WMU News

WMU celebrates Native American Heritage Month

Oct. 28, 2002

KALAMAZOO -- A series of events will take place on the Western Michigan University campus during November in celebration of National Native American Heritage Month.

All events are free and open to the general public and are being sponsored by WMU's Native American Student Organization and Division of Multicultural Affairs with assistance from three other University offices and groups.

Joseph Fire Crow, Nov. 6

The celebration will kick off with a concert by Joseph Fire Crow at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 6, in the Zimmerman Residence Hall lounge.

Fire Crow is a Grammy-nominated Northern Cheyenne flute player and a flute craftsman. The singer/musician, who only plays flutes crafted by his own hands and has several albums to his credit, is characterized by one "Echodisc Catalog" reviewer as "quite simply one of the most gifted players of the Native American flute."

The concert is being co-sponsored by Residence Life.

Mini Pow Wow, Nov. 15

The month also will feature the Native American Mini Pow Wow on Friday, Nov. 15, in the Bernhard Center's East Ballroom.

Consisting of demonstrations and lectures, the mini pow wow will run from 9:30 to 11 a.m., noon to 1:30 p.m. and 2:30 to 4 p.m. Those attending will be able to learn about Native American culture, listen to the drums and watch dancers in their colorful regalia.

The mini pow wow is being co-sponsored by the Western Student Association.

Jennifer Podemski, Nov. 20

The final major scheduled event is a "Natives in the Media" lecture at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 20, in Room 2302 of Sangren Hall.

Jennifer Podemski, a Canadian aboriginal actor, producer, director and entertainer, will be sharing some of her work for the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network on behalf of her production company, Big Soul Productions.

The lecture is being co-sponsored by the President's Multicultural Fund.

National Native American Heritage Month grew out of a turn-of-the-20th century effort to gain a day of recognition for the significant contributions the first Americans made to the establishment and growth of the United States. As early as 1916, various states began setting aside one day a year to honor Native Americans.

In 1990, President George Bush approved a joint resolution proclaiming November 1990 National American Indian Heritage Month. Similar proclamations have been issued each year since 1994 in recognition of the culture and contributions of American Indians, Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiians.

For more information about WMU's events, contact Jodie Palmer in the Division of Multicultural Affairs at (269) 387-4106 or <jodie.palmer@wmich.edu>.

Media contact: Jeanne Baron, 269 387-8400, jeanne.baron@wmich.edu

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