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Events set to celebrate Native American Heritage Month

Published: 13 November 2012

NDSU has a series of events scheduled to celebrate Native American Heritage Month, which began Thursday, Nov. 1.

A free screening of “Dakota 38” is scheduled for Monday, Nov. 19, from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. in the Memorial Union Century Theater. The documentary details the largest mass execution in U.S. history when, on Dec. 26, 1862, a total of 38 Dakota warriors were hanged from a single scaffold in Mankato, Minn. President Abraham Lincoln ordered the hangings just one week prior to issuing the Emancipation Proclamation. A trailer for the documentary is available at The screening is open to the public.

“Many people don’t know about this history,” said Brynn Luger, graduate assistant who organized events for the month. “The hope is to create more awareness for Native American students and faculty.”

Other Native American Heritage Month events include a session titled “The Legal History of the Doctrine of Discovery” scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 14, from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. in the Memorial Union Prairie room. Chase Iron Eyes of Standing Rock Nation will discuss the legal history of the Doctrine of Discovery and the changing perception inside and outside Native communities through media and educational institutions. 

An NDSU Native American student panel will be held Thursday, Nov. 15, from 11 a.m. to noon in the Memorial Union Prairie room. A variety of topics will be discussed, including the experience of culture and its impact on education and student life. Nearly 200 Native American students attend NDSU. All are welcome to contribute to the discussion.

Clifford Canku, assistant professor of practice for Dakota Studies, is scheduled to present “The Dakota Prisoner of War letters of 1862-1869” on Tuesday, Nov. 20, from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. in the Memorial Union Rose room. Dakota prisoners-of-war letters are accounts of men and women who were imprisoned at Fort McClellen in Davenport, Iowa. The letters were written in the Dakota language to the Presbyterian minister, Rev. Stephen Return Riggs, whom the prisoners-of-war called Tamakoce. The letters included inquiries of status in their families, treatment at the prison and political situations in the U.S. government in regard to their struggle to survive in their traditional homelands.

Donald Warne, director of the NDSU Master of Public Health program, is scheduled to present “American Indian Health Disparities” on Wednesday, Nov. 28 from noon to 1 p.m. in the Memorial Union Hidatsa room. Warne will discuss key health disparities, causes and potential solutions for the Northern Plains American Indians.

For more information, visit or contact Brynn Luger at

NDSU is recognized as one of the nation's top 108 public and private universities by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education.

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Last Updated: Sunday, August 25, 2013