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Drums, dance, food, art slated for first-ever Anishinaabe Heritage Festival

Traditional woodland Ojibwe regalia is on display at the Park Rapids Area Library, courtesy of Mike Swan. He'll be part of Anishinaabe Heritage Festival activities on Nov. 18, which will also be held at the library. (Submitted photo)

The public is invited to an Anishinaabe Heritage Festival Saturday, Nov. 18 at the Park Rapids Area Library, beginning at 11 a.m.

Activities include an opening ceremony led by Mike Swan, a drum performance by the Smokey Hills Drummers and traditional Ojibwe dance by area youth.

Sample authentic Ojibwe foods, create a beaded project under the direction of Neegonee Bruner, culture teacher at Pine Point School, and learn about Anishinaabe history and culture through videos and displays.

At 1:30 p.m. there will be a reception recognizing students from Pine Point School for their recent photography project. Working with photographer Wayne Gudmundson, a retired professor, the students documented their community. The exhibit features images of their school and community, including a series of portraits of local elders.

The festival, sponsored by the League of Women Voters Park Rapids Area (LWVPRA) and the Park Rapids Area Library, in partnership with residents of Ponsford and Pine Point School, is part of a series of events planned to celebrate Native American Heritage Month.

Make dreamcatchers

Mark your calendar for Thursday, Nove. 30 at 4:30 p.m. when Bruner and student assistants lead an interactive session on making dreamcatchers. This program will take place at the Park Rapids Area Library. The activity is ideal for people age ten and older. To pre-register (and guarantee a space), stop at the library or call 732-4966.

LWVPRA is a non-partisan volunteer organization whose mission is to encourage informed and active participation in the community through education.

For more information about LWVPRA activities or how to join, email lwvparkrapids//lwvparkrapidsarea.blogspot.com.

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