- The University of Southern Mississippi's unique Golden Eagle Intertribal
Society will hold a benefit "powwow" March 21-22 in an
effort to strengthen its campus presence.
will consist of such cultural activities as Native American dancing,
singing, arts and crafts, and food, said Joseph Bohanon, faculty
adviser to the student association for Native American.
from vendor sales will be used to support society activities.
beginning to gain interest on the Southern Miss campus and have
begun collaboration with various organizations," added Bohanon,
a doctoral student and member of the Oklahoma Choctaw Tribe.
in May 2002, the Golden Eagle Intertribal Society began with a mission
of creating a stronger presence for Native American students on
the Southern Miss campus. The group seeks to dispel stereotypes
by educating students about Native American culture.
organization is extremely important because it opens us up to others
with knowledge about our culture," said Jason Grisham, a graduate
student from Philadelphia and a member of the Choctaw Tribe. He
serves as president of the society. "There is no organization
similar to this on any college campus in Mississippi."
Eagle Intertribal Society currently has 12 active members
mostly from the Choctaw Indian Tribe and seven officers.
Under Bohanon's guidance, the group held three organizational meetings
in the spring of 2002, elected officers and created a society constitution.
The group submitted a chapter application and was officially recognized
as a student organization. In addition to Choctaw, the society also
includes members from the Chitimacha Tribe, which is based in Louisiana,
and the Cherokee Tribe.
group held a dance exhibition last spring with dancers and
drummers from the Mississippi Choctaw reservation the upcoming
powwow is expected to be more involved and educational.
is open to the public, with free admission from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
that Friday and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. that Saturday, at the recreational
field adjacent to the Southern Miss Sports Arena, on the eastern
side of the Southern Miss campus. The event is co-sponsored by the
Southern Miss Department Recreational Sports, the School of Social
Work Graduate Student Organization, Coats Aloe Inc. and various
Choctaws in the community.
In the event
of bad weather, the event will be held at the Southern Miss Payne
the Native American students want to become more active on campus
and recently participated in a university international festival
that featured students from a wide range of foreign countries.
purpose of the Golden Eagle Intertribal Society is to bring all
Native American students together and educate the public on what
we're all about," said Grisham.
are still a lot of stereotypes out there about Native Americans.
We really want to open people's minds and help them understand our