University Celebrates Native Heritage Month 2016
Throughout the month of November, the Office of Multicultural Affairs, in collaboration with student organizations and campus partners, hosts Native Heritage Month. Native Heritage Month offers a variety of speakers, performances, film screenings and other events that celebrate and raise awareness of indigenous cultures and history.
The keynote speaker for Native Heritage Month is Haudenosaunee Spiritual Leader Tom Porter, who will speak on Monday, Nov. 7, from 5-7 p.m. in the Peter Graham Scholarly Commons, 114 Bird Library. This event is free and open to the public. Director and founder of the Kanatsiohareke Mohawk Community, Porter also co-founded multimedia communications group White Roots of Peace, which traveled the country sharing and encouraging native traditions. Porter is also a nationally recognized lecturer and master storyteller.
“We are excited to bring such a well-respected leader like Tom Porter to campus as our Native Heritage Month keynote speaker. He is a wonderful orator and shares native culture, tradition, language and history in such a unique and powerful way that is sure to inspire and stick with all who attend,” says Regina Jones, assistant director in the Office of Multicultural Affairs and Native Student Program.
On Wednesday, Nov. 9, student organization Democracy Matters is hosting the Stand with Standing Rock Teach-In from 6 to 8 p.m. in 304ABC, Schine Student Center. The event will feature a panel discussion focused on the Dakota Access Pipeline and the Standing Rock Sioux Nation. Panelists include Scott Manning Stevens, associate professor and director of the Native American Studies Program; Bob Wilson, associate professor of geography; Jourdan Bennett-Begay, graduate student at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications; Jack Manno, professor of environmental studies at SUNY-ESF; and Joe Heath, lawyer for the Onondaga Nation.
The celebration will also include participation in the national “Rock Your Mocs” movement, which encourages indigenous peoples across the world to wear moccasins and stand together as one, while also recognizing and celebrating tribal individuality. The national Rock Your Mocs Day is Tuesday, Nov. 15, but is celebrated throughout the week on campus to allow for more moc-wearing opportunities.
“Native Heritage Month presents events and programs not only to celebrate the culture and many contributions of indigenous peoples, but also to generate important dialogue about indigenous peoples’ history and current issues affecting indigenous communities and our world,” says James Duah-Agyeman, director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs. “We invite, and encourage, all members of the campus community to participate and engage with these many opportunities.”
The full schedule of events includes:
Native Heritage Month Keynote Speaker Tom Porter, Haudenosaunee Spiritual Leader
Monday, Nov. 7, 5-7 p.m., Peter Graham Scholarly Commons, Bird Library
Stand with Standing Rock Teach-In
Wednesday, Nov. 9, 6-8 p.m., 304ABC Schine Student Center
Canandaigua Treaty Day Celebration, “Brightening the Chain of Friendship”
Friday, Nov. 11, Ontario County Courthouse, full schedule online
Indigenous Living Learning Community Movie Night
Sunday, Nov. 13, 6-10 p.m., Haven Hall Penthouse
Rock Your Mocs!
Tuesday, Nov. 15, to Tuesday, Nov. 22
Scholarship on Indigenous Agriculture: Crimes of Incompetence and Bias
Tuesday, Nov. 15, 5 p.m., Peter Graham Scholarly Commons, Bird Library
New York State Education Department Native American Education Conference
Tuesday, Nov. 29, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., 110 Elwood Davis Road, Liverpool, NY
Sacred Lands Film Project Screening and Discussion with Toby McLeod
Tuesday, Nov. 29, 6 p.m., SUNY-ESF (Room TBA)
Native Heritage Month is one of four heritage months coordinated by the Office of Multicultural Affairs. Latino/Hispanic Heritage Month was celebrated Sept. 15-Oct. 15, and upcoming heritage months include Black History Month in February and Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month in April. For more information, visit the Office of Multicultural Affairs website.