Events celebrate Native American Heritage Month

Native American Expo set for WCU

The 5th annual Native American Expo at Western Carolina University will run Nov. 11-13, with a series of events and presentations centered on Native American values, traditions and culture. All events will be held in the Grandroom of A.K. Hinds University Center.

Chris Teuton of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill will discuss his book Cherokee Stories of Turtle Island Liars’ Club at 10:30 a.m. Nov. 11. Students from WCU Cherokee language and experimental archaeology classes will make presentations at 2:30 p.m. that day. Students from Cherokee Elementary School will perform native songs from 11:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. Nov. 12. 

DiGali’I, the Native American student organization, will show the film “Smoke Signals” at 6:30 p.m., with a panel discussion to follow. WCU alumna Dr. Frances Owl-Smith, the first woman physician from the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, and Dr. Jerri McLemore, associate professor of pathology at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center and a member of the Creek Nation of Oklahoma, will be honored at 2:30 p.m. Nov. 13, with a closing reception to follow.

The expo, which includes a walkthrough exhibit displaying Native American artifacts and information, is sponsored by the Department of Intercultural Affairs, the Cherokee Studies Program, the Cherokee Heritage Center and the DiGali’I student organization.


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‘Trail of Tears’ symposium in Cherokee

The North Carolina Chapter of the Trail of Tears Association will host a symposium, “Remembering the Removal and Those Who Remained,” from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 15, at the Joyce C. Dugan Cultural Arts Center at Cherokee Central School.

At 6 p.m., the N.C. TOTA will host a dinner at the Cultural Arts Center with Brett Riggs from UNC-Chapel Hill, an authority on removal in WNC, as the keynote speaker. There will be a short musical program before his presentation. Because of limited space, pre-registration is required. $25.

On Saturday, Nov.16, the N.C. TOTA will host a pilgrimage by bus to important WNC removal sites. The bus will depart from and arrive back at the Cultural Arts Center.  Due to limited space, pre-paid registration is required and is $40 per person, which includes a box lunch. The daylong symposium is free.

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Cherokee history discussion in Sylva

In celebration of Native American Heritage Month, the Jackson County Arts Council will sponsor a presentation by Tyler Howe, tribal historic specialist for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 7, at the Jackson County Public Library Annex in Sylva.

The presentation is titled: “We are left to do the best we can for ourselves — A discussion of Cherokee Self-determination During the Removal Period in Western North Carolina.”



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