Students wearing pucker-toe moccasins. This is the style that is going to be made during the workshop.

November is American Indian Heritage Month and the Center for Tribal Studies is partnering with the Oklahoma Arts Council to bring a free moccasin making workshop to campus. The class will be led by Matthew Anderson, curator of Cherokee Nation’s Spider Gallery located in Tahlequah.

“This is not the first time we have had Matt come teach a class,” said Sara Barnett, CTS director. “He has always been super helpful, and we know that it is a passion of his to pass on his knowledge of cultural crafts.”

Anderson currently serves as an instructor for the First People Fund. He also assists artists in honing their skills in business training and professional development at the Cherokee Arts Center and Spider Gallery. While Anderson has no formal art education, he has been immersed and studied various forms of Cherokee art through his upbringing.

“I have always believed that our culture should be shared with the world,” said Anderson. “We deserve the chance to be able to show non-Cherokees what we are capable of, because we had a complete society prior to first contact. We had our own inventors and technologies well before the Europeans changed our way of living.”

CTS has tried to fill the month with as many events as possible, which features a multitude of other tribes and distinct cultures from Native nations located throughout the United States.

“We are continuously trying to bring more and more awareness to all the tribes we serve here at NSU,” said Alisa Douglas, CTS student coordinator. “One thing I think most people do not realize is that each tribe has its own culture and heritage, no two tribes are exactly the same. We all share similarities, but there is so much knowledge out there. And unless you are a member of a specific tribe, we are going to need that one student or community member who is to actually show us their worldview.”

The moccasin making workshop is on Thursday, Nov. 7 from 3-5 p.m. in UC rooms 223-224. The Center for Tribal Studies has several other events planned for AIHM. They are all free and open to the public. Openings for the moccasin class are limited and participants are encouraged to register by calling CTS at 918-444-4350.

For more information about AIHM, visit CTS on Facebook at NSU Center for Tribal Studies, call 918-444-4350, or email

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