Small tree with green leaves with multicolored flags hanging from it behind an illegible interpretive plaque

Indigenous Peoples' Day

  • Event Date: Monday, October 9, 2023
  • Time: 9:00 am–8:00 pm (CDT)

Schedule of Events

Recognition of Place and Welcome

Aloha Center Chicago

  • Time: 9:30–10:30 am
  • Location: Knight Auditorium, Spurlock Museum, 600 S. Gregory St., Urbana, IL

  • The Aloha Center Chicago is a multimedia cultural arts center that fosters teaching, learning, fellowship, and cultural connection among local and visiting Pacific Islanders. Executive Director Lanialoha Lee is a third-generation Native Hawaiian born and raised in Chicago and is the co-curator of Chicago’s Hula Legacy exhibit at the Field Museum. Lanialoha will emcee this 1-hour session comprising hula, music, and education about the 150-year presence of hula practitioners in Chicago.

Becoming an Indigenous-Promoting Institution: A Conversation with Native American House Ambassadors and Native Alumni

  • Time: 10:45–11:45 am
  • Location: Knight Auditorium, Spurlock Museum, 600 S. Gregory St., Urbana, IL
  • Moderator: Dr. Danita Brown Young, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, University of Illinois Urbana Champaign
  • Panelists: David Eby (Choctaw), Yanaba Schroeder (Navajo), Cydnee Weber (Pamunkey/Cherokee), and Dr. Shannon Epplett (Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians)

  • Indigenous-promoting institutions of higher education center sovereignty and self-determination to holistically strengthen Indigenous academic identity development. This approach, at best, transforms the ecology of campus environments for all students and, at worst, stops at land acknowledgments. In this session, moderator Dr. Danita Brown Young engages the panelists on the challenges and possibilities of the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign in supporting the higher education goals of Native students.

Community Feed

  • Time: 12:00 to 1:00 pm
  • Location: Hundley Central Core Gallery, Spurlock Museum, 600 S. Gregory St., Urbana, IL

  • For many Indigenous Peoples, feeding the community, including guests, is a way to foster connections and serves as an act of reciprocity. We invite you to share a meal with your University of Illinois Urbana Champaign relatives. Food is first come, first serve, so arrive early and bring your i-card!

Centering Our Intentions: Place-based Approaches to Creating Relational Praxis in Higher Education

  • Time: 1:15–2:15 pm
  • Location: Knight Auditorium, Spurlock Museum, 600 S. Gregory St., Urbana, IL
  • Dr. Christine Nelson (Kawaika/Diné), Associate Professor, Morgridge College of Education, University of Denver

  • As an Indigenous woman at a predominantly white university, Dr. Christine Nelson has learned the importance of storying to navigate settler educational systems. In her session, she will share how she connects concepts of land and non-human beings to deepen her commitment to being intentional in shaping the functions of higher education.

Closing Remarks

10 Books to Read on Indigenous Peoples’ Day: Pop-up Library

  • Time: 3:00–5:00 pm
  • Native American House, 1206 W. Nevada Street, Urbana

  • Curated in collaboration with María Emerson, Student Success Librarian, the pop-up library is an opportunity for Indigenous Peoples to see themselves represented in the University Library collections. Visitors can check out materials about Indigenous Peoples onsite and engage with María about the range of library resources and services available on campus.

Native-themed Meal

Gather: A Documentary + Panel

  • Time: 5:30 pm
  • ISR (Illinois Street Residence Halls), Room 50 A/B, 1010 W. Illinois St., Urbana
  • Moderator: Dr. Shannon Epplett (Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians)
  • Panelists: David Eby (Choctaw), Yanaba Schroeder (Navajo), and Cydnee Weber (Pamunkey/Cherokee)

  • "GATHER" is the story of the rebuilding of Native food systems. This feature film is an intimate portrait tracing the intentional destruction of Native American foodways, renaissance, and resilience—screening followed by a panel discussion.
  • Sponsor: Inclusion & Leadership Mentors, University Housing and Native American House

Indigenous Peoples' Day Sponsors:

Office of the Chancellor, Office of the Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Spurlock Museum

These events are paid, in part, by the Student Cultural Programming Fee.


For further information on this event, contact the Museum Information Desk at or (217) 333-2360

If you will need disability-related accommodations in order to participate in events at the Native American House or University Housing, please email Eduardo Martinez, Assistant Director of the Native American House, 

To request disability-related accommodations for this event, please contact Brian Cudiamat at or (217) 244-5586.