RSU To Offer Native American Heritage Week Festival Nov. 22

Traditional storytelling, free arts and craft workshops for children and adults, a stomp dance and native food will highlight the 2003 Native American Heritage Week Festival on Saturday, Nov. 22, 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 festival will be co-sponsored by the RSU Native American Student Association and the RSU Department of Communications and Fine Arts.

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

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.

Free Native American arts and crafts classes will be offered for adults and children from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Participants can learn how to make Cherokee baskets, grapevine dream catchers, river cane blowguns and flutes in a “make it and take it” format.

At 12 p.m., Victor Wildcat, of Cherokee descent, will lead a social stickball game open to everyone.

At 1 p.m., Leon Hawzipta will present native Kiowa storytelling.

At 2 p.m., Evan Barr, of Kiowa descent, will provide a flute presentation.

At 3 p.m., Charles Chibitty will discuss Comanche code talking from World War II.

At 4 p.m., Sam Proctor will tell stories from the pre-removal period of the Muscogee people.

At 5 p.m. a demonstration of man-on-man stickball will be presented.

At 6 p.m. a buffalo dance demonstration will be held.

Finally, a traditional Native American exhibition stomp dance will be held from 7-10 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.

For more information on the RSU Native American Heritage Week Festival, call (918) 343-7566.