A concert and free symposium to raise awareness of the intersection of environmental, health and indigenous issues related to mountain destruction will be held Thursday and Friday, Oct. 21-22, in the theater of the A.K. Hinds University Center at Western Carolina University.
WCU’s Division of Educational Outreach and Cherokee Studies Program are sponsoring the first “Rooted in the Mountains: Valuing Our Common Ground” with the Center for Native Health, which initiated the project.
The concert will begin at 6 p.m. on Thursday and will feature entertainment by Sheila Kay Adams, Tawodi Brown, John John Grant, Kate Larken, Sue Massek, Paula Nelson and the WCU Porch Music Club. Tickets are $5 in advance and $7.50 at the door, with proceeds benefiting iLoveMountains.org.
The symposium, free and open to the public, will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday. Keynote speaker, Silas House, an acclaimed writer and National Endowment for the Humanities Chair in Appalachian Studies at Berea College, and other presenters, including Clara Sue Kidwell (enrolled member of the White Earth Chippewa tribe), director, American Indian Center, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Evelyn Conley (Keetoowah), chair, Indigenous Education Institute; Tom Belt (Cherokee), WCU Cherokee language instructor; Heidi Altman, associate professor of anthropology, Georgia Southern University; Marilou Awiakta (Cherokee), author; ethnobotanist David Cozzo, a WCU faculty member and director of the Revitalization of Traditional Cherokee Artisan Resources; and Brian Byrd, WCU assistant professor of environmental health will be present.
Other sponsors include WCU’s Mountain Heritage Center, Watershed Association of the Tuckasegee River, the Canary Coalition and the Tuckasegee Community Alliance.
Preregister online at www.wcu.edu/27734.asp; for information, contact Pamela Duncan, symposium co-chair, at 828.227.3926.