Native Americans at Dartmouth is sponsoring a series of culturally enlightening activities that include presentations, discussion groups and a dance in honor of Native American Month.
Every Friday and Sunday NAD hosts personal presentations, and this Thursday, along with several other campus groups, NAD is planning a forum to discuss the use of a Native American as a mascot.
Through hearing traditional songs and stories handed down from past generations, eating tribal food and experiencing a variety of Native American art, NAD hopes to accomplish its goal of creating "greater knowledge about diversity among the Native American community," Matthew Perez '01 said.
Few people realize how many different tribes the Native American students at Dartmouth represent, Perez said.
Through the upcoming student presentations this month, however, people who attend these events should come away with the knowledge that "all these communities are separate and unique," Perez said.
This "cultural exchange" as Christina Hoe '02 calls it will culminate at a dance on November 20th.
Those who attend will see a variety of demonstrations of Latin American and Native American dancing.
Thursday, November 19th at 7:30, the McSpadden Public Affairs Fund, NAD, Native American Studies Program, African-American Society, Hokupa'a, Shabazz Center, La Casa, and Alpha Xi Delta sorority will sponsor a presentation and panel discussion on the use of a Native American as the mascot in the Hinman Forum at the Rockefeller Center.
The presenters will include Suzan Shown Harjo, a prominent advocate for Native Americans, Bruce Duthu '80, a law professor at University of Vermont Law School, and Candace Mason '01.
Although the College never officially adopted the depiction of the fictional Indian as the mascot, some find it offensive.
According to Hoe, this gathering will "facilitate discussion between different groups" and is not a debate.
The panel will include Harjo, Duthu, a number of notable alumni, students and professors.
Designed as a question-and-answer session, the panel will discuss the mascot issue from several different points of view.
Using movie clips and slide shows, students hope the forum will increase tolerance and raise awareness on this issue.