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Celebrate Rhode Island’s Native American community with 8 upcoming events

Performances, discussions center Native experiences, history, art

<p>Events held in Rhode Island this Native American Heritage Month aim to celebrate Native American communities, culture and history on College Hill and across the Ocean State.</p>

Events held in Rhode Island this Native American Heritage Month aim to celebrate Native American communities, culture and history on College Hill and across the Ocean State.

November marks Native American Heritage Month, which honors Native American communities, history and heritage. The Herald has compiled a list of events in the coming weeks that center Native American art, history, stories and more across the Ocean State.

Nov. 10: The University’s Department of History discusses Brown’s Land Acknowledgement and Indigenous History. As part of its fall 2022 “What History Looks Like” series, the Department of History will host a discussion about the University’s recent development of a land acknowledgement. Speakers include Chair of History Ethan Pollock, Professor of Anthropology Patricia Rubertone and Kimonee Burke GS, a history PhD candidate. Lunch will be served at 11:30 a.m. and the event will start at 12 p.m in the Pavilion Room at 79 Brown St. 

Nov. 11: “Tipi Tales from the Stoop” by Murielle Borst-Tarrant (Kuna/Rappahannock). “Tipi Tales from the Stoop” is a performance by Murielle Borst-Tarrant, visiting professor of the practice in theatre arts and performance studies and artistic director of Safe Harbors NYC. Held at the Granoff Center for the Creative Arts, the performance will recount Borst-Tarrant’s family history and survival of “genocide, relocation, the boarding school system and the outlaw by the United States government” of cultural traditions, according to the event description. The story also describes Borst-Tarrant personal experiences being brought up in Brooklyn as one of the only Native American individuals in the neighborhood. Starting at 7 p.m., the performance will run for approximately one hour with no intermission and will be followed by a talkback with Borst-Tarrant and Sarah dAngelo, assistant professor of theatre arts and performance studies.

Nov. 14: Storyweaving workshops with Murielle Borst-Tarrant. Borst-Tarrant will lead a series of workshops that “weave Native and Indigenous storytelling traditions by embodying historical memory through sound and movement,” according to the event description. Located at the Granoff Center, this event will last from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. 


Nov. 15: New England's Original Inhabitants: Thanksgiving Myths and What They Don’t Tell Us. This talk explores how Native American people and cultural practices were fundamental to pilgrims’ first successful harvest and how colonists harmed local Native American communities. The event will also discuss recent research concerning conflicts between New England Native American communities and English colonists and reconciliation efforts. Located at Rochambeau Library at 708 Hope St., the event is scheduled from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Interested individuals can register online.

Nov. 19: Native American Heritage in Canonchet. Lorén Spears, executive director of the Tomaquag Museum, will lead a trail walk at Canonchet Farm in Narragansett. Spears will discuss the history, culture and traditional ecological knowledge of the Narragansett Tribe, which lived in the area. Registration is free and interested individuals can register online. Participants will meet at 115 Strathmore St. in Narragansett.

Nov. 29: “Fire Keeper’s Daughter” book club. The Tomaquag Museum, an Indigenous history museum in Exeter, R.I., will host the third meeting of its Indigenous Author Book Club to discuss “Fire Keeper’s Daughter” by Angeline Boulley (Ojibwe). Hosted by the museum’s education team, the meeting will be from 7 to 8 p.m. on Zoom. Those interested can register online.

Dec. 8: “Reclaiming Two-Spirits”: Sexuality and Sovereignty in Native America. The Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America is hosting a new book talk on “Reclaiming Two-Spirits,” written by Professor of American History Gregory Smithers. The book details how European colonization persecuted and harmed people who identify as Two-Spirits, “an umbrella term denoting feminine and masculine qualities in one person,” according to the event website. From 4 to 5:30 p.m., there will be a presentation by Smithers, followed by a moderated discussion with the audience.

Dec. 10: Story Time: “Thanks to the Animals.” The Tomaquag Museum will host a reading of “Thanks to the Animals,” a picture book by Allen Sockabasin (Passamaquoddy) followed by an activity. The reading begins at 9:30 a.m. at 390A Summit Road in Exeter, R.I. and is welcome to attendees of all ages. Send an email to to register. 


Rhea Rasquinha

Rhea Rasquinha is a Metro Section Editor covering Development and Infrastructure and also serves as Co-Chief of Illustrations. She previously covered the College Hill, Fox Point & the Jewelry District and Brown & Beyond beats. Rhea is a junior from New York studying Biomedical Engineering and loves dark chocolate and penguins.

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