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ENMU kicking off Native American Heritage Month

Native American Heritage Month is not only a chance to learn about Native Americans and their culture, but it also helps young Native Americans to reconnect with their heritage.

Director of Native American Affairs Jacob Lee said Native American Heritage Month has been going on at ENMU for 10 years.

“The reason for this whole thing was started when the first American Indian Day was declared in the state of New York in 1916,” Lee said. “The recognition of Native Americans was achieved until 1990 when then-President George Bush declared August to be National American Indian Heritage Month.”

The purpose of National American Indian Month is to honor and recognize the original people of the land. It was later moved from August to November in 1993.

“The whole month of November is to raise awareness in the nation that Native Americans are not still living in tepees or killing buffalo,” Lee said. “It is to let people know we’re still here.”

The events kick off Monday with Navajo Dancers at 10:30 a.m. and an encore performance at 6 p.m. in the Campus Union Building ballroom. The program offers traditional and semi-contemporary dance performances.

“Some of the challenges of putting the events together were staying in contact with the presenters,” Bobbi Touchin, Native American Affairs office assistant said. “Pretty much a lot of them were willing to come and do their presentations.”

Another event is the blue corn mush presentation Tuesday at 2 p.m. in the Sandia Room in the CUB.

“The blue corn mush presentation is a type of corn that is grown on the reservation that is used for ceremonies,” Lee said.

Information or to RSVP for select events: 562-2470.