Bulletin News

Events Mark Native American History Month


A discussion of Indian-mascot images will launch a series of talks and films marking Native American History Month at SUNY Cortland.

Presented by the College’s Native American Studies Program, the events are free and open to the public.

On Monday, Oct. 28, an illustrated talk titled “Contesting Constructed Indian-ness” will be presented by author Michael Taylor, an assistant professor of anthropology and Native American studies at Colgate University. It will begin at 4:30 p.m. in Moffett Center, Room 2125.

His talk is based on his new book and multi-year study of the use of static, often racist and fictional, Indian-mascot images and their impacts on how modern human diversity, including that of today’s Native Americans, is understood. Taylor’s new book, Contesting Constructed Indian-ness: The Intersection of the Frontier, Masculinity, and Whiteness in Native American Mascot Representations,” will be on sale in the atrium in Moffett Center after the presentation. The talk is co-sponsored by SUNY Cortland’s Sociology/Anthropology Department and supported by a Campus and Artist Lecture Series grant.

The College’s annual Native American Film Series will begin on Tuesday, Oct. 29. The four films will be presented at 7 p.m. on Tuesdays in Sperry Center, Room 205.

“More Than Frybread” refers to frybread, a cultural icon in the Native community, and is a means of pride as to who makes the best. The emotions run high in this contest and the competitors get out of hand before the contest ends.

“Crooked Arrows” will receive a special introduction by Neal Powless from the Onondaga Nation prior to its showing on Nov. 5. Powless was involved in shooting the film and will talk about its production and take questions after the showing. The film is about the sacred game of lacrosse and the rivalry of two boys’ school teams. The Onondaga Nation was involved in making this film and served as a location in the movie.

On Nov. 12, the film “On The Ice” will be shown. “On The Ice,” filmmaker Andrew Okpeaha Maclean’s debut film, centers on the lives of two friends in a rural Inuit village after a tragic accident. After creating a web of lies they must find a way back, with the help of a father, to tell the truth about what happened. This film won Best Director in the American Indian Film Festival 2011 and Best Narrative Film at the Woodstock Film Festival 2011.

The Native American Film Series is sponsored by a grant from the Auxiliary Services Corporation.

On Monday, Nov. 18, Joe Bruchac, an Abenaki children’s book writer and professional storyteller, will present his story at 4:30 p.m. in Brockway Hall Jacobus Lounge. The Cultural and Intellectual Climate Committee is the event sponsor.

A film that follows the life of three teenagers in Navajo, N.M., during their senior year and tracks the decisions they must make to determine their futures will be shown on Thursday, Nov. 21. “Up Heartbreak Hill,” begins at 7 p.m. in Sperry Center, Room 205. It is co-sponsored with Memorial Library.

The series is sponsored by Native American Studies, Auxiliary Services Corporation, the Center for Gender and Intercultural Studies and Campus Artists and Lectures Series.

For more information, contact Native American Studies Program representative Dawn Van Hall by email or at 607-753-4890.