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UT Arlington program reveals history of Native American regalia

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Monday, November 15, 2010

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Media Contact: Bridget Lewis, Office:817-272-3317, Cell:214-577-9094, blewis@uta.edu

ARLINGTON - The University of Texas at Arlington Native American Students Association will present its “This is not a Costume” program at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 17, in College Hall, Room 106, 600 S. West Street.

Members will show off American Indian dress, which includes elaborate homemade regalia. Some of the items are brand new and other clothing was passed down through generations. 

Through the presentation, members hope to educate people about American Indian history. “We want to educate because there’s so much misunderstanding and misrepresentation in the media,” said Debra Foldoe, a UT Arlington graduate nursing student who is a descendant of the Chippewa tribe. People often think American Indians wore costumes for show, but Foldoe says: “This is personal. It’s part of our culture. This is not a costume.” 

The campus group only has 15 to 20 members, but Texas has a sizable American Indian community. About 119,000 Native Americans live in Texas, about 0.5 percent of the state population. About 0.8 percent of Americans identified as American Indian or Alaskan Native in the 2000 Census, the highest percentage ever recorded, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. At least six tribes will be represented at the program and all ages are welcome.

The “This is not a Costume” program is free and open to the public. Visit this link for a map and directions to College Hall.

The University of Texas at Arlington is a comprehensive undergraduate and graduate research institution of nearly 33,000 students in the heart of North Texas. Visit www.uta.edu to learn more.

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The University of Texas at Arlington is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer.