POWELL, Wyo. - Willie LeClair, a member of the Eastern Shoshone Tribe of the Wind River Indian Reservation, will talk about Native American traditions at a 7 p.m. program Wednesday, Jan. 22, in the DeWitt Student Center at Northwest College.
When LeClair gives presentations, he always starts the same way — he draws a circle, writes the word “Respect” at the top and then looks to his audience. His diagram becomes more complicated as it draws out the circle of life that begins with respect. Much of his wisdom is taken from Native American religions, which are among the oldest religions in the world still in practice.
“One of the most appealing parts of the Native American spiritual traditions is that it is, by its nature, inclusive rather than exclusive,” LeClair says. “It is a generous way of life in that no one is excluded by any other belief or tradition that they hold or practice.”
Often in demand as a speaker on several topics, LeClair will focus his Wednesday talk on Native American awareness and dance.
He’ll highlight indigenous traditions that have focused since the beginning around the ecology and environmental consequences of earthly habitation, issues that have not been central to other cultures until more recently.
He’ll also talk about dance as a universal expression of great occasions and of particular groups of peoples.
LeClair’s presentation is supported in part by a grant from the Wyoming Arts Council, through funding from the Wyoming State Legislature and the National Endowment for the Arts and Northwest College’s Office of Intercultural Programs.
Admission is free.