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Cape Coral Indian Festival draws interested crowd

By Staff | Dec 12, 2010

The Germains weren’t able to make their trek west this year, they weren’t able to visit some of the famed national Parks, or soak in the Native American culture that comes with their beloved trips through America’s last frontier.
Lucky for them, then, that Cape Coral hosted the third annual Cape Coral Indian Festival at Sun Splash this weekend, as they were given the chance to soak up Native American culture without having to leave the city limits.
“I’m happy to have them come to us,” Pat said.
Hundreds of people flocked to the festival this year, and like the Germains, everyone got a taste of Native American culture, artwork, history, performance hand made items and food.
Organizer Rex Begaye said his motive for bringing the festival to Cape Coral was because there was nothing in Lee County that focused solely on Native American heritage.
Begaye and his wife Barbara Huntoon host a similar festival in Sarasota.
“When I was looking around and different areas I never saw any good events for natives here,” Begaye said. “Each year it builds up a little bit more.”
Begaye said people are often “curious” about Native Americans, and the festival gives them the opportunity to learn first hand.
“All tribes are different and we’re trying to educate people here, teach them about the different nations, who they are,” Begaye said. “People are curious … there are a lot of people into natives.”
Little Big Mountain of the Commanche/Mohawk nation acted as master of ceremonies for the event, introducing the different performers and giving history lessons.
Little Big Mountain said it was important to clear up certain myths and misconceptions about native peoples, as those misconceptions have lasted generations.
“That’s why we have festivals and programs so we can tell you the truth about these things,” he said.
That message came in loud and clear for the Germains, who said they were impressed with what they had seen and learned during the festival.
“We’re very impressed by the Indian culture,” Pat Germain said.