By Dr. Julie Anne Sweet | Contributor
Once again, Baylor has failed to recognize Native American Heritage Month in any official or significant way. Last year, I wrote a letter to the editor calling attention to this grievous oversight and hoped that the university would correct the error. That obviously has not happened. The current health crisis serves as a convenient excuse not to host events commemorating this important month, but it did not stop other ethnicities from celebrating their heritage, though.
I contacted the Department of Multicultural Affairs earlier this semester in reference to Indigenous Peoples Day (formerly known as Columbus Day) which also went unmarked and was told that a student organization needed to take the helm to schedule such activities. I also called and emailed the Office of Diversity & Inclusion housed in the President’s Office but never received a reply.
I am disappointed that in this year of increased awareness of civil rights issues, this matter still goes unnoticed. If anything, current events should bring more attention to the plight of Native peoples as well as their vibrant and diverse heritage. With the heightened interest in all minority cultures, shouldn’t we take this opportunity to include American Indians who, as the first inhabitants of North America, form the foundation of this country? Baylor has missed the chance to educate its citizens about this essential group, and so I ask again, maybe next year?
Dr. Julie Anne Sweet
Professor of History