Native American Heritage Month

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.

What is 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.

Listing of events

NAHM events are currently being updated and completed soon. Stay tuned for updates or reach out to mesa.uofm@umich.edu with any questions.
 

Penny Stamps Speaker Series: Cannupa Hanska Luger
How Do We Remember?

October 26, 2023  |  5:30 p.m.
Michigan Theater 
Presented in partnership with the University of Michigan Museum of Art, with support from the Arts & Resistance LSA Theme Semester. This project was made possible by a grant from the Arts Initiative at the University of Michigan.

Multidisciplinary artist Cannupa Hanska Luger creates monumental installations, sculptures, and performances, to communicate urgent stories about 21st-century Indigeneity, incorporating ceramics, steel, fiber, video, and repurposed materials to reclaim and reframe a more accurate version of Native American culture and its global relevance. Luger combines critical cultural analysis with dedication and respect for the diverse materials, environments, and communities he engages while provoking diverse audiences to engage with Indigenous peoples and values apart from the lens of colonial social structuring.
 

UNDER THE CAMPUS, THE LAND - Investigative Memorialization: The Anishinaabe Land Grant and the University of Michigan

October 27, 2023  |  3:00 - 4:30 p.m.
Apse, University of Michigan Museum of Art 
Full Schedule of UNDER THE CAMPUS THE LAND
Generously supported by the Native American Studies (NAS) Program at the University of Michigan, the U-M Arts Initiative, Stamps School of Art & Design, Stamps Gallery, UMMA, and the Department of the History of Art at the University of Michigan.

In the 1817 Treaty of Fort Meigs, Odawa, Ojibwe, and Potawatomi people granted land to an institution where their children could be educated. Taking ownership of this grant, the University of Michigan acquired three properties in the 1820s. What needs to be known about the Anishinaabe land grant and the University of Michigan’s use of this grant in order for the university to carry out its treaty obligations?
 

UNDER THE CAMPUS, THE LAND - Advancing Native Student Activism

October 28, 2023  |  12:00 - 1:30 p.m.
STAMPS Gallery, 201 S Division St, Ann Arbor, MI 48104
Generously supported by the Native American Studies (NAS) Program at the University of Michigan, the U-M Arts Initiative, Stamps School of Art & Design, Stamps Gallery, UMMA, and the Department of the History of Art at the University of Michigan.

The effort to hold the University of Michigan to its responsibilities to Native people has been led by generations of Native American students. This effort culminated in the 2018 report of the Native American Student Task Committee. What has happened at the university as a result of Native student activism? What hasn’t happened? And what should happen in the future?
 

Memory & Monuments Open House

October 28, 2023  |  12:00 - 4:00 p.m.
University of Michigan Museum of Art 
A partnership between UMMA, the Arts Initiative, Stamps Gallery, and “Under the Campus, the Land” series of conversations by Taubman College faculty Andrew Herscher.   

How do we remember on this campus and beyond? At this afternoon-long open house, UMMA and our partners at Monument Lab and the U-M Arts Initiative, invite you to explore the ways memory takes shape through monuments, markers, and the stories we tell. 

Event highlights include:
Regional memory practitioners, including The James and Grace Lee Boggs Center, the Detroit Sound Conservancy, Gidinawemaaganinaanig: Endazhigiyan (All My Relations: The Place Where We All Grow), and Mt. Pleasant Indian Industrial Boarding School (MIIBS) will share their work and prompt us to consider what’s worthy of a monument and whose history gets to be included. Snacks by Indigenous chef Kirby Shoote (Tlingit).
 

Live podcast recording of Broken Boxes by Ginger Dunnill and Cannupa Hanska Luger, with artists Andrea Carlson and Matika Wilbur

October 28, 2023  |  3:00 - 4:00 p.m.
University of Michigan Museum of Art 
Lead support for this project is provided by Teiger Foundation, the U-M Office of the Provost, the U-M Office of the President, Erica Gervais Pappendick and Ted Pappendick, the U-M Marsal Family School of Education, the U-M Institute for the Humanities, Michigan Humanities, and the U-M Arts Initiative. Additional generous support is provided by Melissa Kaish and Jonathan Dorfman. 

Join Broken Boxes co-hosts Ginger Dunnill and Cannupa Hanska Luger as they record an upcoming episode featuring artists Andrea Carlson and Matika Wilbur. This will be the culminating event for the Memory & Monuments Open House at UMMA.
 

Matika Wilbur Artist Talk and Book Signing

October 28, 2023  |  6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
STAMPS Gallery, 201 S Division St, Ann Arbor, MI 48104
This event is co-presented by Stamps Gallery, The Research for Indigenous Social Action and Equity Center (RISE), and the UM Arts Initiative.

Join us for a talk by critically acclaimed photographer Matika Wilbur, followed by a book signing of Wilbur’s book Project 562: Changing the Way We See Native America. A reception for the artist with light refreshments will follow the talk. Copies of Project 562: Changing the Way We See Native America will be available for purchase at the event. 
 

New Observations: Bringing Art and Activism to Challenging Times

November 1, 2023  |  6:00 p.m.
Pendleton Room, Michigan Union 
Sponsored by the U-M Arts Initiative and U-M Library, along with the Department of History, the Eisenberg Institute for Historical Studies, and the Department of Afroamerican and African Studies (DAAS).

This event will feather three speakers, one is: Chief Henry Red Cloud gives an overview of life on the Pine Ridge Reservation and the challenges Lakota and other Indigenous Peoples face today. He also discusses his extraordinary work bringing solar power and sustainable housing to the reservation.

This event is part of the fall Arts & Resistance theme semester sponsored by the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts; the U-M Museum of Art; and the U-M Arts Initiative to explore how the visual, performing, and literary arts play a central role in shaping cultural and political narratives.
 

The 2023 Robert J. Berkhofer Lecture
Angeline Boulley (Sault Ste. Marie Chippewa)

November 2, 2023   6:30 - 8:30 p.m.  
Rogel Ballroom, Michigan Union
Sponsored by Native American Studies, Rackham Graduate School, CEW+, Department of English Language and Literature, Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Arts Initiative, and MESA.

Angeline Boulley, an enrolled member of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, is a storyteller who writes about her Ojibwe community in Michiganʻs Upper Peninsula. Firekeeperʻs Daughter, her debut novel, was an instant #1 NYT Bestseller, and is the 2023-24 Michigan Humanities Great Michigan Read selection. The book has been named the Walter Dean Myers Award for Outstanding Childrenʻs Literature, the Printz Award, the William C. Morris award for YA debut literature, and was an American Indian Youth Literature Award Honor Book. Her second novel, Warrior Girl Unearthed, was released in May 2023.
 

Native American Student Association's Annual Fall Feast & Ojibwe Language Presentation from Alphonse Pitawanakwat, Kayla Gonyon, and Stacie Sheldon

November 5, 2023   5:00 - 7:00 p.m.  
University of Michigan Museum of Art 
Sponsored by the Native American Student Association. 

We hope you join the Native American Student Association for our annual Fall Feast! The event is open to faculty, staff, students, and community members, and we encourage you to attend if you are able! This event is being held in celebration of Native American Heritage Month, and we will be giving away NAHM merch, sharing a traditional meal by chef Kirby Shoote as well as participating in an Ojibwe language lesson with Alphonse Pitawanakwat, Kayla Gonyon, and Stacie Sheldon.

Please RSVP - friends and family are welcome! We are excited to see you all there!
https://forms.gle/Yv83RuideZXiiY8r8 

MESA's Anti-Racism Teach-In 

November 6, 2023   6:00 - 7:30 p.m.  
Virtual [Join Zoom Meeting]
Sponsored by the Office of Multi-Ethnic Student Affairs. 

This MESA Anti-Racism Teach-in offers a space for attendees to communicate with each other, discuss their own perceptions and worldviews about race and privilege, and engage in productive dialogue that will create more equitable and accessible spaces. 
 

Imagining the Indian: The Fight Against Native American Mascoting, film screening and panel discussion – presented by RISE

November 8, 2023   7:00 - 10:00 p.m.  
University of Michigan Museum of Art 
Sponsored by the Research for Indigenous Social Action and Equity. 

Research for Indigenous Social Action and Equity (RISE) presents a screening of Imagining the Indian: The Fight Against Native American Mascoting, immediately followed by a panel discussion featuring internationally renowned Indigenous activists, scholars, and film makers: Suzan Harjo, Stephanie Fryberg, Phil Deloria, Aviva Kempner, Ben West, and Yancey Burns.

Imagining the Indian: The Fight Against Native American Mascoting is an award-winning documentary that examines the movement that is ending the use of Native American names, logos, and mascots in the world of sports and beyond. 
 

The Power of Native Women with Heather Bruegl 

November 13, 2023  |  6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Pendleton Room, Michigan Union 
Sponsored by the Office of Multi-Ethnic Student Affairs. 

Throughout history women have played an important role in the family and the community. In this talk we will explore Native women throughout history who have done some amazing things. Whether it was fighting alongside warriors or becoming doctors, Native women helped shape history.

Heather Bruegl is a public historian, activist, and decolonial education consultant who works with institutions and organizations for Indigenous sovereignty and collective liberation.
 

Native American Heritage Month at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business 

November 15, 2023  |  11:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Stephen M. Ross School of Business
Registration link: https://bit.ly/3FFKfsh
Sponsored by the Stephen M. Ross School of Business

Celebrate Native American Heritage Month by learning all about sovereign tribal economic development occurring right here in Michigan! Inherent tribal sovereignty allows for tribes to determine their own economic development pathways. Join us as we speak with CEOs and leaders of tribal enterprises from western Michigan to Milwaukee, WI. Learn about the resilience of tribes today building businesses for tomorrow's tribal communities. This will be a two panel event, with the first panel focused on tribal gaming, how it developed and how it is now incorporating sports betting; and the second panel will focus on non-gaming related economic development.
 

The Clements Bookworm: Exploring Simon Pokagon's Birch Bark Books: A Conversation with Blaire Morseau and Fritz Swanson

November 17, 2023  |  10:00 a.m.
Zoom Link: http://myumi.ch/gjgzR
Sponsored by the William L. Clements Library 

Dr. Blaire Morseau, a citizen of the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians and Assistant Professor in the Department of Religious Studies at Michigan State University will discuss her edited collection titled, As Sacred to Us:Simon Pokagon’s Birch Bark Stories in their Contexts. Originally published in 1893 and 1901, Simon Pokagon’s essays were printed on thinly peeled and elegantly bound birch bark.  
 

Creating A Native Education Circle: "What We See" 

November 17, 2023 | 6:00 - 8:30 p.m. 
Register Here for Zoom or In Person Dinner
Garrett's at Student Center Building 1st floor, Washtenaw Community College
Sponsored by Washtenaw Community College 

"What We See" perspectives in Native/non-Native education and Building a "CIRCLE" for Improved Native Education and Ally support of Native Values in Public Education and career development-Midwest region. Virtual presenters include Liz Jaakola, Ojibway, Fond du Lac Tribal & Community College artist/educator and Odawa-Lakota Elder and Poet/Writer, Warren Petoskey. Moderators include Native educator Martha Russell and student, Thomas Russell. 
 

Community, Impact, Activism: NASA at 50

November 29, 2023  |  6:00 - 7:30 p.m.
Pendleton Room, Michigan Union 
RSVP by November 22, 2023
Sponsored by Arts & Resistance and the Native American Student Association.

Join us for a community dinner and launch party for a community-facing website chronicling the Native American Student Association (NASA) at the University of Michigan. Begun in 1972 NASA has worked for 50 years to bring Native American and Indigenous students together, to advocate for Native American rights, and to challenge UM to be better. This project combines archival research about significant moments of Native American student activism and interviews with current students and alumni to tell the story of NASA as a community that has shaped student experience and institutional action for decades. This is an informal event to celebrate the NASA community's history and ongoing presence and to introduce a digital archive created by and for the community.
 

 

 

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Featured opportunities


C A L L   F O R   A R T W O R K

Kina n'da-nowendaaganag / All My Relations

Call for Artwork: Now - December 10, 2023
Exhibit: January 6 - February 25, 2024 
University of Michigan Matthaei Botanical Gardens

Kina n'da-nowendaaganag will be an Anishinaabek art show, focused on Traditional and contemporary Anishinaabek art, and how artists relate to plant relatives through inherent connections to the land. Learn more on the website linked above! 

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Related news

Wilkerson named to assistant director role supporting Native American students

October 30, 2023

The Office of Multi-Ethnic Student Affairs (MESA) is thrilled to announce that Andrea Wilkerson has been named the office's first assistant director of Native American student enrichment and belonging. Andrea has served as a MESA program manager since 2019 and now joins Nadia Bazzy and Krishna Han in MESA leadership.

 

Have any questions?

Email us at mesa.uofm@umich.edu.