Montana State University

MSU observes American Indian Heritage Day Sept. 22 with cultural and academic presentations

September 20, 2017 -- MSU News Service

MSU will observe American Indian Heritage Day on Friday, Sept. 22.

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MSU News Service
Tel: (406) 994-4571
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Montana State University will observe 2017 American Indian Heritage Day with a variety of cultural and academic events scheduled for Friday, Sept. 22.

The annual event pays tribute to the cultural legacy and societal contributions of American Indian people in Montana and the U.S. Organizers said this year’s events will focus on acknowledging and highlighting the intellectual and cultural contributions of the American Indian community. MSU students, faculty and staff are invited to share their work during the poster and lecture presentation sessions.

Richard White, director of American Indian/Alaska Native Student Success at MSU and co-chair of the event, said when the Board of Regents of the Montana University System passed a resolution in 2011 to establish an American Indian Heritage Day on the fourth Friday of September each year, the board acknowledged the importance of American Indian history and culture in Montana to campuses in the state.

“This year we once again wanted to highlight some of the important research that is being carried out with, and on behalf of, American Indian, Alaska Native and other indigenous communities,” White said. “MSU has a wealth of knowledge and expertise from our American Indian, Alaska Native students, staff, faculty and allies that focus on contributing to the well-being of indigenous people and communities found throughout the state and region. We wanted to focus on the contemporary importance and relevance our indigenous communities play in today’s scholarship and society.”

Vernon Finley, chairman of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes’ Tribal Council, will speak at noon in the Procrastinator Theater in the Strand Union Building.

A panel of Montana legislators, including Representative Jenny Eck of Helena, Representative Rae Peppers of Lame Deer, and Representative Jonathan Windy Boy of Box Elder, will speak at 1 p.m. in the Procrastinator Theater.

Oral presentations by students, faculty and staff that highlight information and research pertinent to American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, First Nations and similar indigenous communities will be held at 10 a.m. in the Procrastinator Theater.

A research poster symposium demonstrating current academic research by American Indian students, faculty and staff that highlight information and research pertinent to American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, First Nations and similar indigenous communities will be held from 2-3:30 p.m. in the Leigh Lounge.

MSU American Indian Heritage Day is sponsored by the Native American Studies Department, Office of American Indian/Alaska Native Student Success, the Office of the Dean of Students, the Office of Institutional Equity and TRIO Student Support Services.

More information can be found at http://www.montana.edu/nativeamerican/.

Gail Small 406-994-3823, gail.small@montana.edu or Richard White, 406-994-4880, richard.white5@montana.edu