FLORENCE - November is Native American Heritage Month, and Florence-Lauderdale Public Library is celebrating by hosting a series of free events for all ages.

The library staff has partnered with Anita Flanagan, a member of the Eastern Band Cherokee tribe, to plan cultural events that will engage and educate community members of all ages. “It’s important to have these types of events in this area because Native American culture is our original culture,” said Flanagan. “Just look at our county names and street names in the area.”

The series will kick off with an Indigenous People Storytelling and Sharing Day on Saturday, November 9 from 11am-2pm. This free event will feature stories, demonstrations, and educational talks.

The event will begin at 11am with storytelling by Flanagan.

Heloha Hickman will perform traditional Grass Dancing at noon, and at 12:30pm there will be weapon and tool demonstrations.

The final event of the day will be a cultural comparison discussion at 1pm. Representatives from different Native American tribes will share information about their tribes’ culture and traditions.

Library staff worked with Flanagan and representatives from the Oka Kapassa Festival to develop meaningful events that would be fun and educational. “We asked Ms. Flanagan if there were any topic she’d like for the community to be more aware of,” said Jennifer Butler Keeton, the Programming/Publicity Coordinator at the library.

“She told us that many people tend to lump all Native American cultures together, but that the traditions of various tribes are often very different. So, we included a tribal comparison program as part of our Saturday event.”

Bead Weaving, Feather Painting

The library will host two hands-on programs focused on Native American arts the following week taught by Flanagan. Children of all ages are invited to come by on Tuesday, November 12 any time between 4pm-6:30pm and to create a simple bead weaving project. Children attending must be accompanied by an adult.

The second event will be a Native American Feather Painting class on Thursday, November 14 from 5:30-7pm. This class is for adults and teens ages 11 and up. Students will create an original painting using feathers instead of paintbrushes. Seating is limited and registration is required. Call 256-764-6564, ext. 128 to sign up.

For more information about these and other library events, visit www.flpl.org or the library’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/flplibrary .