American Indian Night on Nov. 15 Among Upcoming Events Celebrating American Indian Heritage Month

Two male and two female Native American students, one male student wearing a purple Native Pride t-shirt are talking and laughing in a tall field of prairie grass.
Photo from University Diversity and Inclusion

by CHELSEA SCHAFFER, CSU Communication Graduate Assistant

I met with Megan Heutmaker, the director of American Indian Affairs at Minnesota State Mankato, to talk about various events in November to celebrate Native American Heritage Month. 

A major event celebrating Native American Heritage Month will be American Indian Night on Monday, Nov. 15, in the Centennial Student Union Ballroom. According to Megan Heutmaker, director of American Indian Affairs at Minnesota State Mankato, the evening’s theme of Plant Knowledge will feature a dinner and guest speakers sharing their own unique expertise and relationship to nature. Individuals interested in attending should contact Heutmaker for tickets. 

Dr. Robin Wall Kmmerer, author of the popular book, Braiding Sweetgrass, returns to speak virtually after the incredible turnout at a book discussion on campus earlier this semester.

Joining the program will be Dr. Rhonda Dass, Minnesota State Mankato professor of Indigenous American Studies specializing in cultural anthropology, and Megan Schnitker, executive director of the Mahkato Revitalization Project and owner of Lakota Made LLC offering projects derived from native and local plants.

Other programs this month feature Deanna Stands, a graduate from the University of Minnesota and respected elder from the Yankton Sioux Tribe, who brings years of experience and stories from her 37 years as an educator.

She will be offering various Zoom sessions throughout this month giving students an opportunity to connect in a more informal and conversational setting.

Other events this month include a film showing of What Was Ours later this month in Ostrander. 

Heutmaker invites all students to join the activities during the month as well as other programs showcasing American Indian heritage throughout the year. show up for not only events this month but also throughout the year to showcase their support.  

Students can also join NASA – the Native American Student Association – on campus or visit the American Indian Affairs Office in CSU 269 to learn more and get involved. 

Along with advocating for the American Indian community here on campus, Heutmaker coordinates the Maverick Food Pantry. She also is an involved community and committee member for the Mahkato Mdewakanton Association.  

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