I have been blessed to know Chuck Derby and his wife Gloria. I have been to their center Little Feather Indian Center.
Recently, Chuck was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer and given only 3 to 6 months to live. As you can imagine, this is a very hard time for him and his family. Because of Chuck’s great impact on the traditional community we ask that every pipe holder and prayer community gather together to pray for Chuck and his family with One Heart and One Mind.
Chuck Derby is a descendent of the Derby family, one of the three traditional families that has been quarrying Pipestone for generations. He first began learning his craft by his father’s side at the age of five. As an adult he has continued to quarry, craft traditional pipes and has made it his life’s work to see that the traditions and history that surround the canupa are passed on to the next generation. Many of the pipes carried in ceremony today have come through Chuck’s, or one of his family member’s, hands. The impact Chuck has had on the Native American community, on Pipe Carriers, Sun Dancers and quarriers is great. Through his advocacy and education initiatives many new quarriers have been trained. Because of his skills as a quarrier and as a pipe carver many people have become able to carry a sacred canupa.
May 1st, 2010 6:00pm CST (12:00am May 2nd GMT)