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WSIU Celebrates Native American Heritage Month

November 4, 2009

Contact: Vickie Devenport, WSIU Outreach Coordinator, (618) 453-6148 or

Carbondale, Ill - During the month of November, WSIU Public Broadcasting, the public media arm of Southern Illinois University Carbondale, is sponsoring special events and programming in connection with Native American Heritage Month (NAHM). Events are conjointly sponsored with other local organizations that support WSIU's outreach and education mission.

From November 15 to November 21, the Mapping the Trail of Tears Through Southern Illinois exhibit will be on display in the window gallery near Starbucks in the SIUC Student Center. The Trail of Tears is the path taken by the Cherokee during their forced migration west in the1830s. The exhibit is sponsored by WSIU, the Illinois Chapter of the Trail of Tears Association, and the Shawnee National Forest in conjunction with a WETA award.

On Thursday, November 19 at 7pm in Ballroom B of the SIUC Student Center, Native American storyteller Robert Lewis returns to Carbondale to share Native stories and folklore. Lewis is a School and Community Specialist from the Cherokee Nation, specializing in conducting outreach classes and services in Art and Storytelling for the Education Department of the Cherokee Nation. He has been delighting audiences with his colorful tales since 2003. Sponsors for Lewis's return visit are the Shawnee National Forest and WSIU Public Broadcasting.

On Monday, November 30, WSIU will sponsor a free screening of the film, Summer Sun, Winter Moon at 7pm in the Illinois Room of the SIUC Student Center. The film features a symphonic collaboration between Rob Kapilow, a celebrated classical composer, and Darrell Robes Kipp, a Blackfeet Indian poet. The symphony they created tells the story of the Lewis and Clark Corps of Discovery from the Native perspective. Following the screening, Dr. Anthony Webster of the SIUC Department of Anthropology will lead a discussion of the film.

In addition to the month's events, WSIU will feature special programming that reflect the Native perspective. Some of the programs featured are Frontier Visionary: George Catlin and the Plains Indians, which explores the artistic and historical legacy of the first major artist to travel beyond the Mississippi to live with American Indians; Unconquered Seminoles, an award-winning documentary that traces the history and cultural identity of Florida's resilient Seminole tribe; and many more.

A full listing of WSIU's NAHM programs is available online at

About WSIU
WSIU Public Broadcasting is licensed to the Board of Trustees of Southern Illinois University and is an integral part of the College of Mass Communication & Media Arts on the Carbondale campus. It operates three digital public television channels, three public radio stations, a website, local TV and FM production units, and an education and community outreach department - reaching more than three million people across five states and beyond. WSIU's mission is to improve the quality of life of the people they serve. The WSIU stations partner with other community organizations to promote positive change and to support the academic and public service missions of Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Visit for more information.

Thursday, November 5
8pm             Waila! Making the People Happy

Saturday, November 7
4pm             Seasoned With Spirit: Cuisine of the Desert Southwest

Tuesday, November 10
9pm             True Whispers: The Story of the Navajo Code Talkers

Saturday, November 14
4pm            Seasoned With Spirit: Return of the Buffalo

Sunday, November 15
2pm            Independent Lens: March Point

Monday, November 16
9:30pm            Frontier Visionary: George Catlin and the Plains Indians
11pm            Chevron + Sierra Club: Debating America's Energy Future

Wednesday, November 18
9:30pm            Gallery: The National Museum of the American Indian

Thursday, November 19
8pm            Summer Sun, Winter Moon

Saturday, November 21
4pm            Seasoned With Spirit: Bounty of the River's Edge

Sunday, November 22
9:30pm            Unconquered Seminoles

Monday, November 23
5pm            WSIU InFocus: Buffalo Robe (Segment 1)

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