background banner, decorative

Multicultural Center

Native American Heritage Celebration

The Multicultural Center joined the national movement to celebrate Native American culture during the month of November with a performance by the Anoli Dance Troupe.

This year’s celebration will take place on Wednesday, November 15, 2017. For more information, click here.

Native American

Native American History Month

What started at the turn of the century as an effort to gain a day of recognition for the significant contributions the first Americans made to the establishment and growth of the U.S., has resulted in a whole month being designated for that purpose.

One of the very proponents of an American Indian Day was Dr. Arthur C. Parker, a Seneca Indian, who was the director of the Museum of Arts and Science in Rochester, N.Y. He persuaded the Boy Scouts of America to set aside a day for the “First Americans” and for three years they adopted such a day. In 1915, the annual Congress of the American Indian Association meeting in Lawrence, Kans., formally approved a plan concerning American Indian Day. It directed its president, Rev. Sherman Coolidge, an Arapahoe, to call upon the country to observe such a day. Coolidge issued a proclamation on Sept. 28, 1915, which declared the second Saturday of each May as an American Indian Day and contained the first formal appeal for recognition of Indians as citizens.

The year before this proclamation was issued, Red Fox James, a Blackfoot Indian, rode horseback from state to state seeking approval for a day to honor Indians. On December 14, 1915, he presented the endorsements of 24 state governments at the White House. There is no record, however, of such a national day being proclaimed.

The first American Indian Day in a state was declared on the second Saturday in May 1916 by the governor of New York. Several states celebrate the fourth Friday in September. In Illinois, for example, legislators enacted such a day in 1919. Presently, several states have designated Columbus Day as Native American Day, but it continues to be a day we observe without any recognition as a national legal holiday.

In 1990 President George H. W. Bush approved a joint resolution designating November 1990 “National American Indian Heritage Month.” Similar proclamations, under variants on the name (including “Native American Heritage Month” and “National American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month”) have been issued each year since 1994.

Anoli Dance Troupe

About the Anoli Dance Troupe

Anoli Dance Troupe is comprised of World Champion Native American Dancers, who represent various tribes of the United States. Our performance includes exhibition dancing of pow-wow dance styles of the men and women and also, a theatrical performance called, “JOURNEY OF THE CHOCTAWS”, which tells the story of how the Choctaws and many other tribes were forcibly moved from their native homelands to Indian Territory, which we now call Oklahoma.

In 2007, Anoli performed in Washington D.C. at the Smithsonian Museum of the American Indians and the Rayburn House of Congress. After the Theatrical Performance in D.C., Anoli Dance Troupe was awarded the National Indian Gaming Presidents Award. This award was presented to Chief Greg Pyle of the Choctaw Nation. Also, in Spring of 2008, they performed for the Native American Indian Gaming Association Conference in San Diego, California. In the past, Anoli Dance Troupe performed on a weekly basis at the Choctaw Casino and Resort in Durant, Oklahoma. Choctaw Casino and Resort is the ONLY casino in Indian Country who has featured Native American Dance Performances.