Traditionnal Chief Leonard Crow Dog Jr made this Official Visit to France in the company of his wife Victoria, Yoeme Indian (Yaqui) from California and of their son Alden.
First night after crossing over the «Big Waters»...
Carcassonne - Unesco's World Heritage
A celebration of Nature, a celebration of Life...
During three days, over 120 participants of all ages and origins gathered in Cévennes around Victoria & Leonard Crow Dog Jr. While sharing time together in remote nature, having moments of exchange and taking part in traditional «Inipi» steam baths, they all expressed the same will to contribute in the rising of a new and better world for the future generations. A world that shall reconnect to its roots and retake inspiration from the ancestral values that are at the heart of the cultural and spiritual Lakota tradition as well as of many First Nation traditions : a respect and deference towards the Earth Mother, a deep understanding of the interconnection that relates all living beings together, a quest for Peace to reign among the persons as well as between the nations.
Star quilt blanket offered to Leonard Crow Dog Jr and his family on behalf of all who took part in the gathering.
Last evening in Cévennes...
Sunset on the «Chambre d'Amour» in Anglet
Firt run, first articles in the press...
At the invitation of the association «Graines de Liberté» (Seeds of Freedom), a conference Q&A is held at the Artotekafé in the «Cité Breuer» with students and teachers of the Albert Camus High School of Bayonne. Then, visit is paid to the 500 squared yards shared garden initiated and maintained by «Graines de Liberté» following the signature of a convention with the city of Bayonne and the GIP/DSU.
At the end of the gathering, surrounded by the youth and the inhabitants of the community, Victoria and Chief Leonard Crow Dog Jr plant flowers and a tree within the perimeter of the shared garden, leaving in doing so a perennial track of their presence in this social priority neighborood.
Conference Q&A at the Artotekafé
Visit of the Shared Garden
Organized in associations, the Ikastolas are schools in which the education is mainly dispensed in the basque language. Gathered within a federation, Seaska (the cradle, in basque), the ikastolas of the Basque Country contribute to the preservation of the basque language and aim to bring children to be fluently bilinguals.
Visit of a high symbolism, the presence of a Lakota Chief to this Ikastola, whose creation dates back to 1973, emphasize the common challenge facing all First Traditions, wether it be the Lakota, the Basque or any other : the preservation of an ancestral culture that passes by the transmission of its language.
Acknowledging Leonard Crow Dog Jr in his status of Traditionnal Chief acting as an ambassador of the Sovereign Lakota Nation, Mr. Claude Olive, Mayor of Anglet, assisted by MMrs. Florence Lasserre et Nicole Darrasse, Deputies Mayor, officially receives this foreign dignitary and his wife at the Aristide Briand School of Anglet in the presence of all the pupils gathered for that circumstance.
Honoring the hospitality offered, Chief Crow Dog Jr and family then proceed to a customary giveaway intended for those hosting him on that occasion.
FRANCE 3 AQUITAINE / EUSKAL HERRI - PAYS BASQUE
Report broadcasted during the daily evening news «19/20» on the «France 3 Euskal Herri / Pays Basque» channel, May 29th, 2015
In the presence of Mrs. Martine Bisauta, Deputy Mayor of Bayonne in charge of Sustainable Development, of Mr. Jean-Claude Iriart, Town Councillor and of MMr. Jean-Claude Larronde and Rafa Zulaika, President and Director of the Basque Museum / Euskal Museoa, reception of Chief Leonard Crow Dog Jr in the basque tradition of hospitality and thanks given back in the Lakota tradition. Dances, songs, speeches, giveaways, followed by an informal gathering with the audience : an evening of intercultural exchange in an iconic place of the basque culture for a tribute to the Sovereign Lakota Nation.>
Speech of Mrs Martine Bisauta, Deputy Mayor of Bayonne
«Auresku» : dance and jump, the traditionnal basque protocol of homage
Sybele Damestoy, dance, Benoît Lamerain, music
Giveaway from the Crow Dog Jr family to all officials present
With more than seventy persons taking part, a day at the farm «Terre d'Issis» for an initiation to the technics of permaculture and a discovery of the Lakota spiritual way and traditional «Inipi» steam bath .
A manner to illustrate that the Lakota spiritual way embodies itself in everyday gestures and in a relation to the Earth Mother made of empathy, gratefulness and respect towards her.
For more infos (in french) on the farm Terre d'Issis, agroecology and permaculture : TERRE D'ISSIS
On the last day of the Official Visit, in a moment of relaxation but also of promotion of fitness and self care, a solidarity «Spirit Run» unites the group of participants on the trails of the beautiful Forest of Montbrun, in Anglet. Initialy planned on 4 km, the run will finally cover 6 km. Chief Leonard Crow Dog and his wife, Victoria, are assiduous runners. As many native americans do, they see in running a genuine spiritual practise beyond the sole physical exercise.
During a moment of private visit in the Basque Museum of Bayonne / Baionako Euskal Museoa, Chief Leonard Crow Dog Jr and his wife are astonished by a photograph representing a basque tombstone of ancient times. They find on it the very same four directions in a circle symbol that, for ages, has belonged as well to the Lakota culture and spirituality.
As a sign sent to them, a foresee of a future journey back to France and the Basque Country in 2016 !
The association «Artoteka»
The association «Ezkandrai»
The association «Graines de Liberté»
The association «Hiriondoko Ikastola»
The association «Terre d'Issis»
Arlette Andreault, Jacques & Emmanuel Arnaud, Jose-Maria Artiaga, Fabienne, Louise, Martial & Roland Baltera, Josy Bentz, Marie-Jo Dauzat, Sylvie De Haynin, Virginie & Victor Derobe, Dominique Derrien, Rosita & Alain Deslot, Barbara Dreier, Remo Finger, Bernard Legrand, Paul Maguet as well as all those who took part in the gathering.
Basque Country / Euzkal Herria
Mr. Claude Olive, Mayor of Anglet
MMrs. Nicole Darrasse and Florence Lasserre, Deputies Mayor of Anglet
Mrs. Corinne Courrèges, in charge of the Sustainable Development services at the Anglet Townhall
Mr. Eric Duprat, Director of the Aristide Briand school as well as all the educational and extracurricular personnel of the school.
Mr. Jean-René Etchegaray, Mayor of Bayonne
MMrs. Martine Bisauta, Deputy Mayor of Bayonne
Mr. Jean-Claude Iriart, Bayonne Town Councillor
MMr Jean-Claude Larronde and Rafael Zulaika, President and Director of the Bayonne Basque Museum / Baionako Euskal Museoa as well as all the museum personnel
The basque artists Sybele Damestoy, dance, Julen Axiari, Beñat Achiary and Benoît Lamerain, music and songs
Maité Axiari, Anoé, Unai, Laure & Laurent Bernays, Sandrine Cantelaube-Débauché, Mylène Charrier, Marie-Hélène Daubagna, Marlène & Gorka Echarri, Elodie & Vincent Lafitte, Pascal Marrec, Fabien Nogué, Winona Rebeix-Soms.
Véronique, Yves & Amélie Morgaud at the agroecological and permaculture farm «Terre d'Issis».
Presse & Medias
La Semaine du Pays Basque
Sud Ouest - Edition Pays Basque
Sud Ouest - Edition Landes
France 3 Aquitaine
France 3 Euskal Herri - Pays Basque
Radio France Bleu Pays Basque
Anglet Côte Basque (Facebook)
Vincent Biard, Olivier Bonnefon, Colette Dechaume, Loic Dequier, Stéphanie Deschamps, Félix Dufour, Iñaki Etxeleku, Maitena Horiot-Ortega, Peyo Lasterra, Karine Pierret-Delage.
Dominique Castinel for having graciously produced and directed the video report of Chief Crow Dog Jr stay in the Basque Country.
Photo & Video Credentials
Laurent Bernays, Dominiquer Castinel, Loic Dequier, Victoria & Leonard Crow Dog, Karine Pierret-Delage, Elodie Lafitte, Maurice Rebeix, Rafa Zulaika - Musée Basque de Bayonne / Baionako Euskal Museoa.