Native American Heritage Month Keynote Speaker outlines injustice with art

Dylan A.T. Miner gives his keynote speech 'This Land is Always' on Nov. 29 in the Bovee University Center Rotunda.

“Let’s hope we can make this current world a little less shitty. I’ll say that again, make this world a little less shitty,” said Native American Heritage Month Keynote Speaker Dylan A.T. Miner. 

From 6-8 p.m. Nov. 29, students, citizens and resident and inclusion assistants gathered in the Bovee University Center Rotunda to hear Wiisaakodewinini artist and Michigan State University professor Dylan Miner speak about art, politics, injustices against natives and mother earth. 

During his lecture, Miner spoke about the importance of land to Native Americans and how present day politics is threatening native ownership with the use of state borders. 

“Be cognizant of whose land you’re on," Miner said. 

Many topics were accompanied by artwork Miner created to visualize issues Native Americans and other ethnicities currently face. 

Students were curious to hear Miner speak and were inspired to further educate themselves about Native culture.

“I hope to learn more about the (Native American) culture,” said Jackson freshman Nallely Espino-Castro. “I’ve always been fascinated with learning about other cultures so I’m hoping to get more insight on that.” 

Bronson junior Annika Clemens, a third-year Multicultural Advancement Scholar, was excited, as well.

“Keynote speaker are always the best. They’re really interesting so I always like to make it out to (the events),” said  Bronson junior Annika Clemens. 

Miner discussed his own family history and how artwork has affected the culture within his family. He explained how he learned beading from his grandparents and was inspired to learn two Native languages throughout his life. He also highlighted how many Native American artists, especially women, have their names lost in history and are not given credit for their work.  

Miner aimed to display in his artwork that all injustices are interrelated -- that injustices against race, sex, and gender are all harming today’s society.

“My passion for making art (comes from) political issues and issues revolving around art," Miner said.

 This event concluded the Multicultural Academic Student Services' Native American Heritage Month.