Heart of the American Indian Woman Conference 2007

More Photos here.

Hobbit DoorBoy, my notes on the event are crapola. There is extensive coverage on my thoughts about driving and then a jumble of notes on what we did interspersed with any random idea or observation that might have floated through my mind while I was sitting in a folding chair during the programs.

This is the organization’s 18th gathering and I should volunteer to put together a website for them because I can’t find doodly to link to. The organization was created to encourage women into leadership in Indian Country and they meet all over the country. There were tons of Oklahoma folks there.

I heard about it in January and at first I wanted to go but then I waffled. Sometimes inertia gets the best of me. My dear husband gave me a nudge and so last week I left the office early Wednesday to drive out to the coast to The Mill Casino which is owned and operated by the Coquille Tribe.

Shuttle to the PlankhouseThe weather was drop dead spectacular the entire time. When we’re driving south it’s usually dead of winter (holiday visit) or the dead of summer (August visit). I can’t remember ever seeing so much green driving through the Willamette Valley. The sun blazed out at the coast, too.

The main program was all day Thursday and there were tons of speakers who spoke about the organization, networking, local traditions and tribal issues. Wilma Mankiller was the keynote speaker and she was awesome. The real value of the gathering was meeting so many people and normally I’m not very good at that kind of thing but I did my best to throw myself out there and I ended up meeting tons of interesting women including 4 Karuk ladies who live in the Coos Bay area.

Hungry Elk Friday was an all day bus tour and I wasn’t up for that so I got my gear together and headed out to the beach to visit with the Pacific and then headed home with a quick stop to view elk.

Man, this is a boring post and I don’t have time to pep it up right now (or any idea how to do that) but I will leave you with this story.

At dinner on Thursday night we had fry bread and at the end of the table was a giant bowl of pink fluffy stuff that I couldn’t identify. A woman in front of me said it was mousse so I enthusiastically spooned a big plop onto my plate. Later, at my place, I stuffed a big forkful into my mouth. Turns out it was cranberry butter. The Coquille are big into the cranberries. It was delicious scraped onto my fry bread. Startling by the huge forkful.

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