About Us

The Saratoga Native American Festival is a collaborative effort of the Ndakinna Education Center and the NYS Office of Parks Recreation and Historic Preservation. The event is totally free and open to the general public, with activities taking place under shelter, rain or shine. The Festival is part of a regional effort to educate people about the history, cultural traditions, and continued active presence of the Native peoples of the northeast. Authentic northeastern Native American Indian drumming and dancing, storytelling, music, crafts, and authentic traditional native foods will be part of each
day’s offerings.

LOCATION CHANGE
FREE ADMISSION:

After a year’s absence, the popular Saratoga Native American Festival is returning to the Saratoga State Park in Saratoga Spring, New York with some changes from past years. The first major change is that, for the first time, the event is totally free and open to the general public. The second is that it is now located at the National Dance Museum, near its former location at SPAC, with activities taking place outdoors and under shelter. We have a large Vendors Tent that will accommodate many of our more than 40 vendors, in addition to our Outdoor Performance Area where our drum groups, traditional dancing, music and storytelling will be presented. In addition, our Information Booth will also be under our Vendors’ Tent.
Ample parking will be available on site.

NATIVE AMERICAN FOODS:

A third difference this year is that Native American Food will be a major aspect of the event at our new food court area where half a dozen different Native American vendors will be offering a wide variety of foods, ranging from traditional blue corn bread, moose meat and strawberry drink, to Navajo tacos and buffalo burgers.

The Festival is part of a regional effort to educate people about the history, cultural traditions, and continued active presence of the Native peoples of the northeast. Authentic northeastern Native American Indian drumming and dancing, storytelling, music, crafts, and those previously mentioned native foods will be part of each day’s offerings.

DAILY EVENTS:

The festival will open each morning at 10 AM with a traditional Opening Address delivered in Mohawk and English by Tom Sakokwenionkwas Porter, who positions with the Mohawk Nation Council of Chiefs and is the spokesman and spiritual leader of the Mohawk community of Kanatsiohareke. Tom will also do a Closing Address at the end of each day at 6 PM.

This will be followed at noon by the Grand Entry, with the procession of dozens of Native American dancers, all in colorful regalia, and the beginning of the daily drumming and dancing part of the program, featuring the popular drum group Rez Dogs and during which Native American dancers will take part and compete for Cash Prizes offered each day in such categories as Smoke Dance, Men’s

Traditional, and Lady’s Shawl. There will also be Friendship Dances which the public can join in.

The two featured storytellers for the event, Perry Ground (Onondaga) and Roger Paul (Passamaquoddy) will perform twice a day between dance programs in the Children’s Area and on the Dance Arena.

VENDORS
ART EXHIBIT AND COMPETITION:

Demonstrations of such crafts as basketry, jewelry making, and carving will take place at various booths each day of the festival

Our 2017 festival includes over forty Native vendors carefully selected by Jeanne Brink (Abenaki) the coordinator of our arts and crafts area. These gifted artists and artisans, who are nearly all from the American Indian nations of the northeast, will be displaying and selling their own work. This year will once again include our very popular Juried Art Competition, with each vendor eligible to submit one original piece of their own making. In past years entries have ranged from traditional arts and crafts to more modern forms, including  beadwork, quillwork, wampum, tufting, silver work, carving in wood, stone, antler and bone, leatherwork, oil painting, and clothing. Ribbons and cash prizes will be awarded for First, Second and Third Places. On Saturday, all entries will be on display throughout the day in the main room of the Victoria Pool Building and on Sunday at each vendor’s individual booth where most of these items will be available for purchase. 

CHILDREN’S AREA:

Our Children’s Area (sponsored by Stewart’s Shops) has been one of the favorite areas in past festivals. Indoors this year, inside the air-conditioned Victoria Pool Building, it will again provide Native activities for children (who must be accompanied by a responsible adult), including a wide range of traditional crafts.

Admission is free. For more information go to the Festival’s on-line site at or call (518) 584-1728

SPONSORS INCLUDE:

The NYS Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation; the Bay and Paul Foundation; the Nordlys Foundation; the Adirondack Trust Company; Stewart’s Shops; Healthy Living Markets; The Northshire Bookstore; Fingerpaint Marketing

The Ndakinna Education Center, an affiliate of the Greenfield Review Literary Center, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and charitable organization, based at the Marion F. Bowman Bruchac Memorial Nature Preserve in Greenfield Center, New York. The Center offers programs, performances, camps, field trips, and special events focusing on regional Native American understandings, Adirondack culture, martial arts, wilderness skills and awareness of the natural world.

The Ndakinna Education Center, an affiliate of the Greenfield Review Literary Center, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and charitable organization, based at the Marion F. Bowman Bruchac Memorial Nature Preserve in Greenfield Center, New York. The Center offers programs, performances, camps, field trips, and special events focusing on regional Native American understandings, Adirondack culture, martial arts, wilderness skills and awareness of the natural world.