The Native American Suite was founded in the Fall Semester of 2000 and was the first of its kind for Buffalo State College. The Native American Suite was the first culturally-themed housing unit to be integrated into Residence Life.
The Native American Suite was instituted to introduce the residents of North Wing, as well as all other residence halls on campus, to historical and contemporary Native American culture. The living experience in the Native American Suite is unique in that the suite was the first housing unit on campus to be a co-ed living space. Apart from hosting Native American students, the suite has housed students from Latino, African American, and other backgrounds. This is a true testament to the credo of the Native American Suite: all are welcome; you do not have to be Native American to be a resident in the Native American Suite.
On top of being diverse, the suite also hosts many workshops, programs, and events educating students on Native American culture, adding to the high quality living experience in North Wing Hall. Here is a list of just a few of the events that the Native American Suite sponsors:
Annual Thanksgiving Dinner
This event is hosted by the Native American Suite. The residents of the suite cook dinner for the residents of North Wing. The event is completely free and open to the residents of North Wing. The food and drinks are provided by Residence Life. This promotes a sense of community and family within North Wing Hall. It also provides a Thanksgiving dinner for those residents that are unable to travel home for this holiday.
The Native American Suite co-sponsored this event with the Native American Student Organization, which was also sponsored by several on-campus organizations: Adelante Estudiantes Latinos, the African American Student Organization, Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority Inc., as well as Lambda Sigma Upsilon’s Kyodrowe Chapter from the University of Buffalo.
This program was moderated by Gail Wells and Daniel Velez. It was an effort by all of the cultural organizations at Buffalo State College to make an effort to break down stereotypes, and educate those in attendance on the beauty of diversity.
Dream Catcher Workshop
The Native American Suite has sponsored this popular program for the past two years. Attendees learn about the significance of the dream catcher, its cultural representation, its medicinal purposes, and its origins. The audience also has the opportunity to make their own dream catchers. Members of the Native American Student Organization attend and assist the audience in the creation of their dream catchers.
Native American Movie Night
The Native American Suite sponsors a movie night featuring movies starring, produced by, or directed by a Native American. Films that have been featured include “Smoke Signals," “Dances with Wolves," and “Once Were Warriors.” Each message presented in the films is discussed upon the completion of the movie. Also, refreshments and food are provided by the suite.