Ethnic Studies

Native American Heritage Month—November « Return to Ethnic Studies Resources

Contact: 510.430.2080,

Native Healing with Sage LaPena
7:00–9:00 pm, November 7, 2017
Student Union
Sage LaPena is a Nomtipom Wintu ethnobotanist and certified medical herbalist. She has worked for years to preserve and pass along Native uses of plant medicines — from both native and introduced plants — and other aspects of Traditional Ecological Knowledge connected to plants.

Heritage Dinner
5:30–7:00 pm, November 8, 2017
Founders Commons
Come enjoy traditional native foods and a performance from the BAAITS drummers.

Panel discussion: Climate Chaos: Indigenous Solutions
7:00–9:00 pm, November 9, 2017
Student Union
In the midst of climate chaos, Indigenous women are leading the call to return to the Original Instructions for environmental protection and to preserve our human and non-human relatives. The panelists are intimately involved in that sphere and will share their ideas for protecting our Mother Earth.

Casey Camp-Horinek (Ponca) is a long-time Native rights activist, environmentalist and actress. As traditional Drumkeeper for the Ponca Pa-tha-ta, Woman’s Scalp Dance Society, Camp-Horinek helps maintain the cultural identity of the Ponca Nation of Oklahoma for herself, her family and her community. She has been at the forefront of grassroots community efforts to educate and empower both Native and non-Native community members on environmental and civil rights issues. In April of 2008 Camp-Horinek, as a delegate of the Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN), was chosen to speak to the United Nations Permanent Forum on indigenous Issues and present IEN’s global platform regarding the environment and Native rights.

Pennie Opal Plant is of Yaqui, Mexican, English, Choctaw, Cherokee and European ancestry. She’s been an activist for over 30 years on anti-nuclear, environmental and indigenous rights, and has been a lecturer with the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund. Pennie is also a founding member of Idle No More San Francisco Bay, is involved in promoting the Universal Declaration on the Rights of Mother Earth, and founded Gathering Tribes in 1991.

Patricia St. Onge, MDiv is the founder and a Partner in Seven Generations Consulting and Coaching, where all of the work is culturally based. Deeply rooted in the concept of Seven Generations, we honor the generations who have come before us, are mindful of those yet to come, and recognize that the impact of the decisions we’re making now will last for seven generations. Of Haudenosaunee (Mohawk) and Quebecoise descent, Patricia is a member of Idle No More and belongs to a circle of indigenous grandmothers. Between them, she and her life partner Wilson Riles, have ten grown children and six grandchildren. She is part of a growing community called Nafsi ya Jamii (The Soul Community), an urban farm and retreat center in East Oakland, CA.

Film screening: Awake: A Dream From Standing Rock
7:00–9:00 pm, November 15, 2017
Location TBA
From executive producer Shailene Woodley comes a documentary call-to-action, straight from the front lines of the Native-led fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Floris White Bull narrates a script she co-wrote in “Awake, a Dream From Standing Rock.”

The sweeping plains of North Dakota are naturally cinematic, its tall windswept grasses and blue river bends forming an image as American as apple pie. During the months-long protests at the Standing Rock reservation over the Dakota Access Pipeline’s demolishing of sacred Native burial grounds, this grand landscape became a bittersweet backdrop for images of peaceful protesters barraged by water cannons and choked by tear gas. Until now, these images reached the outside world only as shaky iPhone video, a drone shot, or a colorful still overlaid with inspirational text.

Those visuals form a cohesive whole in “Awake, a Dream From Standing Rock,” an evocative wake-up call told as a visual poem. This new documentary from executive producer Shailene Woodley (“Divergent”) was co-directed by Josh Fox(“Gasland”) and James Spione (“Incident in New Baghdad”), with additional footage from Native journalist Myron Dewey, and a script co-written by Native activist Floris White Bull, who narrates the film.

Native American Heritage Month activities are sponsored by the Indigenous Womens Alliance (IWA), the Ethnic Studies Program in the Department of Race, Gender and Sexuality Studies Department and the ASMC.

For questions, please contact or 510.430.2080.