Dalton State Offers Free Seminar On Cherokee Culture

Wednesday, March 5, 2014
Diamond Go-Sti
Diamond Go-Sti

An advantage to living in Northwest Georgia is the vast amount of local history the region holds, including that of the native peoples of the area.  In a program sponsored by Dalton State College’s Bandy Heritage Center, Cherokee educator and lecturer Diamond Go-Sti will lead two free seminars on the diversity of Cherokee life and culture on Thursday, March 13.


Diamond’s two-part program, entitled “Touch the Earth: Cherokee Myths, Traditions, and Culture,” will take place in Room 105 of The James E. Brown Center on the Dalton State campus. The first lecture will take place from 10:30 am to 12 pm, and will focus on Cherokee myth cycles and oral tradition. The second lecture, wherein Diamond will discuss the symbolism of artifacts and their relationship to Cherokee life and beliefs, will take place from 2 to 3:30 pm.


Diamond Go-Sti is a full blood Cherokee who has devoted his life to educating others about his culture and heritage. Born and raised on a portion of the Cherokee reservations in North Carolina, he travels around the United States to share his knowledge of the Cherokee as a storyteller, educator, and historian.


“To truly understand the historical legacy of our region one has to gain an understanding of the lives and culture of those that lived here before us,” says Brian Hilliard, Project Director for the Bandy Center. “So many of the things we encounter in the course of our daily lives, such as the names of rivers, mountains, cities, and counties come directly from the Cherokee people that inhabited this region, but we may not be aware of their significance.”


Diamond has been involved in musical and theatrical productions, documentaries, and films, most notably the “Georgia Stories” video series shown to all eighth grade students in the state. He has also been the subject of numerous works of art, including paintings, collections of photographs, and a six-foot bronze statue in the courthouse square of Dahlonega, Georgia. He was formerly involved in politics concerning the Cherokee, but realized his true calling in life was to spread the word about his native culture.


“Diamond presents a much more accurate historical view of the indigenous people in America, particularly the Cherokee, and he also discusses a great deal about myths and stereotypes related to native people,” says Ryan Reece, Assistant Professor of English at Dalton State. Reece welcomed Diamond Go-Sti into his classroom in December to discuss several points of contrast related to how native people are represented in the landscape of American literature.


“He generally challenges what we think we know about his people and re-educates where appropriate to correct many incorrect views presented in film, television, books, and classrooms,” Reece continues.


In 1992, Diamond Go-Sti became a full-time Cherokee educator, and has since created an educational field trip program called “Touch the Earth with Native People.” When he is not teaching in the Atlanta area or traveling across the U.S., Diamond, along with several other Native American artists, uses the program to inform children of the rich legacy of the native peoples of this country by presenting stories, art, music, dances and artifacts.


“By learning more about the people of the past we can make connections to our modern lives and bridge the gap between cultures that appear totally foreign to us, but actually contain more common ground than we may expect,” says Hilliard.


This seminar is hosted by the Bandy Heritage Center for Northwest Georgia and is made possible through a Foundation grant to the Dalton State School of Liberal Arts. Diamond Go-Sti will present his first lecture from 10:30 am to 12 pm, and the second lecture from 2 to 3:30 pm. Both lectures are free and open to the public, and will take place in Room 105 of The James E. Brown Center on the Dalton State Campus. Seating is first-come, first-served.



Cleveland State Debate Team Brings Home Awards

The Cleveland State Debate Team has something to smile about. The team just returned from two tournaments with three trophies! The team recently attended the Smoky Mountain Debate Tournament at Walter’s State Community College where Team Captain Alex Olive won fourth   place in the Novice Speaker Awards competition in a field of over 100 students. The team also attended the ... (click for more)

Mission: Remission Presents Students Opportunity For Remembrance, Awareness

For this year’s sixth annual cancer awareness fundraiser, Mission: Remission, GPS and McCallie students convened on McCallie’s campus to honor those affected by cancer. GPS Student Council President Blythe May introduced the student speakers of the event: Charlotte Vance, Max Ransom, and Ryan Crump.  Charlotte spoke from personal experience about her battle with childhood ... (click for more)

TDOT Recommends Spot Improvements For Road Up To Signal Mountain Rather Than Costly Widening Or Reworking The W Road

Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) officials said Friday that widening the road up to Signal Mountain or reworking the W Road would both be very costly. Officials said spot improvements on the existing road should solve most of the issues and be much less expensive.   TDOT officials made a presentation on the status of Signal Mountain Road to the town council ... (click for more)

Shaw Industries To Invest $42 Million At Decatur, Tn., Plant

Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bob Rolfe and Shaw Industries Group, Inc. officials announced Friday that the floor products manufacturer will invest $42 million to upgrade its yarn facility in Decatur. Shaw plans create 75 new jobs in Meigs County as part of the investment. “I’d like to thank Shaw for its continued ... (click for more)

October Is Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Myth And Fact Check

My husband and I recently had the privilege of participating in the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk in Chattanooga. I listened as my husband told the audience about how his mother was diagnosed with breast cancer when he was nine and how she died from the disease when he was fourteen. As a child, my husband didn’t understand what breast cancer ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: At Last! New Schools

In this me-me-me-only-me world of today, we-we-we-finally got a thrilling $125 million facility plan for the Hamilton County Department of Education on Thursday night. The School Board unanimously approved a well-thought-out “first Band-Aid” that will provide a new elementary school in Harrison, middle schools in East Hamilton and Howard, and a quite-satisfactory answer to move ... (click for more)