SANDWICH — Native Americans from around the Northeast will start to gather at the Fairgrounds here on Wednesday, July 24 for four days of reunion and cultural celebration. It is the first time Natives have been invited to gather here, and their ongoing celebration, to include all sorts of activities, are being held in conjunction with the town's 250th anniversary.
Wednesday evening will bring retired Norwich University Prof. Richard Stewart Smith, an authority of this region's Abenaki Indians, to the fairgrounds at 7 p.m. Prof. Smith will speak on how the early indigenous populations existed before contact with Europeans. Remains of Indian settlements dating back thousands of years before there was a Sandwich have been uncovered here, in neighboring Holderness, Weirs Beach and throughout the Lakes Region.
The following evening, Thursday, will bring storytellers "Ken" Quiet Hawk and "Deb" New Rising Moon to the fair for what is an old Indian tradition. It is how their traditions and genealogy have been passed down through the ages. Accompanying them will be flute-maker Kunnaway.
Descendants of the Abenaki, Micmaq, Pennacooks, Squamscots, Pequakets, Mohawks, Passamaquoddy, Penobscots and Wampanoag – among others -- will be attending from as far away as New Brunswick and New York State, organizers predict.
Organization of the event is by the N.H. Intertribal Native American Council, the town of Sandwich 250th committee and the Historical Society's Joan Cook.
On Friday evening, again at the Fairgrounds, Joseph Firecrow, well-known Cheyenne flute player and Grammy Award winner, will present in concert Native American music bringing to stage other performers. There is a $10 charge for this concert (seniors $8), kids free.
The gathering and pow wow will be going on all throughout the four days at the Fairgrounds including drumming, dancing, beadwork, basket weaving and other traditional crafts, plus a council fire.