November 6, 2020

Honoring Native American Heritage

Jaida Grey Eagle, Oglala Lakota photographer; artist; and filmmakerNovember is celebrated as Native American Heritage Month and this year, the University’s Dowdy Multicultural Center (DMC) is hosting a series of virtual programs on the issues faced by North America’s native peoples. The events are offered through Zoom and are free and open to the public.


Race-Based Mascots: Decolonizing – Ending stereotypes – Engendering Respect

Sunday, Nov. 8, at 4 p.m.

Register here.

Race-based sports mascots are still common in our area high schools. Many students and their parents are unaware of the harm that is caused by the stereotypical and demeaning way race-based mascots and performances are used at sports events. Learn the reality behind the myth that these mascots are honoring indigenous people.

Sponsored by the Coalition of Natives and Allies: Cultivating Unity to End Racism and the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference of the United Methodist Church Committee on Native American Ministries.


“Indigenous Photography” with Jaida Grey Eagle

Monday, Nov. 9, from 3 to 4:15 p.m.

Email for the Zoom link.

Oglala Lakota photographer, artist, and filmmaker Jaida Grey Eagle discusses Native American photography and the revitalization of indigenous symbols in art. What makes it unique? How should we discuss and report on indigenous artwork? How does it demonstrate “resistance through existence”? Her newest photo series will be on display in the University’s Museum of Anthropology and Archaeology. Visit for more information. Sponsored by WCU Museum of Anthropology and Archaeology, The Ethnic Studies Institute, Department of Art + Design, and the Office of Sustainability.


Mark Charles: Unsettling Truths

Wednesday, Nov. 18, from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

Mark Charles, a dual citizen of the United States and the Navajo Nation, was a 2020 independent presidential candidate who hopes to “build a nation where We the People truly means #AllThePeople.” Charles makes the case for a national dialogue on race, gender, and class in the United States as he discusses how the Doctrine of Discovery paved the way for the ongoing dehumanization of Indigenous Peoples. He is co-author of the book Unsettling Truths: The Ongoing, Dehumanizing Legacy of the Doctrine of Discovery.


The DMC’s November programs correspond with an exhibit being installed this month in the University’s Museum of Anthropology and Sociology. In conjunction with the exhibition Earth Day at 50: Lessons for a Sustainable Future, a special exhibit highlights Indigenous environmental protests and movements and features works by noted Native American artist-activists Jaida Grey Eagle, Christi Belcourt, and Isaac Murdoch and the Onaman Collective. The exhibition demonstrates that the 50th anniversary of Earth Day is an empowering reminder that positive actions in daily life can combat the ongoing environmental crisis that humans have created. A recording of a special presentation on “Indigenous Environmental Activism through Art” that Belcourt made in October for WCU is also available.

In addition, the DMC launched a student-focused conversation series on “Native American Existence and Resistance” with a video viewing and discussion on Nov. 4. Programs for students continue on Wednesdays, Nov. 11 and 18.

Contact or call 610-436-2562 for more information.


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