Campus Theme Events

Joseph Erb


Signature Events

Join us for campus events throughout the academic year that highlight Cherokee connections to the region and the university.

Return from Exile: Contemporary Southeastern Indian Art
August 21 – December 8, 2017
The exhibition features more than thirty contemporary Southeastern Native American artists working in a variety of media including painting, drawing, printmaking, basketry, sculpture, and pottery.  Return from Exile is one of the first major exhibitions to focus on contemporary artists from tribal nations with a historical connection to the Southeastern United States.  These include the so-called Five Civilized Tribes, the Choctaw, Chickasaw, Cherokee, and Muscogee (or Creek), and Seminole, all of whom were forcibly removed in the 1830s to present-day Oklahoma as a result of the Indian Removal Act of 1830.  The symposium, reception and keynote performance will be held on November 10, 2017.

Rooted in the Mountains
September 28-29, 2017
Rooted in the Mountains: Valuing our Common Ground emphasizes the connection between local and traditional knowledge with health and environmental issues.  This is an interdisciplinary forum where enthnography, literature, art, music, Native and Western science converge. Our theme for this year's conference is "duyuk' dv' I" which translates to "The Correct Way".

Tribe Called Red
November 10, 2017 at 7:30pm
Broad range of musical influences based in modern hip-hop, traditional pow wow drums and vocals, blended with edgy electronic music production styles.  A Tribe Called Red promotes inclusivity, empathy and acceptance amongst all races and genders in the name of social justice.  They believe that indigenous people need to define their identity on their own terms.  A Tribe Called Red is part of the Return from Exile symposium exploring Native American art and culture.  

Chancellor's List
February 13, 2018 | 5:00pm
Bardo Arts
A brief program in the main theater will feature remarks from WCU’s Acting Chancellor and Acting Provost. The keynote address will be delivered by Richard Sneed, Principal Chief of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and there will be a special guest performance by the Cherokee Elementary School Traditional Dance Group. There will be a reception to follow in the Star Lobby at 6:00pm to allow mingling amongst students and their families, colleagues and invited guests from Cherokee. Guest will also be able to preview the alumni exhibition, featuring 12 artists from the School of Art and Design, including three Cherokee Artists in the Fine Arts Museum.

Cherokee Tour
February 27, 2018 | 4:00pm - 6:00pm
UC Grandroom
The Cherokee Tour, a culminating event for the campus theme, will include hands-on activities focusing on Cherokee language, philosophy, and worldview; tribal sovereignty and self-determination; creative expression; and cultural competency.

Cherokee Language Symposium
March 25, 26 & 27, 2018
Health and Human Sciences Bldg 204
(Open to the public March 26 only)
The symposium brings together students and instructors of Cherokee language from several institutions. Campus events will include a keynote speaker presentation, presentations from Cherokee Studies faculty, and workshops about second language acquisition pedagogy as well as the practical applications of technology for language revitalization. 

Cultural Immersion Excursion
March 27-29, 2018
The cultural immersion trip exposes students to persons/groups markedly different in culture from that of themselves and creates awareness for the world around them. Contact the Department of Intercultural Affairs for more information.

Leadership and Cultural Perspective
April 3, 2018 | 1:30pm - 2:45pm
UC Grandroom
Richard Sneed, Principal Chief of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, will speak on leadership from a cultural perspective and share his experiences with leadership and education.

New Kituwah Powwow
April 4, 2018 | 10:00am - 12:00pm
UC Lawn

The New Kituwah Academy Language Immersion School in Cherokee, NC will host their annual youth powwow at WCU.  The powwow will consist of traditional songs, dances and stories performed by the academy faculty, staff, students and their families.

April 2018
Killian Courtyard
Student in from the College of Fine and Performing Arts in collaboration with students and faculty in Cherokee Studies are creating a sculpture that reflects the theme. The sculpture will depict the significance of  Cherokee Syllabary character “Wi”. “Wi” denotes a geographic place, similar to adding “-ville” or “-town” .

The name Cullowhee, was derived from Tsulakalvwi (“Judaculla’s Place”). Over time, the first syllable was dropped and the result is Cullowhee.  A small scale model of the sculpture will be on display at the Cherokee Tour. The students plan to install the sculpture in the Killian Courtyard in April.

Mountain Heritage Day
September 30, 2017 | 10:00am – 5:00pm
The 43rd annual Mountain Heritage Day will be a combination old-fashioned mountain fair and showcase for Southern Appalachian music, arts, dance and song, with the atmosphere of a big family reunion. Visitors will find three stages of traditional old-time, gospel, and bluegrass music and dance, with plenty of fiddles, banjos, and clogging. Festival-goers are invited to join in workshops at the Circle Tent and participate in shape-note singing, one of the mountains’ sacred traditions. Admission and parking are free so bring your family and experience all that our rich heritage has to offer.

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