RSU Native American Heritage Festival Set for Nov. 4

Man performing at PowwowA stomp dance, Native American storytelling, powwow drum and singing presentation, make-and-take arts and crafts, and film screenings will be featured during the 20th Annual Native American Heritage Festival on Saturday, Nov. 4, at Rogers State University.

The festival, which is free and open to the public, will be held from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. in the Dr. Carolyn Taylor Center (formerly known as 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 and the RSU Department of Fine Arts 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.

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, beaded necklaces and bracelets, dream catchers and baskets.

Afternoon programming includes Feather Smith-Trevino presenting Cherokee storytelling at 1 p.m. and Nokose Foley (Muscogee-Creek/Seminole) leading a powwow drum and singing presentation at 2 p.m.

From 3 to 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.

At 4 p.m., there will be a stomp dance demonstration from David Proctor (Muscogee/Creek) and Tallahassee (Wvoyke).

Indian tacos from the RSU Native American Student Association will be sold for $5 from noon to 5 p.m., with the dinner break being held from 5 to 6 p.m.

The festival will conclude with the screening of two films. At 6 p.m., there will be a showing of “Dig It If You Can!” with filmmaker Kyle Bell (Thlopthlocco). This award-winning documentary from 2016 focuses on artist Steven Paul Judd, who creates thought-provoking works that integrate popular culture and Native American themes.

At 6:30 p.m., there will be a showing of “The Cherokee Word for Water,” a 2013 feature film that tells of the work that led Wilma Mankiller to become the first modern female Chief of the Cherokee Nation. Set in the 1980s, the story focuses on the successful effort to bring running water to the Bell community in rural eastern Oklahoma.

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 Native American Heritage Festival events will be held in the Dr. Carolyn Taylor Center on the Claremore campus and a campus map is available online at For more information on the Native American Heritage Festival, call 918-343-7566 or email [email protected].

View Photos from the 2016 Native American Heritage Festival.

Black and white photo of men playing drums at Native American Festival