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Native American Day celebrated in Woodland Park

Native American dancers perform at Native American Day
Steve Krull / S. W. Krull Imaging

Woodland Park got a head start on the Labor Day holiday on August 30, 2014, celebrating Native American culture with the Seven Falls Indian Dancers and a wolf ambassador from the Rocky Mountain Wildlife Foundation. On a beautiful mountain morning in the late summer sunshine, excellent food and beverages were served by an eclectic variety of vendors to nourish an enthusiastic crowd and Native American merchandise was available for purchase at various vendor tents.

The Native American Day festival was hosted by the Dinosaur Resource Center, a premier attraction in the picturesque mountain town. The facility is "a marvelous world class museum here in Woodland Park. We feature an awe-inspiring display of dinosaurs, prehistoric marine reptiles, pterosaurs and fish of North America’s late Cretaceous period", according to the center's website.

The soulful Native American dance performances and spectacular costumes were supplied by the Seven Falls Indian Dancers. The family dance troupe, representing four different Native American tribes represents "four generations of dancers, Pawnee, Flandreau Santee Sioux and Crow Creek Sioux tribes". The troupe performs "dance every summer at Seven Falls in Colorado Springs from Memorial Day through Labor Day" and has been dancing every summer for "over 29 years", according to the dance team's website.

Apache the wolf enjoyed a lazy mountain morning while representing the Rocky Mountain Wildlife Foundation. Unimpressed with the day's boisterous and colorful gala, the magnificent furry representative of our rugged western heritage seemed more interested in putting an end to an annoying insect flitting about his nose. Apache was a big hit with children and adults alike and flyers advertising free tours of the rescue facility were available at the foundation's tent. According to the rescue center's web site, "The Rocky Mountain Wildlife Foundation was founded by Mark Johnson in February 2001 as a non-profit organization committed to the caring for and survival of wolves in as natural an environment as possible. We provide sanctuary and rehabilitation for wolves who have suffered from injuries or abuse, and permanent sanctuary for those unable to be released back into the wild.".

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