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Published: Wednesday, 9/25/2013

Woodland Indian celebration set for Saturday

BY MATT THOMPSON
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Tribes from all over the region will come to Perrysburg Township's Buttonwood Park this weekend for "They Walked Here Before Us: Woodland Indian Celebration."

Black Swamp InterTribal Foundation Director Jamie Oxendine said there will be Native Americans from the Potawatomi, Ojibwe, Wyandot, Shawnee, Miami, and Cherokee tribes among others. He said dancers at the celebration will come from as far as Wisconsin, Tennessee, and Pennsylvania.

The event celebrates Indian culture through clothing, activities, food, dance, and music. It is from 10 a.m. to dusk on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Adults are $5, seniors over 60 are $3, children from 5 to 11 are $2, and children younger than five are free. 

It is the 11th year of the Woodland Indian Celebration at Buttonwood Park that is at 27174 Hull Prairie Rd. According to the Black Swamp InterTribal Foundation, 3,143 people showed up last year to visit the 17 vendors and watch 88 dancers.

"I look forward to all the people coming out with smiling faces and enjoying the beauty of the park," Mr. Oxendine said. "The [Maumee] River is just yards away from where it is, and the beautiful sun is out and wind blowing with a nip in the air. Everyone I see has smiling faces enjoying the culture and sharing it."

"The Indians have not disappeared."

There will be a children's tent with Native American arts and crafts, a wildlife tent with American birds of prey, a flutist, and an Indian village. 

"Anyone that thinks they know our culture I encourage them to come out,  they will learn something," Mr. Oxendine said. "I hope to get away from the stereotypes. When people come they expect us with war bonnets, but they'll be taken aback because it is nothing like they expect."

Contact Matt Thompson at: mthompson@theblade.com, 419-356-8786, or on Twitter at @mthompson25.



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