Indian Summer Festival 2005 a huge success


MILWAUKEE, Wis. -- Under sunny skies, more than 65,000 people of all
cultures attended the 2005 Indian Summer Festival at the Henry Maier
Festival Grounds on the Milwaukee shorefront Sept. 9 -- 11. This was the
19th annual festival.

This event has grown into becoming one of the largest American Indian
gatherings in the United States. Each year, it draws larger crowds and
grows in size.

This year's festival featured hundreds of exceptional American Indian
musicians, artists, vendors, storytellers, cultural demonstrators and
actors, and food stands, not to mention one of the largest pow wows in the
country. Native Music (Indian Summerfest Music and Video) awards shows were
highlights of the weekend. Native rap artist/actor Litefoot was the master
of ceremonies.

The presenters of the awards were chosen because of their contributions and
participation in the American Indian entertainment and arts industry. Paula
Fernandez, stage director, said, "This is so inspiring to see people come
together like this. It all came together, for sure, this year! I look
forward to next year. We encourage people to submit their entries to next
year's awards. These are available in January."

In one of the most riveting moments of the awards, Mitch Walking Elk won
the Blues category. When accepting his award, Walking Elk was too moved to
speak. This was the first time Walking Elk won an award for his music, even
though he has been in the music industry for over 30 years.

Each night also ended with one of the largest fireworks displays in the

Organizer Marie Elioff said, "I can't believe how this festival grows every
year." Elioff and co-organizer John Warren, along with their large staff,
work year-round to pull the festival together. They employ more than 100
security personnel, an army of volunteers, and they work with several
hundred media representatives.

Tribal members from North and South America attended and participated in
the events. More than six large stages featured continuous performances
daily (including Wade Fernandez, Mitch Walking Elk, Richie Plass & the
Flying Feather Band, Litefoot, Keith Secola, Walela, Murray Porter, Brule
and others).

Additional events included the Fiddle and Jam contest, bingo and athletic
demonstrations that drew large crowds to witness the amazing feats of the
Native athletes. A boxing tournament included outstanding future Olympian
Ira Frank, from Lac du Flambeau, who took first place in the light
welterweight division. A lacrosse tournament was also held on the athletic

2005 Indian Summer Music Awards winners


Alternative Rock: "The Red" by Eagle & Hawk

Blues: "Time For A Woman" by Mitch Walking Elk

Classic Rock: "Maya" by Jimmy Lee Young

Contemporary Instrumental: "Spirit of the Nations" by Spirit of the Nations

Country: "Maya" by Jimmy Lee Young

Flute: "Togo" by Andrew Vasquez

Folk: "Nawi" by Yarina

Native Spirit: "Shapeshifter" by Elysium Calling

Pop: "Skintalk" by Martha Redbone

Rap/Hip Hop: "Redvolution" by Litefoot

Spiritual: "Aloha Ke Akua" by Na Kahu

Spoken Word: "Spirit Seeker" by Phillip Whiteman Jr.

Traditional Drum: "Under the Same Sky" by Delia & The Waskewitch Boys

Traditional Vocal: "There Are No Goodbyes" by Randy Wood