MAB to celebrate Native American history

NIsheeka Simmons, Staff Writer

On Thursday, Nov. 21, the Multicultural Advisory Board (MAB) will host an event
celebrating Native American Heritage Month at 4 p.m. on the lawn of the Smith University
Center (UC).
Sharekka Bridges, a junior double majoring in management and accounting, is the Chairman
of MAB.  She said the highlight of this year’s event will be guest speaker Dr. William Goins
from Orangeburg, SC. Goins is the chief of the Eastern Cherokee and Southern Iroquios Cultural
Arts Ensemble which is a combination of two different tribes.  Bridges said that Goins will be
bringing a small group of people who will perform an imitation Pow-Wow with dances that are
relevant to their tribe.
“We originally wanted to have our own Pow-Wow, but upon researching [them], we realized
that it takes a lot of people to actually perform a Pow-Wow,” Bridges said. “Instead, [we]
decided to have an interactive event and let members of the audience take part in the traditional
Bridges explained that MAB hosts an event for Native American Heritage month every year
in November. Last year, they had a Native American storyteller from North Carolina come and
share some of the traditional legends and music indigenous to her tribe. According to Bridges, a
lot of students said they enjoyed the event, but they also said they wished there would have been
more participation opportunities for the audience.
Bridges said MAB has been planning for this year’s event with Goins for almost 3 months.
The hardest part, she said, was figuring out what direction to go in with the program’s content.
“This month is very busy for most of the tribes in our area, so we have to get our requests in
as early as possible, but we were trying to figure out how to incorporate the learning and
interactivity into the program,” Bridges said.
Bridges explained that the reason MAB is hosting the event outside is so the audience will
have more space to join in the dances. She said that the event will not last for a very long time
due to Daylight Savings Time ending earlier this month.  In order to keep the audience out of the
dark and cold, the imitation Pow-Wow will end either at 5 p.m. or when it starts to get too dark
outside. The free event is not only open to students, but also to the faculty, staff and the local
According to the MAB webpage, the goal of the organization is to provide “leadership in the
effort to support students, inform the campus community of the values of multiculturalism, and
help encourage a campus environment that is conductive to diverse student learning.” For more
information about the upcoming event or the Multicultural Advisory Board, contact Dean
Daphne Carter-McCants at (843) 661-1188.