On Oct. 12, the SUU Native American Student Association celebrated Indigenous Peoples’ Day in the Sharwan Smith Student Center Living Room with their second annual showcase from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The event hosted a variety of native dances and was filled with music and celebration throughout the two hours. Miss Native American SUU, Shantel Israel, opened the event with an explanation of the meaning of the Navajo wedding basket.
“Each layer represents a different stage of life,” Israel said. “And the white line represents the fact that no matter where you are in life, there is always a path to pureness.”
Following Israel’s presentation, Ariana Paul performed a traditional basket dance. She was followed by several other dances, songs and speakers.
“Thank you to everyone who came out today,” said Paul. “It is so encouraging to see people engaging with us and learning about our ways.”
The showcase also featured display boards about different tribes and topics, including information on the origins of the holiday, missing indigenous people, and the Paiute Indian Tribe of Cedar City.
Mahala Sutherland, SUU’s first Indigenous Homecoming Royalty, was also in attendance. She has been involved in the NASA club presidency for four years now, and is proud to represent her tribe and the club.
“This is an important day for us,” said Sutherland. “Recognize us. Learn about us. Respect us.”
The NASA website homepage reads: “We welcome and support all native tribes and welcome all SUU students to join the club.” The club meets every other Tuesday at 6 p.m. in room 101C of the student center.
For more information, follow the SUU Native American Student Association on Facebook and Instagram.
Article by: Aspen English