Oneida Nation Sponsored Event Celebrates 16 Years.

For two days more than 170 American Indian Elders from across New York State as well as caregivers descended upon Turning Stone Resort Casino for the 16th annual Elders Conference May 26 and 27. From its rousing kick-off to its conclusion, the event, sponsored by the Oneida Indian Nation, addressed the most treasured of populations.

“Aging Well: Nurturing Your Spirit and Yourself,” featured guests speakers and related workshops focused on an array of topics from the benefits of social interaction to eating real foods, to chronic pain management and healing across generations.

The bottom line being the Elders, the keepers of the wisdom, already know the importance of staying in touch with family and friends, and generational healing can be impacted greatly with a positive mindset.

The conference began with a smudging by Tammy Patterson (Wolf Clan) followed by an opening in Oneida language by Mary Blau (Turtle Clan). Before settling into the conference participants engaged in an ice breaker facilitated by Tewentahawih’tha’ Cole, Katie Boots and Darlene Alfred. The ice breaker broke down barriers between tables as attendees were asked to perform specific tasks or act out certain scenes as their table tried to guess the activity. In some cases the activity was solo – such as acting out a telephone call. In others, the participation of the table was needed, such as generating a round of applause or leading a parade around the circular table. And with introductions out of the way it was time to get busy and address the topic at hand.