Chief Walt Brown

The Cheroenhaka (Nottoway) Indian Tribe Holding Corn Harvest Powwow and Fall Festival School Day

Vincent Schilling
11/19/11

“Ten years ago, The Cheroenhaka (Nottoway) Indian tribe held their first powwow at the Southside Virginia Community College, Christanna Campus in Alberta, Virginia. They later held their Green corn harvest powwow at the fairgrounds in Courtland, Virginia. They held the event as an unrecognized tribe in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Though Chief Walt “Red Hawk” Brown may not have been officially recognized by Virginia legislatures, it didn’t stop his tribe from being involved all over Virginia.

In 2010, after a long and exhaustive battle against the state and other legislative bodies, the Cheroenhaka (Nottoway) Indian tribe, along with the Nottoway Indian tribe of Virginia and the Patawomeck tribe ended a 16 year battle to obtain state recognition through the Commonwealth of Virginia. In February of 2010, thanks in part to the testimony of Las Vegas icon Wayne Newton on behalf of the Patawomeck’ s,  the Cheroenhaka (Nottoway), Nottoway Indian Tribe and the Powhatan Patawomeck’s  joined the  ranks of eleven  tribes now recognized in the state.

Ten years since their first powwow and now as a state recognized Indian tribe,  The Cheroenhaka (Nottoway) Indian tribe is holding an Indian Inter-tribal corn harvest and Fall Festival School Day to bring Native culture to school age children and their families at the Historic Villages at Cape Henry on the military base known as Fort Story. Specifically, the powwow dates are November 18th from 9:00-12 noon (the first day geared toward schools)  and to the rest of the community near Virginia Beach on their following day’s powwow on November 19th.

Brown says he is confident that it will be a day enjoyed by a huge number of school children in the Hampton Roads region of Virginia due to the success of the previous year’s event.  “With the powwow at Fort story last year we had almost 1000 kids there from about 9 to 1230 what is the school day about the first day is a school day the next day is a pow wow

“There will be vendors doing demonstrations, there will be blowgun demonstrations and basket weaving and jewelry making. We will have Aztec dancers there, who will have the kids involved in native dancing. There will be several different stations.”

In addition to the activities mentioned by Brown, there will also be American Indian hand beading and hand and loom presentations, Native drumming, Flint Knapping, Indian artifact viewing and identification and a tribal language booth.

“I also will be doing a presentation and bringing kids around the circle to get them involved with our language,” says Brown.

“We keep our native culture and traditions alive to share our traditions to the youth of the world. Then they will share it with their children and their children's children. That is why the Creator put us here and gave us life to make a difference in the life of others. That is the moral that we share when we give presentations to children,” says Brown.

Brown says the school day at the Fort Story is a great way to encourage families to come to the powwow the following day. “They go home and tell their parents and hopefully the next day they will bring their parents back with them the following day. It’s a great time; we have a lot of fun.”

For more information go to - http://www.cheroenhaka-nottoway.org

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