More than a day’s worth; celebrating Indigenous culture on campus, every day

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More than a day’s worth; celebrating Indigenous culture on campus, every day

Marian student, and member of the Oneida Nation, Dylan Granquist.

Marian student, and member of the Oneida Nation, Dylan Granquist.

Marian student, and member of the Oneida Nation, Dylan Granquist.

Marian student, and member of the Oneida Nation, Dylan Granquist.

Bradey Resulta, Writer

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A community of Indigenous students are starting an Indigenous Peoples Organization on campus in hopes that it will help educate other people on the importance and relevance of Indigenous culture. 

Tony Evers, the Governor of Wisconsin, has officially declared the second Monday in October as Indigenous Peoples’ Day in Wisconsin, replacing what is known as Columbus Day. This news came to light shortly after an incident at Clintonville High School where a controversial video of a group of students mocking and appropriating tribal dancing (an American Indigenous ceremony) at a pep rally came went viral 

This video received backlash because tribal dancing is an integral part of Indigenous culture. According to Dylan Granquist, an Indigenous student at Marian, proper education about Indigenous culture and tradition is needed to avoid occurrences such as what happened at Clintonville.  

“It boggled my mind. It’s 2019, and I’m sure there’s Indigenous students at Clintonville sitting there in the bleachers, just watching these four kids do this dance and make fun of their culture. It’s just heartbreaking to see.” Granquist said. 

Granquist encourages people from all ethnic and cultural backgrounds to join the new campus organization, and says it is a welcoming space where people can ask questions and educate themselves in order to be more mindful and inclusive of Indigenous culture.  

He said, “If they’re interested in learning about Indigenous people and their culture or their language, I would love to have them join.” 

It is also important to recognize that the start of this organization will encourage more Indigenous students to consider Marian as an inclusive campus that they could attend. Granquist said that there are only two universities in the United States, located in Kansas, that are known for their inclusivity of Indigenous Culture.  

He says, “[Indigenous students] from the corners of the country have to go all the way to Kansas to go to school with other Indigenous students. But what if we could do that every university so that they didn’t have to go far from home? [Fond du lac] is more towards the center of Wisconsin…It’d be an opportunity for [Indigenous students] to go to school closer to home.” 

Along with the Indigenous Peoples Organization, Granquist is in the midst of discussing the possibility of creating a curriculum based on Native American studies.  

He said, “We want to show Non-Indigenous students that Native Americans still exist.” He feels that today’s curriculums in schools are not as honest or inclusive of Indigenous people and their culture, as they are often Euro-centric regarding what is considered valuable learning material. 

The start of this organization gives people the tools and resources to gain responsibility for their education on the topic of cultures that exist outside of their own. It also gives way for people to gain a greater appreciation for Indigenous culture in hopes to prevent oppressive behavior, such as the Clintonville scandal, and to be more mindful of their own actions and attitudes in the future. 

To kick off the start of the organization, Granquist held the first meeting on Friday, October 11 in the Stayer Center.  

Photo from the Oneida performance on Monday, October 14th.

On Monday, October 14th, at noon, Granquist himself, along with other members of the Oneida nation will be performing on the Quad (if it is raining, they will be performing in the Hornung Student Center cafeteria on the stage). He encourages everyone to come watch and appreciate a piece of their culture. 

If you have questions or are interested in joining the organization, contact Dylan Granquist at djkosowski49@marianuniversity.edu  

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