The New York Power Authority, in recognition of Native American Heritage Month, will host a variety of cultural activities, presentations and performances Saturday, Nov. 16, at its Niagara Power Vista, 5777 Lewiston Road. Visitors can help build longhouses and learn about the history of lacrosse.
The free event, which is open to the public, will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Niagara Power Vista Community Room. Attendees are invited to help build a longhouse while learning about its origin and continued historic significance between 10:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.
Haudenosaunee families lived in longhouses, large wooden-framed buildings smothered with sheets of elm bark. The longhouses were as large as 100 feet and could accommodate as many as 60 people. Today, on the Sixth Nation of the Haudenosaunee, the Tuscarora School students each year build a replica of a longhouse as a family project. One longhouse is selected each year to be presented in the Tuscarora exhibit at the Power Vista.
Michael Galban, curator of the Seneca Art and Culture Center at Ganondagan in Rochester, will provide presentations at noon and 3 p.m. on the history of lacrosse, a sport that originated from Native Americans. Today the sport is recognized nationally and internationally. Galban will present various lacrosse materials and will discuss the history of the game.
Other activities include:
•Enjoy a performance and interactive educational presentation by the Niagara River Iroquois Dancers at 11 a.m.
•Sample cultural foods such as corn soup and strawberry juice at 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
•Participate in a beading activity.
•Make a cultural bracelet from bass wood fibers with the Tuscarora Environmental Group.
Exhibitors include the Tuscarora History Group, the Tuscarora Environment Program, Native American Community Services and Old Fort Niagara.
In addition to participating in the Native American Heritage Month event activities, guests are invited to enjoy the state-of-the-art exhibits at the Niagara Power Vista, including a 3-D animation that gets one up close and personal without having to wear a hard hat. Visitors can take a seat in a 4-D theater virtual rollercoaster ride, create a transmission distribution system on a one-of-a-kind transmission grid table, build a dam, or simulate the coordination of power across the state during bad weather.
For more information, call 716-286-6661 or visit www.nypa.gov/niagarapowervista.