About Native American Heritage Month
Although the first "American Indian Day" was celebrated in May 1916 in New York, a month-long recognition of Native Americans did not happen until 1990. That year, President George H.W. Bush signed a joint congressional resolution designating November as National American Indian Heritage Month. Since then, the title has expanded to celebrate the heritage, history, art, and traditions of American Indians and Alaska Natives.
Each year, we honor the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors had lived in North America for hundreds of years. MESA and the Native American Student Association (NASA) collaborate with campus partners to bring a wide range of events that celebrate Native American culture with the University of Michigan campus community.
NATIVE AMERICAN HERITAGE MONTH 2021
Native American Heritage Month Opening Ceremony
Wednesday, November 3 | 7:30–9:00 p.m.
Join us for the opening ceremony kicking off Native American Heritage Month in partnership with the office of Multi-Ethnic Student Affairs. As we prepare for a month of engaging speakers and presentations surrounding the conversation of intersectional Native/Indigenous identities and important conversations regarding Native representation, we will be launching our first event by welcoming Dr. Adrienne Keene, prominent speaker and activist in the Native community.
Dr. Adrienne Keene (Cherokee Nation) is a Native scholar, writer, blogger, podcast host, and activist. She is passionate about reframing how the world sees contemporary Native cultures. She is the creator and author of Native Appropriations, a blog discussing cultural appropriation and stereotypes of Native peoples in fashion, film, music, and other forms of pop culture. She is the author of Notable Native People: 50 Indigenous Leaders, Dreamers, and Changemakers from Past and Present (October 2021 - Penguin Random House/Ten Speed Press). And she is co-host (with Matika Wilbur (Swinomish and Tulalip)) of the popular podcast, All My Relations, that explores what it means to be a Native person in contemporary America.
Through her writing and activism, Keene questions and problematizes the ways Indigenous peoples are represented, asking for celebrities, large corporations, and designers to consider the ways they incorporate "Native" elements into their work. She is very interested in the way Native peoples are using social and new media to challenge misrepresentations and present counter-narratives that showcase true Native cultures and identities.
Monday, November 8 | 7:00–8:30 p.m.
Racial justice begins with anti-racism. Anti-racism is the active process of identifying and eliminating racism by changing systems, organizational structures, policies, practices, and attitudes so that power is redistributed and shared equitably (University of Calgary). This peer-led teach-in will engage analytical frameworks for examining systemic cultural, social, economic, and political forces in the community along with individual reflection. Our hope is to raise critical consciousness, understand the opportunity for actions, and how our resources can be distributed.
She’s Gone Missing (The Epidemic You Don’t Hear About): Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women with Heather Bruegl
View Event Recording Here
Thursday, November 18 | 7:30–8:30 p.m.
There is an epidemic that no one is talking about outside of Indian Country. When an Indigenous woman goes missing, you don’t hear about it. Why? Within our community we are dealing with an epidemic of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women. With numbers so high that they are unreported, how do we deal with it all? Why aren’t there concrete statistics? Why do the crimes go unreported? What has the FBI done to help with this epidemic? Let’s talk some history and try to find out why this is an issue, let’s learn about ‘Missing White Woman Syndrome’ and how that plays a role in the media. Learn what you can do in and out of Indian Country to make sure that our sisters, mothers, daughters, wives, girlfriends, women, don’t become a statistic.
NAHM presents: Firekeeper's Daughter, Author Presentation with Angeline Boulley
Friday, November 19th | Time: 5:30-7:30PM
Come join us as we engage with Angeline Boulley, author for the #1 NYT Bestseller novel, Firekeeper's Daughter.
Angeline Boulley is an enrolled member of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, is a storyteller who writes about her Ojibwe community in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. She is a former Director of the Office of Indian Education at the U.S. Department of Education. Angeline lives in southwest Michigan, but her home will always be on Sugar Island. Firekeeper's Daughter is her debut novel, and was an instant #1 NYT Bestseller.
NAHM presents: Conversations on Landback, Sustainability, and Language with Dr. Margaret Noodin, Dr. Kyle Whyte, Eva Roos, Malu Castro, and the Burt Lake Band
View Event Recording Here
Monday, November 29 | 6:30–8:00 p.m.
Join us for an engaging dialogue and panel with amazing guests and speakers that have been a part of significant efforts to honor the Burt lake band and work on projects surrounding sustainability, language revitalization, and representation of Native Identities. Through this event, we hope to not only hold the university accountable to the acknowledgement of the history and land, but to raise awareness on climate justice, language revitalization, and the landback movement as a whole.
Native American Heritage Month: Closing Ceremony
Tuesday, November 30 | 6:00–8:00 p.m.
Location: Michigan Union Pendleton Room
Please join us at the closing ceremony for Native American Heritage Month where we will celebrate the amazing indigenous speakers that presented and held dialogues on conversations that are necessary to the community.