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2018 Gathering: The Invitation – From Los Angeles to Pine Ridge

Youth Passageways Advisor Frederick Marx first introduced Rebecca (Becky) Chief Eagle to Youth Passageways in 2016, and she attended the 2016 gathering in Los Angeles. Over the course of the weekend, Becky fell ill and Marisa Taborga Byrne, JO Jett Cazeaux and Sharon Black Wolf (three amazing Stewardship Council members) nursed her back to health. Even a bit under the weather, Becky showed up in a strong way and it was made clear that tending this new relationship and the unfolding bond among her and those she met at the gathering was important for many people, and for Youth Passageways. There were many threads that came out of this gathering and wove together in a way that wouldn’t be made clear for nearly a year after. Here are two:

Drawing on what transpired in Los Angeles, the Cross Cultural Protocols (CCP) Working Group offered a six week web-based Learning Journey in spring 2017,  in which participants were asked to dive deep into the ways in which who we are and where we come from has an impact on our work as rite of passage facilitators. Topics covered included ancestral lineage, social and cultural change, queer initiation, as well as the ways that rites have been lost through systemic oppression and how they can be reclaimed through reconciliation and healing. This Journey had a significant impact on many of its participants, and ended with the call for the work of reparations in concrete ways.

Another thread was a call from practitioners working along the Front Range in Colorado to explore the possibility of the next YPW gathering taking place there. Through dialogue over a year and a half, it became clear that the timing was not quite right. The question of where the next gathering would be was opened again, with the focus being a localized, community-specific offering. At the same time, Becky accepted an invitation to join the Stewardship Council (SC) during the annual retreat in November 2017, during which she and her husband Dallas graciously invited Youth Passageways for a small gathering of healing and celebration at the All Nations Gathering Center. This center is their home and base of operations on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, where for more than 10 years, Becky and Dallas, along with a growing team, have impacted and transformed lives through a “blending of modern practices with the beautiful traditions of the Lakota Way”.

Another thread was a call from practitioners working along the Front Range in Colorado to explore the possibility of the next YPW gathering taking place there. Through dialogue over a year and a half, it became clear that the timing was not quite right. The question of where the next gathering would be was opened again, with the focus being a localized, community-specific offering. At the same time, Becky accepted an invitation to join the Stewardship Council (SC) during the annual retreat in November 2017, during which she and her husband Dallas graciously invited Youth Passageways for a small gathering of healing and celebration at the All Nations Gathering Center. This center is their home and base of operations on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, where for more than 10 years, Becky and Dallas, along with a growing team, have impacted and transformed lives through a “blending of modern practices with the beautiful traditions of the Lakota Way”.

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