Flourishing Culture: Native American Heritage Month | New
It’s Native American Heritage Month and some Native American students in the state of Oklahoma have said it can be an opportunity to educate.
According to the Sovereign Nation Center website, students from 19 tribal nations serve at the Oklahoma State Center for Sovereign Nations. The center hosted events throughout the month to honor Native American Heritage Month, including reunions, an art exhibit, games and more.
However, students at the Sovereign Nation Center are hopeful that Indigenous and non-Indigenous students will continue to spread their knowledge and education. OSU senior executive Gavin Holzworth said it was all about awareness.
“A lot of people think the natives are extinct,” Holzworth said. “Literally, as if they belonged to the past. “
Other students at the center agree with Holzworth. Ethan Winn is another Native American student and he tries to educate people through language.
“Gavin is Cherokee and I’m helping him learn Cherokee,” Winn said. “So it’s about involving others who weren’t as involved and making them feel welcome and involved in the culture as well. “
According to the Sovereign Nation Center, there are multiple ways to promote Native Americans. Spreading the language, playing stickball, doing weekly recaps, and educating about sovereignty are some of the ways he tries to share the culture with the community.
Another student at the center, Kayli Nail, said the best way for people who are not so connected to Native American culture to show respect is through education.
“I think it’s really important for natives and non-natives to understand how each tribe works or how the tribe in your area works,” Nail said.
Shawn Ray, another student at the center, encourages people to go out and learn about the culture. Ray said students don’t have to be Native Americans to appreciate this culture. Everyone is welcome and Ray said they are happy to educate people who want to learn.
“If you want to get to know us, we’re here,” Ray said. “We are at the center. We are very focused on learning about our own culture, but we also want to show it to others. “
Native American Heritage Month is all about connecting and learning about Native Americans, according to OSU’s Center for Sovereign Nations.
All OSU students who want to learn more about Native Americans can stop by the center. A student, Miko Brandon, said Native Americans explored their culture in public to show that it was still alive. Brandon wants people to come with an open heart and a willingness to learn.
“We’re still here,” Brandon said.