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CSUN 5th Annual Indigenous Month
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5th Annual Indigenous Awareness Month


1. Peace and Dignity Journeys Presentation. Wed. Nov. 3, 7-10 PM: Grand Salon University Student Union (USU)

Since 1992, the Peace and Dignity Journey Pilgrimage began from the idea of bringing together Indigenous People of the Americas, marking the quincentennial or 500 years through the commemoration of the Holocaust of the Americas and the resistance to colonization. Biological, cultural, and ecological genocide all constituted mass murder, forced language immersion, and relocations that have contributed to major human catastrophes. Indian pilgrimages as the Peace and Dignity Journeys are simple ways of life that have been passed on for literally thousands of years. Ancient prophecies that Indian communities will unite in their beliefs and continue to work together are but a few objectives, such as protecting the Earth. Peace and Dignity Journeys go beyond theories and into praxis. Many times researchers attempt to discredit Indigenous People and their theories or methodologies compared to colonial thought and beliefs that only perpetuates lies/fallacies and institutional racism against Indians of the Americas. This pilgrimage is very significant to members of the Indian community because it is symbolic that the People of the Americas and their culture continue to exist through united commonalties, regardless of the injustices that have taken place on Indian lands. Indigenous People are just as equal to any other group and deserve the credit that is due to them. Teaching democracy to the world begins with the First Nations of the Americas.

2. Aztec Storyteller Michael Heralda (Speaker Series) Wed. Nov. 10, 2004, 7-10 PM: Grand Salon USU

Since the mid 1990s and continuously, Michael Heralda has been presenting cultural education and interactive programs to students and interested listeners of all ages across the United States. Storytelling to American Indians has always been a way that knowledge is shared and understood, as he presents ballads and narratives in his program that are all based on documented accounts on what is termed oral tradition- stories handed down through generations. Many hand-made indigenous styled instruments are used and shared throughout the presentations. Clay flutes, Mayan Bubalek gourd drums, shakers, rasps, conch shell trumpets, hand-drums, and other unique instruments. Aztec Stories is a fascinating and stimulating way to learn about the culture of ancient Mexico and the indigenous worldview of the Mexica/Azteca. Many reconnect to the remarkably vivid legacy that remains within cultures and buried deep within throughout generations, while for others it may awaken a new understanding of a culture that for many years was revealed only through the eyes of Europeans. The beauty, art, and advanced complex philosophical understanding of Indian culture has oftentimes been ignored or suppressed, but is brought to life through the use of ballads, narratives, history, philosophy, culture, ceremony, tradition, foods, and arts of ancient Mexico from an indigenous perspective. Unique in this form of presentation, Aztec Stories has been described as Edu-tainment. Michael has recorded Aztec Stories and Tonalmachyotl- The Memory Stone, which comes with a 24-page booklet describing in detail each of the 12 tracks on this new work. Michael is also the editor of a bilingual cultural magazine titled, Ketzalkoatl. Man Ze Kualli Tonalli Ximo Panoltik May You Spend a Good Day!

3. 5oo Years of Colonization Film Screening by Daniel Osuna. Thurs. Nov 11, 6-8 PM: Xicano House

In his youth, Daniel Osuna was involved in drugs, violence and criminal activity just like many others his age. Then he found his calling in the Spirit of Chicano Nationalism. Osuna would ultimately become one of the most prominent national leaders of the Chicano Movement, as well as a highly sought-after national speaker. But starting in 1995 Osuna would face a series of bitter personal and family challenges that would cause his life to spiral out of control. Then on January 6, 1999 at 4:00 a.m. Osuna would receive his second calling, one that was even more dramatic then the first. Life altering, it would take him to Del Rey, California to find himself isolated from family and friends. After four years, he is ready to come out and tell the world what he has learned on all fronts spiritual, social, and political. Charged with enthusiasm, motivation and discipline, Osuna knows what he must do and nothing is going to stop him. Ready or not here he comes! Osuna's presentations entail historical, philosophical and spiritual perspectives that deal with the self, that which is most difficult for men and women to face. A Chicano Yaqui, he is of the fifth element, a truly a powerful and passionate speaker.

4. Meth on Navajo Nation Film Screening, Shonie De La Rosa. Mon Nov 15, 2-5 PM Flintridge USU

Award-winning Navajo filmmakers Shonie De La Rosa of Sheephead Films and Larry Blackhorse Lowe of Blackhorse films have joined forces to produce a feature-length documentary about what is believed to be a methamphetamine problem on the Navajo Nation. Sponsored and funded by the Tuba City Health Promotions Office of Tuba City Indian Health Service, the film will serve as a tool to educate and create awareness of the problem. Production of the film already has begun and filmmakers are searching for persons who have been affected by the problem users, addicts, recovering addicts, law enforcement, medical personnel and family members and are willing to be interviewed. Because the drug is relatively new, it has not been listed as a crime to possess or sell meth on the Navajo Nation. However, it is still a federal crime. It'll take a collaborative effort to update the Navajo Nation Code, which currently does need to be updated properly to deter meth usage and all drug activity on Navajoland, Dayish said. Filmmaker Blackhorse-Lowe said, It's a huge problem that exists on the Navajo Nation and not many people know about it. As filmmakers, we're here to help our people combat this epidemic. There's no better medium than film or video to send a clear message.

5. Dr. Gabriel Gutierrez, Has the Demise of California Indians been Over-reported, The Mexicanization of the Indian." Wed. Nov 17, 12-3 PM: Lake View Terrace Room, USU

Dr. Gabriel Gutierrez is an active member in his community, Director of the Center for the Study of the Peoples of the Americas (CESPA), a professor in the Chicano/a Studies at California State University Northridge, host of the Wednesday edition of "The Morning Review" on KPFK, and an active historian in the study of the Americas. Dr. Gutierrez will be present from his book in progress, "Bell Towers, Crucifixes, and Canones Violentes: State and Identity Formation in the Nineteenth-Century California." His work will delve into the factors of Indians becoming Mexican. Contextualizing his scholarship on studies conducted in Latin America and the United States, as well as his own archival research, Dr. Gutierrez argues that the Mexicanization of California Indians took the form of an inclusive repression that resulted in a downward social mobility for that population. Dr. Gutierrez examines the institutional infrastructures such as the military, agricultural industry, and others that resulted in their incorporation into society at lesser levels. In spite of this, Dr. Gutierrez asserts that California Indians negotiated and otherwise affected the nature of conquest and colonialism through their historical agency.

6. Guelaguetza (Special Event) Saturday Nov. 20, 2004, 10-6 PM: Student Services Lawn (Manteca Park)

Guelaguetza is a Native American term of the language of the Zapotec Indians of North America, located in Oaxaca, Mexico. Guelaguetza means an offering, whereas many American Indians believe in collective communities to help the less fortunate and contribute to families in need. Every year Zapotec Indians in the United States and in Mexico celebrate the Guelaguetza to keep ancient traditions alive and maintain cultural ceremonies of the Americas. This gathering will help promote the 5th Annual Indigenous Awareness Month on the Cal State Northridge campus, as well as also bring local communities together from the San Fernando Valley and greater LA area. Included in the Guelaguetza will be American Indian Zapotec dancers, invited guests from different regions in North America, local musical bands, arts/crafts, and Indian food vendors. This is event is similar to the American Indian social gathering termed as a Pauau (Pow Wow). The Guelaguetza is an actual Indian ceremony that predates pre-Columbian times, continues to be present in the Americas, and is based on honoring people of the earth. Dancers, bands, and vendors are anxious about having a Guelegetza in the San Fernando Valley.

8. False-Giving Gathering. Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2004, 4-9 PM: CSUN Xicano House

Special thanks and commemorations to recognize all those who contributed to the 5th Annual Indigenous Awareness Month, CSUN departments/programs, staff/faculty, 22nd Annual CSUN Pow Wow Committee, advisors, sponsors, Columbus Day Protest, student organizations, community based organizations, and local businesses.

7. Winona LaDuke: Ojibwe Nation (Speaker Series) Harvard Grad, Author, and Activist(February 21, 2005)

One of our key speakers for this academic year of 2004-05 will be Winona LaDuke; an Ojibwe (Chippewa) enrolled member of the Mississippi Band of Anishinaabeg, and mother of three children. She is the Program Director of Honor the Earth and the Founding Director of White Earth Land Recovery Project. Leading Honor the Earth, LaDuke provides vision and leadership for the organization Regranting Program and its Strategic Initiatives. In addition, she has worked for two decades on the land issues of the White Earth Reservation, including litigation over land rights in the 1980s. In 1989, LaDuke received the Reebok Human Rights Award, with which, in part; she began the White Earth Land Recovery Project. In 1994, she was nominated by Time magazine as one of Americas fifty most promising leaders under forty years of age. She was also awarded the Thomas Merton Award in 1996, the Ann Bancroft Award, the 1997 Ms. Woman of the Year Award (with the Indigo Girls, Amy Ray and Emily Saliers), the Global Green Award, and numerous other honors. LaDuke and the White Earth Land Recovery Project recently received the prestigious international Slow Food Award for their work with protecting wild rice and local biodiversity. In both 1996 and 2000, LaDuke ran for Vice-President on the Green Party ticket with Ralph Nader. A graduate of Harvard and Antioch Universities, she has written extensively on Native American and environmental issues. Her books include Last Standing Woman (fiction), All Our Relations (non-fiction), In the Sugarbush (children non-fiction), and The Winona LaDuke Reader. Her forthcoming book, Recovering the Sacred, will be released by South End Press in 2005.


Updated 2004