Native American Heritage Month events include hip-hop performance, craft nights


Flint senior Karrah Bragg, left, and Mishawaka, IN junior Alexis Syrette, middle, talk to a CMU student, right, about the events people can attend during Native American Heritage Month on Nov. 1 in the Bovee University Center. 

Students will have the chance to taste Anishinaabe food, make keychains and listen to Indigenous hip-hop music during Native American Heritage Month at Central Michigan University. 

A series of events that celebrate the culture and traditions of Indigenous people are scheduled throughout November. 

Colleen Green, the director of Native American Programs, hopes the events will generate a lot of student participation. 

“Native American Heritage Month is a way to spread awareness about Native American traditions," Green said. "The campus community can learn and be educated on Native American heritage."

NAHM keynote speaker Joy Harjo, a poet and musician who has published seven books of poetry and recently published a memoir, is scheduled to speak at 7 p.m. Nov. 15 in Plachta Auditorium.

Another key NAHM event is a hip-hop performance by rapper, filmmaker and Indigenous rights activist Nataanii Means at 6 p.m. Nov. 28 in the Moore Hall Kiva. 

Green also said Native American Heritage Month, as well as Hispanic Heritage Month and Black History Month, is significant to the CMU community as students get many opportunities to learn about different cultures and traditions. 

NAHM kicked off Nov. 1 with Environmental Awareness Day. Students volunteered in a campus-wide cleanup in honor of Mother Earth, an important figure in Native American tradition. 

The month's events are a collaborative effort, not only with university offices and student groups, but also with the community, such as the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe, Green said. 

Indiana junior Alexis Syrette, student assistant of Native American Programs, said she hopes Native American Heritage Month will motivate students to take time out of their days to spread awareness and enjoy learning about Indigenous culture. 

Throughout November, students are able to take part in reoccurring events such as arts and craft nights from 5-7 p.m. Nov. 13 and Nov. 20 and "Rock Your Mocs," where students can wear moccasins all month long to bring awareness to Tribal individuality. 

Cultural Tables, which are interactive table displays educating people about Native American culture, will be at the Down Under Food Court in the Bovee University Center from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. on Wednesdays throughout the month.

For more information about NAHM events, students can find @CMUNativeAmericanPrograms on Facebook or visit the Native American Programs page on the CMU website.