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BICENTENNIAL EVENT TO FEATURE FIVE CIVILIZED TRIBES OF OKLAHOMA

By Times Record Staff

The Five Civilized Tribes of Oklahoma will be featured March 3 during an all-day, free admission festival of their culture, life and historical influence on Fort Smith as part of the city’s Bicentennial celebration.

The festival will feature dance, music, storytelling, lectures, game demonstrations and traditional arts such as weaving, pottery, basketry, as well as painting, sculpture and samplings of traditional foods. There will also be traditional dance, songs and musical instrument demonstrations and performances throughout the day. A handmade dugout canoe, weaponry such as bows, arrows and blowguns, will also be exhibited.

OG&E and Keep Fort Smith Beautiful will give away 200 native trees on a first-come, first-served basis beginning at 10 a.m.

The goal of the Bicentennial event is to create awareness of the cultural influence and historical significance the Five Civilized Tribes have played throughout history as Fort Smith celebrates the 200th anniversary of its founding, according to a news release.

“The Bicentennial committee has been working with the Five Civilized Tribes Inter-tribal Council and individual Tribal leaders for several months to bring this incredible, collaborative event to the people of Fort Smith,” Jim Perry, chairman of the Bicentennial celebration committee for arts and culture, says in the release. “We are extremely grateful for their generosity and efforts to create this exciting and culturally rich experience for our community and neighbors.”

The festival will be 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 3 at the Fort Smith Convention Center, 800 Rogers Ave.

“We appreciate the participation of the Five Civilized Tribes in our Bicentennial Celebration. We are well aware of the historical significance the Tribes have played in our history, especially the Trail of Tears and our National Historic Site,” Fort Smith Mayor Sandy Sanders says in the release. “As an Oklahoma native who attended Sequoyah Elementary School in Oklahoma City, personally I am very excited about the participation of the Five Tribes.”