person making a basket

Annual Events

Learn what the department is doing to connect with students, faculty, staff, alumni and the local community.

students at conference

Native American Youth Empowerment Conference

The Native American Youth Empowerment Conference is held on campus each spring, bringing approximately 200 Native middle school and high school students to campus for a full day of workshops, speakers, and a campus tour. The purpose of the conference is to promote higher education to Native youth, and give them the tools they need to start the process of preparing for, applying to, and attending an institution of higher learning. The conference is sponsored and organized by students in the Native American Student Alliance and the Elymash Yuuchaap Indigenous Scholars and Leaders Program, as well as by volunteers from the local community. It receives funding support from the university and donations from local tribes.


dancers at pow wow

San Diego State University Annual Pow Wow

Usually held every spring semester

This annual event is sponsored by the SDSU Native American Student Alliance, in conjunction with the Native Resource Center and the American Indian Studies department, in order to bring a glimpse of the American Indian traditions of today to both SDSU and the San Diego community.


bird singers

Native American Heritage Month

Events are scheduled throughout the month of November

November marks National Native American Indian Heritage Month, which provides a platform for Native people to share their culture, traditions, music, crafts, dance, and ways and concepts of life. A series of events are scheduled at SDSU each November to help students and visitors explore, honor and celebrate Native culture.


Graduation Medallions

American Indian Graduation and Honoring Ceremony

This event is usually held in early May

Each May, the Department of American Indian Studies, in conjunction with the Sycuan Institute on Tribal Gaming, hosts a special graduation ceremony for Native American students, American Indian majors and minors, and Tribal Gaming students from the Hospitality and Tourism Management program. At the ceremony, each graduate receives individual recognition and has the opportunity to express appreciation to family, friends and others.


Linda Parker

Linda Parker Memorial Lecture

This event is usually held in February

Each February, in celebration and remembrance of Professor Linda S. Parker (Cherokee) on the anniversary of her passing, the department sponsors a lecture by a visiting guest speaker. The topic of the lecture is chosen from one of Prof. Parker's research interests, including Native American law, American Indian history, women's issues, etc.


SDSU basketball

Nike N7 Native American Night with SDSU Men's Basketball

This event is usually held in November

Each November, SDSU Men's Basketball partners with Nike N7 as part of a special celebration during Native American Heritage Month. Nike N7 is Nike's commitment to bring sports and all of its benefits to Native American communities. San Diego State University makes a departure from their traditional colors for the game, donning turquoise Nike N7 uniforms. The game include special ceremonies and performances honoring Native American communities and culture.


Visit our News & Events page for the latest information about these events.