Deb Foerst: Tell Them We Are Human: Sovereignty, Education and the Eastern Band of Cherokee
The Gadugi Program will celebrate Women’s History Month by hosting the 2016 Selu Lecture on Women Leaders in Education. Our guest speaker is Mrs. Deb Foerst. Mrs. Foerst is the principal of Cherokee High School on the Qualla Boundary in western North Carolina as well as an invaluable leader in Appalachian State University’s partnership with Cherokee Central Schools and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. She is the third generation of educators among the Eastern Cherokee in her family. Her father, Mr. Ray Kinsland, recently celebrated his 58th year of service to the Eastern Cherokee. A gifted and inspiring educator, Mrs. Foerst will speak about her experience working with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, being a female leader in a matrilineal culture, and the challenges and opportunities facing American Indian educators and students. For more information contact Allen Bryant at 828-262-3152 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Selu is the name of the Cherokee corn-mother. Selu was the First Woman and goddess of the corn. (Her name literally means "maize" or "corn" in the Cherokee language.) Selu was killed by her twin sons, who feared her power; but with her dying instructions she taught them to plant and farm corn, so that her spirit was resurrected with each harvest.