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Grand Valley events celebrate Native American culture

  • A pow wow took place during last year's Native American Heritage celebration.

Posted on October 30, 2012

Grand Valley State University will celebrate the rich culture of Native Americans during November, recognized as Native American Heritage Month.

Events planned by Grand Valley’s Office of Multicultural Affairs will focus on Native American history, traditions and what their life is like today. All events, which are detailed below, are free and open to the public.

Thursday, November 1, 4 p.m.: “Native Culture, Tradition and Heritage,” Kirkhof Center, room 2250. The presenter is Frank Ettawageshik, an Odawa Indian who serves as a board member of the Michigan Indian Education Council, Great Lakes Resources Committee and National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Thursday, November 8, noon: “American Indians Today,” Kirkhof Center, room 2204.
Levi Rickert, author and editor of the Native News Network, will give a presentation that is part of the Diversity Brown Bag Series.

Monday, November 12, 4 p.m.: “Global Unity,” Cook-DeWitt Center. Billy Mills, the second Native American to win an Olympic gold medal, will share his life story of growing up an orphan to competing in the 1964 Summer Olympics. This event is also a Professionals of Color Lecture presentation.

Wednesday, November 14, 4 p.m.: "Violence Prevention in Indian Country: Traditional Teachings for Today," Kirkhof Center, Grand River Room. Steven (Naganashe) Perry, a former Kellogg Fellow at Harvard University, will discuss his experiences of teaching and integrading Native American traditions into cirriculum at schools throughout the state.

Wednesday, November 28, 4 p.m.: "Power in the Blood? Moving Towards Better Standards for Indigenous Identity," Eberhard Center, room 215, Pew Grand Rapids Campus. Gyasi Ross, a member of the Blackfeet Nation, will examine existing issues surrounding questions of tribal membership and national citizenship.

For more information, call the Office of Multicultural Affairs at (616) 331-2177 or visit

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