We wish to acknowledge and honor the Miami, Delaware, Potawatomi, and Shawnee people whose ancestral homelands and resources Indiana University Bloomington is built.
November is Native American Heritage Month. All across IU's campuses, individuals are celebrating the work and cultures of Native and Indigenous communities. From a variety of events, discussions, and webinars, Native American Heritage Month will work to bring the contemporary Native experience to the forefront of people's minds.
"When you hear people talk about Native Americans, they usually talk in the past tense," Renson Madarang, Native education and programs assistant at the First Nations Educational and Cultural Center (FNECC), said. "But this year's theme is all about how Native and Indigenous people are still here and still doing incredible work."
IU Bloomington, the First Nations Educational and Cultural Center, and its director Nicky Belle are working to create a land acknowledgment that addresses the tribal history of this area and engages contemporary Native communities. The FNECC's current statement features both the Indigenous and Anglicized names of the tribes and audio files of the correct pronunciation of the tribal names.
Additionally, the FNECC will host various virtual events throughout November to engage with students across the IU system.
A three-part virtual series, Embodying Contemporary Native Identity: Mind, Body, & Spirit, will take place on November 9, 11, and 13, from 6:30-7:30 p.m. This series features Thosh Collins, founder of Well For Culture, a grassroots initiative aiming to reclaim and revitalize Indigenous health and wellness, Patrick Makuakane, a Native Hawaiian and Kumu Hula, a master teacher in the art of Hula, and Adrian Stevens and Sean Snyder, Two-Spirit Native cultural ambassadors from Nevada.
On November 10 from 5–6 p.m., FNECC partners with the Asian Culture Center for their Over a Cup of Tea series called "A Spectrum of Belonging," which will discuss Pacific Islander identity, interaction with the term AAPI (American Asian/Pacific Islander), and the intersection of indigeneity with Native and Indigenous communities of the US and the Americas.
And finally, on November 20, they will host IU Native Professionals: Life & Professional Journeys in collaboration with the O'Neill School of Public Health, which will focus on specific individuals' experience as a Native person and their life journeys.
"This has been very fun," Madarang said. "In the past, a lot of our events were based on meeting in person and on physical location, but in this virtual world, we can have so many amazing guests and speakers for NAHM from all over the country."