Every spring, the American Indian Center brings to campus a well-respected nationally prominent American Indian elder to foster cultural, academic, social, and spiritual support for Carolina students as well as to enrich the campus community.  Selected elders have come from all parts of the country and are chosen for their deep cultural knowledge and their leadership in Native causes.

During their time on campus, the Elder In Residence (EIR) will spend much of his/her time meeting with students, speaking in classrooms, and meeting with other campus faculty and staff.

The EIR Program is designed to:

  • Celebrate Indigenous knowledge,
  • Validate Indigenous practices and ways of knowing,
  • Reinforce American Indian identity and affirm American Indian students,
  • Raise the awareness of Native culture with University staff and faculty, and
  • Foster relationships between American Indian communities and the University.

This year, nominations were solicited from American Indian students and American Indian Studies faculty and staff.  Criteria for selection include national prominence and expertise in a field.

Please join us as we celebrate our seventh year of the EIR program.  We realize there are many individuals worthy of this honor.  It is difficult to identify a single person every year given that nationally there are many leaders we would like to honor.

This year, we are pleased to announce that our 2014 Elder in Residence will be Simon J. Ortiz (Acoma Pueblo).  The Elder in Residence Program will be taking place February 12-February 15.  Please contact the American Indian Center if you would like to visit with Mr. Ortiz or have him visit your class. Click here to view Elder in Residence public event.
Former Elders in Residence

March 2013

Senora Lynch (Haliwa Saponi)


March 12-17, 2012

Della C. Warrior (Ote-Missouria)


March 14-19, 2011

Ada Deer (Menominee)


February 21-25, 2010

Dr. Robert J. Conley (Cherokee)


March 17 – 20, 2009

LaDonna Harris (Comanche)


March 24-28, 2008

Dr. Linda Oxendine (Lumbee)


Fall of 2006

LeAnne Howell (Choctaw)

*Howell served as an Elder, prior to the establishment of the Center.