Cultures collide at the annual ‘Native Nations Festival’

Published: Sep. 17, 2023 at 8:55 PM EDT
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PAINTED POST, NY (WBNG) -- Traditional dances, clothing, food and customs came together once again for the annual “Native Nations Festival” on Sunday.

The weekend event is hosted by Seven Generations Stewards: A nonprofit organization dedicated to educating the public about native heritage.

“This is one of the only festivals held in the Southern Tier here in New York,” said Native Storyteller Perry Ground. “It’s a great opportunity for Native people and non-native people to gather together, share and learn about native culture.”

There were also many vendors around the festival selling traditional Native artifacts and clothing. Not only is the festival fun, but it’s also a great opportunity for participants to learn about the rich history of native culture.

“Our history is told orally and not in written forms,” said Native Nations Festival Co-Founder Thomas Cook. “Events like this and other Powwows are where you learn our stories and you have to come to them.”

Many of New York State’s Native Nations were present at the festival, creating a sense of family and togetherness.

“As a family, we’re able to promote something annually that really touches the community at the heart,” said Native Nations Festival Co-Founder Enolia Foti. “It gives everyone the opportunity to socialize, to come together as a community, to help one another and to engage with one another.”