Native American Day - November 10, 2012
November is Native American month and each year, the Funk Heritage Center holds a free public event to honor Georgia's first people. It was a perfect fall day on Saturday, November 10, when over 200 people of all ages visited the Center. The Bennett History Museum was open at no charge all day and pioneer interpreters welcomed visitors to the historic log cabins in the Appalachian Settlement from 10 a.m. until 12 noon. Scouts of all ages including Girl Scouts, Daisies, Brownies, Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts toured the
museum and learned about the Southeastern Indians. All Scouts in uniform received a free hot dog and drink.
Freeman Owle was 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 told Cherokee stories during morning programs and he presented a program for adults on Cherokee life and culture in the afternoon. 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.
Pictured below, Cubscouts learned about the Southeastern Indians from volunteer Bob Andrew and they enjoyed playing Native American games.