Southeastern News

Southeastern celebrates Native November

Southeastern celebrates Native November

Press Release Date: 10-26-2011

DURANT, Okla. – Southeastern Oklahoma State University will celebrate Native November with events scheduled from Nov. 1 through Nov. 28.

Native November opens with guest speakers on Nov. 1 and includes a wide variety of events. This includes recognition of Native American Scholars and the first recipients of the Southeastern Choctaw Language and Culture minor at the final football game of the season on Nov. 5 when Southeastern will host Ouachita Baptist University.

Three guest speakers will highlight the opening day (Nov. 1) of the celebration.

Jim Parrish, Director of the School of Choctaw Language, historian Richard Adams, and singer Roger Scott will be the featured speakers.

Parrish will discuss the importance of the Choctaw Language Program, how the Program works with Southeastern to provide the courses needed, and why the Choctaw Nation needs Language Instructors.

Parrish earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Southeastern and completed the Superintendent of Schools program in 1998. He retired in 2009 after 34 years of teaching and coaching in public schools, with the last 15 years in administration.

Parrish was named Director of the Choctaw Language Program in December 2009.

Adams, a historian for the Nation, will share information about the Choctaw tribe and events that have been significant to the tribe. He is a full-blood Choctaw and has been an employee of the tribe for the last 12 years.

Adams joined the U.S. Air Force in 1964 and retired in 1987. He performed Baptist Mission and Ministry work for 10 years and served on the Board of Directors of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma from 1991-95.

He began teaching the Choctaw Language in October 1997 as a volunteer in Poteau, Oklahoma, and was certified by the tribe to teach the language in July 1998. He began his employment with the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma in 1999.

Scott will sing traditional Choctaw songs in the Choctaw language and explain the significance of these songs as they relate to the Choctaw people.

Singing ties the language and history together and is a very vital part of the culture of the Choctaw people.

Native American Student Visitation Day is scheduled for 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 9. A welcome session will be followed by discussions on tribal aid, group activities and Native American orientation and services.

Other events include roundtable discussions of history and culture, Native movies hosted by Southeastern students, , stickball, Native storytelling, traditional dress fashion show, Choctaw social dancing, a tour of the Chickasaw Cultural Center, and an opportunity to meet Miss Indian Southeastern.

For more information on Native November and a complete listing of events, call 580-745-2376 or 745-2812 or visit www.SE.edu/native-american-center.

Chris Wesberry serves as Coordinator of the Native American Center for Student Success. Chantelle Standefer is the NAEIE Academic Advisor, Blaine Parnell is the Choctaw Peer Advisor, and Amy Gantt is the Chickasaw Retention Coordinator.