When Natives gather they create an immersive experience that entertains and informs all who attend. WIth pow wow season in full swing, it's time to make plans for inspirational events for the rest of the year.
Back in the 1970s, the federal government sought to build a dam on Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation land in Arizona, but the nation fought hard to keep it from happening— and won. In 1981, the feds said the dam would not be built. Since then, the original people of the northeast end of the state host the Ft. McDowell Orme Dam Victory Days celebration in commemoration of their victory. The jubilee lasts days: It begins with an annual walk and a dinner, then there’s an intertribal pow wow, sports tournaments, arts and crafts, and an abundance of pre-contact- with-white-society eats. This year, the celebration runs from November 17 through 19 in Fort McDowell, Arizona.
Films By and For Indigenous Talent
Steven Paul Judd, the Native filmmaker, told Indian Country Media Network that the annual American Indian Film Festival legitimized him as a filmmaker. His first feature film, American Indian Graffiti, had a modest budget of $6,000, but it found a home with the festival. “They gave me a chance,” Judd said. He added that it’s a place where people can watch films by, for, and starring Indigenous Peoples that “you won’t see anywhere else.” This year, the festival celebrates 42 years of Native filmmaking and will screen several films about Standing Rock and the fight against corporate oil. The festival will run from November 3 through 11 in San Francisco, California.
Socially Conscious Storytelling
Gallup, New Mexico, has been called “the Indian capital of the world,” and it’s there that Native filmmakers congregate every year at the Gallup Film Festival to tell the Indian story through an Indian lens. “We believe stories shape and transform who we are and what we do, both individually and collectively,” the festival’s website reads. “We produce, promote and present socially conscious media in addition to our annual festival of film and the related arts, which celebrates the art of being human and the craft of being an artist and storyteller.” This year’s festival will run from September 14 through 16, at the El Morro Theatre, in Gallup.
Indigenous Art Endures
Before Oklahoma received statehood, it was dubbed “Indian Territory” by the U.S. government. It’s the land where thousands of Indians were forcibly marched during The Trail of Tears. Now, the state is a place of indigenous abundance and cultural and spiritual revitalization for the tribes there. It’s also the home of the Cherokee Art Market where every year more than 100 artists demonstrate the beauty of indigenous arts and crafts. This year, the market will be held October 14 and 15 in the Sequoyah Convention Center at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Two Locations, One Wacipi
Fry bread. Drums. Grass dancers. An abundance of beautiful roaches, ribbons, beads, breastplates. All under a summer sun. These are just a few things that’ll please the senses at this year’s Shakopee Wacipi Pow Pow, scheduled for August 18 through 20. If you’re over 60 or under 10, admission is free. For the rest of us, it’s $10. The pow wow will be held at the SMSC Wacipi Grounds in Shakopee, Minnesota. Meanwhile, there will be an exhibition of dancers at the Mall of America in nearby Bloomington, Minnesota, on the same days from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Native Arts Blow-Out
Launched in 1922, the annual Santa Fe Indian Market, is, according to its organizers, “the largest and most prestigious juried Native arts show in the world.” Artists from hundreds of tribes and nations spanning the continent— including the Oglala Lakota, Zuni, Osage, Oneida and others—gather every summer to showcase their work and sell authentic indigenous paintings, jewelry, as well as all manner of arts and crafts. There’s even a renowned fashion show with clothing made by Native designers and Natives to model them for the thousands who attend. This year’s market is scheduled for August 19 and 20, in Santa Fe, New Mexico.