November 12, 2021 • By Christine Pasalo Norland

We Are on Native Lands

Native American and Indigenous students, faculty, and staff at San Diego State University (SDSU) hosted a series of free in-person and virtual events throughout November to celebrate Native American Heritage Month. The series opened with the raising of the now-permanently flying Kumeyaay flag on the SDSU campus and concluded with the opening of a new space for the SDSU Native Resource Center and a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Native American Student Association.

Featured on Thursday, November 18, was a conversation with Tongva writer, illustrator, and comics artist Weshoyot Alvitre. The online event, which was open to the public, was hosted by The Department of American Indian Studies at SDSU and co-sponsored by Comics@SDSU, the SDSU Native Resource Center, and the Native American & Indigenous Faculty and Staff Association.

"I am my own hashtag," Alvitre states in her Instagram bio.

Indeed she is. Over the last 15 years, the artist's work has spanned mainstream and indie comics, galleries and museums, picture books, political illustration, and video games.

A modicum of Alvitre's credits include the comic "My Sisters" with Indigenous writer Chag Lowry, "Marvel's Voices: Indigenous Voices #1" from Marvel, "Umbrella Academy" from Darkhorse Comics, the picture book "At the Mountain's Base" written by Cherokee Native citizen Traci Sorrell, the "Prayers for Puvunga" spoken comic that is part of Five Oaks Museum's Untouchable Artifacts exhibition, and the "Native New York" exhibit that opened at the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian.

The free virtual event took place from 10:00–10:45 a.m. PST and registration was required. A full list of SDSU's events for Native American Heritage Month was provided by the SDSU's Native Resource Center.

This article has been updated to refer to the events in the past.


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