Gathering of Nations

I Love The Trail – things are never what I think they will be – but they are always perfect!

Initially I thought several people I knew were going to GON and I figured what an amazing opportunity to hook up with known faces and new friends – so I was going to go, no matter what. I hitched a ride to Albuquerque with no problem. Yay! I wanted to check out Gathering of Nations – and I knew there was an event at El Chante Casa de Cultura that some of my anarchist friends, friends were putting on, and I figured that was definitely worth a stop as well. So I planned to divide my time between both. After getting dropped off at a coffee shop I charged up my gizmo’s, ate something and headed out to find the locations of both GON and El Chante Casa de Cultura . I didn’t get there though – my cart broke, again, again. Arrrgggghhhhhhhhh. I am putting way too much weight on this cart, and I honestly don’t know what to do about it.

Pleas for help went out to my network – and Jesus came through for me with a connection to Yvette where I stayed the night. The next day we chased around getting my cart fixed, and in the afternoon I was dropped off at the event with the anarchist / Indigenous friends, and I had a great time. Met some folks, talked with people, listened to great Spoken Word Poems and music and relaxed.

One of the Spoken Word artists I listened to was Whisper:

I started to ask around about hosting, but I wasn’t too worried – I figured I always find something, and of course I did. Jack and Adam came to my rescue – and we had a really great time with fabulous conversations the next morning.

Another Spoken Word Artist was Lyla June Johnston.

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The next day I headed directly to GON, and it was definitely interesting. The colorful outfits were so gorgeous – and the dances were amazing. This was a giant event – as expected – it is the largest powwow in the US. Outside were some food stands and an music scene. The music was quite raw and very real, and I enjoyed it – even if the weather was less than cooperative. As much as I enjoyed GON, I ended up there alone, and after about an half day I returned to El Chante Casa de Cultura and my Indigenous friends. Over there was even more raw music and art exhibitions – and as much as I wanted to be part of it all, I again, found myself overwhelmingly tired. I found a quiet spot and a book and relaxed until the ride back to my host.

One of the big problems Albuquerque has at the moment is that the police are extremely trigger happy, and surprise, but it is the Indigenous people they are killing – not the white people! For that reason, I felt quite irritated when I saw the police at GON, standing around trying to look intimidating. Frankly, given that they are killing the people there – they should stay away!

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And why I didn’t snatch pictures of all those gorgeous outfits and dances is beyond me. Maybe I was a bit overwhelmed….

In the morning Jack and I had a great time talking – we were supposed to be at El Chante Casa de Cultura with the rest of the peeps early in the morning, but that just didn’t happen. But the company was good and we relaxed and flowed. We later got a ride back to El Chante Casa de Cultura and all of us pitched in cleaning up. Then we saw an different location – with a lot of growing, organic vegetables and a smaller event location. The vegetables are sold to local schools! Right ON.

Then we had something to eat, and headed to the free powwow on Sunday evening. I loved it so much more Sunday evening than on Saturday. The dances and the music was much more raw and direct. It was less staged and more real – nice! That evening, new friends Mercury, Kooper and Jack took me back to Red Rock for another night of camping.

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