Montana State University will commemorate Indigenous Peoples Day 2017 with a weeklong series of educational and cultural events Oct. 9-13. All events are free and open to the public.
MSU President Waded Cruzado will open the week’s events with her participation in a traditional round dance at noon Monday, Oct. 9, on the Centennial Mall, south of Montana Hall.
At 6 p.m. Walter Fleming, head of the MSU Native American Studies Department, will make a presentation about Indigenous Peoples Day to the Bozeman City Commission meeting at City Hall, 121 N. Rouse Ave. Fleming will introduce several local Native American artists whose work will be on display beginning at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 10, in the MSU Strand Union Building hallway near the Ask Us Desk. The artists include Ben Pease, Alisha Fisher, Casey Figueroa, Carlin Bear Don’t Walk and John Pepion.
A free chili feed for the community in celebration of Indigenous Peoples Day will be held at 1 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 10, at Christus Collegium, 714 S. Eighth Ave. Kyle Alderman and the band NC Rez Hounds will entertain.
An opening for the art exhibit in the SUB will be held at 6 p.m. Oct. 10. Indigenous foods and refreshments will be served.
Isabell Hawkins, an astrophysicist who is project director of the Exploratorium in San Francisco will speak at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 11, in Room 339 of Leon Johnson Hall. A native of Argentina, Hawkins’ work focuses on broadening access to astronomy and enhancing participation by all communities through the appreciation of the cultural roots of science. She has received eight NASA awards for her work on NASA education and public outreach.
The film “100 Years: One Woman’s Fight for Justice,” about the late Elouise Cobell, will be screened at 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 12, in the Hager Auditorium at the Museum of the Rockies. The screening is free and open to the public. Cobell was a Pikuni (Blackfeet) woman who attended MSU and received an honorary doctorate from MSU. Cobell was the lead plaintiff in the groundbreaking class-action suit, Cobell v. Salazar. The suit challenged the U.S. government’s misallocation of Native American land trust funds to nearly a half-million Native Americans. After a 13-year legal battle, the government approved a $3.4 billion settlement for the trust case in 2010. Cobell died a year after the settlement. A panel discussion will follow the film.
Andrea Carmen, director of the International Indian Treaty Council in San Francisco and an expert presenter at the United Nations, will speak at 6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 13, in Room 101 of Gaines Hall.
Later in October, Cinnamon Spear of Lame Deer will show her documentary, “Pride and Basketball,” at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 19, at the Emerson Center for the Arts and Culture as part of the Indigenous Peoples Days events.
Marsha Small, instructor in the MSU Department of Native American Studies and an organizer of this year’s events, said that Indigenous Peoples Day is an alternative to Columbus Day both locally and on campus. She said she is a member of a group working to have the Montana Legislature officially recognize Indigenous Peoples Day as a replacement for Columbus Day in Montana.
“We need to inform others regionally and nationally,” Small said. “We need to communicate it worldwide. The best way to do this is to bring in speakers that work on regional, national and global levels. Isabel Hawkins and Andrea Carmen both work on all these platforms.”
For more information about MSU’s celebration of Indigenous Peoples Day, contact Small at 541-868-7000 or Francesca Rodriguez at 406-994-3881.
Marsha Small 541-868-7000, email@example.com