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News Release

Museum of the Cherokee Indian

The Museum of the Cherokee Indian (MCI) is proud to announce its Spring Lecture Series, held both in-person and virtually throughout March, April, and May of 2022. Under the theme of Food Sovereignty, the series features a lineup of Cherokee innovators, advocates, and culture keepers dedicated to preserving Indigenous foodways and plant gathering traditions.

“With this series, we hope to look at the importance and impact of traditional foods and foodways amongst Indigenous people, how food has an impact on identity and culture, and provide educational resources for those interested in this subject,” shares Jenn Wilson, Museum of the Cherokee Indian  Aniyvwiyahi Community Program Coordinator. “It is my hope that I can encourage my fellow tribal members to learn more about food sovereignty and how reconnecting with culture in this way is important.”

The series kicks off on Friday, March 11 with a virtual presentation from Tommy Cabe (Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians). As the liaison between the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI) and the National Park Service, Tommy has helped obtain the rights to gather traditional foods, such as sochan and ramps, within park lands. In his online-only lecture, Tommy will share his experiences working as a liaison and explain what plants Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians members are allowed to gather.

On Tuesday, March 22, the Lecture Series moves to Cherokee’s Bird Town Community Center for a live presentation from innovative chef Nico Albert (ᏣᎳᎩᎯ ᎠᏰᎵ Cherokee Nation). As owner and executive chef of Burning Cedar Indigenous Foods, Nico revitalizes ancestral Indigenous foodways to promote healing and wellness in Native communities. Her work has been spotlighted by PBS, OsiyoTV, USA Today, Atlas Obscura, and more. Nico arrives in Cherokee from her home of Tulsa, Oklahoma to discuss food sovereignty and prepare several dishes live for the audience. On Monday, March 28 at 6pm, tune in to YouTube for a live screening of Nico’s lecture, plus a Q&A with Museum of the Cherokee Indian  staff.

On Wednesday, April 20, Join Museum of the Cherokee Indian staff live on YouTube for the premiere of “Corn: A Look at Traditional Foodways and Cherokee Identity.” Listen as elders and community members discuss the continuing impact and uses of corn, a staple food in the Cherokee diet for thousands of years. Learn traditional methods of preparation and cooking and how corn ties into Cherokee identity. Museum staff will lead a chat-based Q&A.

The Spring Lecture Series concludes on Wednesday, May 18 with the virtual event “The Seeds We Bear: The Ties Between Food, Identity & Motherhood.” Four women from different Indigenous nations across the United States will discuss the impact of traditional foods within their communities—and how pursuing stronger ties with traditional foods and preparation can strengthen our ties with ourselves. Panelists will also discuss how food can influence childbirth and motherhood.

All Spring Lecture Series events are free of charge and open to all. Space is limited, and attendees may register for each panel via the links below. Additional information, including panelist bios, can be found at mci.org/learn/programming. All filmed Lecture Series events will be added to the Museum’s YouTube channel; the 2021-2022 Winter Lecture Series can be streamed now in its entirety.

Pictured: Chef Nico Albert.

2022 Museum of the Cherokee Indian Spring Lecture Series Schedule

Tommy Cabe on Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians & Park Service Agreements
Friday, March 11, 3 p.m.
Location:
Virtual (Register here)
Speaker: Tommy Cabe (Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians)

An Afternoon with Nico Albert
Live Event: Tuesday, March 22, 2pm, Bird Town Community Center, 1139 US-19, Cherokee, NC 28719 (Register here for the in-person event. As space is very limited, preference will be given to members of federally-recognized tribes.)
Speaker: Nico Albert (Cherokee Nation)
Virtual Event: March 28, 6pm – no registration required - watch the pre-recorded lecture and participate in a live chat Q&A with Museum of the Cherokee Indian staff via Museum of the Cherokee Indian’s YouTube channel

Corn: A Look at Traditional Foodways & Cherokee Identity
Wednesday, April 20, 6 p.m.
Location: Virtual – watch the pre-recorded lecture and participate in a live chat Q&A on Museum of the Cherokee Indian’s YouTube channel
Speakers: To be announced via mci.org/programming

The Seeds We Bear: The Ties Between Food, Identity & Motherhood
Wednesday, May 18, 3 p.m.
Location: Virtual (Register here)
Speakers: To be announced via mci.org/programming

About the Museum of the Cherokee Indian

Established in 1948, the Museum of the Cherokee Indian is one of the longest-operating tribal museums in the United States. Recognized for its innovative storytelling, the museum features exhibits, artwork, and hands-on technology that brings 12,000 years of Cherokee history to life. Located in Cherokee, North Carolina, the museum is open daily except Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day. Learn more by visiting mci.org.

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