Information about the Kekiona Storytelling Festival this Saturday at Headwaters Park.
For thousands of years, Native peoples have communicated through oral traditions. Tribal storytellers,Â often elders whose life experiences and wisdom make them revered members of the community, use stories to educate children and teach them values. Through the power of the narrative, storytellers connect the past to the present and community members to each other.
The Kekionga Storytelling Festival celebrates this oral history and tradition. This free event on August 1st at Headwaters Park in downtown Fort Wayne features three storytellers – Eugene Brown (Miami Indian), Dark Rain Thom (Shawnee), and John Dunnagan (Vice Chief,Â Miami Nation of Indiana) – who alternate presentations each hour from 10 am to 4 pm. At 4 pm, the festival features a concert with Douglas Blue Feather. Douglas Blue Feather is of Cherokee heritage, an award winning songwriter, recording artist, and performer of contemporary Native American flute music, and is a four time Native American Music Award winner.
The Kekionga Native American Storytelling Festival also features:
- Science Central’s Star Lab – Native American Constellation StoriesÂ (Shows at 11:15 am, 12:45 pm, 2:15 pm, and 3:15 pm)
- Miami Village with the Painted Turtle Drum, Singers, Dancers
- Soarin’ Hawk Birds of Prey (Shows at 10:30 am, noon, 1:30 pm)
- Shawnee Woodland Wams
- Birch Bark Nswe’gen (Lodge) – built in the Upper Great Lakes Native tradition
- Learn Neshnabemowen (Pottawatomi) language and culture from Kevin Funney, the language and cultural historian for the Gun Lake Band of Pottawatomi.
- Ancient lifestyle teacher, Erik Vosteen, demonstrates how Native Americans used the resources surrounding them to create their cultural traditions.
- IPFW Archaeological Survey,
- Children’s activities, traditional foods, and more!
The Kekionga Storytelling Festival is a community outreach undertaken by PBS39 and areaÂ organizations in association with WGBH, Boston and WE SHALL REMAIN. This five part PBS miniseries,Â which aired in April with an encore broadcast on PBS39 expected later this year, spanned threeÂ hundred years of pivotal moments in U.S. history from the Native American perspective.