Honor the Mounds on August 11
The annual Honor the Mounds Gathering is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, August 11 in Beattie Park. The event, free to the public, is a Native American festival held annually in the park, located on the shores of the Rock River. Beattie Park is home to four Native American burial mounds, including one Turtle Effigy Mound, and is considered a holy place by Native American peoples. Beattie Park is located at the corner of North Main Street and Park Avenue. Parking is available at Burpee Museum, 737 N. Main St., and in the Riverfront Museum Park lot at 711 North Main.
The Native American Awareness Committee organizes the gathering each year, and the event is co-sponsored by the Burpee Museum of Natural History, the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois, WIFR-TV and the Rockford Park District.
This years event features music; drumming; dancing; storytelling; lectures; games; food; and Native American craft demonstrations. The morning schedule includes:
10 a.m. – Introductions; 10:15 a.m. – Gathering Prayer, lighting of the sacred fire; 10:30 a.m. – Speaker Dave VanPerness on History of the Mounds & Beattie Park, Custodianship of the Land; 11 a.m. – Presentation to the Rockford Park District, American flag & certificate; 11:15 a.m. – Grand entry, drums & dancing.
The afternoon schedule is: 12:30 p.m. – Speaker Richard Rundal on Native American Spirituality & the Medicine Wheel, the Unity of All Peoples; 1 p.m. – Native American drums & dancing; 2:30 p.m. – Speaker Joseph Standing Bear of Midwest SOARRING – Current Native American Issues; 3 p.m. – Native American drums & dancing; 4 p.m. – Closing prayer & thank you to public.
Other activities to be featured include: demonstrations of nettle weaving and fire starting; demonstrations of flint knapping; Connie Margarski will host a childrens area featuring craft activities, songs, stories and games. Food vendors will be on site.
Enjoy the day at Beattie Park, and learn more about Native American history and culture. Sponsors and donations for the event are still being sought. If you, your company or organization would like to help sponsor this educational, family and community-oriented event, please call the Native American Awareness Committee, and ask for Sherman MacVenn at (815) 282-3877. Or call Renee Jensen at the Burpee Museum at (815) 965-3433.