Bush Memorial Auditorium at Russell Sage College in Troy, New York. (CampusExplorer.com)

New Student Organization Promotes Native American Heritage Month and Combats Stereotypes at Russell Sage College


The Native American Student Organization at Russell Sage College in Troy, New York is barely two months old, but it’s already sending the message that American Indians don’t all look the same.

The organization’s president, Thearse McCalmon, who is of Cree and Edisto Natchez-Kusso descent says not everyone looks like Pocahontas, and told the Times Union: “We want to break down the stereotype of what is a Native American.”

The club currently has 20 members and started from a research and writing class taught by Dakota associate professor Elizabethe Kelley.

"Some had traditional heritage. Some developed an interest in Native American studies," Kelley told the Times Union.

Storyteller Perry Ground, a Turtle Clan member of the Onondaga Nation. (Facebook)

To celebrate Native American Heritage Month, the group already held a free Traditional Social Dance and a Culture Café featuring Native American food and drinks.

Next on the agenda is Perry Ground, a Turtle Clan member of the Onondaga Nation of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, who has been telling stories taught to him by elders for 15 years as a way to educate people about Native culture and history. Ground is currently the project director at the Native American Resource Center in Rochester, New York.

Ground will be at the Bush Memorial Auditorium on the Troy Campus of Russell Sage College on November 26 at 7 p.m. for the event, “I Will Now Tell a Story,” which is free and open to the public.

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