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FNECC kicks off Native American Heritage Month




On Thursday, IU First Nations Educational and Cultural Center and the City of Bloomington had an open reception in Showers City Hall Atrium to kick of this year’s National American Indian Heritage Month.

The reception’s crowd represented various city and campus organizations, including IU culture centers.

Brian Gilley, associate professor of anthropology and director of the center, said although the Heritage Month is a national celebration of the tradition and history of Native American people, it is important for the center and the city to make it a local celebration.

“We are part of this Bloomington community, though a lot of people don’t realize that,” Gilley said. “This year, we are trying to reach out to more people, and hopefully we can see more engagement in our activities.”

During the heritage month, the center will have various events such as basket weaving, beading workshops and movie nights.

Laura Reagan, a senior and historian for Native American Community Center of Bloomington — a non-profit organization that promotes American Indian culture — said she hopes the celebration of the Heritage Month can help promote education on Native American Indiana heritage.

“Bloomington is a very diverse city,” Reagan said. “Every year, I have been speaking at my classes and in Bloomington about the Heritage Month. I hope people realize that Native Americans are part of our diversity and remember the struggles they faced in the history of our country and in Indiana.”

— Kevin Wang

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