, 2022-12-22 11:21:00,
The past two months have been busy for Indigenous advocate Stephanie Van Hoes, Mohawk, MPQ, TMT. This female Mohawk medicine woman and retired Air Force veteran works tirelessly to give a voice to Indigenous communities in the Miami Valley and beyond.
Van Hoose was instrumental in advocating for the City of Dayton to proclaim the second Monday in October as Indigenous Peoples Day, and he also partnered with the Dayton Metro Library during November to bring a series of educational events to celebrate Native American Heritage Month.
He met Renee for the first time by Hoose At the REACH Fest rehearsal in the auditorium of the Dayton Metro Library. She was going over guidelines on how to interact with Native American dancers and participants—such as not picking up a feather if it fell to the floor from a performance gown, or touching someone’s hair.
“Once we braid our hair, we stain our hair and bless and pray on it, our braids. So your emblems are all like your sacred space,” Van Hoose directs the meeting.
The Reach Festival, which stands for “Representation/Reconciliation, Education, Advocacy, Community, and Healing/Health/Human Rights” was the culmination of events Van Hoose has organized with the Dayton Metro Library to celebrate Native American Heritage Month.
“It’s part of the reconciliation,” Van Hoose says. A few days after the event, we spoke at her Centerville home. “I prayed for months how I wanted this…
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