November is Native American Heritage Month. It is a "time to celebrate rich and diverse cultures, traditions, histories and to acknowledge the important contributions of Native people."
It is not only a time of celebration but of education. "[This holiday] is...a time to educate the general public about tribes [and] raise...awareness about the unique challenges Native people faced...historically and in the present."
That's why, on Nov. 7, EMU's Native American Student Organization (NASO) and Center of Race & Ethnicity (CORE) co-hosted a Fall Feast in the McKenny Guild room.
Sarah Schilling, president of NASO, believes the purpose of Fall Feast is to help build a community of native students on campus.
"[Fall Feast] started as a native community potluck hosted by the Native American Student Organization years ago," Schilling said. "Every year we honor that tradition by creating a space where the native community and students can come together and enjoy indigenous foods and music."
NASO and CORE planned a wonderful array of activities for attendees.
"We have a drum group performing tradition native music and Sacramento Knoxx performing contemporary native music," Schilling said. "There will also be an interactive music lab at the event where participants can help create a song with Knoxx."
Schilling believes events like this are important for students to attend.
"So often native people are thought of as only existing in the past," she said. "Fall Feast is our way as native students to claim space on campus while inviting non-native people to share that space with us, eat with us and see part of our culture and community."
If one were to attend the event, they may have had the chance to meet Julianna Blaskie, a senior at EMU.
"I came to celebrate and learn more about native culture," Blaskie said.
Mary Watson is a freshman at EMU.
"I don't really know much about native culture and I feel like it's important to learn," Watson said. "I want to learn as much as I can."
Fall Feast is not all CORE and NASO have planned for Native American Heritage Month.
On Nov. 12, the group will be meeting at the Student Center Intersection for Native Women: Beyond Statistics from 6 p.m.-8 p.m. This event will entail "an interactive presentation on native women and sexual health."
On Nov. 19, the group will be meeting at the Student Center Intersection for Talk Culture: Two Spirit Identity from 6 p.m.-8 p.m. Students will be able to participate in "an interactive workshop making pride jewelry and learning about Two-Spirit Identity."
This year's Fall Feast may be over but don't fret. Keep your eyes open for next year's event.