Native American Heritage Month is celebrated with a multitude of events through the WSU system.
Events started this week on the Pullman campus and continues today with this month’s featured speaker, Tazbah Chavez, a citizen of the Bishop Paiute Tribe, the Nüümü, Diné and San Carlos Apache Tribes. Chavez is a performance poet turned director and television writer whose credits include FX’s “Reservation Dogs” and NBC Universal’s “Rutherford Falls”.
Chavez is scheduled to begin his speech at 4 p.m., which viewers can watch via Zoom.
On Friday, the Native American Student Center will host its First Friday Feed featuring traditional foods from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm The WSU Vancouver campus will host a presentation as part of its Cultural Arts and Equity Hip-Hop: Restore series. hope through art and culture ”from 2 pm. The event is led by the Redstone Collective, an organization that seeks to bring healing and opportunities to young people by providing artistic and cultural programming. Information on additional events taking place on the WSU Vancouver campus is available online.
To complement this week’s events, the annual Ku-Ah-Mah Round Dance Saturday at the Elson S. Floyd Cultural Center. The event will begin at 4:30 p.m. and will include a dinner hosted by the Native American Women’s Association.
A list of Native American Heritage Month events is available on the Native American Program website.
Several events during the week of November 15 are hosted by the WSU Spokane Student Diversity Center, Native American Health Sciences and the Native American Student Health Sciences Club.
In Washington, the entire month of November is celebrated as Native American Heritage Month by proclamation of the governor. Governor Jay Inslee also declared Nov. 26 Native American Heritage Day, which is also recognized federally as a statutory holiday.
Proclamations honoring Native American heritage on specific days and months date back over 100 years. Archaeologist, historian and preeminent authority on Native American culture Arthur C. Parker, a Seneca Indian, is considered one of the early supporters of American Indian Day. In 1915, the congresses of the American Indian Association approved Parker’s initiative and called for a national day of observation.
On September 28, 1915, President Calvin Coolidge issued a proclamation declaring the second Saturday of each May American Indian Day. President George HW Bush approved a joint resolution 75 years later designating November 1990 as National Native American Heritage Month. November has always been referred to in honor of Native Americans since 1994 under a variety of names.