Nonprofit Paza is building a medicine wheel in Easton to teach people about indigenous culture

Nonprofit Paza is building a medicine wheel in Easton to teach people about indigenous culture

EASTON, Pa. — A Native American nonprofit organization is partnering with the town of Easton to teach people about native culture. Construction has just begun on a medicine wheel, which will serve as a space for the community to unite and learn.

Delwin Fiddler, whose Native American name is Hehakapa Mahto, has spent his entire life educating people about native culture.

“I had the honor of playing for the inauguration,” Fiddler said. “I was asked to go to London to meet the royal family.”

He co-founded Paza Tree of Life in Easton to help tribes during the pandemic. The association’s latest project: a medicine wheel in Hugh Moore Park.

“Native medicine plants, four rocks, the four directions that Native Americans honor,” Rob Christopher, Easton’s town forester, said of what will be on the medicine wheel.

“There will be permanent signage,” said Maria Ragonese, director of operations and programs at Paza Tree of Life. “So they will be able to read about it. But they also see it as a place of meditation, a place of prayer, of mindfulness and of beauty.”

Paza obtained a grant from the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, which is matched by the city and the organization itself.

“Where that stake is, that’s going to be the pole of peace,” Christopher said.

The pole of peace says “peace reign on earth” in eight different languages.

“It’s massive red cedar, which is another important piece of nature for indigenous people,” Christopher said.

Almost every detail of the medicine wheel has some sort of symbolism and meaning behind it. The shape of the circle represents the circle of life.

“We also try to teach about indigenous culture and its importance, because that’s really where the roots and the foundation of our country come from,” Christopher said.

The goal is to use the place for ceremonies and educational events.

“We know from reading much of Easton’s history that there are Native American connections to this land,” Ragonese said.

“Share stories and our stories from the past to today and how we can come together for the future,” Fiddler said.

Construction is expected to be completed in October.

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