Native American Heritage Celebration at Providence City Hall

Providence Mayor Brett Smiley hosted members of American Indian Tribes at City Hall on November 27, 2023 for the 8th Annual Native American Heritage Celebration and Eagle Staff Day in the City Hall Chambers. The tribes included the Wabbaquasset Nipmuc Tribe, the Mashapaug Nahaganset Tribe, Mattakeeset Tribe of the Massachuset Nation, and the the Cibuco Bayamon Taino Tribe. This year’s event was organized by the Rhode Island American Indian Heritage Commission as were previous year’s events. Click here for a 47-minute video of the event.

(Above) Members of the Providence City Council Shelly Peterson, Althea Graves, Juan Pichardo, Miguel Sanchez and Pedro Espinal listen to Pokanoket Sachem Harry “Hawk” Edmonds as he delivers a sacred tobacco prayer in his Native language and to Mayor Smiley, who was introduced by Emcee Jacqueline “Runs Strong” McKinney of the Mashapaug Nahaganset Tribe.

(Above) Native people, including Pokanoket Spiritual Leader Herbert “Shining Star” Tilson in the second row, listen as Mattakeeset Chief Sachem Dr. Larry Fisher and Urban Aboriginal Artist Joel Rosario Tapia speak.

(Above) Attendees pose for a group photo with the Mayor at the end of the ceremony following remarks by Raymond “Two Hawks” Watson, founder and CEO of the Providence Cultural Equity Initiative.