For the first time, Jeri Baker and John Bad Wound attended the Karl-May-Festival in Radebeul near the town of Dresden in Germany and joined the members of One Spirit Germany as they promoted One Spirit at the festival and sold Native made jewelery. The financial benefits will go back to the reservation and will be spend for kids' programs.
Jeri Baker, John Bad Wound and guests at our booth
Photo by Gabriela Truemper
Click to read Jeri's report:
On May 8th, the Steward on my airplane beginning to land in Frankfurt,spoke over the intercom in the most loving and sensitive way, “Welcome to beautiful Germany.” This would be my first time in Germany and I soon learned that the Steward had known that we would quickly see - the truth of his description of his country. My travel companion, John Bad Wound, and I marveled at the beauty of this country as we traveled by car from Frankfurt to Dresden for the Karl May Festival.
For the couple of days before the Festival began on May 11th, our folks with One Spirit Deutschland proudly showed us around Dresden and encouraged us to sample great German cooking. Prior to this journey, I had been apprehensive about how Americans would be received in Germany, given the Trump antics that have sullied America’s reputation. However, everyone we met was cordial and welcoming. When the festival began, once more we were welcomed by all. It was wonderful to see German people dressed in various kinds of Native American and American cowboy clothes and to watch as they “boot scooted”, square danced, and showcased Native American culture. We won’t even mention that the food at the festival was scrumptious, particularly the German Sausages.
There was a very poignant moment for me. I saw the American Flag hanging upside down at one of the booths at the festival. I recognized that this was a protest and certainly in the USA, our tradition is that we respect protest. We know that often this is the way to bring needed change. I spoke with the gentleman at the booth and told him that I respected whole heartedly his right to protest and that in my country I have joined with protesters who were making demands for change. However, I couldn’t stop the tears from flowing to see this poignant example that America (because of its politicians) no longer elicited or gave the respect and love that was traditional with European Countries. I hope that the German people know that most Americans do not agree with the current political machinations by the politicians in our country.
We at One Spirit – American, Germany, and France – are now planning for bringing more people from the Reservation to Europe next year to participate in the Karl Mai Festival as well as in the Powwow in Ornan, France. We are grateful for the friendship of the German and all European people. We are aware that you know a lot about the needs of Native Americans, particularly the Lakota on Pine Ridge Reservation where 40,000 Indians live in poverty but still maintain their culture and traditions. It is a pleasure to work with them and with you.
Director, One Spirit
Visitors at the Karl-May-Museum one day prior to the festival
Photo by Gabriela Truemper