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Reinhardt Presents "Year of North American Indigenous Peoples"

YONAIPImmerse yourself in native cultural experiences. Each academic year since 2003, Reinhardt College has designated a region of the world for students and the community to learn more about through in-depth study and hands-on interaction. This year has been named "Year of North American Indigenous Peoples" (YONAIP).

"This year's program will give students and the community the opportunity to delve into the rich history of Native peoples and experience these cultures first-hand," said Michael Martinez, director of the Hill Freeman Library and Spruill Learning Center and chair of the YONAIP committee. "Events are scheduled throughout the academic year and include authentic cultural performances and re-enactments, monthly speakers, a weekly film-and-discussion series, and a spring music festival."

YONAIP Description
The goals for the "Year Of" program are to promote a deeper understanding of varied cultures, businesses, histories, geographies and faiths, and to encourage openness in young people and the community to cultures and traditions beyond their own experience. Previous "Year Of" programs have focused on the Middle East, Eastern Europe, the Mediterranean, Africa and Asia. Partnering with the College in this endeavor will be the F. James and Florrie G. Funk Heritage Center, Georgia's official Frontier and Southeastern Indian Interpretative Center, which is located on the College's campus in Waleska, Ga.

Events for YONAIP
YONAIP will officially kick off on September 24 at 10 a.m. in the Falany Performing Arts Center with a performance from the Kevin Locke Native Dance Ensemble. This one-of-a-kind performance group represents the Plains nations of Lakota, Anishinabe and Comanche, the Southeastern Choctaw and the Woodlands nations of Ojibwe and Oneida. An additional show will be offered that evening at 7:30 p.m. For tickets or more information, please visit

Special Speakers
A special Year Of presentation will be given during Chapel on Thursday, October 29 at 2 p.m. in the College's Echo Garden, which is located behind the Hasty Student Life Center. The Rev. Ed Swehla will discuss Native American Spirituality and the importance of spirituality in your everyday life.

On November 19, Native Sun News editor Tim Giago will speak on the evolution of oral tradition into written tradition. Mr. Giago founded the Lakota Times and the Lakota Journal, and was the founder and first president of the Native American Journalists Association.

Other speakers are also planned to present fall semester, including Richard L. Thornton, a Creek Indian architect and city planner, and Dr. Tanis Thorne, a history lecturer at the University of California-Los Angeles.

Film and Discussion Series
Every Thursday at 2 p.m., there will be a YONAIP film-and-discussion series in the Estelle Bennett Hughes HDTV Theater in the Funk Heritage Center. The following films are scheduled for fall semester: Sept. 24, The New World; Oct. 1, Drums Along the Mohawk; Oct. 8, Dances with Wolves; Oct. 15, Cheyenne Autumn; Oct. 22, Fort Apache; Oct. 29, Geronimo: An American Legend; Nov. 5, I Will Fight No More Forever; Nov. 12, Little Big Man; Nov. 19, Soldier Blue; and Dec. 3, Crazy Horse. (Editor's Note:  I have also included a complete description of each film, which has also been attached to  the email of this release)  

For More Information
The YONAIP committee is still welcoming speakers and performers to be included in the program for fall and spring semesters. For further information, please contact Martinez at or (770) 720-5995, or visit the YONAIP page at

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