Karenne Wood, an enrolled member of the Monacan Indian Nation and Ford Fellow in anthropology at the University of Virginia, will be the guest of honor at the annual West Virginia University Peace Tree Ceremony.

The ceremony is Thursday, Oct. 21, 2010, at 11:30 a.m. at the Peace Tree between Martin and E. Moore Halls.

In addition to participating in the Peace Tree Ceremony, Wood will give a poetry reading and lecture. All events are free and open to the public.

“We are honored to have Karenne Wood with us for this year’s peace tree events,” said Bonnie M. Brown, coordinator of the Native American Studies Program in the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences.

“It’s a treat to welcome a guest who can address Native issues and history via both her literary and scholarly work,” she added.

Wood will discuss early Siouan Indians in what is now West Virginia and Virginia, including her own tribe, the Monacans.

On Wednesday, Oct. 20, the evening prior to the Peace Tree Ceremony, Wood will share her poetry. She is the author of “Markings on Earth,” a collection of poems for which she received the North American Native Authors Award for Poetry. The reading is in Colson Hall, room 130 at 5:30 p.m.

Wood’s public lecture is Thursday, Oct. 21 at 5:30 p.m. in room 459 of the Business & Economics Building. The talk, “Who Owns the Past? Siouan Indian Peoples in Virginia and West Virginia,” will explore the Siouan tribes of the mountain and piedmont regions of Virginia and West Virginia, which had limited direct contact with European settlers until the 18th Century.

Karenne Wood served on the tribal council of the Monacan Indian Nation for 12 years and is director of the Virginia Indian Heritage Program at the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities. Previously, as the repatriation director for the Association on American Indian Affairs, she aided in the return of sacred artifacts to Native tribes.

The WVU Peace Tree was planted Sept. 12, 1992, to commemorate the University’s commitment to the rediscovery of America’s Indian heritage. According to Haudenosaunee (Iroquoian) oral tradition, the creator sent a peacemaker to unite the warring Seneca, Cayuga, Oneida, Mohawk and Onondaga nations by planting the original Tree of Peace at Onondaga in 1000 A.D. The tree marked the formation of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy.

In the case of rain, the Peace Tree Ceremony will be moved inside to the Vandalia Lounge in the Mountainlair.

This year’s peace tree events are co-sponsored by the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences, the President’s Office for Social Justice and the Division of Sociology and Anthropology.

For more information, contact Bonnie M. Brown, Coordinator of the Native American Studies Program, at (304) 293-4626 or BonnieM.Brown@mail.wvu.edu.



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