COCC’s Native American Heritage Month Features Poetry, Music & Comedy


(Comedian Gilbert Brown will perform at COCC Madras on November 17 | Photo courtesy of COCC)

Central Oregon Community College (COCC) is commemorating Native American Heritage Month with a diverse lineup of free community events in Bend and Madras during November, including a poetry reading with past Oregon Poet Laureate Elizabeth Woody (November 4), a rap performance with Blue Flamez and a flute concert with Grammy-winning James Greeley (both November 7), and a comedy show with Gilbert Brown (November 17). Visit for details.

A poetry reading by Elizabeth Woody, named Oregon’s first Native American poet laureate in 2016, will also include an audience Q&A, beginning at 6pm on Saturday, November 4, in the Pinckney Performing Arts Center on COCC’s Bend campus. An artist, author and educator, Woody is a member of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs and Navajo, Wasco and Yakama tribes.

Hip-hop and rap artist Blue Flamez will perform from 1-2pm on Tuesday, November 7, in the Hitchcock Auditorium on the Bend campus. The artist is a member of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs and winner of the Tokyo Film Festival’s Best Music Video. Then, from 2-3pm on November 7, flutist James Greeley, a Grammy Award recipient, will take to the Hitchcock Auditorium stage for a flute performance. Greeley is a member of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs and of Hopi descent.

Comedian Gilbert Brown will appear at COCC’s Madras campus from 6:30-7:30pm on Friday, November 17. Also known as the “Naughty Rez Dog,” Brown is a member of the Modoc, Klamath, Paiute and Warm Springs tribes. His storytelling style of comedy includes tales of rodeos and reservation life.

“We as Native folk give respect to our ancestors in numerous ways on a daily basis, but Native American Heritage Month is an opportune time to showcase to the world our celebration of Indigenous strength and resiliency by honoring those who fought for our way of life,” said Jeremiah Rector, COCC’s Native American Program coordinator. “That honor is displayed by talented individuals, such as poets, musicians, comedians, bead workers and educators, to only mention a fraction, who fuse those talents with culture to express a compelling story. These stories are to encourage and educate future generations to continue the path.”

For more information on these events, contact Jeremiah Rector, Native American Program coordinator, at 541-318-3782 or

In advance of college events, persons needing accommodation or transportation because of a physical or mobility disability should contact Caitlyn Gardner at 541-383-7237. For accommodation because of other disability, such as hearing impairment, contact disability services at 541-383-7583.


About Author

Founded in 1994 by the late Pamela Hulse Andrews, Cascade Business News (CBN) became Central Oregon’s premier business publication. •

Leave A Reply