November brings cooler weather, colorful leaves and the excitement of upcoming holidays, but these are not the only things being celebrated this month. November is also Native Amerian Heritage Month. Various events and workshops at the University of Nevada, Reno, and in the surrounding community are put on to celebrate the cultural, intellectual and artistic contributions of Native Americans in society.
“Native American Heritage Month serves as an important reminder that we are bound by a sacred promise—the trust relationship—to respect and protect the sovereignty of tribal governments and promote the well-being of indigenous people,” said U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto in a statement.
Throughout the month of November, The Center and UNR are hosting workshops, panels and special events dedicated to raising awareness about the American Indian culture in our community and on campus.
The Center, located on the third floor of the Joe Crowley Student Union, is holding various free workshops for students and community members to make various traditional accessories. Not only do the workshops let students experience important parts of the culture with a hands-on experience, but also learn the significance and meaning behind what they make. Students can make their own rope beaded keychains on Friday, Nov. 17 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., or their very own pair of moccasins on Nov. 9 and 16 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. The moccasin workshop is perfect for people who want a custom pair to rock on National Rock your Mocs day on Nov. 15.
The UNR athletics department is also participating in Native Heritage Month with two N7 Basketball games. The N7 Fund is a pledge from Nike to bring sport and the advantages that come with it to the Native American and aboriginal communities in the United States and Canada. The fund’s goal is to release the power of one’s generation through activity and competition, placing an emphasis on youth in the community. Two N7 basketball games will take place this year, with free entry for members of local tribes, and special events throughout the game. The N7 women’s basketball game is on Nov. 24 at 2 p.m. and the men’s game is on Nov. 29 at 7 p.m.
On Nov. 19 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., a special event called We Tell Stories will take place in the Joe Crowley Student Union Ballroom A. The event aims to raise awareness about the American Indian culture on campus with stories from students, faculty and community members. There are many aspects of the American Indian culture that will be included in the We Tell Stories event, from traditional music and dance to the highlight of the event: storytelling.
“Through the American Indian culture, [storytelling] is how we pass on our traditions,” Kari Emm, a transfer recruitment coordinator at UNR and member of the Yerington Paiute Tribe said about last year’s event. “We want to educate the non-native population about our culture so they can celebrate is as much as we celebrate it.”
Another great event open to students and community members this month is the Night of All Nations, an annual event hosted by the International Club (I-Club) on Nov. 17 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Ballroom A in the JCSU will feature over 30 country booths serving food and presenting their culture. The evening will also feature traditional dance, music, and kid-friendly craft booths. This event is ticketed, and will cost students $5 and general admission $7.
Native Heritage Month will wrap up with the Fall Exhibition Powwow on Dec. 1 at 7 p.m. in JCSU ballrooms C and D, and with a special screening of the documentary More than a Word. The documentary analyzes the Washington football team and their use of the derogatory term ‘Redskins’, and also examines the history of Native American cultural appropriation. The film will be screened in the JCSU Theatre on Dec. 3 at 5 p.m.
These are only a handful of the events that will be taking place on campus to celebrate Native American Heritage Month. To see a full schedule of events, visit The Center in the JCSU or look for the red flyer hanging up around campus, or for more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call (775) 682-6499.
Emily Fisher can be reached at email@example.com and on Twitter @NevadaSagebrush.