November is Indigenous Peoples Heritage Month

Contact: Juliane Corpus

We invite you to learn more about Indigenous Peoples Heritage Month and participate in our programs.

Indigenous Peoples Heritage Month is a time to honor and celebrate the various cultures, traditional practices, and history of Indigenous Peoples. This month is also commonly known as Native American Heritage Month or National American Indian & Alaska Native Heritage Month. The word “Indigenous” often refers to the original caretakers of the land before colonization. In North America, the Indigenous Peoples are often referred to Native Americans or Alaska Natives. We want to take this month of November as an opportunity to not only celebrate, but to better understand the historical trauma, sufferings, and contributions of the Indigenous Peoples.

One of the important ways we honor the original people of this region is by acknowledging that we are gathered on the land of the Kalapuya, who today are represented by the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde and the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians, whose relationship with this land continues to this day.

We also bring education, celebration, and community-building to our campuses through a variety of programs. See below for a selection and join us in celebrating this month.

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Nov. 1: Indigenous Peoples Heritage Month Kick-Off

Salem | Renjen Student Center for Equity & Empowerment (E&E) | 12–1:30 p.m.

We would love to see you at the Indigenous Peoples Heritage Month Kick-Off Event. Stop by and be in community with other Indigenous folks on campus! Bring your lunch; some refreshments will be provided by the Bistro. 

Nov. 8 and 16: “We Are The Land” Public Art Installation

Portland | Various Locations

This November, the City of Portland Tribal Relations team partnered with INDÍGENA, an Indigenous storytelling collective, to bring Indigenous portraits to Portland public spaces.

Nov. 13: Storytelling Night Hosted by NISU

Salem | Renjen Student Center for Equity & Empowerment (E&E) | 6–7 p.m.

Native Indigenous Student Union (NISU) will be hosting a Storytelling Night for students to share their lived experiences and identity through the art of storytelling. This is a free event.

Nov. 15: Beading Workshop Hosted by NISU

Salem | Renjen Student Center for Equity & Empowerment (E&E) | 4:30–6 p.m.

NISU member, Hattie Mercier, will be hosting a beading workshop for students to learn about the significance of beading within the Indigenous and Native communities. Mercier will also teach attendees how to make earrings and necklaces.

This event is free and open to all students.

Nov. 29: Talk on Cultural Fire & Basketry Demonstration & Workshop**

Salem | TBD | TBD

Portland | TBD | TBD

On Nov. 29 (date subject to change, time and location TBD)*, we are hosting visual artist Ayuthea LaPier. LaPier’s Native Heritage comes from the Hanis Coos, Blackfeet, Tlingit, and Metis and has been recognized by the Portland-based Native Arts & Cultures Foundation as a LIFT awardee. LaPier will be hosting a talk on cultural fire and perform a basketry demonstration and workshop in the E&E. More information on LaPier’s visit for both the Salem and Portland campus will come soon and will be updated on the list of all program offerings (below).

This event will be free and open to the Willamette community for both Salem and Portland campuses.

Now until Dec. 2: Crow’s Shadow Institute of the Arts Biennial

Salem | Hallie Ford Museum of Art

This exhibit features a selection of over 20 contemporary prints created by artists during their recent residencies at the Crow’s Shadow Institute of the Arts, whose mission is to provide a creative conduit for educational, social, and economic opportunities for Native Americans through artistic development. The show was curated by Rebecca Dobkins, professor emerita of anthropology and curator of Indigenous art at the HFMA.

For a full list of engagement opportunities, please click on the link below. We hope to see you there!

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Questions? Please contact Juliane Corpus at

This programming was made possible through the input, insight, and collaboration of campus partners.

Special thanks to:

  • NISU, the student organization for Native & Indigenous students
  • KC Fejeran & Xenia Otero, NISU co-presidents
  • Hattie Mercier, NISU member
  • The Bistro
  • David Craig, Department of Biology
  • Bon Appetit
  • And to the Indigenous Peoples Heritage Month Planning Committee:
  • Lucas Cordova, Assistant Professor of Computer Science
  • David Craig, Professor of Biology
  • Kaeli Hancock, Events A/V Coordinator
  • Eric Lassahn, Senior Associate Director of Alumni & Parent Engagement
  • Justin Leibowitz, Assistant Dean for Community Care & Inclusion
  • Lisa Logan, Director of the Gender Resource & Advocacy Center
  • Reyna Meyers, Administrative Program Coordinator

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