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November is National American Indian Heritage Month

7-year-old Josephine McGraw, left, watches peer mentor Clayton Holmes and Athena Ghormley, 11, work on their cordage as Juliet McGraw, right, braids her cordage during the Native American Celebration at Clark College on Nov. 3, 2017.
(Andy Bao/The Independent)












Dressed in traditional regalia, members of several local Native American tribes blessed the ground in Gaiser Student Center by dancing to drumming and chanting. They honored National American Indian Heritage Month with a ceremony on Nov. 3.

This ceremony recognized the First Peoples’ involvement in American history and celebrated local indigenous nations — including the Chinook, Sioux and Cheyenne.

Vice Chairman of the Chinook Indian Nation and Clark College alumnus Sam Robinson said the event brought friendship among Native people.

“It’s an opportunity for people to show their pride in their different groups,” he said, “It shows hope and promise for the future.”

Outside of the student center, children learned to make cordage — the traditional method of making rope used for crafts, nets and lashings — for the beams in Native American plank houses.

Among attendees were members of the Northwest Indian Veterans Association, an organization that advocates for Native Americans who served in the U.S. Armed Forces.

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