A Native American Reconciliation Ceremony
Last week, a Native American Reconciliation Ceremony was held at the Big Spring on East Factory Street. Attending the ceremony were people of Native American descent, of European descent and the descendants of the pioneer settlers of Harrodsburg. There were also government representatives present, including Harrodsburg Mayor Scott Moseley, Mercer County Judge- Executive Sarah Steele, and State Rep. Kim King.
Moseley thanked everyone for attending. “We call ourselves the settlers, but you were here already,” Moseley said.
Pam Sims, the senior pastor of Saint Barnabas Church of the Encourager and one of the representatives for the pioneer settlers, blessed all who attended in the name of the Christian God.
“We just recognize God in different ways,” said Helen Danser, the chairwoman of the Kentucky Native American Heritage Commission. Danser is of Cherokee descent.
Gifts of friendship were exchanged, including coffee, cloth and a purifying mix of tobacco and sage. Moseley, as the official representative for Harrodsburg, was presented with wampum, Native-made beads on a string. Danser asked Moseley for the gift to be displayed prominently.
“Wampum is very sacred,” she said.
Frank Otero, a jeweler, blacksmith and musician of Piqua Shawnee descent, explained the beads “tell the story of our people.”
“You read them like a book,” said Otero, who said the Piqua Shawnee lived in a village in the area that would come to be known as Harrodsburg.