American Indian law professor Paul Apodaca will speak at UC Irvine at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 12, in the Student Center Pacific Ballroom B to mark Native American Heritage Month and the new Native American Heritage Day.

Apodaca will discuss cultural perceptions and realities, according to Nikishna Polequaptewa, director of the UCI American Indian Resource Program, which organized the event in conjunction with the American Indian Student Association.

Held in November, Native American Heritage Month will, for the first time, include a new national day of tribute honoring American Indians’ contributions to the U.S. Native American Heritage Day will fall on the Friday after Thanksgiving.

“This day helps raise awareness about the past and current realities faced by Native people,” says Yolanda Leon, American Indian Resource Program coordinator and American Indian Summer Institute in Computer Sciences director.

Apodaca is associate professor of American studies at Chapman University, past editor of the Journal of California and Great Basin Anthropology, and former curator of American Indian art, folklore and California history for the Bowers Museum of Cultural Art. He wrote the musical score for the Academy Award-winning documentary “Broken Rainbow” and consults for Disney Imagineering, Universal Pictures and Knott’s Berry Farm.