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Aaron Camacho's Fundraiser:

The Great Dakota Gathering: Nurturing Sacred Water and Earth

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EVENT DATE: Sep 10, 2016

Aaron Camacho


Who we are:

We are a non-profit organization based in Winona, MN called the Winona Dakota Unity Alliance (WDUA). Our mission is creating sustainable alliances among indigenous nations and the Winona community with a mutual understanding that we are all related. Our vision includes sustaining a regionally valued organization and unique annual event.

We continue reconciliation efforts among all our relatives which is publicly recognized and practiced through ongoing friendships, community partnerships, and mutually meaningful activities. Our priority is nurturing a community in which all relations gather together for generations to come.

What we are raising money for:

One of the ways the WDUA strives to achieve this is through community events, one of which we host annually. This annual event is called the Great Dakota Gathering. Here we work to bring both indigenous and non-indigenous community members together to join in a Wacipi or Powwow. At the Gathering there is more than a powwow where people come to dance together but also educational activities.

The education provided allows for the non-indigenous attendees to learn about indigenous peoples of the region, an opportunity that is rare. This is done from sun up to sun down and even provides a unique education day for the local school children the day before the Gathering begins.

We work with local colleges, businesses, organizations, and individuals to promote and enhance cultural opportunities as well. This is all done to raise awareness and appreciation of current Native American (indigenous) societal, political, and environmental issues in our community and the region.

This year the theme of our Gathering will be Nurturing Sacred Water and Earth. The cost of this event is well worth the outcome. Last year the total expenditures came to $54,777. This year we budgeted for $58,000 in order to better support the Native community coming to share their knowledge. Yearly we seek funding from individuals, businesses, various grants, and reservations to meet our budgetary needs. It is important to not the majority of our contributions come from individuals and we rely heavily on those. We are about just under half way to our goal for funding this year's event. 

How the money will be used:

The money donated to this educational and cultural event will be used in the following areas. Last years costs are included with the list.

Facilities- $8,538

Marketing- $1,998

Meals- $4,842

Youth Day- $4,377

Housing- $4,474

Powwow- $11,295

Education- $5,500

Special Events- $2,255

Moccasin Game- $3,000

Admin., Support, Fundraising, and Insurance- $2,809

Any contributions made for this years Gathering will be used in one of the above areas, unless otherwise specified.

Why this means so much:

This Gathering is unique throughout the country. It is one of a kind as the only Powwow that is hosted by community members of the town that was founded here in 1851. The purpose is reach out to indigenous and non-indigenous communities in the region to join in celebration of Mitakuye Oyasin - All Our Relations.

This event is a step toward reconciliation and a better understanding of indigenous cultures. With a better understanding of each other, the more respect we will have for each other's communities and in turn better our own by doing so.

Our history between the Native and non-Native communities in this country can often lead to a divide between communities. However, with our annual event we strive to bridge the gap between these communities and bring them together for healing, perpetual peace, friendship and compassion.

Our gratitude:

Any help you and others are able to give to support this annual event, the Great Dakota Gathering, we would be incredibly grateful for. As we are a non-profit organization and operate completely on a volunteer basis, donations are essential to our work and in particular to the Gathering.

Please consider donating to our one of a kind annual event to sustain reconciliation, healing, and education between indigenous and non-indigenous communities in the region. We cannot thank you enough for your support!

Mitakuye Oyasin - All of Our Relations.



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