Taylor Cole

Arts and Culture Editor

Dream Warriors show the perseverance Natives have after a long, unfair history. (Photo courtesy of courant.com)
Dream Warriors show the perseverance Natives have after a long, unfair history. (Photo courtesy of courant.com)

This year on Oct 10, America recognizes Columbus Day, a holiday that celebrates Christopher Columbus’ arrival and discovery of the North America, right? Wrong.

Many college students should know by now that when Columbus arrived in North America, he and his crew weren’t alone. Many Native American tribes already occupied much of the area. That didn’t stop Columbus from imperializing and asserting his dominance over America. I

n fact, on his first day in the “New World,” he captured six Native Americans, believing they would be “good servants,” according to the staff of History.com. From this point forward, Native Americans were introduced to violence, slavery, religious conversion, and deadly diseases. And on October 10, Americans will recognize and celebrate Columbus’ efforts.

Luckily for Millersville students, on Wednesday Oct 12th, Friends of Advocates for Native Nations (F.A.N.N) will be hosting an event titled “Dream Warriors”. F.A.N.N., founded by Millersville University graduate Carolyn Rittenhouse and her daughter Danielle Rittenhouse, focuses on the preservation and celebration of Native American culture. Both co-founders are members of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe of South Dakota. The two visit the reservation each year where their culture is celebrated with close family and friends. Reality hits when they see some of their tribe still living in impoverished conditions.

F.A.N.N and a non-profit organization also founded by Carolyn and Danielle, Advocates for Native Nations (A.N.N.), work to educate students and the community on Native culture and create opportunities to support Native nations through service learning experiences.

“It’s important for Millersville students to know they don’t have to be Native American to join our club, ” Carolyn Rittenhouse states, “Particularly, we (F.A.N.N) feel it is important for MU student to learn about the local history regarding Native Americans that once lived in Pennsylvania over 200 years ago.” Believe it or not, there are still over 500 nations/tribes in living in North America, some are even living in Lancaster County, according to Carolyn rittenhouse.
The “Dream Warriors” event plans to educate students on Native American culture and share how they’ve preserved and overcome colonization with the help of their Native identity, according to Carolyn Rittenhouse.

To start the event, a documentary titled “The Doctrine of Discovery” will be shown. This documentary, directed by Sheldon Wolfchild, highlights the history of Christians locating non-Christian lands and asserting their dominance to the groups living there–something that has happened one too many times.

Birgil Kills Straight, a Headman of the Oglala Lakota Nation, will discuss how traditional teachings of the original nations empowers those nations affected by imperialism and proselytism. Following the documentary, F.A.N.N and the Dream Warriors will host a discussion.

Directly after the documentary, the Dream Warriors will take the stage and perform special acts that both raise awareness of the trauma Native Americans have experienced and culturally empower Native Americans and Native American culture.

Frank Waln will share his story of being a role model for Native youth and how he focuses on his culture and the love of his family to empower him. He’ll use Native musical influences and language to create a unique hip-hop arrangement everyone can enjoy.

Up next is Native poet Tanaya Winder, who describes the power of love through word art.

Following this act is The Sampson Brothers who will perform high-energy cultural dances that aims to promote cultural education and preservation.

F.A.N.N. “invites Millersville University students to join them in this good work to support Native Americans through awareness, service, and cultural preservation.” This event will start at 6 p.m. with the showing of the documentary. The Dream Warriors will be performing at 8 p.m.. This event will be hosted in the SMC MPR on Oct 12.

Interested in more of F.A.N.N’s events? They’re are several upcoming activities to be on the lookout for including a trip to the Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC, a trip to the Gathering of Nations Powwow in Albuquerque, NM, and a service learning trip to the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation in South Dakota.