TAHLEQUAH, Okla. — Northeastern State University has partnered once again with the Indigenous Peoples Alliance of Oklahoma to host the annual celebration of Indigenous Peoples Day on Oct. 10 in Tahlequah.
“We invite students, faculty, staff and the greater community to celebrate with us. Not only is it a time to demonstrate support for the Indigenous community, but there will also be opportunities to learn more about our culture and traditions,” Sara Barnett, director of the NSU Center for Tribal Studies, said. “It is a great way to bring the community together in celebration of our people, our culture, our heritage and our resiliency. Media often places us in a historical context, perpetuating stereotypes that are simply untrue. By participating in our event, individuals can catch a glimpse of what it means to be Indigenous in today's contemporary society.”
The day begins with traditional games at Beta Field, where attendees can learn some of the most popular traditional games of southeastern Tribes. Starting at 2 p.m., each game will begin at the top of the hour with an introduction and brief explanation and demonstration, then an opportunity to play.
Traditional games to be showcased as part of the celebration are Chunkey with Matt Girty, Cherokee Marbles with Jared Davis and Stickball with Trey Pritchett.
Following the conclusion of the games at 4:45 p.m., attendees are invited to gather for brief remarks before they line up for the Indigenous Peoples Day March from Beta Field to the Cherokee National Peace Pavilion. The march will be led by the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians’ Honor Guard and the Sequoyah High School Drum Group.
The Indigenous Peoples Alliance of Oklahoma will provide a free dinner to conclude the event. There will also be some vendors at the pavilion and a Round Dance with the Sequoyah High School Drum Group.
“We are proud to be Indigenous every day, but this gives an opportunity to demonstrate that pride in a very public way,” Barnett said. “Our ancestors persevered through some of the most inconceivable acts, many of which were endorsed by the federal government. Yet we are still here, surviving and thriving.”
Updates on the event can be found at tinyurl.com/IPD101022. In addition, attendees can also find information on how to register as a vendor. For additional information, contact the Center for Tribal Studies at 918-444-4350 or firstname.lastname@example.org.