Established with the intention of promoting positive Native American culture, Gathering of Nations Limited is a non-profit organization based in Albuquerque, New Mexico. One of the many ways this group assists their members, who are comprise all 552 American Indian tribes and 220 Canadian tribal bands, is by encouraging literacy and the educational goals of Native American students.
Gathering of Nations is affiliated with a number of community-enriching organizations, including the Albuquerque Hispano Chamber of Commerce (AHCC), which helps to sustain the growth and success of small businesses. Closely associated with the Small Business Administration (SBA), AHCC dedicates its efforts to developing new opportunities for business owners in New Mexico.
By supporting a variety of certification programs which work to improve the state’s economic climate, such as Quality New Mexico and the New Mexico 9000 Program, AHCC helps its members achieve greater prosperity. The AHCC also partners with organizations that offer start-up loans and training to small business owners.
A nonprofit organization, Gathering of Nations promotes Native American traditional culture while also striving to do away with stereotypes about indigenous people. As part of its work, the organization established the Gathering of Nations Native American Academic Scholarship Foundation to support University of New Mexico scholars. For more information about the nonprofit advocacy group, please visit www.gatheringofnations.com.
President Barack Obama announced that the White House will establish a Council on Native American Affairs to better facilitate the partnership between the United States government and tribal authorities. The historical mistreatment of Native Americans by the hands of U.S. government forces motivated the president to create the new body, which will feature dozens of leading figures from a wide variety of federal organizations.
The council’s mission is to assist tribes with a wide range of matters, including health care, economic development, and housing infrastructure. Following the president’s announcement, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell was tasked to further elaborate on the council’s functions during the final day of the National Congress of American Indians Mid-Year Conference.
The Gathering of Nations is known for its work supporting American Indians and promoting Native culture. One of the group’s goals is to support the next generation of leaders by offering support to students.
The Gathering of Nations Scholarship is offered to juniors, seniors, and graduate students at the University of New Mexico. The scholarship is meant to make education more affordable by offering $500 to alleviate the burden of books and lab fees. New Mexico was chosen due to it’s close proximity to the Gathering of Nations headquarters, and the university boasts the largest population of Native American students in the world.
A company of four talented representatives of the Haudenosaunee, or Iroquois, Confederacy, the Eastern Sky Ambassadors travel throughout North America, sharing their heritage and traditions. Made up of six distinct nations, the Haudenosaunee people possess territories in Oklahoma, New York, Quebec, Ontario, and the Carolinas. The current Eastern Sky Ambassadors hail from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
The Eastern Sky Ambassadors specialize in several types of performances and speaking engagements. The troupe offers master of ceremonies services, as well as one- to two-hour performances, featuring storytelling, song, and dance. Additionally, the Eastern Sky Ambassadors provide hands-on learning through their workshops and lectures. A powerful educational tool for all ages, the group’s workshops engage audience members in a number of activities aimed at fostering cultural understanding.
About the author: The largest Native American powwow in North America, the Gathering of Nations takes place every April at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. Featuring numerous traditional and contemporary performances, the Gathering of Nations has hosted such groups as the Eastern Sky Ambassadors, Rik Leaf & Tribe of One, and Native Roots over its 20-year history.
The Miss Indian World Pageant was created in 1983 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Since then, the five-day competition has brought together young women of diverse Native American backgrounds every year to compete for the Miss Indian World crown. The winning contestant is awarded the crown on the last day of the Gathering of Nations Powwow.
To be eligible for the competition, an entrant must be a Native American or indigenous woman with evidence of tribal affiliation; 18 to 25 years old; single, never married, and without children; and knowledgeable of the traditions of the tribe she represents.
The new Miss Indian World is chosen by tallying an aggregate score of the most points across several categories. Contestants are judged by their traditional talent presentations, the art of public speaking, private interviews with judges, and dance competitions. The winner holds the crown for one year during which time she travels across the continent and to various locations of the world as an ambassador for all native people.
Amongst other gifts, Miss Indian World 2012 will receive prize money; a travel stipend to attend Powwows, conferences, workshops, festivals, and other native events; a Miss Indian World Shawl and Banner; and a four-day ocean cruise.