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American Indian Heritage Month focuses on the richness of culture


BLACKSBURG, Va., Oct. 18, 2012 – Virginia Tech’s annual American Indian Heritage Month will take place through Nov. 15. This year’s theme is “Preserving Cultural Richness.”

American Indian Heritage Month is dedicated to recognizing the intertribal cultures, the events and life ways, and the designs and achievements of American Indians and Alaska Natives.

This year’s featured event will be the Native Harvest Festival featuring the Red Crooked Sky Dance Troupe at Kentland Farm on Saturday, Oct. 27, all day. The Red Crooked Sky Dance Troupe is a collaborative mix of American Indians, each promoting positive, cultural awareness through traditional and contemporary dance. The troupe is based in southeastern Virginia and represents an array of tribes, including Cherokee, Sioux, Pamunkey, Monacan, and others. This event is free and open to the public and sponsored by Native@VT, American Indian Studies, and Multicultural Programs and Services.

On Tuesday, Oct. 23, at 7 p.m. in 117A of Surge Space Building, there will be a presentation entitled “Maya 2012: The Use and Abuse of Ancient Maya Knowledge.” This talk will focus on the astronomical and calendrical knowledge of the ancient Maya and what the Maya really knew about 2012. The event will be led by David Anderson, an instructor in the Department of Anthropological Sciences at Radford University. He will attempt to dispel many end-of-world 2012 rumors while highlighting the achievements of the ancient Maya. This event is free and open to the public and sponsored by the Virginia Tech Department of Religion and Culture, American Indian Studies, Department of Sociology, Native@VT, and Consortium for Indigenous Stewardship and Ecological Protocol.

On Tuesday, Oct. 30, at 7 p.m. in the Black Cultural Center of Squires Student Center, Nick Copeland will share his experiences working with Mayan communities and the politics of post-peace Guatemala. Copeland is an anthropologist in the Department of Sociology at Virginia Tech. This event is free and open to the public and sponsored by American Indian Studies and Multicultural Programs and Services.

Visit Multicultural Programs and Services for a full list of events and more information.

The Division of Student Affairs at Virginia Tech encompasses departments dedicated to providing a rich co-curricular experience and essential student services. Virtually every aspect of a student's life outside the classroom is represented through the division's departments.

Written by Chris Kessler.