RSU Native American Heritage Festival Set for Nov. 5

Table of Native American Baskets and attendees working on art projects in background.A stomp dance, Cherokee storytelling, powwow drum and singing presentation, and make-and-take arts and crafts will be featured during the 19th Annual Native American Heritage Festival on Saturday, Nov. 5, 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 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.

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, darts, 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.

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 3-4 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 showing of the film “Playground of the Native Son” about the 1927 football game between the world champion New York Giants and the Hominy Indians, a team formed entirely of Native American players. One of the films directors, Celia Xavier (Mayan/Salush/Athabascan), will be on hand to present the film and answer questions.

The event will provide a supper break from 5-6 p.m. and then conclude with a traditional social stomp dance from 6 to 8 p.m. The stomp dance will be hosted by 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.

The Native American Heritage Festival events will be held in the RSU Centennial Center. For more information on the Native American Heritage Festival, call 918-343-7566 or email [email protected].

Also that  weekend will be RSU’s Art on the Hill Festival, an art show and sale showcasing works by established artisans, rising talents, and junior and high school students from throughout northeastern Oklahoma. Art on the Hill will be held Nov. 5-6 in Baird Hall and is free and open to the public.