Forest University will celebrate National American Indian and Alaska
Native Heritage Month by hosting “Native American Voices,” a symposium
featuring five nationally-renowned American Indian leaders who will
discuss how they have broken through cultural barriers to achieve
event, which is sponsored by Wake Forest’s Office of Multicultural
Affairs, will be held at 5 p.m. Nov. 14 in Greene Hall, Room 145.
It is free and open to the public. A reception will be held following
featured speakers will be:
Lori Arviso Alvord, the first Navajo female surgeon in the U.S.;
associate dean of student and multicultural affairs, professor
of surgery and psychiatry and practicing general surgeon at Dartmouth
Dugan, the only woman ever elected to serve as principal chief
of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians; director of external
affairs and communications at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino & Hotel.
Conseen Duff, government advocate for STEM (science, technology,
engineering and mathematics) initiatives and education in Native
communities; engineer at Albuquerque Service Center.
Hicks, principal chief of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians;
accountant and businessman.
Garcia, president of the National Congress of American Indians
(NCAI); governor of Ohkay Owingeh (San Juan Pueblo), New Mexico;
founder and electrical engineer at MistyLake Consulting Services.
the lens of autobiography, these highly accomplished American Indian
leaders will describe their own journeys and the opportunities and
challenges unique to American Indians,” said Ulrike Wiethaus, professor
of religion and American ethnic studies at Wake Forest.
event was initiated by Wake Forest junior Lucretia Hicks, a Cherokee
and founder and president of Wake Forest’s new Native American Student
Association (NASA). Wake Forest has 16 American Indian students
enrolled this year.
established NASA with the help of seven other American Indian students
and the Office of Multicultural Affairs. She plans for the organization
to host events, like the symposium, to help encourage and support
American Indian students on campus, recruit American Indian students
to Wake Forest, and expose people to and educate them about American
Indian culture and issues.
was such a culture shock for me when I came to Wake Forest because
I had always been part of really small communities where I had other
Native people around me,” said Hicks. “Other people here are shocked
when they found out that I am Native American. They forget that
Native Americans still exist. Then, they often ask me questions
that reveal how they generalize and stereotype Native Americans.
Not everybody has totem poles or lives in teepees. We all have our
also sees the event as an opportunity to highlight the accomplishments
of North Carolina tribes and nurture relationships between Wake
Forest, North Carolina tribes, the NCAI and the American Indian
Science and Engineering Society to promote higher education opportunities
among Native Americans.
funds for the event were provided by Wake Forest’s Religion and
Public Engagement Initiative.
1990, President George H. W. Bush approved a joint resolution designating
November as “National American Indian Heritage Month” to recognize
the intertribal cultures and educate the public about the heritage,
history, art and traditions of the American Indian and Alaska Native
more information about the event, call (336) 758-5864.