Native American Cultural Celebration

Native American Cultural Celebration 2021

November 8 – November 12, 2021

We Are Still Here Living Our Truth

Despite the many hardships faced by Native Americans through forced removal from their traditional homelands to the use of residential schools, the cultural traditions of the past survive due to the continued efforts of each generation passing along their knowledge of the culture and collective histories. Join the Native American Student Association and the James Farmer Multicultural Center, as we uplift the proud legacy of Americas’ first people and the truth of what previous generations endured through colonization.

UMW continues to monitor campus, local, and statewide COVID-19 data and has instituted protocols to protect our campus community.  These protocols include requiring proper mask wearing while indoors, obtaining contact information from event attendees for contact tracing, and requesting that the University be notified of any positive COVID test within 14 days of attending an event at UMW.  The University may also implement additional restrictions if cases increase on campus or in the region including, but not limited to, requiring proof of vaccination or a recent negative test, reducing occupancy limits at events, or restricting attendance to UMW community members only.  We encourage you to check our website for updates prior to arriving to campus for a scheduled event.

Native American Cultural Dinner

Monday, November 8 | 5 pm | Dining at the Top of the UC, University Center
Cost with Campus Meal Plan is one meal swipe or $11 Flex. The cost for EagleOne or credit card purchases is $13.50.
Co-sponsored by University Dining

Join the Native American Student Association and University Dining for an Native American Cultural Celebration Dinner at the Top of the UC. The menu will feature a vast array of Native American dishes! Before you leave, check out the celebration display for information about upcoming events.

Movie Night: We Were Children

Monday, November 8 | 6:30 pm | Colonnade Room 315, University Center

We Were Children chronicles the experiences of two residential school survivors: Lyna Hart and Glen Anaquod. In the late 1950s, they were sent to two separate residential schools in two Canadian provinces, Manitoba and Saskatchewan. The film recreates their lives through interviews and dramatic interpretations of their experiences. It provides an in-depth look at the history and issues surrounding the treatment of Native American children in residential schools, neglect by government officials, and the lifelong trauma of the survivors.


Creating Change: Perspectives of Women in Tribal Leadership

Wednesday, November 10 | 6 pm | Watch this event live on YouTube

Join the James Farmer Multicultural Center and the James Monroe Museum for a virtual discussion with Chief Anne Richardson of the Rappahannock Tribe and Chief Glenna J. Wallace of the Eastern Shawnee Tribe, who will highlight their experiences of holding positions of power as women within their respective tribes.


Native American Cultural Celebration Keynote:  Diana Gates

Thursday, November 11  |  7 pm  |  Chandler Ballroom C, University Center

Diana Gates, a woman in traditional Native American clothing holds a baby in a cradleboardDiana Gates (Nottoway) is the Training and Resource Development Coordinator with the National Center on Tribal Early Childhood Development. Ms. Gates has a decade of experience building capacity at the local level to enhance sovereignty in community-based education, with an emphasis on embedding Native culture and language into high quality educational opportunities for Native children and youth. Her experience also includes supporting community-engaged approaches to research and evaluation in Tribal communities, with an emphasis on telling stories of community-based solutions through their own voices and lenses. She is in her fourth year of appointment to the Virginia Council on Women, an advisory council in the Executive branch of state government. The purpose of the Council is to identify ways in which women can reach their full potential and make their full contribution to society and the Commonwealth of Virginia. Diana earned her Master’s of Social Work from Columbia University, her Master’s of Education from Delta State University, and her Bachelor of Arts in International and Humanitarian Affairs from James Madison University. She currently resides in Richmond, Virginia with her husband and two children, Nikonha and Hamonti.

Keeping Our Traditions Alive Through Storytelling

Friday, November 12 | 2 pm | Colonnade Room 315, University Center

This event will share the lessons found in the stories/legends/oral histories passed down from Indigenous elders. It will include a brief introduction to key historic facts about some of the hardships faced by Indigenous peoples before leading into the reading of several stories and transcribed oral histories/teachings from books related to the Ojibwe tribe.

For more information, contact the James Farmer Multicultural Center at 540/654-1044 or  Visit  

Please email us at if you have any questions regarding disability-related accommodations.