- By Rich Tupica
Welcome to Native News Online’s weekly column highlighting arts, entertainment and cultural events taking place all across Indian Country. Every Thursday morning, we’re delivering a round-up of festivities you might want to check out, if they’re happening in your area or if you’re traveling.
Today, we talk about a burst of cultural events happening in Oklahoma, and a quick breakdown of some upcoming Powwows.
Cherokee Nation Cultural Tourism announces museum programming TAHLEQUAH, Oklahoma – Throughout March and April, Cherokee Nation is expanding its cultural and educational opportunities at their various museum locations.
Cherokee Nation Cultural Tourism was created in 2007 to “preserve and promote the history and culture of the Cherokee people,” according to a release. Over the years, the Cherokee Nation has hosted award-winning cultural programming and has managed the operation of five Cherokee Nation museums, two Cherokee Nation welcome centers, and various Cherokee Nation retail operations.
The organization's museum locations include the Cherokee National History Museum, located at 101 S. Muskogee Avenue; Cherokee, National Prison Museum, located at 124 E. Choctaw St., Cherokee, National Supreme Court Museum, located at 122 E. Keetoowah St., the John Ross Museum, located at 22366 S. 530 Rd in Park Hill, and Sequoyah’s Cabin Museum, located at 470288 Highway 101 in Sallisaw.
March’s upcoming special cultural events and programs include:
March 7: This event teaches attendees how to make traditional pucker-toe moccasins at the Cherokee National Prison Museum. The workshop, which runs from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., requires preregistration and costs $45. Register at VisitCherokeeNation.com.
March 14: Cherokee National Treasure Lisa Rutherford hosts an artist discussion and demonstration on precontact clothing, deerskin moccasins and feather capes. The free event is open to the public and runs from 10 a.m.–4 p.m. at the Cherokee National History Museum.
March 19: This is a free, family friendly day that encourages everyone to spend spring break with Cherokee Nation. Plenty of family-friendly activities will be held at each museum from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and vary by location.
There are plenty more events happening throughout April, so be sure to visit Cherokee Nation Cultural Tourism at VisitCherokeeNation.com or call (877) 779-6977 to see what’s on the calendar.
17th Annual Thundering Spirit Family Pow Wow Feb. 28-March 1 20651 U.S. Hwy 441, Mount Dora, FL Mount Dora, Florida thunderingspiritfamily.com
Each year, the Thundering Spirit Family Pow Wow presents traditional Native American culture including drumming, dancing, crafts and food. This family friendly event. Don't forget to bring chairs and/or blankets to sit on.
A long roster of performers are set to perform at the 17th annual event, including legendary violinist, flutist and storyteller Arvel Bird, aka “Lord of the Strings.” His unique fusion-fiddling style encompasses his Native American and Celtic heritage and spans many genres, including new age, Celtic, and folk, to jazz and blues.
Music aside, Bird’s expressive storytelling weaves together stories of Native American spirituality with haunting melodies to give vision to his music. According to his bio, “He speaks of Native American wisdom, the sacredness of Mother Earth, the environment and the sacred totems of the animals with whom we share this planet.”
Other performers include Grammy Award-winner Joanne Shenandoah. She has recorded more than 15 albums and won numerous awards, including a 2002 Honorary Doctorate of Music by Syracuse University. She received a Grammy Award for her part in the album Sacred Ground: A Tribute to Mother Earth (2005), a compilation album.
Rounding out the roster are Lowery Begay, Crystal Woman, Sicanni, among many other performers and attractions.
2nd Annual Arizona Two Spirit Pow Wow Saturday, Feb. 29 Performing Arts Center Amphitheater South Mountain Community College Campus 7050 S 24th St., Phoenix, Arizona Noon-5 p.m. nativepflag.org
Native PFLAG hosts the 2nd Annual Arizona Annual Two Spirit Powwow and welcomes everyone to join us as they support and celebrate the LGBTQ2S community. The contest Powwow, happening Saturday, is free and open to the public. All dancers are allowed and individuals can dance in the category of their choice. The following categories will be showcased: Tiny Tots, Juniors, Teens & Adult, and a Two Spirit Special for all ages. Dance and drum registration starts at 11 a.m.
Editor’s Note: If you have an upcoming arts event or powwow you want share with Native News Online readers, please send information in advance to: [email protected]
Support Independent Indigenous Journalism
Native News Online is an independent, Indigenous-led newsroom with a crucial mission: We want to change the narrative about Indian Country. We do this by producing intelligent, fact-based journalism that tells the full story from all corners of Indian Country. We pride ourselves on covering the tribes you may have never heard of before and by respecting and listening to the communities we serve through our reporting. As newsrooms across the country continue to shrink, coverage of Indian Country is more important than ever, and we are committed to filling this ever-present hole in journalism.
Because we believe everyone in Indian Country deserves equal access to news and commentary pertaining to them, their relatives and their communities, the story you’ve just finished was free — and we want to keep it that way, for all readers. But we hope it inspires you to make a gift to Native News Online so that we can continue publishing more stories that make a difference to Native people, whether they live on or off the reservation. Your donation will help us keep producing quality journalism and elevating Indigenous voices. Any contribution of any amount, big or small, gives us a better, stronger future and allows us to remain a force for change. Donate to Native News Online today and support independent Indigenous journalism. Thank you.