Around Campus

American Indian Heritage Month gets underway

Joy Harjo, 2019-22 U.S. Poet Laureate, kicks off the events and programs with a reading and reception today.

People gathering outside the American Indian Center.
The American Indian Center held a welcoming event on August 17, 2021, at their home adjacent to the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. (Johnny Andrews/UNC-Chapel Hill)

The UNC American Indian Center is commemorating American Indian Heritage Month during November with a series of events, including a lecture, cultural activities, discussions and more, both on and off campus. All events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted.

Find visitor parking information and a campus map.

Joy Harjo reading and reception: 14th annual Michael D. Green Lecture

When: 2:30 p.m. Nov 1.

Where: Frank Porter Graham Student Union auditorium.

More about the event: An internationally renowned poet, author and performer, Harjo was appointed the 23rd United States Poet Laureate in 2019. She is the first Native American to hold the position and only the second person to serve three terms in the role. Born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Harjo is a writer of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation. She is the author of nine books of poetry, several plays and children’s books and two memoirs.

The UNC American Indian Center sponsors an annual lecture in early November in honor of Dr. Michael D. Green, professor emeritus of American Studies. Green was a distinguished historian of American Indians and a founder of the American Indian studies program in the College of Arts and Sciences’ American studies department. This lecture series recognizes his life and achievements by inviting a leading scholar in the field of American Indian studies to give a public lecture.

Carolina Indian Circle Culture Show

When: 6 p.m. Nov. 15.

Where: Student Union Great Hall.

More about the organization: Carolina Indian Circle assists Native American Indian students academically and socially by providing a positive atmosphere and a sense of community. The group educates the University community and the general public by ensuring that Native American cultural heritage is recognized and respected at UNC-Chapel Hill through appropriate curriculum, research, administrative support, cultural events and increased American Indian representation on the faculty and staff. The Carolina Indian Circle aids the University in culturally relevant activities in the recruitment, retention and support of American Indian students and fulfills its responsibility to Native American communities by providing, performing and supporting public and community service.

American Indian Heritage Celebration

When: 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Nov 19.

Where: North Carolina Museum of History, Raleigh.

More about the event: The American Indian Heritage Celebration, with support from the NC Commission of Indian Affairs, the museum’s community partner, has been the culminating event in honor of American Indian Heritage Month in North Carolina for over 25 years. The in-person festival, featuring demonstrations, presentations and performances, highlights the traditional and contemporary artistic, scientific, historic and cultural contributions of American Indians in North Carolina for over 14,000 years. The consistent theme and message of the celebration is visibility: Indigenous people are still here!

AIC celebration: heritage month/last day of classes

When: noon-4 p.m. Nov. 30.

Where: UNC American Indian Center lawn.

More about the event: Join the American Indian Center for an event capping off the heritage month and celebrating the last day of classes. Come for games, camaraderie and a catered lunch from Fuller’s, a Lumbee staple.

Find out more about the UNC American Indian Center.