[Spokane, WA] Native American student Kendra Ferguson is excited to watch her culture honored at Spokane Community College’s Native American Heritage Celebration, which features a Native American dancer and food. The celebration culminates a month packed with programs for Native American Heritage Month.
“A lot of people have never seen Natives dance or sing,” said Ferguson, who is Turtle Mountain Chippewa. “It’s going to be amazing.”
The event will be held on Tuesday, November 29 from 10:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. at SCC’s Lair Student Center in building 6, home of the Center of Inclusion and Diversity. An offshoot of the Center, the student-led Native American Student Organization (NASO) is putting on the celebration, the finale of their other events honoring Native Americans. Those include a documentary, “More Than a Word,” detailing the importance of pro-sports eliminating all Native American mascots. They also screened “Smoke Signals,” a movie directed, written and produced by Native Americans and filmed on the Coeur d’Alene Reservation.
Ferguson – who is NASO’s vice-president – said their goal is to bring attention to Native American culture and create community. One project that they are trying to implement is a class teaching the Salish language.
“I’m excited to see where this club goes in getting our culture out there. We also want to invite non-Natives in to see what Natives do,” she said.
Apart from being in NASO, Ferguson also works as a student ambassador for the Center of Inclusion and Diversity, which hosts a number of clubs and student organizations, like the Black Student Union Club and Latin American Student Organization (LASO).
“The Center is a safe space for students to come to be who they want to be,” said Sandra Zamora, the Center’s retention specialist. “It benefits the students where they can build a community at SCC. It ensures students’ success in school because they can connect and help each other here.”
Zamora estimates that 20 – 40 students come to the Center every day. There is a meditation room, Zen Garden, Pride Center and conference rooms that are accessible to all students. However, students do not have to be a person of color to be a part of the Center’s community.
“Any SCC student is more than welcome at the Center,” Zamora said. “It’s just a welcoming environment.”
For more information or to set up an interview, please contact Sandra Zamora at Sandra.firstname.lastname@example.org.