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Join Attack Bear Press and Wistariahurst Museum on November 5th as we host this year’s second annual Indigenous Heritage Celebration. This year’s event centers around the theme of land sovereignty with an amazing panel discussion featuring indigenous leaders, activists, and experts. Our panelists include Rachel Beth Sayet, Rhonda Anderson, Ella Nathanael Alkiewicz, and Anthony Melting Tallow, with Jason Montgomery from Attack Bear Press moderating.
Rachel Beth Sayet, or Akitusut (She Who Reads), a member of the Mohegan Nation. Sayet brings a unique perspective to the discussion, having been raised with the spirits of her ancestors, learning traditional stories and teachings, and actively participating in tribal events. With a passion for her Mohegan heritage and a deep commitment to studying and understanding other cultures, Sayet’s background in history, anthropology, and food makes her a compelling and insightful speaker. Sayet’s wide-ranging experiences and expertise will provide invaluable insights into Native culture, history, land and food sovereignty initiatives, making her a captivating speaker at our event.
Rhonda Anderson, an Iñupiaq-Athabascan from Alaska, will share the creation story of Ohketeau Cultural Center and the incredible, first-of-its-kind relationship of a true partnership, reciprocity, and land back with Double Edge Theatre in Ashfield, Massachusetts. Anderson’s activism spans a wide range of topics, from Indigenous identity and land acknowledgments to environmental protection and reproductive rights. She’s a classically trained Herbalist, Silversmith, and is actively engaged in educating Native students in Massachusetts. Her insights into dismantling settler colonialism and her extensive work on various Indigenous panels and roundtables will shed light on meaningful ways to address centuries of land dispossession.
We’re also pleased to welcome back Anthony Melting Tallow, Bo’taan’niis (Flying Chief), a Visual Artist, Public Speaker, Poet, and Indigenous social justice advocate. An enrolled member of the Blackfoot First Nation of Treaty Seven Territory in present-day Southern Alberta, Canada, and a current resident of Chicopee, Massachusetts, Anthony Melting Tallow is a passionate representative of the contemporary native experience. He employs his artistic talents to reframe the past, present, and future, bringing honor to indigenous people.Anthony Melting Tallow’s work addresses critical issues, including land dispossession, intergenerational trauma from residential schools, reframing indigenous voices, the misappropriation of native imagery, and violence against indigenous women, girls, and Two Spirit people. His powerful voice and creative vision serve as a catalyst for change and social justice within Indigenous communities.
Ella Nathanael Alkiewicz (she/her) is a versatile individual, blending her self-taught artistic and poetic talents with formal training in early childhood education, journalism, Native studies, and nonfiction writing. She’s an advocate for Indigenous causes and has been instrumental in establishing Indigenous People’s Day in Easthampton, MA. Alkiewicz is a beneficiary of the Nunatsiavut Government and actively contributes to the arts community. Her dedication to her Inuit heritage is reflected in her artwork, which has been showcased in group exhibitions and galleries across Massachusetts and internationally. Alkiewicz has earned several awards and grants, and she also shares her knowledge by teaching and conduction workshops. This will be her second year vending at Wistariahurst Museum for our Indigenous Heritage Celebration, are we are delighted to welcome her back.
Jason Montgomery is a Chicano of Indigenous Californian/Mexican heritage, is a writer, painter, and community artist hailing from El Centro, California. In 2016, he co-founded Attack Bear Press in Easthampton, MA. His work navigates the intersection of Chicano/Indigenous identity, cultural hybridization, post-colonial reconstruction, and political agency. Montgomery’s writing and visual art draw from early cubist collage and Russian abstract movements, melding them with living and historical Transborder Indigenous and Chicano art traditions to explore the post-colonial narrative through active synthesis and guided (re)construction. Wistariahurst had the pleasure of collaborating with Jason Montgomery this year on his Death of Lake Cahuilla exhibit and his work with the Holyoke Community Ofrenda. After the panel discussion, visitors can partake in the Indigenous makers fair and explore Montgomery’s current art exhibit, The Death of Lake Cahuilla and hear from him what inspired his work and how it centers around this year’s theme.
This amazing event is sponsored by the MCC Festival Grant and food for the event is being sponsored by The Greater Holyoke Council for Human Understanding, making food and admission for this event absolutely free. Don’t miss this opportunity to engage with the community, learn about vital issues and immerse yourself in rich, cultural expressions.