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Wake Forest, Western Carolina sign agreement with Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians

November 30, 2006

A Memorandum of Understanding promoting education, patient care and research for the benefit of American Indian nations, was signed between Wake Forest University, Western Carolina University and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI) Nov. 17 at Wake Forest. 

The first of its kind in the history of Wake Forest, the memorandum was signed by Principal Chief Michell Hicks on behalf of EBCI, Provost Kyle Carter on behalf of Western Carolina and Provost William Gordon on behalf of Wake Forest. 

The agreement promotes an interdisciplinary project, “Culturally-Based Native Health Program,” between the three entities that will be directed by Lisa Lefler, medical anthropologist at the EBCI and Cherokee Studies Program at Western Carolina. 

The project will include the exchange of faculty and resources for the development of online courses for a cultural health certificate and other educational programs, joint research activities, and the exchange of scholars for seminars, conferences and other academic meetings. 

According to Ulrike Wiethaus, professor of humanities at Wake Forest, one of the main goals of this collaboration is to create healthy American Indian nations.  “Thiscollaboration is designed to acknowledge and value American Indian nations’ contributions to teaching indigenous and non-indigenous communities about their own cultures and histories so that it will positively impact health services and build and strengthen ties between local, national and international academic institutions and American Indian nations,” said Wiethaus.

For more information about the project, contact Ulrike Wiethaus at Wake Forest at (336) 758-7169 or or Lisa Lefler at Western Carolina at (828) 227-2302 or

Press Contacts:

Pam Barrett
(336) 758-5237

Kevin Cox
(336) 758-5237

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