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SCV Arts & Entertainment | 21st annual Hart of the West Powwow

Uploaded 09/30/2014

21st annual Hart of the West Powwow

By Gloria Locke

Aho! It is the 21st annual Hart of the West Powwow at William S. Hart Park in Newhall celebrating Native American culture and heritage through music, song, dance, and storytelling. It is a time of reunion for Native Americans and the public is invited to the celebration and education of the two-day event.

“The drums come together to tell song-stories and also the dancers come together to dance to the drums who are also telling stories of history. History is so important,” says Angeles Pena, of the Navajo nation. Pena is also a firefighter with the U.S. National Forestry.

“It’s very important to preserve Native culture and respect all cultures,” says Peggy Ronning, curator for the Antelope Valley Indian Museum. “That is one of the big purposes of California State Parks, is to help preserve the history of California, California’s resources, and the diversity of California.

According to SCV history annals, Hollywood actor, William S. Hart, was childhood friends with Sioux families, learning the Sioux language and customs. Hart desired that, after his death, his property would be dedicated to benefit “all races and creeds.” The Hart committee established the annual Heart of the West Powwow to sustain Indian culture, as part of Hart’s vision and legacy.

“Native American culture is important to keep alive in all spectrums: education, schools, and especially in public gatherings such as the Powwow here at Hart Park,” said Pena.

Today, the Hart Powwow committee urges supporters of Native American culture to send letters and emails to local and state representatives to continue the Heart of the West Powwow at Hart Park as a vital part of education.

“If education and knowledge are power, then we are giving it to the people,” Pena said.

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©2014 Gloria Locke | SCVTV
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