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Tens of thousands Rock Their Mocs for indigenous identity movement

All across the Indigenous world, people are getting out their traditional footwear for the third annual Rock Your Mocs Day on November 15, 2013.

Participating is simple; put on your moccasins and “rock” them all day long. Snap a picture and post it to your Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram with the hashtag #RYM2013.

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All across the Indigenous world, people are getting out their traditional footwear for the third annual Rock Your Mocs Day on November 15, 2013.

Participating is simple; put on your moccasins and “rock” them all day long. Snap a picture and post it to your Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram with the hashtag #RYM2013.

The identity movement was started on social media by Pueblo student Jessica Jaelyn Atsye, 21, of Laguna, New Mexico. “It was kind of random how it came about. We had our ceremonies on our Pueblo.

Everything was finished and we were just sitting around the table, and of course everyone was wearing moccasins and our traditional regalia.” Atsye said. “I was like, ‘Wouldn’t it be cool if we had a day where we could all wear our moccasins? I should start that!’, and then everyone laughed.”
“My reason is just to show awareness to the world about our culture and identity.

One thing I noticed about all our Indian nations is that we all have our own type of moccasins. Each moccasin tells where you are from. It’s an identifier, it’s who you are.” Atsye said.

She then went straight to social media and made a Facebook event page. Atsye said, “The first year I had a hard time getting 20 people to get involved. But it came around to the second year and it skyrocketed.” That is putting it lightly. The event went viral, and if you were anywhere near social media last year you might remember thousands of Ongwehon:we people posting pics of them donning thier mocassins; at work, at school, riding a bike, On Facebook alone numbers were close to 17,000 participants. If you think that is a lot, consider that number does not include participants from Twitter, Instagram and those not on social media.

Many businesses have come out to support Jessica’s vision of rallying a spirit of solidarity among Indigenous people. According to a press release on the Rock Your Mocs Facebook page; Gathering of Nations Pow Wow, Emergence Productions, PowWows.com, The National Congress of American Indians, and the Two Row Times are among the official supporters of the event.

So dust off your mocs, charge up your cameras and Rock Your Mocs this November 15th. Post your pics on social media with #tworowtimes and you will have an additional chance to win prizes all day long. Check our Facebook or Twitter for more information.

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Nahnda Garlow

Nahnda Garlow

Nahnda Garlow, Onondaga under the wing of the Beaver Clan of Six Nations, is Outreach Editor for the Two Row Times. Her popular column, Scone Dogs and Seed Beads brings weekly thoughts on current day indigenous identity. Nahnda has been a journalist with the Two Row Times since it's founding in 2013. She studied Journalism, Human Rights and Indigenous Studies at Laurier University. She is a self-proclaimed "rez girl" who also brings to the Two Row Times years of experience as a Haudenosaunee cultural interpreter, traditional dancer and beadwork aficionado. Nahnda is a member of the Canadian Association of Journalists and the Native American Journalists Association.

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