Two major events have been planned on campus in celebration of Indigenous Peoples’ Day, officially marked on Monday, Oct. 8.
“Indigenous Peoples’ Day (IPD) is a celebration of Native peoples’ resistance and survival amidst centuries of settler colonialism. IPD also serves as a time for the Native community to showcase our vibrant cultures and rich histories,” says Alanna Pyke, the president of the Association of Native Americans at Yale, who is Kanien’kéha (Mohawk).
“This year, we, the Association of Native Americans at Yale (ANAAY), are happy to host a powwow in honor of Indigenous Peoples’ Day. We hope that the powwow will be an opportunity for the Yale community to learn more about Native cultures and to further promote the University’s goals in diversity, inclusivity, and more broadly, to foster a welcoming environment to students from all backgrounds.”
The powwow — featuring dancing, singing, and socializing — will take place on Sunday, Oct. 7, at noon at Coxe Cage, 257 Derby Ave. on what is the traditional homeland of the Quinnipiac people. The powwow coincides with ANAAY’s 25th anniversary. In the fall of 2017, ANAAY revived the annual Yale powwow after a 10-year hiatus.
The event will be emceed by Chris Newell (Passamaquoddy), manager of museum education at the Pequot Museum in Mashantucket, Connecticut and co-founder and director of education for the Akomawt Educational Initiative. The arena director for the event is Urie Ridgeway, a citizen and former councilperson of the Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape Tribal Nation from Bridgeton, New Jersey. Known throughout the powwow trail as the “Tasmanian Devil” for his fancy dance style, Ridgeway is also a member of the drum group Red Blanket Singers. Dinée Dorame ’15, a citizen of the Navajo Nation who is a fancy shawl and jingle dress dancer, will be the head woman dancer. Dorame is currently the associate director of College Horizons, a national pre-college program for Native high school students based in New Mexico. She formerly served as assistant director at Yale Undergraduate Admissions. E.J. Plainbull Jr. (Mashantucket Pequot) will be the head man dancer.
Energy development and indigenous nations
At a college tea on Monday, Oct. 8, Native scholar Andrew Curley will discuss the issue of energy and development on indigenous nations and their lands in the United States and Canada. His talk will take place at 4:30 p.m. in the Timothy Dwight Head of College House, 63 Wall St. This event is co-sponsored by ANAAY.
Curley is an assistant professor in the Department of Geography at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. He is a Diné who has done extensive research on coal mining in the Navajo Nation. His current work focuses on indigenous geography, resource conflicts, energy water rights, land, tribal sovereignty, and Navajo (Diné) studies.
Following the tea, at 6 p.m., ANAAY will host an intercultural dinner/reception in the lecture hall of Rosenfeld Hall, 109 Grove. St. at the corner of Grove and Temple streets. The hall is entered from Temple St.
Both the powwow and the talk are free and open to the public. The dinner is open to members of the Yale community only at no cost.