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Native American

June 1 2011 Native American Newsletter

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Gifting – A Unique Banking System
Gifting and Banking, these words seem to be oxymoronic. But from the American Indian perspective, they are one and the same.

This is a part of our culture that brings so much joy. To bestow a gift received with wide eyes and a smile, a tight hug, or even a shout of glee, as far as I’m concerned the gift has already been reciprocated by how it was received. Yes, I am making deposits into my savings account, but that’s for the future. I prefer to enjoy the hugs and smiles right now.

It’s amazing how a simple gift can touch the heart. At my first Pow-Wow, the Head Lady Dancer did a Give-Away for all the women. Someone motioned for me to get in line. Hesitantly, with daughter in tow, I walked to the back. When it was my turn to select a gift, a small basket remained. I still have that basket.

Last year, there was a young boy camping near us at the Pow-Wow. One of the traders taught him to make a tri-pod. He was so proud of his creation and rushed over to gift it to my husband. Several hearts were touched, and my husband honored the child by putting it to use immediately. A damp towel was retrieved from the camper, and yes, we still have 3 sticks and bit of rope!

Join us in the forum for more stories of gifts, some deposits and some withdrawals from our “Indian” bank accounts.

HAWK UPDATE: There are new "baby" pictures on the forum. Please vote in our Poll! Our young hawks need names before they leave the nest. The votes will be tallied and posted on Saturday, June 11th.

Walk in Beauty and Balance,

Jane Winkler, Native American Editor

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