ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Monday, October 9 marks Indigenous People’s Day and Columbus Day.

A Rochester storyteller and member of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy joins the News 8 Sunrise team to share stories of Native American origins in the local region, as well as a message of sharing and cooperation within the community.

“I think it’s very important that we recognize all the important elements of history. It might sound strange coming from a Native American person, but as a historian, we have to recognize what Columbus did was an important event in world history,” says Perry Ground, a Turtle Clan member of the Onondaga Nation.

“Unfortunately, there were some negative things that happened — of course — after the coming of European settlers like Columbus, and it’s important to recognize the indigenous peoples, the Native Americans, who were already here.”

Ground is one of several storytellers who will share traditional tales at the Strong National Museum of Play for Indigenous People’s Day. He says he loves the opportunity to make learning experiences fun.

“More and more people are becoming familiar with the term [Haudenosaunee], which is great because it’s part of our identity. It’s part of who we are as Native peoples, even though most people are more familiar with the term ‘Iroquois’–what the French explorers called us when they came here,” Ground says.

The Strong Museum’s “Traditions and Storytellers” program will be on Monday, October 9 with Ground’s stories presented at 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. in the Paychex Theater.

The Indigenous Peoples’ Day Committee of the City of Rochester also has an event celebration in Genesee Valley Park starting before sunrise at 7 a.m. until a sunset ceremony at around 6:15 p.m.

The program includes traditional stories, music, a lacrosse demonstration, food and more!