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Celebrating Native American Heritage Month

A listing of campus events, reading materials and stories celebrating Native American heritage and culture
Native American Month 22

November is National Native American Heritage Month, a time to reflect on the culture, history and achievements of native peoples in North America. Listed below are some campus events, reading materials and stories that honor and celebrate the rich history and legacy of Indigenous peoples.

Events & Exhibits

Nov. 9-11—The Department of Native American and Indigenous Studies is hosting a Conference on Indigenous Languages of Latin America (CILLA). This year’s event, held at the Glickman Conference Center, 8:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.) will be dedicated to the memory of Nora England, who founded and led CILLA during more than two decades. Go here for more information.

Now through Feb. 11, 2024—The Blanton Museum of Art is featuring a special exhibition titled “If the Sky Were Orange: Art in the Time of Climate Change.” The exhibit features a video by New Mexico-based artist Cannupa Hanska Luger, who was born on the Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota and is an enrolled member of the Three Affiliated Tribes of Fort Berthold and is Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara and Lakota. Go here for more information.

Stories and Scholarly Conversations

‘Future Ancestral Technologies: New Myth’

Renowned writer, Julia Brave NoiseCat, responded to Cannupa Hanska Luger’s artwork “Future Ancestral Technologies: New Myth” (on display at The Blanton) in an article posted on the Blanton Museum of Art’s website. The artist uses video, sculpture, performance and installation to communicate stories about 21st century Indigeneity. His work reflects a deep engagement with and respect for diverse materials, the environment and community. Go here to learn more.

Student Spotlight: Jessica Nelson

Jessica Nelson is a sophomore in the Cockrell School’s Chandra Family Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. In celebration of Native American Heritage Month, they featured a Q&A with her to learn more about her time in Texas ECE and what her heritage means to her. “Native American Heritage Month is when the nation recognizes its indigenous peoples and the promises that have been made to them. It is the time where the nation recognizes the contributions and sacrifices Natives have given to America, along with the broken promises and intent to decimate from the past actions of America as a nation.”—Jessica Nelson. Read more.

Overallocated and Unsettled

In the fall of 1922, representatives of the seven states in the Colorado River basin gathered in Santa Fe, New Mexico, to sign the Colorado River Compact, an agreement to apportion water rights among the basin states. One hundred years later, the legacies of the Colorado Compact are still palpably felt across the region, linking some of the most contested debates of contemporary life in the U.S. West: water, legal rights, aridity and irrigation. Read more about a recent campus event, hosted by the Institute of Historical Studies, which featured a roundtable discussion titled “Overallocated and Unsettled: Critical Reflections on the Past, Present, and Future of the Colorado River.”

Demilitarizing Hawaiian Indigenous Lands

The Henry Luce Foundation has awarded a grant to the Center for Asian American Studies in support of its project “Mobilizing Community Knowledge to Protect the Sacred: Confronting the Militarization of Hawai‘i and Devastation of Indigenous Lands.” The project seeks to produce educational tools, including a documentary film and curriculum, to inform public consensus regarding a transition of lands from military control to Indigenous stewardship through grassroots participation ahead of the 2029 expiration of several U.S. military base leases on Hawaiian lands. Read more.

Ghost Dancing Across Native North America

Jennifer Graber, the Gwyn Shive, Anita Nordan Lindsay, and Joe & Cherry Gray Professor of Religious Studies and associate director of Native American and Indigenous Studies, was recently awarded with a Guggenheim Fellowship, which will go towards Graber’s forthcoming  book “Ghost Dancing Across Native North America.” The book will focus on the Ghost Dance, a movement among several Native American nations that sought the return of the dead, restoration of lands and protection of Native ways of life. Read more.

Learning Resources

UT Libraries

Find a listing of reading materials on the UT Libraries website that celebrate Native American lives, accomplishments and voices. You can also find a wealth of research materials on this Texas Scholar Works website.

Not Even Past

Visit the Department of History’s Not Even Past website to find a collection of books and digital archives on the history and culture of Indigenous peoples.

Portal Magazine

Visit the LLILAS Benson website to read the latest issue of Portal magazine, an annual publication that showcases a broad range of research and scholarship on Latin America and U.S. Latinx communities, including Indigenous issues.