The third annual Native American Heritage Expo will be held at Western Carolina University beginning Monday, Nov. 7, with events throughout the week.
All events are free and open to the public.
The Native American Heritage Expo, designed to explore the rich and vast culture of the Native American experience, includes artwork and presentations focused on values, traditions and social justice. The expo’s series of programs, to be held in the A.K. Hinds University Center, includes guests who will discuss issues such as Cherokee health, first amendment rights of tribal newspapers and Indian identity.
The featured artist, Arigon Starr, will perform Wednesday, Nov. 9, at 6 p.m. in the Grandroom. Starr is an enrolled member of the Kickapoo Tribe of Oklahoma and an awardwinning musician, songwriter, actor, playwright and creator of the comic book “Super Indian.” Starr was named “Songwriter of the Year” by the Native American Music Awards and received a nomination for “Best Country CD” from Canada’s Aboriginal Peoples Choice Awards.
A reception from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 10, at the Mountain Heritage Center, will honor Qualla artists and celebrate the exhibit “Qualla Arts and Craft Mutual: Tradition and Innovation.” The reception is free and open to the public.
Also as part of the Native American Heritage Expo, a new exhibit will be displayed in the UC titled “The First People: An Enduring Presence.” This exhibit explores four different native cultures and their persistence into modern times, and includes 15 images from Anna Fariello, associate research professor and digital collections curator at WCU’s Hunter Library. The gallery will be available through the end of November. The WCU Department of Intercultural Affairs, WCU Cherokee Studies, the Cherokee Center and Digali’I (the American Indian student organization) are sponsoring the Native American Heritage Expo.
Monday, Nov. 7
— 12:20-1:30 p.m. Native American Expo kickoff luncheon. Remarks from Jane Eastman, director of Cherokee Studies, and performance by Cherokee youth and flutist Tawodi Brown.
— 1:25-2:15 p.m. Cherokee Language Revitalization. Participants will learn the history of the Cherokee syllabary and practice phonetics of alphabet and words.
— 2:30 p.m.-3:20 p.m. Traditional Cherokee Stories. Learn the importance of oral traditions and hear tales by guest speakers.
— 3:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. “The First People: An Enduring Presence Photographs” UC Showcase Room (second floor). This exhibit explores four different native cultures and their persistence into modern times, and includes 15 images from Anna Fariello, associate research professor and digital collections curator at WCU’s Hunter Library. The gallery will be available through the end of November.
— 6-7:30 p.m. Native Health Panel: Cherokee Women’s Health. Panelists include: Terri Henry, member of the Tribal Council of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians; Victoria Harlan, an Eastern Band member, registered nurse and ER nurse manager of the Cherokee Indian Hospital; Aneva Hagberg, an Eastern Band member, registered nurse and director of operations of the Health and Medical Division of the EBCI; and Margaret Bender, a linguistic anthropologist at Wake Forest University.
Tuesday, Nov. 8
— 11 a.m.-12:10 p.m. Sustaining Tradition: A Cherokee Cooperative. The year 2011 marked the 65th anniversary of Qualla Arts and Crafts Mutual, a cooperative established to promote the work of Cherokee artisans. Over the past three years, WCU professor Anna Fariello has worked with the co-op to capture and record its history.
— 12:30-1:50 p.m. Cherokee Letter Press Participants will learn the history of the letterpress and the printing process of the Cherokee syllabary as a means of preserving the language as well as reviving lost arts. Presented by Oconaluftee Institute for Cultural Arts printmaking instructor Frank Brannon and program coordinator Jeff Marley.
— 3:30-4:30 p.m. Du-Yu Dv-I: The Right Path Adult Leadership. Learn how the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians is implementing culturally based leadership development to reinforce the principles of selfless service.
— 6-7:30 p.m. The Struggle for Freedom of the Press in Indian Country. Will Chavez of the Cherokee Nation will deliver this talk about how First Amendment rights enjoyed by U.S. newspapers do not apply to most newspapers operated by Indian nations in the United States. Tribal government funds most tribal newspapers and the chief, governor or president of the tribe may have the final say about the paper’s content. The recent challenges and tests the Cherokee Phoenix has faced in maintaining a free press also will be discussed.
Wednesday, Nov. 9
— 12:20-1:20 p.m. Cherokee Boarding School Experience. An overview of boarding school history, including the grief and trauma of cultural genocide, and a look at the movement to receive an apology for boarding school policies from the U.S. government.
— 3:30-5 p.m. Indian Identity Panel. Panelists will explore different factors which have been used to define “Indianness” and how communities strive to preserve and sustain their values and traditions.
— 6-7:30 p.m. Musical Performance Arigon Starr. An enrolled member of the Kickapoo Tribe of Oklahoma, Arigon Starr is based in Los Angeles and is an award-winning musician, songwriter, actor, playwright and creator of the comic book “Super Indian.”
Thursday, Nov. 10
— 6-8 p.m. Reception for “Qualla Arts and Craft Mutual: Tradition and Innovation,” Mountain Heritage Center. In honor of the MHC exhibit “Qualla Arts and Craft Mutual: Tradition and Innovation.”