The City of Kingston, the Association of Native Americans of the Hudson Valley and members of the Munsee, Esopus and Ramapough Lenape nations hosted the first Winter Solstice and Wiping Away the Tears ceremony on Wednesday, December 21, outside City Hall on Broadway.
The event opened with a filling of four sacred pipes representing all races, followed by a calling in the Four Directions ceremony. A Munsee prayer was offered led by Grandfather Paul Coyote Song Tobin. Next Mayor Steve Noble offered an apology from the city for past injustices and called for longer, stronger relationships and for bringing more Native American culture to Kingston. A “Wiping of the Tears” ceremony was then held, where those in attendance stood next to each other and wiped away each other’s tears.
This traditional Native American ceremony clears past hurts, connects us to the land and makes way for us to enter a new, positive relationship with one another.