Our travels have brought us into contact with many different groups in the U.S. In April, we had the great honor of attending The Gathering of Nations, the largest Native American Powwow in the country. We had a fascinating time exploring the many Native American arts and crafts for sale, but by far the highlight was the Grand Entry, when hundreds of participants from Native American Nations and Tribes across America, dressed in full regalia from their respective groups, came into Albuquerque’s Tingley Coliseum and danced for an enraptured audience. By the time the Entry culminated, the coliseum floor was packed.
We also spoke with Emmett Shkeme Garcia, a Native American author who writes children’s books.
Emmett explained that because Native Americans have integrated into modern society, they now hold widely diverse views about death and dying, from traditional beliefs held by their ancestors to the teachings of mainstream religions like the various branches of Christianity. It’s all up to the individual. In that sense, Native Americans are truly representative of what America is all about.