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Updated 2:00 PM November 3, 2003



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U-M celebrates Native American heritage

The University, which recently added a new academic minor in Native American Studies, will host the 2003 Native American Heritage Celebration, developed and sponsored by the Office of Multi-Ethnic Student Affairs and the Native American Student Association.

Comedian Charlie Hill appears 7:30 p.m. Nov. 14 at the Trotter House. (Photo courtesy Native Media Resource Center)

Events include lectures, discussions, a concert, a professional comedy act and film screenings.

"Native Americans and Secret Societies at the University of Michigan," a discussion of the University's history with the Native American community, will be Nov. 18. A comedy act from Charlie Hill, who wrote for "Roseanne" and was a regular on "The Steve Allen Show," will be Nov. 14. The performance capstone of the celebratory events is the Dec. 6 concert by Jana, an acclaimed young pop/dance vocalist.

The new Native American Studies minor will trace the evolution of the indigenous cultures of the United States, including such subjects as tribal colonization and removal to reservations. It also will explore native identity, as conceived by Native writers and American popular culture, at the end of the 20th century.

For more information, contact Steve Abbott at (734) 763-9044 or

Native American Heritage Celebration events:

Film and discussion: "The Business of Fancy-Dancing "
7 p.m. Nov. 12 The William Monroe Trotter House, 1443 Washtenaw Ave. (at South University)
Critically acclaimed Spokane author Sherman Alexie followed up the release of "Smoke Signals" with this film that he wrote and directed. This movie provides a look at the life of Seymour Polatkin as he returns from his life as a successful poet to his home reservation in Washington state.

Film and discussion with director and producer: "True Whispers: The Story of the Navajo Code Talkers"
7 p.m. Nov. 13 Law School, Room TBA Sponsored by the Program in Native American Studies
Filmmaker Valerie Red-Horse will introduce a special Veterans Day screening of "True Whispers: the Story of the Navajo Code Talkers." The film, directed and produced by Red-Horse, explores from the Native point of view the complex story of the role that the Native American code talkers and the Navajo language played in secret communications during World War II. Red-Horse will discuss the film and answer questions after the hour-long documentary.

An Evening with Charlie Hill
7:30 p.m. Nov. 14 The Trotter House

An evening of fun and laughter with Native American comedian Charlie Hill, a writer for the show "Roseanne" and a regular on "The Steve Allen Show."

Native American Living Histories Festival
Noon-4:30 p.m. Nov. 16 The Exhibit Museum of Natural History Sponsored by the Exhibit Museum of Natural History

A day of education and entertainment for kids of all ages.

Native Americans and Secret Societies at the University of Michigan
7 p.m. Nov. 18 Angell Hall, Room TBA
Discussion about the University's history with the Native community.

Film: "Skinwalkers"
7 p.m. Nov. 19 The Trotter House
From the "Mystery" series on PBS, Tony Hillerman's dramatic story of Lt. Joe Leaphorn and Officer Jim Chee comes to life on the silver screen.

Lecture: Anton Treuer
6 p.m. Dec. 3 Location TBA
Anton Treuer, a professor at Bemidji State University, is an authority on the Ojibwe language and oral tradition. Author of "Living Our Histories," Treuer shares his insight on the importance of language to Native people in a modern world.

Film: "Rabbit-Proof Fence"
7 p.m. Dec. 4 The Trotter House
This drama tells the true-life stories of three Australian Aboriginal girls abducted from their family and sent to boarding school in the 1930s.

Jana in Concert
7:30 p.m. Dec. 6 Michigan Union, Kuenzel Room
The Lumbee artist's dance tracks have been tearing up the club scene throughout the Northeast.

Tribal leaders presentation: A Long Road Home: Ojibwe Human Remains at the University of Michigan
Date and time TBA The Michigan Union
Tribal leaders of the Birch Island Ojibwe community will make a presentation on the struggle for the repatriation of the remains of their ancestors.

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