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DSU to celebrate Native American Heritage Month

Dickinson State University  will celebrate Native American Heritage Month with several events on campus during November. Students, staff, faculty and community members may participate in an array of entertainment.

The Native American Heritage Month celebration will begin with a book reading by Dr. Carter Meland at 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 13, in Beck Auditorium, hosted by the Heart River Writers’ Circle.

Meland, who describes himself as “a tall, left-handed man of White Earth Anishinaabe heritage,” received his doctorate in American studies with a thesis that examined the role of trickster figures in the works of contemporary Native novelists. He has since been published in journals and books like “Studies in American Indian Literatures,” “Yellow Medicine Review” and  “Seeing Red: Hollywood’s Pixeled Skins.” He has taught in the Department of American Indian Studies at the University of Minnesota since fall 1999.

"We are pleased to start off this year's visiting writer series with Dr. Meland,” said Martin McGoey, co-chair of the HRWC. “We feel that this will be a fitting presentation as a part of Native American Heritage Month at DSU."

DSU also invited Scott Davis, executive director of the North Dakota Indian Affairs Commission, to speak on Native American culture and the role of Native Americans in history and modern USA. This event will take place during the Multicultural Committee’s Global Table presentation at noon, Wednesday, Nov. 15,  in Stoxen Library.

The movie “Spirit Game: Pride of a Nation” will be shown 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 15, in Beck Auditorium. The documentary follows the Iroquois National Lacrosse Team as they compete in the 2015 World Box Lacrosse Championships. For the first time ever, the championship games were held on an Indian reservation in Onondaga, New York, the capital of the Iroquois Confederacy.

The DSU Office of International Programs and Multicultural Affairs will bring Native American performer Jackie Bird to campus Wednesday, Nov. 29. Her performance begins at 5 p.m. in the Student Center Ballroom.

Through the aid of her puppet, "Wild Flower," Bird will tell stories and sing songs from her culture. She will perform a dance that has been passed down through her family from generation to generation. This dance has a different meaning for every tribe, but for Bird the dance is for healing.

“In all of her performances, Jackie Bird has been praised for her ability to get her audience involved with her contemporary and traditional music, songs and dances,” said Perzen Akolawala, director of International Programs at DSU. “Woven throughout Jackie's performance are the intricacies and belief of her Native American culture.”

For more information, contact Perzen Akolawala at 701-483-2340 or perzen.akolawala@dickinsonstate.edu.

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