EAST GREENBUSH, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Thousands came together to celebrate Native American culture and heritage at Gathering of the Tribes on Saturday.
Once upon a time, he worked in construction.
An accident cost him his eye, but he never lost his vision for something better.
“I had a dream one night of having a pow wow on the farm,” Browning, or Chief Straight Arrow, Organizer of Gathering of the Tribes, said. “I’ve been to many pow wows, they do it for the weekend. Our sacred circle is here year round.”
Some call him Chief Straight Arrow, others simply call him “Browning.”
But everyone here calls him friend.
This event is called the Gathering of the Tribes, and for almost a decade now, it’s brought people from all walks of life.
“This is just a special place,” an event attendee said. “A very good aura all throughout this whole area.”
The goal is simple: Celebrate Native American culture and heritage.
“We want to teach respect for the land, for your parents and for the people around you,” Browning said.
Vendors, art, and music, with all proceeds going right back into the community through local charities.
And everyone plays a role.
“I like coming here because I get to teach them about our people,” The event attendee said.
“Our role is traffic control, keep the traffic flowing and get people in and out in a safe manner,” Browning said.
Having fun today – and spreading a message for tomorrow.
“I like to say the children are our future and they need to know the truth so they can better decide because their the next caretakers of this world, they’re the ones that are going to take over for us,” said the event attendee.
“What I get in here, you can’t buy and the people that help me feel the same way, this is all done with volunteers,” Browning said.
Seven years later and this event continues to grow — Going stronger than ever.
Organizers say it’s more than just celebrating Native American heritage.
It’s about celebrating the human spirit.