiking, warm gloves, a canteen with water, and of course, your prayers!
Thank you for being part of the Nativo Experience!