Denver American Indian Competition attracts 1000’s with objective of preserving tradition, custom alive

The Denver-made soaps on the market at one of many tables on the eighth annual Denver American Indian Competition have been infused with important oils and smells like powwow dust, tipi campfire and sweetgrass cleaning soap — substances sourced from Native and Indigenous folks throughout the U.S. for Colorado’s first Native American cleaning soap firm.

Lakota Physique Care homeowners related with different American Indian folks on the competition Saturday and Sunday, and in addition educated those that have been prepared to hear. The occasion at Riverdale Regional Park and Fairgrounds in Adams County included conventional American Indian dances, musical performances and meals. Distributors bought art work, jewellery and different handmade merchandise, whereas different cubicles offered historic info and assets.

“Due to colonization and the genocide of our ancestors, that’s the reason we work arduous and maintain our tradition and custom alive, to take up house on this land that was alleged to be ours,” co-owner Akalei Brown mentioned. “Individuals suppose we don’t exist anymore.”

Brown, who’s of Taos Pueblo and Kanaka-Maoil (Native Hawaiian) heritage, runs the enterprise along with her husband and 9-year-old daughter. It was the younger woman’s thought to start out making the soaps.

“I do it for everyone, for the household, to really feel sturdy and proud,” Haleakala Brown mentioned of the work she does along with her dad and mom.

Akalei Brown mentioned she is one era faraway from Indian boarding colleges — the place the U.S. authorities forcibly took Native youngsters from their houses to those colleges to “assimilate” them.

Her dad and mom took them to powwows and rodeos, however she wished to make sure that extra of their tradition survived and was handed right down to different generations.

Audience members dance with the Seven ...

Rebecca Slezak, The Denver Put up

Viewers members dance with the Seven Falls Indian Dancers in the course of the friendship circle dance at Denver American Indian Competition in Brighton, Colorado on Sept. 25, 2021.

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