The City of Niagara Falls, in collaboration with the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, Niagara Parks, Niagara Falls Illumination Board, Atlantis School For Gifted Youngsters, Haudenosaunee (Six Nations) Elders, and Niagara River Iroquois Dancers, will kick off the opening ceremony for Indigenous Peoples weekend at 6 p.m. Thursday at Terrapin Point in Niagara Reservation State Park.
This event will begin with a traditional welcome by the Haudenosaunee by internationally renowned Standing Rock activist Chase Iron Eyes and Lakota Wisdom Keeper Chief Bear Cross of the Ghost Nation. Chase Iron Eyes and Chief Bear Cross are Wounded Knee descendants and distinguished speakers for the Indigenous Peoples celebration.
The traditional welcome will be followed by designated speakers, a ceremonial dance by the Niagara River Iroquois Dancers, and a ceremonial raising of the Six Nations flag.
The Niagara Falls Illumination Board will also illuminate the falls in red, green, blue and yellow at dusk as a special commemoration of this historic celebration.
Events continue from 4-5 p.m. Friday with a speaking engagement at the Niagara Falls Public Library. The topic of discussion is "Sacred America: Breaking 500 Years of Silence." Following a brief invocation by Chief Bear Cross, Chase Iron Eyes will discuss the power of Indigenous culture, sovereignty, and lessons from Standing Rock. This event will be free and open to the public.
At 2 p.m. Saturday, there is a VIP meet and greet with Chase Iron Eyes and Chief Bear Cross at an undisclosed location. Tickets are $40 and can be purchased online at https://ipd2021.eventbrite.com.