A bad auntie, a brilliant basketmaker, and the biggest showbiz industry event in Indian Country are all vying for your attention this weekend and next week. Which intriguing Indigenous events will you dive into?

Let Native News Online’s handy guide to Indian Country’s hottest happenings assist with your planning.

Native Comedy Night

WHEN: Friday, Oct. 16, 5 p.m. PDT 

WHERE: RSVP at z.umn.edu/ICW2020Comedy

Your crazy Auntie Beachress can’t be contained. She’s been stalking Facebook’s Social Distance Pow Wow group for months and you never know when she’s going to pop up in a cloud of cigarette smoke, shrill complaints and crazy stories about running away from the cops. Hot mess Beachress, the alter-ego of performer Tonia Jo Hall (Lakota, Dakota, Hidatsa), will bring her oversize sunglasses and bad Auntie attitude to Native Comedy Night on Friday, Oct. 16. The event is hosted by Circle of Indigenous Nations, University of Minnesota, and the American Indian Student Cultural Center. For more information, email [email protected]

Basketmaking demo and sale with Kumeyaay artist Eva Salazar 

WHEN: Thursday, Oct. 15, 12 p.m. - 5 p.m., Friday, Oct. 16, 12 p.m. - 5 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 17, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Eva salazar kumeyaay cestino 1990 2008 caMaster Kumeyaay basketmaker Eva Salazar will sell her work and demonstrate her technique at San Diego's Barona Cultural Center & Museum from Thursday, Oct. 15 through Saturday Oct, 17. (Eiteljorg Museum Collection)WHERE: Barona Cultural Center & Museum, 1095 Barona Rd Lakeside, Calif.; (https://www.baronamuseum.com/)

The Barona Cultural Center and Museum on the Barona Band of Mission Indians’    Reservation in San Diego just reopened last week, and they’re wasting no time getting great events going again. This weekend, museum-goers can watch renowned Kumeyaay artist Eva Salazar weave her basket magic, and buy one-of-a-kind baskets made from traditional materials like willow, yucca and deergrass. Salazar, who also teaches basketmaking, has pieces in major museums including the Eiteljorg Museum in  Indianapolis.

Auburn Big Time Pow Wow 

WHEN: Saturday, Oct. 17, 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. PDT  

WHERE: Live on Sierra Native Alliance Facebook page

For the last 12 years, Northern California-based nonprofit Sierra Native Alliance has hosted the Annual Auburn Big Time Pow Wow at the Gold Country Fairgrounds in Auburn, Calif.

Mask ecommA mask for sale with the logo of the 13th Annual Auburn Big Time Pow Wow. Sierra Native Alliance will host the virtual powwow on Saturday, Oct. 17. (Sierra Native Alliance)This year, the Big Time Pow Wow has made the big pivot to an all-online event. The celebration, which will feature Indigenous drumming, singing and dancing, will take place via Facebook live stream.

Participants can wear their powwow pride with a variety of merch including t-shirts and masks sporting the event logo. Links to Native arts and crafts can also be found on the event page. 

“The Auburn Big Time Pow Wow holds the purpose of honoring the traditions of our ancestors. With the emergence of the COVID-19 health concerns, this year’s event will celebrate the traditional health and resilience of not only Native peoples, but our foothills community as a whole,” organizers said on the event page. “Even in new digital formats, the pow wow tradition inspires cultural pride and provides an opportunity for families to come together to sing, dance and teach.”

 For more about the Sierra Native Alliance, visit https://www.sierranativealliance.org.

OneHeartThe 5th Annual One Heart Native Arts and Film Festival will take place online for three consecutive Fridays, beginning Friday, Oct. 16. (One Heart)

5th Annual One Heart Native Arts and Film Festival

WHEN: Oct. 16, 23, and 30, 6 p.m. PDT

WHERE: https://www.facebook.com/NativeFestOneHeart 

Sovereignty, storytelling, and spirituality are at the center of the 5th Annual One Heart Native Arts and Film Festival. The Spokane, Wash.-based cultural celebration is all virtual this year. The three-day event begins on Friday, Oct. 16, with a creative, confidence-building virtual acting workshop led by Lily Gladstone (Kainai, Amskapi Piikani, Nimii’puu). Gladstone, who grew up on the Blackfeet Reservation in Northwestern Montana, has appeared in TV shows including Showtime’s “Billions” and HBO’s “Room 104,” and is an accomplished theater actress who has performed at such venues and events as Yale Repertory Theatre and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.  

On Friday, Oct. 23, the festival will showcase short films by Native filmmakers. The festival finale on Friday, Oct. 30, will be a virtual concert with Indigenous singers and songwriters Tony Louie (Colville Confederated Tribes), Shanon Hale (Three Affiliated Tribes), Julia Keefe (Nez Perce) and Daisy Chain (Haida/Pacific Islander). For more information, visit https://oneheartfestival.org.

ImagineNativeOn Tuesday, Oct. 20, drag queen Ilona Verley will perform at the online Opening Night Party 21st Annual imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival's opening night party. (imagineNative)21st Annual imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival

WHEN: Tuesday, Oct. 20 - Sunday, Oct. 25 

WHERE: https://imaginenative.org. Festival passes range from $6 to $85 and can be   purchased through the imagineNative website. 

Indian Country’s biggest showbiz industry event is coming to a screen near you. 

The virtual 21st Annual imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival will present a cool world of Indigenous film, media and art where participants can virtually network with power players like Chelsea Winstanley, producer of Oscar-nominated film “JoJo Rabbit,”  encounter Indigenous industry legends like “Stumptown” actress Tantoo Cardinal, and party with Indigenous drag queens including “Canada’s Drag Race” star Ilona Verley.

The Film Festival component will feature work from 153 Indigenous voices, and every day there will be live Q&A sessions with guest directors, such as “Monkey Beach” director Loretta Todd (Cree/Métis) and “Love And Fury” director Sterlin Harjo (Seminole). On Oct. 20, the festival kicks off with “YELLOW,” a selection of short films by artists from seven different nations. Following the program, participants can pop into the Opening Night Party, a colorful, music-filled whirlwind of Indigenous drag queens, singers, DJs and hand drummers.

ChiefSeattleU.S. Poet Laureate Joy Harjo (Muscogee) will take part in an online event held by the Chief Seattle Club on Wednesday, Oct. 21. (Chief Seattle Club)Starting on Oct. 21 and running through the end of the festival, imagineNATIVE will showcase 17 Indigenous-made digital and interactive media works in the iNdigital Space. Anyone can tune into the iNdigital Space for free, to see and take part in Indigenous virtual reality and video games, an online arcade, podcasts, documentaries, and more. 

From Oct. 21-24, imagineNATIVE Industry Days will bring Indigenous-focused panel discussions, masterclasses, and networking opportunities to festival-goers. Highlights include a keynote speech from legendary Métis actor Tantoo Cardinal, and events with Maori producers Chelsea Winstanley and Ainsley Gardiner.  

On the festival’s final day, Oct. 25, “Tell Me A Story: A Multi-Generational Film Program,” will be presented. The program includes 16 short works made by, and for, youth and their families. 

Also on the 25th, the festival will honor award-winning actor, producer, and director Lorne Cardinal with the 6th annual August Schellenberg Award of Excellence, aka the “Augie,” at the imagineNATIVE Awards Presentation. 

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About The Author
Tamara Ikenberg
Author: Tamara Ikenberg
Tamara Ikenberg is a contributing writer to Native News Online. She covers tribes throughout the southwest as well as Native arts, culture and entertainment. She can be reached at [email protected]