This November, we want to highlight and celebrate the two Native American tribes that are indigenous to what we now call Atlanta. The Cherokee and Muscogee Creek Tribes have been here forever, and their societies should be celebrated and acknowledged always.
To celebrate Native American Heritage Month, Georgia is hosting tons of events where you can learn, celebrate, and experience the cultures of the original stewards of this land. There are also more permanent places where you can celebrate Native voices year-round.
1. Attend the First Voices Festival
This event, which will take place at 7 Stages Theatre, is a multi-day event full of incredible storytelling and cultural history! This event will take place from November 17th-24th.
- STORYTELLING with William Harjo – November 17
Kick off the First Voices Festival with Muscogee (Creek) elder and fine flute maker, William Harjo. Harjo has spent 25 years traveling the world telling stories, playing his flute, and selling handmade flutes. Don’t miss out on this incredible experience with Harjo!
- POWWOW – November 18-19
On November 18-19, the Little 5 Points soccer field will be filled with dancers, musicians, vendors, and visitors to the only PowWow in the city of Atlanta. Indigenous people of many different cultural backgrounds will come together in the field to represent their heritage. The PowWow features a dance competition, performances by drummers, flutists, singers, and a variety of goods crafted by Indigenous artisans.
- Film Screening – November 24
The finale of the First Voices Festival is a special viewing of Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World, which will be screened at the Plaza Theatre on November 24. This documentary is all about the enormous influence Indigenous people have on Rock n’ Roll. It is full of actual interviews and archival footage!
2. Visit the Etowah Indian Mounds in Cartersville, GA
Address: 813 Indian Mound Rd SE, Cartersville, GA 30120
Etowah Mounds is the most intact Mississippian Culture, a prehistoric Native American civilization, site in the Southeast, and is a place rich in history of the people who lived here.
Etowah Mounds has 6 earthen mounds to see, a museum of history, and also hosts tons of events throughout the year to celebrate and learn about the Native peoples who were here first.
For more information about the park or the museum, check out the Georgia Department of Natural Resources website.
3. Attend the 4th Annual Native American Heritage Day
Take a guided hike to Kolomoki Mounds State Park to celebrate! This hike, guided by Ben Kirkland will take place from 10 am – 12 pm on Saturday, November 11th, and will guide attendees through the importance of the land and flora and fauna found on it. Kirkland will specifically talk about the birds and their importance to the culture found at Kolomoki.
The hike is short, from the Temple Mound parking lot to the top of Mound A.
4. Visit the brand-new Muscogee Park
Address: 841 Brookline St SW, Atlanta, GA, 30310.
Recently, leaders of the Muscogee Nation and City of Atlanta unveiled their project to revamp an old green space into Muscogee Park, a place to enjoy nature, learn about the indigenous peoples of this land, and appreciate the culture of the Muscogee!
Head to the park to enjoy the weather while you learn about the Muscogee this November!
5. Take a hike through the Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area
Address: 3350 Klondike Rd, Stonecrest, GA 30038
Take a nature walk through Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area, a place dedicated to protecting, connecting and sharing the unique history, rich culture and landscapes deeply connected to the Native American story.
Through archaeological sites and historic markers, Arabia Mountain offers guests the opportunity to explore the rich Native American history of the land. The history of the region serves as a reminder of the enduring legacy of Native American heritage in Georgia and the United States as a whole.
For more information, check out Arabia Mountain’s website!
Take some time to celebrate Native Heritage this November!