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Saratoga Native American Festival
Saratoga Performing Arts Center
Saratoga Springs, NY
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Saratoga Native American Festival

The Saratoga Native American Festival is a collaborative effort of the Ndakinna Education Center and the NYS Office of Parks Recreation and Historic Preservation.  The event is open to the general public, with activities taking place under shelter, rain or shine. The Festival is part of a regional effort to educate people about the history, cultural traditions, and continued active presence of the Native peoples of the northeast. Authentic northeastern Native American Indian drumming and dancing, storytelling, music, crafts, and authentic traditional native foods will be part of each
day's offerings.

The Saratoga Native American Festival, which has become one of the major highlights of the start of fall in the Saratoga Springs area will once again return to the beautiful grounds of the Saratoga State Park, Saratoga Springs, New York. This year's festival, however, will be several days earlier than usual, taking place on Saturday, September 28th and Sunday September 29th. Its hours have also been expanded from the past, with doors opening at 9:30 AM and activities ending at 7:30 P.M. daily.

Another new aspect this year will be the addition of a second very large Vendors' Tent which will accommodate our vendors, in addition to our usual Main Performance Tent where our drum groups, traditional dancing, music and storytelling will be presented. In addition, our Information Booth, Children's Area and Education programs will also be under those two large tents. This means that our festival will truly be rain or shine with all events and vendors protected against the weather.

The festival will open each morning with a traditional Opening Address delivered in Mohawk and English by Tom Sakokwenionkwas Porter, who positions with the Mohawk Nation Council of Chiefs and is the spokesman and spiritual leader of the Mohawk community of Kanatsiohareke. Tom will also do a Closing Address at the end of each day.

Dozens of Native American dancers, all in colorful regalia, will be taking part and Cash Prizes will be offered each day in such categories as Smoke Dance, Men's Traditional, and Lady's Shawl. The Best Male Dancer and Best Female Dancer for the two days will each be awarded a Pendleton blanket on Sunday.

The featured storyteller for the event will perform twice a day between dance programs in the Main Performance Tent.

Dozens of Native American artists and craftspeople (carefully selected by Jeanne Brink (Abenaki) the coordinator of our arts and crafts area), nearly all of them from the American Indian nations of the northeast, will be displaying and selling their own work at the festival. This year will see the second annual Juried Art Competition, with each vendor eligible to submit one original piece of their own making. Ribbons and cash prizes will be awarded for First, Second and Third Places.

Last year, the Vendors' Tent featured the following demonstrations of such crafts as basketry, jewelry making, and carving at various booths each day of the festival:

Connie Carter (Mohawk) - finger weaving Richard Chrisjohn of Chrisjohn Arts (Oneida)  wood-carving and elm bark rattles/
Al Cleveland of Turtle Island Flutes (Mohawk/Cree) - process of making flutes
Andree' Dennis Newton of Andree' Dennis Newton Art (Abenaki) - totem pole carving
(viewers will be invited to try their hand in the demo)
Earl Dionnne (Mohawk) - wood burning
Russ George (Onondaga) - lacrosse stick carving
Peter Jones (Onondaga) handbuilt Iroquois pottery
Karenlyne Hill (Onondaga) - beading velvet bags
Julia Marden of Traditional Arts (Aquinnah Wampanoag) - 17th century twined
Towanna Miller (Mohawk) - kustowa creation with ash wood and turkey feathers.
Jennifer Lee (Algonkian)New England Culture Tent

Among others also present in the education area will be a wide range of non-profit organizations that advocate for and educate about the environment and Native American issues including The Howes Cave Iroquois Museum, Saratoga Plan, the Ndakinna Education Center, and Kanatsiohareke.

Our Children's Area (sponsored in the past by Stewart's Shop) has been one of the favorite areas in past festivals. It will again provide Native activities for children (who must be accompanied by a responsible adult), including a wide range of traditional crafts.

Admission fees are $12 for adults; $10 for seniors; $5 for children 5-12; children under 5 are free. For more information and a schedule, go to the Festival's on-line site at <>

Past Sponsors include: The NYS Office of Parks, Recreation, and Hric Preservation; the Bay and Paul Foundation; the Nordlys Foundation; the Adirondack Trust Company; and Stewart's Shops.

The Ndakinna Education Center, an affiliate of the Greenfield Review Literary Center, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and charitable organization, based at the Marion F. Bowman Bruchac Memorial Nature Preserve in Greenfield Center, New York. The Center offers programs, performances, camps, field trips, and special events focusing on regional Native American understandings, Adirondack culture, martial arts, wilderness skills and awareness of the natural world. For more information: <>

For further information, call:
Joe Bruchac (518) 584-1728
or (518) 583-1440



Saratoga Performing Arts Center (View)
108 Avenue of the Pines
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
United States

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Arts > Dance
Arts > Performance
Music > Festivals
Music > World
Other > Family-Friendly
Other > Festivals
Other > Spiritual

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Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!


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