Native American Heritage Month

We invite you to join us in celebrating Native American Heritage Month at Sonoma State University this November! The Department of Native American Studies, EOP, The HUB Cultural Center, and Native American student mentors have collaborated to present diverse and exciting virtual programming that centers the voices of Native American scholars, activists, artists, and healers. We will be learning about how Native American communities are being impacted by, and are responding to, the impacts of COVID-19 and Climate Change. We will be celebrating language, food, cultural traditions, sustainability & strength in community! We are grateful to NAHM sponsors, The Office of the President, The School of Arts & Humanities, The School of Science & Technology, and the Educational Opportunity Program. Please contact Amal Munayer, EOP/Native American Initiative Representative ( and Dr. Erica Tom, Director of Native American Studies ( for more information.

Check out the events or download the official NAHM flyer below.


Speaker Series: Climate Change, COVID, and Indigenous Resilience 

Tuesday, November 3rd | 1-3pm | Join Zoom

Presentation Title: Rising Waters and Sinking Lands: The Plight of Native American Groups in Southern Louisiana

Professor Ronadh Cox, Chief Parfait-Dardar, and future Chief Devon Parfait-Dadar will discuss impacts of land loss and climate change on state-recognised tribes living at the foot of the Mississippi River delta. Homeland and heritage are being lost; why is this happening, and what is the future of the land and its Native people?

Native American Heritage Month Opening Ceremony

Wednesday, November 4th | 12pm | Join Zoom

Join us for the Opening Ceremony of Native American Heritage Month at Sonoma State University. Speakers include Vice President Jerlena Griffin-Desta, Professor Greg Sarris Endowed Chair in Native American Studies and Creative Writing and Tribal Chairman of the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria, Dean of Arts and Humanities Hollis Robbins, Native American Initiative Representative Amal Munayer, Director of Native American Studies Erica Tom, and Native American Student Mentors Izaac Limon and Tori Millendez. 

Speaker Series: Climate Change, COVID, and Indigenous Resilience 

Thursday, November 5th | 1-3pm | Join Zoom

Presentation Title: Land, Law, History, Culture and Community in the Time of Covid-19: A Lakota Elder’s Perspective

David Swallow, Jr. Is a member of Crazy Horse’s Band of Oglala Lakota. He speaks Lakota as a first language and is a Sun Dance intercessor in Pokrcupine, South Dakota on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation where he lives.

Speaker Series: Climate Change, COVID, and Indigenous Resilience 

Tuesday, November 10th | 1-2pm | Join Zoom

Presentation Title: Ceremonial Fire, Land and Cultural Resource Restoration

The Honorable Ron W. Goode is the Tribal Chairman of the North Fork Mono Tribe. He is a Veteran of the United States Army; a Life Member of the Sierra Mono Museum and of the United States Judo Federation, with a 6th degree Black Belt in Judo. He is also a retired Community College Professor of Ethnic Studies.

MMIWG2S: Missing and Murdered Indigenous Womxn, Girls, & Two Spirit: Activism, Survivance, and Youth

Tuesday, November 10th | 5-6pm | Join Zoom 

Caitlyn Ayoka Wicks, is Cherokee, US History Ph.D. Candidate at Indiana University, studying Native American Activism in the 20th and 21st centuries with a focus on Settler Colonialism Theory and Gender Studies influences will speak on Native youth, one of the most powerful and yet most silenced groups of voices in the United States and Canada today. Voices channel our ancestors' long history of activism and survival from resisting colonization, resisting removal, AIM, the Native Youth Council, IdleNoMore, #NoDAPL, and MMIWG2S, among other movements for Indigenous rights, lives, and above all - sovereignty.

Preservation of Language Culture and Tradition

Thursday, November 12th | 12-1pm | Join Zoom

"Coyote Woman" a Ohlone & Chumash California Native will guide the audience through a conversation focusing on Native American culture, language revitalization and guide participants through relevant cultural competence strategies and the importance of cultural sensitivity.  This hour will focus on honoring our history in food, language and culture while reconnecting to indigeneity,  decolonization  and indigenization, addressing our responsibility as citizens to the earth and future  ancestors in training. Kanyon "Coyote Woman" Sayers-Roods, Canyon Mutsun Band of Costanoan Ohlone & Chumash California Native will.... will use humor, pop culture references to reexamine our history, navigating our truth and reconnecting our culture to future generations.

Minor in Native American Studies: Information Session

Tuesday, November 17th | 12pm | Join Zoom

Come meet current NAMS minors, and NAMS professors, during this meet and greet information session! Learn about how to become a NAMS minor, exciting internship opportunities, and how you can use this minor after college.

Plants, Place, and Identity: The Role of Nature in Identity & Resilience

Tuesday, November 17th | 4-5pm | Join Zoom

Briana Albini, Graduate Assistant at First Nations Educational & Cultural Center and Masters Candidate in the Masters Public Affairs/Masters of Science Environmental Science in the O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University will speak to how historical and ongoing trauma have caused loss in cultural practices and identity for many Native individuals. Plants, and the ecological landscape they reside in, are a fundamental component of tribal and cultural identity. Albini will discuss how re-learning traditional natural resource management strategies and environmental practices can connect an individual to their cultural identity. Through this journey, Native individual’s increase their entire community’s resilience to climate change and ongoing colonial traumas

Native American Progressive Student Club- Student Panel

Wednesday, November 18th | 12pm | Join Zoom

Being indigenous is a complex identity to hold in America, especially in college. In this panel, students discuss what indigeneity means to them in contemporary society. The experience of being native is so nuanced and this discussion allows for these differences and similarities to be explored. We want to go into how we honor our identities and communities in a colonial space.

Speaker Series: Climate Change, COVID, and Indigenous Resilience

Wednesday, November 18th | 4-6pm | Join Zoom

Presentation Title: Another Pandemic in Indian Country: Water & the Navajo Nation 

Dr. Andrew Curely (Diné), Professor of Geography at University of Arizona, will share his research on the relationship between water and covid-19 in the Navajo Nation, followed by a Q&A. We encourage attendees to check out Another Pandemic in Indian Country (

Navigating the Workforce: Intersectional Workforce Strategies

Thursday, November 19th | 12-1pm | Join Zoom

Please join our Sonoma State alumni panel where we will discuss modern work for strategies, professional development and how to navigate spaces being a professional in a world that is still in-education regarding Native American history. Panelists will discuss current roles and their positionality in and our community and the importance of remembering who you are, staying true to your core even when working within systems.

Native American Food Sovereignty: Decolonizing Narratives and Revitalizing Traditions

Tuesday, November 24th | 1-3pm | Join Zoom

Nicole Lim has earned advanced degrees from the University of California at Berkeley and University of San Francisco School of Law. She is Pomo and has worked for the National Indian Justice Center and the California Indian Museum and Cultural Center (CIMCC) since 1996. As Executive Director of the CIMCC, she works to develop exhibits, educational programs and curricular resources that represent Native American perspectives. Director Lim will speak to decolonizing narratives and revitalizing traditions, and food sovereignty, with a Q&A to follow.

Native American Heritage Month Closing Celebration 

Monday, November 30th | 12-1pm | Join Zoom 

Please join us at the Closing Celebration of Native American Heritage Month! Dr. Hollis Robbins, Dean of Arts & Humanities, and Dr. Wm. Gregory Sawyer, Vice President for Student Affairs, will conclude the month in community conversation centered around performing arts, music, and reflections on the month’s diverse programming. We will hear music from Twice as Good musician and instructor in Native American Studies, Paul Steward (Elem Pomo) and experience a rendition of Deer Dance/Danza Del Venado by SSU student in Theatre Arts, Tiffani Lopez.