By TENA L. COOK, MARKETING COORDINATOR
Chadron State College
CHADRON – Several Chadron State College committees have come together to host a Thanksgiving Tribute to Indigenous Peoples Monday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Student Center.
CSC President Ron K. Patterson’s visit to three Pine Ridge Reservation schools in September with LuAnn Werdel, Academic Adviser, and Alex Helmbrecht, Director of College Relations, prompted the CSC event during Native American Month.
Werdel, chair of the committee organizing the event, said Patterson was in awe of the beauty of the landscape and the wonderful administrators, counselors, staff, and students he met in South Dakota.
“Chadron State College joins together to celebrate, with gratitude, a Thanksgiving Tribute to Indigenous Peoples. They have endured and thrived generation after generation. I am resolved to see that we work with our Native American partners toward providing access to higher education. This is the first step towards realizing that vision,” Patterson said.
Traditional foods served by the cafeteria will include stew, fry bread, and wojapi (pudding). CSC students with meal plans are invited and the public is invited to purchase a meal.
Among the cultural aspects of the program will be hoop dancer Tara Kingi of Rapid City, South Dakota. Student dancers from Lakota Tech High School in Pine Ridge will perform in the Dining Hall.
Art by the students will be displayed in the Student Center Ballroom along with educational posters and articles about a variety of topics including myths about Thanksgiving, food sovereignty, and the three sisters of beans, corn, and squash.
Sicangu Lakota artist, Evans Flammond Sr., known for his ledger art, hide paintings, and ceremonial and reproduction pieces, will be in the Ballroom demonstrating his work and will be available for discussions with students, faculty, and staff.
Other tables in the Ballroom will feature CSC students working on native art, English students of Dr. Matt Evertson’s who are reading Braiding Sweetgrass, and members of the Indigenous Recognition and Reconciliation Committee (IRRC) who will be available to discuss a land acknowledgment statement that is being developed.
Campus entities supporting the event include the administration, the START Office, Admissions, the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee, the IRRC, the Mari Sandoz Heritage Society, the Teaching, Learning and Professional Education Center, and Conferencing.