Mercedz Gorski of Valparaiso, Ind., dances during the Harvest Pow Wow at Naper Settlement in 2011. | SUN-TIMES MEDIA FILE PHOTO
‘Harvest Pow Wow’
♦ Sept. 22-23
♦ Naper Settlement, 523 Webster St., Naperville
♦ Tickets, $5-$8
♦ (773) 585-1744
Updated: September 19, 2012 5:44PM
A star from the “Twilight” movie franchise will be on hand at the annual Harvest Pow Wow at Naper Settlement this weekend.
Chaske Spencer, who stars as werewolf Sam Uley, will sign autographs and greet fans. Spencer is of Sioux descent and is a member of the Fort Peck Reservation. He will represent the non-profit organization United Global Shift.
“He should be a big draw,” said Midwest SOARRING Foundation board president Joseph Standing Bear Schranz. “We’re very pleased to have him. He’s quite popular with the young people. He’s also native. And we wanted to have a wolf preservation platform this year.”
The 18th annual Pow Wow will take place 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sept. 22 and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 23 at the Naper Settlement in Naperville. The event celebrates Native-American heritage with dancing, cultural demonstrations, food and craft vendors, children’s games and crafts and more. (Spencer will be available from 1 to 4 p.m. and again from 6 to 8 p.m. Sept. 22 and from 1 to 4 p.m. Sept. 23.)
Other highlights include Native-American dancing and drumming, “flintknapping” (arrowhead making), the wolf-dogs from Wolf Mountain Sanctuary (the wolves were the models for the “Twilight” series, Schranz said), and an eagle and other birds of prey from Save Our American Raptors. Musical entertainment will be provided by native flute players and an indigenous group of teen rockers.
“We’ll have many fine vendors and great food vendors,” he said. “We’ll have a Hawaiian group that’s really outstanding. We’re looking forward to them; they’re quite a crowd pleaser.”
Those would be the Hana Hou Hula Hawaiian dancers at 5 p.m. Sept. 22.
“We’ll have a couple teepees up, and we’re going to have an Ojibwa wigwam also,” he said. “We’re adding features every day. We’re really trying to cram pack this with things to do. Plus the value of the Naper Settlement itself, which has all the re-enactors with all their period costumes and houses.”
The Kids’ Corner will be back again, providing children with a chance to create a Native-American craft to take home.
“One of the things we do is a bison tooth necklace with an authentic bison tooth,” Schranz said.
He hopes visitors will not only learn about and appreciate Native-American life and customs, but also learn more about the group’s work with indigenous plants, the environment, bison and cultural education.
“It’s a cultural gathering, but it’s much more than that. It’s bringing people together of all colors and realizing some of the good things and bad things we need to fix,” he said. “It goes to help all of the things that we do.”
Annie Alleman is a local free-lance writer.