ANAAY hosts a week of celebration of Indigenous Peoples Day

ANAAY hosted a Zoom panel, an arts evening and a keynote speaker event in the days following Indigenous Peoples Day

Contributing journalist

Alisia Pan, staff photographer

In the days following Indigenous Peoples Day, students from Yale and beyond gathered at several events to discuss Indigenous experiences and share art and community.

Indigenous Peoples Day was held on Monday October 11 and featured several festive events on campus. In the days that followed, the Association of Native Americans at Yale, or ANAAY – a group of students from the Native American Cultural Center – hosted various events to continue to celebrate the holiday. On Tuesday evening, the University of Connecticut Native American and Native Students Association, or NAISA, collaborated with ANAAY for a Zoom on Higher Education roundtable, featuring leaders from Yale’s student cultural centers, as well as the University of Connecticut and Quinnipiac University. Later that evening, the NACC opened its doors with a “Late night at the NACC” event, featuring artistic and community workshops. The festivities wrapped up Wednesday evening as ANAAY hosted a keynote speaker event with lawyer and activist Jerilyn DeCoteau.

“The rally, dinner, and keynote speaker are all staples of Indigenous Peoples Day, but we wanted to see what else we could do this year and most importantly focus on doing something not just within. our community, but something that really focuses on our community in this house, ”Evan Roberts ’23, ANAAY co-chair, told News.

Tuesday’s roundtable focused on Indigenous experiences in higher education and featured seven Indigenous student leaders from Yale, UConn and Quinnipiac. Panelists Sage Phillips from UConn, Hema Patel ’23 and Roberts noted that they first met during a Dartmouth College Indigenous student flight program focused on Indigenous Peoples Day. Roberts noted that Yale does not have such a program.

Roberts and Patel, also co-chairs of ANAAY, said one of their priorities when they first became presidents was to reach out to leaders of indigenous cultural centers at other universities to improve the inter-campus community. .

Citing their ability to collaborate with leaders of other universities as a result of this semi-virtual year, Patel noted during the panel discussion that “Zoom has been instrumental in changing the way admissions processes work” and that on Wednesday from the Undergraduate Admissions Office hosting a Zoom Essay Writing Workshop for Indigenous high school students was something potential students wouldn’t necessarily have been able to access before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kiara Tanta-Quidgeon, senior at Quinnipiac University and founder and president of the Indigenous Student Union of Quinnipiac, described her struggle to create a cultural program from scratch.

“Although we encountered many obstacles in getting there, whether it was reaching out to students or making our voices heard on the administrative side of things,” Tanta-Quidgeon said during the panel. “It makes me really happy to know that now, when students come here in the future, especially Indigenous or Indigenous students or students just interested in Indigenous identities, culture and history, they will have this space to. sharing and a sense of community that many students before us did not have.

After the panel, attendees at Tuesday’s art night at the CNAC could participate in their choice of beadwork, necklace-making, improvisation and poetry workshops.

Jordan Sahly ’24, who ran the bead shop and also runs a beadwork business on Instagram, described his foray into beadwork as a “way to practice both artistic expression and cultural tradition.”

“The workshop is a good example of what NACC is capable of, as a different tribes, teachings and styles have come together to collaborate and share some of the knowledge we have learned, ”Sahly wrote in an email to News.

He further noted that Indigenous students at Yale have been looking for ways to engage non-Indigenous students in NACC programs, citing Monday’s Indigenous Peoples Day rally and beadwork workshop at NACC.

Thirty-six people signed up for Tuesday’s arts night, and it drew non-Indigenous members of the Yale community, including graduate students looking to explore the celebrations of a party they hadn’t heard of. speak before.

On Wednesday evening, the NACC hosted a keynote speaker event, featuring lawyer and activist Jerilyn DeCoteau, who presented healing and access to justice in response to residential schools. Reflecting on his own family’s experiences with residential schools, DeCouteau noted that cultural genocide was hidden from families and not taught to children.

The keynote speaker event closed the CNAC’s Indigenous Peoples Day programming.

The NACC is located at 26 High St.

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