Discussion Series Builds Community to Support Native American and Indigenous Studies
Through a new community-building discussion series, adults and teens can learn about and engage in critical discussion of Native American and Indigenous issues. Offered through UMass’ Certificate Program in Native American and Indigenous Studies (CPNAIS), the Community Connect discussion series is an ongoing weekly forum intended to help build community amongst those with knowledge and experience surrounding the topic and those who seek deeper understanding of Native American and Indigenous issues.
Still in its early stages, the CPNAIS Community Connect series offers serves as a space for educating, listening, and creating, wherein participants can learn about Native American and Indigenous history and culture, as well as local resources that can be used to support and deepen their understanding. While a focus topic is sometimes identified for meetings, Community Connect conversations are meant to be open, allowing the series to take shape based on the interests and needs of participants. Topics explored in past meetings have included cultural appropriation and Halloween costumes and Native American and Indigenous history and culture in education.
For teenage participants, Community Connect meetings provide valuable opportunities to explore Native American and Indigenous studies amongst folks who have knowledge, experience, and resources to share. Building connections to support further education can lead to the creation of an educational support system through which teens can explore specific topics or pursue answers to specific questions, allowing them to become more independent in self-directed learning surrounding studies of Native American and Indigenous history and culture.
CPNAIS Community Connect conversation are held weekly on Thursday evenings from 6-8pm, with the next event taking place on Thursday, October 15th, 2015. Meetings are held in room 601 of UMass’ Herter Hall, located at 161 Presidents Drive in Amherst.