Thomas M. Zajicek
Tom is currently the President of SGS and has been on the board since its inception. He was a founding member of the Falling Leaves Festival and was the driving force behind the creation of the SGS 501(c)(3) organization that continues to host the festival under the name Native Nations Festival. Tom has taught Native American culture to many area schools, YMCA, local Veterans Administration, and more. He and Christine are active educators of NA culture in the area.
Christine is a current SGS board member and Vice President. She directs the educational arm of the organization. She organized the school day events in 2018 and 2019 that had over 1000 school aged children in attendance both years. She actively participates in all of the educational opportunities. She is a teacher for 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade at the local Montessori school and so teaching comes naturally to her. It was Christine who guided Thomas into learning about his native roots and started the Zajicek family on this journey.
Tom Cook is an SGS board member and current Treasurer. Tom was a founding member of the Falling Leaves Festival team hosted by Corning Incpororated’s Native American Council to which Tom was the leader of for several years. The festival latter became the Native Nations Festival when SGS took it over. Tom has been the treasurer and board member of SGS since its inception. You can generally find him at the festival helping vendors, handling the financial side of things, and participating in activities. Tom Cook and Tom Zajicek started learning songs from Enolia many years ago when participating in an educational event. Since then, he remains a driving force behind SGS and the NNF. Tom is a natural educator and enjoys sharing his cultural knowledge with our youth.
Melissa Zajicek is a founding member of SGS and is currently Secretary. Like many members of the team, she too is a natural educator. She has participated in many of the SGS activites such as the Garden of Fire, the Maple Tree Awakening Ceremony at the Watson Homestead, and the Taste of the Fingerlakes Farmers Market. She holds much knowledge about the Abenaki tribe and can be seen in the picture discussing Federal Recognition for the Abenaki tribe while in law school. She is passionate about the culture especially around the spiritual aspects.
Ivan is the creator of the Seven Generations of Stewards 501(c)(3). Ivan saw the need in the festival continuing and so created the organization that continues to host the festival. Ivan is our past president and now holds and Elder position.
Johannes is a great friend of the Zajicek family. The kids refer to him as "uncle." Although, not Native American himself, he has a great respect for the culture and enjoys learning more about it. Johannes has volunteered countless hours as an SGS board member and with the planning and execution of the Native Nations Festival. At the festival, he can generally be found at the sound board. Johannes often participates in the various activities such as drumming and can be depended on to help out where ever he is needed.
Thomas C. Zajicek
TC has been an active member and supporter of the festival since its inception. He is a past board member of SGS. TC has been the overnight fire keeper and was trained by Scott Foti, our daytime fire keeper. TC often participates in the other activities of SGS as well from presenting at the Taste of the Fingerlakes farmers market to the Maple Tree Awakening ceremony at the Watson Homestead. He is generous with his time and commitment to SGS and the Native Nations Festival.
The festival as a whole is the brain child of Jeff. It was with his visions that the Corning Native American Council was able to host the first Falling Leaves Festival in 2015. The festival changed names to the Native Nations Festival in 2018 under the direction of the Seven Generations of Stewards, Inc. 501(c)(3). Jeff has been a strong member of this team and many ideas stem from him. He is also the one who chose the third weekend of September as the date for the festival and we have thankfully had great weather for all festivals so far.
Dorothy (Dot) Thomas has been an active member of the Native Nations Festival planning committee since its inception. We call her “Event Mom” because she keeps the event running smoothly and always lends a hand wherever it is needed. She can be found buzzing around the grounds filling in for vendors so that they can get away from their booths to see the sights. She moves so fast that even getting a picture of her has been difficult! She is a deep supporter of sharing Native American culture through educational opportunities.
Enolia is a member of the NNF committe and advises the SGS board when needed. She has traveled the globe in search of knowledge. She currently owns her own buisness that provids "Women's Empowerment" lectures around the world. She is the NNF Spiritual Elder and is responsible for opening and closing the sacred space.
Billy Wilson is a NNF committee member and advises us on the logistics of the grounds as well as being the sound system manager; a job he takes very seriously. The reason you can hear the drums through out the valley are because of his dedication to sound quality. Billy works with the team for weekends before and from sun-up to sun-down during the festival.
Scott has been an awesome partner with both the Falling Leaves Festival and the Native Nations Festival. Scott honors us by being our daylight Sacred Fire Keeper. He spends countless hours tending our fire and speaking to guests about the importance of it. He has trained TC in overnight fire keeping so that the fire will burn from the beginning of the festival until the end.
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