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Native American Heritage Month 2023


Reclaim, Restore, Preserve

This year’s theme “Reclaim, Restore, Preserve”, is a response to the current climate crisis that our global community is facing. It is a charge for not only the reclamation of land, but the reclamation of indigenous ways of knowing and existing that have sustained our people and this land for millennia. It is a call for the restoration of justice for indigenous communities by addressing past and ongoing environmental injustices. It is the imperative of preservation that will safeguard our planet and culture for generations to come. 

Native American Heritage Month 2023 Implementation Committee:

Harley Locklear, Assistant Director, Center for Multicultural Affairs 

Tigerlily Kaynor T’25, Event Chair, Native American and Indigenous Student Alliance 

Amber White T’26, Event Chair, Native American and Indigenous Student Alliance 

Historically, NAHM at Duke has been led by students and student organization efforts. Campus-wide, Duke University has hosted events throughout the month to celebrate Native American communities. During the month of November, these events include a kick-off celebration, a mural painting at the East Campus tunnel, various Native speakers, ample opportunities for community gatherings, and more. Since 2022, the Center for Multicultural Affairs has made an intentional effort to centralize these efforts in order to further elevate and uplift the visibility and love the Native American community deserves. 

Calendar of Events

EventDate & TimeLocationHost(s)Link (if applicable)
Fossil Free Research Day of Action: Crystal CavalierFriday, October 27, 12:00- 2:00PMSocial Sciences 136Duke Climate Coalition
Ashley Lomboy seminar (Waccamaw Siouan STEM Studio)Saturday, October 28, 3:30 – 4:30 PMField Auditorium, Grainger HallNative American Studies Initiative (NASI)
BC Plaza TablingWednesday, November 1, 11:00AM-2:00 PMBryan Center PlazaNative American and Indigenous Student Alliance (NAISA)
Native American Heritage Month Pumpkin PaintingWednesday, November 1, 6:00-8:00 PMWekitAlpha Pi Omega Sorority Inc.
Native American Heritage Month & NASI LaunchThursday, November 2, 6:30 PM-8:30 PMWashington Duke Inn, Ambassador BallroomDuke Global, Center for Multicultural Affairs (CMA), & Native American Studies Initiative (NASI)N/A
BEE-DING NIGHTFriday, November 3, 6:00 PM - 8:00 PMWekitAlpha Pi Omega Sorority Inc.
NAHM Bridge Painting

*identified communities only
Sunday, November 5 12:00 PM-4:00 PMEast Campus BridgeNative American and Indigenous Student Alliance (NAISA)
Let's Talk About Environmental JusticeMonday, November 6, 5:30-6:30 PMGriffith Film Theater-Bryan CenterNASI, Duke Office of Undergraduate Education, NAISA,
Reservation Dogs Watch PartyTuesday, November 7, 14, 21, 28 6:00-8:30CMA WekitNative American and Indigenous Student Alliance (NAISA)
UNC Michael D. Green LectureThursday, November 9, 3:00-5:00 PMUniversity Room, Hyde Hall, 176 East Franklin Street, Chapel Hill, NC, United StatesUNC American Indian Center
Cultural Conversations: Lyle Thompson and the Medicine GameThursday, November 9, 5:00-6:00 PMThe Champions Club inside Cameron Indoor StadiumDepartment of Religious Studies, Department of Cultural Anthropology, Duke Athletics,
Native American/Indigenous Student Alliance Dinner*

*identified communities only
Friday, November 10, 6:00 PM start; 6:30pm dinner4934 Friends School Rd.Native American and Indigenous Student Alliance (NAISA)
"Braiding Sweetgrass": Native American Heritage Month Cultural Zine WorkshopWednesday, November 15, 6:00-8:00 PMCenter for Sexual and Gender Diversity (Bryan Center 100)The Center for Multicultural Affairs
NAHM 2023 Keynote Experience: KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON FILM SCREENINGSunday, November 19, 6:00-9:30 PM*

*est. film runtime
Silverspot Cinemas (Chapel Hill)

Center for Multicultural Affairs x Native American and Indigenous Student Alliance (NAISA)
Visionary Voices of Environmental Justice: Community Conversations with Dr. Darin J. Waters & Ms. Donna ChavisTuesday, November 21, 6:15-7:15 PMField Auditorium, Nicholas School of EnvironmentCEEJ MEM Concentration and co-sponsored by the Duke River Center & Duke Environmental Law & Policy Clinic
BEE-DING NIGHTMonday, November 27, 6:00-8:00 PMWekitAlpha Pi Omega Sorority Inc.
Two-Spirit: Film ScreeningWednesday, November 29, 6:00 PMCenter for Sexual and Gender Diversity (Bryan Center 100)Center for Multicultural Affairs (CMA) and Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity (CSGD)
Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women (MMIW) Dinner and Discussion with Brittany HuntThursday, November 30 6:00-7:30pmThe LandingWomen's Center x Native American and Indigenous Student Alliance (NAISA)
The First Nations Film and Video Festival presentation of Slash/BackFriday, December 1 Doors at 6:30 PM, showing at 7:00 PM.The Rubinstein Arts CenterThe First Nations Film and Video Festival

Most of the events listed will be able to be found on DukeGroups! Some of these events may also have a "Native American Heritage Month" tag on the platform. For more on Native American Heritage Month, contact

ᎤᏟᎢᎦᎢ (pronounced u-tli-i-ga-i)

Cherokee Nation Language for "More". Read more about why Cherokee and the need for language preservation, below!

Native American Heritage Month (November)
What started at the turn of the twentieth century as an effort to gain a day of recognition for the significant contributions the Native Americans made to the establishment and growth of the U.S. has resulted in a whole month being designated for that purpose. This commemorative month aims to provide a platform for native people to share their culture, traditions, music, crafts, dance, and ways and concepts of life. This gives Native people the opportunity to express to their community and state officials their concerns and solutions for building bridges of understanding and friendship in their local area. Past programs have included public lectures, film screenings, and storytelling.

Native American is the term most often used to refer to the descendants of the indigenous groups that occupy the continental United States of America and Alaska.

American Indian, Indian, NDN, Indigenous, Indigenous Americans, and First Americans are other terms that are often used, sometimes interchangeably, by both scholars and community members. It’s important to note that there is no general consensus amongst Native Americans about what term is most appropriate, so when in doubt, just ask.  

Indigenous groups in other parts of North and South America use other terms for self-identification i.e. First Nations (Canada), Alaska Native (Alaska), Taíno (Caribbean), etc.  

While Native American and the other aforementioned identifiers are used as umbrella terms, it is important to note that the peoples who these terms identify are not homogenous and practice unique cultures, speak hundreds of languages, and have varying world views. When possible, it is most appropriate to identify Native Americans with regard to their specific tribal affiliation i.e., Cherokee, Navajo, Lumbee, etc. This combats the notion that indigenous peoples are monolithic and honors the diversity within the population. 

Resources on the terms:

  • Coming Soon

Coming Soon

The organizations listed here aren't the only Native American identified/affiliated organizations! Find these organizations on Duke Groups or Instagram! Want your organization to be added to this list or need to make an edit? Please email

Thank you to our contributors who shared events, resources, and more. We look forward to the calendar release!

Cherokee translation thanks to

Duke University Native American Heritage Month logo, creative direction by Harley Locklear and Alex Espaillat, designed by Alex Espaillat

Stay tuned