WCU / Cherokee Cultural Tour

Cherokee Cultural Tour on Feb. 27 to explore various aspects of tribal life




Western Carolina University students, faculty and staff will have an opportunity to learn about various aspects of life for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, including tribal sovereignty, world view and creative expression, as the Cherokee Cultural Tour is offered from 4 to 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 27, in the Grandroom of A.K. Hinds University Center.

The tour will feature 20 interactive stations, with groups of stations designed around a particular set of learning outcomes.

Stations focusing on Cherokee language, philosophy and world view will provide attendees with an opportunity to interact with representatives of WCU’s Cherokee Language Program and learn words and syllabary, see a small-scale model of a soon-to-be-installed campus sculpture depicting the Cherokee character “wi,” and meet with students and staff members from the New Kituwah Academy language immersion school.

Another group of stations centered around tribal sovereignty and self-determination will allow participants to learn about the history of voting rights for native peoples, the impact of Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort and tribal law and government.

A third group of stations focusing on creative expression will feature performances by the Warriors of AniKituhwa traditional dance group, Cherokee rapper Banished DG and students from Cherokee Central School. Attendees also will be able to learn about Cherokee pottery with retired WCU staff member Anna Fariello, see a demonstration of wood carving by Joshua Adams and meet curators from the Museum of the Cherokee Indian.

A fourth area centered on cultural competency will include representatives from WCU’s Cherokee Studies Program, Digali’ native student organization and Cherokee Center, and from the Trail of Tears Association. That group of stations also will offer an interactive display of historical and modern maps, and clips from “Reel Injun,” a documentary that explores the portrayal of Native Americans in film.

The tour is one of the culminating events for WCU’s 2017-18 interdisciplinary learning theme “Cherokee: Community. Culture. Connections.” The event is receiving support from WCU’s campus learning theme committee, Center for Service Learning, Cherokee Center, Cherokee Studies Program, Division of Student Affairs and Mountain Heritage Center, and from Cherokee Central School, the Jackson County Arts Council and the Trail of Tears Association.

For more information, contact Jennifer Cooper in the Center for Service Learning at jacooper@wcu.edu.

Posted on February 27, 2018 .

OUR STATE MAGAZINE Native North Carolina

Featured in the Nov. 2017 issue of Our State Magazine. Follow link to full photo essay. Thank you to Our State Magazine and everyone involved.


Photo Essay: Native North Carolina

Our eight state-recognized tribes each have their own stories and traditions, but they share an important bond, too: a love of this land that traces back to the first people who called it home.


 Photography by Emily Chaplin & Chis Council

Photography by Emily Chaplin & Chis Council

Joshua Adams grew up around wood carving: His uncles carved, his great-uncle carved, and the tools of the trade were always nearby. Adams developed his own style in carving classes at Cherokee High School, imbuing every piece of his art with cultural purpose. Hand-carved masks, with their proven place in Cherokee history, are a natural medium, and he draws on the tribe’s stories and legends to create pieces like the award-winning False Faced God (left) and Clan Gatherer (right). Now, Adams teaches the carving class he once took at Cherokee High, often reminding his students that as artists, there’s no better source of inspiration than their own vibrant heritage.

Posted on November 13, 2017 .

Contemporary Native American Art Symposium/ Western Carolina University

November 10, 2017

The WCU Fine Art Museum at Bardo Arts Center will host a one day symposium on contemporary Native American art bringing together scholars, artists featured in the Return from Exile exhibition, and local Eastern Band of Cherokee Indian artists. 

This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. Symposium attendees will have the opportunity to learn about variety of topics. 


Symposium Presenters:

Tony A. Tiger, Bobby C. Martin, America Meredith, Heather Ahtone, Bill Glass Jr., Roy Boney Jr., Jeff Marley, Hope Huskey, Troy Jackson, Faren Sanders Crews, Josh Adams, Joel Queen, Bear Allison, Anna Fariello, TJ Holland, Mary Thompson and Barbara Duncan.

General Symposium Schedule: 

9:00am-4:00pm: One-Day Symposium | Free registration required

Post-Symposium Events

5:00pm-7:00pm: Catered reception for Return from Exile: Contemporary Southeastern Indian Art featuring a gallery talk at 5:15pm with exhibition curators and a traditional Cherokee food tasting 

7:30pm-9:00pm: Keynote Performance from Canadian First Nation electronic music group, A Tribe Called Red.*

*WCU PRESENTS: A Tribe Called Red - Bursting forth from Canada’s capital, native Producer and DJ crew A Tribe Called Red bring their unique electronic music to the Bardo Arts Center stage. With influences from modern hip-hop to tribal music, A Tribe Called Red is a modern gateway into urban and contemporary indigenous culture and experience, celebrating all its layers and complexity. Tickets and details at arts.wcu.edu/tribe.

Ticket Prices: $25 Adults, $20 WCU Faculty/Staff, $20 Seniors, $5 Students
Student must purchase tickets at the BAC Box Office or by calling 828.227.ARTS to get the discounted rate. Adult and faculty/staff tickets can be purchased online. 

Posted on November 4, 2017 .