The animated wolves in the Twilight movies look familiar to Naperville resident Denise Kinsey.
She and her wolf dog, Suka, are ambassadors for Wolf Mountain, a wolf sanctuary in Southern California where the wolves were photographed and videotaped and later reproduced in the blockbuster movies.
If you goIf you go
What: Harvest Pow Wow
When: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 22; 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 23
Where: Naper Settlement, 523 S. Webster St., Naperville
Cost: $8 adults, $5 for seniors and ages 5 to 12; free for younger children
Info: (773) 585-1744 or midwestsoarring.org
Kinsey, Suka, and Twilight actor Chaske Spencer will connect the dots between this wild animal and its spiritual connection to Native Americans at this year's annual Harvest Pow Wow, running Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 22 and 23, at Naper Settlement, 523 S. Webster St., Naperville.
"We refer to them as our spirit brothers," Kinsey said. "We always walked side by side with the wolves. It's a very spiritual thing."
Organized by Midwest SOARRING Foundation, an organization that educates about the Native American culture, the Harvest Pow Wow includes native dances and performances, educational demonstrations, authentic food and items for sale.
"We're very much concerned with the protection of all animals, including the wolf," said Joseph Standing Bear Schranz, founder and president of Midwest SOARRING. "We have several spiritual animals -- the bear, eagle, hawks and wolves are (each) one of them."
As always, a highlight of the weekend is the Grand Entry of more than 60 people in full Native American regalia performing traditional dances and songs. The Grand Entries take place at 1 and 7 p.m. Saturday and at 1 p.m. Sunday.
Spencer, a Native American actor who plays lead werewolf Sam Uley in "The New Moon" and "Breaking Dawn" movies, appears from 1 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday and 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday.
A special VIP session with the actor takes place from noon to 1 p.m. for $25 per person, which includes admission to the pow wow and refreshments.
SOAR Illinois will show off Deshka, the American Bald Eagle, and other birds of prey from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday.
The Hana Hou Hula Native Hawaiian dancers will perform hula dances and fire dances at 5 p.m. Saturday.
Listen to native storytelling or native flute player Al Jewer, or check out the 18-foot teepee.
A children's area open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days includes crafts, games, educational information and flintknapping, which is making arrowheads.
Throughout the weekend, native dances and drumming take place and items can be purchased such as turquoise jewelry, beads, baskets, drums, moccasins and blankets.
As for Kinsey and Suka, the duo often visits schools and educates people about wolves and their domesticated counterparts, wolf dogs like Suka. Kinsey also works with Wolf Mountain to rescue and place wolf dogs throughout the country.
"They're a high-maintenance animal. It's an animal that you can't leave in your house alone while you go work a 12-hour day," she said.
That said, Suka is often the guest at many a tea party hosted by Kinsey's 4-year-old granddaughter. That's the difference between wolf dogs, who are socialized, and wolves that cannot be approached by a human wearing sunglasses or who may be afraid, Kinsey said. Wolves smell fear.
Kinsey and Suka will interact with people and show off her wolflike physical characteristics during the pow wow.
Admission to the Harvest Pow Wow is $8 for adults, $5 for seniors and children ages five to 12 and free to children age 5 and younger.
Hours are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.
For more information, call (773) 585-1744 or visit midwestsoarring.org.