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ISSUE 120 VOL 5 PUBLISHED 10/27/2006

Events mark native legacy

By Emelie Heltsley
News Editor

Friday, October 27, 2006

Talking Circle, the Multicultural Affairs and Community Outreach (MACO) and the Diversity Celebrations Committee (DCC) hosted the kick-off celebration for Native American Weeks in Buntrock Commons Tuesday. The event featured fancy dancer Larry Yazzie. Native American weeks will include many events including speakers, a movie and storytelling.

"I'm anticipating a lot of interest in the events this year," said Kevin Fitzgerald '07, president of Talking Circle. On its website, Talking Circle defines itself as "a group of concerned individuals with the mission of promoting open-dialogue discussion and events related to American Indian issues and culture."

Talking Circle, MACO and DCC have hosted several events this week. During Thursday's chapel, Paul Schurke discussed global warming and its effects on indigenous people of arctic regions, as well as the necessary Christian response to the problem. Thursday also featured the movie "Smoke Signals" in Holland Hall 501. The movie tells the story of Victor and Thomas, two men who grew up on an Indian reservation in Idaho, and their road trip journey.

Storyteller Gary Lussier will tell Ojibwe stories in the Lion's Lair next Wednesday Nov. 1 from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday will feature a chance for students to make their own dreamcatchers in Buntrock Crossroads from 11:30 a.m to 12:15 p.m., followed by a theme meal in Stav Hall, at which salmon, wild rice and fry bread will be served. Event calendars are posted around campus.

"I can see a lot of people enjoying the crafts, storytelling and movie," Fitzgerald said.

So far, Fitzgerald has been happy with student reaction.

"The opening went very well," Fitzgerald said, commenting on his satisfaction with the kickoff turnout. "People enjoyed the performance by Larry Yazzie."

Fitzgerald recognizes that the few short weeks are not enough to fully expose students to all aspects of Native American culture, but he hopes to increase awareness and appreciation in the short amount of time he has.

"There’s only so much we can do in a limited amount of time, but I think it’s fun introducing something new that people don’t get to experience on an everyday basis," Fitzgerald said.

While nothing is entirely different from last year’s Native American Weeks celebrations, Fitzgerald hopes that students will still show their support.

"The events we’ve held in the past have had a good turnout, so we continue to have them," he said. "One of the fairly new events has been the storytelling."

Fitzgerald also wants to offer a warm welcome to all students, faculty, staff and guests who decide to participate in Native American Weeks festivities.

“I hope that Native American Weeks is an enjoyable experience for all,” he said.

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