Native American Educational and Cultural Center to celebrate heritage month

November 7, 2013  

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

"Native American Heritage Month is a national observance created to recognize, honor and celebrate indigenous people," said center director Felica Ahasteen-Bryant. "We are honoring the traditions and cultural diversity of Native American People."

Scheduled events, which are open to the public, include:

* Friday (Nov. 8). 8 p.m. Lafayette Theater, 600 Main St., Lafayette. Martha Redbone Roots Project performance. Martha Redbone is an Independent Music Award-winning musician of Cherokee, Choctaw, Shawnee and African-American descent. She will feature songs from her new album, "The Garden of Love – Songs of William Blake." The album explores Americana through the lens of British poet Blake's poetry. Tickets are $16 for Purdue and Ivy Tech students as well as those under 18. All other tickets are $25. Tickets are available at the Elliott Hall and Stewart Center box offices at 765-494-3933 or 800-914-SHOW. Call 765-496-1977 for more details or visit 

* Nov. 14. 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Lunch in Windsor Dining Court. 12:30-1:30 p.m. Panel discussion in Vawter Living Room. "Contemporary Natives: Looking Beyond the Historical Stoic Indians." In honor of Native American Heritage Month, Housing and Food Services will feature Native American food items on the lunch menu. Afterward, the panel will discuss current issues in tribal communities such as Native identity, health and common misconceptions. Panelists will include Native American faculty at Purdue, students and staff. Guests must purchase a meal pass to eat lunch. For more information, visit 

* Nov. 14. 2-2:30 p.m. in Stewart Hall, Room 314 and 6-7:30 the Elm Room of the West Lafayette Public Library. "Eiteljorg Museum Visiting Artists: Mary and Lorenzo Tafoya. Using their traditional and contemporary jewelry, the Eiteljorg Museum's November artists-in-residence will discuss the history, traditions and lifestyle of the Santo Domingo Pueblo tribe of New Mexico.

* Nov. 15. All day. "Purdue Rock Your Mocs Day." For many indigenous people, moccasins have historically been their first form of shoes. They are created out of deer, elk, buffalo and moose hide. Each tribal has their own moccasin design that is tied to families, legends and ceremonies. "Rock Your Mocs" is a social movement designed to raise awareness of indigenous people. The Purdue Native community is encouraged to wear moccasins all day to show their "Indian pride."

* Nov. 15. 12-1 p.m. The Native American Educational and Cultural Center, South Campus Courts, Building B. NAECC Souper Friday: Featuring Native American Corn Soup and Frybread. Purdue's student chapter of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society and the Native American Student Association will host lunch for the community.

* Nov. 15. 6-7:30 p.m. Stewart Center, Room 314. NAECC Movie Night: "More Than Frybread." The NAECC will show the "mockumentary," about a statewide frybread championship set in Flagstaff, Ariz. Refreshments will be served.

* Nov. 19. 1-2:30 p.m. Stewart Hall, Room 314. NAECC Distinguished Alumni Speaker Series. Justin McHorse, a Krannert School of Management alumnus and director of the American Indian Program at New Mexico State University, will speak. He will discuss the challenges of maintaining Native identity in the 21st century and the importance of Native students returning to tribal communities.

In addition, the NAECC and Purdue Libraries are collaborating on displays in the HSSE, Engineering, Chemistry, Physics and Hicks Undergraduate libraries. Displays will offer insight into specific tribal nations, Native American legends related to the universe and a display of contemporary Native American films. 

Writer: Greg McClure, 765-496-9711,  

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

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