Native American Heritage Month celebrations kicked off on Monday, November 2 at Eastern New Mexico University.
According to Taylor Wapaha, office Assistant in Native American Affairs, the first “American Indian Day” was declared by the State of New York in 1916. However, a month-long recognition of Native Americans was not achieved until 1990.
President George Bush declared the first National American Indian Heritage Month on August 3rd. His action was based on legislation presented by Senator Daniel K. Inouye (D-Hawaii) and Congressional Delegate Eni Faleomavaega (D-American Samoa).
“The Purpose of National American Indian Heritage Month is to honor and recognize the original peoples of this land,” said Wapaha of Navajo Nation, “the office of Native American Affairs has planned a month full of activities and events.”
“I think this is a great opportunity to learn more about Native American culture and listen to great music,” said Nathan Burford, a student at Eastern New Mexico University.
In the first week of Native American Heritage Month, they held the Tribal Poster Contest on Tuesday November 3. Three posters in the contest were displayed in the CUB lobby from 11:30 to 12:30, calling for the vote.
According to Native American Affairs, holding the “Represent your Tribe Contests” is a way to bring Native students together and to show off the amazing cultures that each person brought with them when they arrived at ENMU. Students, faculty, and staff will vote for the winner with one vote per person. The winner will receive a scholarship of $50 and be recognized with their poster displayed at the Thanksgiving Banquet Potluck November 19.
On Wednesday, November 4, Dr. Borios, Assistant Professor in Anthropology, gave a presentation of “Constructing Native American Identities by Different Media”. She focused on the cultural construction of Native American identities and representations and specifically look at how different popular media have depicted Native Americans, as well as how this has shaped people’s ideas of what it means to be a Native American.
On Thursday, November 5, Karen Glinski, an author, and anthropologist, gave the presentation of her book “Stranded at Sheep Camp”. This is a children’s book which follows the life of eleven-year-old Emerson and his summer at the sheep camp in Gallup, New Mexico. Her book was sold and signed after the presentation.
As for the following days, there will be more fascinating events, including Native Hip-Hop and Hoop Dancers, Veteran’s Day: Pocket Flag Project, and Photographic Show of the 19 Pueblos and Navajo Tribes.
Ready for next week?
Native Hip-Hop and Hoop Dancers
Buchanan Hall – Music Building
Frank Waln is a Sicangu Lakota, an award winning artist with a BA in Audio Arts and Acoustics from Columbia College Chicago. He is from the He Dog Community on the Rosebud Reservation. Frank Waln is an outspoken artist who uses his music and performance to address colonialism, state violence, and other issues that affect Indigenous people. Frank was one of the featured artists in MTV’s Rebel Music Native America episode which aired on MTV all over the world for Native American Heritage Month in 2014.
As world-renowned Hoop dancers, the Sampson Brothers, strive to promote Cultural Pride, Unity, and Hope through setting a positive example through Art, Education, and Dance.
Navajo Nation Scholarship
Navajo Room (Lower level in CUB)
8:30 am – 2 pm
The Office of Navajo Nation Scholarship/Financial Assistance Crownpoint Agency will be on campus to help Navajo students with the procedure of filling out the Navajo Nation Scholarship.
Veteran’s Day: Pocket Flag Project
With the collaboration of The 27th SOAOS Squadron of Cannon Air Force Base, the office will be hosting a “Pocket Flag Project.” Attendees will get to fold 300 American flags for current Military service men and women deployed, to have a little piece of home in their pockets while overseas. The flags will be shipped to Afghanistan and Iraq. Refreshments will be served.
Photographic Show of the 19 Pueblos and Navajo Tribes
Marcia Keegan, a published author of children's books who wrote almost 20 books mostly on Pueblo and Navajo culture. For Keegan, who is one of the Southwest's finest photographer/writers, recording the traditional ways of the Pueblo Indians of New Mexico has been a lifelong commitment.