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Native American Lakota star Gathering of Nations Native American Lakota star
April 23-25, 2009
University of New Mexico Arena ("The Pit")

Avenida Cesar Chavez Blvd. SE (Hwy. 25, exit #223)

Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA

Native American News and Press Releases from the Gathering of Nations

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Native American Lakota star Gathering of Nations Press ReleaseNative American Lakota star

July 3, 2007

“G.O.N. sponsors young Navajo family to the Magic Kingdom"

I had recently received the honor to become apart of the Gathering of Nations Web/Media Team. For years I have always dreamed of working or some how participating in the Gathering of Nations behind the scenes or in the pow wow arena as head dancer. Most pow wow people have that dream to be honored in such a way you get recognized for doing something you love to share and love to do. This dream was only the start at the Gathering of Nations.

On the morning of May 2nd I got a very special prize. I had received this email from the Mathews' and the Gathering of Nations: "Everyone here is really happy to have you on board as part of our tech. media team..... Lita has recommended to me that you are the most current recipient of an act of kindness. Lita and the Gathering of Nations wants to send you and you kids to Disney Land, in California. The dates of the trip will be June 4- 8. You will leave Albuquerque, via Amtrak on the afternoon of June 4. You arrive in LA on the morning of June 5th. From there you go directly to Disney Land and the Magic Kingdom. You will stay in a Disney Hotel and experience the fun and the Magic for the next 2 days. You return to Albuquerque begins on the evening of June 7th, and arriving in Albuquerque on June 8. Lita wants you and your kids to experience this time and place while they are at the most impressionable ages. So now you must make the arrangements to make the trip..."

At the point where I read Disneyland I started to tear up and cried. My co-worker came over to pinch me and calm me down and immediately I asked my boss for time off. Being a single mother of 4 children is very hard financially and mentally. I have never have a day off...or find time for myself. I have to keep pushing every hour and pull long nights. I have to take on extra jobs like website work, graphics, sewing pow wow regalia, doing beadwork, working a full time job and going for my Bachelor's Degree in Information Security Systems. To give my kids this opportunity....something that would take me years to afford...this was one of my big dreams. We had finally been blessed!!!

Most pow wow people that know me personally have seen me with bad luck for the past years and to be blessed in such a way this year still brings a tear to my eye. Things like this don't happen to me!!! We recently returned from Disneyland and my mind is still there. When we walked into our hotel at the Marriott Anaheim which was provided by the Gathering of Nations....talk about breath taking...we were treated like royalty. I was amazed with the service we got and the amazing room with view. Two rez women and native kids in a 4 star hotel...vary rare but we felt we were on cloud 9.

The dream continued for me, my 4 children: Alliana, Ephraim,Jr., Kee and Nizhoni and another surprise my mother Lena Peters was invited to go with us. Walking through those gates and seeing something all generations had been dreaming of was overwhelming....the kids eyes lit like nothing I had ever seen. One smile from ear to ear...My mother and myself had no worries...it was definitely a dream vacation. Disneyland and the California Adventure theme park were amazing, my mother and myself rode the rides with the kids and met characters. Mickey, Minnie, The fairy godmother, tiger and my personal favorite Alice from Alice in Wonderland.
 

Both theme parks we enjoyed....we were so into Disneyland we stayed an extra two days. My mother's one wish was to one day see the ocean before she dies. I was able to take my mom to the ocean during our stay in California. Walking onto that beach with my kids, myself and my mom is a moment in my life I will never forget. The kids had never seen the ocean so it was another dream come true. My mother and I have never ever taken a vacation...it was nice to get away. We spent 3 days in both theme parks and topped off the day with parades, rides and the "Remember...dreams come true" fireworks show. I cried silently during this amazing display of fireworks I had not seen. I never knew fireworks take many different shapes, best I'd ever seen.

This was always a dream for all of us...it's funny because the week before the news my kids saw a Disneyland commercial and asked when I could take them. There are so many stories I have to tell from this trip and so many photos that I wish I could share but to make a long story short...WE THANK THE MATHEWS FAMILY, CLYDE AND SCOTT (My Gathering of Nations Web Mentors) AND THE GATHERING OF NATIONS. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!

After all the hardship, the tears and the wonder of how I would get my kids to Disneyland....how a little lonely person like myself could take the dreams of my loved ones and see it happen.....It's something I will never ever forget nor explain. I still tear up when I think about the trip....I'm crying right now but the memories I will always cherish. I again want to thank everyone who made my babies dreams, my mothers and my dreams come true. Remember everyone keep your head up and keep dreaming...like they say DREAMS DO COME TRUE!

WHY THIS LITTLE GON RANDOM ACT OF KINDNESS FOR Le Andra AND HER YOUNG FAMILY?

Every once in awhile someone will cross my path and I take the time to really see beyond the exterior of a person. Throughout my academic career I had to learn how to observe people and to see beyond the surface or the veil of a person. Le Andra, has been on my radar for two maybe three years now.

Actually Le Andra has been directly involved with the Gathering of Nations website and web-master (Clyde Hubbard) for about two years. Derek made the initial contact with Le Andra who just so happens to be a jingle dress dancer and is the web master of her own web site, www.NewMexicoPowwows.com. As the Gathering of Nations website increases in size and popularity, the amount of work to keep it going does too. Derek immediately identified Le Andra as the person who could assist with the Gathering Of Nations website. While at the same time Derek had a vision of creating his own online photo gallery where he could display his photography. Once again Le Andra was the perfect person to assist in the development of this new photo project, Star Horse Photos.

Le Andra is a strong young native woman who, a single mother, is raising her children, working a full time job in the technical industry, and is a fulltime college student as well. She keeps up with the responsibilities of four young children; ages 3-8. Le Andra keeps all this together! So this Random Act of Kindness from the Gathering of Nations (me / Dr. Lita) towards this little family is a gift of magic to open up the possibilities and to inspire more happiness in the future of those children and their mother.

I admire her energy and determination.

With many thanks that we can do things like this for someone,
Dr. Lita Mathews, Ph.D.
Educator/Traditional dancer

EDITOR'S NOTE: The Gathering of Nations for the past 24 years has made opportunity for native people to enjoy and explore worlds beyond the rez and the powwow arena. The Gathering of Nations has sent kids and families to Disney Land and Disney world, Hawaii, to Michael Jordan basketball camps, sent handicap kids on cruise ship vacations. Offers college scholarships at UNM, and more! It is what the Gathering is all about. With out major sponsorships or federal funding, the Gathering of Nations makes all this and more possible with the support of the people.
 

NORTH AMERICA’S BIGGEST POWWOW!

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