Reno-Tahoe International Airport will be hosting the first American Indian exhibit in its history and invites the public to the opening reception on Monday, November 14, 2011 from 6:00-7:30pm. Governor Brian Sandoval, Washoe Tribal Chairwoman Wanda Batchelor and Chairman Wayne Burke from the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe are scheduled to speak, accompanied by performances of local American Indian artists.
The exhibit opens during November, National American Indian Heritage Month. Governor Sandoval has also proclaimed November as American Indian Heritage Month in Nevada.
“We are very pleased that the Nevada Indian Commission could facilitate this project,” said Sherry Rupert, Executive Director of the Commission. “The partnership we have with the Nevada Arts Council and the Indian Territory made this initial exhibit possible.”
The Nevada Indian Commission worked with the Arts Council’s Folklife Program and the Nevada Indian Territory to develop a special edition of the Arts Council’s “What Continues the Dream” traveling exhibit and includes posters drawn from the pages of the gallery guide and photographs of powwow dancers in their colorful regalia; an Indian Territory graphic display; and hand-crafted cultural objects provided by the Nevada Indian Commission. The exhibit will be on display in the Connector Collections Gallery on the second floor, between the B and C gates through January 22, 2012.
“An American Indian cultural exhibit at our airport has been highly anticipated and a long time coming,” added Rupert. “When a visitor enters the airport they should know they are in the lands of the Washoe, Paiute and Shoshone people.”
The Indian Commission’s mission is to ensure the well-being of American Indian citizens statewide through development and enhancement of the government-to-government relationship between the State of Nevada and Indian Tribes, and through education for a greater cultural understanding of the state’s first citizens. The Commission was established in 1965 to be the conduit between the Governor and the 27 federally-recognized Nevada tribes.
Paiute Elder Ralph Burns will provide the opening prayer. Burns is the recipient of the 2011 Nevada Heritage Award, which honors Nevada folk artists and tradition bearers who are the finest and most influential masters of their particular art forms and who have had a significant impact on the people and communities of the state. Gayle Johnson a Bishop Paiute Tribal Member will provide the Paiute Flag Song and Red Hawk Warriors along with various Powwow dancers will be on hand to celebrate the evening.
For information on the Nevada Indian Commission visit www.nic.nv.gov and for more information on the Nevada Arts Council and the Indian Territory please visit www.nac.nevadaculture.org and www.NevadaIndianTerritory.com.