The Native American Student and Community Center hosted its annual potluck and craft fair on Oct. 1. The event featured numerous Native American vendors selling everything from jewelry to photography, and offered students a chance to learn about native cultures, enjoy good food and marvel at the various crafts.
Birdie Wermy, a Portland State graduate, said the NASCC is a hub of friends, opportunities and native-centered events. As a former graduate herself, Wermy said she was happy to participate in the NASCC event as the profits go to a special springtime graduation celebration for native students.
Melissa Bennett, program coordinator for the NASCC, said the NASCC has a great deal to offer both the community and student body at PSU.
“Our events are open to all students and community members of all faith traditions, all cultures and all communities,” Bennett said. “We have a really nice space and want people to come and see what it is all about.”
Bennett said her hope for the potluck and craft fair was to bring all people together to learn about native culture, enjoy delicious food and perhaps even purchase some art.
The month of November marks Native America Heritage Month. The NASCC has numerous events planned for the month. Bennett said the NASCC is planning events for every Monday in November, which will include presentations from Jillian Joseph, the executive director of the Native Wellness Institute in Portland, on Nov. 3.
The NASCC will also host a talk by Demian Dine Yazhi regarding queer and transgender native identity on Nov. 10, as well as an event that will deal with the topic of Thanksgiving and what it means to be native on Nov. 24.
The NASCC’s next event will be held on Oct. 13 on Indigenous People’s Day. Luis Alfaro, a playwright in residence for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, is offering a workshop entitled Stories of Home from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. with a dinner starting at 5 p.m. before the event. The workshop is free but seating is limited to the first 100 people.
For a closer look at the recent NASCC craft fair and potluck watch the video report from Vanguard Online: