On Monday, Oct. 1, North American First People’s Day will be recognized with the third annual walk of the Portage Path, and will involve over 200 students from The Lippman School, the Akron Public Schools’ Portage Path CLC, young people from the Northern Cheyenne Nation, Emmanuel Christian Academy and other schools who will join the walk, which is open to the public.
“From what we understand, Akron is the first city in the United States to designate a unique day to recognize native people rather than renaming Columbus Day to Indigenous People’s Day,” said Sam Chestnut, Lippman Head of School. ”This is an exciting time for our students, staff and the Northern Cheyenne Nation, and I am proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish together.”
The walk will begin at 1 p.m. at Portage Path CLC, 55 S. Portage Path, and will be led by members of the Northern Cheyenne Nation of Montana, who will be drumming and dressed in regalia. The walk crosses West Exchange Street and will end at the Perkins Stone Mansion, 550 Copley Road. There will be a short program that will include drumming and singing. The event is free to attend.
The symbolic walk will allow students to learn more about the native people who used the portage, which was marked by the Summit County Historical Society in 1999, when for the first time, monumental sculptures at each terminus of the Path were connected over the 8-mile trail by 50 markers in the shape of historic Indian broad blades.
Originally created by indigenous people who populated the area for millennia before the first Europeans arrived, the Portage Path today exists as one of the oldest, most visible landmarks on the North American continent – crossing the watershed divide between the Cuyahoga River and Tuscarawas River.
More events for the weekend include:
- Exhibits and sale of Iroquoian Art at Shaw Jewish Community Center, 750 White Pond Drive. The event is free admission and the times include Saturday, Sept. 29, noon to 5 p.m. and Sunday, Sept. 30, noon to 4 p.m.
- Artist talk with Peter Jones. Sunday, Sept. 30, from noon to 2 p.m., at the intersection of Merriman Road and North Portage Path. The event is free and trolleys will shuttle guests from parking lots at San Run Metro Park’s Big Bend area, 1337 Merriman Road, and Treaty Line, 975 Treaty Line Road, to the site.
- Native American Foods Dinner, Sunday, Sept. 30, 4 to 6 p.m., at the Outdoor Pavilion of the Schultz Campus for Jewish Life at , 750 White Pond Dr. Cost is $50 per person, and reservations are required. Visit www.eventbrite.com/e/authentic-native-american-foods-dinner-tickets-49439394560
The activities are sponsored by a new coalition, The Portage Path Collaborative, an assembly of educators, organizations and individuals committed to preserving and sharing the history of the First People of Akron and Summit County. The group includes: The Summit County Historical Society, The Lippman School, Summit Metro Parks, Akron Portage and Paddle, Stewards for Historical Preservation, LaDonna Blue Eye (Choctaw) and The University of Akron Institute for Human Science and Culture/ Cummings Center for the History of Psychology.
For info about The Lippman School, visit www.thelippmanschool.org.