MILWAUKEE -- Indian Summer Festival is this weekend in Milwaukee. It's a chance to experience and celebrate Native American culture. One aspect of the festival connects Wisconsin students to their living history.
Before the gates opened to the general public on Friday, September 8th, a special group of guests got to experience Indian Summer Festival.
Thousands of students, from all over Wisconsin and even Illinois, descended on Henry Maier Festival Park for Education Day.
“They just saw some real deer skin, they’re seeing real Native American tools and weapons," said Matt Lester, a third grade teacher at 21st Century Prep in Racine. "It, obviously, takes what they [learn] in the classroom and they see what it looks like in real life.”
“There’s different encampments that they walk through, that they can visit," adds Indian Summer Festival President John Warren. "And of course, they get to talk to people and they get to ask them questions.”
Act 31 requires public schools to teach the history of Wisconsin’s eleven federally-recognized American Indian nations and tribal communities. Education Day is a chance to take those lessons out of the classroom.
“It’s right in the middle of the unit," Lester said. "So we’ll take what we learn here today and go home and extend our enrichment."
“They can come out here and actually learn about it," said Warren. "See it, hear it and learn about it from the actual tribal peoples and communities.”
For students, especially those from the Indian Community School in Franklin, Education Day ensures that those lessons hit home.
“I get to dance," said fifth-grader Brian Bowman. "And I get to meet new family members.”
“There’s a quest we get to do," added classmate Nevaeh Tomow. "We have to go find places and then we get a prize. And it’s fun to do.”
Celebrating a vibrant and thriving culture, for all to see.
Indian Summer Festival runs Friday, September 8th through Sunday, September 10th.
Friday, September 8th
Education Day, 9:00 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
General Admission, 4:00 p.m. - 12:00 a.m.
Saturday, September 9th
12:00 p.m. - 12:00 a.m.
Sunday, September 10th
Prayer Ceremony, 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
General Admission, 11:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Tickets: Adults $15, Elders (60 and over) $12 and children 12 and under free.
On Friday, September 8th from 6:00 p.m. - midnight all adult admissions are $5. The $5 tickets can only be purchased at the box office and will not be honored the rest of the weekend.