The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

July 22, 2013

Native American event educates public

By STACY MILLBERG - smillberg@starbeacon.com
Star Beacon

AUSTINBURG TOWNSHIP — Members of the United Eastern Lenape Nation celebrated their culture and educated the public during a Native American Pow-Wow this weekend.

This year marked the sixth year for the event, but the first year it was held at Buck Farm Bison in Austinburg Township. The theme this year was “Healing Mother Earth,” said Red Wolf, event coordinator.

“Everything that is Native American starts with Mother Earth,” she said. “She gives us all our food, cotton to spin clothing and minerals. We wouldn’t be here without her.”

This year’s event featured five Native American drums: Black Hawk Drum, from West Virginia; Spirit Horse, a Northern Navajo Drum; Fire River Drum, from Akron; Clear Water Drum, a Cherokee Drum; and, Rapid River Drum, from Ashtabula, which was the host drum for the weekend.

Native American dancers from all over also attended the event, Red Wolf said.

Unfortunately, extreme heat on Friday and soggy weather on Saturday put a bit of a damper on the festivities but that didn’t stop the event.

“Saturday we were wading and swimming, not walking,” she said. “But we were dancing anyway. The Pow-Wow goes on no matter what.”

The United Eastern Lenape Nation hosts two Pow-Wows each year. The first is held at the Ashtabula County Antique Engine Club grounds in Wayne Township and this weekend’s event was the second. The event is usually held in Andover Township but the group decided to move it north this year to give people more access to it, she said.

“We are a teaching nation,” Red Wolf said. “We hold Pow-Wows to inform people what it’s like to be Native American, explain our culture and the history of our culture.”

The Lenape Nation is a mixture of tribes and is open to all nations, she said.

“If they want to join us, we more than welcome them and bring them into our nation,” she said. “As long as they are willing to walk the Red Road with us and follow Native American laws.”

Many of the natives were dressed in Native American regalia.

“Regalia is made by the person wearing it,” Red Wolf said. “It is their own medicine.”

Members of the Lenape Nation will be at the Multicultural Festival in downtown Ashtabula next weekend.

“We will be dancing and drumming,” she said. “We will also have craft booths set up. All our crafts are hand made by natives.”