Elmhurst College’s Native American Heritage Week kicks off Monday, November 12, with a celebration of Native American culture including special performances and exhibits highlighting dance, food and art.
Featuring a drum and dance presentation by the Black Hawk Performance Company, the opening ceremony includes remarks from Dr. S. Alan Ray, the College’s president and a citizen of the Cherokee Nation.
The observance continues throughout the week, highlighting tradition and history of indigenous peoples, including a mock trial of Christopher Columbus, a screening of the documentary Reel Injun and discussions on the unique relationship between the Navajo Tribe and the United States.
Elmhurst College is committed to cultural diversity and mutual respect among all persons, as expressed in the College’s core values. Roger Moreano, director of Intercultural Student Affairs, adds that it is important for the College community to recognize and explore the heritage of as many groups as possible.
“Celebrating Native American Heritage Week helps our community recognize the often untold history and traditions of all Native American tribes,” he said. “It allows us to understand the current issues Native Americans face and to recognize the rich expression of Native American cultures in contemporary American life.”
All Native American Heritage Week events are free and open to the public.
Monday, November 12
Frick Center, Founders Lounge
Join us for this special presentation of drum and dance as the Black Hawk Performance Company honors the many tribes who have made Illinois their home. Hear opening remarks by President Ray, sample fry bread and Indian tacos, and play Corn Hole, a game that some trace back to the Blackhawk tribe of Illinois.
Columbus on Trial
Tuesday, November 13
Frick Center, Melanchthon Room
Observe and participate in a mock trial, facilitated by Director of Intercultural Student Affairs Roger Moreano. During this event, Columbus and many of his contemporaries are put on trial for the atrocities and crimes against humanity committed against the Tainos of the “New World.” You can help judge the defendants’ fate. Discussion to follow.
Film: Reel Injun
Wednesday, November 14
Frick Center, Blume Board Room
From Stagecoach to Little Big Man, the American movie industry has produced more than 4,000 films about Native Americans. The Peabody Award–winning documentary Reel Injun takes an entertaining look at Hollywood’s portrayal of Native Americans through the years. Discussion to follow.
Thursday, November 15
Frick Center, Bryan Room
Professor Ron Wiginton of the English department will talk about the Navajo tribe (Diné) and its relationship with the United States. In his presentation, Professor Wiginton will discuss the Elmhurst College class he co-taught at the Navajo reservation in the summer of 2012, and what he and his students learned.