Campus and Community

OU Celebrates Native American Heritage Month

Students and faculty have collaborated across campus to celebrate Native American Heritage Month through November with several dynamic events.

native american, land acknowledgement, indigenous people, celebration month,

icon of a calendarOctober 27, 2022

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OU Celebrates Native American Heritage Month
Native American Heritage Month will stretch across campus as departments and student organizations join together to host several vibrant events throughout November.

Native American Heritage Month will stretch across campus as departments and student organizations join together to host several vibrant events.

Expert speakers will highlight a range of topics including Native American filmography history, and the ties between mental health and Indigenous foods. Additionally, a film screening of “Gather” will further conversations by sharing three more prominent stories.

Admission to all events is free and open to the public. Locations for events is varied, with some virtual opportunities too. To reserve your seat or learn more, visit each event’s calendar.

Events include:

Film Screening, “Gather” on LoopThursday, November 3: Audiences will have the opportunity to come together anytime from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. while the film will be streaming on loop in the Oakland Center (OC)  Habitat throughout the evening. The OC will be filled with the scent of Native American popcorn available for guests and echoes of the messages in the film. The popcorn comes from Lakota Foods from the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe. “Gather” (2020) sheds light on the growing movement amongst Native Americans to reclaim their spiritual, political and cultural identities through food. The stories of three Native American people: a chef, scientist, and an activist, pave the way for broader Native American cultural appreciation.

Moving Beyond Land AcknowledgementFriday, November 4: The campus community is invited to join a roundtable discussion and Q&A with Eric Hemenway, director of the Department of Repatriation, Archives, and Records for the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians. Held in the Oakland Center, Gold Rooms B and C, these discussions will explore the ways that community engagement can help OU move beyond land acknowledgment to building relationships that support student success.

NOTE: Monday, Nov. 7 event has been canceled

Plant Walk and Anishinaabe Storytelling with Joe PitawanakwatCANCELED -Monday, November 7: Joe Pitawanakwat, Anishinaabe plant knowledge-keeper from Wiikwemkoong First Nation, on Manitoulin Island in Ontario, will dedicate the day to honoring the heritage of OU’s Land Rematriation. Beginning at Gidinawemaaganinaanig: Endazhigiyang, just adjacent to OU’s main entrance, Pitawanakwat will lead attendees on a plant identification walk at 10 a.m., sharing Anishinaabe stories and language lessons along the way. The walk will be followed by a potluck lunch, concluded with a community discussion about what the Heritage Site's potential meaning is on our campus and for each person: students, staff, faculty and the community after learning about its original meaning. Bring a camp chair, a dish to share, or come as you are!

“ReFocus: The Films of Wallace Fox” with Dr. Gary RhodesThursday, November 17: The past and present will virtually collide at 4:30 p.m. when Rhodes, co-editor of “ReFocus: The Films of Wallace Fox” unravels his analysis about some of Fox’s most prominent films. Born in Oklahoma into the Chickasaw Nation, Fox directed films over the span of four decades, known primarily for Westerns and mystery films. “ReFocus: The Films of Wallace Fox” analyzes some of his most prominent films, including “Wild Beauty,” “Gun Town,” “The Corpse Vanishes,” “Bowery at Midnight,” “Career Girl” and “Brenda Starr, Reporter.” VIRTUAL EVENT

The Intersection of Food and Mental HealthMonday, November 21: Enrolled member of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, Tara Maudrie will trace the historical roots of modern food trauma and explain how food sovereignty and cultural values are used to promote mentally healthy relationships with food and our communities. Her passion for food justice and Indigenous research methodologies spans into her current work about combining cultural food values and mental health.


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