BGSU engages with Native American Heritage Month

Native American culture past and present will be explored at BGSU throughout November during Native American Heritage Month. Discussions, film screenings, traditional arts and a Native American lunch are planned by the Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA) in collaboration with other campus areas.

The month’s events open Friday (Nov. 6) with “We Shall Remain,” a groundbreaking mini-series and provocative multi-media project that establishes Native American history as an essential part of American history. Together, the heartbreaking yet inspiring stories highlight Native American ingenuity and resilience over the course of 300 years. The series upends two stereotypes of Native Americans as either ferocious warriors or peaceable lovers of the land. The free presentation is from 5:30-7 p.m. in 223 Olscamp Hall.

Dr. Spintz Harrison, ethnic studies, will discuss the ways in which Native Americans are portrayed in the media at 5 p.m. Nov. 9 in 318B Mathematical Sciences Building. In the early 21st century, American Indian communities have exhibited continual growth and revival, playing a larger role in the U.S. economy and in the lives of Native Americans, yet media (including news reports) do not typically include this sort of information. The conversation is part of the Office of Multicultural Affairs Ethnic Student Center Dialogue Series.

A free workshop on Shoshone-Bannock beadwork and its cultural significance, along with an opportunity to learn to bead a pen, will take place from 5:30-7 p.m. Nov. 12 in 223 Olscamp Hall.

Enjoy a lunch of traditional Native American foods at The Oaks Dining Center from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Nov. 13, hosted by University Dining.

“Touch the Earth through Native Words,” a look at life through Native American writing, will be led by instructor Barbara Mauter from 4-5 p.m. Nov. 17 in 318 Bowen-Thompson Student Union. Take a short journey through words and photos to another place, with a discussion of various Native American writers and some of their poetry and other works. Sponsored by OMA and the University Libraries.

The compelling documentary “Our Fires Still Burn” will be shown from 5:30-7 p.m. Nov. 20 in the Gish Film Theater. The one-hour film, by Audrey Gayer, invites viewers into the lives of contemporary Native American role models living in the Midwest. It dispels the myth that American Indians have disappeared from the American horizon, and reveals how they continue to persist, heal from the past, confront the challenges of today, keep their culture alive, and make great contributions to society. Their experiences will deeply touch everyone and help build bridges of understanding, respect, and communication.

The final event of the month looks back at “The Navajo Code Talkers of W.W. II,” the story of how the U.S. military employed Navajo speakers to use their little-known language as a means of secret communication during wartime. Hosted by the ethnic studies department and OMA, the free event takes place from 5-7 p.m. Nov. 30 in 223 Olscamp Hall.

View the calendar.