North Carolina has the largest Native
American population east of the Mississippi River.
Yet, only a few hundred students at the University
of North Carolina are Native American.
Unheard Voices are making an effort to raise awareness of
UNC's American Indian community. The a cappella
group recently held auditions to increase the
group's members from 6 to 12.
“It would help us make our voices louder by
showing people that, yes, Native Americans still
exist and, yes, there are a lot of us,” said Whitney Bullard, a
UNC junior and
Unheard Voices performer. She said the group wants a larger presence on campus. “It would be better to have more people in our
group around campus and at events to allow us to
have a stronger voice and say, ‘Hey, we’re here’.”
Unheard Voices integrates
Native American folk music
and spoken word into its performances. Bullard said the group
is generating student interest by performing on
campus and at local events.
Unheard Voices was founded in
the 1970s. Students who participate must be
members of the Carolina Indian Circle -- a student
organization that raises awareness about Native
American culture on campus.
Unheard Voice helps explain Native
American culture and music’s connection to Earth
said Candice Locklear, Unheard Voices lead singer
and main drummer
“It allowed me to express my culture and find out
more about myself.” Whitney Bullard, Unheard Voices
“Overall, I feel it is a great way to express the
native culture in a respectful way that also allows
me to get to know other great Native people.”
Elena Hunt, Unheard Voices member
“I have always lived in a predominately Native
American community but I found few opportunities to
expand my knowledge base to other tribes.”
Amber McDowell, Unheard Voices member