COLLEGE STATION, November 15, 2022 – Thursday, the Native American and Indigenous Student Organization (NAISO) will be hosting a string of events related to Native American Heritage Month. Earlier this month, the student group participated in Downtown Bryan’s Brazos Valley World Fest, providing indigenous foods and kids weaving to the public.
NAISO is a student organization whose mission is to “bring awareness of [their] people [and] culture here to A&M and the surrounding communities,” says president Gladys Abbey. The organization welcomes students at TAMU to join if they themselves identify as Native/Indigenous, or if they are simply looking to learn more about the people in their community who are Native/Indigenous. The organization functions all year round and even provides graduating members with honorary graduation stoles that showcase their culture.
Abbey shared that these events are “all about bringing awareness to a community that is always being ignored [and] forgotten. There is so much beauty to [her] culture and people and [she] wants everybody to experience that. This is the only month [they] get any recognition on campus and in the US, so [they] have to take advantage of that by trying to get the word out [and] even though [they] are a tiny population, [they’re] still here.”
All members of TAMU and the surrounding communities are invited to come and participate in the events provided on the schedule for Thursday, November 17th. However, registration is required for attendees in regards to the CommUnity Conversation, in order to be provided food. The link to sign up can be found on NAISO’s social media. Abbey says that she is most excited about the “Maroon Table Talk, where [she] will be a key speaker talking about [her] personal experience with racism [and] stereotypes.”
Abbey goes on to provide context about some of the stereotypes faced by Native and Indigenous peoples, saying that she finds “it crazy that people believe all these things about [the Native American community] (like how people think [they’ve] died off??) and [she] just wants to help people better understand [her] culture and unlearn stereotypes they believe.”
If you are interested in learning more about Native American Heritage or looking for more ways to get involved, follow NAISO on Instagram: @naiso_tamu