Colorado State University Celebrates Native American Heritage Month

CSU celebrates the unique history, culture, customs and philosophies of Native Americans in its month-long celebration of Native American Heritage Month, kicking off Oct. 25.

"Native American Heritage Month is beginning not only at Colorado State University but across the country. I invite everyone to participate by attending an event,” said Ty Smith, director of CSU’s Native American Cultural Center.

This week’s Pow Wow events launch the celebration, which includes a series of events in October and November. The theme of “honoring our legacy, celebrating diversity and carving our place in the future” is at the heart the 31st Annual CSU Pow Wow.

Schedule of Events

Frybread sale, Drum Group and Pow Wow Dance Expo
11 a.m. – 1 p.m. Oct. 25, The Lagoon (corner of Plum Street and Meridian Avenue)
Drum groups and dancers perform some highlights in anticipation of the 31st Annual AISES Pow Wow. Frybread will also be available for sale.

31st Annual AISES Pow Wow
Oct. 26, The Drake Centre, 802 W. Drake Road, Fort Collins, Colo.
Students, campus and community members are invited to attend this free event featuring Pow Wow dancers, drum groups, food, vendors and social events. Host Drums feature Young Bear and Southern Style.
– Gourd Dance 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
– Pow Wow 1 – 10 p.m.
– Grand Entry 1 p.m. & 7 p.m.
– Pow Wow Feed 5 p.m.

Canceled: Indigenous Expressions: Featuring Community Artists
Nov. 1 – 22, Morgan Library, First National Bank Gallery
This art exhibit features local, indigenous community artists including CSU alumni, current students and community members. This exhibit is free and open to the public.

Sand Creek Massacre: History and historical site
12:30 – 2 p.m. Nov. 4, Lory Student Center, Room 220-222
On Nov. 24, 1864, approximately 700 Colorado volunteer troops attacked a village of Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians along Big Sandy Creek, 160 miles southeast of Denver. Over 150 people, mostly women, children and elderly, were killed and/or mutilated on that day.

Fast forward a few generations, Ben Ridgley (Northern Arapaho) has served on the Northern Arapaho Sand Creek Historical Site Committee since 1998 when U.S. Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell, R-Colorado, introduced a bill known as the Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site Study Act.

‘The Lived Experiences of a Basket Maker’ – Linda Aguilar
5:30 – 6:30 p.m. Nov. 6, Microbiology Building, Room 108
Linda Aguilar is a Chumash basket maker who uses traditional techniques to create her unique horsehair and waxed thread baskets. Linda’s work has been featured in many exhibitions, such as “100 of America’s Best Studio Craft Artists Since 1945” at the Smithsonian’s Renwick Gallery and the traveling exhibits “Changing Hands: Art Without Reservations” and “Intertwined: Contemporary Baskets from the Sara and David Lieberman Collection.”

Native American/Indigenous Studies scholars: A colloquium featuring CSU researchers
12:30 – 1:30 p.m. Nov. 7, 13 and 19, Morgan Library Event Hall
Feed your mind through the CSU Libraries’ exciting brown bag series. These sessions will highlight scholars on campus who are researching topics in Native American/Indigenous Studies. Two research topics will be featured at each session. Coffee and tea will be provided. This program is free, open to the public, and there is no need to register.

Food Sovereignty – Rachel Vernon
7 – 8:30 p.m. Nov. 12, Lory Student Center, Room 230
Rachel Vernon is a graduate student in the Ethnic Studies Department at Colorado State University. Her academic work is centered upon community owned food systems, in particular, Indigenous people and their relationship to food. This presentation explores how these relationships have been ruptured by colonization and racism, but also the connection between autonomy, self-determination, community empowerment in order to heal these ruptured relationships.

Documentary Film: “Young Lakota”
6 – 8 p.m. Nov. 13, Lory Student Center, Grey Rock Room
“Young Lakota” follows the emotional journey of Sunny Clifford, a young Lakota woman who returns to the Pine Ridge Reservation with a dream to change the world around her. Her political awakening begins when the tribe’s first female president, Cecelia Fire Thunder, defies a South Dakota law to build a women’s clinic on the reservation. Sunny, her twin sister Serena, and their neighbor Brandon are drawn into a political firestorm that changes the course of their lives. Young Lakota premieres on Independent Lens on Monday, Nov. 25, 8 – 9 p.m. on PBS.

Patricia Michaels (Taos Pueblo) and Project Runway finalist
6 – 7:30 p.m. Nov. 14, Lory Student Center, Grey Rock Room
Patricia Michaels (Taos Pueblo) is a traditional native woman who is a style-maker at the forefront of modern fashion design and aesthetics. She creates boldly hip designs with a quality of timeless elegance. In 2013, she was featured in the season 11 cast of “Project Runway.”

Bobby Gonzalez
7 p.m. Nov. 14, Behavioral Sciences Building, Room 103
Bobby Gonzalez is a nationally known multicultural speaker, storyteller and poet. Born and raised in the South Bronx, New York City, he grew up in a bicultural environment. Bobby draws on his Native American (Taino) and Latino (Puerto Rican) roots to offer a unique repertoire of discourses, readings and performances that celebrates his indigenous heritage.’

Aspen Grille – Featured Native American dishes
11 a.m. – 1:15 p.m. Nov 14 and 15, Lory Student Center Aspen Grille
Do you enjoy corn, sunflower seeds, potatoes, squash, and pumpkins? How about tomatoes, strawberries, and chili peppers? They are all native to the Americas and have been part of the diet of Native Americans since time immemorial. Make your reservations at the LSC Aspen Grille to enjoy lunch specials prepared by Chef Garrett Overlee that recognize these gifts to today’s cuisine. For reservations, call (970)491-7006 or visit the Aspen Grill website at

"Using qualitative inquiry to explore racial micro-aggressions and indigenous people" – Roe Bubar, Associate Professor
6 – 7 p.m. Nov. 14, Microbiology Room 108
Roe Bubar, J.D. is an Associate Professor of Ethnic Studies with a joint appointment in the School of Social Work and Affiliate Faculty in Women’s Studies. This session provides an overview of racial micro-aggressions and qualitative inquiry as a method for exploring micro-aggressions against indigenous peoples.

Fort Collins Museum of Discovery – American Indian Market
10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Dec. 7 and 8, 408 Mason Ct., Fort Collins, Colo.
Some of the finest Native American artists will be at the Museum displaying, talking about, and selling their work. Artists from all over the West will be featuring hand-crafted jewelry, baskets, textiles and more. The event is free to the public.

Sponsors for this year’s Native American Heritage Month celebration include Chris Iron; American Indian Science & Engineering Society; Association for Student Activity Programming; Jimena Sagàs, Liaison Librarian/Assistant Professor at Morgan Library; Department of Design and Merchandising; Incite Pictures/Cine Qua Non; Associated Students of Colorado State University; Ethnic Studies; Native Women’s Circle; Division of Student Affairs; Morgan Library; Sigma Lambda Beta International Fraternity Inc.; Lory Student Center; Aspen Grille; Fort Collins Museum of Discovery; and the Ram Nation Drum Group.