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30 Days of Indigenous

Nov 1 - Land Acknowledgement


According to, a Land Acknowledgement is “a formal statement that recognizes and land-acknowledgement-poster.pngrespects Indigenous Peoples as traditional stewards of this land and the enduring relationship that exists between Indigenous Peoples and their traditional territories.”

“To recognize the land is an expression of gratitude and appreciation to those whose territory you reside on, and a way of honoring the Indigenous people who have been living and working on the land from time immemorial. It is important to understand the long-standing history that has brought you to reside on the land, and to seek to understand your place within that history. Land acknowledgements do not exist in a past tense, or historical context: colonialism is a current ongoing process, and we need to build our mindfulness of our present participation. It is also worth noting that acknowledging the land is Indigenous protocol.” (

Northwestern University

Northwestern is a community of learners situated within a network of historical and contemporary relationships with Native American tribes, communities, parents, students, and alumni. It is also in close proximity to an urban Native American community in Chicago and near several tribes in the Midwest.

The Northwestern campus sits on the traditional homelands of the people of the Council of Three Fires, the Ojibwe, Potawatomi, and Odawa as well as the Menominee, Miami and Ho-Chunk nations. It was also a site of trade, travel, gathering and healing for more than a dozen other Native tribes and is still home to over 100,000 tribal members in the state of Illinois.

It is within Northwestern's responsibility as an academic institution to disseminate knowledge about Native peoples and the institution's history with them. Consistent with the University's commitment to diversity and inclusion, Northwestern works towards building relationships with Native American communities through academic pursuits, partnerships, historical recognitions, community service and enrollment efforts.

Tribe Name Pronunciations:  

Ojibwe: Oh-JIB-way 

Potawatomi: Pot-tah-WAH-tah-mee 

Odawa: Oh-DAH-wah 

Menominee: Muh-NOM-uh-nee 

Miami: My-Am-E 

Ho-Chunk: HOH- Chuhngk 

Native American Heritage Month 2020

In honor of Native American Heritage Month, we invite you to help spread awareness and reflection on Northwestern’s place in relation to the land and  

We invite you to offer a land acknowledgement in your workspace in whatever form is meaningful to you. You can offer a land acknowledgement at the beginning of a meeting or an event you are hosting. We have designed a flyer specifically for this occasion that we invite you to print or post wherever you’d like- in your department or building space (if you’re currently physically on campus), in your e-mail signature, on your website’s homepage. We even have a virtual zoom background that you can download and use. Please visit our land acknowledgement webpage here for all of this information.  If you’d like more resources for learning about land acknowledgements, you can visit this website: 

Design description:  

Long before skyscrapers and more recent city life spread across the region, these Indigenous Nations have been in relationship with the land and, with that, carry responsibilities. As a small snapshot of life and the landscape then, you can see a canoe resting along the shore of Lake Michigan, surrounded by pine trees. Canoes, made often times using birch bark, are representative of the historic and sustained presence of Indigenous peoples in the Great Lakes area, prior to the arrival of settlers and continued to this day. Adorning the lake are wild rice and wild onion, both of which hold a special place within each tribe. The onion plant is native to the Chicago area and can be attributed to its naming. Wild rice is a sacred plant and food to Great Lakes tribes, tied to migration stories. Wild rice, which is actually a grain and not a rice, is highly nutritious but has been threatened by fracking, pipelines, mines, and proposed genetic engineering. Both plants represent this area, food sovereignty, subsistence, and treaty rights. 
Today, Indigenous peoples continue to protect and remain in relationship with these relatives and will do so until the end of time. It is vital to honor these beginnings and recognize the ongoing dedication and importance of Indigenous culture within our communities and within the land that we gather, live, learn and work on. 

Nov 2 - Community Organizations

Our Native and Indigenous community extends beyond Northwestern. The members of the Chicago American Indian Community Collaborativeare dedicated to furthering diverse causes and the greater well-being of American Indians, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, and First Nations people in the Chicago area. CAICC createsa forum for fostering mutual aid, political support, positive public recognition, strategic alliances, collaborations, and partnerships.


Here are a few organizations that we work with and support through our education work:

Nov 3 - The Native Vote


Native Americans received the right to vote in 1924 with the passage of The Snyder Act. The Library of Congress states The Snyder Act of 1924 admitted Native Americans born in the U.S. to full U.S. citizenship. Though the Fifteenth Amendment, passed in 1870, granted all U.S. citizens the right to vote regardless of race, it wasn't until the Snyder Act that Native Americans could enjoy the rights granted by this amendment.

Even with the passing of this citizenship bill, Native Americans were still prevented from participating in elections because the Constitution left it up to the states to decide who has the right to vote. After the passage of the 1924 citizenship bill, it still took over forty years for all fifty states to allow Native Americans to vote. For example, Maine was one of the last states to comply with the Indian Citizenship Act, even though it had granted tax paying Native Americans the right to vote in its original 1819 state constitution. As reported by Henry Mitchell, a resident of that state, Native Americans were prevented from voting in Maine in the late 1930s. (

And yet, according to the National Congress of American Indians, Native Americans and Alaskan Natives have played key roles in national elections. “For example, in 2006, U.S. Senator John Tester (D-Montana) won his Senate seat over the Republican incumbent candidate by only 3,562 votes. In that election, more than 17,000 voters cast ballots on Montana’s seven Indian reservations.” Senator Lisa Murkowski, speaking on her 2010 election at the 2011 State of Indian Nations Address, said, “My success in running this historic write-in campaign would not have been possible…if Alaska’s Native people did not turn out to the polls, did not energize, or did not come together as they did. I deeply, deeply appreciate the trust that Alaska Native peoples have placed in me.”

To this day the suppression of the Native American vote continues. Most recently written about in The Guardian.

More Resources

To learn more about the power of the Native American vote in the United States, check out this infographic put out by the National Congress of American Indians.

Also, listen to a recent episode of All My Relations that discusses this topic.




Nov 4 - Podcasts


Podcasts have grown in popularity and enthusiasm. It is estimated that about 1 in 4 Americans listen to podcasts on a monthly basis1. Podcasts allow us to multitask while we listen. They allow the listener to be entertained while they are educated. These are just a sample of podcasts created by Native Americans and provide for both entertainment and some much need education from Indian Country and provide key learnings from a first voice perspective.


Conversations with SustainNU: Interview with Patty Loew, Director of the Center for Native American and Indigenous Research at Northwestern University 

(From Conversations with SustainNU) Wrapping up the 3-part environmental justice series, Greg sits down with Dr. Patty Loew, Director of the Center for Native American and Indigenous Research at Northwestern University and a member of the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Ojibwe. This episode touches on past and current environmental injustices native nations face and how native youth, traditional cultures and ecological knowledge, and a sense of generational land stewardship inspire hope for a better future. 

More Recommendations
  1. All My Relations 
  2. The Henceforward 
  3. This Land 
  4. Native Voice One 
  5. Well For Culture 
  6. The Three Directions 
  7. Native Opinion Podcast 
  8. Let’s Talk Native  
  9. While Indigenous 
  10. Cultivating Indigenous Voices 



Nov 5 - What Does it Mean to Come From Somewhere? - Films by Fox Maxy

This program of short films by the California-based artist Fox Maxy (Ipai Kumeyaay and Payómkawichum) offers a prismatic and timely vision of the artist’s home state, viewed through the lens of Indigenous identity and culture. Drawing on the visual language of Instagram and the associative logic of experimental montage, Maxy imagines strategies of knowing and caring for the land–and for resisting the forces of colonialism and extraction that threaten it. Recent works like SAN DIEGO (2020) explicitly address the impacts of COVID-19 on Native communities, asking how social media can play a role in maintaining bonds threatened by isolation and incursion. Following the screening, Maxy will appear for a discussion of their work, joined by filmmaker, photographer, and University of Chicago postdoctoral fellow in Anthropology Teresa Montoya (Diné).
The films and discussion will be streamed live at 7 pm CDT on 11/5, and will be available for 24 hours afterward through the Block’s Vimeo page.  Please RSVP through Eventbrite.
Following the screening, Maxy will appear for a discussion of their work, joined by filmmaker, photographer, and University of Chicago postdoctoral fellow in Anthropology, Teresa Montoya (Diné).
Co-presented by The Block Museum of Art with support from the Center for Native American and Indigenous Research at Northwestern University.

Nov 6 - Indigeneity and Latinx

Join us for a discussion on how indigineity shows up within all communities in the Western Hemisphere. 


Nov 7 - Walking with Relatives


“Since time immemorial, Indigenous peoples have learned about the world through our relationships. Plant knowledge in particular has always been central to Indigenous lifeways. We learn from plants through our experiences with them whether it be harvesting medicines, growing food in a garden, or simply paying attention to what grows around us. These activities are meant to support this kind of experiential and relational learning. You will be prompted to look closely, reflect using all of your senses, and wonder about big ideas as a family.” Indigenous Education Tools, Inc. 

Today, we’d like to highlight the work of the Indigenous STEAM Program by inviting you to engage with some activities from their Indigenous Education Tools website. These activities are designed to be used right outside your door! With your family or household, you can explore your relations with water, food, and plant and bird relatives. Each activity is explained in a two-page overview document which you can download or print. Some activities have extra pages that serve as worksheets to help you do the activity. If you don’t have a printer, no worries! You can easily remake the worksheets on a blank piece of paper. The activities are in no particular order. Just choose the ones that you find most interesting!  

If you’d like, snap a photo or video from your walk and tag us on social media!







Nov 8 - Books


For centuries, Native Americans have valued storytelling as a means to pass down knowledge from one generation to the next. Stories were used to weave together lessons, history, knowledge of the land, traditions, water, birds, and animals to ensure the continued survival of Indigenous culture and ways of being. This list includes a mixture of academic writings, fiction, non-fiction, essays, memoir, and poetry by some of the best Native American writers, thinkers, and storytellers. By no means exhaustive, this list is a great starting point for anyone looking to add some Indigenous perspectives to their lives and bookcases.[JG1] 

Quick Facts
  • Joy Harjo is the first Native American United States Poet Laureate (2019) 
  • If you’re looking for a good choice for children’s books, check out the recommendations from Oyate. Oyate’s mission is to “review children’s literature and advocate for Native Americans/American Indians to be portrayed with historical accuracy, cultural appropriateness and without anti-Indian bias and stereotypes.  
  • Support Native-owned bookstores! 
  • Birchbark Books is a great independently Native owned bookstore. Most of our recommendations have links to their website. Support Native-owned businesses. 
  • Red Planet Comics is the only Native American comic shop in the world! 
  • Strong Nations is a First Nations-owned bookstore in Canada.  

Highlights by Genre


Winter Counts, by David Heska Wanbli Weiden 

A groundbreaking thriller about a vigilante on a Native American reservation who embarks on a dangerous mission to track down the source of a heroin influx. Virgil Wounded Horse is the local enforcer on the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota. When justice is denied by the American legal system or the tribal council, Virgil is hired to deliver his own punishment, the kind that's hard to forget. But when heroin makes its way into the reservation and finds Virgil's nephew, his vigilantism suddenly becomes personal. He enlists the help of his ex-girlfriend and sets out to learn where the drugs are coming from, and how to make them stop. 


Deer Woman 

This anthology features the work of more than a dozen Native women sharing stories of survival, empowerment, and healing. Edited by Elizabeth LaPensée and Weshoyot Alvitre and featuring the work of: Patty Stonefish, Allie Vasquez, Mia Casesa, Darcie Little Badger, Tara Ogaick, Kimberly Robertson, Barbara Kenmille, Maria Wolf Lopez, Tatum Bowie, Jackie Fawn, Rebecca Roanhorse, Carolyn Dunn, Nashoba Dunn-Anderson, and more, this anthology is an important addition to the current conversation about violence against women, especially Native women. 


Black Indian, by Shonda Buchanan 

Black Indian, searing and raw, is Amy Tan's The Joy Luck Club and Alice Walker's The Color Purple meets Leslie Marmon Silko's Ceremony- only, this isn't fiction. Beautifully rendered and rippling with family dysfunction, secrets, deaths, alcoholism, and old resentments, Shonda Buchanan's memoir is an inspiring story that explores her family's legacy of being African Americans with American Indian roots and how they dealt with not just society's ostracization but the consequences of this dual inheritance. 


How We Became Human, by Joy Harjo

This collection gathers poems from throughout Joy Harjo's twenty-eight-year career, beginning in 1973 in the age marked by the takeover at Wounded Knee and the rejuvenation of indigenous cultures in the world through poetry and music. How We Became Human explores its title question in poems of sustaining grace.


Indigenous Food Sovereignty in the United States: Restoring Cultural Knowledge, Protecting Environments, and Regaining Health, by Devon A. Mihesuah & Elizabeth Hoover (Editors) 

Centuries of colonization and other factors have disrupted indigenous communities' ability to control their own food systems. This volume explores the meaning and importance of food sovereignty for Native peoples in the United States, and asks whether and how it might be achieved and sustained. 


Elatsoe, by Darcie Little Badger 

Imagine an America very similar to our own. It's got homework, best friends, and pistachio ice cream. There are some differences. This America been shaped dramatically by the magic, monsters, knowledge, and legends of its peoples, those Indigenous and those not. Some of these forces are charmingly everyday, like the ability to make an orb of light appear or travel across the world through rings of fungi. But other forces are less charming and should never see the light of day. Elatsoe lives in this slightly stranger America. She can raise the ghosts of dead animals, a skill passed down through generations of her Lipan Apache family. Her beloved cousin has just been murdered, in a town that wants no prying eyes. But she is going to do more than pry. The picture-perfect facade of Willowbee masks gruesome secrets, and she will rely on her wits, skills, and friends to tear off the mask and protect her family. 

More Recommendations

Nov 9 - Campus Art & Exhibits


There are some amazing museums around the world that highlight Indigenous communities and art, such as Onöhsagwë:de’ Cultural Center in New York, the Heard Museum in Arizona, and of course, the Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian in Washington D.C. There are even some local museums such as the Mitchell Museum of the American Indian in Evanston, the Trickster Art Gallery in Schaumburg, or the Field Museum in Chicago (where the Native American Hall is undergoing renovation as we speak!).

However, there are also several resources right here on Northwestern’s campus for opportunities to engage with learning about Native Peoples from past to present. Beyond formal exhibits, there are also little nuggets of Indigenous representation that can be found on the walls throughout campus. While some of the art is temporarily showcased, other exhibits are permanently displayed. Below you will find a list of some of the places you can visit throughout campus.

Key Facts

The University is undertaking several steps to promote learning about John Evans, his past and to work toward the present and future wellbeing of Cheyenne and Arapaho people and of the Native peoples on whose homelands the University sits. Evans, one of the co-founders of Northwestern and a long-time member of its Board of Trustees, served as Governor of Colorado Territories from 1862–65, a role that included acting as Superintendent of Indian Affairs.

It was during this time, that the bloody Sand Creek Massacre occurred in which scores of Cheyenne and Arapaho people, mostly women and children, were slaughtered by a volunteer army regiment. Northwestern University acknowledges this fact as well as the multi-generational trauma that the Sand Creek Massacre caused for Cheyenne and Arapaho peoples. A comprehensive exhibit about Evans and his role in the massacre will be created for display in the John Evans Center, the building located at the corner of Clark Street and Sheridan Road.


Indigenous Tour of Northwestern

Led by Dr. Patty Loew and a team of students and faculty, an Indigenous Tour of Northwestern was launched on October 14, Indigenous Peoples Day 2019. It is a virtual walking tour that facilitates learning about Native people, places, and initiatives that connect to Northwestern University including the first Native doctors and dentists, 1903 football game against the Carlisle Indian School, "Rights of Nature" and the food sovereignty movement. You can take this tour by downloading the app or visiting the Indigenous Tour of Northwestern weblink here.

More Recommendations
  • The James L. Allen Center (bonus: this is also a stop on the Indigenous Tour) houses one of the largest collections of Inuit art in the Midwest. If individuals or small groups would like to visit the Allen Center to view the art, they can make arrangements via e-mail with Gina Green, Program Manager and the Custodian of the art collection for Kellogg, at All visits are by appointment only and must be made in advance, on weekdays during normal business hours.
  • Rebecca Crown Center, West Tower, 1st Floor, has a temporary display of an eight-portrait collection of paintings by Chares King Bird. These portraits were included as lithographs in Thomas McKenney and James Hall’s three-volume series History of the Indian Tribes of North America, first published in 1837. King painted leaders from myriad Native Nations while they were in Washington DC on diplomatic missions to the United States. This collection is on loan from the Center for Native American and Indigenous Research and was originally donated by alumna LaVonne Brown Ruoff (SESP53, GSESP54, 66).
  • Women’s Center- 2nd Floor Library has framed prints of photos of women taken by Swinomish and Tulalip photographer Matika Wilbur. Learn more about using the Women's Center space for your meetings or gatherings.
  • The Block Museum- Tour their online collection of over 6,000 artworks.
  • The Multicultural Center, 1st floor, has a large framed print of the 1833 Treaty of Chicago and portraits of Pokagon Potawatomi chiefs

Nov 10 - Harvest Indigenous Discussions

Students are welcome to join MSA us a conversation centered on topics important to Native American and Indigenous students. All are welcome. 


Nov 11 - Veterans Day


Veterans Day is celebrated on November 11 and is an important day in Indian country.

Native Americans have a long tradition of participation in the U.S. military. It is well recognized that, historically, Native Americans have the highest record of service per capita when compared to other ethnic groups. Some are compelled to serve out of patriotism, others out of clan obligations, cultural mores, family tradition and treaty obligations.

 This content will provide information to the rich history of Native Americans’ participation with the military, as well as ways that communities honor veterans.


Many tribes hold their veterans in especially high regard, praising them and honoring them through ceremonies and awards. Most commonly, Native American veterans are gifted eagle feathers for their service, a sign of highest respect in many tribes. In other cases, veterans are asked to lead honoring ceremonies, such as opening grand entry at powwows, ushering in the flags of the tribe and country, or even giving an opening prayer. 

The National Museum of the American Indian will open the new National Native American Veterans Memorial Wednesday, November 11, 2020. The program will include tributes to Native veterans and a virtual tour of the memorial.  The memorial, titled “Warriors' Circle of Honor,” was designed by Harvey Pratt, a Cheyenne and Arapaho tribal member and Vietnam veteran.

Quick Facts about Participation

  • Native Americans have the highest record of service per capita when compared to other ethnic groups.
  • WWI - Nearly 17,000 Indians served in the military during World War I. However, their numbers were not the only significant part of their war contribution. Some Choctaws, for example, transmitted orders over the telephone in their tribal language. Although not used extensively, the telephone squads were key in helping the United States win several battles that ended the war.
  • Native Americans supported the war in other ways. At home, some 10,000 Native women joined the Red Cross, donating time, money, and clothing.
  • It is noteworthy that Native American warriors chose to fight for the United States even though about half of them did not hold citizenship during all of World War I, as citizenship was not granted until 1924 (also known as The Snyder Act).
  • WWII - One of the most well-known ways Native Americans contributed during the war were with their coding skills. President Obama awards Joseph Medicine Crow (Apsáalooke [Crow], 1913–2016) the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Washington, DC, August 2009.
  •  One of America’s most acclaimed World War II combat units was the 45th Infantry Division, known as the Thunderbirds for their distinctive insignia. The Thunderbirds got their name from their shoulder patch. Each side of the square represents one of the four states—Oklahoma, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico—that originally populated the division.
  • Vietnam - Of the 42,000 American Indians who served in the U.S. armed forces during the Vietnam conflict (1964–75), 90 percent were volunteers. 
  • It’s estimated that 31,000 Native American men and women are currently serving in the military today.

Media Suggestions

  • To learn more, check out the 2007 PBS documentary, “Way of the Warrior,” in which Patty Loew,  interviewed Native American veterans on their experiences and explores the high rate of American Indian military service.

Nov 12 - Native Artists in Conversation


In partnership with the Big Ten Native Alliance, the Native American House and American Indian Studies at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign invite you to join us for this free virtual event featuring 11 Native artists. These artist who represent a range of mediums, experiences, and creative approaches will cover topics from perception, to process, to intersections of identities, and more.

There will be 3 sessions, each featuring different artists and topics, webinar links for each session will be sent to the email address used to "purchase" your ticket (this event is FREE). Please see below for the times, participants of each session and a links to the artists


Session 1 – 10am – 12pm (CST)
Session 2 – 1pm – 3pm (CST)
Session 3 – 4pm – 5:30pm (CST)

Nov 13 - Indigenous Interventions: Reshaping Archives and Museums

Join us for a symposium co-hosted by the Field Museum, Northwestern University, and the Newberry in which artists, archeologists, curators, and scholars will discuss how Native people engage with and challenge archives and museums through art, community-based practice, scholarship, and curation.
Taking the hosting institutions as a starting point, participants will specifically consider the materials donated by Edward E. Ayer, whose collection of Indigenous cultural material is a significant portion of the Field Museum’s and the Newberry Library’s holdings.
While most scholarly research has focused on highlighting Ayer’s contributions in “salvaging” Indigenous culture, Indigenous activists, visual artists, anthropologists, musicians, writers, and leaders have also intervened in the use of and access to these collections throughout the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries.
This symposium privileges these interventions, highlighting how Indigenous peoples have reshaped archives and museums to reflect the needs and interests of their communities rather than those of public institutions.

Nov 14 - Recipes

As the weather turns colder, consider making some of these recipes to warm the soul.

The recipes below use ingredients indigenous to North America that were/are used by Native Peoples prior to contact with Europeans. For example, corn, first cultivated thousands of years ago, is a sacred plant and featured heavily in the creation stories and traditions of many Native communities. As Robin Wall Kimmerer says in an essay about corn, “In my own Potawatomi language, we say mandamin, or the Wonderful Seed. The scientific name is Zea mays, “mays” referring to the Taino name that Columbus recorded in his journal when first tasting “a sort of grain which they call mahiz, which very well tasted when boiled, roasted, or made into porridge.” Mahiz, meaning the “Bringer of Life,” became the word maize in English. These indigenous names honor maize as the center of culture and reflect a deeply respectful relationship between people and the one who sustains them.  

  • Native American Food Sovereignty Alliance (NAFSA) - Virtual Indigenous Agro-Biodiversity Fair (November 9, 2020 through December 21, 2020) 
  • Cooking Demo with Brian Yazzie (Yazzie the Chef) on November 23rd. Co-Sponored with the Big Ten Native Alliance.
Indigenous Food Producers 
More Information/Resources 
Hunters Stew Wóle Wičháša Waháņpi Tȟáwa (Sean Sherman) 


  • 1 ounce dried wild mushrooms, such as chanterelles, trumpet, or morels 
  • 1 cup boiling water 
  • 3 Tablespoons sunflower oil 
  • 2½ to 3 pounds bear, lamb, or bison, cut into 2-inch cubes 
  • Coarse salt 
  • Crushed juniper 
  • 3 wild onions or 1 large leek, white part, trimmed 
  • 8 ounces fresh mushrooms, coarsely chopped 
  • 1 Tablespoon minced fresh oregano 
  • 2 teaspoons sumac to taste 
  • 1 cup Corn or Bison Stock 


  1. Put the dried mushrooms in a small bowl and pour the boiling water over them. Soak about 20 minutes until softened. Drain and reserve the soaking liquid. Chop the mushrooms and set aside. 
  2. In a large, heavy pot, heat the sunflower oil over medium-high heat and brown the meat pieces in batches, seasoning with salt and juniper. Be careful not to crowd the pan. Cook each batch about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the browned meat to a platter. 
  3. Reduce the heat and add the onions, mushrooms, oregano and sumac, and sauté until the onion is soft and the mushrooms release some of their liquid, about 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the chopped, reconstituted wild mushrooms and the soaking liquid and the stock, stirring to dislodge any brown bits that stick to the pan. 
  4. Return the meat to the pot, bring to a simmer, and cook, partially covered, until the meat is fork tender, about 2 hours. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Remove from the heat and let sit a few minutes before serving.
Wild Rice Salad (Kermit Valentino c/o Pam Silas) 


  • 2 cup wild rice, rinsed 
  • 1 teaspoon salt 
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries or crasins 
  • 3/4 cup pecans, or walnuts toasted and coarsely chopped 
  • 1/4 cup (or to taste) real maple syrup 


  1. Add rice, salt and 6 ½ cups of water to a pot and bring to a boil.  
  2. Turn heat down to low, cover and simmer until rice is done, about 50 minutes. 
  3. Transfer rice to strainer to drain any excess water, set aside to cool. 
  4. Combine rice with cranberries, crasins, pecans, syrup, then serve.
Coal Roasted Gete Okosomin Bisque (Karlos Baca) 


For Soup: 

  • 6 cups gete okosomin squash (or use butternut squash as a substitute) 
  • 2 cups purslane or 2 teaspoons purslane powder 
  • 1 teaspoon crushed juniper berry (seed removed) 
  • 1 cup wild plums (pitted) 
  • 1 tablespoon biscuit root (grated) 
  • 1 tablespoon wild onion flower (dried) 
  • 2 teaspoons salt (divided in half) 
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower Oil 
  • 2 cups water 

For Toppings: 

  • 4 dehydrated squash blossoms 
  • 1 teaspoon 3 leaf sumac 
  • 1 teaspoon wild amaranth seed 
  • 2 tablespoons raw pumpkin seeds 
  • 1 teaspoon calendula petals 


  1. Remove seeds from squash and season cavity with Purslane, Juniper, and Salt. Roast squash directly in hot coals, rotating often, until soft. Remove from coals and cut off blackened exterior. Cut into large chunks. 
  2. In a pot, cast iron preferable, add Sunflower Oil, Squash, Wild Plum, Biscuit Root, Wild Onion Flowers, and Salt. Sautèe until browned and deglaze with water. Reduce liquid by half and remove from heat. 
  3. Add squash mixture to blender and liquefy. (Add small increments of water if necessary to create creamy consistency) 
  4. Salt to taste. 
  5.  Distribute evenly between four bowls and top with 3 Leaf Sumac, Wild Amaranth Seed, Squash Blossom, Pumpkin Seed, and Calendula Petals. 
  6. ENJOY!
3 Sisters Harvest Vegetable Soup (from Iroquois White Corn Project) 


  • 2 cups Hulled White Corn, cooked/prepared ahead 
  • 15 oz. can of kidney or pinto beans 
  • 32 oz. vegetable broth 
  • 2  15 oz. cans diced tomatoes 
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil 
  • 1 cup onion, chopped  
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped 
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced  
  • 1 teaspoon basil 
  • 1 teaspoon cumin 
  • 2 cups winter squash, peeled and cubed 
  • ½ cup carrots, diced 
  • 1 cup parsnips, cubed 
  • Salt and pepper to taste 


  1. Prepare ahead Iroquois Hulled White Corn. See directions here. 
  2. Warm the oil in a large soup pot on medium heat. Add onions, celery and garlic. Sauté 10 minutes on low heat. 
  3. Add basil and cumin, salt and pepper to taste. Add squash, carrots, parsnips and tomatoes. Simmer until tender. Add beans and corn, simmer for another 10 minutes. Add vegetable broth simmer on low for 10-15 minutes.

Nov 15 - Art


Spend the day immersing yourself in the work of a few brilliant contemporary Native American artists. These creating work that both pays homage to the long history of artwork in many Native American communities and disrupts settler expectations of what is considered Native American art. The Museum of Contemporary Native Artists (MoCNA) at the Institute of American Indian Arts is home to over 7,500 artworks created in 1962 or later. As MoCNA states on it’s website, they are at the forefront of contemporary Native art presentation and strives to be flexible, foresighted and risk-taking in its exhibitions and programs.  

Kira Murillo  (Shoshone-Bannock, Pima 

  • Kira Murillo is an indigenous tattoo artist from the Shoshone-Bannock tribe in Fort Hall, ID who is seeking to bring about community change through her art. 

Ken Williams Jr (Northern Arapaho, Cattaraugus Seneca) 

  • Ken Williams Jr. began his career at an early age, experimenting as a self taught artist who learned by observing family and friends. He completed his BA in museum studies at the Institute of American Indian Arts, Santa Fe (2007) and while there took beadwork classes from noted beadwork artist Teri Greeves. Since 2003 he has been participating in the Southwest Association for Indian Arts (SWAIA) Annual Indian Market, Santa Fe and since 2006 at the Heard Museum Annual Indian Market and Festival, Phoenix. William’s work has been widely exhibited and garnered many awards. (from Shiprock Santa Fe) 

Teri Greeves (Kiowa) 

  • Teri Greeves is a beadworker.  She’s been beading since she was about 8 years old. She is compelled to do it.  She has no choice in the matter.  She must express herself and her experience as a 21st Century Kiowa and she does it, like all those unknown artists before her, through beadwork.  And though her medium may be considered “craft” or “traditional”, her stories are from the same source as the voice running through the first Kiowa beadworker’s needles. It is the voice of her grandmothers. 

Gregg Deal (Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe) 

  • Gregg Deal is a provocative contemporary artist who challenges Western perceptions of Indigenous people, touching on issues of race, history and stereotypes. Through his work—paintings, murals work, performance art, filmmaking and spoken word—Deal critically examines issues and tells stories of decolonization and appropriation that affect Indian country. Deal’s activism exists in his art, as well as his participation in political movements. He has been heavily involved with the media activist movement #changethename, posting a video to Vimeo inviting Indigenous people’s commentary on the sports mascots issue in response to mainstream media’s attempted erasure of Indigenous voices. (from Atlantic Center for the Arts) 

Wendy Red Starr (Apsáalooke) 

  • Artist Wendy Red Star works across disciplines to explore the intersections of Native American ideologies and colonialist structures, both historically and in contemporary society. Raised on the Apsáalooke (Crow) reservation in Montana, Red Star’s work is informed both by her cultural heritage and her engagement with many forms of creative expression, including photography, sculpture, video, fiber arts, and performance. An avid researcher of archives and historical narratives, Red Star seeks to incorporate and recast her research, offering new and unexpected perspectives in work that is at once inquisitive, witty and unsettling. Intergenerational collaborative work is integral to her practice, along with creating a forum for the expression of Native women’s voices in contemporary art. 

Elisa Harkins (Cherokee, Muscogee) 

  • Elisa Harkins is a Native American (Cherokee/Muscogee) artist and composer originally hailing from Miami, Oklahoma. Her work is concerned with translation, language preservation, and Indigenous musicology. Harkins uses the Muscogee and Cherokee languages, electronic music, sculpture, and the body as her tools. She has exhibited her work at The Broad Museum, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, documenta 14, The Hammer Museum, MCA Chicago, MOCA North Miami, and Vancouver Art Gallery.  

Chris Pappan (Osage, Kaw, Cheyenne River Lakota Sioux) 

  • A Chicago based artist of Kaw, Osage, Cheyenne River Sioux heritage, he is a self described Native American Lowbrow artist. Currently his artwork is based on American Indian ledger drawings of the mid to late 19th Century while giving them a 21st Century twist. His work is featured at many public and private collections around the world, including the Field Museum in Chicago, IL.  

Will Wilson (Dine´) 

  • Will Wilson’s body of photographic work stimulates a critical dialogue and reflection around the historical and contemporary “photographic exchange” as it pertains to Native Americans.  His aim is to convene with and invite indigenous artists, arts professionals, and tribal governance to engage in the performative ritual that is the studio portrait.  This experience is intensified and refined by the use of large format (8x10) wet plate collodion studio photography. This beautifully alchemic photographic process dramatically contributed to the collective understanding of Native American people and, in so doing, an American identity. 
More Artists

Nov 16 - Land Acknowledgement Training

Have questions about offering a land acknowledgements? Want support crafting a land acknowledgement? Join Aaron Golding (Multicultural Student Affairs) Jasmine Gurneau (Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion) for a workshop on crafting and offering a land acknowledgement. 


Nov 17 - Black Natives are Native: A Conversation with Amber Starks (Melanin Mvskoke) 

Join Multicultural Student Affairs as we engage in a conversation uplifting the stories of AfroIndigenous folks and the reconnecting of two cultures-Black and Native. We are so excited to be joined in this conversation by Amber Starks, better known as @melaninmvskoke on Instagram and Twitter, who uses her platform to affirm Black Indamber-starks-melanin-mvskoke-headshot2.jpgigeneity.

Amber Starks (aka Melanin Mvskoke) is an Afro Indigenous (African-American and Native American) activist/organizer, cultural critic/commentator, student of decolonial theory, and budding abolitionist. She is an enrolled member of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation and is also of Shawnee, Yuchi, Quapaw, and Cherokee descent.
Her passion is the intersection of Black and Native American identity. Her activism seeks to normalize, affirm, and uplift the multidimensional identity in both the Black and Native communities through discourse and advocacy around anti-Blackness, abolishing blood quantum, Black liberation, and Indigenous sovereignty.

Nov 18 - Queer Leadership Coffee Hour: Chicago Two-Spirit Society

Join MSA and the Chicago Two-Spirit Society for a continuation of the Queer Leadership Coffee Hour. We will get to chance for conversation exploring the ways being two spirit informs ones leadership and how ones concepts of leadership impact their two spirit roles. During this coffee hour we welcome Reginald Sawyer, leader of Chicago's Two Spirit Society. Please RSVP ahead of time!

Nov 19 - Sand Creek Massacre Commemoration

  • Audience: All are Welcome

In the spirit of healing, the Native American and Indigenous Student Alliance (NAISA), Multicultural Students Affairs (MSA), and Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion (OIDI) invites our community to reflect on Northwestern's role in supporting the healing efforts of Cheyenne and Arapaho communities. Join us to learn about the massacre and Northwestern’s place in this history.

In developing its recommendations, the Task Force focused on the following six areas: alumni outreach, academic and research opportunities, oncampus support services, pipeline efforts, communications, and historical relationships. One important recommended area of improvement was developing working relationships with Native American Nations, institutions, and communities, particularly those in Chicago, around the Great Lakes, and those directly affected by the Sand Creek Massacre. In 2016, the Native American and Indigenous Peoples Steering Group (NAIPSG) formed to carry on these efforts. In 2014, the first Sand Creek Massacre Commemoration was held at Northwestern University. 

More Information: 


Nov 20 - Giving Thanks: Holding Space for Indigenous History & Sovereignty

This partnership between Multicultural Student Affairs (MSA) and Social Justice Education's Peer Inclusion Educators offers a space of dialogue, learning, and skill-building. During this session, participants will learn more about historical calls for sovereignty and the origin of the Day of Mourning, reflect on their own relationship to land and place, and learn skills to address the oppression of Native and Indigenous Peoples with those close to them.

Nov 21 - American Indian Center of Chicago's 67th Annual Powwow

The American Indian Center is excited to announce our Annual Powwow will be moving to an online platform. While we are not able to gather in person, we still believe this is an opportunity to celebrate the Chicago Native community. We will be hosting a virtual competition, as well as premiering a short film that will highlight Chicago Powwow. More information will be posted on the American Indian Center and Chicago Annual Powwow Facebook pages. 


Nov 22 - Music


Through music, Native Americans celebrate life, tribal identity, and the survival of tribal culture. The definition, creation, performance, style, and purpose vary according to time and history, location, cultural values and tradition.  This content will briefly explore Native American music and music by Native Americans Artists. 

Native American music 

Native American music consists primarily of songs, dances and musical instruments. While Native Americans use instruments in most of their music, they rarely play instrumental pieces, as singing is considered the most important part of the music, along with drumming.  

For centuries the heartbeat of the Native American culture has resonated through the beat of the Drum. Though various Native American tribes have different traditions regarding the Drum, in all of them it remains one of the most important and highly regarded instruments of the tribe. Some Drums are constructed of a wooden frame, or a carved and hollowed-out log, with deer, elk, horse or buffalo hides stretched taut across the opening by sinew thongs. 

Rusty Cozad, a Kiowa veteran of the Native American Drum, explains how singing with the Drum is about more than just the music it produces, how it is an honor to sit down and sing with the Drum, and what it means to those hearing the beat it produces, in this video 

For some tribes, songs may play a vital role in ceremonies, with stories being retold and kept alive. These historical narratives vary widely from tribe to tribe and are an integral part of tribal identity. In the curriculum guide prepared by Minnesota’s Department of Indian Education, the importance of and meaning of singing particular songs is explained that songs are sung for specific purposes.

Music by Native American Artists 

Check out the nominee and award list here from the Indigenous Music Awards (IMA), which celebrates Indigenous music from across the world. This list includes everything from blues to hand drum, so relax, turn up your speakers, and listen to some incredibly unique musical artwork!

Nov 23 - Gather: Virtual Film Screening

Celebrate Native American Heritage Month at Northwestern with a screening of Gather, a documentary focused on food sovereignty in Indigenous communities.

Gather is an intimate portrait of the growing movement amongst Native Americans to reclaim their spiritual, political and cultural identities through food sovereignty, while battling the trauma of centuries of genocide.

Gather follows Nephi Craig, a chef from the White Mountain Apache Nation (Arizona), opening an Indigenous café as a nutritional recovery clinic; Elsie Dubray, a young scientist from the Cheyenne River Sioux Nation (South Dakota), conducting landmark studies on bison; and the Ancestral Guard, a group of environmental activists from the Yurok Nation (Northern California), trying to save the Klamath river.

Nov 24 - Stories for the 7th Generation: An Open Mic Event

Join the Colloquium for Indigenous and Native American Studies (CINAS) for an evening of stories and storytelling. There will be Door Prizes! (Registration Required)

Calendar invite & Zoom link will be sent after registration.

Nov 25 - MMIWG2S Awareness


Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls epidemic (MMIWG) is an issue currently affecting Indigenous people in Canada and the United States. The National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls was established in September 2016 in Canada. The final report was released on June 3, 2019. 

Here in the United States, the Urban Indian Health Institute (UIHI), a tribal epidemiology center, studied the number and dynamics of cases of missing and murdered American Indian and Alaska Native women and girls in cities across the United States.  This study sought to assess why obtaining data on this violence is so difficult, how law enforcement agencies are tracking and responding to these cases, and how media is reporting on them. The study’s intention was to provide a comprehensive snapshot of the MMIWG crisis in urban American Indian and Alaska Native communities and the institutional practices that allow them to disappear not once, but three times—in life, in the media, and in the data.  In 2019, the UIHI released a report MMIWG: We Demand More. It calls for government agencies to do better for missing and murdered indigenous women and girls. View the toolkit here. 

The United States Congress declared May 5, as “National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Native Women and Girls.” The resolution was sponsored by Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) The National Day of MMIWG awareness is designated on Hanna Harris’ birthday, a Northern Cheyenne member who was murdered in July 2013.  


The abbreviations stand for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women; Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls; and Missing and Murdered Women, Girls and 2-Spirit People, respectively. These hashtags are one of the many ways in which Indigenous peoples have been raising awareness about the epidemic of extreme violence against their women and girls. 

For additional information: 

Nov 26 - Thanksgiving


Thanksgiving can be a complicated time for Native Americans in this country. Celebrating with loved ones and offering thanks to the land, water, animals, and people that sustain our lives and home is a core value of many Native communities. However, Thanksgiving can place Native Americans in the past while not paying much consideration for contemporary Indigenous Peoples. School reenactments, arts and crafts projects, and false narratives can make this time triggering for Native Peoples.

 “Most texts and supplementary materials portray Native Americans at the gathering as supporting players. They are depicted as nameless, faceless, generic “Indians” who merely shared a meal with the intrepid Pilgrims. The real story is much deeper, richer, and more nuanced. The Indians in attendance, the Wampanoag, played a lead role in this historic encounter, and they had been essential to the survival of the colonists during the newcomers’ first year. The Wampanoag were a people with a sophisticated society who had occupied the region for thousands of years. They had their own government, their own religious and philosophical beliefs, their own knowledge system, and their own culture. They were also a people for whom giving thanks was a part of daily life.”[1]

 This year, in addition to giving thanks, spending time with family, eating turkey, and watching football, consider your relationships with the land, water animals, community, and your relationships with the people that have been here since time immemorial.

Haudenosaunee Thanksgiving Address

For many years, the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois Confederacy) have been offering thanks to all of the more-than-human relatives that support our world. This address is offered before large events and social gatherings and is a way to remind us that we are but one of many on this planet. Thanks are given to the waters, the land, the plants, medicines, berries, strawberries, animals, the earth, thunders, four winds, and the Creator. This practice helps to remind the Haudenosaunee that our lives are entangled with every life on this world and that we need to be thankful and nurture those relationships.

National Day of Mourning

In, 1970 Wamasutta, also known as Frank James, was asked to deliver a speech to the descendants of Pilgrims during their annual Thanksgiving celebration. Wamasutta accepted and wrote a speech on the early encounters between Pilgrims and Wampanoag and the historical and continued oppression that resulted from those encounters. When they asked to see a draft of the speech prior to Wamasutta delivering it, the descendants were shocked. They expected as speech that celebrated and furthered the dominant narrative around Thanksgiving.

This was not the speech they were expecting to hear and they asked him to rewrite it. When Wamasutta refused, they rescinded their offer to have him speak. This resulted in Wamasutta declaring a National Day of Mourning and organizing a protest. The National Day of Mourning continues to take place on the 4th Thursday of November.

Links to Resources


[1] American Indian Perspectives on Thanksgiving, National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution


Nov 27 - Postcard to the 7th Generation

As stated in the Haudenosaunee's Great Law of Peace, the Seventh Generation Principle asks us to consider in our every deliberation, the impact of our decisions on the next seven generations. The Great Law of Peace is the foundation of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, the oldest participatory democracy on Earth. This way of thinking encourages decision-making that looks beyond short-term benefits in favor of decisions that will have a positive impact on the faces that have yet to come. It asks us to take into consideration the land, water, plants, animals, and people before we make major decisions.
In honor Native American Heritage Month, MSA is asking folks to consider the impact they can have on future generations. What commitment can you make to the descendants of this generation to ensure that you leave the world in better shape than you inherited it? Click the links for Instagram and/or Facebook on your smartphone and use the 7th Gen Promise effect to record and share your promise to the 7th Generation. Don't forget to tag @msaatnu so that we can share your promise!
More Resources

Nov 28 - Online Shops


Cherokee entrepreneur, Gary Davies, describes entrepreneurship as “one of the most traditional activities in [the Native American] community -- trading and working together through commerce.” Tribal nations and individuals have engaged in economic development for centuries. Still today, tribal nations and individuals are continuing these practices “to sustain and create engagement between not just their own individual communities but also abroad”. Despite misconceptions, contemporary tribal businesses do not only include casinos. There are countless of tribal-owned companies and organizations in areas such as hospitality, tourism, retail, energy, real estate, and transportation, just to name a few. A number of these companies have online shops where owners can reach a wider audience and tap into the trillion-dollar e-commerce market, boosting economic development within Indigenous communities.  

Quick Fact 

In order to protect both Native American artists as well as buyers of Native American art, Congress created a truth-in-advertising law, the Indian Arts and Crafts Act of 1990, to prevent any art or craft to be marketed in a way that “falsely suggests it is Indian produced, an Indian product, or the product of a particular Indian or Indian tribe or Indian arts and crafts organization, resident within the United States”. Read “Who you’re insulting when you buy Native-American-inspired things" by Connie Wang.  The markets listed below are all Native American owned enterprises.  

Food & Food Sovereignty 
  • Red Lake Nation Foods (Walleye/Wild Rice) a Native American owned company, dedicated to producing unique specialty products. They are the ONLY American Indian tribe in the U.S. that grows & harvests their own wild rice (MN Cultivated) on local lands.  
  • Bedré Chocolates, owned by the Chickasaw Nation in Oklahoma, is the only Native American tribe to create its own brand of fine chocolate 
  • Beyond Buckskin is a website and business dedicated to promoting and selling Native American made fashion, headed by Dr. Jessica Metcalfe (Turtle Mountain Chippewa). 
  • B.YELLOWTAIL- is a Native American owned fashion & accessories brand that specializes in storytelling through wearable art. Founded by Bethany Yellowtail (Crow (Apsaalooke) & Northern Cheyenne (Tsetsehestahese & So’taeo’o) Nations).  
Wool Blankets 


Dream Warriors, Indigenous Management Company made up of a collective of Indigenous artists who believe in pursuing passions, dreams, and gifts to better loved ones and communities while also uplifting others 

Buy Native: Support Local  

Check out Beyond Buckskin’s list of Native-owned artists. Areas include:  

  • Fashion, jewelry and accessories 
  • Décor and art 
  • Beauty, skin care and health 
  • Food 
  • Music 
  • Books 
Finally, if you are a Native American entrepreneur, check out the Native American Chamber of Commerce of Illinois 

Nov 29 - Sand Creek Massacre

On November 29th, 1864, while John Evans was governor of Colorado and territorial superintendent of Indian Affairs, a Cheyenne and Arapaho village along Sand Creek in the Colorado Territory was attacked by United States soldiers. Around 200 Cheyenne and Arapaho people were killed, most of them women, children and elders.

The Sand Creek Massacre remains one of the worst atrocities committed by US soldiers in history and remains in the recent memory of Cheyenne and Arapaho people. As an institution founded by John Evans, it is within Northwestern University's obligation to assist the healing from these events.  Numerous events are held each year to learn about and learn from the Sand Creek Massacre, including a commemoration of the event held this year on November 19th.

Learn more about the tragedy of the Sand Creek Massacre and read first-hand accounts from U.S. soldiers, which helped lead to the establishment of the Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site.

Nov 30 - Beyond Native American Heritage Month

In 1990, November was officially designated as “National American Indian Heritage Month” through a joint resolution approved by President George H. W. Bush. According to the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI), Native American Heritage Month is “an opportune time to educate the general public about tribes, to raise a general awareness about the unique challenges Native people have faced both historically and in the present, and the ways in which tribal citizens have worked to conquer these challenges.” 

Northwestern’s Multicultural Student Affairs began celebrating Native American Heritage Month in 2015 through a variety of events, including guest speakers, panel discussions, films, social gatherings, theatrical performances and literary forums, just to name a few. For the second year, teamed with departments and units across the university, Northwestern celebrated “30 Days of Indigenous” with a month-long series of programming, educational offerings and invitations to deepen engagement and learning. The daily opportunities honored Indigenous history and past, celebrated their present and future, engaged the diversity and complexity of lived experiences within communities, and aimed to raise awareness and visibility for Native American and Indigenous communities across campus. While the University remains remote, this celebration offers an opportunity to continue to deepen learning and community engagement with Indigenous Peoples.

Build Relations Beyond November