Native American Educational and Cultural Center to celebrate heritage month

November 13, 2012  

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue University's Native American Educational and Cultural Center will host several events to celebrate Native American Heritage Month.

"This month we are honoring the traditions and cultural diversity of Native American People," said center director Felica Ahasteen-Bryant. "Our theme, 'Indigenous Identity: Recognition and Appreciation of Traditions,' explores the different tribal nations and their individual customs and identity. Across the country, there are 566 federally recognized tribes and here at Purdue, we have 30 tribal nations represented in our Boilermaker family."

Scheduled events include:

* Wednesday (Nov. 14). 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Stewart Center, Room 310. "One Community, Many Voices: All Tribal Nations Representing one Native Voice." The panel presentation will focus on Native American identity and the diversity in cultures, languages and traditions each tribal nation represents. Panel members from the Purdue Native community will discuss maintaining their tribal identity in a cultural, professional and academic environment and the challenges they face to remain connected to the Native community. Speakers will include Purdue students, faculty and staff. The event is held in collaboration with the Division of Diversity and Inclusion as part of a yearlong series focused on identity.

* Wednesday (Nov. 14). 6 p.m. Rawls Hall, Room 1011. "The Ancient Mayas and the Prophecy of 2012: Myth or Doom?" The ancient Maya cultures have been making headlines recently because of the alleged prophecy about the end of the world in 2012. Antonio Curet, adjunct curator at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, explores the topic from an anthropological and archaeological perspective. Learn about the Maya culture, their history, religion and what Dec. 21, 2012, means for them, and what it means for us. Held in collaboration with the Latino Cultural Center.

* Friday (Nov. 16). 5-7 p.m. Stewart Center, 218 C-D. NAECC Movie Night, featuring "Boy: the Movie." Set on the East Coast of New Zealand in 1984, "Boy," an 11-year-old kid and devout Michael Jackson fan, gets to know his father, who has returned to find a bag of money he buried years ago.

* Nov. 28. 2-3:30 p.m. Shreve Hall, Jade Room. "Real Indians vs. 'Reel Injuns:' Examining American Indian Identity in Films." The program will examine how Native Americans are depicted in films. It will feature the documentary, "Reel Injuns: On the Trail of the Hollywood Indian," and include a panel of speakers from Purdue's Native American community. The event is held in collaboration with the Housing and Food Services Cultural Programs Office as part of its diversity series program.

* Nov. 30. 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Stewart Center, Room 314. "Native American Heritage Month Closing Address: Maintaining your Indigenous Identity in the Corporate World," by Katherine Anderson Hansen. Hansen, a member of the Kiowa Nation of Oklahoma, is a software engineer supply chain leader-associate consultant with Eli Lilly & Co., and a board member of the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art in Indianapolis.

Writer: Greg McClure, 765-497-9611,

Sources: Felica Ahasteen-Bryant, 765-494-4540,

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