Colorado State University Celebrates Native American Heritage Month

Colorado State University’s Native American Cultural Center is celebrating Native American Heritage Month with a series of events in October and November.

The events are intended to educate the CSU and local community about Native American culture, history and customs.

“The Native American Cultural Center and the American Indian Science and Engineering Society are very proud of the variety of events being held during Native American Heritage Month,” said Ty Smith, director of CSU’s Native American Cultural Center. “I know our time schedules can be very busy during this time of year, but I encourage everyone to take advantage of events such as these to learn more about another culture.”

To kick off the month’s events, local resident Randy Medicine Bear will host “Pow-wow 101” from 5-6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 28, in Room 213-215 Lory Student Center. He will cover the basics of powwow, the traditions behind it and types of dancing and singing used in the celebration.

On Friday, Oct. 29, drum groups Ram Nation and Southern Outlawz will be performing from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. on the Lory Student Center Plaza in conjunction with the annual frybread sale.

The 28th Annual Colorado State University Pow-wow will take place from noon-10 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 30 in the Lory Student Center Main Ballroom. The powwow will include food, dancing, music, drum groups and social events. The Grammy-nominated drum group, Northern Cree, will perform along with Southern Outlawz. The event is free and open to the public.

On Thursday, Nov. 11, actor Chaske Spencer of the “Twilight” movie series will speak on campus from 7-9 p.m. in the Lory Student Center East and Middle Ball Rooms. Spencer, who is also a Native American activist, will speak about his struggles with drugs and alcohol. Since overcoming his addictions, Spencer has become a spokesperson for “Be the Shift,” an organization that works to develop sustainable communities, reduce poverty and overcome drug and alcohol abuse among Native Americans. Admission is free with a CSU ID; $3 for the general public.

Other Native American Heritage Month events include:

• Nov. 3 – Native Women: Contemporary Perspectives in Higher Education, noon-1 p.m., Lory Student Center, Room 220-221
• Nov. 5 – Duhesa Art Lounge Exhibit Opening, 5-8 p.m., Lory Student Center Duhesa Lounge
• Nov. 8 – “Two Spirits” Documentary & Discussion, 6-9 p.m., Lory Student Center Grey Rock Room
• Nov. 19 – Diversity, Education, and Leadership in the 21st Century: Reflections from Dr. Frank Sanchez, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Lory Student Center, Room 213-215

For a full schedule, visit

The Native American Cultural Center seeks to create a successful educational experience for students by providing support and services related to recruitment, retention, graduation and community outreach. The office embraces and encourages a supportive environment based on the traditions and cultures of Native American peoples.