|Our friends, the Buffalo Creek Dancers|
Next, we had Dr. David Oestreicher in from New York City. He presented, "The Lenape: Lower New York's First Inhabitant"s - Dr. David M. Oestreicher is recognized as a leading authority on the Lenape (Delaware), our region's first inhabitants, having conducted linguistic and ethnographic research among the last tribal traditionalists for over 30 years. David actually stayed for the whole day after his presentation which I have to say is a testament to the event for everyone!
Dr. Martha Sempowski followed David's presentation with "Changing Styles of Smoking Pipes Used By Seneca Iroquois A.D. 1550-1800" - This talk was VERY helpful to the collectors and archeologists alike in our area and was very interesting to the rest of our packed lecture hall which even included grade school children who stayed the whole day as well! The presentation consisted of a slide-illustrated overview of smoking pipes from Seneca Iroquois village sites spanning a 250 year period from the mid-sixteenth to the late eighteenth centuries, and many could be found in the SRAC collections as well!
The event closer is always our dear friends the Seneca Buffalo Creek Dancers - who have won national awards at Pow-Wows across the country. But more importantly, Dick and Marci and the gang are like family to us, and we all enjoy catching up each year and spending the time together.
There were ALOT of hugs and great conversation all day long, and it is a great example of what differentiates SRAC from any other club or organization that I have been involved with. It is a great mix of professionals, students and locals of all ages that despite the political division these days - are able to realize - the one thing that no matter our differences, we all have in common, the heritage of our region. AND, we do it every year for everyone to be inspired throughout the day - FOR FREE. It truly was inspiring and I can't tell you how proud I am to be a part of it.
Thanks to all of the businesses that donated door prizes, the speakers and dancers who traveled hours to be a part of this, to our board members who make every day at SRAC an amazing experience for our visitors, the media who helped us get the word out about the event, and to everyone who attended the event and supported us throughout the year. It was a good day for everyone involved - and personally - I think it was the best Drumbeats yet.