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American History
Donna's 2020 Journal

Donna's Journal April 10, 2020

Chilocco Indian School has had very successful alumni gatherings on the old campus for a number of years in June. Due to the the Corona Virus, no meeting will be held until a later date.

There's a rich and elegant hotel close to Chilocco, there is also a water park, I'm sure it is closed too. The alumni meeting have served to bring tribes together from all over the United States, this was a time to share moments again with those who were so close. 

We lived together and danced together every night at the Flaming Arrow (F.A.), we shared playing sports, parties, and many more activities. We were close as family and still are.

Until the next alumni meeting.

Donna's 2020 Journal April 14

Tradition holds strong in the Ponca Tribal culture. The name Meka Thingay, meaning Bright Moon, was my grandmother's name and was given by me to Mary Ramirez. For as the language goes in a circle, actually it tells there are no stars, therefore, "bright moon" on the night she was born.

We pass the name from ancestors forever, tradition being what it is, Mary's daughter Rachel wants a Native American name. The thought is, "You must have a name for when Great Spirit calls you out of the grave where you will be in a Happy Hunting Ground," so an Elder told me.

Mary and her daughter are of the Rain Band or Straight Path clan. Those are given names going to the elements of sky and water. Those who grieve over a loss of loved ones, the Ponca way was to give that person their space not even speaking to them in a friendly greeting. This is especially if the loss was great and/or tragic. It was said, "Leave them alone, they have a spirit." Days ago, that person was given four years to grieve while removing themselves from all social events. This custom is no longer observed, so the significance of following tradition even in having a name is necessary.

After much deliberation and in prayer, my name for Rachel is Meka Neom Pah, Bright Shinning Star As A Leader. Because of the virus, family and friends cannot gather together to honor Rachel, however she can use social media so all will know she has a name.

Like the actor in Fiddler on the Roof, tradition can be as precarious as - a fiddler on the roof.

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