Gather, Honor, Thank

  • Photo by Manuel Orbegozo

November is a month for community and family gatherings, honoring ancestors and giving thanks for the bounty of life. It is also American Indian Heritage month, so it's a perfect time to come together and break fry bread with your neighbor at the Northwest Intertribal Gathering and Elders Dinner at Redwood Acres Fairgrounds on Saturday, Nov. 14 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. (free admission). The annual event, which sees thousands of visitors, is an opportunity for the community to celebrate its elders, veterans and the cultures and traditions of the indigenous people of this area.

"Celebrating Elders is a core value of American Indian people," says Northern California Indian Development Council's André Cramblit. And one way to do that is feed them well! A traditionally cooked salmon and turkey dinner will be served from noon to 3 p.m. (or until the food is gone) and is free to all those 55 and over, regardless of ethnicity. Younger folks are asked to make a donation of $8 or $4 for kids 10 and under. If you miss the meal, fear not, there will be food booths serving up fry bread, buffalo burgers, Indian tacos and more.

The event also features a veterans' honoring ceremony and an elders' gifting ceremony. There's also the impressive tribal dance demonstrations with Pow Wow and Hoop dancers, a drum group and native singers. Enjoy performances from the Tolowa, Miwok and Aztec dancers, and be sure to check out the vendor booths offering beautiful Native American arts and crafts.

— Kali Cozyris

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