Highlands University celebrated Native American Week Nov. 9 — 13 with traditional dance performances, a pueblo throw, traditional attire day, and more.
“We wanted to celebrate Native American month and do a whole week of activities where our students could enjoy being Native Americans,” said Rochelle Yazzie, Native American Student Services Coordinator. “We also wanted to share our culture with the Highlands community and the Las Vegas community.”
Two traditional dance groups performed Nov. 19, The Lonjose Dance Group from the Zuni Pueblo and Apache Warrior Dancers from the Cochiti Pueblo.
“I’m happy to be dancing with my family,” said Highlands University freshman Lynn Bowannie, who is a member of The Lonjose Dance Group.
Bowannie danced alongside her uncle, Francis Bowannie, who started the dance group four years ago, and her aunts, Ruth Lonjose and Geraldine Lonjose.
“We’re so proud of the students for their leadership in helping organize this weeklong celebration,” said Teresa Billy, Native American Access and Retention Coordinator. “This week helps them maintain their cultural identity when they travel so far from home to come to school at Highlands.”
Yazzie said students from 22 tribes are represented at the university. The Native American Student Services Office offers academic services and social events throughout the year, along with help with financial aid and the university’s admissions process.