MIAMI – After several months of planning, the first annual Native American Heritage Day is coming to Miami Nov. 19.

Quapaw Tribal member Jean Ann Lambert says she gets calls from area schools every year requesting that the Quapaw Nation come to their school to share about tribal culture, especially in November during Native American heritage month.

But this year, Lambert decided to do something more about it.

Lambert and Quapaw Tribal member Anna McKibben, along with Quapaw Nation staff, approached the Inter-Tribal Council (ITC) about having area tribes host an event and the leaders were excited to sponsor this first-ever event of its kind.

“We just want to share part of our culture and let people know that we are still here,” McKibben said. “If you’ve never seen Native American dancing or heard about some of our history and stories, now is your opportunity to learn more. There are nine tribes in our little corner of northeast Oklahoma.”

Lambert and McKibben, who are the event coordinators, invited fourth and fifth graders from area schools and they are just as excited because now more than 1,200 students will be in attendance from Miami, Quapaw, Wyandotte, Baxter Springs, Commerce, Afton, Fairland and Riverton, Kansas.

“We’ve got a representative from each of the nine tribes, including Cherokee, Miami, Modoc, Eastern Shawnee, Shawnee, Wyandotte, Quapaw, Peoria and Seneca-Cayuga,” McKibben said. “While there is not a Cherokee tribal headquarters here, many of their members are residents in Miami and Ottawa County.”

McKibben said the nine tribes will each have representatives set up at tables and booths, in addition to the Sac and Fox Nation, the Kiowa, Osage and the Otoe.

Powwow dance demonstrations, tribal games, and the history of the northeast Oklahoma tribes will be showcased at the event and, thanks to the City of Miami, it will be held free of charge at the Civic Center from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Participating sponsors include the ITC, Quapaw Nation, Modoc Nation, Wyandotte Nation, Eastern Shawnee Tribe, Peoria Tribe, Ottawa Tribe and the Miami Nation.

For more information, call McKibben, 918-325-7893, Lambert, 918-533-8290, or the Quapaw Nation, 918-542-1853.