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October 21, 2013

Native American Heritage Festival Set for Nov. 2 at RSU

A powwow singing workshop, a stomp dance, Cherokee storytelling, arts and craft workshops will be featured during the 2013 Native American Heritage Festival on Saturday, Nov. 2, at Rogers State University.

The festival, which is free and open to the public, will be held from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. in the Centennial Center on the RSU campus in Claremore, 1701 W. Will Rogers Blvd.

The RSU Native American Heritage Festival is co-sponsored by the RSU Native American Student Association, RSU Department of Fine Arts along with support from the Oklahoma Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts.

"Our festival is a great opportunity for the campus and community to experience making authentic American Indian crafts, hear traditional storytelling and even witness a 'stomp dance,' or the traditional music of Native American people who came from the Southeast," said Dr. Hugh Foley, RSU fine arts professor and festival organizer.

Free arts and crafts classes will be offered for adults and children from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Participants can learn how to make corn husk dolls, baskets, beaded necklaces and dream catchers in a "make it and take it" format.

Indian tacos from the RSU Native American Student Association will be sold from noon to 4 p.m.

Robert Lewis, will present Cherokee storytelling at noon.

Joe Don Waters, of Kiowa and Ponca descent, will present a powwow singing and social dance at 1 p.m.

Marla Nauni, of Comanche descent, will provide a Comanche hymn presentation at 3 p.m.

Marvin Diamond, of Oteo-Missouria descent, will present about instruments and spirituality of the Native America Church at 4 p.m.

The event will provide a supper break from 5-7 p.m., during which time videos will be shown, including "The Original Language of God: History and Concepts of Cherokee Ceremonial Songs Known as 'Stomp Dances'" video with Dave Whitekiller of the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians at 5 p.m. At 6 p.m., "Public/Social 'Stomp Dance' Videos from Oklahoma: 1990-2001" will be shown.

The evening will conclude with a traditional stomp dance of Southeastern American Indian tribes from 7 to 10 p.m. The stomp dance will be hosted by the Tallahassee (Wvkokye). David Proctor (Muscogee/Creek) will be Mekko and Sam Proctor (Muscogee/Creek) will serve as Heles Hayv (advisor). All leaders, shell-shakers and the public are welcome to participate.

The festival is funded by a grant from the Oklahoma Arts Council. Through state appropriations and grants from the National Endowment for Arts, the Oklahoma Arts Council funds more than 1,200 events annually with an estimated total attendance of more than 3.5 million. Projects funded by the Oklahoma Arts Council generally account for more than $20 million in grants and matching funds distributed throughout Oklahoma's economy throughout the state's rural and urban communities.

All events will be held in the Ballroom and East Veranda of the Centennial Center.

For more information on the festival, call 918-343-7566 or email hfoley@rsu.edu.