FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 29, 2007
Contact: K.E. Schwab
Annual SRU celebration honors Native American culture
SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Slippery Rock University will partner with the Pittsburgh-based Council of Three Rivers American Indian Center for the second annual celebration of Native American cultures Nov. 8. The event will include displays of traditional dancing, storytelling, singing and drumming.
The daylong "Native American Celebration" runs 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the University Union. The public is invited.
"One of the most difficult problems associated with Native American identity is their portrayal, both current and historically. History is full of accounts and narratives about Native Americans, but rarely do we read or hear from Native Americans themselves. This day will be an opportunity for Native Americans to present dances, ceremonies, stories and research that affirms their identity and validates the identity they have been endowed with by their Creator. With the Thanksgiving holiday just around the corner, the day's activities are timely and will be an educational treat," said Frederick White, SRU associate professor of English, co-chair of the President's Commission for Racial and Ethnic Diversity and chair of the commission's Native American subcommittee.
SRU President Robert Smith will provide an opening welcome. Children from SRU's Student Government Association Child Care Center will join the event to hear Native American stories.
A dramatic reading of the original play "Higher Ed," written by White, will be presented at 12:30 p.m.
The afternoon offers a panel discussion and roundtable focused on Native American identity. Panelists for the 1:30 p.m. session are Sonya Begay, Workforce Investment Act service coordinator for the Council of Three Rivers American Indian Center, Pamela Soeder, SRU professor of elementary education/early childhood, and Rachela Permenter, SRU professor of English, and White.
Dancing and drumming by the Three Rivers visitors will conclude the program.
In addition to the programmed activities, vendors will offer a variety of native crafts, jewelry, books and related items.
The day is sponsored by a Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education Social Equity Grant as well as the President's Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity, the Office of Academic Affairs, the Office of Finance and Administrative Affairs, the University Program Board, the Frederick Douglass Institute, and the Office of Diversity and Equal Opportunity.
Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.
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