Aquinnah

Is next week The Fair? Is that really happening so soon? How do the summer months pass so quickly? July and August seem shorter than all of February. This seems grossly unfair as July and August have February beat in the weather and goings on department.

There is much going on at our two busiest places in town, the Aquinnah Cultural Center and the Aquinnah Public Library. First the Center events:

On Friday, August and Saturday, August 10 and 11, you can stop by the Center for a tour of the Vanderhoop homestead from 11 am to 4 pm. Then on Saturday evening at 5 pm the Annual Feast and Fundraising Dinner will be held. This is a fundraising dinner featuring a meal of traditional foods provided by Mashpee Wampanoag caterer Sly Fox’s Den (they make delicious food as anyone who has attended the Powwow at the Cliffs can tell you), with a special presentation by Professor Lisa Brooks, Abenaki, of Amherst College, who will speak on her book, “The Common Pot: Recovery of Native Space in the Northeast”.

The week of August 12–18 begins a full week of activities and events in celebration of the Aquinnah Tribe’s 25 years of Federal Recognition. On Monday, August 13, at “Corn Husk Dolls and Action Figures.” from 11 am to 4 pm, Janette Vanderhoop will speak about traditional gardening, corn, and the harvest, while teaching visitors to make their own corn husk figure. There will be a $10 crafting fee.

On Tuesday, August 14, there will be a Native New England Literary Traditions and Book Signing from 1 to 3 pm.

Meet four Native American authors, Joan Avant and Robert Peters from the Mashpee Wampanoag, Larry Mann from the Nipmuck, and Lisa Brooks from the Abenaki, who will offer signed copies of their books.

Then at 4 pm there is the New England Native Authors Symposium. Come and hear native authors from three New England native nations discuss the reasons for writing their books as a way to preserve and present native history, as well as the long-standing literary traditions of New England tribes. There is a $7 suggested donation at the door.

Lastly on Wednesday, August 15, “UNITY and National Native Youth Leadership” at 5 pm. Amira Madison, Aquinnah Wampanoag, and Brian Weeden, Mashpee Wampanoag, will speak on UNITY, the national native youth leadership organization in which they both hold office. They will discuss the purpose and goals of the organization, its national scope and depth, and their respective roles in it. There is a suggested $7 donation at the door.

Please call 508-645-7900 or email aquinnahcc@gmail.com for information about any of these events.

And if that wasn’t enough, the Library has a full roster of events this week as well. Starting with Nancy Caldwell’s talk on “A Space for Dialogue and Diversity in Paris” tonight at 5 pm.

Next Tuesday author, Nichole Bernier will speak on her novel, “The Unfinished Work of Elizabeth D.” and next Thursday, August 16, Peter Benson Miller will speak on the British painter, Stanley William Hayter.

If in this election year you just can’t get enough politics, the two Democratic candidates for the 9th Congressional seat will speak on Saturday, August 11, from 9 to 10:30 am at the Howes House in West Tisbury, across the road from Alley’s General Store. The primary election is on Thursday, September 6, so this will be the only time Vineyard residents will have a chance to hear from and talk with our current Congressman, Bill Keating, and his challenger, Bristol County District Attorney, Sam Sutter. Both men will talk about their accomplishments and their priorities for Congress in the next two years. The event is open to the public, and all interested Vineyard residents and visitors are invited to attend.

Hospice of Martha’s Vineyard is hosting its Summer Soirée on Tuesday, August 14, at Farm Neck. There will be an auction which will feature lots of fishing gear that may be of interest to all of our Aquinnah fishermen and women. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit the Hospice of Martha’s Vineyard website at hospiceofmv.org or call 508-693-0189.

The Cast of “The Wire,” aka the best TV show ever, will be featured at an evening reception on Wednesday, August 15, from 6:30 to 8 pm at the home of Judy and Ron Davenport in Oak Bluffs. The event is a benefit for President Obama’s Victory Fund. For more information, contact rfleury@barackobama.com or info@mvdems.org. I love “The Wire” and I’m disappointed I cannot go, so I want someone I know to go and tell me all about it.

Save the dates! Lexie and Arlen Roth will be performing at Featherstone on August 20 and at the Grange on August 21, details to follow in a later column.

Happy Birthday to Kate Taylor who will celebrate her birthday on August 15.