Photo by Albert L. Baker

The Southwest Missouri Indian Center was named recipient of the Weeping Waters Award for Cultural Heritage by Amy Kitchener's Angels Without Wings Foundation in a ceremonial powwow held Sunday, March 29, 2009 at The Oneness Center, 1938 S. Stewart Ave., Springfield, Mo. 65804 This photo, taken April 1, 2009 shows Wanda Sue Parrott (right) presenting Ken Estes, Director of SMIC, with the certificate and check for $300. Overseeing the process are the center's mascot, Stretch the Dachshund, and The Unknown Indian, whose symbolic image represents the muse known as White Buffalo in works Wanda has received intuitively while writing as Prairie Flower.

543 S. Scenic Drive,
Springfield, Missouri 65802
(417) 869-9550

by Wanda Sue Parrott

Two Springfield-based non-profit organizations that serve the Native American community were beneficiaries of the third and fourth Weeping Waters Awards in a private “White Buffalo Lodge” ceremonial powwow and poetry reading. Sponsored by Amy Kitchener’s Angels Without Wings Foundation and presented by Wanda Sue Parrott as the symbolic “Last Indian on the Trail of Tears,” the invitational non-denominational event invoking The Great Spirit was performed at The Oneness Center, 1938 So. Stewart Ave., Springfield, Mo., Sun., March 29, 2009 from 2 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Southwest Missouri Indian Center, which has a long history of serving Native Americans throughout the greater Southwest Missouri area, received $300 and the first “Weeping Waters Cultural Heritage Award” certificate. The All-Tribal Indian Center, which was still in its start-up phase at the time of the ceremony, was presented a $100 award of recognition and “Great Spirit Award of Recognition” certificate.

Thus, the three-step release of the first headquarters of the literary foundation that served also as Wanda Sue Parrott’s home was completed through a ritual in which claim to the land named The Place of Weeping Waters has been jointly relinquished back to The Great Spirit of Native Americans who lived on it first, and into the care of those who claim to now own it and who identify it as both
203 E. Washita St., Springfield, Missouri 65807 U.S.A.
Latitude 37.180450 Longitude -93.293101.

Photo by John Schultz

Yvonne S. Erwin (left) and Mandy “Preyasi” Barke (right), officers with the Springfield Writers’ Guild chapter of Missouri Writers’ Guild, accept the first Weeping Waters “Cultural Heritage Award” and $300 check from Wanda Sue Parrott (center) on behalf of the Southwest Missouri Indian Center (SMIC) of Springfield, Missouri during powwow ceremony Sun., March 29, 2009.

Photo by John Schultz

Merry Sampson (left), founder, and Marty Kampa, sergeant at arms, of the All-Tribal Indian Workshop which is starting up, accept the first Weeping Waters “Great Spirit Award of Recognition” and check for $100. Foreground display holds hand-crafted art, a Chinese-made Indian blanket (door prize) and non-perishable food-pantry donations provided by invited guests. The food was divided for clients of both Indian centers in Springfield, Greene County, Missouri.

1536 E. Division St.
Springfield, Missouri 64803
(417) 864-6416

As a poet who writes under her own name and the name Prairie Flower, Wanda Sue Parrott discusses the way she feels she will be remembered in conjunction with the Place of Weeping Waters: as a non-starving poet who never gave in to negativity of mind or mold. "It inspired me to listen to the Indian Spirit and to write the controversial poem 'Springfield Soliloquy--The Trail of Tears--Missouri' that probably resulted in my receipt of the single largest sum of money any single poem has ever generated for any single living poet, throughout all of human history, including the Bard himself, William Shakespeare: $91,000.”

Wanda Sue sometimes writes as Prairie Flower. "Prairie Flower is not my name," she says. "Prairie Flower symbolizes a channel through which are expressed the thoughts and ideas of countless unidentified Native Americans whose names, languages and tribes I could not begin to guess. Whether they are voices of the ancestors, or revenant memories from my own genetic connection with a Chickasaw ancestor, is unknown. One day I realized I have served as a medium for Indians for most of my life. I asked Great Spirit, 'Why me?' The answer came: You are not special. Anyone could do what you do, but you do not walk around with an iPod in one ear and cell phone in the other. You know how to listen."