TERRE HAUTE —
Two hearts. Two traditions. One love.
Under the bright, sunny sky, beside the lake at a local southside park Sunday, a couple was bound together in a wedding ceremony that combined Native American traditions and “mainstream” traditions.
A couple from two different traditions, Gary and Janis LaPlante, were pronounced husband and wife in front of dozens of witnesses, which included not only their family and friends but also the visitors of Fowler Park during its annual Pioneer Days event.
Gary and Janis met two and a half years ago through social media, Janis LaPlante said enthusiastically. At that time, Gary was living at a reservation in South Dakota.
Although they come from two different traditions, the couple has a lot in common.
“I have been drawn to Native American spirituality probably for a good 30 years and have practiced it and lived it. He just topped it off,” Janis said.
With common interests, the couple fell in love. Their first ceremony, a Lakota Pipe ceremony, was held two years ago.
And on Sunday, they made it official and legal.
“We are combining this wedding ceremony using both cultures: American Indian and mainstream society,” the groom, Gary LaPlante said.
The short ceremony began with singing and drums, as Gary held up the traditional eagle feather to the sky. Gary, Janis and their supporters on each side then turned in four directions and quietly prayed. They stood on a quilt with a star in its center.
Toward the end of the ceremony, the couple’s hands were tied together by the eagle feather (with a red ribbon at its end), which bound the couple together.
“We ask the spotted eagle to tell the Great Spirit to watch over us,” Gary said.
“We’re tied together with this higher power through prayer, sending prayers … for our walk in life,” he said before the ceremony.
Also part of the ceremony were the Christian traditions, including the vows, the exchange of rings and the unity candle. A chaplain led the ceremony.
The use of the Bible is also significant to the couple.
They used the “words from the higher power through the Bible to recognize and bring blessings to the ceremony,” Gary said.
The bride and groom vowed to take each other “to have and to hold from this day forward” all through life’s joys and difficulties, “till we are separated by death.”
The exchange of rings were a “constant reminder of those promises,” and the unity candle brought two lives into one.
They sealed it with a kiss.
The timing of the wedding is also significant.
Fowler Park held its annual Pioneer Days Saturday and Sunday, an event that features old-fashioned crafters, local artists and village folk. Participants and visitors step back in time (to the 1800’s) to re-create pioneer activities and lifestyles.
The teepee the LaPlantes set up for their wedding is also from that time period.
“This is an 1870 dwelling,” Gary said as he stood inside the teepee. A tarp on the teepee was used in 1870, he said.
“The whole energy of here is going back in time and recreating what was then,” Gary said.
So there’s no “better time for us to blend our beliefs, our lifestyles … and learn about how it was in the past and that way, we really establish ourselves in the now,” he said.
“It will manifest what we should do in the future,” he added.
And their future is love.
“We are on a forever honeymoon,” Janis said, as the couple smiled and held each other inside the teepee.
“Forever, yes,” Gary agreed.
Tribune-Star Reporter Dianne Frances D. Powell can be reached at 812-231-4299.
Lakota and Christian traditions fuse prayer, dancing, drums at Pioneer Days
TERRE HAUTE —
Two hearts. Two traditions. One love.
Tasting their way to a cure
People appeared to be in high spirits Friday inside the historic Indiana Theatre as they gathered for an evening of wine, food and conversation while supporting efforts to find a cure for breast cancer.
Same-sex marriage: 4 couples sue state over ban
Four gay couples from southern Indiana sued the state Friday, seeking to force Indiana to recognize same-sex marriages from out of state and issue licenses to same-sex couples.
Time to check smoke alarms
Three years after a house fire on South Nine Street in Terre Haute resulted in the death of three people, a Terre Haute grandmother still wonders if the outcome of that fire would have been different if smoke detectors in the home had been working.
Indiana State Board extends president’s contract
Indiana State University has signed up Dan Bradley, the school’s president, for an additional three years of service.
New animal shelter gets welcome boost
The aging Terre Haute Humane Society shelter is not a place for the faint of heart.
Vigo County high school team in FIRST Robotics’ Crossroads Regional
Drivers of remote-controlled robots will match skills, similar to those used in basketball and soccer, to score in the FIRST Robotics’ Crossroads Regional on the campus of Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.
Benefit planned for daycare fire victim
Veronica Gray never met 19-month-old Emma Lloyd, but when she learned about the child’s tragic death in a Sullivan day care fire, she had to do something.
Winter’s costs add up for Vigo
While still within county and city budgets, the snowstorms of January and February were more costly than a year ago.
Mayor Bennett threatens veto of consultant funding
Mayor Duke Bennett is threatening to veto a measure before the Terre Haute City Council that would transfer money into the council’s budget allowing the body to again hire a financial consultant.
Semitrailer fire slows eastbound traffic on Interstate 70
Traffic on Interstate 70 was slowed Thursday afternoon by a semitrailer fire just east of Terre Haute.
Tests show Skittles had no unusual chemicals
The Indiana State Health Department has given Skittles a clean bill of health.
No problems reported in early 10-digit phone dialing
Just be grateful you (probably) aren’t using a rotary telephone these days.
Cloverdale woman sentenced to 10 years in molestation/neglect case
A Cloverdale woman received a 10-year prison sentence Thursday after pleading guilty to child molesting and neglect of a defendant in Vigo Superior Court 3.
College students spend alternative spring break helping in Vigo County
Pruning in the orchard and preparing plants for the garden has been part of the experience for a group of Minnesota students who are spending this week as an alternative spring break at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College.
MARK BENNETT: How you approach the day will influence if you are a ‘morning person’
I can still see the stacks of coins, 40 cents in each, arranged on the dining room table.
Area Plan Department considering raising fees
The Vigo County Area Planning Department is exploring the possibility of raising the fees for its services.
Tuesday night crash leads to arrest on drug charges
A Terre Haute man was arrested on drug-related charges after a one-car accident Tuesday night in Clay County.
Clock ticking on downtown TIF district
The sun is setting on Terre Haute’s downtown tax increment finance district, which city economic development officials say has been crucial to downtown revitalization, following action this week from the Indiana General Assembly.
Lay pastor files guilty plea in child sex case
A Terre Haute man has pleaded guilty to seven felonies in connection with a child molestation that allegedly involved the man’s wife as well.
Man gets 1 year probation for child, animal neglect
A Vigo County man has been sentenced to one year on formal probation after pleading guilty to housing children and animals in a filthy house.
Three-vehicle crash on U.S. 41 injures three
Three people received minor injuries and one motorist was cited following a three-vehicle crash on U.S. 41 at Springhill Drive at 9:59 a.m. Wednesday.
Sullivan daycare fire victim ID’d
Sullivan County authorities have released the name of a 1 1⁄2-year-old girl who died Tuesday morning in a Sullivan County daycare fire.
Sullivan Daycare fire: Broken hearts
A 11⁄2-year-old girl tragically died early Tuesday morning as the result of a fire at Waterman’s Wonderland Daycare on Sullivan’s south side.
Sony DADC cutting 34 distribution jobs here
Sony DADC is halting product distribution operations from its Terre Haute plant at a cost of 34 jobs, a company official said Tuesday.
Bill ends automatic license suspensions for many crimes
Unpaid parking fines, falling behind on child support, drunken driving: So many offenses trigger a suspended driver’s license in Indiana that more than a half-million Hoosiers have lost their driving privileges. In fact, driving on a suspended license is the most common charged offense, prosecutors say.
Indiana same-sex marriage tax benefits nixed by Senate
Gay rights advocates said they’re deeply concerned about a split in state policy from a new federal approach to taxes recognizing same-sex marriage that the Indiana Senate approved 41-6 on Tuesday.
‘Slow’ start to Illinois early voting
Early voting is “slow” in Clark and Edgar counties in Illinois, election officials said Tuesday, even with the first-time permitting of 17-year-olds to register and vote in the March 18 primary election.
Brazil girl badly burned in Monday fire
A 6-year-old girl suffered second- and third-degree burns to her lower extremities in a Monday morning fire at 313 S. Vine St. in Brazil.
Helping out Hoosiers: 181st Intelligence Wing launches first aerial domestic support mission
The roar of the jets is long gone but Airmen from the 181st Intelligence Wing Indiana Air National Guard still stand watch for the Hoosiers of Indiana.
Indiana Attorney General launches statewide food drive
Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller launched the statewide March Against Hunger food drive competition Tuesday in Terre Haute.
- More News Headlines
- Tasting their way to a cure