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ODNR To Celebrate Native American Heritage Month With Special Programming

Several opportunities to learn more about Ohio’s Native American past at Ohio State Parks

Columbus, OH – The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Parks and Watercraft is celebrating national Native American Heritage Month with programs at different Ohio State Parks in November.

“Ohio was the setting of many important moments in Native American history and it’s important for us to continue sharing those stories.” ODNR Director Mary Mertz said. “Special programming gives visitors a way to connect with those who came before us, while having fun and educational experience.”

The special programs include:

Thursday, Nov. 16, 2 p.m., Cowan Lake State Park — The Brief History of the Shawnee People

  • This event will include the cultural identity of the Shawnee people and how they fit into the larger cultural map of central North America as well as their connection to Adena, Hopewell, and Fort Ancient cultures.

Saturday, Nov. 18, 4-5 p.m., Caesar Creek State Park — A Name and a Place: The Life of Caesar

  • This event will uncover the intriguing history of the enigmatic “Caesar” in 1770s Ohio as well as delve into the fascinating aspects of adoption within the Shawnee community and their unique family structure.  Visitors will also learn about the upcoming Great Council State Park that will showcase these stories.

Monday, Nov. 20, 10 a.m. and Wednesday, Nov. 22, 4 p.m., Buck Creek State Park — The Birth of a Legend: Interpreting the Early Life of Tecumseh

  • This event will guide a conversation about the early life of Tecumseh.

In addition to these programs, ODNR is also eagerly awaiting the opening of the state’s newest park, Great Council State Park.  Located just north of Xenia, Great Council will be a connection to Ohio’s Native American and pioneer past.  The area was once home to Oldtown, one of the largest-known Shawnee settlements in Ohio. More than 1,000 people called Oldtown home from approximately 1777 to 1780. Their stories directly intersect with that of historic settlers like Daniel Boone, who was held captive in Oldtown for a period of time.  ODNR is working with three federally-recognized Shawnee Tribes to develop the property.

The ODNR Division of Parks and Watercraft provides exceptional outdoor recreation and boating opportunities by balancing outstanding customer service, education, and conservation of Ohio’s 75 state parks and waterways.

ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at

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