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Mott Community College celebrates its 29th annual Peace and Dignity observance

Published: Oct. 11, 2021 at 5:51 PM EDT
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FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) - Dozens gathered on Monday at Mott Community College in Flint for the twenty-ninth annual Peace and Dignity observance.

The event is steeped in Native American rituals, and is typically celebrated on Columbus day.

“They come from the east because that’s where the sun comes from, a reminder of our spiritual consciousness that we receive everyday. So they will bring that energy in dancing that energy, and the serpent our symbol for our spiritual consciousness,” said Celia Perez-Booth, a returned Mott Community College Counselor.

This year, the annual celebration was celebrated a little different.

“It’s indigenous peoples day because we couldn’t say Columbus day and feel good about it. because everyone was celebrating in a different way than we thought it should be celebrated. To us, that meant that we were invaded,” said Perez-Booth.

She is long time participant in the annual peace and dignity observance.

“This is our 29th year of celebrating and saying these prayers and reminding people of the unity that is in our concept of the circle where all people sit equally or stand equally no body is above and nobody’s below,” said Perez-Booth.

Monday’s ceremony included the tying on the ribbons on the Peace and Dignity tree on campus. The ribbons or flags-representing the prayers of the people of the four directions.

“The East represents the spiritual consciousness. the south represents the will and determination, the west represents the courage that you need to change, and the north represents the healing that we receive,” said Perez-Booth.

It’s the first official Indigenous Peoples’ Day, after a proclamation by President Joe Biden, the first president to recognize it.

A day Perez-Booth wishes her grandmother could have lived to see.

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