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Indigenous People’s Day: Chemeketa Celebrates Native Culture

BY BYRON KIMBALL

Students and faculty who made their way down to the Multicultural center last Wednesday were treated to a celebration of native cultures.

Featuring music from Andean folk musicians, the Chayag group, and dancers, guitarists, and storytell- ers from Chemawa Indian high school, it was a celebration of the various tribes and indigenous peoples of the Americas.

“It’s a sharing of cultures. It’s giving us an opportunity to see how other cultures interact through stories, song and dance,” said Mar- cus, a student coordinator from the multicultural center.

Storyteller Austin Warner kept the crowd engaged, even while it

became clear that it would be some time before the Chemawa students would be prepared to go on stage. Impromptu storytelling, drumming and guitar performances helped reward the patience of the students who had stuck around.

The crowd laughed, clapped and even danced, with several students leading a line dance to the tune of Andean pan flutes and ukuleles.

“Part of what makes culture is learning and sharing from one another,” said Warner.

For students and faculty who attended the event, perhaps they’ll walk away with a new awareness of other cultures. Or, most likely, they’ll have Andean folk music stuck in their head for the rest of the month.

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