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WCU collaborates with Cherokee Preservation Foundation on campuswide Cherokee exhibit planning project

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By Brooklyn Brown

A campuswide and community driven project will soon be underway to recenter Cherokee history and culture on Western Carolina University’s campus.

The Cherokee Preservation Foundation, a nonprofit organization on the Qualla Boundary focused on Cherokee cultural and historic preservation, is funding an expansive exhibit planning project to express Cherokee culture, language and voices at WCU.

WCU sits on Tali Tsisquayahi, Two Sparrows Place, which is ancestral Cherokee land. Carmen Huffman, associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, is collaborating with WCU faculty, staff and students, and most importantly Cherokee organizations and community members, to create a master plan of exhibits across campus that recognize the living Cherokee culture in and around WCU.

“There have been lots of ideas about what we would want to do for a long time,” Huffman said. “Now, what we’ve done is build in a mechanism to bring those ideas to fruition. It’s no longer ‘I wish we had this.’ Let’s stop wishing; let’s have.”

Planning efforts have begun and will continue throughout the 2023-2024 academic year. Updates on the Cherokee Exhibits Project at WCU will be forthcoming.

For more information, contact Huffman at

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