Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

“Le Emátanhanpi”: Students Present Native Art Showcase

The Circle of Indigenous Students’ Alliance (CISA) presented its Native Art Showcase with live poetry, dancing, music and visual art presentations at an April 12 event. 

CISA, an organization that elevates the voices and culture of Indigenous students on campus, followed the theme Le Emátanhanpi, which in the Lakota language is interpreted as “We Belong Here.” The showcase featured seven performances and four artists and art groups on display, with the performances featuring four poetry readings, one song, one dance and an oratory.

Rachel Two Bulls (CAS ’24), a Lakota student who organized the event, said the thematic emphasis on the concept of belonging comes from the diversity of Indigenous culture and the idea of environmental belonging. 

“CISA and the theme of indigeneity on campus has been really difficult to harness just because of how diverse and spread out we are,” Two Bulls told The Hoya. “I think belonging to the land is something that is big in culture but not necessarily something that is talked about and let alone something that different groups can talk about together and still understand because we’re from different places, but I think once we establish ourselves as belonging to a community, it becomes easier to actually identify with Indigenous groups.”

Evie Steele/The Hoya | The Circle of Indigenous Students’Alliance (CISA), an organization that elevates the voices and culture of Indigenous students on campus, displayed its Native Art Showcase with the theme Le Emántanhanpi, which in the Lakota language is interpreted as “We Belong Here,” featuring live poetry, dancing, music and visual art presentations April 12.

“Capturing the big picture narrative is what we’re trying to do,” Two Bulls added. 

The showcase, also sponsored through Campus Ministry, ended with a raffle for three winners to receive select pieces of art from the showcase. 

Sophia Monsalvo (CAS ’26), a Colombian African American student who performed at the CISA showcase for the first time, sang “Saber Olvidar,” which in Spanish means “to know forgetting.” She said she chose to join the showcase because of the strong community she has found in CISA and among Indigenous people. 

“I chose to sing tonight in general because I just started getting involved with CISA last year and it was about a really big journey of reconnecting with my own Indigeneity and understanding what that means in the Latin American context,” Monsalvo told The Hoya. “CISA has really helped me find community in that and speak and be able to exist in that.”

“I really love any chance I can get to share my energy and space with people,” Monsalvo added. 

At the showcase, Simone Guité (CAS ’26), a member of the Chinook Nation, shared her oratory titled “Tonto Got His Indian Money” to draw attention to the fact that the Chinook Nation has not yet received permanent federal recognition.

Guité said she created the oratory after a research project in which she examined how her family’s history connects to United States history. 

“I looked at my tribe, so I came in kind of having a really strong foundation and knowing a lot of the nitty-gritty tribal legal cases and dates and events,” Guité told The Hoya. “And so then I thought what better way to share it rather than presenting a big whole paper than my own personal stories and family stories.”

Monsalvo said she chose her showcase song because of its resonances with an experience common among many Indigenous people — channeling hope by remembering the many different parts of their identity.

“I know a lot of that feels like remembering the ancestors and remembering the legacy and life that we still hold within ourselves as Indigenous people,” Monsalvo said. 

Two Bulls said that events like CISA’s showcase help capture the lives of Indigenous people and communities in their own words, something that many Georgetown students may not understand. 

“I think creating spaces like this to talk about something more than struggle, despite how difficult it is for us to splinter and then have to come back together as a group, to look at something about us rather than something about what we’re struggling with,” Two Bulls said. “It is also instilling in us that there is a place amongst others in Georgetown that is for you, in that identity as an Indigenous person.”

Guité said that events like the Native Art Showcase help her and other Indigenous students build community on campus, which she said is not always easily accessible. 

“I think a lot of times there’s obviously not a lot of spaces that are meant for Indigenous people to share their stories and their artwork,” Guité said. “So having this event is a great way for that to happen and a great space to create more community and come together and share our own experiences.”

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