RSU to Offer Native American Heritage Festival Nov. 18

Traditional storytelling, free arts and craft workshops for children and adults, a stomp dance and native food will highlight the 2006 Native American Heritage Festival on Saturday, Nov. 18, 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. in Herrington Hall on the RSU campus in Claremore. The event is co-sponsored by the RSU Native American Student Association, RSU Department of Communications and Fine Arts, and RSU Upward Bound Program.

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

Free Native American arts and crafts classes will be offered for adults and children from 9 a.m. to noon. Participants can learn how to make corn husk dolls, baskets, cane flutes, beaded necklaces, grapevine dreamcatchers and fry bread in a “make it and take it” format.

At 10 a.m., a fry bread making class will be held. At 1 p.m., the Northern Plains Indian Club will present a powwow dance demonstration. At 2 p.m., Leon Hawzipta will present native Kiowa storytelling.

At 3 p.m., Jack Anquoe, Jr., who is Kiowa and Cherokee, will present a powwow singing workshop. At 4 p.m., Sam Proctor will discuss contemporary Muscogee (Creek) stomp dance songs.  

Following a dinner break, a traditional Native American exhibition stomp dance will be held from 6-9 p.m. in Herrington Hall. The stomp dance will be hosted by the Tallahassee (Wvkokye) tribe. Andy Alexander of the Seminole tribe will serve as emcee. All grounds, leaders and shell shakers are welcome to participate.

Concessions, including Indian tacos, and raffle proceeds will benefit the RSU Native American Student Association.

The festival was 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 over $20 million in grants and matching funds distributed throughout Oklahoma’s economy throughout the state’s rural and urban communities.

For more information on the RSU Native American Heritage Festival, call (918) 343-7566 or email [email protected].