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UCO To Celebrate Native American Heritage Month With Series of Activities

Nov. 5, 2010

Media Contact: Sarah Hill, University Relations Staff Writer, University of Central Oklahoma, (405) 974-2121,


The University of Central Oklahoma's Office of Multicultural Student Services will host a series of activities during November in observance of national Native American History Month, including two free film screenings, a recruitment day for prospective Native American high school students and a panel discussion on the importance of Native American language.

"Native history is American history and we are excited to have program and events that education on this aspect of our history as well as celebrate the strong traditions of customs of the Native American culture," said MeShawn Conley, director of Central's Office of Multicultural Student Services.

Central's campus and community is encouraged to attend the free screening of the film "Dreamkeeper" at 7 p.m., Nov. 9 in Room 211 of the Nigh University Center, hosted by Central's Native American Student Association.

The film is a story about the act of storytelling itself, where a grandfather imparts tales of wisdom and self-discovery to his 17-year-old grandson, who is just coming into his own and seems to be getting in a heap of trouble. Those who wish to attend the screening of "Dreamkeeper" are welcome to bring their dinner to the event.

The Native American Student Association also will host another free screening of the film "Windtalkers" at noon, Nov. 11 in Room 211 of the Nigh University Center.

"Windtalkers" is about two U.S. Marines in World War II who are assigned to protect Navajo Marines who used their native language as an unbreakable radio cipher.

Attendees are welcome to bring their lunch to the screening.

From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Nov. 12, the Native American Student Association and Central's Enrollment Management will host Native Central, an effort to recruit prospective Native American high school students from throughout Oklahoma.

Approximately 50 students have signed up to attend the event where they will receive important admission and scholarship information, as well as interaction with Central's NASA student leaders and a tour of campus.

To conclude the series of events to celebrate for Native American History Month, Central will host a "Languages and Heritages" panel at 7 p.m., Nov. 16 in Room 202 of the Nigh University Center, featuring guest speakers from four different Native American tribes who will discuss why keeping Native American Language alive is important to the Native American culture.

With the exception of Native Central, all events are free and open to the public.

Central recently hosted two other events to celebrate Native American History Month, including the kick-off celebration held Nov. 3 as the campus gathered to learn how to make a dreamcatcher, an object crafted to resemble a spider web that Native Americans used in order to catch nightmares during sleep, and the importance of it.

Central also held an Exhibition Stickball Game on Nov. 5, a traditional sport played by many Indian tribes, featuring players from Central and throughout Oklahoma.

For more information about Central's Office of Multicultural Student Services, visit, or contact the office at (405) 974-3588.