By Jeff Todd

DENVER (CBS4)– When the annual Native Indian Elders Dinner was almost discontinued, several organizations came together to make sure a tradition based around respecting elders found a new home. Past organizers found the tradition hard to sustain but a new determination will keep it going.

(credit: CBS)

“It’s like a homecoming for me because I haven’t been able to come for several years. I was excited and just elated to be here today,” said Rick Williams, who helped organize the first Elders Dinner nearly two decades ago.

Rick Williams (credit: CBS)

When the last group of organizers said they couldn’t hold the event again the Denver Indian Center and several organizations stepped in.

(credit: CBS)

On Wednesday night, more than 200 people from an estimated 50 tribes gathered for a special meal.

(credit: CBS)

“This is probably the premiere event for elders in Denver. They get to come together. We feed them. They wanted to have traditional Indian food, so we have buffalo soup and wojape and fry bread. To celebrate the seasons and remember the elderly, remember them in a good way,” Williams said.

(credit: CBS)

Nettie Moore was excited to take part just days before she turns 94.

Nettie Moore (credit: CBS)

“This here is just really nice because it seems really congenial,” she said. “I wish more people would get involved.”

(credit: CBS)

Moore has been a vocal advocate for West Denver for decades and has several honors around Denver in her name including parks, playgrounds and apartments. On Wednesday, she was honored as the Eldest Elder.

(credit: CBS)

“Our elders are special. We honor our elders in a good way. They provide their sage wisdom and knowledge,” Williams said.

LINK: Denver Indian Center

Jeff Todd joined the CBS4 team in 2011 covering the Western Slope in the Mountain Newsroom. Since 2015 he’s been working across the Front Range in the Denver Headquarters. Follow him on Twitter @CBS4Jeff.

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