One year ago, I wrote about the celebration of Indigenous People’s Day and what it meant to me to identify as indigenous while also being at Harvard.
This year, I instead want to talk about what it takes to plan an event like Indigenous People’s Day, while also being a student. I know in high school, people tend to do a lot of different clubs and activities. I know when I was in high school, I felt the need to join as many clubs as I could, just to say I was a part of them. However, students don’t really do that at Harvard. Most students realize that time is limited and choose to fully commit to one or two clubs than slightly being involved in many.
The club I am most active in is Native Americans at Harvard College (NAHC). NAHC is a student group that seeks to create community for and spread the voice of indigenous students. I currently serve as President, and yesterday was our largest event of the semester: Indigenous People’s Day (IPD). IPD is truly a celebration of culture, but it isn’t something that just was scrambled together at the last minute.
The Board of NAHC and I have worked tirelessly over the past few weeks to plan out speakers, food, and location. We’ve talked with other student organizations on campus, met with administrative staff, and even reached out to the greater Boston community. We had late night planning meetings, early cooking sessions, and afternoons of poster designs. Needless to say, as a group, we worked together to help make our shared passion a reality.
So, I’m not writing this to tell you to all to plan your very own IPD. Rather, I wanted to let you all know that, at Harvard, you can and will have the power and support to plan events like these. While of course it’s no easy task, planning events, sharing your culture, and working with others, has taught me so much. I have grown as a person leading this organization, and I think it's these outside of the classroom experiences that, as a college student, allow you to learn more than being in the classroom.