Indian Summer Festival Music Awards

Milwaukee (Wisconsin), USA – Under sunny skies, more than 65,00
people of all cultures attended the 2005
Indian Summer Festival
at the Henry Maier Festival Grounds, held on the
Milwaukee shorefront Sept. 9 – 11. This was the 19th annual Fest, and it has
grown into becoming one of the largest American Indian gatherings in the United

This year’s Fest featured hundreds of exceptional American Indian musicians,
artists, vendors, storytellers, cultural demonstrators and actors, food stands,
not to mention one of the largest powwows in the country. The 2nd annual Indian
Summerfest Music and Video/Image Awards show highlighted the weekend. The awards
were emceed by Native Rap artist/actor Litefoot. The presenters of the awards
were chosen because of their contributions and participation in the Native
American entertainment/arts industry. Paula Fernandez – Stage Director, said, “This is so inspiring to see people
come together like this. It all came together, for sure, this year! I look
forward to next year. We encourage people to submit their entries to next year’s
awards. These are available in January

In one of the most riveting moments of the awards, Mitch Walking Elk won the
“Best Blues” category. When accepting his award from Ojibwe presenters Dona
Aeola (Milwaukee) and Abbey Thompson (Lac du Flambeau), Walking Elk was too
moved to speak. This was the first time Walking Elk won an award for his music,
even though he has been in the music industry for over 30 years.

Each night also ended with one of the largest fireworks displays in the Midwest.
Organizer Marie Elioff said, “I can’t believe how this festival grows every
.” Elioff and co-organizer John Warren, along with their large staff,
works year-round to pull the Fest together. They employ over one hundred
security workers, an army of volunteers, and they work with several hundred
media representatives. Tribal members from North and South America attended and
participated in the events.

More than six large stages featured continuous performances daily (including
Wade Fernandez, Mitch Walking Elk, Richie Plass & the Flying Feather Band,
Litefoot, Keith Secola, Walela, Murray Porter, Brule and others). There were
additional events such as the Fiddle and Jam contest, bingo and athletic
demonstrations that drew large crowds to witness the amazing feats of Native
American athletes.

In these times of national and international strife, events such as this are
more than welcomed and appreciated. The 20th Annual Indian Summer Festival
celebration will be held on September 8-10, 2006.

2005 Indian Summer Music Awards winners
*Awards were presented Sept. 10th, 2005*

Alternative Rock: “The Red” by Eagle & Hawk

Blues: “Time For A Woman” by Mitch Walking Elk

Classic Rock: “Maya” by Jimmy Lee Young

Contemporary Instrumental: “Spirit of the Nations” by Spirit of the Nations

Country: “Maya” by Jimmy Lee Young

Flute: “Togo” by Andrew Vasquez

Folk: “Nawi” by Yarina

Native Spirit: “Shapeshifter” by Elysium Calling

Pop: “Skintalk” by Martha Redbone

Rap/Hip Hop: “Redvolution” by Litefoot

Spiritual: “Aloha Ke Akua” by Na Kahu

Spoken Word: “Spirit Seeker” by Phillip Whiteman Jr.

Traditional Drum: “Under The Same Sky” by Delia & The Waskewitch Boys

Traditional Vocal: “There Are No Goodbyes” by Randy Wood

[Photo: Andrew Vasquez].