It’s Native American Heritage Month. Here’s what you need to know.

The CCGC will host events focused on Native American Heritage Month. (The Collegian)

What is Native American Heritage Month?

  • Native American Heritage Month began as a day of recognition for significant contributions by the first Americans made to the establishment and growth of the U.S. It has since been expanded to a whole month being designated for that purpose, according to nativeamericanheritagemonth.gov.
  • The first state-declared American Indian Day was on the second Saturday of May 1916 in New York. 
  • Other states recognize American Indian Day on the fourth Friday in September, while others designate Columbus Day as Native American Day.
  • In 1990, President George H.W. Bush approved a resolution that declared November 1990 to be “National American Indian Heritage Month.” Similar proclamations under various names have been issued each year since 1994.

What resources are there on campus for Native American students, staff and faculty?

  • Cross-Cultural and Gender Center (CCGC): The CCGC plans and coordinates events focused on diversity, equity, inclusion and social justice, according to Asian Pacific Islander and American Indian Programs and Services interim coordinator Kathy Moua. It has multiple affinity groups, including the American Indian Programs and Services, which Moua said is intended to highlight Native and Indigenous students, cultures and their presence on campus. The CCGC is located in the Thomas Administration Building, Room 110A.
  • Neum Native American Student Association (NASA): A student and faculty club on campus for Indigenous and non-Indigenous individuals interested in learning about the Native community’s experiences.
  • Fresno State American Indian Faculty and Staff Association: An organization for Fresno State Indigenous employees.
  • Outreach Counselor: Amber Esquivel is an outreach counselor who works with the Native American Initiative. She can be reached at esquivelamber@csufresno.edu.

What events can students attend this month?

  • Nov. 5: Fresno State 2022 American Youth Conference.
    • The conference is being held in collaboration with Esquivel at the Satellite Student Union (SSU) from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The event is currently at max capacity and will not be taking any more guests.
  • Nov. 8: American Indian Movie Night
    • Hosted and headed by CCGC’s American Indian Programs and Services student coordinator Amelia Holguin, the film “Running Brave” about Billy Mills, the first Native American to win a gold medal for the 10,000 meter race in the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, will be shown in Library Room 2206 from 6-8:30 p.m.
  • Nov. 15: Land Acknowledgement Informational Workshop
    • Held in collaboration with Students for Quality Education, Holguin will put together a presentation for this event discussing land acknowledgements across California and what they mean for the Native community. More details will be released on the CCGC’s social media accounts leading up to the event.
  • Nov. 24: Thanksgiving Social Media Push

Hosted by Holguin, this social media push will be on the CCGC’s Instagram to educate viewers about the complexity of Thanksgiving and analyze the holiday from a Native American perspective.

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