Native American Festival Planned for November 10

Posted on 10/31/2012 2:03:44 PM

The Native American Awareness Council (NAAC) will present the sixth annual celebration of American Indian Heritage Month on Saturday, November 10, 2012, from noon to 5:00 p.m. The event, free and open to the community, will be held in the Hadley Union Building Delaware Room. Parking on campus, including at the Hadley Union Building parking lot, is free on Saturdays. The program will begin at noon with opening remarks by the president of the university, Michael Driscoll.

Performances will be by:

  • Mathew White Eagle Clair, a Native American performing artist and Mikmaq native from the Elsipogtog Reserve in New Brunswick, Canada
  • Bill Crouse, an enrolled member of the Seneca Nation of Indians and a freelance artist and leader and head singer of the Seneca dance group Allegany River Indian Dancers
  • Charles and Ira Eagletail, dancers
  • Frank Littlebear, flute player
  • Michael Cougar Salamh, dancer
  • Narcisco Salas and Quentin Bear Fuller, drummers

Several vendors will be at the event, including Bear Creations (native art) as well as native food vendors.

The event is cosponsored by the Administration and Leadership Studies program, the Department of Religious Studies, the Sociology Department, the Anthropology Club, and Reeger’s Farm Market.

The NAAC membership includes Clifton Pembleton, chair; Sandra Pembleton, secretary-treasurer; faculty members Sarah Neusius, cochair Anthropology; James Dougherty, Sociology; Melanie Hildebrandt, Sociology; Amanda Poole, Anthropology; Monte Tidwell, Professional Studies in Education; Theresa Smith, Religious Studies; Bobby Jo Zapor, student; Jennifer Soliday, student; Dan Mock; and Kinorea Tigris (Cherokee, Creek, Oglala, Lakota, and Sioux).

The NAAC has as its mission to inform the university and wider Indiana community about historical and contemporary issues in Native American culture. The council sponsors events, speakers, films, exhibits, and other education events in an effort to separate stereotypes of indigenous Americans from realities and to provide educational opportunities to the entire community. The council pays special attention to the past and present of native peoples in Pennsylvania and in the eastern woodlands.

Its goals include creating a strong Native American studies program at IUP; recruiting Native American students to IUP through a cultural exchange program; setting up an NAAC scholarship program; developing an internship program for IUP student teachers at Indian reservations throughout the country; placing historical markers on campus near the Hadley Union Building at the intersection of the Catawba Trail and the Kittanning Trail, two of the most important Native American paths in the state; designing and maintaining an NAAC website; and sponsoring ongoing educational events.

November was designated as National American Indian Heritage Month in 1990 in a resolution signed by President George H.W. Bush.

Department of Anthropology