American Indian Heritage Day Celebration

Montana State University will showcase Native American creativity and culture at a socially distanced 2020 American Indian Heritage Day celebration set for Friday, Sept. 25.
Events will include a virtual lecture at 10 a.m. by Henrietta Mann, a nationally recognized Cheyenne elder who is a founding member of MSU’s Council of Elders, followed by a mask fashion show at noon on Centennial Mall featuring Native designers and MSU American Indian student models.
Nicholas Ross-Dick, program manager at American Indian/Alaska Native Student Success and a member of the MSU Council of American Indian Programs that is organizing the celebration, said the events will acknowledge the impact of Native American students, faculty and staff in ways that are safe and respectful of the times.

“Hosting Dr. Mann, a lifelong champion of Indian higher education, with her knowledge and expertise will be refreshing for our students and faculty as we navigate a pretty surreal time,” Ross-Dick said. Mann’s lecture, “An Elder's Perspective on Indian Education in Montana,” may be found on Zoom at 10 a.m. It will be followed by a question and answer session.

Mann, who is often called the Native American Maya Angelou, is an MSU professor emeritus of Native American studies and the inaugural recipient of the MSU Katz Endowed Chair in Native American Studies. Enrolled in the Cheyenne-Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma, Mann has served as director of the Office of Indian Education Programs and deputy to the assistant secretary for the Bureau of Indian Affairs. She also was the national coordinator of the American Indian Religious Freedom Act Coalition for the Association of American Indian Affairs. Rolling Stone magazine named her one of 10 leading professors in the nation in 1991. She has been a consultant for several television and movie productions and has lectured throughout the United States as well as in Mexico, Canada, Germany, Italy and New Zealand.

The socially distanced fashion show will feature masks by Designs by Della and Plains Soul and will also include masks designed by Bethany Yellowtail, a designer with Crow and Northern Cheyenne roots who now lives and works in Los Angeles. Designers Della Big Hair-Stump and Carrie Moran McCleary will attend the show.

Big Hair-Stump is an enrolled member of the Crow Tribe from Crow Agency whose designs have been featured in Teen Vogue, Insider, the United Kingdom’s The Independent and, among others. Moran McCleary is a fashion designer, artist and Little Shell Chippewa tribal member who lives and works on the Crow Reservation. Moran McCleary’s work has been exhibited in the Field Museum in Chicago, the Brinton Museum in Big Horn, Wyoming, and the Western Heritage Center in Billings. Yellowtail, originally from Wyola, is a graduate of the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in LA. After working with top designer houses, she launched her own national brand, B. Yellowtail, in 2015.

American Indian Heritage Day is a collaboration of the Council of American Indian Programs with the support of the Department of Native American Studies. For more information, contact Ross-Dick at

Cost: FREE


This event is over.

Fri. Sep. 25, 2020   10am

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