RIT Celebrates Native American Heritage Month

Festivities include screening of documentary film ‘Unseen Tears’

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RIT’s celebration of Native American Heritage Month includes a screening of Unseen Tears, a documentary on the development of state boarding schools for Native Americans.

Rochester Institute of Technology is celebrating Native American Heritage Month through a series of lectures, panel discussions and film screenings. The events seek to enhance understanding of Native American history and culture, while also promoting pride and unity among Native students and community members.

The activities include a screening of the documentary feature Unseen Tears at 7 p.m. Nov. 2 in the Bamboo Room in the Campus Center. The film chronicles the development of state boarding schools for Native Americans at the turn of the century and the role these institutions had in negatively impacting cultural development and degrading community and family structures.

The free public event includes a presentation and question-and-answer session with the film’s co-producer, Ruchatneet Printup. Interpreting is provided and the film will be captioned.

Unseen Tears presents a searing portrait of how the effort to ‘civilize’ Native Americans helped to create many of the social challenges our community continues to face to this day,” says Jason Younker, a member of the Coquille tribe and director of RIT’s Native America Future Stewards Initiative. “Through a presentation of this story we hope to provide all members of the community with a better understanding of the history so that the mistakes of the past will not be repeated.”

Additional activities during the month include a tour of the Ganondagan State Historic Site and a traditional Native American Thanksgiving dinner. For a complete list of festivities or to RSVP for specific events, contact Nizhoni Chow-Garcia at ncgfsp@rit.edu.