Discovery Museum celebrates Native American Heritage Day

WINCHESTER – The second annual Native American Heritage Day begins at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Shenandoah Valley Discovery  Museum.

Jennifer Coleman, catalyst for learning and educational outreach for the museum, said she is excited about this year’s Heritage Day.

“There will be storytelling, a flute player, and corn husk doll making,” Coleman said. “It’s an event we’re glad to continue.”

Presentations and activities from Native American tribes from across the region will be onsite sharing traditional stories, tribal dances and native-inspired artwork. Activities include Shawnee storytelling by Sheila Hansen, traditional flute playing by Stuart Hill, jingle dress dance demonstrations by Emmalene Morris and traditional song and drumming with Andrew Tyler.

Ashley Creek, a Chickasaw storyteller and Discovery Museum volunteer, developed the idea for the Native American Heritage Day in 2016. With its success, Creek spearheaded the planning for this weekend’s event. She will be presenting the story of the Chickasaw migration and will be creating loom weaving with visitors during the event.

Native American Heritage Day coincides this year with Columbus Day, which commemorates the landing of Christopher Columbus in the New World on Oct. 12, 1492. It’s a common misconception that Columbus actually discovered the New World. However, as Coleman pointed out, there were natives here long before Columbus stepped onto North American soil.

“A lot of children aren’t aware that Native Americans still exist,” Coleman said. “And if they do, they think they walk around in native attire, which isn’t the case.”

She added, “This is a way we can educate them.”

Admission, $8 for age 2 and over, includes access to both the museum and Native American Heritage Day.

If You Go

Where:  Shenandoah Valley Discovery Museum,  19 West Cork St., Winchester.

When:  10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Saturday. The museum will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.