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This weekend and next week, Indian Country is brimming with art, culture and style, from mind-blowing Mohawk baskets, to a grand cultural center debut for the Choctaw Nation, to a stunning and strong fashion statement by a barrier-breaking Indigenous politician.   

How will you approach the array of awesome events? Let Native News Online streamline your plans with our convenient guide to what’s coming your way.

Deb Haaland in InStyle

 instyleSecretary of the Interior Deb Haaand (Laguna Pueblo) graces the cover of the August issue of InStyle Magazine. (InStyle)WHEN: On shelves Friday, July 16

WHERE: InStyle 

The August issue of InStyle should be called IndigenousStyle. 

Instead of the latest ingenue clad in Calvin Klein or the like, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland (Laguna Pueblo) drips with dazzling pieces from a who’s who of Native American designers both on the current cover, and in a series of stunning photos inside the magazine. 

An inspiring image of Indigenous pride and glamour, Haaland is bedecked in scarves, dramatic earrings, ribbon skirts, rings, beaded bandolier bags, bracelets, boots and more, from leading Indigenous fashion stars including Lauren Good Day (Arikara, Hidatsa, Blackfeet, Cree), Hollis Chitto (Mississippi Choctaw/Laguna and Isleta Pueblos) , Jamie Okuma (Luiseño and Shoshone-Bannock), Keri Ataumbi (Kiowa) and Elias Jade Not Afraid (Crow).

Hot tip for fashionistas who want to emulate Haaland’s InStyle style: Lauren Good Day is launching her 2021 Summer Collection on Friday, July 23, at 1 p.m. CDT on her website. 

Ögwe’öweh "Original People” POP-UP Event Series

HillVaseA woven vase by Mohawk basketmaker Carrie Hill, owner of Chill Baskets. Hill will share her skills at the Ögwe’öweh "Original People” POP-UP Event Series on Saturday, July 17 at the Ganondagan State Historic Site in Victor, NY. (Carrie Hill)  WHEN: Saturday, July 17 at 11 a.m.

WHERE: Ganondagan State Historic Site, Victor, NY; https://www.ganondagan.org, Facebook event page

Mohawk basketmaker Carrie Hill is such a gifted creator  that she can weave light––or rather, create quite the convincing illusion of it. 

Her black ash vase basket appears illuminated from the inside with a vivid orange and yellow glow. But there’s no bulb or torch; just a master basketmaker’s deft touch. 

Currently, Hill, owner of Chill Baskets, is sharing her story and skills both in person and online.

Her recently launched Airbnb Experience: Explore Mohawk Basketry with a Master, is a lively and enjoyable  journey filled with facts about the finer points of basket making, and a colorful, textured and eye-enchanting  array of her gorgeous and intricate work. 

On Saturday, July 17, Hill will appear as part of the Ögwe’öweh "Original People” POP-UP Event Series at the Ganondagan State Historic Site in Victor, NY,.

“I'm very much looking forward to being there as it's one of my favorite places to go,” Hill told Native News Online. “ I will be demonstrating different weaving techniques, material preparation, and displaying a few of my pieces as well.”

The celebration of Haudenosaunee art and culture also includes a performance by Onondaga storyteller Perry Ground, a water-drum making demonstration from Seneca artist Bill Crouse, as well as music, food and shopping,

Inter-Tribal Native American PowWow

WHEN: Saturday, July 17 and Sunday, July 18. Gates open at 10 a.m.

WHERE: Camp Rotawanis, Drums, Pa.; powwows.com event page

InterTribalThe Inter-Tribal Native American PowWow takes place on Saturday, July 17 and Sunday, July 18. at Camp Rotawanis, in Drums, PA.( Wyoming Trail Council of Pennsylvania's Native Americans Inc. Facebook)

Presented by Wyoming Trail Council of Pennsylvania’s Native American Inc, the Inter-Tribal Native American Powwow is a family-friendly event offering traditional entertainment and plenty of shopping opportunities for blankets, jewelry, books, furs and more. 

Drumming, dancing, singing and tomahawk throwing are all on the agenda at the powwow, which features Master of Ceremonies Lynn LittleWolf, head dancers Matt White Eagle and Chris Morning Dove, and lead drum Medicine Horse. 

Choctaw Cultural Center Grand Opening 

WHEN: Friday, July 23, 8 a.m. PDT

WHERE: Choctaw Cultural Center,  1919 Hina Hanta Way Calera, Okla.; Facebook event page, choctawculturalcenter.com

After more than a decade of research and work, the Choctaw Cultural Center is finally ready for its grand opening. 

The interactive and immersive space set on 22-acres, is over 100,000 square feet, and includes two exhibit halls, an art gallery, auditorium, children’s area, classrooms, offices,  the Hvshi Gift Store, and The Champuli Café, which offers traditional Choctaw food and modern fare. 

“The Cultural Center was designed as a living, breathing space that encapsulates centuries of the Chahta Nowvt Aya, or Choctaw Journey,” said Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma Chief Gary Batton in a statement. “From the replica of an ancient spiritual mound to state-of-the-art exhibits showcasing our history and culture, this is a place for tribal members to connect with and preserve our past and a place for our neighbors and friends to better understand the history that has shaped the Choctaw Nation. It is an important story to tell and one we are proud to share.”

Among the state-of-the-art features are “live casts” of living Choctaw tribal members made from 3-D scans of their faces and bodies. Some of these  virtual tribal members demonstrate how the tribe lived “before contact” while others show examples of contemporary life. 

More attractions include a giant Luksi (Turtle)  in the children’s activity center, and hand-made items created by Choctaw tribal members including jewelry, baskets, beadwork and a feathered cape. 

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About The Author
Tamara Ikenberg
Author: Tamara IkenbergEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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].