Global Spotlight Series event focusing on indigenous people, issues

The Remember the Removal Annual Bicycle Ride will be a topic at WCU’s next Global Spotlight Series event. The tour provides an opportunity to travel along the Trail of Tears, as local riders, led by Sheyahshe Littledave and Chavella Taylor, are seen doing in last year’s event. (Photo by Kristy M. Herron/Eastern Band Cherokee Indians Communications)

Western Carolina University will host a Global Spotlight Series event on issues involving indigenous people Wednesday, Nov. 8, from 4 to 5:30 p.m. in the Multipurpose Room of A.K. Hinds University Center.

The ongoing series of panel discussions on national and international issues is sponsored by WCU’s International Studies Program and is free and open to the public. The scheduled presentations:

  • J.D. Arch, Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians’ veteran services director ― “Remember the Removal Annual Bicycle Ride”
  • Rebecca Dobbs, WCU geography instructor ― “Aboriginal Australians”
  • Gilliam Jackson, New Kituwah Academy instructor, Cherokee speaker ― “State of Our Language”
Jennifer Schiff

Jen Schiff

“The Global Spotlight Series always strives to enhance individual understanding of world events, while it also works to highlight the connections between the international, national and local communities, and that’s what we are trying to achieve with this particular spotlight on indigenous groups and issues,” said Jen Schiff, director of the International Studies Program. “We are really excited about the expertise of our panel of speakers, and we hope people will leave this spotlight with a better understanding of some of the unique indigenous cultures and voices that help to comprise our very diverse global community of people.”

Two of the three speakers have a Cherokee-related topic, and this year, WCU is embracing an interdisciplinary campus learning theme of “Cherokee: Community. Culture. Connections.” Throughout the year, faculty and students will engage in topics and explore topics related to the learning theme to foster campus conversations and an integrated campuswide experience. The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians is North Carolina’s only federally recognized tribe, indigenous to the mountain region and a sovereign nation.

For more information, contact Schiff at 828-227- 3860 or