As the leaves change color signaling the changing of the season, the month of November also brings us closer to the end of the fall semester. Remember that the onset of cold weather can often lead to seasonal depression and mood shifts. It is important that we take time over the next few weeks to focus on self-care and connecting with and checking in on family and friends.
Native American Heritage Month is officially recognized in November. I encourage you to take some time during this month to attend one of the incredible events taking place at the Native American Cultural Center or take time to learn more about Indigenous Peoples. For instance, there are 574 federally recognized tribes nationwide, 22 of which are in Arizona. There are also 100 state recognized tribes and another 50 seeking federal recognition. Tribal Nations such as Navajo, Hopi, Havasupai and Hualapai are found in northern Arizona. Please take this time to recognize and appreciate the culture of Indigenous peoples.
During this month, we celebrate Thanksgiving, and while it represents a time for families to come together and express gratitude, the stories of Thanksgiving’s origins don’t take into account the impact on Indigenous Peoples. For Indigenous Peoples, Thanksgiving is a reminder of loss and mourning. So, as we continue to incorporate inclusive excellence in all we do, it is important to listen and understand Indigenous Peoples’ perspectives of American history.
November is also a time to honor our veterans. The original purpose of Veterans Day was to honor veterans from World War I. This day was originally known as Armistice Day, acknowledging the end of tensions between the allied nations and Germany on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. In 1954, it was officially changed to Veterans Day, a day to not only remember those who have served our country but to recognize those who currently serve. It is important to recognize that many of our veterans and service members are struggling with mental and physical health challenges, including anxiety and depression, as well as inequitable treatment and unemployment. I encourage you to learn more about our local veterans’ experiences serving our country and how we can assist them, as well as joining the NAU community at the flag tribute at 5:30 p.m. Thursday on the west lawn of the University Union. See more Veterans Week events online.
Always remember that we are better when we work together and celebrate the diversity that makes our Lumberjack community unique. Good luck from the Center of Inclusive Excellence and Access as you finish the fall semester!
Vice President of Inclusive Excellence