November 19, 2023—In honor and recognition of Native American Heritage Month, the New Jersey Performing Arts Center is holding a Standing in Solidarity program to convene a virtual panel that will discuss the misrepresentations of Native American people and their heritage. The program will be held on Monday, November 27, 2023, at 7 p.m. (ET).
The misrepresentations, which range from sports mascots to television and movie charters, deny the diversity of indigenous people and their rich cultural heritage.
The panel will be moderated by Tasia Martinez, a Diné woman, and the Equity Success Coordinator for the Grants Cibola County School District in Grants, New Mexico. The panelists are William Chimborazo, a Kichwa member, and the Director and Co-Founder of the ISA Sumak Kawsay Foundation; Trinity Norwood, citizen of the Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape Tribal Nation in South Jersey and writer and advocate for indigenous peoples, and |Ty Wolf, Wolf Clan member of the Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape Tribal Nation of New Jersey coordinator of tribe’s annual powwow, advocate and artist.
Participants are encouraged to screen in advance the PSEG True Diversity Film Series’s selection, Reel Injun, a documentary about the depictions of Native Americans in Hollywood films. The film can be screened at home for free at this link.
NJPAC, like a number of other arts and cultural organizations, has long been committed to honoring our nation’s indigenous cultures. Its platform, Standing in Solidarity, offers an organic lens through which to view and discuss social justice issues impacting the Native American community.
In addition, the NJPAC Employee Book Club is reading The Thanksgiving Play by 2020 MacArthur Fellow Larissa FastHorse. Ms. FastHorse’s comedic play was the first by a Native American woman to be produced on Broadway earlier this year. The play explores how intentions collide with assumptions as a group of liberal teaching artists scramble to create a pageant that navigates the world between Turkey Day and Native American Heritage Month.