The American Indian Women of Proud Nations supports American Indian women’s efforts to build healthier lives for themselves, their families and their communities. Drawing on indigenous cultural traditions, language, history and values, the organization strives to build relationships and cultivate leadership in the areas of education, community, health, spirituality and economic development.
This year’s conference theme, “Nurturing and Empowering Our Communities through Leadership,” reflects Indian country’s tenor, said Roseanna Belt, director of WCU’s Cherokee Center and chair of the host planning committee.
“We welcome Native women from throughout the nation to attend this conference,” Belt said. “We are offering a program with statewide and national applications, speakers who are recognized experts in their professions and timely topics. Drawing upon our cultural traditions and values, we hope to encourage networking and offer encouragement and support in building healthy and safe Indian communities.”
The conference’s assemblies and workshops will focus on building leadership skills, and many are geared toward youth. Joyce Dugan, former principal chief of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and current director of education with Cherokee Central Schools, is keynote speaker at a Thursday night banquet honoring women who have promoted leadership and service in their tribes and communities.