ASU celebrates Native American Heritage Month

Native American students at ASU are sharing their culture and presence on campus during Native American Heritage Month, which started this November. 

“We get to share our experiences and say that we’re here,” design senior Colin Begay, a co-facilitator and marketing manager for the American Indian Council, said.

On Monday, the American Indian Council hosted “Kick off Native American Heritage Month” to mark the beginning of a month-long celebration of the many cultures and aspects that make up Native American heritage. Begay said that the mission of the Heritage Month is to promote cultural awareness within the ASU community.

The American Indian Council is one of the seven student coalitions at ASU and has a mission to serve and support Native American student organizations on campus. The Council has helped to plan the many events in communion with various student organizations dedicated to heritage.

The events are designed to attract students from all campuses. Jennifer Jones, a mechanical engineering junior and member of the Barrett Indigenous Culture Association, said lots of hard work and planning have gone into this month’s events.

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By Sydney Maki | The State Press

Native American student organizations run the Native American Heritage Month Kick Off event on Nov. 2, 2015, outside the Memorial Union in Tempe.

“Native American students are dedicated to showing others and talking about where their heritage comes from,” Jones said. “Working behind the scenes, I think it’s really grown in the past few years.”

For students, the month’s events are designed to spread accurate information and celebrate the diversity of a large university like ASU. The events this fall include explanatory workshops on Native American herbs, a talent show with a focus on tribal cultures, lectures, film screenings and lots of traditional food. ASU will have NAHM events on each campus, from Polytechnic to West.

The events are part of the month’s mission toward community engagement, said Diana Onco, an education graduate student and member of the American Indian Graduate Students Association. The events are for all ASU students, not just the Native American population.

“The month is supposed to be about bridging cultural differences and understanding each other on another level,” Onco said.

The 31 events that ASU is hosting cover a wide range cultures, traditions and beliefs of Native Americans from different regions of the U.S.

“I’m into all kinds of culture,” accounting undergraduate student Hayi Fam said. “I’m from China, but I have friends that are Native American and I like to go to the ‘Culture at ASU’ events.”

calendar of all Native American History Month events at the University is provided by ASU Student and Cultural Engagement.

Related Links:

ASU scholar honored at the White House for her work with Native American students

ASU's Project Humanities educates on cultural appropriation


Reach the reporter at smmaki@asu.edu or follow @symmaki on Twitter.

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