Joey Pierce, who is of Cherokee and Shawnee descent, was on hand to speak to visitors at an exhibit of Native American artifacts at the University of West Georgia. The traveling exhibit was brought to the campus recently by members of the Native American Preservation Association of Georgia.
The exhibit was sponsored by UWG's Office of Institutional Diversity.
Pierce was born in Strawberry Plains in East Tennessee in an era when being of Native American descent was not easy.
“From the time I could remember, two or three years old in Tennessee, I was told be very proud of who you are,” Pierce said. “But don’t tell anyone who you are.”
Pierce’s maternal grandmother was Cherokee, but would not discuss her heritage, he said.
“She would start into it and then change the subject,” Pierce said.
Pierce showed knives made by Georgia artist Frank Maddsen. Also on hand was Janelle Wilder, who spoke about the clubs used in war.