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This weekend and next week, Indian Country is abuzz with identity-defining art, sensational shopping opportunities and a worldwide Native shoe party. 

Your cultural choices include a major moment for moccasins, a magnificent seasonal art market, and an ambitious exhibition illuminating Indigenous responses to historic events. 

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Dive into Native News Online’s event guide to continue experiencing Native American Heritage Month from a Native perspective. 

AH’-WAH-NEE 

GaeaMaster webbieGaea by Chemehuevi photographer Cara Romero, is featured in the exhibit Ah’-Wah-Nee, on display through Dec. 10, in the Donna Bream Fine Art Gallery at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. (Cara Romero) WHEN: Through Dec. 10

WHERE: Donna Beam Fine Art Gallery, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, 4505 S. Maryland Pkwy; Event page

From art to activism to family, Indigenous women have a plethora of responsibilities and commitments on their plates. 

Keeping it all in motion requires AH’-WAH -NEE, which is the Paiute word for balance, as well as the name and overarching theme of a new exhibit at the University of Nevada--Las Vegas (UNLV), celebrating and amplifying the work of local and regional Native American women artists and activists. 

UNLV’s campus sits on the traditional homelands of the Nuwuvi, Southern Paiute people, and the exhibit aims to familiarize the students, staff, faculty, and the Las Vegas community with the histories and modern issues of the region’s tribes. 

The issues surrounding Native women’s rights are at the forefront of the exhibit, and AH’-WAH-NEE explores how the wave of Indigenous feminism forms and influences artistic methodologies and activism. 

“The voices of Indigenous women have always been valued amongst Indigenous communities,” exhibit curator Fawn Douglas (Las Vegas Paiute) said in a press release. “To share our words is a gift to those willing to listen. To share our stories through art is a gift from the spirit that will touch those willing to open their minds and hearts. AH’-WAH-NEE is our heart song.” 

Featured artists include Chemehuevi photographer Cara Romero, whose work explores cultural memory and collective history; Klamath and Paiute artist and educator Noelle Garcia, who focuses on family history and recovered narratives; Melissa Melero-Moose, founder of the Great Basin Native Artists collective; Navajo mixed media and performance artist Natani Notah; and Zuni Pueblo digital artist Shelby Westika. 

Remembering The Future: 100 Years of Inspiring Art

WHEN: Through Oct., 2022 

WHERE: Heard Museum, 2301 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, AZ; Event page

In one visit to the Heard Museum, you can take in a century of awareness-raising and awe-inspiring Indigenous art. 

The expansive new exhibit Remembering the Future: 100 Years of Inspiring Art draws from the museum’s permanent collection to shine a spotlight on painting and sculpture produced by leading American Indian artists of the 20th and 21st centuries.

Each piece represents a reaction to the challenges and opportunities brought on by the decade in which it was conceived and created.

Highlights include Yanktonai Dakota artist Oscar Howe’s Ghost Dance , a haunting reflection of the  massacre at Wounded Knee; Kiowa artist T.C. Cannon’s lithograph On Drinkin’ Beer in Vietnam in 1967, which he created to address the Vietnam War; and Confederated Salish and Kootenai artist Jaune Quick-to-See Smith’s painting Rain, a rumination on environmental crises. 

The exhibit also groups work within pivotal Indigenous artistic movements like the San Ildefonso Watercolor Movement and the New York Contemporary Native American Art Movement. 

Additional featured artists include George Morrison (Ojibwe), Joe Herrera (Cochiti and San Ildefonso Pueblos), Fritz Scholder (La Jolla Band of Luiseno Indians), Helen Hardin (Santa Clara Pueblo), Kay WalkingStick (Cherokee) and Roxanne Swentzell (Santa Clara Pueblo).

Rock Your Mocs Worldwide Social Media Event

michmocsA pair of moccasins made by Ojibwe artist Michelle Reed. Rock Your Mocs Day is Monday, Nov. 15. (Michelle Reed) WHEN: Sunday, Nov. 14 through Nov. 20

WHERE: Rock Your Mocs Facebook, rockyourmocs.org

It’s that time of Native American Heritage Month when Indigenous footwear takes the floor. 

Rock Your Mocs Day, established in 2011 by Jessica “Jaylyn” Atsye (Laguna Pueblo), is a worldwide event that encourages everyone to wear moccasins wherever they go to express cultural pride and unity. 

Monday, Nov. 15, is the official Rock Your Mocs day, but activities including moccasin-making workshops, round dances, community walks, and more are taking place throughout the week. 

To see a glorious gallery of moccasins and to get more information about events and activities, visit the official Rock Your Mocs Facebook page, which is the central virtual hub of news and images about the event. 

Participants are encouraged to post stories and photos on social media of themselves and their friends rocking mocs in their own unique way, and to include the hashtags #RockYourMocs and #RockYourMocs2021.

Winter Indian Market

Maxine ToyaThis figurative pottery piece by Jemez Pueblo artist Maxine Toya will be available at the Winter Indian Market, taking place at the La Fonda Hotel in Santa Fe, on Saturday, Nov. 20 and Sunday Nov. 21. (Maxine Toya) WHEN:  Saturday Nov. 20 and Sunday, Nov. 21 

WHERE: La Fonda on the Plaza, 100 E. San Francisco St., Santa Fe NM; Tickets are $10 per day or $15 for both days. Purchase here; For more information visit swaia.org

Santa Fe’s annual Winter Indian Market is a wonderful opportunity to shop Indigenous for the holidays in a sophisticated southwestern setting. 

Shoppers can buy directly from nearly 200 Native artists and artisans offering pottery, jewelry, paintings, textiles and much more, at the lovely La Fonda on the Plaza Hotel in the heart of downtown Santa Fe. 

Winter Indian Market is presented by the Southwestern Association For Indian Arts (SWAIA), which also puts on the massive annual Santa Fe Indian Market. 

This year’s Winter Indian Market also offers chances to give back to the community. There will be a silent auction to raise funds supporting SWAIA's Indigenous art community. Online bidding will take place on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.  

Shoppers can also donate new, unwrapped gifts to SWAIA's holiday gift drive. The presents will be donated to the Santa Fe Indigenous Center for children. For additional information, visit the Center's non-profit information table at the market site. 

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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]