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Belmont Hosts Native American Symposium Oct. 11-13

Living the Circle: Dialogues with America’s First Peoples’ features, presentations, workshops, concert with Grammy winner Bill Miller
BillMiller2.jpgDuring October 11-13, 2010, Belmont University will sponsor “Living the Circle: Dialogues with America’s First Peoples,” a series of conversations, presentations, workshops, and roundtables with more than 20 Native American guests from across the United States and Canada. The goals of these events are education, community awareness, communication and understanding and unity of all peoples. With the event’s focus this year on creativity and spirituality, “Living the Circle” will conclude Wednesday night, Oct. 13, with a free concert in the Curb Event Center featuring Grammy Award winner Bill Miller and other special guests. All events are free and open to the public, though some daytime events may have limited space—please contact belmontchs@belmont.edu to inquire about daytime workshops.
Dr. Jack Williams, dean of the College of Health Sciences & Nursing, organized the event. He said, “Much of our culture, our food and our government have Native American origins. Native Americans have a tragic history with many negative consequences both on their traditional cultures and languages and their lives in modern times. However, many Native Americans of today believe that the time has come again where their traditions and wisdom have much to offer not only to their own peoples for cultural healing, but also for a broken world. ‘Living the Circle’ is a celebration of traditional and contemporary gifts of Native Americans. The general goal is to educate and increase awareness of students and the community, and the activities are designed to encourage discussion and dialogue.”
LivingTheCircle_wordmark.jpgPart of the inspiration for the symposium comes from new partnerships Belmont University has developed with a reservation in South Dakota. For several years now, Belmont faculty, staff and students have been traveling in small groups to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation to establish a community partnership with the people of the Lakota tribe. The partnership has now developed into a cultural experience for many in the Belmont community. During this trip, participants are immersed in educational experiences where they learn the beauty and strengths of traditional Lakota ways.
The upcoming three day symposium is packed with many opportunities for ongoing dialogue and hands-on education in culture and cultural awareness, art, music, dance, writing, stories and mythology, spirituality, education, language, health and wellness, history and current issues. In addition to the scheduled events, many of the guests will be available to speak to individual classes throughout the campus.


Below is an overview of “Living the Circle: Dialogues with America’s First Peoples” events. Visit the website for additional details on times, locations and speaker bios.
Monday, October 11
Charles & Siouxsan Robinson: Christianity and Indian Spirituality
Ray Emanuel & Winona Yellowhammer: What is an Indian in Today’s World?
Bill & Betty Pino: Structures & Responsibilities in Native American Families
Will, Lena, & Jess Peters: Importance of Traditions and Language for Cultural Healing
Art Workshop: Native American Art and Jewelry
Writing Workshop: Author Kent Nerburn (Neither Wolf nor Dog)
Music Workshop: JJ Kent
Panel and Discussion with Spiritual Leaders: The Meaning of the Sacred
Tuesday, October 12
Writing Workshop: Author Kent Nerburn
Art Workshops: Making Necklaces, Native American Beadwork, Native American Drums
Discussion: Native American Women in the Workplace
Educational Roundtable: Leonard Little Finger & Merrie King
Music Workshop: Bill Miller
Health and Wellness Roundtable
Panel and Discussion with Elders: The Importance of Identity
Wednesday, October 13
Music Workshop: JJ Kent (NAMMY Award Winner)
Art Workshop: Making Native American Drums
Faith and the Arts from a Native-Christian Perspective: Bill Miller
Written and Oral Traditions of Native Americans: Betty & Bill Pino
Cultural Writing: Kent Nerburn
Voices of Native American Women
Dance Workshop
Health and Wellness Roundtable
Reading by Author Kent Nerburn
Evening Concert: Traditional and Current Music with Southern Echo (Native American Drums), Bill Miller, JJ Kent, Will & Li’l Jess, Hilljack, Native American Dancers