GV celebrates Native American Heritage Month

GVL / Archive

Native American heritage month includes a Pow Wow on campus.

GVL / Archive Native American heritage month includes a Pow Wow on campus.

Leah Mitchell

Although tradition plays a substantial role in the Native American culture, it is not the only aspect that keeps this historical heritage alive today. Grand Valley State University’s own Office of Multicultural Affairs will be hosting five events in honor of National Native American Heritage Month.

Kristie Scanlon, OMA assistant director and student organization adviser of the Native American Student Association said she thought it was very important to recognize the significant Native population at GVSU by honoring its culture, history and traditions.

“Intercultural competence is an important characteristic of today’s society,” Scanlon said. “My hope is that students, faculty and staff who attend these events will learn something new they can apply in their daily life.”

November was declared National American Indian Heritage Month in 1990 by former President George Bush. It is a GVSU tradition to take part in this nationally recognized event, but this year it is especially significant due to the number of well-known speakers who are making an appearance.

Frank Ettawageshik will kick off the presentations on Nov.1 at 4 p.m. with a session specifically on Native culture, tradition and heritage. As a Native American board member on both the state and national level, Ettawageshik is extremely connected with the local community. This presentation will be held in room 2250 of the Kirkhof Center.

Olympic gold medalist Billy Mills, Harvard graduate Steven (Naganashe) Perry, practicing Native attorney Gyasi Ross and Levi Rickert, the nationally recognized editor in chief of the Native News Network, are other prominent speakers addressing students over the course of November.

A few GVSU students involved in NASA said the topics will put the audience in the midst of controversy. Ross’s presentation on Native membership versus citizenship and blood