Drumming, traditional Native American songs, speeches, and a procession culminating in a ceremonial blessing of the Housatonic River will mark the local observance of Indigenous Peoples’ Day on Monday, Oct. 11. Alliance for a Viable Future has organized a series of four events from Sept. 23 to Oct. 17.

The series kicks off with “Building-Community: Equinox Campfire & Potluck” from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 23, at the April Hill Education and Conservation Center and Greenagers headquarters in South Egremont, with an optional guided hike from 4 to 5:30 p.m.

“Listening Deeply: Indigenous Voices Panel Discussion” will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 1, at the Unitarian Universalist Meeting of South Berkshire in Housatonic and on Zoom. Shawn Stevens, Jake Singer, Bonney Hartley, from the Mohican Cultural Affairs Office, and Carol Dana, a Penobscot language master have been invited to speak.

The Indigenous Peoples' Day observance will begin at 11 a.m. Monday, Oct. 11, at the Gazebo behind Town Hall with Aaron Athey, master of ceremonies for powwows in the Berkshires, playing his drum and singing traditional songs. Several speakers will discuss the significance of the day.

From the gazebo, the gathering will proceed down Main Street to the RiverWalk via Dresser Avenue, continuing to the Memorial Park baseball field, where a ceremonial blessing for the Housatonic River will honor the ongoing legacy of the people who were displaced by the colonists.

The final event, “Moving Forward Together: Integration & Next Steps Workshop,” will take place from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 17, at the Unitarian Universalist meeting house.

All events are family friendly and open to all. Visit allianceforaviablefuture.org for further details and to register for each event separately. 

Jeannie Maschino can be reached at 413-496-6256 or jmaschino@berkshireeagle.com.

Community News Editor / Librarian

Jeannie Maschino is community news editor and librarian for The Berkshire Eagle. She has worked for the newspaper in various capacities since 1982 and joined the newsroom in 1989.