The University of Texas is holding their first official week to honor the Native American and indigenous community. Every event this week will be a combination of celebration and education.
The Native American and Indigenous Studies Program and the Native American and Indigenous Collective in partnership with the Native American and Indigenous Peoples' Association want people to be more aware of issues Native Americans and indigenous people faced in history and what they're still facing today.
"A lot of people do self-segregate so I think it's important for people to get out of their comfort zone,” said UT student Alma Rosado.
Rosado is helping with the information booth in the West Mall of campus, hoping to help spread the word about the group’s efforts.
"We want to honor the indigenous peoples in Texas,” said Native American Indigenous Studies Director Luis Carcamo-Huechante.
Carcamo-Huechante is part of the Mapuche tribe, located in southern and central Chile as well as Argentina. He said there are a few federally recognized tribes in the Lone Star State, including the Kickapoo, Alabama-Coushatta and Tigua Pueblo.
The first panel held will focus on the topic of decolonization.
Carcamo said this week is a way “to engage and acknowledge a history that has been difficult and challenging for indigenous communities across time.”
Visitors can take part in workshops, markets, crafts and pow-wows. The organizations are also showing a special screening titled, "Indian 101."
The film discusses American Indian activist LaDonna Harris' life, work in activism and Comanche upbringing. LaDonna Harris founded American Indians for Opportunity.
The goal is to create more conversation and understanding.
"Because even though people have their own ideas of who they want to talk to, or who they don't or who they might like or not like based on political ideals, we are all at the end of the day human and it's very important to learn where each other comes from," Rosado said.
Go here for more information about the week and events.