First Peoples Festival

More than twenty years ago, Chief Yellow Eyes of the Southern Cheyenne Nation designed and led the construction of the Medicine Wheel at the Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens. In celebration of the Medicine Wheel, American Natives from around the region will visit the Arboretum for the First Peoples Festival to acknowledge the contributions of all tribes, educate non-Native people and encourage understanding between all groups.

Enjoy music, dances, food, crafts and demonstrations for all ages. The intertribal celebration will pay tribute to first peoples’ cultures, both past and present.


Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens
8909 W. 179th Street
Overland Park, KS 66013




September 30, 2023
10 a.m.-2 p.m.


Included with Arboretum admission

Schedule of Events

Performances and demonstrations include:

  • Flute workshop conducted by Janalea Hoffman at 10 a.m. (tickets required)
  • Andean Music Performance from Amado Espinoza at 10:30 a.m.
  • LongHouse Singers at 11:30 a.m.
  • Janalea Hoffman Flute Presentation at 11:40 a.m.
  • Event remarks by Representative Sharice Davids at 12:45 p.m.
  • Wichita War Dancer performance at 1 p.m.
  • Craft demonstrations and sales from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

During the festival, visitors can browse booths from represented tribal groups, including beading from the Wyandot, artifacts from the Kaw, visual artists from the Ottawa Tribe of Oklahoma and more.

The Medicine Wheel

Under the guidance of Chief Lee Yellow Eyes, members of the Southern Cheyenne Nation from Oklahoma installed the Medicine Wheel at the Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens in 2001.

Practiced by many Native American cultures, medicine wheels serve as a place of worship, spiritual reflection and metaphor for the course of life.

Festival Etiquette

Dressing up as a Native American is never appropriate. Please refrain from making or wearing Native masks, headdresses or imitations of any Native regalia. Never touch a Native American’s regalia without permission.

Listen to the directions and requests of others. Respect everyone, non-Native and Native, especially elders.

All Arboretum rules should be followed, including no pets and no tobacco use. Use courtesy and respect when photographing. Announcements will be made prior to events when photography is prohibited. If you would like a dancer to pose for a photo, introduce yourself and ask permission. Professional photographers and artists should ask permission from dancers or performers before using images for commercial projects.