CSU Stanislaus's 6th Annual Indigenous People’s Day Celebration took place Oct. 13 in the student center. It was the first time the event has been held in-person since before the pandemic. Students, faculty, and community members gathered to connect with one another, share stories, appreciate art and have important conversations.
Performers started coming together to practice songs for a couple of hours before the evening's main event began. The celebration included activities like songs, art, stories, and poems.
Dr. Cueponcaxochitl Moreno Sandoval, Stan State ethnic studies professor, helped organize the event.
“This gives people the opportunity to meet people that they otherwise would not have met and continue on this path of wellness together,” Sandoval said.
She has organized the last five Indigenous People’s Day Celebrations on campus with the help of a planning committee of 21 people including students from Stan State's Indigenous Students in Activism Club, admissions, a social worker, alumni, community members and more.
“The foundation takes years because it’s about building relationships to the local native communities and also to native issues on campus,” she said.
The family friendly event welcomed kids and families from the community as well as many students who came to learn more.
“I thought it was nice to see all of the students in one place appreciating their culture,” said Clarissa Ruiz (junior, Sociology).
She said she also thought the singing was very powerful and it was interesting to learn about their traditions.
There were multiple speakers at the event including Taté Walker, a Mniconjou Lakota and a citizen of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, author and poet that spoke about their book, The Trickster Riots, that was recently released.
“I thought it was very spiritual when it came to the chants,” said Angel Garza (junior, Computer Science).
Matthew Silveira (sophomore, Sociology) attended the event as a requirement for his ethnic studies class had a positive experience.
“I really felt the connection between the earth and the indigenous people who were present," he said. "Their songs and passion for their culture were very inspiring and eye opening.”
Sandoval was glad that everyone in attendance was connected and breathing the same air.
“I hope this gathering opened up the possibility for us to connect to our ancestors and celebrate our expression,” she said.
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