The Institute for American Indian Studies is offering a series of January events that will help families warm up to this chilly season of the year. On Tuesdays through February 12 from 10:30 a.m. through 11:30 a.m. for example pre-school children will enjoy the wonders and joy of traditional Native American stories. Why does Bear have a short tail? Who is Gluskabi and from where did his superpowers come? And why is Coyote known as a “trickster?” An added treat is that the stories are told in a beautifully replicated 16th century indoor Sachem’s house. The story hour is included free with regular museum admission of $5 Adults; $4.50 Seniors; $3 Kids; IAIS Members Free. www.iaismuseum.org
On Saturday January 19 and Sunday January 20 at 2 p.m. guests will enjoy a Winter Film Festival that features a documentary called Reel Injun. Native American peoples have long been a topic in Hollywood filmmaking, but the picture presented of them was not always flattering or accurate. Most westerns of Hollywood’s Golden Age presented “Indians” as either ruthless savages with no sense of honor or fools who were lost without the help of the white man. Adding insult to injury, they were usually played by white actors in make up. In the 1960s movies began to show a more positive and realistic portrayal of American Indians and Native American actors were given a greater opportunity to present their story in television and the movies. Director Neil Diamond (a member of Canada’s Cree community) offers a look at the past, present and future of Native People on the big screen in this documentary. The film is included free with regular museum admission of $5 Adults; $4.50 seniors; $3 Kids; IAIS Members Free. www.iaismuseum.org
Also on January 26 from 12 noon to 2 p.m. it is time to put on your winter boots and go on a Winter Tracking Walk. Certified wildlife tracker Andy Dobosof Three Red Trees School of Natural Living will lead you through the winter woods to discover how the animals live in this stark time of year. He will also demonstrate some of the skills ancient people employed to survive during the winter months. Fee: $8 Adults; $6 IAIS Members; $4 Children. www.iaismuseum.org
Through discovery, research and education, the Institute for American Indian Studies enriches contemporary society by engaging the public and making more visible the history, cultural values, beliefs and living traditions of the indigenous peoples of the Western Hemisphere, especially those of the Northeast. With its museum, archaeology, research and unique collection, IAIS creates a focal point for the community by preserving the knowledge of the continuing stories of these indigenous peoples.
For area information www.litchfieldhills.com