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Updated 10:00 AM October 31, 2005




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  Native American Heritage Month
Events to celebrate Native American cultures, customs

The University and its Native American community will focus their resources and energies in November during Native American Heritage Month (NAHM)—a celebration during which both Native and non-Native people can rediscover and revitalize indigenous culture.
Singer/songwriter Martha Redbone will perform Nov. 17 in the Michigan Union Pendleton Room. (Photo courtesy Blackfeet Productions)

For more than three decades, U-M Native people, led primarily by students, have developed and strengthened events, programs and associations that include the Ann Arbor Dance for Mother Earth Pow Wow, the Native American Student Association (NASA) and events associated with NAHM, now in its 15th year.

Patricia Aqui Pacania, director of Multi-Ethnic Student Affairs (MESA), says NAHM creates a context for understanding and appreciating Native American culture and traditions. "Heritage Month helps us make connections from the past to the present—connections that show indigenous culture in a modern context, not simply an historical curiosity," she says.

Pacania cites the scheduled visit of Tobias Vanderhoop, a tribal council member for the Wampanoag tribe. "Mr. Vanderhoop will speak on the Wampanoag perspective of the Thanksgiving holiday," she says. "His words, his and his people's perspectives, help deepen our understanding of history by bringing other critical voices to the table."
"Black Cloud"
screening at the
Trotter Center Lounge Nov. 3 (Photo courtesy Rick Schroder Productions)

Black Indian Celebration Week is an addition to the 2005 NAHM schedule, and includes a film series Nov. 10; a faculty presentation by Tiya Miles from the Center for African American Studies/Native American Studies Nov. 16; and culminates with a concert by singer/songwriter Martha Redbone. Redbone's self-produced CD, "Home of the Brave," snagged the 2002 Native American Music Awards Debut of the Year.

"We're excited about these new events because it can broaden all of our understandings of Native identity," Pacania says. "Black Indian Celebration Week illuminates the intersection of communities of which many are unaware. We hope to dispel myths that continue to exist between these two communities."

Pacania notes that U-M student Alyx Cadotte, a senior in American culture, LSA, was instrumental in developing Black Indian Celebration Week.

This year's NAHM activities began Oct. 30 at the newly remodeled William Monroe Trotter Multicultural Center with the popular Fall Feast, an opportunity to share and sample traditional foods in a potluck atmosphere.
Malinda Maynor Lowery (Photo courtesy Malinda Maynor Lowery)

NAHM events are sponsored by NASA, MESA, Native American Studies, Students of Color of Rackham (SCOR) Native Caucus, SCOR Black Caucus, Fighting Obstacles Knowing Ultimate Success, Here Earning a Destiny, with Honesty, Eagerness, and Determination of Self, Center for Afroamerican and African Studies (CAAS), and Arts at Michigan.

For information on any NAHM event, call MESA at (734) 763-9044. Information will be added to the MESA Web site as it becomes available. Visit and click 'events calendar.'

Native American Heritage Month events

Nov. 1, 6 p.m.

Film: Malinda Maynor Movie Night: "In Light of Reverence"
Trotter Multicultural Center, Conference Room A

Devils Tower. The Four Corners. Mount Shasta. All places of extraordinary beauty—and impassioned controversy as Native Americans and non-Native Americans struggle to co-exist with very different ideas about how the land should be used. For Native Americans, the land is sacred and akin to the world's greatest cathedrals. For others, the land might be used for industry and recreation. Narrated by Peter Coyote and Tantoo Cardinal (Metis), "In the Light of Reverence" is an account of the struggles of the Lakota in the Black Hills, the Hopi in Arizona and the Wintu in California to protect their sacred sites.

Nov. 3, 8:30 p.m.

Film: "Black Cloud"
Trotter Multicultural Center Lounge

"Black Cloud" is about a young Navajo boxer who overcomes personal challenges, comes to terms with his heritage and fights his way to a berth on the U.S. Olympic boxing team. Starring Eddie Spears, Russell Means, Rick Schroder and Tim McGraw.

Nov. 10, 8 or 8:30 p.m.

Film: Black Indian Celebration Week Movie Night
Trotter Multicultural Center Lounge

A series of short films about Black Indians' struggles with identity issues. Snacks will be provided with a discussion afterwards. This event is the kickoff of Black Indian Celebration Week.

Nov. 13, 2 p.m.

Workshop: Genealogy
Trotter Multicultural Center, Rec Room

Explore Native ancestry in a workshop in which instructions, first steps and lists of resources will be provided. Bring family names and an eagerness to learn. RSVP by Nov. 10 to Alyx Cadotte,, so facilitators can provide as many tribally specific resources as possible. Lunch will be provided.

Nov. 16, 5:30 p.m.

Faculty Presentation: Professor Tiya Miles
South Quad, Ambatana Lounge

A presentation by faculty guest Tiya Miles from the CAAS/Native American Studies on the shared history of Blacks and Indians and current issues for Black Indian people. A discussion about Black and Native campus relations will follow.

Nov. 17, 8:30 p.m.

Concert: Martha Redbone
Michigan Union, Pendleton Room

Singer/songwriter Martha Redbone—of Blackfoot, Shawnee, Choctaw, Lumbee, Blackfeet and African-American heritage—has been compared to Aretha Franklin, Sheryl Crow and Macy Gray. But Martha Redbone says the best way to describe her first self-produced CD, "Home of the Brave," is 'native soul.' The recording earned the 2002 Native American Music Awards Debut of the Year prize for 2002. This is the closing event for Black Indian Celebration Week.

Nov. 20, 1 p.m.

Activity: Beading Workshop
Trotter Multicultural Center Lounge

Nov. 22

Speaker: Tobias Vanderhoop
Time and location TBD

Tobias Vanderhoop, a tribal council member for the Wampanoag tribe, will speak on the Wampanoag perspective of Thanksgiving. This presentation aims to clarify understanding of the first Thanksgiving.

Nov. 29, 6 p.m.

Film: "Babkiueria"
Trotter Multicultural Center, Rec Room

"Babakiueria" is a 'mock-umentary' examining how events in Australia could have developed differently had the roles of the colonizers and the Aborignes been reversed.

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