A celebration of Native American heritage, Wednesday

Members of the campus community are invited to a lunch and program celebrating Native American Heritage Month, on Wednesday, Nov. 4.

Leonard Crow Dog, Jr. and Victoia Angel

Artist-in-residence Leonard Crow Dog, Jr. and his wife, Cal alum Victoria Angel, with one of Crow Dog’s murals

Hosted by the campus’s Native American Staff Council (NASC), the event, from noon to 2 p.m., will feature American Indian foods (such as Indian tacos and vegetarian posole), performances, a Pendleton blanket raffle and displays highlighting Native American experiences, contributions and challenges, nationally and here on the Berkeley campus.

The venue is 230B Stephens Hall, home to the Cal NERDS science-diversity program, where seven colorful murals by artist-in-residence Leonard Crow Dog, Jr. are currently on exhibit. Speakers will include Crow Dog (who is ceremonial chief and leader of the Sicangu Lakota Oyate, in South Dakota); his wife, Cal alum Victoria Angel (Yaqui) and Cal NERDS director Diana Lizarraga. Vice Chancellor for Equity and Inclusion Na’ilah Suad Nasir will be on hand, as well.

The luncheon serves as a fundraiser for NASC, which works to address the needs and concerns of Native American and Alaskan Native staff (who represent approximately 0.7 percent of campus staff) and to promote recruitment and retention of Native students. The organization is seeking volunteers with such skills as fundraising, strategic planning and social media. Tribal membership is not required to participate as a member, just a commitment to diversity, inclusion and social justice.

American Indian Heritage Month, also known as Native American Heritage Month, was designated last November by President Obama (previously the nation marked Native American Awareness Week each year in early October.) Locally, the American Indian Film Festival is held in November; a number of NASC members serve as jurors for the festival, which will be held Nov. 6-14 in San Francisco.

For planning purposes, RSVP and advance purchase of luncheon tickets ($10) are encouraged; tickets will also be sold at the door as space allows. Contact Anthony Garcia at amgarcia@berkeley.edu or 643-5283.