Delta Native Heritage Month
Joseph V. Sowmick - November 20, 2013
In an effort to provide regular bonus coverage throughout the month, Team Observer joins with the Anishinabe Ogitchedaw Veterans Warrior Society and Delta College in support of the Nov. 20th showing of Sherman Alexis movie “Smoke Signals”. The event was the second collaborative effort between Delta students and the tribe during their Native Heritage Month activities. AOVWS Okima II David Perez and Odawa Anishinabe Kwe Karen Lada were on hand to lead the question and answer period on contemporary Native issues after the film. Delta Sociology Faculty member Dr. Colleen Wilson-Rood and her students were on hand to see the Sundance 1998 Film of the Year award winner.
“From my point of view it is absolutely vital for our students to learn, or at least be exposed to, the legacies and heritage of the indigenous people from North America, but more specifically Michigan and the Great Lakes Bay Region. Further, I teach Sociology of Minority Groups, which is a required class for most criminal justice students at Delta. In this case, my job is to do my best to bring into the course "real life" teachings to assist the students in building both knowledge and empathy in regard to those communities in which they will both have power within as well as protect,” Rood informs. “The events held during Native American Heritage month did not just ask students to learn about the local indigenous populations, but also provided interactive learning experiences that are vital to building empathy, understanding, and first-hand learning experiences into our student body's educational journey during their time at Delta College. My students in particular showed their appreciation for the Talking Circle, especially the oral tradition and storytelling that took place. Many students expressed that the most important learning lessons during the event were "delivered" through storytelling. As a new faculty member at Delta I can only hope that we continue to build bridges between our local and educational communities to further these learning experiences as well as continue to connect the teachings of the Anishnaabek to our Delta College community.”
Previous collaborative SCIT/Delta efforts included an Oct. 21 field trip by Tribal Education representatives, a Nov. 14th Talking Circle with AOVWS Warriors Okima I Mike Perez and Kent Jackson and Delta representatives joining the recent Candlelight Wolf Vigil on Nov. 14th.