RSU To Offer Native American Festival on Saturday, Nov. 11

Traditional stories and history of several Native American tribes, free arts and craft workshops for children and adults, a stomp dance and food will highlight the 2000 Native American Storytelling and Traditional Arts Festival on Saturday, Nov. 11, at Rogers State University.

The festival, which is free and open to the public, will be held from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. at RSU’s Bushyhead Fieldhouse, located on the west side of the campus.

The festival is sponsored by RSU and the Oklahoma Arts Council.

“The festival will feature a wide variety of educational and entertaining events for the whole family,” said Hugh Foley, RSU professor and organizer of the festival.

RSU was awarded a matching grant from the Oklahoma Arts Council to assist in funding the festival. 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 over $20 million in grants and matching funds distributed throughout Oklahoma’s economy throughout the state’s rural and urban communities.

RSU’s Native American Student Association will provide Indian tacos for sale throughout the day.

Free Native American arts and crafts classes will be offered for adults and children from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Participants can learn how to make Cherokee baskets, grapevine dreamcatchers, and river cane blowguns and flutes.

At 10 a.m., Kiowa storyteller Modina Waters will share history and traditional stories from the Kiowa tribe.

At 11 a.m., Louis Headman of the Ponca tribe will the history and stories of the Poncan tribe.

At 1 p.m., Dennis Peterson, manager of the Spiro Mounds Archaeological Park, will explain the origin and history of the mounds near Spiro, Okla.

At 2 p.m., Charles Chibitty, an elder from the Comanche tribe and the last living Comanche Code Talker during World War II, will discuss the use of the Comanche language to transmit secret messages during the war.

At 3 p.m., Durbin Feeling will provide a free basic lesson in the Cherokee language to anyone who is interested. At 4 p.m., Sam Proctor of the Muscogee tribe will present the traditions and history of the Muscogee people.

A supper break featuring Indian tacos will be held from 5-6 p.m.

Finally, a traditional Native American stomp dance will be held from 6-10 p.m. in the fieldhouse. The stomp dance will be hosted by the Tullahassee (Wvkokye) Ceremonial Grounds will feature Troy Littleaxe as the master of ceremonies.

For more information on RSU’s Native American Storytelling and Traditional Arts Festival, call (918) 343-7566 or email [email protected].