Native Americans Bless the Land at Dix Park

Dix Park Conservancy and Triangle Native American Society came together to perform a ceremony to bless and acknowledge the grounds of Dix Park.
by Cady Smith | Photography by Joshua Steadman

For the first time in the city of Raleigh’s history, a land acknowledgment and blessing ceremony was performed at Dorothea Dix Park in partnership with the Triangle Native American Society (TNAS), a nonprofit organization founded to provide Native Americans in the Triangle with support, to bless the ground at Raleigh’s most beloved public park.

The ceremony, which was led by Kaya Littleturtle, a member of the Lumbee tribe of North Carolina, on August 1, allows Indigenous people to honor their ancestors, acknowledge those that once lived there and carry on the traditions of respecting the land in the future. In connection to the blessing, it was recently discovered that a past Lumbee tribe member was buried on the land that now comprises the Dorothea Dix Cemetery.

While the ceremony was closed to the public, photographer Joshua Steadman took pictures of the land blessing and speakers from TNAS and the Dix Park Conservancy. Click here to learn more about Dix Park Conservancy’s mission for Dix Park.