Indigenous Peoples Day & Native American Heritage Month

A group of dancers, wearing traditional Indigenous costumes, and staff members from Roswell Park participate in traditional dances as part of a Native American Heritage Month celebration.

Each year, the second Monday in October is a day to celebrate and honor Indigenous Peoples. The Department of Indigenous Cancer Health paid tribute to Indigenous Peoples of Turtle Island at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center with a video shared on social media. Please see the link below. We celebrate our culture, traditions, accomplishments, contributions, and heritage as Indigenous Peoples.


Members of Roswell Park's Center for Indigenous Cancer Research join dancers wearing traditional Indigenous costumes.

The month of November is a busy one at the Department of Indigenous Cancer Health. On November 30, the department hosted our annual celebration in the Gaylord/Cary conference room at Roswell Park. This year, Rodney Haring, PhD, MSW,  and CEO and President Candace Johnson, PhD, opened our Native American Heritage event and Michael Martin, the Director of Native American Community Services of Erie and Niagara counties, shared why it is important to celebrate the diversity of our Indigenous communities.

At our events, we enjoy our traditional foods such as corn soup, fry bread and strawberry drinks. Our food this year came from the restaurant of Beanie Gates’ Café. Our traditional foods of white corn soup (not corn on the cob) and strawberries are staples of our diet and sacred in our culture because they are gifts provided to us from the creator. We are so thankful that these foods come back to us year after year to provide us sustenance.

To show our gratitude, we sing and dance in the traditional way with the songs and dances of our ancestors from time immemorial. For 2022, we invited Gehnew Printup and his dance group to share these songs and remind us of where they came from and to share a little of our culture with participants who were invited to dance together with us.