November is Native American month and each year, the Funk Heritage Center holds a free public event to honor Georgia's first people. The Bennett History Museum will be open at no charge from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. The historic log cabins and the blacksmith shop will be open in the Appalachian Settlement from 10 a.m. until 12 noon. Visit pioneer interpreters and learn how Georgia pioneers and American Indians lived together in the mid-1800’s. Scouts of all ages including Girl Scouts, Daisies, Brownies, Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts can tour the museum and learn about the Southeastern Indians. This visit can help them work toward various merit badges. All Scouts in uniform, will receive a free hot dog and drink.
Freeman Owle will be our special guest this year. He is a Cherokee Indian from North Carolina, a teacher, well-known storyteller and expert on Cherokee culture. He also crafts authentic stone and wood carvings. Mr. Owle will tell children Cherokee stories from 10:30 a.m. until noon. In the afternoon at 1:30 p.m. he will present a program for adults on Cherokee life and culture. His focus will be on the Cherokee way of life and how it is valuable to us today. He teaches from the native perspective and the Cherokees’ perception of themselves in relation to the things around them: self concept, respect for others, appreciation for mother earth, and the value of knowing one’s own roots.
Last year, approximately 300 visitors came to the Bennett History Museum for this special event. They saw our fifteen minute film on the Southeastern Indians and toured of the Hall of the Ancients as well as other areas of the Center. Pictured below, Volunteer Bob Andrew provided information on the Southeastern Indians. In the Appalachian Settlement, Mark McCellan, our volunteer blacksmith demonstrated his skills in the blacksmith shop and Cub Scouts played Native American games.
A middle school teacher for many years, Freeman Owle’s afternoon program will inspire fellow teachers. He is a motivational speaker and spreads the history, culture, and stories of the Cherokee to many who otherwise would never get to learn about their way of life.
Freeman was born on the Qualla Indian Boundary, home of the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Nation. His formal education began in kindergarten and continued through the twelfth grade in the Cherokee Indian School System, run by the Bureau of Indian Affairs through the Cherokee Agency. After graduating as valedictorian of his class, he left the reservation to attend Gardner Webb College in Boiling Springs, North Carolina. He continued his education at Western Carolina University where he received his Bachelor of Science degree in social work.
Freeman Owle was invited to the White House in 2004, along with the other authors, to receive the Preserve America Presidential Award for his part in writing the Cherokee Heritage Trail Guide Book. In December 2008, he did a book signing for the book, Origin of the Milky Way, at the Museum of the American Indian in Washington DC and taught the museum staff the art of storytelling.
Call us at 770-720-5970 for more information.