Native celebration of area land
Preparations have already begun for an All Nations Gathering for Native Americans hosted by the Miami Nation of Indians of Indiana this weekend.
The event -- the first of its kind -- will kick off at 10 a.m. Saturday and conclude Sunday. It will take place on 150 acres of farmland donated by former Putnam County resident Stan Calvert.
The former Portland Mills resident and his family are now honorary members of the Miami Nation after donating the land -- located at 11515 E. U.S. 36, Rockville, only three miles east of Raccoon Lake -- nearly three years ago.
"This is their land. They're celebrating the land," Calvert said Tuesday. "This is Miami land."
Calvert said being named an honorary member of the tribe is something he'll cherish.
"I'm proud to be a Miami, although I'm just an honorary Miami," he said.
Calvert donated the land to the tribe on Nov. 28, 2004. Since then, the tribe has been organizing for the gathering. He said he gave the land to the tribe so it would be preserved.
"They're getting ready for it," Calvert said. "I'm proud to have given (the land) to them."
Gates to the land will open at 10 a.m. Saturday and a grand traditional entrance from the east side of the land is planned for 1 p.m. and 6 p.m.
Calvert said the Native American Commission will be present at the event to register any and all people who have Native American ancestors.
Vendors will be on hand selling crafts while Native American drum groups, dancing, story telling, tomahawk throwing and many more events are planned.
Calvert said Waveland resident Ray France will be at the event showing those interested how to make arrowheads in 20 minutes.
He said 25-30 vendors will also be at the event.
Calvert said he's pleased the event will be taking place.
"I love it," he said. "I think it's fantastic, because there has been so little done to hold the tribe together.
"The injustice that we have done to the American Indian is worse than any injustice we have done to any race."
Calvert said he's not sure how many people will attend the gathering, but many are expected.
"If all the people that have told me they will come do, there will be a crowd," he said. "I think we'll be surprised by how many people show up."
Free parking will be available at the event, but admission is $3 for adults. Children under 12 will be admitted free.
For more information on the gathering, call 765-435-9631 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.