Native American Heritage Expo to be held at WCU Nov. 16-19

Western Carolina University will host a gallery of exhibits and series of presentations that explore social issues, traditions, images and values of Native American communities as part of the Native American Heritage Expo on campus Nov. 16-19.

The event will be held in the Grandroom on the third floor of A.K. Hinds University Center from 1 to 6 p.m. Monday, Nov. 16, and 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday. A reception will be held at the close of the expo on Thursday.

“We want to foster an appreciation of Native American culture and continuously make an effort to create an inclusive community on campus,” said Yolany Gonell, assistant director of multicultural affairs at WCU. “Although our campus lies on the ancestral homeland of the Cherokee, many are unaware of the historical sites located on our campus. We hope expo participants gain a better understanding of what it means to identify as Native American and recognize that Native American culture is vast and diverse.”

Presenters from Western Carolina University, the University of North Carolina at Pembroke and the University of North Carolina at Asheville will discuss “Native American Women in Society” at 1 p.m. Monday, “Chiefing: Past and Present” at 5 p.m. Monday, “History of Lumbee Tribe” at 11 a.m. Tuesday, “Native American Images in Advertisements” at 5 p.m. Tuesday, “Indian in the Cupboard: Native Americans in Children’s Books” at 1 p.m. Wednesday, “The Impact of Diabetes among the Pima” at 3 p.m. Wednesday, “Native American Mascots in Sports” at 4 p.m. Wednesday, “Promoting Travel to the Qualla Boundary – Homeland of the Cherokees” at 4 p.m. Thursday, and “Barriers to Nursing Education for Native American High School Students” at 6:30 p.m. Thursday. A reception will be held at 7:30 p.m. Thursday and include a performance by flutist Hawk Brown.

The expo is sponsored by the Office of Multicultural Affairs, the Di-Ga-Li-I Native American Student Organization, the Cherokee Center and Cherokee Studies.

Sky Kanott, president of Di-Ga-Li-I, said she hopes attendees find the expo to be an educational experience. “This expo gives people near us a chance to see our Native American community here at WCU,” said Kanott.

For more information, contact Gonell in the Office of Multicultural Affairs at (828) 227-2615.