Native American Heritage Month honors the Ohlone Chocheyno people whose village was located where Mills College now stands. We value and recognize the diversity of Indigenous peoples in the Americas and celebrate this month in memory of our ancestors and for the next seven generations.
Theme: Indigenous peoples have existed for millennia on both sides of the medicine line or borders constructed by nation-states. Traditions, ceremonies, languages and sacred places do not acknowledge the artificial constructions that disrupt communities and their families. This month we celebrate the continuation of cultures and traditions that superseded national borders and honor those who fight for their sacred ceremonies and land bases.
Native American Heritage Walk
Native American Heritage Month Kick Off
Dinner and Film Screening
American Indian Film Festival
Dinner Honoring Native Heritage Month
This event is cosponsored by Bon Appetit.
Join us for presentations and critical analyses of the artificial construction of borders. The southern United States border is highly militarized and stigmatized creating dire situations for Latino and Indigenous peoples on both sides of the medicine line constructed by nation-states. Traditions, ceremonies, languages and sacred places do not acknowledge the artificial constructions that disrupt communities and their families.
Panel will include Sylvia McAdam, Valeska Castenada, and Xico Gonzalez.
Sylvia McAdamis a co-founder of the international movement Idle No More, shares nêhiyaw (Cree) laws so generations of nêhiyaw and non-indigenous people may understand and live by them to revitalize Indigenous nationhood. It is McAdam’s dream, shared by many, that freedom, liberation, and self determination will lead Indigenous peoples away from the pain of genocide and colonialism. McAdam is a citizen of the nêhiyaw Nation, who holds a Juris Doctorate (LLB) from the University of Saskatchewan and a Bachelor’s of Human Justice (BHJ) from the University of Regina.
Valeska Castenada is an immigrant who came here under asylum as a child, single mother, survivor of domestic abuse, survivor of sexual assault, survivor of child sexual abuse, and, above all, an advocate for human rights. In an era of violent and unjust mass deportation, incarceration, and criminalization of mothers and children at our southern border, Valeska was moved to take action. She poured her heart, spirit, and energy into organizing the Trail for Humanity, where communities journeyed more than 300 miles on foot for 26 days from Merced to the US Mexico Border. The Trail for Humanity protests the violence of immigration and detention regimes. Valeska believes that a true revolution cannot exist without the women at the forefront, and her work supports both the creation of space for women in organizing and the resistance of patriarchy and sexism.
Xico Gonzalez is a professor, artist, poet, activist, and Chicano, located in Sacramento, CA. Xico has taught in a variety of settings—as a high school instructor at the Met Sacramento High School, as adjunct professor of Chicano Studies at UC Davis, and a teacher of many art forms for local community groups such as Sol Collective. Xico combines his passion for art and education in his curriculum, teaching the youth about social justice issues from 9th to 12th grade through mediums such as silk screen printing and community service. Xico has founded the first Chicano library in the Met's history and continues his activism in areas regarding immigration, land sovereignty rights, and more.
Mills College Heritage Months are supported in part by the Ethnic Studies Fund. To learn about and donate to the Fund, please click here: Ethnic Studies Fund. Many thanks for your generosity in support of Ethnic Studies and students of color at Mills.
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