Waubonsee celebrates Native American Heritage Month

Waubonsee Community College will host several programs to educate and raise awareness about Native American heritage, culture, traditions and customs during Native American Heritage Month. The events will honor the generations of Native Americans who have shaped America’s legacy, by sharing their stories while examining the complicated intersection between First Nations people and colonial/settler histories.

These hybrid events are open to members of the community, and will be offered virtually and in person during November. Limited space is available for in-person events.

“Journey the Potawatomi Trail of Death: George Godfrey Lecture and Book Talk” will be on Nov. 16 at 2 p.m. The forced removal of the Potawatomi from the Great Lakes region is not a well-known story to most people. Several factors led to their removals: prevailing political attitudes, bigotry, business pressures, and weather. Sugar Grove was on the route of at least three of the removals that led west. Waubonsee Community College is named after one important Potawatomi who passed through here. Godfrey, a scholar, author and member of the Potawatomi nation, will speak about his experience as a president of the Potawatomi Trail of Death Association and the Trail of Death Caravan, as well as his historical and science fiction books. A discussion will follow the book talk.

“Historic Kachina Doll Workshop” will take place on Nov. 18 at 4 p.m. in the Aurora Downtown Campus Library. The Hopi people use kachinas to portray the spirits believed to surround them. Participants will learn about the Hopi people, read stories about kachina dolls, and make their own kachina doll using one of the provided kits. The workshop is open to all ages; parents/guardians and older siblings are welcome. Advance registration is required.

“Tribal College Partnership and Donation Drive” will be present at various locations on all four Waubonsee campus locations. In 2018, Bacone College, a tribal college, was struggling financially. The local donation drive allows individuals and groups to donate new, unused items to those who really need them. A list will be posted with the donation boxes in the month of November.

During the Native American Heritage Month celebration, Waubonsee Community College Libraries will feature displays in the Todd Library on the Sugar Grove Campus and in the Aurora Downtown Campus Library. The libraries offer the following resources to learn more about Native American heritage: eBooks; access to The National Archives and The Smithsonian, and other resources about Native American Heritage Month; Native Americans in the News from a variety of news media, and topics from the library databases.

For more details on these events and to learn more about how Waubonsee is celebrating Native American Heritage Month, visit calendar.waubonsee.edu/NAHM. Masks must be worn at all in-person events.