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Native Marketplace Features Cherokee art

Monday, June 30th, 2014

ASHEVILLE NC – Our Native American Business Network is coordinating a Native Marketplace from 11am to 3pm at the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce (36 Montford Ave, Asheville, NC), July 15.

This event is free and open to the public, and serves as a showcase for Authentically Cherokee, a group of contemporary Cherokee artists from Cherokee, North Carolina, historically referred to as the Qualla Boundary. Artists will not only sell their work, but also demonstrate their skills.  All in the community are encouraged to attend, learn, support and shop from 11-3!

Come meet talented Native craftsmen, including a modern wood ‘carver’ who utilizes technology to etch, engrave and carve Cherokee designs; a basket weaver and jewelry maker; another artist who creates soaps, lotions and more; and others! If you plan on attending, please RSVP to Heidi Reiber at [email protected].

The partnership between ONABEN and the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce was established as a result of ONABEN’s close work with Sequoyah Fund in Cherokee. There, ONABEN is providing training and technical assistance to the Cherokee, North Carolina community as part of a three-year grant with the Administration for Native Americans. This event is co-sponsored by the City of Asheville, Asheville Area Arts Council and Society of North American Goldsmiths.

Veronica Hix, Executive Director of ONABEN, welcomes people to visit the Chamber during the event, adding, “We are looking forward to this Native Marketplace and working with an amazing group of people, representing a wide variety of contemporary artistry. Not only does it provide a beneficial learning opportunity for these artists, but it is also a fun way to support local artists and small businesses!”

The Sequoyah Fund is an independent, non-profit Native American Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI). The organization evolved from a loan fund program of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. Sequoyah Fund’s mission is to provide training, technical assistance, and resources to support entrepreneurship, business start up and expansion, and community development in the seven far western counties of North Carolina and on the Qualla Boundary.

The Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce is a member organization with more than 1,800 member businesses and organizations. Chamber members collaborate with area organizations and coalitions to support the community and each other with the mission of building community through business. 

ONABEN – Our Native American Business Network is a national nonprofit headquartered in Portland, Oregon, with offices in Tulsa, Oklahoma. ONABEN provides its Indianpreneurship® curriculum, training and organizational consulting focused on developing entrepreneurship in Native communities. The group is driven by its mission to support Indigenous individuals, economic development organizations and communities by increasing opportunities for sustainable economic growth through culturally relevant entrepreneurial training and organizational development.

For more information, visit http://www.onaben.org or call 503.968.1500.

Trail of Tears Exhibit at WCU Museum

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

ASHEVILLE NC – Western Carolina University’s Mountain Heritage Center and the North Carolina Chapter of the Trail of Tears Association will host a reception and talk on Thursday, Feb. 27, celebrating the exhibit “Fewer Footprints and More Tears: Commemorating the 175th Anniversary of the Trail of Tears.”

The reception will begin at 6 p.m. in the Mountain Heritage Center and will be followed by a 7 p.m. presentation in the museum auditorium by R. Michael Abram, a scholar who focuses on Cherokee culture. Abram will present an illustrated lecture on contemporary Cherokee artists commenting on their reactions to the Trail of Tears.

Abram graduated from Indiana University School of Medicine and practiced medicine in Bloomington, Ind., until he moved to the Cherokee area in the 1980s. In addition to his medical duties locally, Abram was curator and director of the Cherokee Heritage Museum and Gallery that he operated with his wife, Sue, in Cherokee until 2010. Abram has presented traveling exhibits and lectures across the Southeast and frequently serves as a consultant.

The North Carolina Chapter of the Trail of Tears Association is dedicated to documenting all the routes and sites associated with the Trail of Tears in North Carolina and to working with the National Park Service to include the story of the Cherokee homeland in the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail.

The Feb. 27 event is being presented in conjunction with the exhibit, which includes historic images and copies of historic documents, including the Henderson Roll, along with contemporary art by Cherokee artists reacting to the Trail of Tears and its historic and ongoing effect on the Cherokee people.

The exhibit will be open through Friday, March 14, at the Mountain Heritage Center. Admission to the reception, talk and exhibit is free.

For more information, call the museum at 828-227-7129.

WCU Cherokee Language Program Collaborates with Local Publisher

Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

ASHEVILLE NC – The Cherokee Language Program at Western Carolina University is collaborating with EarlyLight Books of Waynesville to publish a bilingual and Cherokee-only version of a book titled “Animal Colors,” which is designed to teach early readers about colors and animals.

The book has already been translated into the Cherokee syllabary, is scheduled to print in February and should be available to the public in July, said Dawn Cusick, owner of EarlyLight, which specializes in science books for children and adults.

The development is significant because it is the first step in a partnership that will help the Cherokee Language Program move away from self-publishing books and focus more on the work of language, said Hartwell Francis, program director. Francis and program coordinator Tom Belt worked together to translate and edit the book’s original text by Beth Fielding. The book was designed with the unicode font “Aboriginal Serif,” available for free download from languagegeek.com.

The Cherokee Language Program helps produce materials for a Cherokee language immersion program on the Qualla Boundary for children from 6 months old through second grade. The program is an effort to keep alive the Cherokee language after findings indicated a small percentage of fluent speakers remained among members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, and that most of the remaining speakers were older than 51.

In the past, the Cherokee Language Program has produced two books in the Cherokee language, “Grouchy Old Woman” and “Spearfinger,” both based on Cherokee legend. It also has produced children’s books with the Eastern Band’s Kituwah Preservation and Education Program, which oversees the immersion program’s early childhood component and primary grade classrooms, called the Kituwah Academy. In addition, the Cherokee Language Program also has put books online in video form and that can be printed by individuals and is working with WCU programs in entrepreneurship and computer information systems to develop a Cherokee language learning application for mobile devices.

Low-level academic books are a critical need for children learning Cherokee, said Bo Lossiah, a curriculum specialist at Kituwah Academy. “I need science books, social studies books, math books,” said Lossiah (pronounced “la-see”). Developing such work is painstaking, he said, because words sometimes don’t exist for the subject matter being covered. “The vocabulary is coming along slowly,” he said. “I’ve been working on ‘centimeter’ and ‘millimeter.’ We had a word for ‘meter’ but it wasn’t different from ‘yard.’”

The publisher, who graduated from WCU in 2008 with a master’s degree in biology, envisions an audience for the book beyond schoolchildren. “I can’t imagine that tourists aren’t really tired of getting a T-shirt. The book seems like a great souvenir,” said Cusick, who founded EarlyLight after nearly two decades with Lark Books in Asheville. “The Cherokee syllabary is absolutely beautiful in its printed form. When you see it with the colors behind it, it’s just beautiful.”

For more information, contact Francis at [email protected] or 828-227-2303.

Center for Spiritual Living Asheville Presents Cherokee Forgiveness Journey 2012

Sunday, October 16th, 2011

ASHEVILLE NC – The Center for Spiritual Living Asheville (CSLA) in conjunction with the Cherokee Healing and Wellness Coalition will host an evening about Cherokee Historical Grief and Trauma and the Cherokee 2012 Forgiveness Journey as presented by Patty Grant of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI). This event will take place at CSLA located at 2 Science of Mind Way, Asheville, NC 28806 on Wednesday, November 9, 2011 from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.

CSLA is proud to host Ms. Grant of the EBCI at its West Asheville location for the first time. The EBCI are planning a 2012 Forgiveness Journey where they will join other Cherokee in Oklahoma from the Keetoowah Band and the Western Band of Cherokees. Both eastern and western bands will then join once again as a Cherokee Nation where they will travel the 1838 Trail of Tears backwards out of Oklahoma and returning to Cherokee, North Carolina.

Admission to this historical event is free. A Love Offering will be taken at the conclusion of the event to raise funds for this all important healing journey.

Ms. Grant is currently the program manager for Analensigi and outpatient mental health substance abuse program on the Qualla Boundary. Analensigi provides services to the members of the EBCI and their family members.

Patty Grant is an enrolled member of the EBCI. She is a licensed social worker and certified substance abuse counselor, having worked in the field of substance abuse/mental health for 18 years. Ms. Grant has worked primarily with Native Americans from many different tribes in Cherokee, NC and in Oklahoma. She has presented on Historical Grief and Trauma since 1995 addressing unresolved grief issues among native people. She is a founding member of the Healing and Wellness Coalition.

Find out about more events in Asheville, NC.

WCU Honors Cherokee Storyteller, Stecoah Center with Heritage Awards

Monday, September 26th, 2011

CULLOWHEE, NC – Western Carolina University Chancellor David O. Belcher presented 2011 Mountain Heritage Awards on Saturday (Sept. 24) to well-known Cherokee storyteller Lloyd Arneach and to the Stecoah Valley Cultural Arts Center, which has become a dynamic community hub in Graham County.

The presentations were part of activities at the university’s 37th annual Mountain Heritage Day festival.

The university bestows Mountain Heritage Awards each year on one individual and one organization in recognition of their outstanding contributions to the preservation or interpretation of the history and culture of Southern Appalachia, or for outstanding contributions to research on, or interpretation of, Southern Appalachian issues.

Lloyd Arneach (Individual Recipient)

            Arneach was born and raised on the Qualla Boundary, home of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. His father served for a time as vice-chief of the Eastern Band, his mother was the first woman to be elected to the Tribal Council, and his grandmother, Lula Owl Gloyne, was a “Beloved Woman” of the tribe. As a young man, Arneach attended Guilford College and served in the U.S. military, including a year in Vietnam.

            Arneach first learned Cherokee legends as they were told by two storytelling uncles, David and George Owl. He moved to Atlanta to work in 1967, and in his spare time, Arneach traveled around the state of Georgia lecturing on Cherokee history and culture. Later on, he added storytelling to his presentations, and in 1993, Arneach began a full-time career as both storyteller and historian.

            Arneach is now nationally recognized for his ability to present stories in a style that is humorous, informative and moving. His tales range from the “old stories” of the Cherokee to contemporary stories he has collected and others from a variety of Native American tribes. He has said, “I’m fortunate to have a wealth of stories to share, and I’ll tell stories to anyone who will sit down and listen.”

            Arneach’s storytelling has taken him across the United States, with performances at the Kennedy Center, during the opening of the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C., and on the Discovery Channel. He also lectures on Cherokee history and culture in schools, universities, museums, and at many other venues, and he conducts workshops on Native American storytelling, helping to build appreciation for Native American culture.

            In 1992, Children’s Press published Arneach’s book “The Animal Ballgame,” which is based on one of his favorite Cherokee animal stories, and his book “Long-Ago Stories of the Eastern Cherokee,” released in 2008, is now in its third printing.

Stecoah Valley Cultural Arts Center (Organizational Recipient)

            Built of native rock with the skill and labor of many local residents, Stecoah Union School in Graham County opened to its first students in 1926. After 68 years of serving as a center of the community, the school was closed due to consolidation in 1994.

For two years, the school sat abandoned, but the Stecoah Valley Arts, Crafts and Educational Center Inc., a non-profit corporation, was formed by a group of concerned citizens who wanted to restore the old school to its original role as the community hub. Now the 14,000-square-foot building is home to the Stecoah Valley Cultural Arts Center, which offers cultural and heritage programming, and community services, to about 12,000 people each year.

            The arts center’s well-known summer concert series, “An Appalachian Evening,” draws top acts such as Doc Watson and David Holt to perform, and the new Stecoah Artisans Gallery and Guild provides sales promotion and support for more than 125 local and regional artists.

            The center also provides many services to the local community, including an award-winning after-school program that serves more than 50 students each year. The center’s Junior Appalachian Musicians (JAM) program offers students an opportunity to learn to play traditional stringed instruments, helping to preserve the culture of the region.

            The Stecoah Valley Food Ventures project offers newly renovated kitchen and meeting facilities to support the development of food-related small business. The center also provides visitor information services and is home to other non-profit organizations.

(Some information in this article provided courtesy of www.arneach.com and www.stecoahvalleycenter.com.)

Exhibit at NC Arboretum Explores Region’s Cultural History of Cherokee and British Relations

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011

Visitors are invited to explore this engaging exhibit of archaeological materials excavated from eighteenth-century Cherokee sites, historical documents, and British artifacts from the period that tell the story of these two powerful nations and their representatives who made diplomatic missions to each other’s capitals in 1762.

The historical materials are matched with illustrations and artwork, including a portrait of George III by Allan Ramsay on loan from the Indianapolis Museum of Art.

The exhibit tells the story of Henry Timberlake’s visit to the Cherokees in 1762, and how he took Cherokee leaders to London to meet with King George III. Timberlake’s memoirs come to life through artifacts, archaeological treasures, period artwork, music, video, and life size figures. Experience the two contrasting cultures as they emerge from war and make peace. Special pop-up books and graphic panels tell the story for children.
Emissaries was designated a “We the People” exhibit because of its excellence in telling the story of American history. This exhibition was originally produced by the Museum of the Cherokee Indian, for the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of the American Indian.
Emissaries of Peace runs through May 15, 2011. Exhibition support at the Arboretum provided in part by The North Carolina Arboretum’s Community Partner, Smoky Mountain Living.
Sponsored by: the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Cherokee Preservation Foundation, First Citizens Bank, Harrah’s Foundation, the Cannon Foundation, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, and the Museum of the Cherokee Indian.
Admission is in addition to the parking fee, $2 for youths 5 to 18 and $3 for adults. Admission and parking is always free for Arboretum Society members. School group exhibit admission is $2 per child with or without additional guided program – adult chaperones are free – all groups must pre-register. School groups must have one adult chaperone per 10 students; additional adults are welcome to come but will be charged full exhibition admission.
The mission of The North Carolina Arboretum is to cultivate connections between people and plants. Visit www.ncarboretum.org for more information or call 828.665.2492.

Harrah’s Cherokee Casino and Hotel Opens Dynamic New Event Center

Friday, September 3rd, 2010

CHEROKEE, NC – Harrah’s Cherokee Casino & Hotel unveils the Labor Day 2010 Weekend opening of its spectacular 3,000-plus seat Event Center making it the leading concert, events and entertainment venue in the region.

Kicking-off the Opening Celebrations are performances by Hank Williams, Jr., on Friday, September 3, and Grammy and Academy of Country Music award-winning group Lady Antebellum on Saturday, September 4.

Harrah’s Cherokee management and executives, Eastern Band of Cherokee Nation Tribal leaders, VIP guests, dignitaries and media are in attendance for official ribbon-cutting ceremonies.

Hosting top-tier talent across all genres, including Country, Rock, Oldies, Pop, Comedy, as well as sporting events and production shows, the Event Center debuts as the preeminent site in the region for world-class entertainment.

Among the tri-level Events Center’s assets are a banquet kitchen, VIP suites, box seating and balcony seats.  Modular seating may be used for VIP banquets, expos, conferences, sports programming and special events.

The massive stage is framed by 32′ HD resolution screens and boasts a top-of-the-line speaker system and the highest quality theatrical lighting available.

Scheduled performances through 2010 include:  Crosby, Stills, and Nash (September 18); Paula Deen (September 25); Jason Aldean (October 3); Cirque Shanghai (October 9 & 10); Josh Turner (October 16); Larry the Cable Guy/2 shows (November 6); Dierks Bentley (November 27); and Gary Allan (December 11).

The $633 million expansion of Harrah’s Cherokee is currently the largest hospitality development project underway in the Southeast and one of the largest in the U.S.. Upon completion in 2012, the 56-acre property will have added a third hotel tower, 3,000-plus seat Events Center, entertainment and VIP lounges, 18,000-square-foot spa, state-of-the-art digital poker room, Asian gaming room, retail outlets and new restaurants (Paula Deen’s Kitchen, Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, BRIO Tuscan Grille).  Sequoyah National Golf Club is an 18-hole, par 72 championship course offering privileged hotel guest access.  The property is also doubling the size of its casino floor to 195,000 square feet while increasing video and table game capacity.

Harrah’s Cherokee Casino & Hotel is an enterprise of the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Nation, located 50 miles west of Asheville at the entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

For information: (828) 497-7777, www.harrahscherokee.com.

Harrah’s Cherokee Casino to Open New State-of-the-Art Events Center

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010

CHEROKEE, NC – Harrah’s Cherokee Casino & Hotel unveiled plans for a new 3,000-seat Events Center making it the region’s leading concert, events and entertainment venue. Opening celebrations are scheduled Labor Day Weekend 2010.

Hosting top-tier talent including country, comedy, and rock, sporting events and production shows, the three-level Events Center will include VIP suites, box seating and 1,000 balcony seats. Modular seating will be used for conventions, sports programming, catering and special events.

Concession areas will be located on all floors; LCD screens throughout the pre-function area. The stage will be 60′ by 40′, framed by 32′ screens with HD resolution. A D&B J Series Line array speaker system with theatrical lighting includes MA Lighting Grand MA2 console and Martin Intelligent lighting instruments. Green Room includes flat-screen televisions and dressing rooms.

The Events Center is part of the 56-acre property’s $633 million expansion to position Harrah’s Cherokee Casino & Hotel as the Southeast’s premier gaming destination and world-class entertainment and tourism destination. Scheduled for completion in 2012, the expansion is the most significant hospitality development underway in the Southeast and one of the largest in the U.S.

The “Master Plan” adds a third tower (532 luxury guest rooms/suites) providing the most accommodations in North and South Carolina, entertainment and VIP lounges, 18,000-square-foot spa, digital poker room, Asian gaming room, new restaurant and retail outlets, and parking garages.

Harrah’s Cherokee also is renovating current casino facilities and doubling the casino floor size to 195,000 square feet. Recently opened as a guest amenity is nearby Sequoyah National Golf Club, an 18-hole, par 72 championship course designed by Robert Trent Jones II and Notah Begay III, owned by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and managed by Troon Golf, developer, marketer and manager of upscale golf properties.

In June 2009, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, owners of Harrah’s Cherokee, approved a referendum which permits wine, beer and spirits to be served on the casino floor, in restaurants, cafes, VIP lounge, and guest accommodations via room service.

Harrah’s Cherokee is located 50 miles from Asheville at the entrance to Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Celebrity Chef Paula Deen to Open Restaurant at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino

Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010

CHEROKEE, NC – Harrah’s Cherokee Casino & Hotel today announced its partnership with Paula Deen Enterprises and the opening in late-2010 of Paula Deen’s Kitchen, the property’s first new restaurant to be introduced as part of a $633 million, three-year expansion program.

Created as a full-service, 404-seat restaurant, Paula Deen’s Kitchen at Harrah’s Cherokee will serve a la carte breakfast, lunch and dinner, and will be reminiscent of the decor and ambiance of her legendary home and kitchen in Savannah. The a la carte aspect of the restaurant is a first for Paula Deen in the Harrah’s brand, as her restaurant at Harrah’s Tunica Casino is a traditional buffet.

Adjacent to the restaurant will be a 1,800-square-foot Paula Deen retail shop offering Paula’s cookbooks, spices and food items, cookware, logo wear and gifts.

“We are honored to welcome Paula Deen’s Kitchen to Harrah’s Cherokee Casino & Hotel. Her special style of cooking and Southern hospitality will be a perfect fit with our guests here in the Great Smoky Mountains,” stated Darold Londo, Senior Vice President and General Manager of the property. “We know that those customers who enjoy Paula’s treasured recipes here at Harrah’s Cherokee will be eager to take home a memento of that culinary experience – one of her cookbooks and the ingredients or cookware they can use in their own kitchens,” he commented.

“I couldn’t be more excited to be a part of Harrah’s Cherokee Casino & Hotel,” commented Paula Deen. “I couldn’t think of a better mix – southern food and casinos. It has all the ingredients for a good time.”

The expansion of Harrah’s Cherokee is currently the largest hospitality expansion project underway in the Southeast and one of the largest in the United States, offering the greatest number of hotel accommodations in the Carolinas. Upon completion in 2012, the 56-acre property will have added a third hotel tower incorporating luxury accommodations and high-end suites, a 3,000-seat events center, entertainment and VIP lounges, 18,000-square-foot spa, all new state-of-the-art digital poker room, Asian gaming room, a variety of new restaurant and retail outlets, and new hotel and casino parking garages. Harrah’s Cherokee is also renovating its current casino facilities and doubling the size of its casino floor to 195,000 square feet while increasing video and table game capacity.

Harrah’s Cherokee Casino & Hotel is an enterprise of the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Nation, located 50 miles west of Asheville at the entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Harrah’s Cherokee Casino is open 24 hours a day to guests 21 years of age or older. For more information about Harrah’s Cherokee, please call 1-800-HARRAHS or visit our website at www.harrahs.com.