By Brianna Carr, Staff Writer-
UTC is honoring Native American Heritage Month this November by hosting events and resources for students that encourage them to get more engaged with the history, culture and legacy of Native Americans.
Dani Ropper, a freshman at UTC, talked about the importance of engaging with Native American Heritage Month.
Ropper said, “I’m not Native American at all, but I do know that [the United States] was horrible to the Natives … we should try to learn more about their heritage and their culture, and I also do feel that sharing resources for learning about [their heritage and culture] would be best.”
Assistant Director of Multicultural Affairs, Christopher Stokes presented a screening of “More than a Word” on Nov. 10 in the University Center Auditorium with COVID-19 precautions in place for the safety of attendees. The documentary focused on the movement to change the name of the Washington Football Team which, prior to 2020, used an anti-Native American slur and caricature for their name and mascot, respectively.
Ropper discussed the impact that she believes the documentary screening will have on viewers.
She said, “I do think that watching the screening would have helped a lot of people understand it’s not okay to use [racist slurs or] anything that would be offensive to someone especially a whole race of people like the Natives.”
In addition to the screening, UTC hosted a virtual opening for the National Native American Veterans Memorial on Nov. 11 in which attendees were able to take a virtual tour of the memorial and pay their respects to Native Americans who served in the United States Armed Forces.
Stokes provided resources for students to access during Native American Heritage Month to learn more about Native Americans. These resources included a virtual exhibit hosted by the Smithsonian Institute’s National Museum of the American Indian, a collection of e-books and videos presented by the UTC Library and multiple preservation and education organizations that focus on Native Americans in Chattanooga and Tennessee.
To learn more about the events and resources for Native American Heritage Month, members of the UTC community can check their university emails for an email by Stokes sent out via the Scrappy newsletter email that features important links and information.