Summit County Celebrates Second Annual First People's Day

Oct 4, 2019

Akron is celebrating its second annual “North American First People’s Day” with a series of events Friday through Monday. 

The weekend long celebration started in 2018 with a resolution by the Akron City Council declaring the first Monday in October as a day to honor and celebrate indigenous history and culture.

The celebration includes a walk on Sunday led by representatives from the Northern Cheyenne Nation along the historic Portage Path.

Dave Lieberth, with the Summit County Historical Society is one of the organizers. He says the walk is a way for the community to remember its history. 

“Akron and Summit County doesn’t have a real history in contemporary times of American Indian people," Lieberth said.  "And so we celebrate the Portage Path as our connection with the indigenous peoples who settled this area more than 10,000 years ago.”

This year’s events include in-school visits from representatives of indigenous nations.

Events for First People's Day Celebration 
Friday, October 4 

 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.  Exhibit. The Oelschlager Native American Ethnographic Collection at the Institute for    Human Science and Culture’s Oak Native American Gallery, the University of Akron, 73 S. College   St. A portion of the Oelschlager’s 800 rare Native American artifacts will be on display.   Free admission.   5 p.m. – 7 p.m. Metro Parks. Join a naturalist for flint knapping, atlatl throwing and fire starting     demonstrations, and enjoy roasting marshmallows beside the campfire (while supplies last).    Tuscarawas Meadows: 2620 Harrington Rd. Free.  Saturday, October 5   11am – 4pm. Exhibit, The Oelschlager Native American Ethnographic Collection at the Institute for    Human Science and Culture’s Oak Native American Gallery,  the University of Akron, 73 S College   St. Free admission.    Sunday, October 6    11 a.m. – 1 p.m. Exhibit, The Oelschlager Native American Ethnographic Collection at the Institute for    Human Science and Culture’s Oak Native American Gallery, the University of Akron, 73 S. College   St. Free admission.   11:30 a.m. - Walk the Towpath Trail, guided by Summit Metro Parks archaeologist, from the parking    area of Big Bend Metro Park 1337 Merriman Rd., to the northern terminus of the Portage    Path.    12:00 p.m. -A talk by American Indian statue artist Peter Jones (Onondaga/Seneca).    Location: terminus at North Portage Path & Merriman Rd.     1:30 p.m. - A 1 kilometer walk will begin at Portage Path CLC, 55 S. Portage Path and will be led by the    Northern Cheyenne, who will be drumming and dressed in regalia.  The walk will end at the    Perkins Stone Mansion    2:00 p.m. - Drumming and dancing, Perkins Stone Mansion, 550 Copley Road. There is no admission    charge and the public is welcome to attend.    4:30 p.m. - Native American Foods Dinner, Outdoor Pavilion, Schultz Campus for Jewish Life  750 White Pond Drive. $50/person. For Reservations, http://bit.ly/NativeAmericanDinner    Monday, October 7,  North American First People’s Day     In-school activities in Akron and Summit County. A “teach-in,” with appearances by Indian nation    representatives. Teachers are creating aligned lesson activities.