Native landscapes illustrate Indigenous culture

This version of the article clarifies Barbara Mauter’s status as a BGSU student while on this immersion trip.

MCCC is in the midst of celebrating Native American Heritage Month with events and activities throughout the month of November. 

Among these events was a Native Landscapes presentation. It was hosted by Barbara Mauter, MCCC faculty specialist, on Nov. 15 through Zoom.

In the presentation, Mauter spoke about her experiences traveling to Indigenous peoples’ lands in New Mexico, Arizona and Utah.

Picture of canyon.
Canyon de Chelly in Arizona. (Photo courtesy of Barbara Mauter.)

She took the 15-day trip as a student with Bowling Green State University in May 2017.

“The whole trip was life-changing and phenomenal, and I am very glad I went,” Mauter said. 

She said events like this presentation are normally planned even a year in advance, but she was asked to present only weeks ago. 

“When they asked me to present, the first thought I had in my mind was ‘when I would have time to do that?’” Mauter said. 

Even with less time to prepare her presentation, she said it went well and her practice runs paid off. 

At its peak, the meeting had a total of 22 attendees. 

Along with sharing her experience on the trip during the presentation, Mauter also showed pictures. 

She recalled a time during her travels when her camera died, and she wished she could have taken a picture of the wild horses her group came across. However, that didn’t stop her from taking a mental picture. 

Among the virtual audience was MCCC alumni as well as Cheyenne and Arapaho tribe member Graham Denton. 

Denton played a part in organizing the events for Native American Heritage Month, and helped write the Land Acknowledgment draft

He said it was important to him to attend the presentation to show support for Mauter. 

Denton said these events are a good start, but that the college needs to do more to highlight Native American history and culture. 

He said there are so many non-Indigenous people involved when there are Indigenous people in the county that the college could easily get in contact with.

Denton will be presenting Thanksgiving myths, the doctrine of discovery, and myths concerning Christopher Columbus Dec. 2 via Zoom. 

Likely to attend is Bonnie Weber, a community member who said she attends as many of the MCCC presentations as she can. 

She was in attendance at all presentations in the series so far, including Native Landscapes. 

“My biggest takeaway was the interpretation of the culture by the speaker,” she said. “This presentation had more of the culture and the spiritual aspects.”

Within those cultural aspects, Mauter said that connection to Mother Earth, water is life, and respect for all living things are the most important.

“Those are some top things that come to mind, but there’s so much of it.” she said. “Part of it is the way an individual lives their life.”

Students can look forward to similar events next year, as Mauter said MCCC has celebrated Native American Heritage Month many years prior.