The Editorially Independent Voice of The University of Akron

The Buchtelite

The Editorially Independent Voice of The University of Akron

The Buchtelite

The Editorially Independent Voice of The University of Akron

The Buchtelite

UA Holds events in celebration of North American First People’s Day   

The University of Akron will recognize North American First People’s Day on Sept. 29 and Oct. 5. North American First People’s Day was officially established by the Councils of the City of Akron and Summit County and is acknowledged on the first Monday in October.  

The upcoming events are sponsored by The Portage Path Collaborative, an assembly of volunteer educators, organizations, and individuals committed to preserving and sharing the heritage and modern cultures of the area’s First People. One of the Portage Path Collaborative’s educators includes UA’s very own Cummings Center for the History of Psychology.  

The Northern Cheyenne tribe and community walking the ancient Portage Path from Portage Path CLC to the John Brown Home during a previous year’s First People’s Day event. Photo courtesy of Portage Path Collaborative.

Offering opportunities for the campus and community to learn about North America’s first people is important to the Cummings Center.

According to its website, “The Cummings Center is located on lands that have been home to many diverse nations, including the Ohio Seneca and Cayuga, the Lenni Lenape (Delaware), the Miami, the Shawnee, the Wyandot (Wendat), the Ottawa (Odawa) and the Ojibwe Nations.”

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The lands mentioned were ceded in the 1805 Treaty of Fort Industry and the forced removal of tribes through the Indian Removal Act of 1830.

“The Cummings Center pays respect to the land and lives of Indigenous Nations past and present, and is committed to a process of continual learning, reflection and reconciliation,” the website says. The Cummings Center staff researched and wrote a land acknowledgement (see sidebar) to demonstrate that respect.

Located at 73 S. College St., the Center begins hosting its events on Friday, Sept. 29.

Friday’s events include: 

Learn more about the Oak Native American Ethnographic Collection at Oak Gallery from a tour led by an Institute for Human Science and Culture curator. 

  • 4 p.m. 7p.m. reception for Native American artist and renowned potter, Peter B. Jones of the Onondaga Nation (Registration here.)

Jones expressed that this exhibit O-bit-u-ary is something he wanted to do for a long time. 

“Missing and murdered Native women deals with something that is currently our affecting our women in the United States and Canada,” Jones stated. “To date, 5,800 Native women have been found murdered or missing from our communities.” 

Individuals can experience his exhibit which aims to bring the missing and murdered Native women to the forefront of the public’s awareness at Oak Native American Gallery until July 2024. 

  • 7:30 p.m. “Clans” performed at the season opening concert for the Akron Symphony at E.J. Thomas Performing Arts Hall 

Conductor Jarod Impichch aachaaha’ Tate uses his Chickasaw heritage to bring forth the art of music in unique and inviting ways in this concert narrated by Dr. LaDonna Blue Eye (Choctaw Nation). The performance will be preceded by a free “Preview from the Podium” talk by music director Christopher Wilkins. Tickets range from $15 to $60 and can be purchased at

Image of flyer for Friday, September 29 artist event happening as part of the series, provided by Cummings Center for the History of Psychology.

Thursday, Oct. 5 events include: 

We are thrilled to have Dr. Malinda Maynor Lowery traveling to Akron to teach us about the history of the Lumbee Nation. Dr. Lowery’s research has wide appeal for the UA community, with its focus on finding stories of Native American women who have traditionally been hidden or ignored in U.S. history,” states Dr. Jodi Kearns, associate research professor of bibliography and director of the Institute for Human Science and Culture. 

Kearns is ecstatic to have this level of workshop here at our campus.  

“In addition to her public lecture, Dr. Lowery has agreed to work with UA students. Her work as an historian and documentary filmmaker positions her beautifully to dialogue with UA’s first cohort of MA/PH students, who are earning a graduate certificate in Public Humanities while earning their MA in Public History,” Kearns said.

Sunday and Monday, Oct. 8-9, The Nightlight Cinema is also celebrating: 

  • 7:00 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 8 and 6:00 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 9: A special screening of the documentary film Bad Press.

Tickets are available online at The Nightlight. There is a discount on student tickets for this showing.

For more information about any of the Cummings Center events, contact Dr. Jodi Kearns [email protected]. To learn more about the events on campus, visit: 

For a complete list of events offered for North American First People’s Day in Akron, including the North American First People’s Walk on Sunday, Oct. 1, visit the Portage Path Collaborative’s North American First People’s Day 2023 Celebration webpage.


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Shananne Lewis
Shananne Lewis, Online Editor
Shananne Lewis started working as an Educational Specialist with the Education Talent Search at Buckingham in June of 2023. For twenty-five years she has taught dance in the Akron and Canton areas because she received her degree in Dance from The University of Akron. She has two children at The University of Akron. In her spare time, she loves to read about Dance History and is the administrator for Avid Dancer Book Club on Facebook, with a million members. Fun fact: Shananne Lewis lived in both Sisler-McFawn Hall and Spanton her Freshman and Sophomore years here at Akron. For ten years she had a birthday party business, frequently dressing up as a princess or pirate and invading their homes to teach a fun dance routine.
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