Nansemond Indian Nation hosting new festival this weekend in Suffolk

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SUFFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — The Nansemond Indian Nation is hosting a new festival this weekend. 

Last year, the tribe celebrated its first Pow Wow with federal recognition.

During the summer, tribal members told WAVY’s Kara Dixon they would work on ways to increase awareness.

Tribal councilman Brian Bass says they received a number of requests from schools to come in and speak with students. That is how the idea for the Nansemond Firebird Festival sparked.

“It’s just overwhelming with the number of requests. We feel this is a way to reach back out to them to invite them to come see us in how it’s done and what we did,” Bass said.

Bass says the festival will provide children with interactive demonstrations they will be tested on the SOLs.

But, it’s also about teaching the younger generation about their culture.

“The sooner we can reach the kids in elementary school and teach them about this, the connections go on for the rest of their lives,” he said.

Chief Sam Bass says the festival is named in honor of the Firebird, a legendary animal. The bird is also on the nation’s new flag.

“We’re taking that on as something in our region to be proud of and move our tribe in a direction of the future,” he said.

Both of the Basses say they’re thankful to all the support from the City of Suffolk, which donated the land where Mattanock Town is located and helping to put this festival on.

The festival is on Saturday, March 23 from 11 am to 5 p.m. at 1001 Pembroke Lane in Suffolk.

Admission and parking are free.

You can learn more by visiting https://nansemond.org.

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