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Council of Three Rivers American Indian Center

Three Rivers

Council of Three Rivers American Indian Center

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Location Details

PHONE: 412-782-4457
ADDRESS: 120 Charles Street
Dorseyville, PA 15238
HOURS: Weekdays 9am-5pm
COST: free

Event Details

Pow-Wow

Description

The rockets are gone now, and a wooded hilltop in rural Allegheny County has regained its timeless calm. Once a Cold War missile base, the site is back in the care of people who knew it 20,000 years ago.

When the Council of Three Rivers, a local Native American intertribal organization, acquired the property in the early 1970s, they promptly renamed it “Singing Winds.” But the Council’s efforts to return the land to peaceful purposes didn’t stop there. Buildings once used by the military were reassigned as the Council’s American Indian Center and dedicated to promoting the socio-economic development of the Native American community.

Fred Deer witnessed the transformation firsthand, as a member of the Center’s advisory council, and as the site’s maintenance man. Originally from a Mohawk reservation in Canada, Deer was employed at U. S. Steel’s Homestead Works. When the mill shut down in 1986, Deer began devoting his time and energy to the Center.

In fact, his entire family got involved in preserving traditional Native American arts. He was an accomplished wood- and bone-carver. His wife and sister are bead-workers, and together they join other families every September as the Center hosts an intertribal Pow-Wow at Singing Winds. The Pow-Wow draws singers, drummers, and dancers representing native peoples from Cuban Taino to Alaskan Tlingit. Artists display and sell their work at this event, and visitors can enjoy traditional foods like Indian fry-bread.

In addition to the annual Pow-Wow, the Center hosts monthly Native American Community Day gatherings. Guests are welcome to visit the Center, learn more about Native Americans in the region, and listen to the singing winds along the nature trail.

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