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Mankato powoww, online blog to honor 4-year-old killed by falling tree branch

KEYC News Now at 6 Saturday Recording
Published: May. 7, 2022 at 3:15 PM CDT
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MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - The family of a four-year-old girl killed by a falling tree branch is keeping her memory alive in a special way.

Nytalia Ashes of Sioux Falls, South Dakota was visiting Mankato with her family last September to attend the annual Mahkato Wacipi Powwow.

The Ashes were camping in Land of Memories Park when a thunderstorm rolled through.

A tree branch fell during the storm and fatally struck Nytalia.

Her mother, Nyssa, said her story has resonated with families across the U.S. who’ve lost children in similar incidents.

She’s launching a new blog to bring them together in one place.

“There are new friends I’ve created through [social media] as well, kind of just creating new support groups and whatnot, and that’s kind of why I wanted to start the blog. It could be about Nytalia but also about how it’s been the last eight months for me, for her brothers, kind of for the entire family,” Nyssa explained.

The Ashes are working closely with the organizers of the powwow to honor Nytalia at this year’s event, including a special Wiping of the Tears ceremony.

“They’ll sit us all out in the arena, in the middle of the arena, and sit us down there. They’ll bring us our Native foods. There’s different Native foods that they’ll give to us and drinks, sips of our different drinks, of our teas, and it will take a little while but all the family that are there will sit out there with us,” described Nayla Ashes, Nytalia’s grandmother.

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