Dallas College News Update


Contact: Debra Dennis; ddennis@dcccd.edu

For immediate release — Nov. 16, 2021

(DALLAS) — As part of Native American Heritage Month, Dallas College has announced a series of events to honor the history and heritage of Indigenous peoples who have persevered through forced and systematic assimilation.

Participants will have the opportunity to be inspired and engage in discussions about the resilience, customs and determination of Indigenous peoples, while learning the history of American tribes in North Texas and raising awareness of issues impacting diverse Native American communities.

Heritage month celebrations, in general, provide an opportunity to celebrate diverse communities across ethnic, racial and multiple identity lines and to show how different populations have overcome barriers to equity and inclusion. From storytelling to lectures, learning about Native American heritage brings an understanding of this country’s first peoples, said Larisa Olin Ortiz, associate dean of multicultural affairs at Dallas College.

“During this month, we pay tribute to the rich ancestry, traditions and contributions of American Indian Tribes, Bands and Nations and the Indigenous population,” Ortiz said. “Our program is designed to shed light on their unique experiences from both a celebratory and critical perspective.”

Dallas College events during Native American Heritage Month include:

Tai Simpson — Amplifying Indigenous Voices

Tai Simpson

Tuesday, Nov. 16, noon to 1 p.m. — Online

Be inspired, learn and laugh with Tai Simpson. Known as “The Storyteller,” she will engage and inspire. “Every day is Indigenous Peoples Day. Every month is worth dedicating to the issues affecting Indigenous communities. What’s more is that we have to put as much energy into celebrating Indigenous resilience and strength as we do into analyzing disadvantages,” Simpson has said. Simpson uses traditional and contemporary Indigenous storytelling to animate a discussion to commemorate Native American Heritage Month in all its dynamic facets. “It’s an exploration of Indigenous communities and how the old wisdom of her people and Indigenous folks across Turtle Island can guide us to a world in which we all thrive.” 

Attendees can view the Tai Simpson event online.

Native American Local Community Engagement: “A Conversation on Native American Tribes in North Texas”

Wednesday, Nov. 17, noon to 1:30 p.m.

Join us for a conversation on ways local organizations are working to raise awareness of issues impacting diverse Native American Indian communities in the metroplex. We take a step back in the history of Native American tribes in North Texas to understand why no federally recognized tribes remain in the area. We will also discuss the various initiatives led by current Indigenous and American Indian organizations to address issues impacting various communities in the North Texas region. You can join this event online on Webex or in person at:

  • Brookhaven Campus — Room S220
  • Cedar Valley Campus — Room M105
  • Eastfield Campus — Room S100
  • El Centro Campus — Student Center
  • Mountain View Campus — Treetop Lounge
  • North Lake Campus — Room H237
  • Richland Campus — Room S118

Raven Two Feathers — Conversations on Indigenous Intersectionality

Thursday, Nov. 18, noon to 1:30 p.m. — Online

Raven Two Feathers (Cherokee, Seneca, Cayuga, Comanche) (he/they) is a Two Spirit, Emmy award-winning creator based in Seattle. He is the author of the comic-based zine Qualifications of Being (illustrated by Jonny Cechony) about Raven’s journey of realizing they are trans and Two Spirit.

​​​​Attendees can view the Raven Two Feathers event online.

Matika Wilbur — Project 562: “Changing the Way We See Native America: Dismantling Native American Stereotypes”

Matika Wilbur

Tuesday, Nov. 23, 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. — Online

Matika Wilbur is from the Swinomish and Tulalip Tribes. She is the founder and photographer of Project 562, a documentary project dedicated to changing the way we see Native America. After earning her B.F.A. from Brooks Institute of Photography, Matika began her career in fashion and commercial photography in Los Angeles. She found herself “turned off” by the commercial world and instead decided to use photography as a tool for social justice. Project 562 is Matika’s fourth major creative project elevating Native American identity and culture. She is currently a National Geographic Explorer and recipient of the distinguished Leica Photo Award.

Project 562 reflects Matika’s commitment to visit, engage and photograph all 562-plus Native American sovereign territories in the United States.

Attendees can view the Matika Wilbur event online.

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