Native American Heritage Month needs campus recognition

Over the past weeks, Multicultural Affairs has commemorated Hispanic Heritage Month and Asian & Pacific American Heritage Month, but I am wondering why they have not done anything for Native American Heritage Month in November. Because there is no student organization for Native Americans, those who identify with that ethnicity have nowhere to express themselves and no one to encourage campus wide events like presentations or powwows. If anything, by not hosting any such events or even acknowledging the existence of Native American Heritage Month, it reinforces the notion that there are no more Indians in the United States or that they are such a small minority confined to isolated reservations that they are insignificant and unworthy of attention. This is far from the truth. Native culture has been experiencing a dramatic resurgence across the country, and many people associate in some way with this ethnicity. All it would take is a few small efforts to recognize this vital and vibrant culture, and that would surely help make all Native peoples feel welcome at Baylor and open up the opportunity for shared education for everyone’s benefit. Perhaps next year?

Dr. Julie Ann Sweet
Professor of history