search button
newscenter logo
Sunday, December 10, 2023

Follow SDSU Follow SDSU on Twitter Follow SDSU on Facebook SDSU RSS Feed

Staff of SDSU's Native Resource Center are photographed during a campus event. (SDSU) Staff of SDSU's Native Resource Center are photographed during a campus event. (SDSU)

Native American Heritage Month Events at SDSU

SDSU honors this November dedicated to the Native American Indian Heritage Month.
By Paulina Castellanos Wade

For more than 30 years now, San Diego State University have celebrated Native American Indian Heritage Month in November. The celebration is intended to remember the culture, traditions and achievements of the original Native American community.


SDSU, as a recognized Kumeyaay land, is committed to honoring the month by planning special ceremonies and events for all. This year's Native Heritage Month theme at SDSU is Celebrating Tribal Sovereignty and Identity. 


Chris Medellin, Director of the SDSU Native Resource Center and a first-generation student, believes that celebrating Native American Heritage Month is important to remember the presence of Native people and the importance of their role in our community. His current research focuses primarily on Native American identity formation, issues of access to higher education and decolonization methodologies.


“I think from one approach these different heritage months or these history months really try to honor the diversity that is around us every day,” said Medellin. “Largely the mainstream public wants to approach things like everybody is the same, and maybe that’s not a really good approach. We have our cultures, our traditions, a lot of these histories that people bring with them, and we really should be honoring those things that make us unique.”


Every year, one of the most anticipated events during SDSU’s Native Heritage Month is the tradition of the Nike 7 Native Night basketball game. Since November 2014, SDSU has partnered with Nike N7 as part of a special celebration during this month. For nearly a decade, the Aztec men’s basketball teams wear a special turquoise uniform as a stand of solidarity with the Native American community.


The Aztecs will play against the Long Beach State men’s basketball team this Nov. 14, at 7 p.m. at Viejas Arena. The event will open its doors at 5 p.m., with special ceremonies and performances honoring the Native American communities. 


While SDSU honors Native American communities in November, other events are held throughout the year. This spring’s Native & Indigenous Research and Arts Symposium (NIRAS) serves as an academic exhibition for the research and art projects of Native American people.


“SDSU really prides itself as a community-oriented university and I think that's successful because we do things like this,” said Medellin. “We honor the diversity of the students and the faculty and staff that represent this institution.”



Reconnecting with Natural Elements 

12 p.m. - 2 p.m. Nov. 13

Starting at the NRC and moving to the Mediterranean Garden


Come to the NRC to watch a presentation on how to connect with natural elements as an alternative to traditional therapy. Then join us as we head over to the Mediterranean Garden to clean the American Indian Art Benches and do some embroidery while being surrounded by natural elements.



Nike N7 Native Night 

5-9 p.m. Nov. 14  

Viejas Arena


Each November, SDSU Men's Basketball partners with Nike N7 as part of a special celebration during Native American Heritage Month. Nike N7 is Nike's commitment to bring sports and all of its benefits to Native American communities. San Diego State University makes a departure from their traditional colors for the game, donning turquoise Nike N7 uniforms. The game include special ceremonies and performances honoring Native American communities and culture




MOBI x NRC Collab 

12-1 p.m. Nov. 15

Native Resource Center


MOBI & NRC are collaborating to bring you another cultural cooking class! November's class will bring Guest Chef Ivan Sam to the NRC to teach us how to make a Three Sisters stew. Sign up EARLY! There are only 10 spots available.




Intro to Higher Education: Grad School 101 

3-4 p.m. Nov. 15

Native Resource Center


Are you interested in learning more about graduate school? Join the NRC as we discuss an overview of what grad school is, what you can do with a higher degree, and how to look for programs.




Indigenous Book Club 

2-3 p.m. Nov. 16

Native Resource Center


Throughout fall term we've been reading "The Night Watchman" by Louise Erdrich. Join us for our monthly gathering as we discuss chapters 33 through 64. Stop by the NRC to pick up a copy of the book.




American Indian Studies & Native Faculty Appreciation  

5-6:30 p.m. Nov. 20



We will be taking time to celebrate the professional accomplishments of our professors and their dedication to Indigenous issues. We will be recognizing multiple promotions, retirements, book projects, and more.  




Talking Circle 

2-4 p.m. Nov. 29

Native Resource Center


Indigenous Talking Circles are a way for our community to come together to engage in meaningful dialogue. Join us for our November Talking Circle to discuss topics surrounding Native and Indigenous identities.