Tribal Flag hannging day at the AIC brings together Chicago Natives from many nations.
** by David Bender and Angelique Bodine (photos)
The American Indian Center staff and board thanks everybody that turned out for a special AIC clean-up day in which we hung our tribal flags for the first time in our new building .
About 25 AIC community members turned out for this special saturday. Susan Power, a Standing Rock Elder and AIC Founder was happy to see our next generation of youth busy cleaning and hanging flags. According to Susan, "Before we became founded AIC began with a handful of people sitting around. All of a sudden you had a whole bunch of other nations thrown together, we couldn't just let one nation with the most people take over. We are a fair people with generosity and we don't turn anybody away." She was also very proud to mention, the AIC was the first urban Indian Center of it's kind.
The day began with prayer and promise that if you were present today to help clean, you would have the honor of hanging the tribal flag of your people. Tom Roberts (Sisseton) and Les Begaye (Dine`) were on the ladder hanging flags while family members and youth passed flags to them. The first flag to be hung at the AIC was Sisseton, with the Bernal family of doing the flag passing honor.
Other activities included the cleaning and assembly of AIC bleachers, washing windows, and pulling invasive weeds in front of our building. AIC volunteers arrived at all hours between 10 am into the evening with no real finish time.
In case your wondering about the flags, we still have 30 more to hang. The plan is to wrap the flags around Tribal Hall like a belt. Staff and BoD want to keep the ceiling space open for any future athletic programming like basketball and volleyball. If you would like to see your tribal flag hanging at the center call or email us - firstname.lastname@example.org.