Native and Indigenous Heritage Month

In recognition of Native and Indigenous Heritage Month (NIHM), the Office of Multicultural Affairs has organized a multicampus virtual celebration under this year’s theme, “Unlearning the Narrative: Discovering Native & Indigenous Truths.” 

We invite you to join in St. John’s University’s community celebration of NIHM, which will be held virtually this year. Native and Indigenous Heritage Month (also known as National Native American Heritage Month) is nationally celebrated annually in November.  

NIHM pays tribute to and honors the rich and diverse cultures, legacy, traditions, histories, and contributions made by Native American and Indigenous individuals and communities. 

In order to obtain a virtual event invitation link to any of these events, you must register using the registration link for each event. This will provide a confirmation email, including virtual log-in information. 

Featured Events

Red Hawk Native American Arts Council at Staten Island Campus

 

NIHM Kickoff: Red Hawk Native American Arts Council

Date: Thursday, November 5
Time: Common Hour (1:50–3:15 p.m. EST)
Location: Virtual | Registration Required | Register here for NIHM Kickoff

Join us as we celebrate the start of NIHM with our favorite featured guest performers and educators from the Redhawk Native American Arts Council. The event includes traditional performances and education about Native and Indigenous people.  

The council is a not-for-profit organization founded and maintained by Native American artists and educators residing in the New York City area. Since 1994, the council has been dedicated to educating the general public about Native American heritage through song, dance, theater, works of art, and other cultural forms of expression. The council represents artists from North, South, and Central America; the Caribbean; and Polynesian Indigenous cultures.  

NIHM Performance and Storytelling with Sondra Segundo and Remy Martin

Date: Monday, November 9
Time: Common Hour (1:50–3:15 p.m. EST)
Location: Virtual | Registration Required | Register here for NIHM Performance and Storytelling

Sondra Segundo holding an award
Photo credit: Mel Ponder photography

Sondra Segundo is a published author, artist, and singer of the Haida language. She is an educator and has worked in schools and programs throughout the Northwest, teaching art and sharing her stories and songs.  

Everything Sondra does tells the story of her beloved people. Her songs, art, children’s books, traditional dance, cultural teachings, language preservation work, and community activism are all intertwined by her passion of reclaiming her Haida culture.  

Sondra grew up singing both traditional Haida songs with her tribal elders and gospel music in a South Seattle choir. She brings both worlds together while singing with the tribal-funk band, Khu.éex’, as lead female vocals. She also released her first album, Díi Gudangáay uu Síigaay—I Can Feel the Ocean in 2018 and her second album, Sáandlaanaay—The First Light, in 2020. Both albums feature songs sung in her endangered Alaskan Haida language.  

As a longtime drum and dance leader for the Haida Heritage Dance Group, she raised funds for and founded the Haida Roots Language and Youth Arts program for her community. This grassroots, non-profit organization is creating space for Seattle-based Haida to practice their traditional art forms and language through structured programs and online classes taught by local elders, artists, and teachers. 

Remy Martin headshot against NYC skyline

Remy A. Martin ’16P, ’18GEd is a proud African American and Shinnecock Native American male whose pronouns are he/him/his. He is a Graduate Assistant for the Performing Arts Department within the Division of Student Affairs at St. John's University. He received his B.S. in Toxicology, M.S. in Adolescent Education (Grades 7–12) specializing in Biology, and is currently enrolled in a Ph.D. program in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction within The School of Education

His research interests are in education, musical arts, equity and access, and specifically, the ways in which each can potentially be utilized for the advancement of students of color in science. In addition to his extensive academic career, he also has had many successes in the performing arts world domestically and internationally. Mr. Martin has been awarded opportunities to perform in areas across the United States, the White House, Spain, Italy, and more. He is also one of the lead singers in a premiere dance band, CityScape & The Park Avenue Horns, based in Montclair, NJ. Mr. Martin is proud of his diverse background and experiences and continually applies them in all of his endeavors both academic and extracurricular.     

Transforming Education about Native Americans: National Museum of the American Indian (Smithsonian) Presentation with Edwin Schupman (Muscogee)

Date: Tuesday, November 17
Time: 5 p.m. EST
Virtual event: Virtual | Registration Required | Register here for presentation

Edwin Schupman (Muscogee), Manager of the National Museum of the American Indian’s national education initiative, Native Knowledge 360° (NK360°), discusses the long tradition of problematic narratives about Native Americans and show how those narratives affect American society and K–12 education. The webinar concludes with an introduction to the NK360° initiative, including the museum’s NK360° Framework for Essential Understandings about American Indians (PDF), a set of key concepts about the rich and diverse cultures, histories, and contemporary lives of Native Peoples.

Edwin Schupman (Muscogee) standing at a podium

Edwin Schupman, a citizen of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation of Okmulgee, OK, is the manager of NK360° at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian. NK360° is a national initiative aimed at improving education about Native Americans through new classroom resources, teacher professional development programs, and a growing partnership network with Native communities, teachers, state education agencies, and other organizations. 

He began his career in the field of American Indian education in 1988, working for ORBIS Associates, an American Indian education firm, creating culture and standards-based lessons on Native American topics, training teachers nationwide, and evaluating educational projects. 

At the US Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Indian Education, Mr. Schupman cowrote a culture-based health and wellness curriculum and developed a national teacher training program. In 2004, he joined the education staff at the National Museum of the American Indian.(Note: The New York City museum location is temporarily closed due to the pandemic. Please visit their website for more information and updates on reopening plans.)