The ATAYAL organization organized the 2004 Indigenous Heritage Festival as a means to connect tribal groups of the world and to share this bounty of human culture and wisdom with everyone.
The festival brought tribal cultures of the world together, and shared the bounty with the entire Central Florida community.
The inaugural Indigenous Heritage Festival in 2004 was created from a vision of a united indigenous peoples of the world having much to share with the rest of society. The 300 million indigenous peoples of the world have much self-expression to share, and the festival offers the local communities hosting the event to learn from and interact with tribal nations. We provide the opportunity for tribal people to present performances, exhibits, films and seminars for the public.
The first international event also provided the opportunity for the Seminole Tribe of Florida, and a representative of the Navajo Nation to meet with and interact with tribal peoples from Taiwan, Kenya and Ghana, Africa. This has opened the doors to cultural exchanges and other intertribal opportunities.
It is not hard to imagine what can be accomplished if the 300 million people of the tribal nations came together, shared resources and created a future together. We are doing our part to provide opportunities.
It is important to acknowledge and publicly recognize people and organizations that have made a difference for indigenous peoples of the world. Public recognition will encourage more people to do the same. We recognized individuals and organizations for eight categories of the 2004 Indigenous Heritage Awards by presenting them with a beautiful engraved crystal award. We are committed to awarding deserving people at each festival.
Although turnout was lower than expected, several hundred visitors experienced parts of the festival throughout the day. Key members of the media were able to share the event with the public, including Erin Ailworth, a reporter for the Orlando Sentinel newspaper. Her nearly full-page article graced the Local & State section of the Sunday edition, which reached 350,000 readers in Central Florida. Wendy Chen also covered the event for the World Journal, a Mandarin Chinese newspaper in Florida.
Several visitors also requested to work with our organization to expand the Indigenous Heritage Festival to Taiwan, Detroit, Michigan and Largo (Tampa area) Florida. Growth is in the horizon. Ray Bagwell of Walt Disney World declared the event and its performers world-class and looked forward to future participation with Disney in the future.
To view photos of the inaugural festival, please visit our Photo Gallery page by CLICKING HERE.
The Indigenous Heritage Festival is strenghtening its foundation by partnering with economic development groups to promote international tribal commerce, including trade of indigenous goods and eco-tourism. Promotion and trading of cultural resources is good for the indigenous peoples to build self-reliance and it is good for the international communities. With its new partnerships, the Indigenous Heritage Festival can provide expanded opportunities to indigenous groups.
If indigenous people are able to build a strong economic base, they will flourish and be able to effectively preserve and share their cultural assets to share with the world. If the indigenous people of the world begin to create cultural and economic partnerships with other indigenous nations, they will be able to become leaders in the world contributing their wisdom and beauty to shape the course of a world society.
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