- By Darren Thompson
SCOTTSDALE, ARIZ. — This weekend, the Arizona Indian Festival showcased the culture and heritage of the state’s 22 federally recognized tribes to a crowd of more than 10,000.
While the festival has had various venues throughout the years, it has been a popular staple of Scottsdale Western Week since 2012 and is a popular event among the area’s indigenous communities. It is the largest Native gathering in Arizona.
“Over the years we have had several Indian festivals, today we’re here at Scottsdale Civic Center showcasing all 22 tribes to showcase our culture and promote tourism in each of our reservations,” Arizona American Indian Tourism Association President Rory Majenty told Native News Online. “There’s a lot of beautiful things at the festival, and we welcome all visitors to learn about the beautiful culture that we have as Native people.”
During the two-day cultural event, visitors were shown traditional songs and dances from the Burnette Apache Crown Dancers, Dineh’tah Navajo Dancers, Pascua Yaqui Dancers; Black Mountain Bird Singers, Apache Riders from White Mountain Apache, Big Sandy Bird Dancers; Zuni Traditional Dancers, Dinetah Pollen Dancers, Yavapai Apache Little Warriorettes. Crowds were also treated to language presentations from tribal royalty. The artist market featured 69 American Indian arts and crafts vendors.
Also unique to the festival is the presentation of “The Little Sister Rug”—a rare Chilchinbeto Rug created by 11 Navajo weavers from the Navajo Nation’s Chilchinbeto Chapter. The rug measures 20 feet in height and 25 feet in width.
The weekend celebration is always free and open to the public.
“We’re all in this together, and there’s many lessons we can learn from each other,” Scottsdale Mayor David Ortega told the crowd at the Arizona Indian Festival on Sunday, Feb. 5.
More Stories Like ThisCulture Shock Festival Will Debut in Rapid City April 15
Eiteljorg Museum Appoints New President, CEO
Illuminative Launches Podcast about the Crimes of Indian Boarding Schools
Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana Set to Celebrate 25th Annual Powwow May 20 & 21
WATCH: Native Bidaské with ‘Prey’ Producer Jhane Myers (Blackfeet & Comanche)
12 years of Native News
This month, we celebrate our 12th year of delivering Native News to readers throughout Indian Country and beyond. For the past dozen years, we’ve covered the most important news stories that are usually overlooked by other media. From the protests at Standing Rock and the rise of the American Indian Movement (AIM), to the ongoing epidemic of Murdered and Missing Indigenous People (MMIP) and the past-due reckoning related to assimilation, cultural genocide and Indian Boarding Schools.
Our news is free for everyone to read, but it is not free to produce. That’s why we’re asking you to make a donation this month to help support our efforts. Any contribution — big or small — helps. If you’re in a position to do so, we ask you to consider making a recurring donation of $12 per month to help us remain a force for change in Indian Country and to tell the stories that are so often ignored, erased or overlooked.
Donate to Native News Online today and support independent Indigenous journalism. Thank you.