Texas Tech University


Indigenous Peoples Heritage Month

Indigenous Peoples Heritage month will feature four different events, with each event designed to fit within this year's theme of “visibility.” Our goal for the month is to enhance the visibility of Indigenous students' presence on campus to non-native faculty, staff, and students while engaging with them in cultural and educational activities. In order to achieve this goal and stay within the demarcation of the month's theme, we are pursuing four different events that will create a platform for the Indigenous community. As well, we have partnered with the Kwek Society, a non-profit whose purpose is to receive donations of feminine hygiene products to be delivered to young women in rural reservation communities. Listed below is a brief description of each event and its significance:


Thursday, November 7th

Story Telling with Juanita and Harry

6:00pm - 8:30pm • Croslin Room South

Juanita Pahdopony and Harry Mithlo of the Comanche Nation will lead us in a retelling of Comanche stories as well as share personal experiences as artists, performers, and educators. At the core of this event is the desire to not only enhance the visibility of the Indigenous community at Texas Tech University but specifically the citizens of Comanche Nation. By inviting storytellers whose stories originate from the land we live upon today, we hope to create a more visceral connection between non-natives and the physical environment. Simultaneously, we are seeking to communicate the significance of the land to its original inhabitants to guests unfamiliar with such cultures and histories. Storytelling with Juanita and Harry has been intentionally designed as an annual event because of the special relationship Juanita and Harry have to Texas Tech's faculty, staff, and students. Ultimately, such an event is an attempt to foster a closer connection between members of the Comanche Nation, the Raiderland Native American Student Association, and the Indigenous Peoples Coalition, and marks the beginning of Indigenous Peoples Heritage Month 2019.

Wednesday, November 13th

Native Identity Panel

4:00pm - 6:00pm • Lanier Auditorium of the TTU Law School

Panelists Alex Pearl and Dr. Vickie Sutton from the TTU Law School, Rossy Lima of the English and Spanish departments, and Tesia Zientek of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation will join us for a discussion on how each panelist approaches their indigeneity. Topics will range from indigenous femininity to environmental and Indian Law, and will encompass everything from language revitalization to the significance of sovereignty. Each speaker is specialized in their field of work and is well-positioned to provide insight into the state of Indigenous student education, the state of tribes' legal pursuits of sovereignty, and the ways in which Native identity is understood in the United States.

Tuesday, November 19th

Cooking with Rocky

5:00pm - 7:00pm • Croslin Room South

Cooking with Rocky highlights the culinary diversity of West Texas, inviting guests to experience the talents of skilled Indigenous chef Rocky Reyna. Pioneer of her own restaurant, Native Veda, Rocky has meticulously designed her menu to be a reflection of her belief in the healing power of food. For this event, guests are invited to sample items from Native Veda's menu, with Rocky explaining the inspiration behind each dish. These are not full-sized meals, rather samplings for guests to partake. In hosting this event, the Indigenous students of Texas Tech University are seeking to highlight the work of community members, while facilitating an educational/cultural experience for non-native guests. This event is open to any and all who are interested in partaking in a tasting of food samples and is entirely free to the public.

Thursday, November 22nd

Screening of "More Than A Word"

5:00pm - 8:00pm • Escondido Theater of the Student Union Building

Join the Raiderland Native American Student Association for a Screening of “More Than A Word,” a movie that discusses the complexity of Native identity through the lens of racist branding and sports logos. The movie focuses primarily on the Washington R*dskins, a brand notorious for it resistance to changing its mascot image and name. A panel will follow the movie for discussion over these topics.

Division of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion