Burial ground clean-up kicks off Native American Heritage Month

November is Native American Heritage Month.
November is Native American Heritage Month.
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A group of Grand Valley students will kick off Native American Heritage Month by cleaning up areas surrounding the Hopewell burial grounds November 2 from 10 a.m.-noon.

The Grand Rapids Public Museum oversees the preservation of the grounds, which are 13 burial mounds near the Grand River, a few miles southwest of downtown Grand Rapids. Hopewell is a scientific name given to an ancient civilization that flourished 2,000 years ago and the site is one of the best preserved Hopewellian cemeteries in the country.
 
The month-long celebration, organized by the Office of Multicultural Affairs, will focus on Native American history and traditions. All events are free and open to the public.

  • November 6, 4-5:30 p.m., Cook-DeWitt Center, Allendale Campus: An Evening with Joy Harjo. Harjo is an internationally known poet, performer, writer and saxophone player from Albuquerque, New Mexico. She performs a one-woman show, “Wings of Night Sky, Wings of Morning Light,” that premiered at the Wells Fargo Theater in Los Angeles, and published a memoir, “Crazy Brave,” about her journey to become a poet.
  • November 7, 4-6 p.m., Cook-DeWitt Center: “Indians Schools: The Survivor’s Story” documentary showing and panel discussion. The stories of Native American children taken from families and placed in boarding schools will be shown and discussed.
  • November 15, noon-2 p.m., room 1240, Kirkhof Center, Allendale Campus: Traditional Native Art Celebration. Local Native American artists will display their art and demonstrate traditional beading, jewelry making, basket weaving and hand drumming.
  • November 19, 4-6 p.m., Loosemore Auditorium, Pew Grand Rapids Campus: “Our Fires Still Burn” documentary and panel discussion. The film’s director, Audrey Geyer, will lead a panel discussion, with film producer Scott Badenoch and Levi Rickert, editor of Native News Network.

For more information, call the Office of Multicultural Affairs at (616) 331-2177 or visit www.gvsu.edu/oma.