Monday, Oct. 9, 2023 
Dear UNT Community, 

This week, we recognize and celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day, honoring the history and culture of Native Americans and indigenous peoples. UNT owes much to the indigenous people of this area, as our university is built on the land once occupied by the Wichita and affiliated Tribes, the Caddo Nation, and other groups such as the Cherokee and Comanche. When our university was founded in fall 1890, we had an enrollment of 131 students, which included 28 Muscogee Creek students from the Indian Territory, now known as Oklahoma. We are grateful to the people of these tribes. Without them, our university would not have continued to grow and offer a place to achieve dreams of a higher education.  
In the last 133 years, our enrollment has grown to nearly 47,000 students from many different backgrounds. In celebration of our Native American and indigenous students, this week is designated Indigenous Peoples Week.  

I invite you to join UNT's Native American Student Association for events all week long: 
  • Monday, Oct. 9, 5:30 – 7 p.m. in Union 339: A screening of the documentary, Warrior Women, about Dakota Access Pipeline activist Madonna Thunderhawk and community organization. Free popcorn will be available and a discussion will follow the film. 
  • Wednesday, Oct. 11, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Sage Hall Lawn: UNT’s fourth annual Indigenous Peoples Day celebration. This event will include free Native American food, traditional Native American powwow dancing, and information tables on topics such as contemporary Native American art and music, Missing and Murdered Indigenous People (MMIP), Two-Spirit identity, environmental awareness, how to be an ally to the Native American community, and more.
  • Thursday, Oct. 12, 6:30 p.m. in Radio, TV, Film & Performing Arts (RTFP) Building: A screening of the documentary, Bad Press, which highlights the fight for the freedom of press in Native American country. Following the screening, join in a Q&A session with the hero-protagonist of the film, Angel Ellis, of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation. 
We honor the heritage of our Native American students, faculty, and staff. At UNT, we are committed to helping all students, including those who are Native and indigenous, thrive and achieve their dreams. 

UNT Proud,  

Neal Smatresk  
UNT President