Native American Heritage Festival on Saturday

A powwow singing workshop, a stomp dance, Cherokee storytelling, arts and craft workshops will be featured during the 18th Annual Native American Heritage Festival on Saturday, Nov. 7, 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.

Dr. Hugh Foley, RSU fine arts professor and festival organizer, said the day-long celebration increases the exposure of Native American heritage within the community.

“Attendees can 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,” he said.

Free Cherokee 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, dream catchers and flat reed baskets.

Indian tacos from the RSU Native American Student Association will be sold for $5 from noon to 5 p.m.

Feather Smith-Trevino will present Cherokee storytelling at 1 p.m.

Nokose Foley ( Muscogee) will lead a powwow drum and singing presentation at 2 p.m. 

From 3-4 p.m., there will be dance demonstrations, including a Grass Dance demonstration at 3 p.m. from Keenan Springer ( Comanche/Sac and Fox) and a Chicken Dance demonstration from Coleman AmericanHorse (Sioux) at 3:30 p.m.

Director Kyle Bell (Thlopthlocco) will present his award-winning short documentary, “Native Evolution,” at 4 p.m. The documentary is based on the artwork of Steven Grounds and his portraitures of modern Native American people.

Grounds (Navajo/Euchee/Creek/Seminole) will then hold a painting demonstration at 4:30 p.m.

The event will provide a supper break from 5-7 p.m., during which time videos will be shown, including “Public/Social ‘Stomp Dance’ Videos from Oklahoma: 1998-2015.”

The evening will conclude with a traditional social stomp dance from 7 to 10 p.m. The stomp dance will be hosted by the Tallahassee (Wvkokye). Mekko David Proctor (Muscogee/Creek) will lead the dance and Sam Proctor (Muscogee /Creek) will serve as the 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 RSU Centennial Center and a campus map is available online. 

For more information on the festival, call 918-343-7566 or email [email protected].