RSU to Offer Native American Heritage Festival Nov. 21

Traditional storytelling, free arts and craft workshops for children and adults, a stomp dance and native food will highlight the 2009 Native American Heritage Festival on Saturday, Nov. 21, 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 various locations on the RSU campus in Claremore.

The RSU Native American Heritage Festival is part of the university’s year-long Centennial Celebration in 2009.

The event is co-sponsored by the RSU Native American Student Association and RSU Department of Fine Arts.

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

Free Cherokee arts and crafts classes will be offered for adults and children from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Bushyhead Fieldhouse. Participants can learn how to make corn husk dolls, baskets, cane flutes, beaded necklaces and dream catchers in a “make it and take it” format.

Leon Hawzipta will present native Kiowa storytelling at 1 p.m. in the Will Rogers Auditorium.

Jack Anquoe, Jr., who is Kiowa and Cherokee, will present a powwow singing workshop at 2 p.m. in Bushyhead Fieldhouse.

Cora Flute, of Cherokee descent, will present “How to Make Kanuchi” from 3 to 5 p.m. in the fieldhouse.

Several Native American artists and craftsmen will present their art at the festival.

Following a dinner break from 5 to 7 p.m., a traditional Native American stomp dance will be held from 7 to 10 p.m. in the fieldhouse. The stomp dance will be hosted by the Tallahassee (Wvkokye) Ceremonial Grounds of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation. David Proctor (Muscogee) will be Mekko and Sam Proctor (Muscogee) will serve as Heles Hayv (advisor.) Roman Hill (Muscogee) will serve as emcee. All grounds, leaders and shell shakers are welcome to participate.

Concessions 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 festival, call (918) 343-7566 or email [email protected].