November is the time when families and friends gather to give thanks for the bounty of the land and to bask in the feeling of community. It is also Native American Heritage Month and the perfect time for the Northwest Intertribal Gathering and Elders Dinner, an event that honors seniors and celebrates the traditions of native cultures with the community at large. Join in on Nov. 12 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Redwood Acres Fairgrounds (free admission, donations appreciated).
Sponsored by Northern California Indian Development Council and local community donors, the 35th annual event offers non-native people a glimpse at the depth and beauty of indigenous cultures while providing American Indians a chance to share and embrace their traditions. Throughout the day, there will be American Indian arts and crafts booths, native singers and tribal dance demonstrations that include Brush, Tolowa Honoring, Aztec, Shake Head and Hoop dancers , as well as a drum group. There is also a Pow Wow demonstration. Dances begin at 11 a.m. with the last dance at 6:15 p.m.
With a special nod to elders over 55, regardless of ethnicity, a delicious free turkey dinner (or $8 for adults, $4 kids 12 & under) will be served beginning at noon, followed by an elders' gifting ceremony at 3 p.m. Don't worry, if you miss out on the dinner, there are also fry bread and buffalo burger booths.
— Kali Cozyris