Daniel said that she was crowned Miss Indian N.C. during the first week of March 2019, and that it has been an amazing experience.
“These past few months I got to travel a lot and learn a lot about what goes on in different native communities of North Carolina,” Daniel said.
UNC sophomore Ellie Fleming plans to attend the event. She said she also recognizes the importance of sharing American Indian culture not only within the Chapel Hill community but in other communities as well.
“I think it’s really important because I feel like a lot of the time in our education systems in America, Native American culture and history has been overlooked and ignored,” Fleming said.
Fleming said that Native American culture is something important for everyone who lives in America or anyone who is just learning about the United States to know. She said it is not talked about as much as it should be.
“I’m really excited because I think it will just be a fun event to be able to see and experience new things with a culture that I’m not super familiar with," Fleming said. "It should be interesting.”
Fleming said that as a UNC student, she believes it is important to have these events to recognize the Native American students on this campus and their distinct culture. She also said it is important to be welcoming and open to their culture and to really see their impact on campus and the neighboring communities.
Larry Chavis, interim director of the UNC American Indian Center, said the purpose of this event is to not only welcome new students but to welcome back everybody.
Chavis said this event with feature a barbecue dinner and a range of performances celebrating Native American culture.
“They will do a couple of performances for us and talk about different styles of dance and some of the significance of that," Chavis said. "Then we will actually have some kind of community participation dances as well so that everybody can kind of join in, novice and experienced and whoever. That will go with some instruction and some dancing together.”
Chavis said that before the performances, interim Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz will be stopping by to offer words of welcome. The leaders of different student groups such as the Carolina Indian Circle will also introduce themselves.
“I think the main reason people get excited is because we haven’t seen each other all summer so we look forward to meeting all of our students and some other members of our community, alumni, local community members and staff from across campus,” Chavis said. “It’s a nice time to gather and celebrate the beginning of the semester.”