An incredible cultural celebration

Renee Rosenow

American Indian Heritage Month is a time to celebrate and honor native people. UW-Eau Claire’s Native American Student Association (NASA) has planned and coordinated this year’s events. These events will promote awareness of American Indians and celebrate their ancestry.

To start off the month, NASA, in collaboration with Sodhexo, has planned a Native American buffet from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m on Thursday, Nov. 6 in The Dulany Inn. The culturally unique menu will include sunflower bannock, buffalo roast, venison sausage with pepper and onions, and several wild rice dishes. Posters on Ojibwe culture will be displayed around the room and powwow music will be played in the background.

From 5 to 7p.m on Friday Nov. 7, The Office of Multicultural Affairs will be hosting their annual Chili Feed. Both meat and vegetarian chili will be available and NASA will prepare homemade and very popular Fry Bread. This event is free, however, if you plan to attend, please RSVP to Christine Webster ([email protected]).

Tuesday, Nov. 11 marks the 30th annual Lac Courte Oreilles Veterans Day Pow wow in Hayward, Wisc., Like other Native American powwows, the Lac Courte Oreilles pow-wow is a social gathering of both Native and non-Native people in an incredible cultural celebration of American Indian song and dance.

Fancy and traditional are two of the different men’s and women’s dance categories that represent vital aspects of Indian culture and tradition. For those who have never been to a pow-wow, this is an excellent opportunity to experience this unique cultural gathering. American Indian Studies will be providing a bus for students to take to the Lac Courte Oreilles powwow in Hayward. The bus will be leaving Kjer Theatre at 3 p.m. and will return at 11 p.m. The cost is $5 per person and will include a plate at the pow-wow feast. Sign up in the American Indian Studies Office (HHH 150); space is limited.

On Thursday Nov. 13, Nichole Ray, an Oglala Lakota and American Indian Studies graduate, will lead NASA’s American Indian Beading workshop from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in The Cabin of Davies Center. Instruction on beaded loop earrings along with all necessary materials will be provided for $3 per person. Proceeds will benefit a bone marrow drive in memory of mathematics professor Eberth Alarcon.

The documentary “The Way of the Warrior” will be shown from 5 to 6 p.m. Monday Nov. 17, in the Presidents Room of Davies Center. This 2007 documentary produced by Patty Loew examines the intrinsic warrior ethic and the bravery of Native Americans serving in World Wars I and II and the Korean and Vietnam Wars.

Difficult personal and societal conditions caused an influx of Natives into wartime military service. Loew is from the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Ojibwe and an UW-Madison associate professor. Loew has worked on incorporating Native tribes and individuals into both local and mainstream media for several years. Some may recognize Loew as the producer and co-host of “In Wisconsin,” Wisconsin Public Television’s weekly news and public affairs program that focuses on Wisconsin issues and stories.

Wade Fernandez and the Black Wolf Group, a highly anticipated event, will be performing from 6 to 7:30 on Wednesday Nov. 19 p.m. in Schofield Auditorium. Fernandez’s music is a blend of blues, rock, folk, jazz, Latin, country, jam, spoken word and traditional American Indian music. This unique performance given by the winners of the 2006 Native American Music Awards (NAMMYs) will be sure to entertain and impress those who enjoy a variety of music genres. Admission is free.

To wrap up the month, Eau Claire’s Dr. James Oberly, professor of history, will be discussing the political culture of the Stockbridge-Munsee Mohicans. Despite the many obstacles this tribe has faced over the years, they have retained their tribal identity. In this first history of the modern-day Mohicans, Oberly will narrate their story from the time of their relocation to Wisconsin through the post-World War II era. He will also address issues of tribal membership, interatribal political parties and sovereignty.

For more information on our presenters or events please contact:
Lyndsay Nelson – [email protected]
Patti Loew – [email protected]
Wade Fernandez – [email protected]
Dr. James Oberly – [email protected]

Nelson is a senior psychology major, president of the Native American Student Association and guest columnist for The Spectator.