Inclusion Newsletter
November 2018
Hello Everyone! My name is Saya Kakim. I am an international graduate student working for the Department of Housing and Dining Services' Departmental Initiatives Team. This newsletter is my effort to share diversity initiatives, events, and issues happening across campus and around the country/world.

One of the significant events that took place in the United States in November was the midterm election. Deb Haaland, a Laguna Pueblo from New Mexico, and Sharice Davids, a member of the Ho-Chunk Nation from Kansas, are heading to Congress. Two Native American women have been elected for the first time in U.S. history.

Understanding that traditional knowledge hasn't been adequately appreciated over a long time, I think it’s a great celebration for Indigenous people. Over the past two months, I had a chance to learn about incredible outspoken Lakota leaders, Madonna Thunder Hawk, and her daughter Marcy Gilbert thanks to “ Warrior Women ” documentary, which I highly recommend watching.

Another great story — that of Elouise Cobell (Elouise Pepion; Yellow Bird Woman) — is about pursuing justice for more than half a million Native American account holders whose funds were held by the U.S. government in trust for a century. You can find it in a documentary called “ 100 Years: One Woman’s Fight for Justice .”

My challenge to students is to think about what kind of biases you hold that prevent you from being open to difficult conversations. What can you personally do to overcome them? Why does education matter? Feel free to share your comments on social media or by emailing me at
November’s diversity newsletter is devoted to National American Indian Heritage Month . Traditionally, November is a time when many American Indians hold fall harvest and world-renewal ceremonies, powwows, dances and various feasts. The holiday recognizes hundreds of different tribes and approximately 250 languages, and celebrates the history, tradition and values of American Indians. National American Indian Heritage Month serves as a reminder of the positive effect native peoples have had on the cultural development and growth of the United States, as well as the struggles and challenges they have faced.
Sarah Brown-Miller, student in human development and family sciences and treasurer of the Native American Student Association
Awake: A Dream from Standing Rock
"I highly praise the research done with Reclaiming Native Truth as their goal is to dispel common misconceptions on what it means to be Native. It not only allows indigenous people to reclaim our own identity, but it also allows us to indigenize the conversation and educate those who wish to listen.
The documentary AWAKE: A Dream from Standing Rock . As a member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, it's incredibly powerful to see native representation on a major streaming service, such as Netflix. 

There are some music artists that are a lot of fun that bring light to Native issues: Tribe Called Red, Taboo, Frank Waln, Tanya Tagaq and Supaman."
Randy Carter, student in sociology and president of the American Ethnic Studies Student Association
Native American Girls Describe the REAL History Behind Thanksgiving
"I chose this video because it describes an alternative narrative of what our American history is. A nation so strong paid its price in the blood and destruction of others to satisfy itself.

What we really need is not more hatred but we need to find ways to join hearts and allow people the chance to own the truth, and to seek forgiveness not only by apologizing for centuries of sorrow, but for a continuation of people capitalizing off of that sorrow from then all the way until today.

We should sit down and figure out how we can make things right. Let’s not be too angry; but let us use intelligence and live in love."
Triston Herbst, junior in anthropology and president of the Native American Student Association
"I would recommend the movie Warrior Women , we showed it Indigenous People's Day a few weeks ago and I think many people should watch it to gain a better understanding of how much of native peoples existence is rooted in constant struggle and fighting for our rights.
Breakdances With Wolves : Indigenous pirate radio is a great podcast that talks about many different topics in Indian country. Gyasi and his fellow hosts talk about politics, pop culture and many things through the lens of our people. 
Additionally, PBS is currently airing a four part series called ‘Native America’ that our group is watching. The first episode aired on the Oct. 23 and they will air every Tuesday following Nov. 1."

If you are interested in viewing the series, you can reach Triston at .
LEARN: How To Overcome Our Biases? Walk Boldly Toward Them
Learn how to overcome our biases by acknowledging them from Vernā Myers, a diversity consultant and self-described “recovering lawyer” with a degree from Harvard Law.
EXPLORE: Traditional Knowledge and the Public Domain
Explore the importance of recognition of proper storage of traditional knowledge that can foster innovation, indigenous creativity and social justice long term. In this video,  Centre for International Governance Innovation Senior Fellow Ruth Okediji talks about inherent tension between traditional knowledge and the public domain. 
WATCH: The Standing Rock Resistance and Our Fight for Indigenous Rights
Watch this TEDtalk where tribal attorney and Couchiching First Nation citizen, Tara Houska, shares the history of attempts by government and industry to eradicate the legitimacy of indigenous peoples' land and culture. Houska says "Stand with us — empathize, learn, grow, change the conversation."
LISTEN: Still Here Podcast — Deep Freeze at Standing Rock
Listen to the episode of Still Here in which ICMN Journalist Jenni Monet (Laguna Pueblo) shares perspectives from water protectors and tribal leaders during the battle over the Dakota Access Pipeline at Standing Rock. It’s a close look at some of the challenges, such as massive and dangerous flooding where the water protectors remain.