News Release: Indigenous Peoples’ Day celebrated with two days of cultural events at Eiteljorg
Weekend at museum includes performances, artwork, storytelling and tours
Leonard Harmon (Nanticoke Lenape)
INDIANAPOLIS –The Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art will offer a robust variety of events honoring Indigenous Peoples’ Day: a community celebration on Saturday, Oct. 7, in partnership with Roberts Camera and Canon, and a free-admission day on Monday, Oct. 9.
The observance and celebration highlights the vibrancy, resilience, and immeasurable impact Native peoples have made across the world. Featuring cultural performances, storytelling, artwork, beadwork and weaving demonstrations, food and activities, the Eiteljorg will celebrate Native and Indigenous cultures through events that all age groups will enjoy. Funding for Indigenous People’s Day programming was provided by the Margot L. Eccles Arts & Culture Fund, a fund of the Central Indiana Community Foundation.
Two days of special events
On Saturday, Oct. 7, the Eiteljorg Museum will be open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with regular admission. On the museum’s outdoor stage under The Sails, there will be traditional singing and dancing from members of award-winning powwow drum group Warpaint, featuring lead singer Kaya Little Turtle of the Lumbee / Tuscarora Nations in North Carolina. Also featured is Nanticoke Lenape artist Leonard Harmon, who was born into a family of artists. His passion for culinary arts, dance and traditional Native arts eventually led him to mixed media art and contemporary painting. Giovanni Sanchez, Roberts Camera photo lab and rentals manager, and his daughters also will share contemporary powwow dances, representing the Mexica / Nahua and Diné (Navajo) peoples.
Perry Ground (Turtle Clan Haudenosaunee)
Eiteljorg visitors on Oct. 7 also can enjoy performances by several Indigenous storytellers, including renowned Turtle Clan Haudenosaunee storyteller Perry Ground, who shares his stories at museums and schools across the country. Two Tsimshian artists from Alaska will engage with the audience: Carving artist David R. Boxley will give a cultural performance, while award-winning artist Kandi McGilton — known for her devilfish bags and cedar bark weaving — will show her work and talk about her efforts as co-founder of the Haayk Foundation to revitalize the language of the Tsimshian people.
Kandi McGilton (Tsimshian)
During the Oct. 7 events, the Eiteljorg Museum’s partners, Roberts Camera and Canon, will hold a photography workshop from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. that requires a separate fee. Register for that at this link: https://tinyurl.com/mry7dany.
Then on Monday, Oct. 9, which is the official observance date of Indigenous Peoples’ Day, admission to the Eiteljorg is free for all visitors from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The day includes additional cultural performances, art-making demonstrations with David Boxley and Kandi McGilton, and in-gallery programming.
David R. Boxley (Tsimshian)
All invited to learn about Native resiliency
On both days, visitors can attend curator-led tours of the museum’s new Native American Galleries, featuring the exhibition Expressions of Life: Native Art in North America. On Saturday, Oct. 7 at 1 p.m., guests can tour with Monica Raphael (Anishinaabe / Sičáŋğu Lakota), who is the Thomas G. and Susan C. Hoback curator of Great Lakes Native cultures and community engagement. On Monday, Oct. 9, guests have the option of two different tours: The first tour begins at 11 a.m. with Monica Raphael; and the second tour begins at 3 p.m. with Curator of Native American art Dorene Red Cloud (Oglala Lakota).
Through interacting with the artists, storytellers, performers and curators, museum guests can learn the day’s significance and develop an even greater appreciation for the arts, histories and cultures of the Indigenous peoples of North America.
“While I celebrate my culture daily, on Indigenous People’s Day, I pay homage to my ancestors. Despite failed attempts by the U.S. government to terminate our culture, language, and beliefs through forced removal from our original homelands — and despite forced separation of Native children to be taken away to boarding schools where they were abused, murdered and forever changed from what Creator originally meant for them — we the First Peoples and Indigenous Peoples of this land are still here,” Monica Raphael (Anishinaabe / Sičáŋğu Lakota) said.
“Today, Indigenous communities continue to suffer from economic and health disparities relative to the general population, continue to witness the same assaults on our lands that have resulted in environmental degradation; however, we continue to persevere, flourish and celebrate our cultures and ways of knowing, while also thriving in contemporary America,” Raphael added. “On Indigenous Peoples’ Day we invite you to take a little time to learn more about the cultures of the people who originally inhabited the land on which you now live. Acknowledging and taking part in Indigenous Peoples’ Day can be liberating and uplifting to museum visitors, and we encourage and invite all to celebrate with us.”
For more about the history of Indigenous Peoples’ Day, a schedule of artists, storytellers and activities on Oct. 7 and 9, as well online resources, visit Eiteljorg.com/indigenous-peoples-day/.
About the Eiteljorg
A cultural pillar for 34 years in downtown Indianapolis’ scenic White River State Park, the Eiteljorg Museum seeks to inspire an appreciation and understanding of the arts, histories and cultures of the Native peoples of North America and the diverse peoples of the American West by telling amazing stories. Located on the Central Canal at 500 West Washington St., the Eiteljorg is a 501c3 nonprofit organization.
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