— Thunder in the Auditorium —

Ronald Sam discusses Native American culture in first brown bag diversity lunch

If Ronald Sam didn’t have the attention of his audience before, he certainly had it after striking the center of a buffalo-hide drum. Skilled blows to the traditional Native American instrument rattled light fixtures and hungry stomachs Friday (July 29) during the first installment of a brown-bag diversity series at Headquarters.

Sam, a member of the Summit Lake Tribe of northern Nevada, brought an entertaining and light-hearted style to the first diversity event, organized by Michelle George and the Human Resources office.

The quarterly event is designed to increase cultural/diversity awareness and appreciation among ITD employees.

Sam, is one of the founding members of the Red River Powwow Association and serves as president of its board of directors. He talked about his native regalia, its cultural symbolism and the people who crafted it. He also circulated a beaded Red River cap that he embellished, hand-beaded leather gloves and beaded moccasins.

His demonstration included a small hand drum, the large buffalo drum, his beaded shield, and his dance bustle made of eagle tail and wing feathers.

Sam took the opportunity to invite ITD guests to attend a traditional powwow, sponsored by the Red River Powwow Association Sept. 16, 17, at O’Connor Field House in Caldwell. The celebration of dance and culture is open to the public; families are encouraged to participate.

Published 8-5-2011