Our Search for Land

Hello Tiospaye (Family)

We have recently been guided to possible sources for land for the community. I have contacted a small list of People who may be able to help us. I’m not sure where this will lead but I do believe it was the Creator’s will to make contact with these people and see what happens. The Chief asked me to post this so that everyone is aware of what we sent. Please add your voice to our prayers as these letters arrive in the hands of the people who were contacted. Thank you.

Copy of Letter sent

Dear Sirs,

I’m writing to you on behalf of the Inter-Tribal Council of Southwest Virginia. Principal Chief Perry “Grey Wolf” Wilson was the founder of the Drums of the Painted Mountain Powwow and the Inter-Tribal Council of Southwest Virginia. The Inter-Tribal Council, along with Southwest Virginia Community College sponsor the Powwow held at the college each year.  He also worked, in conjunction with Crab Orchard Museum, to get back the bones of our ancestors, who were found when the highway was put in. Most of these bones have been returned to Mother Earth at the re-enactment site across from the museum, thanks to both parties.

Since Mr. Wilson’s passing back in October, 2012. His grandson, AJ “Red Bear” Phillips and I, Audra Phillips, have continued giving leadership to the Council. Red Bear was voted Principal Chief in May, 2013. He and I decided to, not only carry on the vision of his grandfather, getting the rest of the bones back from the Smithsonian, but also to create community amongst the Natives that currently reside in the area. We began with the already established list of members and have since tripled in size.  We have a vision of having land where we can teach and be taught Native ways, where we can have a community garden and provide one another with support in an increasingly difficult economy.  If we don’t teach our young about their heritage, this way will die out. This would be a great loss for the people. Since we are inter-tribal we welcome all nations to come and teach or learn about the different traditions.

We have been praying for a place where we can hold our meetings and ceremonies. We have prayed to the Creator to bless us with property where we can have a community center of sorts, where we can sing our prayers and not disturb anyone. Chief “Red Bear” drives by the building located at 20942 Governor GC Peery Hwy, Tazewell, VA, I believe it was once the Hunter’s Den. He asked that I make inquiries about its availability. When I couldn’t find any information online, I went to the Commissioner of Revenue’s office and they gave me your information as someone that I might be able to contact about land that would suit our needs. The woman I spoke to was very helpful and believed you might have some land that would be ideal for our community’s needs. . I am writing to you to see if you have any property that is available and what you would need to allow us to use it for our community meetings and gatherings.

We are just getting started on this particular path in life and are trying to come up with ways the community can help one another to make ends meet. We set up a booth at the powwow to start making money for the Community and have since sold some of our communities “hand-crafted, Native American” items to the Museum and are possibly going to be getting some things into the Art Center as well. The right property could possibly give us a place to craft these items. We would like a place to set up for meetings and gatherings where we can leave items for the next meeting and not have to pack everything up every time we leave. The college has generously offered to allow us to use their facilities, free of charge, for our meetings. We cannot adequately follow our ways and beliefs confined to a public place, such as this. Not to mention having to pack everything up at the conclusion of every meeting.

I feel the Creator led me to your information for a reason and hope that this letter finds you with many blessings and perhaps some answers to our prayers. Thank you very much for your time and we look forward to hearing from you. You can contact either Chief “Red Bear” on his cell phone 484-553-2564 or either one of us at our home phone 276-991-6215. Again, thank you for your time.

Sincerely, Audra Phillips

Letter from the August meeting

Copy of the letter from Audra Phillips regarding the August 12, 2013 Council Meeting in Honaker:

August’s meeting went rather well even though we were unable to “go to water” due to the generosity of mother nature in the amount of rain she blessed us with. The river was just a little too rough to do this ceremony safely. Otherwise we enjoyed a great meal together, Thank you to everyone who attended the meeting for the great food.

Our Chief discussed and demonstrated the blowgun as a form of hunting weapon. Anyone interested in learning more should contact Chief Red Bear. We discussed nominations for Board Members. Nominations were: Pawnee Jewell, Robin Taylor, Aliya Trinity (who has asked to be withdrawn from the list), Audra Phillips, Clint Dye, and Chuck Salyers. We would like to elect 3 for now and add additional ones as our community grows (to be elected at the next council meeting – please make your vote heard).

We also discussed where the community is going and where we would like to see it in the future. I invite all of you to send me an email on your thoughts on this matter. We talked about the importance of us all putting our energy towards the same vision, so we’ve decided to have a gathering at Pawnee’s to come together in prayer for making our vision for the community as focused and strong as possible. If you would like to attend this meeting please come with your vision and ideas. If you need directions to Pawnee’s please contact her. She is on the contact list, if you do not have a contact list please contact AJ or myself and we will get you the information you need.

Printable - Native American 10 Commandments

Printable – Native American 10 Commandments

We are also having the first in a series of meetings to begin sharing our knowledge of plant identification and medicinal qualities with one another. This will be an opportunity to teach what you know and learn something that you don’t. Even if you only know one thing and 16 people show up that’s then 16 things we all know. This meeting will be at Clint and Nancy Dye’s home. Plan on spending time outside and trying new “veggies” lol. If you need directions to Clint and Nancy’s please contact them. They too are on the contact list.

I invite you all to go to our new website paintedmountaincommunity.com and check out the dates on the calendar. As we add events it will become more important for us all to keep an eye on this calendar, as hopefully there will be lots going on throughout the month and I won’t always be able to email everyone in a timely manner, try as I might. I’m just not that good and time has a tendency to slip between my fingers more often than I care to admit.  I would love to see more events going on in our community so please feel free to share any ideas you have for gatherings.

MEMBERSHIP APPLICATION. Click photo for a larger, printable copy.

MEMBERSHIP APPLICATION. Click photo for a larger, printable copy.

In addition to these events we also set the next Council meeting for Sept 16, @ 6pm.  I am working on getting a place for our meeting for the winter but I don’t know if I will have it arranged by then. Keep this in your prayers, please. I have several leads on possible sites where we may be able to have ceremony and meetings on a regular, long term basis.

Applications for memberships cards and the 10 Native Commandments were made available to those interested in them. There will be a link placed on the site soon for you to be able to print your own copy of the application and mail it in with your picture and fee.   COMPLETE applications will begin to be printed in the order in which they are received. This will make the other roll cards obsolete.

This pretty much covers what happened at Aug’s meeting. Hope to see you all at one of our upcoming events.

May you go in a good way,


Please Support Our Sponsors

We have so much gratitude for our sponsors  – they help make us stronger as a community and enable us to have events like the pow wow. This year’s pow wow was a great success! We danced, saw friends, bought goodies, felt the heartbeat of our mother & honored Grandfather.  We also honored Grey Wolf’s passing, acknowledged our new chief, Red Bear and taught many people how to assemble prayer ties. Hopefully you were able to come out to participate in the event.

This year, when it comes time to get your car serviced, or use a funeral home, buy plants, receive health care, get a prescription filled, have a website designed, buy guns, hire a carpenter, etc… please show your support to our sponsors by choosing their services and products for your home and work.

See a full listing… here.

Red Bear and Arvel