Cultural series to feature film ‘Spiral of Fire’

The Lectures, Concerts and Exhibitions Series at Western Carolina University will feature LeAnne Howe’s film “Spiral of Fire” at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 14, in the Grandroom of Western’s A.K. Hinds University Center.

Author LeAnne Howe (seated) and field producer Pam Belgarde (standing) are pictured on location in Cherokee at work on the 90-minute documentary “Spiral of Fire.”

Author LeAnne Howe (seated) and field producer Pam Belgarde (standing) are pictured on location in Cherokee at work on the 90-minute documentary “Spiral of Fire.”

In “Spiral of Fire,” Howe attempts to reveal the forces at work to restore health, prosperity and sovereignty to the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and to show how the mix of tourism, community and cultural preservation is vital to the tribe’s health in the 21st century. Along the way, the film-maker also seeks to reconcile her own complex identity as the illegitimate daughter of a Choctaw woman, fathered by a Cherokee man she never knew, and raised by an adopted Cherokee family in Oklahoma.

Howe’s travels lead the viewer on a journey of discovery to a land that the Cherokees have inhabited for 10,000 years, and show the viewer how they manage their own schools, hospitals, cable company, tourist attractions and multi-million dollar casino.

Howe is an enrolled citizen of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. She is an American Indian scholar, author and playwright who writes fiction, creative nonfiction, plays, poetry and screenplays that primarily deal with American Indian experiences. She has read her fiction and been an invited lecturer in Japan, Jordan, Israel, Romania and Spain.

Admission to Howe’s “Spiral of Fire” will be free of charge for Western students, $3 for Western faculty and staff, and $5 for the general public.

For more information about the event or the LCE Series, call (828) 227-7206.