22559 Ventura Blvd.
Woodland Hills, Ca.
The Native Spirit Center
The Native Spirit Center is next door to the to The Native Spirit Lodge. The goals of the center are to celebrate Native Spirit and developing community knowledge of Native Spirit. Funding of the center is provided by the act of potlatch.
The Pacific Northwest Chinook tribe word patshatl meaning was “to give away”. Called by nonnative people potlatch.
The stature of the one giving things was enhanced by the amount and quality of thinks give.
The celebration was a time to bring all the tribes together.
Unfortunately the governments of Canada and the United States banned the celebration and giving by making it illegal (amended later to be more inclusive). Yet it did and does continue. Like many native things there was a lack of understanding.
A potlatch was not welfare where the one receiving could take what was given and sit in their dwelling and do nothing. It was intended for them to work and achieve themselves or volunteer and help in kind. Funds to build up the community where allowed but not to make one rich.
-Developing Native Spirit
The center is possible by the act of potlatch
Native people seeing their gifts abused and not bringing more prosperity in the community would go and take the gift back.
There was certain obligation in giving and very strong obligations in receiving.
Many Times if the gift was of great value it would be given back in a few years with a greater gift with it.
This is how the tribe prospered.