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Celebrating Native American Heritage Month

Throughout the month of November, Cal State San Marcos will be celebrating and recognizing the contributions of American Indians with a series of special events as part of Native American Heritage Month.

Now more commonly referred to as American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month, the month-long celebration has origins that date back more than 100 years. By 1990, President George H.W. Bush officially designated November as Native American Heritage Month.

For Cal State San Marcos, the month holds special significance.

The university has long-standing partnerships with local tribal communities and continues to lead the way in advocacy and educational equity efforts. Cal State San Marcos has the largest per capita number of American Indian students in the 23-campus CSU system, and is the only one to experience consistent grow. CSUSM was the first to establish a Native Advisory Council, the first to hire a full-time tribal liaison, the first to create a guaranteed admission pathway for American Indian students, and in 2011 opened the first-of-its-kind California Indian Culture and Sovereignty Center (CICSC), which is focused on collaborative research and cultural preservation. 

In 2019, the CICSC and American Indian Studies department, in partnership with Palomar College and the Southern California Tribal Chairman's Association, established a comprehensive Land Acknowledgement toolkit to encourage academic communities to recognize the original nations on whose land we live, learn and work.

Cal State San Marcos invites the campus community to honor Native American Heritage Month through a series of special events.

Story Time Under the Stars
Nov. 9, 5:30 p.m., Serenity Circle (outside of SBSB)

Join CSUSM American Indian studies lecturer Stan Rodriguez (Kumeyaay-Iipay) for a storytelling session. Rodriguez recently was appointed to the California Native American Heritage Commission by Gov. Gavin Newsom.

Vision Maker Media Online Screening and Virtual Panel
Nov. 11, 4 p.m.

Join Vision Maker Media for a Veterans Day virtual panel titled “Returning Home Through Togetherness: What Does It Mean to Be a Warrior?” Native veterans of warrior societies will talk about their roles and responsibilities as providers and defenders of their tribe, community and culture.

‘Reservation Dogs’ Marathon
Nov. 12, all day, SBSB 1118

From co-creators and executive producers Sterling Harjo and Taika Waititi, “Reservation Dogs” is a half-hour comedy on Hulu that follows the exploits of four Indigenous teenagers in rural Oklahoma. The show is a breakthrough in representation in that every writer, director and series regular on the show is Indigenous.

Rock Your Mocs
Nov. 14-20

Established 2011, Rock Your Mocs is a worldwide Native American and Indigenous peoples virtual unity event held annually in November. During Rock Your Mocs, people wear their moccasins, take a photo, create a video or story, add the hashtag #ROCKYOURMOCS and upload to social media to celebrate tribal individuality.

CICSC 10th Anniversary Reception
Nov. 17, 6 p.m., SBSB 1118

Join the California Indian Culture and Sovereignty Center as it celebrates the 10-year anniversary of its doors opening in 2011.

‘The Thanksgiving Play’
Nov. 17-20, 7 p.m., Arts 111

Good intentions collide with absurd assumptions in Larissa FastHorse’s wickedly funny satire, as a troupe of terminally “woke” teaching artists scrambles to create a pageant that somehow manages to celebrate both Turkey Day and Native American Heritage Month. Tickets start at $8 and can be purchased here.

Media Contact

Brian Hiro, Communications Specialist

bhiro@csusm.edu | Office: 760-750-7306