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First Peoples Week: Interwoven Futures

First Peoples Week

Saturday October 8 2022 • 2:00pm - 6:00pm ET
In-person event


People of all ages are invited to participate in this interactive celebration of culture created by the vibrant Native communities living within the boundaries of our city, state and region. You are welcome to come for all or just some of the program – one ticket gives you access to it all.

2pm-6pm: Native Made Market
Artisans and vendors will have a pop-up marketplace in our lobby with items for purchase.

3pm: Haudenosaunee Cooking Demo – Make Your Own Berry Drinks
Learn how to make our own traditional berry drink with Mohawk Chef Dave Smoke McCluskey, and take a sip while hearing about how to make Indigenous, organic, sustainable, locally grown ingredients a bigger part of your diet.

4pm: Stories from the People of the Longhouse
Perry Ground draws on over 30 years of experience as a Master Storyteller and Cultural Educator to bring to life a series of traditional Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) legends that teach the beliefs, customs and history of his people. He’ll captivate you throughout this interactive hour with his bold stage presence, deep knowledge, and plenty of humor.

5pm: Haudenosaunee Social Dance
You can be a part of a traditional social dance with award-winning Smoke Dancer Chris Thomas of Onondaga Nation leading a demonstration and lesson.

This program is curated by Iakowi:he’ne’ Oakes, co-founder of The North American Indigenous Center of New York (NAIC-NY), a Native-women-led and centered nonprofit organization committed to Indigenous empowerment through cultural continuance, intersectional equity, and advancement of economic justice for Native nations, communities, and peoples living in and beyond the boundaries of New York City, New York State, and the Northeast.

About First Peoples Week
First Peoples Week is The Greene Space’s multi-day celebration of Indigenous communities in and out of NYC. Our mission is to provide meaningful space for Indigenous artists, organizers and thinkers to lead the conversation, and offer insights into their histories, cultures, concerns and visions for the future.

The Greene Space would like to acknowledge that we are on Lenapehoking, the traditional and unceded land of the Lenape People, past and present. We honor with gratitude the land itself and the Lenape, who continue to honor and bring to light their heritage and contributions.

Iakowi:he’ne’ Oakes

Credit: Photo provided by guest

Iakowi:he’ne’ Oakes is a Kanien:ke’ha’/Mohawk woman, mother, cultural curator, leader, advocate, producer, coach, artist, designer and athlete. She was born and raised in Akwesasne Mohawk Territory, a reservation that straddles the border of New York, Ontario and Quebec. Her experience and intentions are focused on Nation building, maintaining and strengthening sovereignty, the right to self-determination; land stewardship, economic development, social justice, culture and the arts. 

She is Kaneinkehake, they are the Keepers of the Eastern Door in the Haudenosaunee Confederacy. From the Oka Crisis, International Bridge shutdowns, Idle No More, Two Row Wampum Renewal, NODAPL, The Climate March, and the Land Back movement, she has been progressively organizing, advocating and cultivating change. 

Iakowi:he’ne’ is the Founder and Executive Director of the North American Indigenous Center of New York: (for) Culture, Equity and Economic Development. The Chief Executive Officer of Mohawk Coterie at Mohawkcoterie.com. She is a cultural curator and producer of COVID 19 Relief Programs for Indigenous community, Premier Native Theater, FIT Native workout Series, Sacred Space gatherings for elders, Women’s Empowerment Gatherings, weekly online community activities, Socials, Language Forums, Community Feasts, Cultural Symposiums, and Traditional to contemporary Native American Arts and design workshop (series), lectures, panels and seminars. 

She is also the Head Coach for both Volleyball and swimming for Team Eastern Door competing at the North American Indigenous Games in the Summer of 2023 hosted in Halifax, NF 

Perry Ground

Credit: Photo provided by guest

Perry Ground is a Turtle Clan member of the Onondaga Nation of the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) Confederacy. He has been telling stories for over 30 years as a means of educating people about the culture, beliefs and history of the Haudenosaunee. Perry learned many of the stories he shares from elders of Native American communities and feels that practicing and perpetuating the oral traditions of Native people is an important responsibility.

Professionally, Perry has worked in several museums including The Children’s Museum of Houston, Sainte Marie among the Iroquois, and Ganondagan State Historic Site. He has shared stories at countless museums, libraries, classrooms, and festivals throughout the northeast and has guest lectured at numerous colleges. Perry is the former Project Director of the Native American Resource Center within the Rochester (NY) City School District and will serve as the Frederick H. Minett Professor at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) for the 2021-22 academic year.

Dave Smoke McCluskey

Credit: Photo provided by artist

Mohawk Chef Dave Smoke McCluskey, the owner of The Corn Mafia, is a micro miller that offers small batch, hardwood ash washed hominy products.

Dave is also a board member of the North American Indigenous Center of New York,  as well as The Slow Food Southeast Ark of Taste Board,  Indigenous Foods Educator and eventual author with more than 35 years in the hospitality industry.

Chef Smoke promotes the use of Indigenous, organic, sustainable, locally regionally grown ingredients, as well as foraged foods and medicines in his demonstrations, speaking engagements and workshops.

He is also co-founder of The Augusta Boucherie at White Hills Farms, as well as a participant at several other Boucherie and food events on the East Coast. 

Chris Thomas

Credit: Photo provided by guest

Chris Thomas is an award-winning Smoke Dancer of Onondaga Nation.

Event Details

  • $20 General Admission

Kids get in FREE!

4 hours
The Greene Space
44 Charlton St
New York , NY 10014 United States

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