facebook app symbol  twitter  linkedin  instagram 1

From Indian Relay races and women warriors to pop-up activism and world-class musical performances, there is no shortage of heritage and celebration in Indian country this week and next week.

Here is Native News Online's weekly guide to Native arts, culture and entertainment around Indian Country. 

Never miss Indian Country’s biggest stories and breaking news. Sign up to get our reporting sent straight to your inbox every weekday morning. 

Indian Relay Races Championship of Champions 

When: Friday, Sept. 23 — Sunday, Sept. 25

Where: Stanley County Fairgrounds, Fort Pierre, SD

Horse Nations Indian Relay Council brings the 2022 Tour of Champions to Fort Pierre for a weekend celebrating the centuries-old sport of Indian Relay with riders from seven different nations across Indian Country.

Dubbed “North America’s Original Extreme Sport,” Indian Relay captures the horse-central culture of many Native American tribes of the Great Plains. Teams are made up of four people — a rider, a mugger, a back holder and a catcher — and three horses. In a stunning display of horsemanship and athleticism, riders complete three laps riding bareback, changing to a new horse at the start of each lap, and mounting each horse from the ground. 

Events include Indian Relay, Chief Race, Warrior Race, Maiden Race and Youth Relay. Three-day passes can be purchased for $75. Individual day tickets are available for $25 online or $30 at the door.

Women Warriors: Resilience, Leadership, Activism

When: Friday, Sep. 23-Sunday, Sept. 25, Friday, Sept. 30

Where: Allentown, PA

While the 19th Amendment was passed more than 100 years ago to establish American women’s constitutional right to vote, white women largely benefited as systemic racism continued to disenfranchise people of color. 

“Women Warriors” celebrates and honors Native American women activists who fought for the passing of the 1965 Voter Rights Act, as well as those whose achievements throughout the course of history and in the present day impact all of us.

Tickets are $5 each. Children ages 12 and under get in free. 

Summer Celebration Concert Series: Brulé

When: Friday, Sep. 23

Where: Indianapolis 

The Eiteljorg Museum welcomes award-winning Native American music group Brulé to close out the Summer Celebration Concert Series.

Using a 5-piece rock ensemble augmented with an array of traditional Native American instrumentation, the group brings listeners to the electrifying edge of Indigenous rhythms merged with classic rock. A stunning performance by a  Native American dance troupe adds a multi-dimensional art form to this cultural rock opera.

Brulé founder and producer Paul LaRoche takes audiences through a moving journey of his musical influences, reflecting his path as a Native child adopted by a white family at birth to discover his Lakota heritage and reconnect with his Indigenous biological family.

The show starts at 6:30 p.m. beneath the Eiteljorg Museum Sails. Tickets are available for $25.

Native Made Pop Up and Orange Shirt Day 

When: Saturday, Sept. 24 

Where: Portland, OR

The Native American Youth and Family Center (NAYA) invites the public to shop goods from Native American artists and makers and learn about Orange Shirt Day.

Founded in 2013 by First Nation elder Phyllis Webstad, Orange Shirt Day takes place on Sept. 30 and honors the children who fell victim to North America’s residential boarding school systems. 

Webstand shared her story of how her grandmother bought her an orange shirt to wear to her first day of residential school. She and the other children were stripped and forced into different clothing upon arriving. She never saw her orange shirt again.

 “I didn’t understand why they wouldn’t give it back to me — it was mine,” Webstand later stated. “The color orange has always reminded me of that and how my feelings didn’t matter, how no one cared and how I felt like I was worth nothing. All of us little children were crying, and no one cared.”

Today, Orange Shirt Day stands as a symbol of Native American loss and resilience and honors victims of residential schools.

The NAYA Pop-Up is free and open to the public and will feature native vendors, live music, refreshments and food in the surrounding Cully neighborhood. The event takes place at Alder Commons and runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

2022 Huntingford Humanities Lecture: Matika Wilbur - Natural Wonderment

When: Tuesday, Sep. 27

Where: Chimacum, WA

In 2012, Indigenous photographer Matika Wilbur (Tulalip and Swinomish Tribes) sold everything in her Seattle apartment to travel the United States and photograph 562 plus Native American sovereign territories in the United States.

Project 562 is an unprecedented collection of images and oral histories capturing contemporary Native life. 

“Natural Wonderment: Stewardship - Sovereignty - Sacredness” is a collection of Project 562, featuring portraits showcasing stories that honor mother earth and protect ancestral ways of life. The exhibit is currently on display at the Jefferson County Library. 

Wilbur’s lecture on the series takes place from 6:30 p.m.-8 p.m. at the Chimacum High School Auditorium.

Jonathan Thunder: Maamai Merges Popular Culture with Ojibwe Traditions 

When: Beginning Thursday, Sept. 29

Where:  Muskegon, Mich. 

A member of the Red Lake Ojibwe Nation, artist Jonathan Thunder creates paintings and animated films that draw on — and speak to — popular culture, modern society, and his Ojibwe heritage. 

His work will be displayed starting this month at the Muskegon Museum of Art in Western Michigan in an exhibit called Jonathan Thunder: Maamai Merges Popular Culture with Ojibwe Traditions.   

“Maamawi” (mom-ah-we’) is the Ojibwe word for “together,” and addresses our shared humanity. Thunder’s paintings and films in this exhibit speak to ideas of connectedness to the land, life, and people. 

Thunder, who grew up in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, attended the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and studied Visual Effects and Motion Graphics at the Art Institute International in Minneapolis. His work has appeared in local, regional, and national exhibitions, and his short films have earned several awards, including the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Award for painting. 

The museum will host an opening reception for the public on Thursday, Sept. 29 at 5 p.m. with a talk by Thunder at 6 p.m.  

The exhibit will be displayed from Sept. 29 through Jan. 8, 2023. The Muskegon Museum of Art is open Tuesdays – Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., with extended hours on Thursdays, when it offers free general admission to everyone courtesy of a grant from The Meijer Foundation.  

True Story

When: Debuts Friday, Sept. 30

Where:  History Channel (TV)

Actress Kaniehtiio Horn (Letterkenny, Reservation Dogs) narrates a new History Channel documentary about the “real, and often misrepresented, history of Indigenous peoples on the land that is now Canada.” 

True story takes an in-depth look at the relationship between Indigenous people, the land, and settlers, including the creation story of Turtle Island (North America) and settlers’ theories that challenge it. The show also offers perspectives on the unique tools Indigenous people use to record their history and the role of women, Elders, and Two-Spirited/Indigiqueer people in Indigenous society that patriarchal and Euro-Christian concepts sought to destabilize.

The show, which debuts on Sept. 30 at 9 p.m. in honor of Canada’s National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, examines how to move forward from Canada’s colonial past and achieve reconciliation by first learning, then facing, the past. 

“In order for true reconciliation to take place, we must acknowledge and learn from our shared past no matter how ugly it may be,” Diane Robinson, executive producer and showrunner, said in a statement about the show.   

More Stories Like This

Museum at Warm Springs will open “Portraits in Red: Missing and Murdered Indigenous People Painting Project” on June 5
Artist Shares Chickasaw Art, Culture at New York Event
Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana Celebrating Its 26th Annual Powwow
Here's What's Going On In Indian Country, May 17th —May 23rd
Q&A: Diné Designer and Entrepreneur Amy Denet Deal on Being Honored by CNN

These stories must be heard.

This May, we are highlighting our coverage of Indian boarding schools and their generational impact on Native families and Native communities. Giving survivors of boarding schools and their descendants the opportunity to share their stories is an important step toward healing — not just because they are speaking, but because they are being heard. Their stories must be heard. Help our efforts to make sure Native stories and Native voices are heard in 2024. Please consider a recurring donation to help fund our ongoing coverage of Indian boarding schools. Donate to Native News Online today and support independent Indigenous-centered journalism. Thank you.

About The Author
Native News Online Staff
Author: Native News Online StaffEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Native News Online is one of the most-read publications covering Indian Country and the news that matters to American Indians, Alaska Natives and other Indigenous people. Reach out to us at [email protected].