Celebrate Native American heritage at Gwinnett festival

Gwinnett County is holding its Native American Festival this weekend, celebrating tribes indigenous to Georgia.

The first Native Americans were believed to be in Georgia more than 12,000 years ago, according to the New Georgia Encyclopedia.

The festival will include a sample of those native peoples’ traditions, including Cherokee games, grinding corn and reciting Native American stories first passed down through oral traditions, a county release says.

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“While the earliest people to inhabit Georgia and Gwinnett did not leave a written record of their experiences, it is important to note that they made a significant impact that is still felt today,” said Jason West, manager at the Gwinnett Environmental and Heritage Center.

Guests will also have the opportunity to learn to speak and write with Cherokee syllabary, take “native plant hikes” and watch a Stellarium presentation that shows how Native Americans interpreted the stars. The Environmental and Cultural Center also has an exhibit called “Roots of Wisdom - Native Knowledge, Shared Science,” which shows how Native American traditions and modern scientific practices overlap.

The festival will be held at the Gwinnett Environmental and Heritage Center in Buford on Nov. 19 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Admission is $5 for Gwinnett County residents and $10 for people who live outside the county.

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