The Native American Studies Program at West Virginia University will host the annual Peace Tree Ceremony on Nov. 18 from 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. at the WVU Peace Tree on the downtown campus between Martin and Elizabeth Moore halls.
In the event of rain, the ceremony will be moved indoors to the Mountainlair Blue Ballroom.
The event is free and open to the public.
The guests of honor for the ceremony include Boe Harris-Nakakakena, (Turtle Mountain Chippewa) and Ragghi Rain Calentine (Eastern Cherokee descent). The two cultural educators promote social justice, health, cultural awareness and inclusiveness through traditional music, storytelling and dance.
Harris-Nakakakena is a Northern Traditional and Jingle Dress dancer who plays Native American flute. She has performed throughout the country, at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and at numerous NATO military bases throughout Europe.
“As a granddaughter of strong Indian women, my heart and spirit know no other journey than to follow the traditions that flowed through the souls, spirits and lives of those women who walked before me,” Harris-Nakakakena said.
Calentine is a gifted storyteller who says she helps teach and inspire “people who are on the edge of life, including those in prison, children in crisis and others.” Her work is aimed at helping individuals break the cycle of unhealthy decision-making that puts them and their families at risk.
Both women are actively engaged in community development with the Nanticoke Indian Association of Southern Delaware and travel throughout the country providing workshops, training and retreats.
While in Morgantown the honored guests will give an interactive Native American music, dance, and storytelling presentation on Sunday, Nov. 16 from 2:00-3:30 p.m. at the J. Gluck Theater in the Mountainlair. Families are encouraged to attend this free public event and enjoy an apple cider and cookie reception. There will also be a children’s literature exhibit provided by the performance co-sponsors, the Morgantown Public Library & Shelley A. Marshall Foundation.
Sponsors for the week’s events include The WVU School of Social Work, WVU’s Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, The College of Education and Human Services for Diversity & Global Initiatives, The Carolyn Reyer Fund for Native American Studies and the WVU Nursery School.
The first WVU Peace Tree was planted in 1992 by Chief Leon Shenandoah, Tadodaho of the Grand Council of the Haudenosaunee Six Nations Iroquois Confederacy, and Chippewa Chief Robert TallTree.
For more information, contact Bonnie Brown at 304-293-4626 or BonnieM.Brown@mail.wvu.edu.
CONTACT: Devon Copeland, Eberly College of Arts and Sciences
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