Sol Mockicin had a message to students and potential teachers Thursday to learn as his culture does, "from the heart."

Mockicin, 77, a full-blood Cherokee, is board member of the Oaks Indian Mission of Oaks, Oklahoma.

On Thursday, the Multicultural Education Club of the University of North Alabama, in celebrating Native American Heritage Month, hosted a panel discussion on the Oaks Indian Mission.

The panel included officials with the Oaks including Mockicin, who is a native of the Oaks Mission and continues to educate about the history of his culture as well as the future.

UNA education students, along with a group of fourth-graders attended the panel discussion at Wesleyan Hall auditorium.

Mockicin addressed both groups of students, telling prospective teachers in the audience, "learn to listen the right way and you'll be a better teacher."

"The love on the inside comes out, as it's the spirit you have," he said. "Always let your knowledge come from the heart, then use that knowledge."

Mockicin shared about his upbringing in the Oaks, which houses and educates children from various Native American tribes. It began in Georgia in the late 1700s, but was forced to move in the 1830s during the Trail of Tears. The Mission relocated to northeast Oklahoma where it continues today.

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