Native American Heritage Celebration

Native American Heritage Celebration is the celebration of the history, culture, traditions and contributions of Native Americans. The celebration is recognized nationally every November, but is a celebration that lasts throughout the year. Below is our 2023-2024 academic calendar of events! 

Warrior Lawyers: Viewing and Discussion-Canceled event

A poster depicting multiple photos of Native American organizing.

September 26th at 5PM - Canceled


Join the office of Multicultural Affairs in the presentation of Warrior Lawyers, a PBS documentary. 'Warrior Lawyers: Defenders of Sacred Justice' was a one-hour PBS documentary that was particularly timely and relevant given our country's past reckoning with racial inequity and systemic racism. The program focused on the stories of Michigan Native American Lawyers, Tribal Judges, and their colleagues who worked with Native Nations, their citizens, and mainstream institutions to achieve healing and Sacred Justice. Come took a journey into past and present-day Indian Country to learn of untold stories that shone a light on Native Americans rising up to create a new path for that time and for the next Seven Generations.

Following the viewing, we facilitated discussion and answered questions on why this was relevant to GVSU's approach to conflict resolution. Discussion was facilitated by Renee Malkowski, Office of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution, and Lin Bardwell, Office of Multicultural Affairs.

Idema Pew Library, Multipurpose Room, first level

10582 S Campus Dr, Allendale Charter Twp, MI 49401


Overcoming and Becoming with Hon. Allie Maldonado

October 5th at 11:00 AM

Please join us as we welcomed Hon. Allie Maldonado, a citizen of the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians, to Grand Valley State University. Hon. Maldonado, as seen in the documentary, Warrior Lawyers, shared with us her journey to becoming an attorney, overcoming the intergenerational trauma of the Boarding School era, to become the State of Michigan's first Anishinaabekwe (Native American woman) to be appointed as a judge to the Michigan Court of Appeals. She shared her experiences of serving her community for many years and how her work made a significant impact on our citizens, as well as the importance of having diversity sitting on the bench. This event took place on our downtown campus, Richard M. Devos Center's Loosemoore Auditorium.

Loosemore Auditorium

401 West Fulton Street

Grand Rapids, MI 59504


A group photo with students, Lin, and Allie

Living and Learning in Relationship

A group photo with students and Melissa

October 12th at 2PM

Our ancestors, in their hundreds of treaties, always demanded access to education for our children. For a long period of time, this education took the form of Boarding Schools; government-run systems of oppression, trauma, and violence that had a long, hard impact on our community and will continue to have an impact as we began the healing journey. Part of the healing journey was sharing and learning history from the perspectives of Turtle Island's first stewards. Melissa Isaac, MSA, a citizen of the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe, forged her path advocating and fighting for our youth to thrive within the colonial education structures. She was then a State of Michigan employee as the Gizhwaasod: Protector of the Young for the Department of Education. Prior to that, she advocated as President of the Confederated Michigan Tribal Education Departments (CMTED) while she served her community as the tribal education director.


National Best-Selling Author: Robin Wall Kimmerer

November 8th at 11:30AM-1PM

Grand River Room, Kirkhof Center



Below is a link to see event photos

If you would like to see photos of this event please click HERE

Sponsored by:

Office of Multicultural Affairs, Native American Student Association, Division of Enrollment Development and Educational Outreach, Brooks College of Interdisciplinary Studies, and the Division of Inclusion and Equity

Previous Celebrations

Native American Heritage Celebration Contact

Office of Multicultural Affairs

Lin Bardwell
Grand Valley State University
Email: [email protected]
Phone: (616) 331-2177

Page last modified January 12, 2024