Native Americans believe in the strength a woman brings to her tribe and her community, and in an effort to honor that wisdom, the Coharie Tribe will host an annual women’s conference that joins the eight tribes throughout North Carolina.
The 10th annual American Indian Women of Proud Nations Conference will be held Sept. 6-7 at the Sampson County Agri-Exposition Center in Clinton. This event will lead into the tribe’s annual Pow Wow.
“Since its establishment in 2006, the conference for American Indian Women of Proud Nations has worked diligently to reaffirm native traditions, including a holistic approach to wellness, encourage contemporary artistic expression and empower native women and girls,” Trudy Locklear, co-chair for the host planning committee, said. “American Indian women are storytellers of our tribes, from oral traditions to writing to photography to video. They capture images from our everyday life and tribal activities.”
The purpose of the this conference and the American Indian Women of Proud Nations is to incorporate Indigenous cultural traditions, language, history and values to build relationships and networks locally, regionally and across the state. The five main areas of focus are education, community, health, spirituality and economic development.
According to Candice Moore, member of the conference planning committee, the goal of the event is to empower women through a holistic approach to healthy living.
Through the conference, Moore said guest speakers will discuss a variety of topics, including the education of young American Indian college and high school students to achieve excellence and embrace the challenges of the 21st Century; educate teachers and the public about what is valued in American Indian history and culture; address issues that impact the educational development of American Indian children; understand the complexity of American Indian community problems; increase the self-efficacy of American Indian women as agents in charge in the educational, entrepreneurial and political arenas; and address holistic needs.
Three guest speakers are scheduled for the conference, as well as workshop presentations involving holistic medicine for the mind, body and soul. Guest speakers are Amy Locklear Hertel, a member of the Coharie Tribe, and current chief of staff for the chancellor of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Dr. Susan Faircloth, also a member of the Coharie Tribe, and the director of the School of Education at Colorado State University; and Mary Kim Titla, a San Carlos Apache, and executive director for the United National Indian Tribal Youth.
Hertel is from Fayetteville and is an enrolled member of both the Coharie and Lumbee tribes. She earned a bachelor of arts degree from UNC-Chapel Hill in 1997. While at UNC, she served as president of the Carolina Indian Circle and was inducted into the Order of the Golden Fleece. Hertel was also one of the founders of Alpha Pi Omega Sorority Inc., the country’s oldest American Indian Greek letter organization. Previously, she served as a project manager at the Center for Social Development at Washington University in St. Louis, where she is a doctoral candidate at the George Warren Brown School of Social Work. Hertel’s area of study is asset building in tribal communities as a means toward tribal self-determination. She serves on various boards and committees in North Carolina as well as nationally. Hertel lives in Chapel Hill with her husband, Johann who is faculty at the UNC School of Medicine, her daughter Ava, and son Ahren.
Faircloth, daughter of Gene and Marie Faircloth of Clinton, was a professor in the Department of Educational Leadership at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington before joining the staff at Colorado State University.
She holds master’s and doctoral degrees from The Pennsylvania State University.
Faircloth has published extensively on various topics within American Indian and Indigenous education, examining identity, social justice, culture, poverty, and leadership, among other issues.
Beyond her editorial service, Faircloth serves on a number of panels and boards. She is a member of the Bureau of Indian Education’s Special Education Advisory Board, vice chair of the North Carolina State Advisory Council on Indian Education, and chair of the technical review panel for the National Indian Education Study conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics, the Office of Indian Education, and the Educational Testing Service.
Prior to joining the faculty of University of North Carolina Wilmington, Faircloth was an associate professor in the Department of Leadership, Policy, and Adult and Higher Education at North Carolina State University and an associate professor and director of the American Indian Leadership Program at Penn State.
Faircloth is a former Fulbright Senior Scholar to New Zealand, Ford Foundation Postdoctoral scholar with the Civil Rights Project/Proyecto Derechos Civiles at the University of California Los Angeles, Fellow with the American Indian/Alaska Native Head Start Research Center at the University of Colorado, and a William C. Friday Fellow for Human Relations.
Titla is a public relations consultant, motivational speaker, freelance journalist and publisher of Native Youth Magazine.com, an award winning e-magazine that showcases the talents and lifestyles of Native youth in the U.S. and Canada.
A 20-year veteran TV News Reporter, Titla spent most of her career working for NBC affiliate stations in Arizona covering politics, the environment, energy independence, economy, border security, education, substance abuse and many other issues. In 2007 she was inducted into the Cronkite Hall of Fame at Arizona State University.
Titla has won numerous awards for her reporting including first place awards from the Associated Press, Arizona Press Club and the Native American Journalists Association. She’s also been the recipient of many awards for her work with Native American and Alaskan Native youth including the Ira Hayes Honorable Warrior Award. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Oklahoma and a master of mass communication from Arizona State University.
Past conferences have been held at Wake Forest University, The University of North Carolina at Pembroke, Harrah’s Cherokee Casino and Hotel, the Raleigh Marriott Crabtree Valley and at the tribal center of the Haliwa-Saponi Tribe of Hollister.
Registration for this year’s conference can be done online at www.aiwpn.org. Early registration deadline is Aug. 15. Discounted rates apply for those registering early. Registration forms and checks can be mailed to the American Indian Women of Proud National, c/o Lana Dial, 4216 Loch Harbour Lane, Raleigh, N.C. 27606.
Reach Kristy D. Carter at 910-592-8137, ext. 2588. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd. Like us on Facebook.