GCC celebrates Native American Heritage Month throughout November


Native American arts exhibit in Student Union at the GCC.

Native American Heritage Month came to GCC in November, all month long, events were held to observe and celebrate Native American Culture.

The first event started Nov 1. There were many activities that represent native cultures. These events are open to the public. Events are free, except the food from truck vendors.

“November is celebrated as National Native American Heritage Month because, in 1990, U.S. President George H. W. Bush signed a resolution stating that November is National Native American H

Gerard Begay teaches the students how to start weaving a rug.

eritage Month. Since then, each president has signed a similar resolution proclaiming that November is Native American Heritage Month. Since its proclamation, this has been a time where schools throughout the United States have celebrated Native American Heritage,” Student Life representative Lena Ferizi said in an email.

“College is to educate our campus community as to the rich culture and customs of our Native American population,” Ferizi said.

The heritage events included five presentations with five different topics and presenters. The presenters are Dr. John Montoya, Ashley Susan, Gerad Begay, Royce Manuel and Lyle Balenquah. Each speaker presented topics such as “Sage: The Forgotten Herb, Its Medicinal Usage and Traditions, Living in Balance through Health, Education, and Pursuing your Dreams, Rug Weaving, Transformation of Agave to the KIAHA and Hopi Archeology: Migration through Science Traditions.

Gerard Begay Showed his first rug during the event to college teachers, students and visitors and gave them truth example of rug.

Gerard Begay described many things about rug weaving like the types and designs of rugs and the way each style or design represents the area.

For example Native American people, in Mexico have their own style that looks different than other Native American cultures. Begay mentioned during the presentation that using colors is important because the colors give the rug meaning and that is why there are many different rug styles.

“When you have the tools and have the rug you are never alone,” Begay said. The time that weaver person takes to have a rug done varies, he said, it depends on the size of rug. For example, the minimum rug takes about a week or so to be done.

AChem A’al’ Indigenous Traditional PimaBasket Dancers performed Nov. 9. They played traditional Native American music and wore traditional Native American attire, Ferizi said.

The dance called Achem A’al took place in Student Union. This event was an opportunity to introduce what native cultures wear, how they dance and indigenous music.

Native American food trucks were also available. The food trucks stopped by the Center Mall in GCC Wednesdays from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

The food trucks sold diffrent types of Native foods such as fry bread and more. Around the college, there were many Native students who prefer to eat some of their own food cultured.

Native American Heritage month continued through Nov. 30.

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