Giving because HE gave
Last updated 9/10/2015 at 4:02pm
TACOMA, WA—Tacoma Intertribal Gathering was started ten years ago as Tacoma First Nations Gathering. The mission of TIG is to promote, spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical wellness in First Nations families and individuals through culturally respectful events by honoring Creator Jesus, the Redeemer and the Healer of all nations.
Every month TIG has a potluck, birthday celebration, Native storytelling, drumming and dancing, and either a featured speaker or Indigenous dance group. They have recently started to learn the language of the local tribe, a little bit each month. They have a kids’ table with crafts for the elementary school age children. They teach Native cultural values that are Bible based. Although the Board of Directors are all followers of Jesus, their speakers are always gentle and respectful when sharing the gospel. They attempt to ‘re-present’ the gospel in a ‘good way.’
Dr. Cheryl Bear-Barnetson of the Nadleh Whut’en First Nation from northern British Columbia says that there is not another gathering like it in the USA or Canada. She should know as she and her husband Randy have visited over half the tribes/bands in both countries on their singing /speaking tours and is, pretty much, an annual attraction at Tacoma Intertribal Gathering.
In April they celebrated their 10th Anniversary with a huge give-away, a protocol ceremony to honor those who have invested in the Gathering and to honor the guests that faithfully come and share a meal and fellowship together. TIG collected and made gifts to honor people for a whole year getting ready for the give-away. It took two pick up loads to transport all the give-away items.
As soon as everyone had finished eating, they were challenged with a quote from Dr. Suuquiina, an Alaskan Native, taken from his video Warfare by Honor: “One of the greatest faux paux’s you can make is to refuse the gift that is given to you in a protocol ceremony. Our Creator protocoled this world with His Son and if you’ve not received this gift you’ve said to the Sacred Father that this gift is not good enough for you, for your kind of people – it isn’t big enough, pretty enough, full enough, rich enough…you are saying to the Father, “This gift is insufficient.’ Don’t make the greatest faux paux of all time and refuse His protocol gift to you.”
With that, the protocol honoring and give-away began. Special gifts were given to past and present directors, board members, musicians, and those that set up, clean up, and serve at the kid’s table each month. Then began the honoring of veterans and elders. Eventually all men and women, young people and children were honored. Interspersed between the gift-giving, door prizes were awarded to holders of winning tickets. Finally the general give-away began and many, many totes of items were dispersed; sheets, pillowcases, lotions, shampoo, shaving cream, deodorant, toothbrushes, combs, jewelry, books, towels, framed pictures, note cards, toys, school supplies…everyone went home with full hands. About 80 people attended.
Tacoma Intertribal Gathering gives because God gave. They give to honor and thank Creator. They meet the second Saturday of every month at Asia-Pacific Cultural Center. Everyone is welcome. If you are ever in the Tacoma area, you are invited to join them.