By Mikanuk "Larry Adams" – On September 22 the 15th Annual Elders Community Picnic was held at the Minnehaha Park in South Minneapolis. Over 300 elders attended the event that included raffles and prizes. An official proclamation honoring Norby Blake was also made. Blake was the former director of the Inter-Tribal Elders Services (ITES). She recieved the award from Minneapolis Mayor R. T. Rybak.
The Elders Community Picnic included several health-related booths, as well as some crafts stands. The event kicked off with an Elders "Wisdom Steps" Walk around Minnehaha Park, with many elders stretching their limbs during the walk. The "Johnny Smith and Friends" band performed some of their Country and Western repertoire for the elders as well.
American Indian Community Development Corporation Director Mike Goze was the MC during the event. The elders were treated to grilled hot dogs, hamburgers, cake and a host of other goodies. Goze announced the raffle winners as well as announced the City of Minneapolis’ Proclamation of Recognition for Norby Blake and her life-long commitment to the Minneapolis Native American elders.
The event was organized by ITES, and many other organizations helped sponsor the event, including: American Indian Community Development Corporation, Birch Bark Books, Bois Forte Urban Office, Church of the Blessed Kateri, Division of Indian Works, First Nations Treatment, Goff Public and Public Relations/Public Affairs, Indian Health Board of Minneapolis, Leech Lake Urban Office, Migizi Communications, Mille Lacs Urban Office, Minneapolis American Indian Center (Senior Citizen program and Golden Eagles program), Minnesota Indian Women’s Resource Center, Native American Community Clinic, Native American Community Development Institute, Red Lake Embassy, Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community, Unilever North America, Wolves Den and Mike Forcia, and the White Earth Urban Office.