The event includes a Pow Wow with Native American dancing, drumming basket workshops, drum making workshops, feather fan workshops and craft vendors. It’s a day for fun and education for the entire family.
The Big Indian Native American Cultural Center Inc. was established in the year 2000, according to one of the group’s organizers, Marylou Stapleton.
Marylou recalled that she, her husband, Frank, along with Erwin Gordon and Debra Fitchner began talking about all the stories they had heard regarding how Native Americans were treated — throughout history and into the present day.
“We decided we needed to create a space where all nations were created equal,” Marylou recalled.
The idea quickly went from a concept into a popular event held each summer at the Big Indian Park. The Pow Wow now includes talking circles, lectures, drumming and story telling with Native American artists. There’s also an annual Thanksgiving celebration with drumming and other festivities (and turkey and all the fixings) at the Pine Hill Community Center in Pine Hill.
“We have received grants and have just performed a Tipi rising at the Shandaken Historical Museum in Pine Hill where we have gatherings and educational programs during the year,” Marylou explained.
She added, “In the near future a wigwam will be built at the museum. Our goal is to one day have a cultural center/museum in the area where we can have educational programs for everyone to enjoy.
Marylou invites everyone to stop by the Thunder in the Valley Pow Wow. Admission is free.
For more information, please visit: bigindiannativeamericanculturalcenter/facebook
The Shandaken Historical Museum in Pine Hill was established in 1989 and is located in a former schoolhouse dating back to 1927.
Director Kathleen Myers has many duties, including researching family and town history. She also serves as a tour guide, town historian and she also keeps the place tidy.
The museum has extensive information regarding the town’s history with a section for each hamlet. The displays include some fashions from well over 100 years ago and a military section, some baseball history and an area dedicated to Native American history.
Marylou explained that the building is in need of long overdue repairs and the organization has applied for funding to assist with this work.
“We are working with the Shandaken Town Board to achieve the necessary repairs so we can further our goal of having a non-profit status that would qualify us to apply for grants to continue improving the building and enhancing our collection,” she noted.
Upcoming events will be: an art show with works by June LaMarca and other local artists along with some Native American storytelling, a talking circle and more. The museum is now home to a Tipi that was built utilizing a grant from the O’Connor Foundation.
The museum is locate at 26 Academy Street, Pine Hill and is open Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free. For information, please call 845.254.4460.