The Student News Site of Northern Michigan University

The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

Meet the Staff
Caden Sierra
Caden Sierra
Sports Writer

Hey. My name is Caden and I'm from the Chicagoland area.  I'm currently going into my 3rd year at NMU.  I'm a multimedia production major with a double minor in journalism and criminal justice. For as...

The North Wind Editorial Sessions
About us

The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Dallas WiertellaApril 30, 2024

    Heritage month celebrated

    The Native American Student Association (NASA) along with other groups, are celebrating Native American Heritage Month by hosting a variety of events, including a lecture by a motivational speaker and a cultural diversity presentation.

    “I think it’s a great opportunity for people on campus to go out and learn a little bit more. This culture is really prevalent in the U.P.,” said NASA Chairperson Connie Goudreau. “I still feel like a lot of kids at Northern don’t take the opportunity to learn more about it, so that they can connect better with the people around them.”

    The series of events start with the showing of “Alcatraz is Not an Island,” a documentary about Native American activists who occupied Alcatraz island from 1969 to 1971. The film will be shown at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 5 in Jamrich 105.

    Motivational speaker, author and success coach D.J. Eagle Bear Vanas will be giving a presentation titled “The Little Warrior Within” on Monday, Nov. 9 at 7 p.m. in Jamrich 103. Vanas was the youngest officer to achieve the position of Chief of Minority Enrollment at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado.

    Story continues below advertisement

    “I saw it last year,” Goudreau said. “It’s pretty cool; he’s actually a really awesome guy.”

    On Nov. 11 NMU political science professor Ruth Watry will be giving a lecture on the “Native American Citizenship Experience,” sponsored by the Multicultural Education and Resource Center and the League of Women Voters. The talk will discuss the history of interactions between the U.S. government and Native Americans.

    “I go back to the 1700s,” Watry said. “I’m talking about the influence that the Iroquois Confederation had on the way our government was set up, the influence on Benjamin Franklin; some of the common values. How much of what we didn’t like King George doing to us, we’ve done to the Native Americans.”

    The talk also focuses on the struggle for Native American citizenship in the U.S. Though Native Americans were given the vote federally in 1924, some U.S. states didn’t recognize it fully until much later. New Mexico didn’t give Native American citizens the right to vote until 1968.

    Watry gave a version of the presentation at the United Conference in September. The United Conference is an annual celebration of diversity and culture.

    The speech she will be giving Wednesday will be different. It will discuss contributions made to the military by Native American veterans.

    “At a time in history when they couldn’t vote and didn’t have citizenship rights, they were still volunteering and fighting for this country,” Watry said. “In World War II, one third of all able-bodied Native American men fought. If we had had that volunteerism in the whole population, we would not have needed a draft.”

    On Friday, Nov. 13, NASA will be working with the hospitality and management department on the “First Nations Food Taster.” There will be Three Sisters casserole, a dish including beans, squash and corn, as well as wild rice, wild game, fry bread and desserts. NMU music professor Elda Tate will be providing entertainment, playing the Native American flute.

    “Well, that’s probably our biggest event. It’s a big feast that we put on at the Jacobetti Center. We serve about four hundred guests every year,” Goudreau said. “It’s really awesome. The food is delicious and a lot of people like to come to it, and it’s really exciting.”

    On Nov. 18, there will be a cultural sensitivity program held by Richie Plass at 7 p.m. in Jamrich 101. The event was organized by one of the Native American service learning project classes. Plass will be discussing how Native Americans are portrayed in the media.

    “[Afterwards] they will have a panel of culturally diverse students,” Goudreau said. “They’re going to be there to do a question and answer session at the end, so that people who are there can get to know a little more about the cultures and learn what’s offensive and what is not.”

    Goudreau said the events are good opportunities for students to learn more about Native Americans.

    “On Northern’s campus, Native American students make up the largest minority, so I think it’s really important for everybody else on campus to really have an understanding of [them],” Goudreau said.