COCC Celebrates Indigenous Peoples’ Day with Discussions and Events

COCC Celebrates Indigenous Peoples’ Day with Discussions and Events

Central Oregon Community College (COCC) is pleased to share its lineup of free events for the community on Oct. 11, following the recent decision to formally recognize the second Monday in October as Indigenous Peoples’ Day.

The day will include a land acknowledgment discussion (9-10 a.m.; held virtually); a talk on Christopher Columbus from a Native perspective (noon to 1 p.m.; in-person); an educators’ workshop titled “Incorporating Indigenous Perspectives in the Classroom” (4-5 p.m.; in-person); and a video screening of “The Columbus Controversy” (5:30-6:30 p.m.; in-person).

“For our inaugural Indigenous Peoples’ Day at COCC, we’re featuring some incredible learning opportunities and forums for opening dialogue,” said Christy Walker, director of the college’s diversity and inclusion program. “We’re excited to help bring the community together for this important recognition.”

All in-person events will take place in Wille Hall at the Bend campus’s Coats Campus Center, with masks required and distancing protocols followed. No registration is required, though Wille Hall is limited to 52 individuals. Learn more about COCC’s Indigenous Peoples’ Day at

From 9-10 a.m., COCC’s Native American program coordinator Michelle Cary, of the Seneca-Cayuga Nation, will lead a Zoom-based lecture and discussion on the purpose and impact of land acknowledgments, exploring how COCC’s land acknowledgment was created and why it took over a year to create the living document. Contact for the Zoom link.

From noon to 1 p.m., in Wille Hall, join COCC world languages instructor Gabriann Hall of the Klamath Tribes for a talk on Christopher Columbus from a Native perspective, an overview that separates fact from fiction. The talk will then shift to the contributions of indigenous people and current issues impacting Native communities.

From 4-5 p.m., in Wille Hall, Native American college prep coordinator Kelsey Freeman will present “Incorporating Indigenous Perspectives in the Classroom,” an interactive workshop that explores concrete ideas for intentional, accurate teaching of Native affairs and how to bring Native American perspectives into the classroom. The workshop will discuss the manifestations of racism that Native American students often encounter in educational settings and how to better support those students.

Finally, from 5:30-6:30 p.m., in Wille Hall, COCC will screen a short documentary titled “The Columbus Controversy,” with follow-up discussion moderated by Michelle Cary, COCC’s Native American program coordinator.

For specific information on these events, contact Christy Walker, director of diversity and inclusion, at or 541-383-7412.

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