Aug 312006
 
Authors: GRAHAM BUTTON The Rocky Mountain Collegian

Native American Student Services, in conjunction with the Fort Collins Museum, kicked off Labor Day weekend with a concert outside of Lory Student Center Thursday.

“Its nice to get connected,” said Heather Vincent, a freshman health and exercise science major. “It’s beautiful.”

The concert, held in the sculpture garden on the west side of the LSC, featured local band The Atoll and Seattle singer and songwriter Pura Fe.

It served as a preview for a larger upcoming concert, the fourth annual Native American Music Festival.

“The festival grew out of the relationship between the Fort Collins Museum and several Plains Indian tribes during the repatriation process,” said history professor and event organizer Greg Smoak.

The repatriation process includes returning remains and artifacts to the tribes.

Tribal representatives suggested a music festival as a way of celebrating the survival of native cultures, Smoak said.

“The point is that native people and cultures are alive and well in the U.S. today,” he said.

Cary Morin of The Atoll organized the music for this year’s festival.

“I played the first one a few years back,” Morin said. “I’m in contact with a lot of different musicians from around the country, so the museum asked me to organize the music this year.”

The festival will be featuring a variety of Native American music and “everything from traditional to blues to folk to hip hop,” Smoak said.

Dozens of people attended the preview concert Thursday.

“This marks the second year that we have put together a CSU event in order to extend the educational outreach mission and get more CSU students down to the museum for the main festival,” Smoak said.

Ty Smith, director of NASS, liked the opening to the music festival events.

“I look forward to seeing the other events and sharing the Native American culture with the campus and Fort Collins community,” Smith said.

Staff writer Graham Button can reached at news@collegian.com.

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