Photo | Stella Stokes.
Photo | Stella Stokes.

Celebrating Culture and Success at the HSU Big Time


The HSU Big Time, presented by the Indian Tribal & Educational Personnel Program, is a social gathering with dancing and cultural sharing events. What makes this event unique from other gatherings, is that it takes advantage of the campus to use this event as an educational opportunity for the community. Vincent Feliz, Chumash Master of Ceremonies, explained the songs and prayers during the event and introduced the dance groups from the Santa Ynez Chumash to the Tolowa Nation in Del Norte County. Each dance group also said who they are and where they come from, then lists the songs they sing. Along with the dance demonstrations, there were many cultural sharing events outside the arena that featured men’s and women’s gambling, basket weaving, carving, and a children’s tour of the fish hatcheries.

Photo by Stella Stokes

Feliz began the Big Time with a prayer with Julian Lang, a local Karuk storyteller. Then Feliz sang a grounding song with Lyn Risling, a local Yurok/Karuk/Hupa artist.When Feliz introduced the first dancers, the Maidu tribe, he explained they were one of the first tribes ITEPP invited to dance. They invited more tribes to dance and incidentally, Feliz said they decided to bring other California tribes. Chairs surrounded the dance arena in the West Gym, and each dance demonstration brought in a bigger crowd.

After the Chumash singers finished, Feliz invited the ITEPP alumni and students who are graduating this year to the arena. He called out everyone by each name.

“People wonder how we treat our introvert Indians,” Feliz said to the crowd. “We call them out.”

A crowd of 30-40 people came, including some HSU faculty like Pimm Allen, who is one of the coordinators of the Big Time. They were met with a Chumash honoring song to thank them. Earlier that morning, ITEPP hosted an alumni breakfast to honor them.

Photo by Stella Stokes

Feliz emphasized the importance of  educated Indigenous people and the need for the Indigenous youth to succeed on a national and state level. On the HSU Fast Facts of the fall 2016 semester, there were a total of 89 students identifying as American Indian which makes up about one percent of the total student population. That population reflects the one percent of the national American Indian population in the U.S. at nearly three million citizens, according to the 2010 U.S. Census. The ITEPP’s mission is, “to facilitate and promote academic success and self-efficacy for primarily Native American Indian students at Humboldt State University.”

Students in ITEPP like Bryce Baga and Adrian Romo would hang out at the Brero House, where ITEPP is located. They would study, talk to the advisors, or just hang out with other students. Baga also offers beading classes on his free time. He admits that being a double major in Native American Studies and Economics can be difficult.

“It’s two completely different ways of thinking,” Baga said. “In my NAS classes, it’s all about community and connection. But in Economics, it’s all about-”

“Supply and demand,” Romo said.

“Yeah,” Baga said. “Just make money.”

They were on the table to sell t-shirts to benefit ITEPP. There were more tables that featured non-profits and health programs from United Indian Health Services. The men’s gambling tournament was hosted by a newly founded non-profit called Ancestral Guard, whose goal is to teach Indigenous youth their culture. Founder Sammy Gensaw IV hopes to connect with Chile to fight for their water rights, just as the local tribes are fighting for water rights on the Klamath River. Having a student’s culture validated helps them succeed and help their communities, and the Big Time celebrates that.

Share This Post

More Stories

Nina G uses comedy to start conversations

During the virtual comedy event held by the SDRC, Nina Ghiselli tells her story and emphasizes the importance of student disability resources within schools.

It’s not just the Capitol Police

As the world watched from their televisions on January 6, we witnessed scenes unfold before our eyes that were, to many, unimaginable: supporters of President Trump swarmed the steps of the U.S. Capitol Building, then proceeded to break in and

The San Jose State University Football Team Comes to Humboldt

On a day’s notice from administration, the SJSU football team spends a week and a half in Humboldt practicing because their county did not allow it. Students react to their presence on campus in the midst of a pandemic. Directed

Homelessness in Humboldt, CA

This is the first trailer of a homeless documentary created by HSU students. We have spent months filming and will continue to film throughout the next year. Follow the heartbreaking stories of the homeless community around Humboldt county and the

Thrifty Arcata

Taking a tour of the local thrift shops in Arcata during the COVID-19 pandemic. Directed and produced by Skylar Gaven.

House Plants Generate Peace and Meaning During the Pandemic

Three different people with the same love for plants! House plants have become quite popular these days especially since we’re all basically stuck inside during the pandemic. Not only are they aesthetically pleasing, but these beautiful green oxygen-makers provide more

Prop 22 represents political favoritism of money over workers’ rights

California’s passing of proposition 22 on Nov. 5 represents a frustrating history of workers’ rights being trampled by the overwhelming influence of greed in politics.  This proposition forces app-based workers to be classified as independent contractors, rather than employees. This

Remembering Evelyn Andrews 10 months after her passing

By Katelyn Dendas It has been 10 months since my friend, teammate and freshman year dorm mate, Evelyn Andrews, passed away. I don’t remember what the grief counselor said or what transpired after that Monday, but I do remember arriving

Protestors seek to defund HSUPD

Two local, activist organizations work together to stage a sit-in against Humboldt State’s police department.

Getting stuck on the Trump train

Writer Anthony Aragon details his experience of accidentally joining a pro-Trump car rally.

Justin Turner exposes the World Series to COVID-19

Justin Turner didn’t need to be the story in the wake of the Dodgers’ first World Series victory in 32 years. Instead here we are, wondering what sort of, if any, punishment Major League Baseball will decide to hand down

Four more years of fear

News Editor Carlos Holguin explains why he is worried about the next four years.

Dismal democracy

The Lumberjack editorial staff comments on America’s flawed electoral system As the world watches the United States 2020 election results, waiting for our pseudodemocratic process to churn out a new president, historically unprecedented voting methods misrepresents the reported Election Day

The Mario triple pack invokes a nostalgia attack

When I was a child, the first video game system I owned was a Nintendo 64. Among the games I played was Super Mario 64. I played it all the time and when I wasn’t playing it, I was lying

Women’s lacrosse drops their competitive season

Greta Roberts, president and player of Humboldt State University’s women’s lacrosse team, made the decision with her coach and teammates to cancel the upcoming spring season. The team decided that not being able to recruit in the fall would be

Dobby’s proposition opinions

Haven’t voted yet? Well, you’re running out of time. Here’s a quick rundown of California’s propositions on the ballot this year

Corporations buy out propositions

In a series of general and misleading advertisements, corporate backers of Propositions 22 and 23 show their grubby hands

CDOR continues virtually

The Campus and Community Dialogue On Race returns covering global justice for Black Lives.

Indigenous Food Sovereignty

Local food management practices of the Tolowa Dee-ni, Yurok and other indigenous peoples.

Humboldt State Admin attempts to discredit the Lumberjack

***A Lumberjack editorial represents both the majority opinion of the student newspaper’s editorial board, nine editors, as well as the overwhelming majority of Humboldt State University’s student body. Collectively, an editorial echos, embodies and advocates for community beliefs.*** Insensitive communications

Music of the Moment 6

21 Savage and Metro Boomin drop a classic with “Savage Mode II”

Spartans arrive at HSU despite campus concerns

***Editor’s note: SJSU football program was tested in congruence with Mountain West conference guidelines*** The Spartans have arrived and this time they’re not carrying spears or shields. Instead the San Jose State football team stepped onto the Humboldt State campus

Music of the Moment 5

After shooting Megan Thee Stallion, Tory Lanez cancels himself

Welcome to the Twilight Zone

Comparisons between episodes of the classic TV show The Twilight Zone and our own dismal reality

Music of the Moment 4

YoungBoy Never Broke Again dodges the sophomore slump with his new album “Top.”

Self-Care Cuts

Changing your hair to change your life

HSU Seaweed Farm sets sail

The first commercially-approved seaweed farm in California will be on the map.

Music of the Moment 3

For better or worse, Big Sean is likely gone for good.

More Layers, More Protection?

Humboldt State demands double masking on campus, does more layers equal more protection?

The Ethnic Studies Bill is a Blessing

Ethnic Studies will thankfully become mandatory for all California State University students – as it should be.

The Complex Interface of Humans and Wildfires

How fire suppression is a mixed bag in Humboldt County Every fire season, blankets of smoke roll over Humboldt County. Here on the coast, that’s as close to wildfires as some of us get. But our practice of fire suppression

Defund HSU’s Police Department

Incidents of racism from the former UPD Chief, past examples of excessive force from current officers and a shrinking university budget.

How Not To Be Bitten By A Kitten

Please prepare to be prey Congratulations, a baby feline has recently come into your life. If they’re anywhere from 2-18 months, they bite. They see you as prey. Because you are prey. You always have been. You always will be.

Graduating Into Uncharted Waters

HSU graduates attempt to navigate a world turned upside-down by COVID-19 In May, Humboldt State University graduated hundreds of students, as it does every year. Unlike past years, graduates didn’t get to shake hands with their respective dean and receive

HSU Cultural Center Budget Slashed

Associated Students leaves student body devastated after significant reductions in cultural center’s budget.

All aboard the plague ship

Unprecedented times are met with normalized behavior, HSU puts students and community members at higher risk after reopening campus and student housing.

Music of the Moment

The hip-hop community rallies behind the Black Lives Matter Movement

Inside the Immune System

How the body uses multiple levels of defense against foreign intruders

Catcalling Can’t Continue

Verbal harassment toward women is about control and the assertion of gender discrimination

Major League Marijuana

Why I don’t think marijuana is everything it’s cracked up to be in baseball

Pigs Compost on Campus

CCAT tries to reduce HSU’s food waste footprint through new pig program