Message from the Director
Boozhoo! Greetings Students and Friends:
On behalf of the NMU Center for Native American Studies team, miigwech (thank you) for visiting our website. I am moved to compose a more personal note for this update. These are my views and not the views of Northern Michigan University, nor the views of anyone else at the NMU Center for Native American Studies.
First, let me say I am very proud to share that NMU President Fritz Erickson stated quite strongly in his university convocation to open the new academic year that the horrific behavior that we saw in Charlottesville is NOT acceptable on the NMU Campus.
Second, the faculty and staff in Native American Studies (NAS) constantly remind students to operate with m’naademdamowin (respect)! Respect in and out of the classroom. Respect for creation. Respect for all beings of the earth. Respect for the elderly. Respect for different ways of knowing. And respect for different ways of learning. Respect for one’s self and one’s body. Respect for finding balance.
Sadly, the news and social media are filled with a continuous barrage of hate and ridiculousness. If we are not careful we can easily be short-circuited by such messages and have our own inner balance interrupted in profound and harmful ways. I experienced this the day after Charlottesville. I thought long and hard about what I was doing to bridge divides. I questioned whether I was doing enough. I agonized over how to help to heal such hatred. Teaching the tenets of NAS is one way to do this but I still questioned my own contributions. My day was derailed by the news that someone was killed for standing up for what they believe in. My heart and my mind sunk. My takeaway is that it is important not to isolate. It is important to seek out like-minded people not just to talk with but also to strategize with… how can a small group impact meaningful, positive change?
I believe that we, in NAS, have an obligation to help students and our communities reach a critical consciousness for the benefit of the earth, Indigenous peoples, all of our relations, and for those future generations yet to be born. We need intellectual warriors willing to sacrifice their time and energy to grip on to the tenets of the discipline of Native American Studies and create positive changes for tribal peoples! We need more people to respectfully engage the teachings found within the ancestral territory of the Anishinaabe for the next seven generations to come. These tenets of NAS and traditional teachings must be remembered, revocalized, and revitalized. As Mohawk artist Elizabeth Doxtater has said, we need to be of good mind and re-villagize! It is my hope that you feel similarly. If you are someone who seeks to serve Indigenous communities, reach out to us and let us know how our academic programs will help you achieve your goals.
If you are in or around the Marquette area, feel free to visit our “village.” The Center for Native American Studies is located in 112 Whitman Hall at the corner of Norway Street and Fair Avenue in Marquette, Michigan. We are *usually* open 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday-Friday ET. If you are not able to see us in person, visit our Facebook page.
Have an amazing academic year and be kind to one another.
April E. Lindala, NMU Alum '97, '03, '06
Director of the NMU Center for Native American Studies
Associate Professor of English
(Photo courtesy of Marlee Gunsell.)
The NMU Center for Native American Studies offers…
- the only baccalaureate degree in Native American Studies in the state of Michigan,
- an associate degree in general university studies with a concentration in NAS,
- a twenty-four credit interdisciplinary NAS minor,
- a TEDNA-endorsed undergraduate certification in American Indian education,
- a TEDNA-endorsed concentration of online courses towards a Master of Arts degree in Educational Administration: American Indian Education Administration and Supervision,
- several courses that fulfill liberal studies and the world cultures requirements,
- a resource room filled with books, articles, films and more, and
- an outdoor fire site for NAS classroom visits, and
- support for the American Indian Science and Engineering Society, the Native American Student Association, and the Native American Language and Culture Club.
The Center also strives to keep students and community members informed about items relevant to Native American Studies including internship opportunities, scholarships and grants, conferences and cultural events, language lessons and news bits.
Be sure to also visit the Center on Facebook, Twitter [@NMU_CNAS] and Flickr. Listen to Public Radio 90 [WNMU-FM] Fridays for Anishinaabe Radio News, a weekly program with insights to Native American Studies and news from Indian Country.
Archives:Winter 2013 Message from Director
Fall 2012 Message from Director
Fall 2010 Message from Director
Summer 2010 Message from Director
Winter 2010 Message from Director
Fall 2009 Message from Director
Summer 2009 Message from Director
Winter 2009 Message from Director
Fall 2008 Addendum from Director
Fall 2008 Message from Director
Summer 2008 Message from Director
Winter 2008 Message from Director