Embracing a heritage

Ferris honors Native American Heritage Month

About two percent of the population of this country is Native American, and Native American Heritage Month in November celebrates the two percent.

Native American Heritage Month is observed every November in the United States as an opportunity for all to engage and learn about the contributions they have made to society. The Friday immediately following Thanksgiving Day of each year is known as “Native American Heritage Day.”

“The Native American community has a rich heritage that all can appreciate and learn from to apply to their lives,” Michael Wade, assistant director of the Office of Multicultural Student Services, said. “We hope to engage all members of the campus community throughout the year.”

The department plans to coordinate cultural programs and activities through featured presentations throughout the academic term for the campus community.

On Nov. 9 at 7 p.m. in IRC 120, Suzan Shown Harjo will be at Ferris speaking on behalf of the Native American heritage. Harjo (Cheyenne & Muscogee) is a prominent Native American leader in the arts, culture and policy. A poet, writer, curator and advocate, she has helped Native peoples protect many sacred places and recover more than one million acres of land. Harjo is president of The Morning Star Institute, a national Native rights organization founded in 1984 and based in Washington, DC.

Michigan has a fascinating and active Native American culture. Native American Month is commemorated through celebrations in different events.

“The more you learn about groups of people in society, the more you tend to be open-minded about that group and that creates a fruitful foundation for relationship building, networking, etc. with a diverse population,” Wade said.

Ferris is pleased to promote awareness of and appreciation for the history and culture of American Indians and Alaska Natives during National American Indian Heritage Month. This is a great opportunity for anyone to participate in different events and hear from people who take great pride in their heritage.