25 year anniversary staff - a mcnaa fundraising campaign
Dear Members, Supporters and Visitors:
“We will be known forever by the tracks we leave.” This famous Dakota saying seems so appropriate for the Massachusetts Center for Native American Awareness as we celebrate our 25th Anniversary (April 1989-April 2014). We have seen many brothers and sisters leave tracks for us to follow, and over the 25 years of our existence, we have hopefully left some good tracks for others to follow as well.
I can’t believe 25 years have come and gone. As many of you know, Slow Turtle and I operated the Mass. Center for Native American Awareness on a completely volunteer basis since our founding in 1989. In the beginning, in addition to ourselves, we had a few volunteers who helped process memberships and work on a few small fundraisers. Program funds have always been low because we’ve never received any state or federal funds. This made it difficult to help our constituents to the level that was needed in the communities. But in those early years, Slow Turtle would just say “we’ll make do with what comes in and help those we can”. Considering we’ve never had a sufficient funding stream or paid staff, we’ve still made great strides during our 25 years in helping needy Native American students, elders, and families around the state as well as educating the public. Slow Turtle would be proud of our progress. But of course, there’s always more to be done and more help to give.
In the spirit of honoring the legacy of Slow Turtle and our first 25 years, we’ve developed a campaign to celebrate our 25 year anniversary. The goal of the campaign is to raise $25,000 within the next few months for the expansion of several programs so that we can make a greater impact. Specifically for our Scholarship Program so that we can award more scholarships to Native students; our Public Education and Awareness Program so that we can hold more workshops, lectures and discussions; and our Social Assistance Program so that we can help more needy Native elders and families with food, heating bills, and other basic needs.
We’re seeking at least 100 people to make a one-time donation of $250 or to commit to donating $25 per month for 10 months as a symbol of support and partnership for our 25 year/$25,000 campaign. To acknowledge your partnership, your name or message will be written on a strip of leather and tied to our newly created 25 Year Anniversary Croak Staff (similar to an Eagle Staff but not sacred in the same sense as an Eagle Staff.) Your message can be – “in memory of a loved one” or “in honor of someone special”. The beautiful staff is over 5’ tall, wrapped in elk skin and adorned with fox fur. As the campaign goes on, we’ll add wampum, feathers, beads and other adornments to the staff. (See photo and message examples below). When complete, the Anniversary Staff will be displayed at all of our events as well as carried into the Circle at our pow-wows. Your name or your message will be part of the organization for future generations to come.
We're happy to bring you an update on our progress. -- Although we haven't reached the hearts of all our members and visitors yet, to date (August 22, 2014) we've raised $2,500.00. This is 10% of our goal. We're grateful to those who have participated in the partnership and are supporting this effort. We'll continue to forge ahead and ask for support from those of you who haven't yet sent in your donation.
Here are a few messages we've received that now appear on the leather strips that we attached to the staff.
"Many Thanks and Blessings To All Who Help MCNAA Do Its Great Work. Your Illinois Satellite Member."
"In gratitude for the wild edible fruits (and nuts, roots, shell fish, etc.) of the Earth that nourish the Peoples of yesterday, today and tomorrow."
"In Honor and Memory of Those Who Came Before Us."
"In Memory of past Shubenacadie Chief, Benjamin Pictou."
"In Memory of Slow Turtle and in Honor of those who carry on his work."
"The Greatest Strength is Gentleness" - in Memory of Mary Frances McLure Eror.
"In Honor of all those who supported us in the past and those we support in the future."
"Peace to All Beings."
We hope you'll want to be part of this 25 Year Anniversary effort. If so, please click on the 'download file' below and print it out. Mail the completed form with your check to us. Or, if you're at our Intertribal Pow-wow at Plug Pond in Haverhill on September 6th an 7th, please stop by the table and make your donation so that you can become a part of this effort. Also, the staff, with the messages we've received, will go in the Circle for the first time at this pow-wow.
The Leadership Team and I are very grateful for your support of the work we've done over the past 25 years. We hope you'll see the value in our programs and continue to support the work we do....... helping our needy constituents, educating the public and preserving Native American culture, traditions, and spirituality.
Thank you in advance and together, as partners, let's continue the good work we've been doing at the Mass. Center for Native American Awareness.
Burne and the MCNAA Leadership Team