By Ken Rouse
Sedona AZ (June 3, 2016) – During my childhood and teen years, I watched many western movies. Most often, those movies were based on a Hollywood image of the conflict between the Cowboys and the Indians on the American frontier. It was a stereotype of Native American tribes / nations that has been taken for granted for many years. Although I cannot explain why, in most of my childhood dreams about the Wild West, I was almost always an Indian. It wasn’t until after my 80th birthday, however, that I started learning very much about Native American history and culture.
One evening, over dinner, Thomas McPherson, new owner of The Collective Sedona (formerly Tequa) and I were discussing the need for greater awareness of our Arizona Native American Culture. At the end of our discussion, I accepted the challenge, as a volunteer, to reach out to individuals in the Native American community and create a visible “presence” for our Native American neighbors right here in Sedona Village (Village of Oak Creek) in the exciting new development called The Collective Sedona. This has become a very thoughtful adventure, a huge learning experience and a unique opportunity. What I am discovering is how much diversity and depth there is in the Native American Culture. While there has been, and still is, conflict between the tribes themselves, there are leaders whose vision for the future challenges us to discover how to “share life” in ways that are personal, specific and practical. One of the leaders who has emerged is a man by the name of Bearcloud Berry. Today, after only a few weeks into the project, Bearcloud is preparing to open the Bearcloud Gallery and Native American Cultural Center in The Collective Sedona. He and Thomas McPherson are negotiating the details and it should be complete by the end of August. What takes place in the next few years right here in our “Village” may literally transform the way we demonstrate our commitment to accept and forgive history that we cannot change and “share life” with each other in the 21st century. I invite you to stay tuned, pay attention to what is happening in the Collective Sedona and be prepared to participate in this exciting project.
After receiving a Masters’ Degree in Theology and Pastoral Psychology in 1961, Ken Rouse served as a minister for ten (10) years. In 1971, Ken became an entrepreneur, pioneer and founder of a life-focused financial planning practice. More recently, Ken was owner of the Marketplace Café in the “Village,” creating ways of bringing people together, initiating fund raisers for charitable organizations and much more right here in our own community. Today, at age 80, Ken is responding to a new challenge and opportunity to “make a difference.” His example can serve as inspiration and motivation for all of us as we continue learning how to share the gift of life.