*Editor’s Note: The Native American Student Center uses an inclusive definition of “womxn” and “mxn ” to welcome trans womxn and mxn, genderqueer womxn and mxn, and nonbinary folx.
Native American Heritage Month, celebrated in November, takes on special significance on the Cal Poly Pomona campus thanks in large part to CPP’s Native American Student Center.
The monthlong celebration of Native Americans includes events ranging from a reconstruction of Thanksgiving to a documentary screening to discussions about inclusivity, wellness and even American Indian mascots in sports.
The original inhabitants of the land that became the CPP campus were the Tongva people and neighboring Chumash people. The university honors their presence, their resiliency, their sovereignty and their existence with this series of events.
Opening Ceremony – Paying Tribute to Native Traditions
11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Building 26-105 (Native American Student Center)
Erica Ben, a native leader on the CPP campus, pays tribute and honors native traditions by leading a session about making fresh fry-bread.
Mele Murals – Film Screening with Director/Producer Tadashi Nakamura
2 to 4 p.m., Bronco Student Center, Lyra
A collaboration with Asian Pacific Islander Student Center highlights the intersectionality between the NASC community and the Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander student community on campus. Watch the trailer for Mele Murals, a documentary about modern graffiti art and ancient Hawaiian culture.
In Who’s Honor? American Indian Mascots in Sports
4 p.m., Building 9-333
The Gender, Ethnic and Multicultural Studies Club leads a discussion about the many Native American mascots that populate the athletic landscape in both professional and amateur sports.
Charlene Teters – Inclusivity Is Not Just a Word, Activism & Social Movements on Campus
11:30 am to 1 p.m., Bronco Student Center, Ursa Minor
Nationally renowned activist and social justice advocate, Charlene Teters, leads a critical conversation on the objectification and appropriation of Native American culture by modern society and pop culture.
*Native Womxn’s Wellness Circle
4 to 6:30 p.m., NASC
Monique Castro, a licensed marriage and family therapist and the owner of Indigenous Circle of Wellness, will facilitate a talking circle on practicing reverence and confidence focused on centering community care with mindfulness about our Indigenous values.
*Indigenous Mxn’s Talking Circle
4 to 6:30 p.m., NASC
Carlos Lamadrid, a licensed clinical social worker, will lead a talking circle focused on practicing reverence and confidence.
Harvest Day – Reconstructing Thanksgiving
5 to 8 p.m., Bronco Student Center, Ursa Major
A panel of CPP Native students, faculty and alumni will “reconstruct” the traditional and generic concept of Thanksgiving through an indigenous/native perspective exploring the true meaning and repercussions this event left behind for Native American peoples. A traditional native meal will be served.