As always, there’s a lot happening on our campus as we head into November, but one thing I believe is extremely important to highlight, this year and every year, is Native American Heritage Month. While many Indiana University students have somewhat of an understanding of Native American history, this month—and the entire calendar year, to be quite honest—should be used for all of us, including faculty and staff, to learn more about contemporary issues within Native American society.
One of the programs the Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Multicultural Affairs (OVPDEMA) is responsible for, the First Nations Educational and Cultural Center (FNECC), is helping us increase the awareness of topics relevant to Native American culture. At IUPUI, the American Indian Programs—which encompass the IUPUI Native American Faculty Staff Council, Native American Student Alliance at IUPUI, the Native American Connections community outreach program, and Native American & Indigenous Studies, the academic studies program at the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI—are more examples of how IU strives for diversity and inclusion on all of our campuses.
I hope this month can be an educational opportunity for the entire IU community to become more engaged about issues involving Native Americans and indigenous people worldwide.