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WinterFest to Celebrate Native American Culture

  • Jan 9, 2011 · 12:00 PM
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WinterFest to Celebrate Native American Culture "Journey from the Heart" with Dennis Swiftdeer-Paige & Native American Flute Music with Michael "Neebin Makwah" Reichart Sunday, January 9, 2011 12 noon - 4:00 p.m. Volo Bog Visitor Center Sponsored by the Friends of Volo Bog Suggested donation $5.00 per adult and $2.00 per child Cookies, Cocoa, Cider and other snacks for sale Indoor and Outdoor Fun LNCI! Storytelling * Music * Photo Contest Awards * Kids Crafts Guided Bog Tours * Snow Sculpting Contest * Hiking * Cross-Country Skiing * Show Shoeing Become a part of the story this year at Volo Bog's WinterFest -- explore your link to the land. Dennis Swiftdeer-Paige’s interactive story-sharing is centered in native North American cultures, linking human society and nature. Through humor, and ancient wisdom of the First Nations, Dennis will immerse participants into his program. His circle dances, animal impressions, stories, songs, drumming, and sharing of the Medicine bag, will captivate adults and children alike. "Journey from the Heart" has been performed for thousands of people, young and old, in hope of inspiring action based in a caring kinship with nature. Receiving the ceremonial blessings of Sitting Bull's pipe by Lakota pipekeeper Tatonka Ska (father of the Spotted Red Bead People), Dennis honors "the Red Road" with a deep conviction and love for the Native American ways. Having recently been adopted into the Northern Branch of the Spotted Red Bead People, Swiftdeer-Paige prides himself with an Earth-centered consciousness in his daily life. Dennis has extensive professional background as naturalist, restorationist, ecology minded storyteller, green thinking lecturer, natural landscaper and environmental journalist. He trained with the Second City School of Comedy in Chicago, served for two years on a United Nations Earth Charter Planning Committee for the City of Chicago, and runs his own earth caring enterprise called Swiftdeer-Paige. Dennis wrote an award winning column for the Daily Herald called "Green Light: Living with Nature" and has performed as a percussionist-singer in the contemporary folk band "Prairie Smoke". He holds double Masters Degrees in Environmental Education and Social Studies but his rich spectrum of engaging worldly experiences go beyond his degrees. He lived for six years without electricity in his own self made rotunda-style adobe home, served in the Peace Corps in West Africa, and has canoed, camped and backpacked throughout many North American wilderness areas. Dennis tries to live as he preaches, riding to and from work on a bicycle, composting, and eating a mostly vegan diet. A dedicated advocate of wetlands, he has successfully campaigned to protect them from development. Recently, Dennis has designed and applied environmentally friendly natural landscaping for individual homeowners and a condominium association. The Chicago Tribune has featured Dennis for his unique conscientious approach. Dennis has performed at nearly 100 Chicago-area schools, nature centers, museums and libraries. He’s performed at Volo Bog SNA (an Earth Day celebration in the 1990s!), Chicago Botanic Gardens, McHenry County Environmental Storytelling Concert, Museum of Science and Industry, Lincoln Park Cultural Center, the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum and Old Town School of Folk Music. Adapted from
http://storytelling.o... Michael Reichart, a.k.a. Neebin Makwah, has a collection of Native American and other indigenous flutes from around the world. They are made from woods as diverse as bamboo and butternut, juniper, cedar and red spruce, poplar and even zebrawood. Through these ancient-styled and elegant instruments, Michael creates sounds that truly bring forth the spirit of the earth. In addition to playing flutes, Mike is also a percussionist, mastering a variety of indigenous drums from around the world. Michael has produced three CDs, all of which were recorded live (no electronic mixing). His latest release, "Reflections" is due out in early 2011. Michael loves to record in natural settings - his natural recording "studios" include the slot canyons of southern Utah and northern Arizona, as well as Giant’s Bathtub, a canyon in Illinois’ Matthiessen State Park. The sounds of frogs and birds that grace his CDs are real - captured by his recording equipment while he performed! Michael has studied under R. Carlos Nakai, the world’s premier performer of the Native American flute. He has performed in pow wows and at festivals in eight states. No stranger to Volo Bog, Michael has also performed at past WinterFests and other events. His music will complement the stories of Dennis Swiftdeer-Paige. Mike will open WinterFest with a full set of music at noon, then open each of Paige’s three story-sets throughout the afternoon. Photo Contest Awards will be presented between sets of music and stories. Indoors will also feature kids nature crafts on the second floor of the Visitor Center. Outside, WinterFest will truly celebrate winter with activities including Guided Bog Tours throughout the afternoon, hiking, and if there's snow, cross-country skiing, show shoeing and a snow sculpting contest. For more information, please visit
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