Friday, July 25, 2014

A Plea For Assistance

by John Aldrich

Many within our ANE family know, or will remember, Calvert Norton. Calvert and his wife Ericka, along with their three children, have been volunteers and supporters of our Program for many years. Daughter Calora was the second princess in the Shi Yazhi pageant program and was crowned at the rug show in 2006. This photo shows Calvert along with other members of his family when Calora was crowned. He is standing behind the princess.

More recently Calvert has been suffering with a significant health problem, ankylosing spondylitis. This is a chronic debilitating disease without effective cure by modern medicine. Calvert is turning to his cultural roots for help in dealing with his illness.

Here is his plea:

My name is Calvert Norton, My clan is the Redhouse people, born for the Red Bottom people, my paternal clan is the Edge of the Water people, and my maternal clan is the Tangle  people. I'm from Montezuma Creek, Utah. I currently reside in Lehi, Utah with my immediate family, my wife Ericka, our three children, Kirk, Calora, and Angelica.

I have a form of arthritis called Ankylosing Spondylitis, that I was diagnosed with a few years ago. It has affected my ankles, knees, hips, back, and elbow. This arthritis has limited my ability to run, fold my legs to sit or cross, stand a long period of time, and has slowed me down considerably. I manage my condition with modern medicine prescribe by my rheumatologist.

My belief is within my Navajo tradition, therefore I am seeking a healing ceremony to help heal my condition. A Navajo healing ceremony known as the Enemy Way (Nidaa). This ceremony will take place the week of the 11th of August. The week long ceremony is a huge task and financial expense which involves a Medicine man fee, ceremony materials, food,  sheep, and wood gathering to name few.

I ask for financial assistance to cover the expenses for this ceremony.

Thank you,

Calvert Norton

Although he alludes to the challenges and cost of staging an Enemy Way ceremony, the reality is that it can cost up to $6000 to put on an event of this complexity and scale.

Readers of this blog might be interested, as I was, in knowing more about this particular ceremony. Here is a link to a detailed description of the Enemy Way ceremony. Interestingly, it is written by a medicine man named Johnson Dennison. Johnson has worked with the Indian Health Service Hospital in Chinle to help provide traditional Navajo healing services to compliment the modern health care provided there. Johnson has spoken to our food run groups on a number of occasions in Chinle and will be remembered by those who heard him as a fascinating source of information about Navajo culture.

We extend our sympathies to Calvert and hope that his ceremony will be a comfort and blessing to both he and his family.

Those who wish to make a donation in support of Calvert's ceremony can do so via the Ceremony Fund of our web site. All proceeds of this fund over the next three weeks will be used on Calvert's behalf.

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