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Native American Heritage Month 2020


Rising Waters and Sinking Lands: The Plight of Native American Groups in Southern Louisiana

Tuesday, November 3rd, 1 pm. Presented by Chief Shirell Parfait-Dardar and future Chief Devon Parfait-Dardar of the Grand Caillou/Dulac band of Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw, and Professor Ronadh Cox, Professor of Geology and Mineralogy at Williams College.

Professor Ronadh Cox, Chief Parfait-Dardar, and future Chief Devon Parfait-Dadar discuss impacts of land loss and climate change on state-recognized tribes living at the foot of the Mississippi River delta. Homeland and heritage are being lost; why is this happening, and what is the future of the land and its Native people?

Native American Heritage Month Opening Ceremony 

Wednesday, November 4th, 12 pm. Speakers include Vice-President Jerlena Griffin-Desta, Dr. Greg Sarris, Tribal Chairman of the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria, Endowed Chair in Native American Studies, and Creative Writing professor, Dean of Arts and Humanities Hollis Robbins, Native American Initiative Representative Amal Munayer, Director of Native American Studies Erica Tom, and Native American Student Mentors Izaac Limon and Tori Millendez.​ Discussion includes: NAI Efforts / Overview of University Efforts, Native American Progressive Student Club NAPS values, mission etc. and Mask Drive Details, NAMS department overview and NAHM programming review.

Land, Law, History, Culture and Community in the Time of Covid-19: A Lakota Elder’s Perspective

Thursday, November 5th, 1 pm. Features Lakota Healer David Swallow Jr. David Swallow is a member and descendent of Crazy Horse’s Band of Oglala Lakota. He speaks Lakota as a first language and is a Sun Dance intercessor and the Head Man of Porcupine, South Dakota on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation where he lives. He studied under Frank Fools Crow to become a wicasa wakan (medicine man) and spiritual leader for his Oyate (people). Among other acts of resistance, Mr. Swallow was involved in the occupation of Wounded Knee in 1973 and the Standing Rock Protective Action of 2016. David has spoken to audiences across the USA, Europe and Japan in order to educate the world about Lakota history, culture, and present situation.

Land, Law, History, Culture and Community in the Time of Covid-19: A Lakota Elder’s Perspective Zoom Recording

Ceremonial Fire, Land and Cultural Resource Restoration

Tuesday, November 10th, 1 pm. The Honorable Ron W. Goode is the Tribal Chairman of the North Fork Mono Tribe. Ron Goode is a Veteran of the United States Army and a retired Community College Professor in Ethnic Studies. Mr. Goode was inducted into the Clovis Hall of Fame for his work in Education and Community Service in 2002. In 2006, he was selected as CA Indian Education Teacher of the Year, and in 2006 and 2007 Mr. Goode was nominated for the Who’s Who of America’s Teachers. Mr. Goode's book Cultural Traditions Endangered, an ethnobotany book on native plants and resources, was published in 1992. In 2017-2018, Mr. Goode was the Coordinating Lead Author for the Tribal Indigenous Communities Climate Change Assessment as a new report of the California 4th Climate Change Assessment. Mr. Goode, and his tribal and ecological team, have been conducting Cultural Burns with Sequoia Park, Bass Lake Ranger District - Sierra National Forest, Cold Springs Rancheria, Private and Tribal Lands in Mariposa with the Mariposa Miwok Tribe. He then takes their practical work and presents it at Universities, Colleges, Seminars, Webinars, via Zoom and other venues, garnering worldwide attention. The presentation includes a clip from the PBS series Tending the Wild, featuring Chairman Goode’s work. Facilitator Q&A: Janet Hess​

Ceremonial Fire, Land and Cultural Resource Restoration Zoom Recording

#MMIWG2S – Missing and Murdered Indigenous Womxn, Girls, and Two Spirit: Activism, Survivance, and Youth

Tuesday, November 10th, 5 pm. Features Caitlyn Ayoka Wicks, a Cherokee, and a US History Ph.D. Candidate at Indiana University, studying Native American Activism in the 20th and 21st centuries with a focus on Settler Colonialism Theory and Gender Studies influences. Ayoka speaks about Native youth, one of the most powerful and yet most silenced groups of voices in the United States and Canada today. Voices channel our ancestors' long history of activism and survival, from resisting colonization, resisting removal, AIM, the Native Youth Council, IdleNoMore, #NoDAPL, and MMIWG2S, among other movements for Indigenous rights, lives, and above all - sovereignty. Building on the work of Indigenous scholars such as Nick Estes, Jodi Byrd, Sandy Grande, many others, and her own research, Ayoka's talk seeks to provide a historical analysis of Indigenous activism, particularly of Indigenous Youth, while providing hope for Indigenous students that the fight is not over, is worth it, and has many warriors alongside you to fight for our stolen sisters, for our land, and for our sovereignty. 

Preservation of Language Culture and Tradition 

Thursday, November 12th, 12 pm. Features Kanyon "Coyote Woman" Sayers-Roods, Co-Founder - CEO | Kanyon Konsulting, LLC - Indian Canyon Mutsun Band of Costanoan Ohlone People. "Coyote Woman," an Ohlone & Chumash California Native, engages the audience in a conversation focusing on Native American culture and language revitalization, and guides participants through relevant cultural competence strategies and the importance of cultural sensitivity.  Her focus is on honoring our history in food, language and culture while reconnecting to indigeneity, decolonization  and indigenization, addressing our responsibility as citizens to the earth and future ancestors-in-training. "Coyote Woman" uses humor and pop culture references to reexamine native history by navigating our truth and reconnecting native cultures to future generations.

Native American Progressive Student Club -  Student Panel: Indigeneity Beyond Borders 

Wednesday, November 18, 12 pm. Being indigenous is a complex identity to hold in America, especially in college. In this panel, students discuss what indigeneity means to them in contemporary society. The experience of being native is so nuanced and this discussion allows for these differences and similarities to be explored. This discussion addresses how we honor our identities and communities in a colonial space.

Another Pandemic in Indian Country: Water & the Navajo Nation 

Wednesday, November 18th, 4 pm. Dr. Andrew Curely (Diné), Professor of Geography at University of Arizona speaks to the relationship between water and covid-19 on the Navajo Nation. He presents his research which he says “focuses on the everyday incorporation of Indigenous nations into colonial economies. Building on ethnographic research, my publications speak to how Indigenous communities understand coal, energy, land, water, infrastructure, and development in an era of energy transition and climate change.” For more information go to:

Another Pandemic in Indian Country: Water & the Navajo Nation Zoom Recording

Alumni Panel: Navigating the Workforce: Intersectional workforce strategies       

November 19th, 12 pm. Sonoma State alumni panel discusses modern work force strategies, professional development and how to navigate spaces being a professional in a world that is still in-education regarding Native American history. Panelists will discuss current roles and their positionality in our community and the importance of remembering who you are, staying true to your core even when working within systems. Sonoma State alumni who are making a difference in their communities talk about how their time at SSU impacted their journey to a professional career.

Minor in Native American Studies: Information Session

Tuesday, November 17th, 12 pm. Features Director of Native American Studies Dr. Erica Tom, Professor of Native American Studies Dr. Mary Churchill, Professor of Native American Studies Ashley Hall, new permanent Professor of Native American Studies Dr. Silvia Soto, and NAMS student Maygen McGrew. Current NAMS minors and professors talk about the NAMS program: how to become a NAMS minor, exciting internship opportunities, and how you can use this minor after college.

Plants, Place, and Identity: The Role of Nature in Identity & Resilience

Tuesday, November 17th, 4 pm. Briana Albini, Graduate Assistant at First Nations Educational & Cultural Center and Masters Candidate in the Masters Public Affairs/Masters of Science Environmental Science in the O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University

Historical and ongoing trauma have caused loss in cultural practices and identity for many Native individuals. Plants, and the ecological landscape they reside in, are a fundamental component of tribal and cultural identity. Albini will discuss how re-learning traditional natural resource management strategies and environmental practices can connect an individual to their cultural identity. Through this journey, Native individual’s increase their entire community’s resilience to climate change and ongoing colonial traumas.

Native American Food Sovereignty: Decolonizing Narratives and Revitalizing Traditions 

Tuesday, November 24th, 1 pm. Executive Director of the California Indian Museum and Cultural Center, Nicole Lim. Nicole has earned advanced degrees from the University of California at Berkeley and University of San Francisco School of Law. She is Pomo and has worked for the National Indian Justice Center and the California Indian Museum and Cultural Center (CIMCC) since 1996. In 2010, the Tribal Youth Ambassadors program she founded received the Youth Program Award from the President’s Committee on Arts and Humanities in 2016.  She co-edited, On Indian Ground: California, the first in a series of books that focus on best practices for K-12 educators of Native students. Nicole is the Vice President of the California Association of Museums (CAM) and formerly co-chaired CAM’s Government Relations committee.  She also serves as the Secretary for the National Tribal GIS program and is a member of the Native American Advisory Committee to the University of California Office of the President. As Executive Director of the CIMCC, she works to develop exhibits, educational programs and curricular resources that represent Native American perspectives and local culture. Director Lim speaks to decolonizing narratives and revitalizing traditions, and food sovereignty.

Native American Food Sovereignty: Decolonizing Narratives and Revitalizing Traditions Zoom Recording

Native American Heritage Month Closing Celebration

Monday, November 30th, 12 pm. The closing celebration of the Native American Heritage Month includes Dr. Hollis Robbins, Dean of Arts & Humanities, and Dr. Wm. Gregory Sawyer, Vice President for Student Affairs, concluding the month in community conversation centered around performing arts, music, and reflections on the month’s diverse programming. Features music from Twice as Good musician and instructor in Native American Studies, Paul Steward (Elem Pomo) and a rendition of the Deer Dance/Danza Del Venado by SSU student in Theatre Arts, Tiffani Lopez. 

Native American Heritage Month Closing Celebration Zoom Recording