University to Host Events in Recognition of Native American Heritage Month

Ferris State UniversityFerris State University will celebrate Native American Heritage Month with opportunities to explore the history and traditions of Native Americans.

The university’s month-long celebration features events designed to develop an understanding of Native American culture in Michigan, explore perceptions, stereotypes and accurate representations of modern Native Americans, discover the history and evolution of food, feasting and harvest celebrations, and experience the lifestyle of a Michigan Indian tribal community.

“The Native American Heritage Month events provide opportunities to engage and learn more about a part of our American culture,” said Michael Wade, assistant director of the university’s Office of Multicultural Student Services.

The free events are open to students, faculty and staff, and the Big Rapids community. The celebration is co-sponsored by the Circle of Tribal Nations and FSUBuntu registered student organizations, Ferris’ Office of International Education, and the FSU Symphony Band and the Office of Instrumental Concert Ensembles.

Here is the schedule of events:

Michigan Tribal Community Tour and Spirit Feast

When: 3-9 p.m. Friday, Nov. 1, Mount Pleasant

What: Ferris students are invited to join Circle of Tribal Nations members to visit the seventh generation program at Elijah Elk Cultural Center and the 2013 Spirit Feast at the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribal Community in Mount Pleasant. The event is free, but students must RSVP to OMSS by calling (231) 591-2617 or visiting the office in FLITE, Suite 159. Seating is limited.

“Our Fires Still Burn” documentary screening, Q&A session

When: 5-7:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 4, College of Business, Room 111

What: Producer and director Audrey Geyer will show her 60-minute documentary about the lives of contemporary Native American role models in the Midwest. Following the screening, a question-and-answer session will be held with Geyer and Native Americans featured in the film.

Ferris State University Symphony Band Fall Concert

When: 8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 7, Williams Auditorium

What: The concert will feature the musical selection “The Fairy Ring” from Two Native Legends by composer Max Williams, in conjunction with the Office of International Education’s “Beyond Mythologies” project on Native American mythology.

We Are One – One World Futbol Kickoff

When: 1-6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 9, Wink Arena, Multipurpose Room

The Circle of Tribal Nations and FSUBuntu will host a fundraising kickoff event for the One World Futbol Project at Ferris. The event will provide information about how to get involved in the project, which provides the long-lasting balls to children in needy communities. There also will be soccer activities to participate in. (Video:

“What is it to be a Warrior” with Steven Naganashe Perry

When: 11 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 14, Interdisciplinary Resource Center, Room 120

What: Vietnam veteran and educator Steven Naganashe Perry, who descends from the Naganashe family of the Waganakising Odawa and the Shingwauk family of Kitigan-zeeping Ojibwe Reserve in Ontario, will visit campus to discuss what it means to be a warrior. He has more than 25 years of experience in various teaching capacities.

“The Real Thanksgiving” with Martin Reinhardt

When: 5-7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 26, College of Business, Room 111 (presentation), IRC Connector (meal)

What: Martin Reinhardt, an Anishanaabe Ojibway citizen of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians and an assistant professor of Native American Studies at Northern Michigan University, will discuss the history and evolution of food, feasting and harvest celebrations in Native American culture. “The Real Thanksgiving” feast will feature authentic food from a traditional thanksgiving celebration.

For updates on Native American History Month events, visit the Circle of Nations Facebook page, here, or the OMSS website, here.

Last updated: 10-31-2013