Around the Upstate
Cherokee storyteller Freeman Owle to speak at Wofford
Two programs Thursday center on ‘Native Americans, Natural Resources’
SPARTANBURG, SC – Cherokee storyteller Freeman Owle will present two talks on Thursday, Sept. 27, at Wofford College on “Native Americans and Natural Resources.” Both events are free and open to the public.
Owle will speak at 1:30 p.m. at Wofford’s Goodall Environmental Studies Center at Glendale, S.C., and again at 7 p.m. in the AAAS Room, downstairs in the Burwell Building on campus.
Owle’s visit to Wofford is part of the Thinking Like a River initiative of the college’s Gold Black and Green sustainability program. The events also are co-sponsored by South Carolina Interfaith Power and Light.
Born on the Qualla Indian Boundary, home of the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Nation, Owle is an authoritative lecturer and demonstrator of Cherokee culture. He also crafts authentic stone and wood carvings.
A graduate of Western Carolina University, he attended Gardner-Webb University and holds a master’s in education. He taught elementary school on the Cherokee reservation for 12 years and was director of the Cherokee Children’s Home in Cherokee, N.C., for five years. He was named Outstanding Teacher of the year for the Bureau of Indian Affairs and was named the North Carolina Folklorist of the Year in 2001.
Owle spreads the history, culture and stories of the Cherokee to many who would never get to hear it otherwise. His main focus is on the Cherokee way of life and how it is valuable today. He teaches from the native perspective, the Cherokee’s perception of themselves in relation to the things around them.
Wofford’s Thinking Like a River program is an innovative three-year initiative that aims to shape a culture of sustainability centered on local waters by offering unique, hands-on experiences with area rivers for students, faculty and area residents. The college’s environmental studies program, directed by Dr. Kaye Savage, received a $383,000 grant from the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation to fund the initiative that will bring the college community together with local citizens to “comprehend, celebrate and create an enduring culture of sustainability on rivers. The project will integrate perspectives from the natural sciences, social sciences and humanities and arts in experiential learning environments to connect, protect and reflect on rivers. For more information, go to http://www.wofford.edu/newsroom/2012/Thinking-Like-a-River-initiative-launched-at-Wofford/.
Gold Black and Green is an intellectual, operational, and cultural movement for environmental sustainability and carbon neutrality. To learn more, go to www.wofford.edu/gbg/.
About Wofford College
Wofford College, established in 1854, is an independent liberal arts college of 1,600 students in Spartanburg, S.C. Wofford ranks 2nd nationally in the percentage of undergraduates receiving creditfor study abroad. Home to one of the nation’s 280 Phi Beta Kappa chapters, Wofford’s historic 175-acre campus is recognized as a national arboretum. Wofford is affiliated with the United Methodist Church.