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November Virtual Display

This month we engage in Native American Heritage Month and Filipino History Month.

Native Land

Thanks to we are able to see that Merrimack College is located on the ancestral territory of the Wabanaki Confederacy, the Massachusett, and the Pawtucket. Learn more about these tribes here:

"Native Land Digital is a Canadian not-for-profit organization, incorporated in December 2018. Native Land Digital is Indigenous-led, with an Indigenous Executive Director and Board of Directors who oversee and direct the organization."

Their Mission

"Native Land Digital strives to create and foster conversations about the history of colonialism, Indigenous ways of knowing, and settler-Indigenous relations, through educational resources such as our map and Territory Acknowledgement Guide. We strive to go beyond old ways of talking about Indigenous people and to develop a platform where Indigenous communities can represent themselves and their histories on their own terms. In doing so, Native Land Digital creates spaces where non-Indigenous people can be invited and challenged to learn more about the lands they inhabit, the history of those lands, and how to actively be part of a better future going forward together."

This source also provides information on the following:


U.S. Poet Laureate Joy Harjo and Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland

Description To kick off Native American Heritage Month, Joy Harjo, the first Native American U.S. Poet Laureate, joins Deb Haaland, the first Native American cabinet secretary, in a conversation with Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden. For transcript and more information, visit

What is Native American Heritage Month?

"November is Native American Heritage Month, or as it is commonly refered to, American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month.

The month is a time to celebrate rich and diverse cultures, traditions, and histories and to acknowledge the important contributions of Native people. Heritage Month is also an opportune time to educate the general public about tribes, to raise a general awareness about the unique challenges Native people have faced both historically and in the present, and the ways in which tribal citizens have worked to conquer these challenges."

-The National Congress of American Indians 

How did it begin?

"What started at the turn of the century as an effort to gain a day of recognition for the significant contributions the first Americans made to the establishment and growth of the U.S., has resulted in a whole month being designated for that purpose.

One of the very proponents of an American Indian Day was Dr. Arthur C. Parker, a Seneca Indian, who was the director of the Museum of Arts and Science in Rochester, N.Y. He persuaded the Boy Scouts of America to set aside a day for the “First Americans” and for three years they adopted such a day. In 1915, the annual Congress of the American Indian Association meeting in Lawrence, Kans., formally approved a plan concerning American Indian Day. It directed its president, Rev. Sherman Coolidge, an Arapahoe, to call upon the country to observe such a day. Coolidge issued a proclamation on Sept. 28, 1915, which declared the second Saturday of each May as an American Indian Day and contained the first formal appeal for recognition of Indians as citizens.

The year before this proclamation was issued, Red Fox James, a Blackfoot Indian, rode horseback from state to state seeking approval for a day to honor Indians. On December 14, 1915, he presented the endorsements of 24 state governments at the White House. There is no record, however, of such a national day being proclaimed.

The first American Indian Day in a state was declared on the second Saturday in May 1916 by the governor of New York. Several states celebrate the fourth Friday in September. In Illinois, for example, legislators enacted such a day in 1919. Presently, several states have designated Columbus Day as Native American Day, but it continues to be a day we observe without any recognition as a national legal holiday.

In 1990 President George H. W. Bush approved a joint resolution designating November 1990 “National American Indian Heritage Month.” Similar proclamations, under variants on the name (including “Native American Heritage Month” and “National American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month”) have been issued each year since 1994."



Find more information through exhibits and collections here!


Lawrence Big Read

Lawrence Big Read is a community-wide reading program to encourage reading and participation in arts-based programming by diverse audiences. This year’s programming centers on Joy Harjo’s “An American Sunrise” and is supported by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Big Read grant program.

How You Can Participate

Residents of the city of Lawrence are invited to read and discuss the book, leading up to Joy Harjo’s reading for the city via webinar on March 10, 2022.

Workshops and discussions will take place in a number of spaces, including:

  • Lawrence Public Schools
  • Bread & Roses Heritage Festival
  • El Taller Cafe & Bookstore
  • Lawrence Public Library
  • Merrimack College

As part of the Big Read, programming will also include poetry readings, open mics, book clubs, story walks, writing workshops, speakers, paint and poetry nights, and more until May 2022. 


Courtesy of the Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health


November 2, 12pm EDT

Cooking with Indigenous Food Demo


November 8, 12pm EDT

Indigenae Screening & Discussion


November 12, 5pm EDT

Pendant Beading Workshop


November 17, 12pm EDT


Indigenous Lessons for the World: Traditional Perspectives on the COVID-19
Pandemic & Climate Chance with Oren Lyons and Thomas Banyacya Jr.


Native Cinema Showcase | November 12–18, 2021


The National Museum of the American Indian’s Native Cinema Showcase is an annual celebration of the best in Native film. This year's showcase focuses on Native people boldly asserting themselves through language, healing, building community, and a continued relationship with the land. Activism lies at the heart of all these stories. The showcase provides a unique forum for engagement with Native filmmakers from Indigenous communities throughout the Western Hemisphere and Arctic.

Be sure to view the Showcase Schedule
All films and filmmaker panels are available on demand; check individual listings for dates and times. Short-format films are grouped into programs. Closed captioning is available for some films; check individual listings.

Wednesday, November 17, 2021 | 12 PM ET

Indian Collectibles: Appropriations and Resistance in the Haudenosaunee Homelands

Location: Online on Zoom

A presentation from 2021–2022 Radcliffe fellow Scott Manning Stevens

Scott Manning Stevens is an associate professor and director of Native American and Indigenous Studies at Syracuse University. His project focuses on ways Indigenous communities can confront cultural alienation and appropriation in museums, galleries, and archives.