Native American Heritage Month

Join the Celebration!

November is a time to celebrate rich and diverse cultures, traditions, and histories and to acknowledge the important contributions of Native people. Native American Heritage Month is also an opportune time to educate the general public about tribes, to raise a general awareness about the unique challenges Native people have faced both historically and in the present, and the ways in which tribal citizens have worked to conquer these challenges.

Did you know? There are over 30 identified unique Native American Tribes just in Arizona!

Land Acknowledgment 

Estrella Mountain Community College is located on the Traditional Territories of the Akimel O'odham, Hohokam, and O'odham peoples.

Why is it important to acknowledge Native land? This is a step against erasing the history of the indigenous people who occupied these lands before us. As most American establishments, it is often taken for granted the fact they are occupying stolen land. Learn more about how important it is to recognize the indigenous people who lived in this land for generations at:

Native American Heritage Month Kickoff

Monday, October 31st, Noon

We welcome you to the Native American Heritage Month kickoff celebration and enjoy Native Spirit Dancers at the Montezuma Courtyard!

EMCC would like to begin this month-long celebration by acknowledging the traditional indigenous inhabitants of the land we occupy in Maricopa County.

The Ak-Chin, Gila River, Salt River Pima-Maricopa, and the Tohono-O'odam Nation all have a footprint within our county.

EMCC is committed to honoring and celebrating the indigenous peoples of this land and to raising awareness of issues, past and present, affecting this community.

Join us as we pay tribute to our Native American brothers and sisters with this month's programming.

Rock Your Rocks
Tuesday, November 1

Rock Your Rocks

Jewelry has a long history with Indigenous peoples of North America. Jewelry functions include adornment, a symbol of wealth and social class, and used for trade.

Indigenous jewelry can be made with gems and metals as well as animal materials such as teeth, bone, hide, quills, antlers, feathers, and hair. 

According to Navajo tradition, turquoise is a gift and should be worn to be seen by the Holy People.

Start off the month with your best Native American jewelry! Post a photo to your social media and use the hashtags:

 #RockYourROCKs #NAHMRocksEMCC

Navajo Math Circles
Tuesday, November 8, 3:00pm

Navajo Math Circles

Navajo Math Circles follows Navajo students in a lively collaboration with mathematicians. Using a model called math circles, the students stay late after school and assemble over the summer at Diné College in Tsaile, Arizona, to study mathematics. The math circles approach emphasizes student-centered learning by putting children in charge of exploring mathematics to their own joy and satisfaction.
Moderated by Sharon Stefan, 3:00pm at the Performance and Arts Center (PAC).

Rock Your Vets
Friday, November 11

Rock Your Vets

Share a picture showing your support of our Native American Veterans and Service Members. 

Native Americans have a rich history of service in the United States Armed Forces. This service and sacrifice continues today.


Rock Your Mocs
Tuesday, November 15

Rock Your Mocs

Why? A positive opportunity to be united and celebrate tribal individuality by wearing moccasins. We honor our ancestors, and indigenous peoples worldwide, during Rock Your Mocs events and commemorate National Native American Heritage Month 

Wear your moccasins! Post a photo to your social media and use the hashtags:


Dr. Victor Begay - Guest Speaker
Tuesday, November 15, 11:00am

Dr. Victor Begay

Understanding land acknowledgements and other false narratives

In the United States, many higher education institutions, government agencies, and organized programs have developed land acknowledgements as a way to recognize indigenous peoples and honor historical links between indigenous peoples/Nations and the territories on which institutions now sit. Land acknowledgement statements have the potential to shift the focus from linear, biased perspectives that reify false narratives to a fuller, more complicated interpretation of colonial invasion and Indigenous survivance. 

Join virtually Here

 Cooking Demo- Fancy Navajo
Thursday, November 17, Noon

 Cooking Demo- Fancy Navajo

Join us for a food presentation by Alana Yazzie, The Fancy Navajo. She will be demonstrating how to make donuts from traditional blue corn flour. This will be followed up by a Q&A. 

Join virtually Here

Presentation with Dr. Judith Simcox
Tuesday, November 22 4-5pm

Dr. Judith Simcox

Studying Heart Disease from a Diverse Perspective

Dr. Judith Simcox, Assistant Professor of Biochemistry at University of Wisconsin-Madison; Associate Director of the WDRC Integrative Omics Core; co-mentor for the UW-Madison AISES Chapter

Dr. Simcox is of Indigenous and Filipina descent and has worked throughout her career to support and create opportunities for underrepresented minorities in science. She has a bachelor's degree from Carroll College and earned her PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Utah. Her research focuses on lipids in the blood plasma that are increased in cardiovascular disease. Her lab works to understand how these lipids function as signaling molecules to communicate energy availability and inflammatory state between organs. Join us to hear about her research.

At the CTL 4-5pm

Join virtually Here


of our student population identifies as Native American.

hoop of learning
The Mission and Goal Behind our Hoops of Learning Program

Encourage, enable and empower Native American students to complete high school and transition successfully into higher education.

Increase high school retention and graduation rates

Increase Native American participation and matriculation rates into college

Create the conditions for retaining Native American students to reach their higher education goals

Enhance Native American culturally relevant curriculum

Increase diversity of campuses

Strengthen external collaboration by establishing partnerships with Native American communities, school districts, and other agencies.

Join us for one of our Hoop of Learning Events: