Saturday’s Experience Haskell event invites community to do just that

A sign at the entrance to Haskell Indian Nations University is shown Friday, Aug. 5, 2016.

Haskell Indian Nations University is inviting the community to “experience” everything the historic school has to offer.

This weekend, Haskell students, faculty and staff will host “Experience Haskell: Native Lawrence,” a second annual event showcasing the university’s history, culture and educational environment. Festivities, which range from campus tours and student panels to traditional Native American music, games and cuisine, will take place Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Haskell, 155 Indian Ave.

Eric Anderson, a professor in Haskell’s Indigenous and American Indian studies department, is serving as project director of the event. He said “many people don’t realize what a treasure we have in our midst,” referring to Haskell’s standing as “the de facto national Indian university.”

The school, despite attracting students from tribes across the country, doesn’t see nearly as many local visitors as its neighbor on Mount Oread, Anderson said. He’s hoping events like “Experience Haskell” will change that.

“We want them to know they can come on out for more than just the Indian Art Market and the powwow, and we want them to see the amazing things our students are doing,” Anderson, a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, said of his fellow Lawrencians.

This year’s Experience Haskell event occurs in conjunction with Haskell’s homecoming events on Friday and Saturday, also open to the public.

Admission is free, but visitors might want to bring cash if they plan on purchasing food. There will probably be Indian tacos on hand, Anderson said, along with other Native culinary staples. Students might also take the opportunity to sell artwork and crafts, he said.

For a complete schedule of Experience Haskell activities, check out the “Experience Haskell” event page on Facebook. Then, start your visit Saturday by picking up a map and event flier at the Haskell Cultural Center and Museum at 2411 Barker Ave.