RSU to Offer Native American Heritage Festival Nov. 22

Traditional storytelling, free arts and craft workshops for children and adults, a stomp dance and native food will highlight the 2008 Native American Heritage Festival on Saturday, Nov. 22, at Rogers State University.

The festival, which is free and open to the public, will be held from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. in various locations on the RSU campus in Claremore.

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

Fry bread making classes will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. under the activity tent next to the Bushyhead Fieldhouse.

The Northern Plains Indian Club of Pawnee, Okla., will present a powwow dance demonstration at 1 p.m. in Bushyhead Fieldhouse.

Leon Hawzipta will present native Kiowa storytelling at 2 p.m. in the Will Rogers Auditorium.

Jack Anquoe, Jr., who is Kiowa and Cherokee, will present a powwow singing workshop at 3 p.m. in Bushyhead Fieldhouse.

Sam Proctor will discuss Muscogee cultural traditions at 4 p.m. in Bushyhead Fieldhouse.

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

Following a dinner break, a traditional Native American exhibition stomp dance will be held from 6-9 p.m. in Bushyhead Fieldhouse. The stomp dance will be hosted by the Tallahassee (Wvkokye) Ceremonial Grounds of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation. 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.