¤ The Lakota Sioux meet Florence. ¤
On October 4th, 2021, Wolakota started in Florence, an annual meeting event between Italian institutions and the official delegates of the Lakota Sicangu Nation of Rosebud, South Dakota. It lasted one month, with meetings, conferences, events and an exhibition at Palazzo Medici Riccardi. Organized by the cultural association Wambli Gleska, Wolakota is an event of peace and spirituality, in the name of friendship with Native Americans. The city of Florence welcomed an official delegation of the Lakota Sioux to renew the friendship protocol that binds them. An opportunity to get to know the profound spirituality of the people of Turtle Island, to share moments of cultural exchange, traditional ceremonies and conviviality. The delegation and the city celebrated also be an unprecedented moment: the Remembrance Day, a march by foot and horseback on Sunday, October 10th, to commemorate the victims of the extermination of Native Americans. This gesture definitively breaks the taboo of another American story, different from the one recounted by the West for over 500 years.
¤ SIGNATURE OF THE PROTOCOL ¤
The Regione Toscana has enjoyed an official relationship with Native Americans since 1998, particularly with the Lakota. Together they have developed educational, cultural, scientific and anthropological projects. The University of Florence and the University of Pisa have also been involved in collaborations. On Monday, October 4th, 2021, the Friendship Protocol between the city of Florence and the Lakota Sicangu Nation of Rosebud was renewed. This opening event took place in Giordano Hall of Palazzo Medici Riccardi, in via Cavour 1. Among those present there was Letizia Perini, municipal Councillor for Culture in Florence, the Italian representative of UNESCO Vittorio Gasparrini, the Lakota Sioux delegation and the cultural association Wambli Gleska, which represents the Lakota Sioux Nation in Italy and promoted this event.
¤ REMEMBRANCE DAY ¤
The Lakota delegation, together with the City, officially celebrated Remembrance Day in Florence for all Native American peoples and the Lakota, on Sunday, October 10th at 9am. The Lakota, on horseback, escorted by Tuscan knights and the Knights of the Ordine di Parte Guelfa of Florence, accompanied by the Florentine Falconers, marched from Cascine Park to Piazza della Signoria where they were received by the Mayor for the final celebration of the Day of Remembrance, with traditional Lakota songs. After the horseback march, the equestrian center La Baita hosted a Lakota ceremony with traditional prayer and a memory plaque was placed for the Native people of Turtle’s Island. The ceremony was followed by a lunch at the equestrian center.
¤ THE VISITING DELEGATION ¤
Among the delegates visiting Florence during the celebrations we would like to mention RoYal Yellow Hawk, Presidents’ delegate; Marla Bull Bear, Charles Bull Bear and Wayne Weston from the Lakota Youth Development in Rosebud; then Moses Brings Plenty, one of the most important spokespersons of the American Indian Nation of the Lakota Sioux, as well as very famous Hollywood celebrity, together with his wife Sara Ann. Finally, Steve Laravie jr will represent the Nation Santee Dakota. The person who works as a bridge between the Italian culture and the Native one is Alessandro Martire, honorary member of the Nation Lakota Sicangu in Rosebud. He’s their representative in Italy, president of Wabmli Gleska and international lawyer at the High Commission of Human Rights in Geneva for the Lakota Sicangu Nation of Sicangu.
¤ WAMBLI GLESKA ¤
Wambli Gleska is a non-profit cultural association, officially recognized by the UN as an NGO (International Non-Governmental Organization) officially established by the express will of the Lakota Tribal Council of Rosebud (South Dakota), the President and the Council of Elders. The purpose of the association is to bring the traditional testimony of the Lakota Sioux to Italy and to spread, in our country and in Europe, the traditional culture of the Lakota people, as well as to promote international recognition and relations with the various local governments and with the Italian central government, for the human rights of the Lakota Sioux Nation.
Source: Wolakota, Città Metropolitana di Firenze Press Release 20 September 2021
Photographs. own source
Anna - web site, Eurocontact Plus APS coordinator, Radio UNI POP Editorial Staff member