To celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day, the City of Goshen Community Relations Commission will host a special event at the Goshen Theater on Monday, Oct. 9, from 6:30 – 8 p.m. honoring the region’s rich history as the land of the Potawatomi and Miami nations.
Doors to the theater will open at 6 p.m., with information tables available in the lobby. The program begins at 6:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the community.
Fables Books, Potawatomi-Miami Trail Marker Group, and One Circle, a Goshen College club focusing on addressing injustices toward Indigenous People, will all have tables in the lobby.
A selection of portraits from “Dancing for Our Tribe” by Sharon Hoogstraten, Potawatomi Citizen, will also be displayed in the lobby. Hoogstraten created this permanent record of present-day Potawatomis wearing the traditional regalia passed down through the generations but modified to reflect the influence and storytelling of contemporary life.
This year’s presenters are:
Iron Bear Singers
Iron Bear is a drum group composed of the Southern Plains singing style and Ponca influence. The members of Iron Bear represent many tribes from the Midwest. The drum lives in Hammond, Indiana, and is cared for by lead singer Sterling Big Bear III. The group’s name comes from Sterling Big Bear’s great-grandfather’s brother, Iron Bear. They continue using the name Iron Bear to honor family and ancestors.
Citizens of Pokagon Band of Potawatomi
Pow Wow dancing demonstration featuring Men’s and Women’s Traditional and Women’s Jingle Dress Dancing.
Cusi Ballew (Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Citizen)
Ballew will discuss food sovereignty and cultural sustainability as the Cultural Sustainability Lead for the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Center for History and Culture.
Erin Burggraf (Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Citizen)
Burggraf will share Indigenous children’s stories and the importance of uplifting diverse voices in literature. After her presentation, she will be available in the lobby to read children’s books to any kids and parents in attendance.
Schedule of event:
6:00 – Lobby open to visit informational tables
6:30 – Traditional Potawatomi welcoming and welcome address from Mayor Gina Leichty
6:40 – Indigenous children’s books with Erin Burggraf (Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Citizen)
7:00 – Iron Bear Singers and Pow Wow dancing demonstration
7:30 – Presentation on food sovereignty and cultural sustainability with Cusi Ballew (Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Citizen and Cultural Sustainability Lead for the Center for History and Culture)
7:50 – Final words and closing