Native Americans invited to ‘tell their own stories’ during Riverton Peace March, Rally next weekend

The 2022 Riverton Peace March and Rally will begin at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 6, at Riverton Centennial Park, 300 W. Adams Ave.

The park is just down the street from the Center of Hope drug and alcohol rehabilitation center – where a white city employee shot two Northern Arapaho Tribal members in 2015.

The first Riverton Peace March was held that year as a “solemn and humble commemoration” for the shooting victims, Sonny Goggles and Stallone Trosper, organizer Ron Howard said.

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Since then, Howard said the annual event has “evolved” into a “rally of encouragement to continue our efforts of making our community safe and tolerant for everyone.”

This year’s march will process from Centennial Park to Main Street then east to Riverton City Park for a rally that begins at 10:30 a.m.

The keynote speaker for the rally is Anderson Antelope Jr., whose father was killed by a Riverton police officer in 2019 during an altercation outside Walmart.

The incident and its aftermath sparked the local Justice4Andy initiative, which “grew out of” the Riverton Peace Mission group Howard co-founded during the fifth annual Riverton Peace March in 2019.

The Riverton Peace Mission works toward “greater harmony between the Native American community and non-Natives in the Riverton area” and “seeks to decolonize and change historical narratives that promote racism and a lack of respect for Native American people and their tribal sovereignty, particularly in towns bordering Indian reservations such as Riverton,” according to a press release.

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After Antelope’s address, Indigenous singer-songwriter Christian Wallowing Bull will perform.

h/t Christian Wallowing Bull

Then, organizers said local Native Americans will be invited to “openly tell their own stories about their experiences and injustices” during an open mic storytelling session.

Riverton Peace Mission co-chair Chesie Lee will offer closing remarks to end the event.

“The annual Riverton Peace March and Rally is an important time for our community to come together to renew our commitment to work towards becoming better people with love and inclusion in our hearts – for light to outshine the darkness of hate and violence we have experienced here in recent years,” she said.

The Riverton Peace Mission “engages in truth-telling, reconciliation and healing to build our vision for community harmony,” according to a press release.

“We welcome diversity through peace and mutual understanding,” organizers said. “We seek to end the history of violence in border towns beside the Wind River Indian Reservation.”

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