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WCU celebrates Native American Heritage Month

November is Native American Heritage Month and events adhering to pandemic protocols have been scheduled for Western Carolina University. 

Many of the events will be held virtually, with the recognition intended to provide a platform for native peoples to share traditional culture, music, crafts, dance and concepts of life, as well as raise awareness of their history and challenges. The monthlong activities are sponsored by the Cherokee Center, Cherokee Studies Program, Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity Programs, Intercultural Affairs Department and Digali’i i Native American Student Organization. 

“This month is an important opportunity to share our cultural values and recognize our place within regional history and the campus community,” said Sky Sampson, director of the Cherokee Center, the university’s office for tribal outreach and partnership development, with a broad range of services, including college applications and alumni engagement. “This year, many of the events that traditionally involve gatherings of people will still occur, only in social media and online platforms, or in safe, limited capacity settings.” 

Throughout November, WCU will host “The Art of Native Photography Exhibit” in the Intercultural Affairs gallery in the A.K. Hinds University Center. Other scheduled activities include Tribal Identity in Public Settings panel discussion, 5:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 9, on Facebook Live and a Native American Heritage Festival, as a social media event, Tuesday, Nov. 17. 

WCU’s Cherokee Center is located at 1594 Acquoni Road, Cherokee, and is the headquarters for communication between WCU and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. For more information, contact Sampson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 828.497.7920.

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