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Mardi Gras Indian Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony


It started out as a simple thank you from a daughter to a father. Big Chief Donald Harrison Sr., famously known as a peacemaker amongst the Mardi Gras Indians, dedicated his life to preserving the unique heritage of the Indians. Part of that dedication was manifested in his commitment to teaching the students of Oretha Haley Castle Elementary School about their culture. When Harrison died in 1998, his daughter and a teacher at the school, Cherice Harrison-Nelson, wanted to honor him and the tradition that had played such a major role in his life by establishing the Haley Mardi Gras Indian Hall of Fame. The annual induction ceremony was held in the school's auditorium until Katrina's winds severely damaged the building. This year's event will take place at the Backstreet Cultural Museum, an appropriate place to powwow that's full of Indian memorabilia and a vast collection of photographs. Honorees for 2006 include Big Chief Cyril "Ironhorse" Green, Big Queen Rita Johnson, and Big Chief Monk Boudreaux. You can count on hearing songs like "Indian Red" and other Indian classics following the ceremony. Free admission. -- David Winkler-Schmit

4 p.m. Sun., Aug. 13

Backstreet Cultural Museum, 1116 St. Claude Ave, 522-4806:

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