Also performing are Thunder Bear Drum Circle and the Salino Family Aztec Dancers from Mexico. Coordinated by the Big Indian Native American Cultural Center, the event celebrates the traditions of indigenous peoples and welcomes non-natives to witness and take part in the festivities.
Evan Pritchard, author of four significant books about local history and lore – Henry Hudson and the Algonquins of New York: Native American Prophecy and European Discovery, 1600, Native New Yorkers: The Legacy of the Algonquin People of New York, Native American Stories of the Sacred: Annotated & Explained and No Word for Time: The Way of the Algonquin People – will be on hand to share stories and help listeners develop a more intimate understanding of Mother Earth, Father Sky and the Great Spirit who encompasses us all.
A descendant of the Micmac people, one of over 84 Algonquin Indian nations, Pritchard has lived in New York City and the Hudson Valley for the past 23 years. Researching his Algonquin heritage through studies and interviews with Algonquin elders, he gained a personal understanding of Algonquin spirituality and culture – a tradition that may date as far back as 11,000 years. In 1998 Pritchard founded the Center for Algonquin Culture, and in 1999 he gave his first workshop on the subject of “Native New Yorkers” at the New York Open Center.
Also appearing to tell stories and share his knowledge will be Jim Red Fox Searl, a Lakota, who is publishing his first book soon. The festivities will include a Veterans’ Dance, a Flag Dance and social dancing for one and all, represented by members of Mohawk, Cherokee, Cree, Munsee, Micmac, Mohegan, Blackfoot and other tribes, along with a special Candy Dance for the children. All drummers and dancers are welcome to participate.
Food vendors will be offering buffalo burgers, venison stew, fry bread and a Hawaiian barbecue, and craft vendors will have lots of beadwork, dreamcatchers, skins and blankets, shields and jewelry, herbs and more for sale. Come to Big Indian to experience the Pow-Wow on Saturday, July 16 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday, July 17 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Gates open at 10 a.m. Admission is $5 for adults, $2 for children aged 6 to 12, and kids aged 5 and under get in free. Call Mary Lou or Frank Stapleton at (845) 254-4238 for further information.