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Native American heritage events planned at DSU

November 15, 2021

Campus, Community members invited to artists events, drum circle

November is Native American Heritage Month, and DSU’s Native American Student Association Club (NASA) has several events planned for the observance. DSU students, faculty, staff, and the community are invited to attend any or all of these events, which bring awareness to the importance of Native Heritage.

NASA Club co-advisor Rob Honomichl said Native heritage provides an important historical and cultural perspective for those on campus, as well as those in the community. Honomichl is Assistant Professor of Computer and Cyber Sciences.

Co-advisor Angela Behrends said, “it is important that we see each other,” she said, because “we really are in this together and need to see each other and understand each other.”

Many events involve area artists. Behrends, Assistant Professor of Art, was happy to use her influence to bring artists to campus. “This is a good medium to bring people together,” Behrends said, “because it helps us understand things in a different way.”

“Art has the potential to make us feel things, to take in information and experience all that goes along with it. People are supposed to learn and supposed to feel and that’s how we become better,” she stated.

The events also bring awareness to the club, which works to facilitate cultural awareness of Native American tribes and their peoples to the students of DSU. NASA President Miles Livermont said there are challenges to being an indigenous student, so by holding these events other Native students will know that they have a place at Dakota State and that Native students are here and are active on campus.

Activities for Native American Heritage Month include a traditional Native dish offered during lunch at DSU food service every Monday in November. Monday evening events are also planned to highlight Native heritage. The first event featured Yankton Nakota Sioux Tribal Artist, Jerry Fogg. About 40 people attended the November 8 presentation. Upcoming events this month include:

November 15: DSU Digital Arts & Design animation professor Daniel Seman will screen and discuss his animation storytelling collaborations with Native tribes, at 7 p.m. in the TCB Auditorium

November 22: Jennifer White, Arikara visual artist, painter, and Post Pilgrim Gallery owner, will present her paintings and talk about her experience, at 7 p.m. in the TCB Auditorium

November 29: The Wakpa Ipaksan Youth Drum Group from Flandreau, S.D. will be on campus at 7:30 p.m. in the Trojan Center Marketplace

There are also two events in the planning stages for December. One is a Native Star Knowledge Stargazing event, with DSU’s Dr. James Maloney and Dr. Craig Howe of the Center for American Indian Research and Native Studies (CAIRNS). On December 14, Dakota State again plans to host the Dakota 38+2 Riders with a meal and welcoming ceremony for the riders and members of the community in the Trojan Center. Watch for more details on both these events.

In addition to the fall events, the NASA Club has several events in the works for the spring semester, including an event in conjunction with the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women cause.

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