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Two Spirits in One

Beverly Little Thunder at Boswell Book Co.

Aug. 16, 2016
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Like other Native American populations, the Lakota people feel a timeless, deep and powerful connection to the natural environment. Through sacred, traditional observances that have passed from generation to generation, the Lakota honor Mother Earth and all of creation. One of the seven sacred ceremonies of the Lakota is the Sundance ceremony that is celebrated for eight days each summer. More than 20 years ago, a renowned Lakota female activist founded the Women’s Sundance, a woman-centered version of this ancient ceremony. The Women’s Sundance is a commemoration of strength and renewal for women held on more than 100 acres of land in Vermont’s Green Mountains called Kunsi Keya Tamakoce (Grandmother Turtle Land) each July. The Women’s Sundance was created by Beverly Little Thunder, who continues to coordinate the annual ceremony of prayer and renewal. Little Thunder, a two-spirited Lakota elder, envisioned the Women’s Sundance as a nurturing and safe environment for women to reconnect with nature and honor their ancestors. 

In One Bead at a Time, the newly released memoir by Little Thunder, the Lakota elder recounts her life in service of indigenous people. While she currently makes her home in Vermont, Little Thunder is a member of the Standing Rock Lakota Band from North Dakota. She was forced to leave her traditional community after she came out as two-spirited and after leaving home, she founded the Women’s Sundance ceremony and has worked tirelessly to share the traditional Lakota teachings with others. Her oral memoir, transcribed and edited by two-spirit Métis writer Sharron Proulx-Turner, is filled with gentle humor, powerful wisdom and spiritual enlightenment. Little Thunder will appear at Boswell Book Co. at 7 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 19.

 

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