Native Runway finds its stride

first_img“We are more than feathers and beads,” Becky Archibald said. “We are also your neighbors. We come from all walks of life: teachers, doctors, lawyers, volunteers, veterans. People would not know our story or even know we are here if we didn’t come out and do this.”Vancouver’s Water Education Resources Center has been hosting a Native American Heritage Month celebration for years, according to water and wetlands educator Cory Samia, but it’s usually been squeezed into the WREC’s Second Saturday schedule of events.But three years ago, Samia and her friend Archibald, a community activist whose heritage is Soshone-Bannock (on her mother’s side) and Southern Sierra Miwok (on her father’s side), finally made good on their ongoing “threats to collaborate,” Samia laughed. Archibald “had this great idea for a ‘Native Runway.’ We’ve been doing that for the last three years now.” The next Native Runway takes place at 1 p.m. Saturday, during the Water Center’s Native American Heritage Month celebration.What’s a Native Runway? Just what it sounds like: Native Americans in full regalia, strutting their colorful and jingly stuff as they proceed down a red carpet, one by one. They’ll be striding solemnly, as one does on a runway — but they’ll also dance in traditional fashion. Meanwhile, an emcee describes exactly what it all means: the regalia, the dance, even the dancer’s life and story in this community.“We ask each dancer to write a paragraph about the origins and provenance of their regalia, the significance of the dance they’re doing, and to tell what their role is,” said Samia. “In that way it’s different from a powwow.”last_img

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