Creating the Extraordinary Student Experience

Native American Heritage Month

Each November, the Student Life Multicultural Center sponsors programming for Native American Heritage Month (NAHM) which celebrates and educates students, staff, faculty and allies about the diversity within over 566 Nations/Tribes that were here before, during and after contact.

There will be a variety of events including Alternative Thanksgiving, an alternative celebration to the Thanksgiving holiday, a highlighted event sponsored collaboratively between the Native American Indigenous Peoples Cohort (NAIPC) and American Indian Student Initiatives (AISI). 

For any questions about a particular event or NAHM programming in general, please contact Melissa Beard Jacob at

Native American Heritage Month 2017 Calendar of Events:

Musicological Lecture Concert: Opera & Lyric Theatre presents "Ramala"
Wednesday, November 1, 2017 - 7:30pm
Weigel Auditorium

A. Scott Parry, director
Music by Charles Wakefield Cadman
Libretto by Nelle Richmond Eberhart and Francis LaFlesche

Charles Wakefield Cadman’s unperformed 1939 opera gets a special lecture/concert presentation. Musicologist Katie Graber presents her research into this fascinating work based on Native American melodies, alternating with performances of scenes and songs from the opera. Featuring Kimberly Monzón (Ramala), Justin Fields (Aedeta), Dylan Davis (Nemaha), Elizabeth Blanquera (Megena), Samantha Stiner (Taena) and Thomas Petrushka (Obeska).

This event is free and open to the public.

Tamara Morris
School of Music

First Year Success Series: Navigating Native American Student Services 
Monday, November 6
1:00 – 2:00 p.m.
Location: Susan Scharer Room

Do you identify as Native American and attend Ohio State University? This session is designed to help first year, transfer, returning, and graduate students navigate Native American campus life. Additionally, students are able to get connected with campus and community resources, have an opportunity to ask questions about the climate on campus, connect with one another, and build community.

Alternative Thanksgiving 2017
Tuesday, November 7
5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Location: Ohio Union, Performance Hall
Hosted by the Student Life Multicultural Center and Native American Student Initiatives, Alternative Thanksgiving is an open social and political alternative event to the national Thanksgiving Holiday. Native American and Indigenous students and allies are invited to learn about the history and traditions of Native American and Indigenous peoples prior to European contact. This year will feature a musical performance by Lakota John, a Lumbee/Oglala Lakota blues guitarist from Robeson County, North Carolina. RSVP is required for this event. To RSVP please visit

Say Her Name: Women of Color Cohort
Wednesday, November 8
6:00 - 7:30 p.m.
Location: Student Life Multicultural Center Alonso Family Room
This group is dedicated to providing supportive space for self-identified women of color students to connect and celebrate their unique their perspectives and experiences at the intersection of race and gender. 

First Year Success Series: What does it mean to be Native American at OSU?
Thursday, November 9
2:00 – 3:00 p.m.
Location: Rosa M. Ailabouni Room
Are you interested in learning more about the Native American community at Ohio State? This presentation will explore the unique and complicated identity journey that many Native American students experience while attending college.

Native Craft Reading Series: Metis Writer Toni Jensen
Monday, November 13
4:30 p.m.
Location: 311 Denney Hall, 164 Annie and John Glenn Avenue
Host: Department of English
This series brings Native writers to Ohio State to read from their creative work. Toni Jensen is the author of From the Hilltop (Native Storiers: A Series of American Narratives), University of Nebraska Press. Following the readings, Elissa Washuta, creative writing faculty and member of the Cowlitz Indian Tribe, will lead the writers in discussions of their approaches to craft, their publishing experiences and how their work is situated in relation to their indigeneity. Free and open to all. If you have questions, contact Tammy Carl at

Film Screening of “Black Indians: An American Story”
Tuesday, November 14
4:00 – 5:30 p.m.
Location: Student Life Multicultural Center, Alonso Family Room
As a part of Native American History Month, join Intercultural Specialists Katherine Betts and Melissa Beard Jacob for a screening of the film, "Black Indians: An American Story."

“Black Indians: An American Story,” explores the issue of racial identity among Native and African Americans. This in-depth documentary examines the native ancestry and the coalescence of these Indian tribes in American history. Discounted, and often ignored by mainstream America, these minority peoples have often shared a common native history. However, with their heritage ignored and their contributions denied they are all but invisible at the dawn of the new millennium.

Steven R. Heape - Executive Producer/Producer
Chip Richie - Director/Producer
James Earl Jones - Narrator
Neville Brothers - Soundtrack
Daniel Blake Smith - ScreenwriterÂ
Howard Tyler - Editor

Running Time 60 Minutes. Rated for all ages.

View the film trailer here:

NAIPC Meeting
Wednesday, November 15
6:00 – 7:30 p.m.
Location: Student Life Multicultural Center, Alonso Family Room
The Native American Indigenous Peoples Cohort (NAIPC) is a student organization at Ohio State that provides support through fellowship for Native American and Indigenous students and Non-Native students wishing to become involved in this community. NAIPC also promotes awareness of issues concerning Native American and Indigenous students and advanced the education and understanding of Native American and Indigenous culture among both members and the university community.

"The Art of Ngatu: Tradition, Innovation and Community in Polynesia” Opening Reception 
Monday, November 20
5:30 - 7:00 p.m.
Location: LeFevre Art Gallery, OSU-Newark Campus

Refreshments will be served.
Free and open to the public.

About the exhibition:

The exhibition “The Art of Ngatu: Tradition, Innovation and Community in Polynesia” combines original artwork, traditional tapa (beaten bark cloth), photography, film and ephemera. Exhibition content focuses on artists Dame Robin White (New Zealand) and Ruha Fifita (Tonga), their process and practice in Polynesia. Collaborating with communities of indigenous women, the artists use traditional methods to produce tapa while also incorporating innovation and contemporary narratives related to the history of Polynesian communities.

About the artists:

Dame Robin White (born Te Puke, New Zealand, 1946) is one of New Zealand’s greatest visual artists. Of Pakeha and Maori descent, White was one of the most prominent painters of the 1970’s, producing numerous iconic New Zealand images. She subsequently lived on the island of Tarawa in the Republic of Kiribati for 17 years before returning to New Zealand in 1999. She has continued working since then with groups of in-digenous women, weavers and artists, from around the Pacific.

In 2003 White was made a Distinguished Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit. Robin White says her tapa-based works are about “those things that connect different peoples.” Collaborating with indigenous people, using traditional processes, materials and techniques, her tapa work infuses ordinary subjects with values that are timeless and like an ocean, borderless.

Ruha Fifita is an internationally-respected artist from Tonga. Her ngatu work was recently exhibited at the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, Australia. Ruha advocates for increasing youth voices and a continued link to indigenous culture, which she believes is one of the region’s greatest strengths. She is currently Curator of Polynesian Art at Queensland Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane, Australia.

The exhibition is co-curated by Dr. John N. Low and Marcus Boroughs, former director of the Aratoi Wairarapa Museum of Art and History in New Zealand.

Financial support provided by the Milliken Fund

This event sponsored by: The Newark Earthworks Center, The American Indian Studies Program at The Ohio State University, The Office of Student Life at The Ohio State University at Newark, The Black Box Theater and the Ohio State Newark/Central Ohio Technical College Diversity & Inclusion Advisory Council .

For more information, contact John N. Low, JD, Ph.D. Associate Professor, Department of Comparative Studies at

What’s Your Story?
Monday, November 27
4:00 - 7:30 p.m.
Location: Student Life Multicultural Center, Alonso Family Room

What's Your Story? is part of the Alonso Family Dialogue Series hosted by the Social Justice Engagement team in the Student Life Multicultural Center.

 What's Your Story? invites one member of the Ohio State community to share their research interests, publications, and personal experience through a lens of social justice, identity, and culture. The speaker is usually a staff or faculty member who will share their journey about why they do the work they do, how they got to where they are, and what identities have been most salient for them in that journey. If there is anyone you would like to see speak at one of these programs, please contact Stephen Deaderick ( These programs will take place on the fourth Monday of each month from 4-5pm for the Autumn 2017 semester (September 25, October 23, November 27).

This event also counts for 1 DICE Credit toward your DICE Certificate. More information about DICE and how to earn credits can be found here:

Native American Heritage Month Closing Speaker: Dr. Adrienne Keene
Tuesday, November 28
5:00 - 6:30 p.m.
Location: Longaberger Alumni House, Sanders Grand Lounge

In celebration of Native American Heritage Month 2017, join the Native American Indigenous Peoples Cohort (NAIPC) and American Indian Student Initiatives for a clsoing keynote speech from Dr. Adrienne Keene.

Through her writing and activism, Keene questions and problematizes the ways Indigenous peoples are represented, asking for celebrities, large corporations, and designers to consider the ways they incorporate "Native" elements into their work. She is very interested in the way Native peoples are using social and new media to challenge misrepresentations and present counter-narratives that showcase true Native cultures and identities.

Her blog work has been nominated for the Women’s Media Center Social Media Award (2011), as well as featured in many mainstream media outlets.

Adrienne holds a doctorate in Culture, Communities, and Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Her research focuses on college access for Native (American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian) students and the role of precollege access programs in student success. She has worked closely with a non-profit called College Horizons, which assists Native students in the college application process — as a participant, alumna, faculty member, and now researcher.

Her dissertation, entitled "College Pride, Native Pride" and Education for Nation Building: Portraits of Native Students Navigating Freshman Year, is a portraiture study (Lawrence-Lightfoot & Davis, 1998) that follows four alumni of College Horizons in their transition to college.

Adrienne has presented at colleges and universities nationwide as well as at numerous conferences. Most recently, she was a keynote at the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in American Higher Education - NCORE 2015. She is comfortable speaking on topics related to both of her areas of interest—cultural appropriation and representations, as well as Native students’ experiences in the college process.

Sponsored by the Student Life Multicultural Center and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion.

AISES Meeting
Wednesday, November 29
6:00 – 7:30 p.m.
Location: Student Life Multicultural Center, Alonso Family Room
The American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) is a national, nonprofit organization focused on substantially increasing the representation of American Indians, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, Pacific Islanders, First Nations and other indigenous peoples of North America in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) studies and careers.

The Graphic Novel as Indigenous Narrative Art: Re-Exploring the Residential School Experience
Thursday, November 30
1:00 – 2:00 p.m.
Location: Rosa M. Ailabouni Room, Ohio Union 
Join Intercultural Specialist Melissa Beard Jacob for a discussion on graphic novels and the representation of the Indigenous boarding school/residential school experience.