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Indigenous Nations Heritage Month


The 2023 theme for Native American Heritage Month at MCC is
"Indigenizing Higher Education"

Stop by MCC Library during this month to engage with book displays
& programming for Native American Heritage Month.

Scroll down for programming details.

Native American Heritage Month November 2023. Indigenizing Higher Education. The MCC Library.


Get Ready Thunderbirds to Celebrate Indigenous Nations Month! This month we celebrate the beautiful Culture and Contributions of Indigenous Peoples. We have several events happening this month that will enrich your knowledge of Native American peoples, lands, languages and traditions. 

Culture Week is the week of Nov. 6-9 (Participants will be entered to win a prize at the end of the week)

  • Rock your Moccs Monday
  • Turquoise/ Native Jewelry Tuesday
  • Wear your Red Wednesday: Missing and Murdered Indigenous Peoples Awareness
  • Traditional Dress Thursday

NATIVE HEALTH: Mobile Health Care Unit Visit

Nov 8 | Near Clock Tower
Services provided are for everyone. This is a free service provided by NATIVE HEALTH. For more information regarding services provided email: Services include:

  • Vaccines
  • Sick Visits
  • Women, Men, and Child Well Checks
  • Free personal hygiene and other health related items

RezMarket: Indigenous Nations Month Kick-Off

Nov 8 | 10:00 AM-2:00 PM | Walkway N. 36N | Southern & Dobson

  • Indigenous vendors selling authentic Native American Jewelry, Art & Crafts
  • NDN Taco Sale w/all the fixings and Navajo/Hopi Tea ($Cash Only$)
  • Cultural Performances representing Hopi, Zia & Jemez Pueblo, Comanche, Lakota, Navajo and Apache Nations
  • Raffle Prizes from Vendors
  • Sponsored by the Inter-Tribal Student Organization (ISO)

Indigenous Nations Month Cultural Workshop: Corn Pollen Teachings
Nov 8 | 6:00PM- 7:30 PM | LB-145 | Southern & Dobson

  • Cultural Presenter: Paul Joe & Garden Educator: Sierra Penn
  • Description: Corn Pollen is held in high regard and used in prayer and offering by many Tribal Nations. Join us to discuss and learn about the importance and teachings of this sacred medicine.
  • Corn Pollen will be provided to the first 20 participants, this workshop is brought to you by NativeHealth
  • Register HERE

Native Spirit Week: Nov. 5-9

  • Monday - Roc Your Moccs
  • Tuesday - Turquoise/Native Jewelry Tuesday
  • Wednesday - Warrior Wednesday (Honoring all Warriors)
  • Thursday- Traditional Dress Thursday

Film Screening: Killers of the Flower Moon Movie Tickets & Dialogue
Nov 9 | 7:20PM Showing | Arizona Mills Harkins Theatre 5000 S. Arizona Mills Cir. Tempe, AZ

  • Based on David Grann's best-selling book, "Killers of the Flower Moon" is set in 1920s Oklahoma and tells the story of the brutal crimes that came to be known as the Reign of Terror. This film is based off of Real Life events that happened to the Osage People in Oklahoma. Trailer
  • A follow up Discussion will take place on Nov. 17, 2023 from 12-2pm in LB-144 to talk about the various themes that existed in the film and its relevance in how Indigenous history is portrayed and told.
  • Register HERE


Grandma's House Party
Nov 14| 11:00AM- 1:00 PM | Saguaro Building | Red Mountain Campus

  • Shop Indigenous Owned Business
  • Native Jams & Free Frybread

Indigenous Nations Month Cultural Workshop: Hand Drum Making Workshop
Nov 20| 6:00 PM- 8:00 PM | LB-145 | Southern & Dobson

  • Cultural Presenter: Trevor Foster
  • Description: Come learn the history of the Hand Drum and the importance of carrying on traditional teachings through this workshop.
  • All supplies provided. Limited space available.
  • Register HERE

Elders' Teachings Luncheon
Nov 21| 11:00AM- 1:00 PM | LB-145 | Southern & Dobson

  • Description: Elders' Teachings are highly respected in Indigenous Communities. Come listen during this luncheon where participants will hear from invited Elders who will share their wisdom based on lived experiences. Some topics that will be highlighted are Culture & Language Revitalization, Personal & Professional Goal Setting, Mental Health & Self Care, Cultural Representation in Higher Education, Civic & Community Engagement, Addressing Voting barriers for Indigenous Voters and much more!!!!
  • Featured Elder: Kenneth G. White Jr (Navajo) MSW and CEO of Native Health Care Solutions LLC.. Mr. White is an Arizona State University Alum and has a professional background in developing healthcare services for Indigenous Tribal Nations. He has also contributed to several Call to Action campaigns to address historical trauma for Indigenous Nations.
  • Featured Elder: Rosetta Walker (Lakota), current ASU Elder in Residence & MORE!
  • Free Lunch Provided by Civic and Community Engagement

Miss Native MCC Pageant
Nov 29 | 5:30PM- 9:00PM | MCC Performing Arts Center | Southern & Dobson

  • Description: Join the Inter-Tribal Student Organization for the Miss Native Mesa Community College Pageant. Contestants will be vying for the title of Miss Native MCC and in this role the selected will become a Native American student ambassador that will represent MCC at various campus, local and regional events.
  • Free & Open to the Public Doors Open @ 5:30 pm
  • RSVP

Indigenous College Night- Hoop of Learning
Nov 30| 6:00PM |Navajo Room| Southern & Dobson

  • Join us at this event to learn about the Hoop of Learning Early College Scholarship Program. Through this high school to college bridge program students can earn college credit while in high school.
  • NDN Tacos to the first 50 people provided by Val's Frybread.

National Native American / Indigenous Nations Heritage Month

What started at the turn of the century as an effort to gain a day of recognition for the significant contributions the first Americans made to the establishment and growth of the U.S. has resulted in a whole month being designated for that purpose.

One of the very proponents of an American Indian Day was Dr. Arthur C. Parker, a Seneca Indian, who was the director of the Museum of Arts and Science in Rochester, NY. He persuaded the Boy Scouts of America to set aside a day for the "First Americans" and for three years they adopted such a day. In 1915, the annual Congress of the American Indian Association meeting in Lawrence, KS, formally approved a plan concerning American Indian Day. It directed its president, Rev. Sherman Coolidge, an Arapahoe, to call upon the country to observe such a day.

Coolidge issued a proclamation on September 28, 1915, which declared the second Saturday of each May as an American Indian Day and contained the formal appeal for recognition of Indians as citizens.

The year before this proclamation was issued, Red Fox James, a Blackfoot Indian, rode horseback from state to state seeking approval for a day to honor Indians. On December 14, 1915, he presented the endorsements of 24 state governments at the White House. There is no record, however, of such a national day being proclaimed.

The first American Indian Day in a state was declared on the second Saturday in May 1916 by the governor of New York. Several states celebrate the fourth Friday in September. In Illinois, for example, legislators enacted such a day in 1919. 

Presently, several states have designated Columbus Day as Native American Day, but it continues to be a day we observe without any recognition as a national legal holiday.

In 1990 President George H. W. Bush approved a join resolution designating November 1990 "National American Indian Heritage Month." Similar proclamations, under variants* of the name (Native American Heritage Month, National American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month) have been issued each year since 1994.

(Information courtesy of the Library of Congress.)


A Proclamation on National Native American Heritage Month, 2021


The United States of America was founded on an idea:  that all of us are created equal and deserve equal treatment, equal dignity, and equal opportunity throughout our lives.  Throughout our history — though we have always strived to live up to that idea and have never walked away from it — the fact remains that we have fallen short many times.  Far too often in our founding era and in the centuries since, the promise of our Nation has been denied to Native Americans who have lived on this land since time immemorial. 

Despite a painful history marked by unjust Federal policies of assimilation and termination, American Indian and Alaska Native peoples have persevered.  During National Native American Heritage Month, we celebrate the countless contributions of Native peoples past and present, honor the influence they have had on the advancement of our Nation, and recommit ourselves to upholding trust and treaty responsibilities, strengthening Tribal sovereignty, and advancing Tribal self-determination. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted and exacerbated preexisting inequities facing Tribal Nations.  Early in the pandemic, reported cases in the Native American community were over 3 times the rate of white Americans; in some States, Native American lives were lost at a rate 5 times their population share.  Even as they shouldered a disproportionate burden throughout the pandemic, Tribal Nations have been paragons of resilience, determination, and patriotism — implementing key mitigation strategies like testing and prioritizing the vaccination of Tribal communities at high rates in order to save lives.  Through it all, Tribal Nations have effectively utilized the tools of Tribal self-governance to protect and lead their communities, setting a standard for all of our communities to follow. 

Our Nation cannot live up to the promise of our founding as long as inequities affecting Native Americans persist.  My Administration is committed to advancing equity and opportunity for all American Indians and Alaska Natives and to helping Tribal Nations overcome the challenges that they have faced from the pandemic, climate change, and a lack of sufficient infrastructure in a way that reflects their unique political relationship.

As a starting point, the American Rescue Plan represented the most significant funding legislation for Indian Country in the history of our Nation — the largest single Federal investment in Native communities ever, with $20 billion in direct funding to help Tribal governments combat and emerge from the COVID-19 crisis.  Through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal and my Build Back Better framework, my Administration is pushing for strong Tribal participation to help build our Nation’s clean energy future, deploy clean water and high-speed internet to every home, and invest in Native American families, businesses, jobs, and communities. 

In my first week in office, I also signed a Presidential Memorandum committing my Administration to the fulfillment of our Federal trust and treaty responsibilities, to respect Tribal self-governance, and to conduct regular, meaningful, and robust consultations with Tribal Nations on a broad range of policy issues.  Together, we are implementing a whole-of-government approach to empower Tribal Nations in their efforts to achieve political and economic self-sufficiency, advance climate resiliency, and protect their territorial sovereignty.  To further elevate the voices of Native Americans in my Administration, I restarted the White House Council on Native American Affairs earlier this year.  It was among the proudest honors of my life to appoint one of our country’s most remarkable leaders, Deb Haaland of the Pueblo of Laguna, to serve as United States Secretary of the Interior — the first Native American in the history of our Nation to serve in the Cabinet.

During National Native American Heritage Month, we also honor our Native Americans veterans and service members who have courageously served and continue to serve in our Armed Forces — including the brave Native American Code Talkers in World War I and World War II.  For over 200 years, Native Americans have defended our country during every major conflict and continue to serve at a higher rate than any other ethnic group in the Nation.  Because of their selflessness, every generation of Americans receives the precious gift of liberty — and we owe each of them and their families a debt of gratitude for their sacrifice and dedication. 

Native American roots are deeply embedded in this land — a homeland loved, nurtured, strengthened, and fought for with honor and conviction.  This month and every month, we honor the precious, strong, and enduring cultures and contributions of all Native Americans and recommit ourselves to fulfilling the full promise of our Nation together.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR., President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim November 2021 as National Native American Heritage Month.  I urge all Americans, as well as their elected representatives at the Federal, State, and local levels, to observe this month with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities, and to celebrate November 26, 2021, as Native American Heritage Day.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-ninth day of October, in the year of our Lord two thousand twenty-one, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-sixth.


Ask yourself:
When does appropriate become appropriation?

"Cultural appropriation is when someone from the dominant culture (i.e. the most visible and accepted culture in a society) takes aspects of an oppressed culture (one experiencing any form of repeated or prolonged discrimination) without permission." (WeRNative, n.d.)

Learn more about cultural appropriation at the sources below

Read this 2015 AZ Republic article and ponder the conundrum created when Christian Louboutin found inspiration from a deal struck between Nike and designer Dwayne Manuel (O'odham).



What's a shoe to do?



Ask yourself:
When you think Thanksgivingdo you think insanity?

Take 4:38 minutes and watch The Invention of Thanksgiving to learn National Museum of the American Indian curator Paul Chaat Smith's (Comanche) visually rich take on the matter:

From the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian exhibition "Americans."


Joy Harjo, 23rd Poet Laureate of the United States, is the first Native American to serve in this position.  She is a member of the Muscogee Creek Nation. ​​​

Joy Harjo, U.S. Poet Laureate: A Resource Guide

On June 19, 2019, Joy Harjo was appointed the 23rd Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry by Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden. This guide provides access to selected print and online resources related to Harjo's life and work.

Photo taken June 6, 2019 by Shawn Miller/Library of Congress. On flickr.


Click here for Reading and Concert (1:36:05).