Ho-Chunk Nation graciously hosted the ninth Braiding the Sacred gathering on their homelands just outside of Black River Falls, Wisconsin. The event aligned with the Green Corn Dance and ceremony, which allowed for an even deeper connection to the spiritual nature of Corn and our relation to her.
Ho-Chunk Nation spiritual and governmental leadership welcomed us to the pow-wow grounds at the start of the event and established the protocols for the guests. A ceremony in their freshly constructed lodge set everyone’s mind in the right place to conduct the rest of the gathering.
For the next two days, we participated in two talking circles to share stories and memories of Corn, a demonstration on herbal remedies, cooking Corn with ashes over a fire, braiding Corn for storage, and digging a pit to roast Corn overnight which was, unanimously, decidedly delicious.
Saturday evening concluded with the Green Corn Dance, during which Ho-Chunk Nation welcomed the guests to dance alongside them. During the break, four Oneida girls sang social dance songs while the Oneida Nation guests danced, welcoming the Ho-Chunk to participate as well. As the event wrapped up, Braiding the Sacred gifted the hosts and Angela Ferguson of Onondaga Nation ceremoniously imparted Haudenosaunee seeds to the Ho-Chunk Nation leadership for safe keeping. They stood before the gathering in a demonstration of trust and partnership. Ho-Chunk accepted the responsibility of keeping the seeds in a safe place so that in times of need or catastrophe, the Onondaga Nation could call upon them to return the seeds for replanting. These events at the Ho-Chunk gathering further solidified the trust between Nations, all through honouring the spiritual nation of Corn.