by Aaliyah Patel
To celebrate Native American Heritage Month, the Center of Diversity and Inclusion (CDI) held a virtual event titled, “Whose Land Are We On?” for all students and faculty on Nov. 16 from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Since the event was part of the “Conversation Cafe” series that CDI runs, the audience had the opportunity for dialogue throughout the evening.
The topics examined the impact systemic racism has had on the cultural erasure of Indigenous people of the Americas.
Ashley Archer, the assistant director of the CDI, explained the care and intention that was put into the creation of the presentation.
“Our hope is that folks are engaged and leave with understanding just how much of an impact indegenious people have had on this country. We hope people feel empowered to be advocates and allies for change,” Archer said.
Pamela Pruitt, the executive director of the CDI, expressed the importance of tributing the ancestry and cultural traditions of Native Americans.
“I hope students learned from the history and depictions shown in the film clips and through the discussion, how the indigenous people lived and ultimately lost their land,” Pruitt said. “Subsequently, those who survived were forced into the background of the fabric of America while continuing to uphold their rights and promote their legacy.”
Even though Native American tribes consist of different customs and practices, they have all continued to keep their culture alive.
“As we celebrate Native American Heritage Month, we must remember the sacrifice and many contributions made by the indigenous people to the growth of this country,” Pruitt said.
Published in the 11/18/20 issue of The Rider News