Native American Heritage month recognized a month late
December 12, 2019
The month of November is Native American heritage month in the United States. UW-River Falls did not coordinate an event until the following month.
There was an event held on Dec. 4, that featured Native American Pride dancers. The performance was announced online on Nov. 26. There were posters and fliers that were available around campus, informing the community of the event.
According to the UWRF website, “Native Pride’s performances incorporate information about the dances, the regalia (dress), and the meaning and importance of the traditions of Native American people. Their talent roster are members of numerous tribal nations including Meskwaki, Navajo, Dakota, Lakota, Ojibwe, Lumbee, Cree, Pueblo, Choctaw, and Chickasaw.”
On the Facebook page of the Center for Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging, there were three posts regarding Native American heritage month. One was announcing that November is Native American Heritage month, and one had some information reposted from a Native American woman in Utah. There was one post about the event sent out on the day of the event 10 minutes before it began.
The Student Voice staff understands that during November there were many events happening on campus, such as the International Summit that took place near the end of the month. Coordinating events take time, money and building space.
However, we believe that the event should have been presented at some point in November. The Student Voice staff also believes that in the advertising of the Native Pride dancers, more focus should be put on the knowledge piece included in addition to the dance.
There are many other small things the university could have done during November, such as putting up information about tribes in the area, historical information and resources to find out more. The Native American population is commonly culturally appropriated, so there could’ve been awareness brought to this issue, and other issues relevant to the community.
According to Student Statistics Headcount Enrollment data, there are currently about 11 Native American students on campus. They already are an underrepresented minority group on campus and nationally, and it seems unfair to move their heritage month celebration to a different month.