Peachtown Native American Festival and Education Week 2017

Events include social dancing and a peach tree planting, guest lectures, a panel discussion and a basket weaving demonstration.
flag of the haudenosaunee confederacy and peachtown festival name
Sep. 22, 2017
3:30 pm
Sep. 25, 2017
4:30 pm
Sep. 26, 2017
4:30 pm
Sep. 27, 2017
1:00 pm
Sep. 28, 2017
10:00 am
Various locations (see schedule)

Wells College will host the 13th Peachtown Native American Festival and Education Week, with events taking place September 22 to 28 on the Wells campus. The week offers a chance for the community to learn about and discuss the history and continued relevance of the region, including the land on which the College was built. The festival on Friday brings participants together for traditional music and dancing, food and a peach tree planting. All events are free, and the public is welcome. The schedule of events is:

Friday, September 22

The Peachtown Native American Festival Social begins at 3:30 p.m. with a peach tree planting on the lawn of President Gibralter's home. At 4:30, Cam Hill of the Cayuga Nation will lead social singing and dancing at the Sommer Center of Smith Hall, and participants will enjoy food prepared by Inns of Aurora Chef Kevin Sennett at 6:00.

As part of these ceremonies, Wells will unveil a new series of paintings by mural artist Curtis Mitchell that are installed in Long Library as well as releasing an acknowledgment of the College's location on historic Cayuga Nation land.

Monday September 25

As part of the Sustainability Perspectives Series, Donna Levy, environmental education outreach coordinator with Cornell Botanic Gardens, will give a talk titled "Gardening in a Changing Climate" at 12:20 p.m. in the de Witt Lecture Hall (106), Zabriskie Hall. Most are aware that the earth's climate is changing. What do these changes mean for our locale? How are our gardening efforts affected? Explore ways that you can adapt to these changes to make your gardens successful. This presentation about plants and gardening also emphasizes how gardening can be used as an educational tool to respond to climate change in our everyday lives.

Pete Hill (Heron Clan, Cayuga Nation) is “All Our Relations” Project Director, Native American Community Services of Erie & Niagara Counties, Inc. (NACS). He will lead a screening and discussion of The Doctrine of Discovery: Unmasking the Domination Code from 4:30 to 6:30 pm in the de Witt Lecture Hall (106), Zabriskie Hall. Dakota filmmaker Sheldon Peters Wolfchild's compelling documentary is premised on Pagans in the Promised Land: Decoding the Doctrine of Christian Discovery, a book based on two decades of research by Shawnee, Lenape scholar Steven T.Newcomb. The film tells the story of how little known Vatican documents of the fifteenth century resulted in a tragic global momentum of domination and dehumanization. This led to law systems in the United States and Canada and elsewhere in the world, that are still being used against Original Nations and Peoples to this day. The film concludes with traditional teachings developed over thousands of years that provide a much needed alternative for humans and the ecological systems of Mother Earth at this time.

Tuesday, September 26

Basket weaving is a form of artwork that is common among the Native American community. At the same time, it may possibly be the oldest textile art known to humankind. Therefore, the baskets we see today are a development of an art handed down through the generations. Throughout time, one thing has remained constant: women have traditionally been the basket weavers in Native American tribes. Join Carrie Hill at 4:30 p.m. in the Sommer Center of Smith Hall for a short demonstration in basket weaving, and make a traditional bookmark.

Wednesday Sept 27

In a panel discussion titled "What You Can Do about Climate Change," Kent Klitgaard, Wells College Professor of Economics; Dave Arquette, Haudenosaunee Environmental Task Force (HEFT) Director; Rene Rickard, Tuscarora HETF and National Tribal Water Council; Dan Hill, Cayuga HEFT; Miche'le Benedict, New York State Department of Health; and Wells students will present and discuss their views on climate change and what each of us can do. This will take place from 1:00 to 2:30 p.m. in the de Witt Lecture Hall (106) of Zabriskie Hall.

Thursday, September 28

The first workday of the Cayuga/SHARE Farm for the fall season will close out the week of events. This event will start at 10:00 a.m. and conclude at 3:00 p.m. with the closing ceremony and refreshments. The SHARE Farm is located at 4061 Truesdale Rd., Union Springs, N.Y. Transportation will be provided for Wells students with advance sign up.

These events are presented in partnership with the Cayuga Nation, the Center for Sustainability and the Environment, Long Library, Buildings & Grounds, the Department of Visual Arts, and the First Nations & Indigenous Studies Program. Wells is committed to providing access to all events; anyone who needs assistance should contact David Foote at 315-364-3460 or email

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