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The American Indian Center for Excellence (AICE) and the Native American Student Association (NASA) at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College (NEO) are hosting Native Heritage Day on Wednesday, Nov. 30. Dinner will begin at 4:30 p.m. in the NEO Cafeteria. The program will begin with a screening of Mekko by award-winning filmmaker Sterlin Harjo at 6 p.m. and a Stomp Dance will follow at 7:30 p.m. All events are open to the public. As part of the NEO Distinguished Lecture Series, filmmaker Sterlin Harjo will present a screening of Mekko, which will be followed by a Q&A session. Mekko tells the story of a homeless Native American parolee who seeks to save his chaotic, yet beautiful community from the darkness that threatens it.

Harjo is a member of the Seminole Nation and studied art and film at the University of Oklahoma. He received a fellowship from the Sundance Institute in 2004 and his first feature-length film, Four Sheets to the Wind, was nominated for the grand jury prize at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival. In the same year, he was named best director at the American Indian Film Festival. His second feature, Barking Water, was named the best drama film at the American Indian Film Festival in 2009. Along with his film career, Harjo is a founding member of the Native American comedy group, The 1491s. He also co-founded Fire Thief Productions with Cherokee photographer Jeremy Charles.

Prior to the screening the community is invited to attend a Native American dinner starting at 4:30 p.m. in the Bruce G. Carter Student Union cafeteria. The feast will feature traditional favorites such as wild rice salad, hominy soup, Indian tacos, grape dumplings, and sweet potato pie. The dinner is $8 for guests, but is covered under NEO student meal plans. Following the screening, there will be a Stomp Dance in the Calcango Family Ballroom beginning at 7:30 p.m. All leaders, shell shakers and dancers will be welcomed to participate. All activities will be open to the public. NEO AICE, Miami Arts and Humanities Council, the NEO Foundation’s Regents Endowment, and Fletcher Toyota of Joplin, Mo. are sponsoring the event. For more information, contact Hannah Berryman at hannah.berryman@neo.edu or 918-540-6785.

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