To celebrate Native American Heritage Month, New Yorkers can take a free paddling tour of the Bronx River this weekend while learning about the experiences of 16th-century indigenous communities. Hosted by the Bronx River Alliance and Moskehtu Consulting, the event takes visitors on a 30-minute canoe paddle through the Mitshubishi River Walk in the Bronx Zoo and explores the life and culture of Native Americans with a living village.
Roderick Bell, who is the recreation coordinator for the Bronx River Alliance, a nonprofit committed to protecting the river, told Gothamist that while the group runs a canoe ride every year, they wanted to do something different this year.
“I was doing my best to make sure that our program explored new heights and that we created hands-on experiences,” Bell told the website. “I wanted people to actually take something away from this outdoor experience. I wanted to create a space to help my community redevelop a love and respect for our natural resources.”
Following a 30 minute-canoe trip through the fall foliage of the Botanical Garden and the Bronx Zoo, participants will dock at the living village and meet Chenae Bullock, a member of the Shinnecock Indian Nation, who will speak about the traditions of Native Americans. This includes a 16th-century historical cooking demonstration “featuring foods of the fall harvest season” and hands-on exploration of historic objects. Plus, the Bronx Drew Gardens team will be hosting a dream catcher workshop.
The event, “Reflections of the 16th Century: A Paddle and Living Outdoor Experience,” takes place on Saturday, Nov. 2 and Sunday, Nov. 3 between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. While it’s free to attend, donations are encouraged. Sign up here.
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