Winter Blessing brings Cd'A Tribe's seasonal, holiday traditions - Coeur d'Alene Press: Local News

Winter Blessing brings Cd'A Tribe's seasonal, holiday traditions

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Posted: Saturday, December 3, 2011 12:00 am

WORLEY - The third annual Winter Blessing at the Coeur d'Alene Casino Resort, a ceremony of thanks for the blessings of nature's bounty in this region, will be held at the resort at 5 tonight.

Winter Blessing has grown since it was first held two years ago, and will be moved this year to the Skycatcher promenade.

"Winter is a time when tribal members traditionally stayed close together, sharing their lives, their food, their stories," said Cliff SiJohn, Coeur d'Alene Casino cultural affairs director.

Drums, singing and traditional foods are all part of the free event, open to the public. Foods will include frybread and locally-made huckleberry jam.

A winter fireworks show will light up the sky to the south of the resort.

Live music and holiday cheer will complete the evening, provided just outside the Gathering Place pub.

"The winter is quiet, offering a season to reflect and be thankful for the vast natural resources that sustained the Coeur d'Alene Tribe through the centuries," SiJohn said.

SiJohn, also a Coeur d'Alene Tribe elder, will be among those providing traditional storytelling.

"One of the great strengths of the Coeur d'Alene Tribe and its culture is a tradition of sharing that begins at the cradle," SiJohn said. "Long before modern conveniences, we worked together to bring stores of food, to create shelter and to be ready for the long, dark, cold months of winter. By taking care of each other, we not only survived, but thrived, just as we do now."

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