MILWAUKEE -- It's the Indian Nation's largest cultural celebration -- and it's being held along Milwaukee's lakefront. Mixed in with all the fun, Indian Summer Festival is also focused on educating our children.
"The kids are really engaged and want to better understand how we lived and more about our culture. It's really refreshing to see that," said Mark Powless, Southeastern Oneida Trial Services Manager.
On Friday, Sept. 7 students from the Milwaukee area immersed themselves in the vibrant cultures of Wisconsin's first nations.
"I like learning about history, and Native Americans is one of my favorite ones," said Aidan Connolly, Underwood USTEM 5th grader.
Education Day kicked off this year's Indian Summer Festival with a blend of historical artifacts, rituals, and customs.
"I'm just glad to be here right now," said Connolly.
"Singing and dancing; we have a lot of social dances. I like doing that," said Janiah Stewart, Indian Community School 7th grader.
Teachers and students also joined in -- learning traditional Native American tribal dances.
"And I wanted to experience it, so when I teach the kids, I can talk about it -- like this is no easy feat," said Lauren Scanlan, Muskego Lakes Middle School teacher.
Passing rich history onto the next generation...
"More and more people will start to know and realize that we are still here and we are not gone," said Stewart.
"We're alive, and we really do have a lot to share with the many different cultures that share the community of Milwaukee," said Powless.
...and uniting all walks of life.
"And know that while our culture is special, so is everyone else's -- and to experience it and to accept it. I think that's my goal of teaching every day, but especially today," said Scanlan.
Indian Summer Festival kicked off Friday afternoon, Sept. 7 and runs through Sunday, Sept. 9 after 8 p.m. Tickets can be purchased on the Summerfest grounds.
Ticket prices are $15 for adults. Children 12 and under are free. $12 for seniors age 60+. There are a number of special admission deals. For more info and updates, visit indiansummer.org.