On November 17th, Cleveland Metroparks’ Rocky River Nature Center will host First People Day. The day will be filled with demonstrations, talks, hikes, and more, led by Cleveland Metroparks staff, local scholars, and the Lake Erie Native American Council (LENAC).
The CoolCLE show speaks with Beth Whiteley and Jen Graham of Cleveland Metroparks as well as Marlys Rambeau of the LENAC about the event. Rambeau also tells us how the LENAC is working with the Native community in the Cleveland area to ensure its’ First Nations culture, art and dancing lives on as well as teaching its children to have pride and respect for their ancestry and values. We also touch on cultural appropriation and how the LENAC welcome those who have uncovered and suitably researched their own native lineage, but perhaps don’t have direct links to a recognized tribe.
To complement the episode, we feature two indigenous musical acts from the Akron/Canton area. Michael Searching Bear (pictured above) is a musician, performer and educator as well as a full time wood flute maker. He travels and educates on Native American culture and heritage through his music across the country. Searching Bear is a proud member of the Eastern Cherokee tribe.
And we have a live recording of the Red Bird Singers (pictured above) who often perform at LENAC hosted Waicipi or Powwow. The group is a Southern Style powwow drum started in the 1950’s and have performed all along the Eastern Coast, from Ohio to Florida.