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At one of the largest gatherings of Native Americans in the city, Brooklynites are invited to celebrate traditional song, dance, food and arts presented by 1,000 artists, performers and educators from North and South America.

The Redhawk Native American Arts Council presents the 12th annual Gateway to Nations Native American Heritage Celebration at Floyd Bennett Field, from June 9 through June 11.

"Most people who come to the festival are not Native American," said Cliff Matias, co-director of the festival. "This is a great opportunity for people to learn about the culture."

Yasti Perkins, of North Carolina, performs the "Men’s Northern Traditional" dance (pictured).

Other highlights include the opportunity to purchase Native American cuisine, like buffalo burgers and venison stew, and jewelry, pottery, leatherwork, paintings and other crafts will be for sale.

"My favorite event is the Hoop Dance," said Matias. "People dance with small hoops which they use to tell stories and create shapes of butterflies, eagles and buffaloes while dancing through them."

Gateway to Nations Native American Council takes place June 9, from 11 am-6 pm; June 10, from 11 am-8 pm; and June 11, from 11 am-7 pm at Floyd Bennett Field, entrance on Flatbush Avenue (exit 11S on the Belt Parkway). For more information, including admission fees, call (718) 686-9297 or visit

Updated 4:00 pm, November 10, 2010
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