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News and Events

The Scottish Government Has Big Plans For The Stiff Highlands Breeze But Not Everyone Is Pleased

Local Scottish highlanders are forming up the ranks and preparing for a bit of a scuffle over something that many people think is just a slam dunk great thing: renewable energy.  In Scotland the preferred renewable energy resource could be the strong Scottish winds blowing across the awesomely scenic and (at least presently) wild highlands.  […]

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Scottish Historic Landscape Update: Good news for preservation at Prestonpans and a reason to shout at Culloden

April this year brings some good news for preservation at Prestonpans and the chance to speak your mind about historic landscape preservation at Culloden. It is also time to thank our like minded compatriots back in Scotland for carrying the torch on local battles that affect the world like the fights to keep residential development […]

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Guest Blog: Is ‘Cleared’ Land Really ‘Wild’ Land? A perspective from Rob Gibson, MSP Caithness, Sutherland & Ross

Scotland is alive right now with proposals to do all sorts of things differently than they have been done in the past.  The tension between ‘develop’ and ‘protect’ is growing and the right answers are not always as clear as everyone would like.  One currently hot topic involves how best to relate to Scotland’s vast […]

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Wandering Scots Book Club: Get Ready For Some Western Style Adventure With A Scottish Accent!

The Wandering Scots have been reading a couple of Western legends to get into the swing of our new topic Scots in the West.  A focus on John Muir and Lady Isabella Bird’s letters of her rugged and exciting time in the late 19th century Rocky Mountains have already introduced us to some very memorable […]

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Scotland’s Lord Lyon King of Arms Does Some Pretty Amazing Things

Here he is earlier today dissolving the Westminster (as in the United Kingdom) Parliament from Edinburgh’s Mercat Cross.  No kidding.  A Lord Lyon’s job is never done.  We cannot wait to hear Dr. Morrow’s tales at the Scottish Caucus in April! So why did Lord Lyon announce the dissolution of the Westminster Parliament today?  Simple.  […]

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The Mackenzie Explains A Clan Chief’s Responsibility In Terms That Hit Home To Mackenzies

“A castle isn’t just some rich man’s toy, it’s the heartland of a clan and I feel a great responsibility not to let it fall to the ground.  Other countries would give their eye teeth for the misty magic of Scottish history.”  Thus explained the Earl of Cromartie about his deeply felt obligation to ensure […]

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Ireland Just Released Its Brand New Diaspora Policy

“The Irish nation cherishes its special affinity with people of Irish ancestry living abroad who share its cultural identity and heritage” So goes the opening comment by the Republic of Ireland to the estimated 70 million descendants of Irish emigrants across the globe that opens Ireland’s new Diaspora Policy.  Not a bad start.  You can review the entire report […]

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Next Up At Wandering Scots Book Club: Scots In The West!

As we begin to explore more of the history of Scots in America we open a new chapter out west.  What an exciting, complex, troubling and beautiful story. From the Mackenzies following trade inward from the Pacific Northwest to the Scots defenders of the Alamo the American west has drawn Scots in serious numbers. Their stories are […]

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New Plan To Protect Culloden Battlefield Introduced By Inverness Councillor Ken Gowans

On February 25th, Inverness Councillor Ken Gowans reported the following: “As I promised in January a Planning Paper is coming before the City of Inverness Area Committee (CIAC) on 4th March. The paper outlines the need for a review of the Conservation Area and the extension of that around the greater battlefield area. The changes […]

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Do People In Scotland Value Scotland’s Heritage? Survey Says . . . ?????

Last month Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs Fiona Hyslop announced the government’s recent conclusion that “Scots value heritage and culture”.  The claim is based upon the most recent Scottish Household Survey released in August of 2014.  The Secretary’s press release reports that nine in ten Scots agree heritage buildings and places should […]

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Adhamh O Broin: A real highland hero is coming to America on a wee tour this Spring!

Catch the Outlander Gaelic tutor as he tours the western United States and listen to his personal story of the real struggle of Scots Gaelic and traditional Scottish culture in today’s Scotland.  Adhamh has long been in the middle of that struggle and we look forward to hearing what he has to say. Check out […]

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If Your Kids Were Irish …

If your kids were interested in the ancient Irish language instead of their own Scots Gaelic, they could compete for scholarships to study in Ireland in an awesome immersion program offered through the Irish government’s partnership with the United States government and funded by the National Lottery in Ireland. Then when their scholarship was awarded, […]

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Highland Titles: Built On Deception & Stolen Heritage Hopefully Soon Gone And Easily Forgotten

For those who have followed the Highland Title saga over the years, you may finally be able to draw this issue to a close, if a pack of Scottish land lawyers have their way.    The entire scheme of selling wee plots of ground in Scotland to buyers who then entitle themselves with really offensive […]

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BREAKING NEWS: Colonel Mustard Was A MacGregor?

Yes. It is quite possible that Colonel Mustard, Clue’s mysterious Brit with a cloudy military history, may have descended from Scotland’s most famous outlaw tribe, Clan Gregor. Had we known that fact we likely would have been far more skeptical when the Colonel turned up unexpectedly in the library with the knife and no explanation. […]

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NEWS FLASH: Reports Of The Scottish Clan System’s Death Have Been Greatly Exaggerated

This is the latest in a dialogue with Scottish blogger Phoenix45.org. Thank you Phoenix45.org, for your latest comments in our ongoing dialogue.  The beauty of this is we are actually dredging up areas of potential agreement.  If we can last long enough.  For instance, P45 says this: “I have no problem with the diaspora and their […]

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Edinburgh Airport To Receive Significant Upgrades To International Services

Great news for American travelers to Scotland. Edinburgh Airport will add a new and separate international immigration hall and baggage reclaim area as part of a multi million pound extension plan. The reason? Long haul traffic at the terminal increased almost 90% last year thanks to new routes to the Middle East and America. UK […]

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Dig It! 2015: A year long celebration of Scottish archaeology

Despite the fact that one might make some very snarky comments about two branches of the Scottish Government just having named two different years as Scotland’s Year of Archaeology – we will not be snarky.  Indeed, we are delighted although a bit late to the game for 2015. Some time ago, Visit Scotland announced 2017 […]

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Diaspora Strategy: Back To Our Image Problem

Apparently we have launched a dialogue! Outstanding because we love to talk!  From the looks of it, we have quite a bit of talking yet to do to convince some of our Scottish brothers and sisters that we are just people of Scottish ancestry who enjoy knowing where we came from and at least the […]

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Vikings To Invade North Carolina In April!

Scotland is full of dangerous natives who speak an incomprehensible language and the weather is rotten. So was the opinion of 13th Century Viking raiders and traders regarding their southern neighbor, ‘Skotland’.  “Icelanders who want to practice robbery are advised to go there,” reports recently interpreted norse saga.  “But it may cost them their life.” Well, […]

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Scots Irish Numbers Have Plummeted In The United States – What’s Up?

The number of Americans who self identify as having Scots Irish ancestry in the 2013 census survey declined by almost half since 2006.  Today, only 3 million Americans with Scots Irish descent are visible in the United States.  In 2006 that number was 5.4 million.  This is true despite the profile of Scots Irish immigrants […]

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Well, You Just Never Know: DNA Rewrites MacNeil History

The winner in the 2014 Never Say Never contest must definitely be Clan MacNeil of Barra, a fine group of skillful seagoing warriors who understood themselves to be descendants of the great Irish legend Niall of the Nine Hostages through an 11th Century Irish invading prince.  Wrong. A few years ago Clan MacNeil undertook a clan […]

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Ghosts of St. Kilda Tell Their Tales Online: National Trust For Scotland Introduces The World To Mr. & Mrs. MacLauchlan of St. Kilda

Slightly more than 100 years ago, from 1906 – 1909 Alice and Peter MacLauchlan diaried their daily lives as Minister and Minister’s Wife on the most outback of Scotland’s back of beyond, the archipelago of St. Kilda.  St. Kilda is now, fortunately but mournfully, a World Heritage Site. The island emptied the last of its […]

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Wandering Scots Book Club: Waverley – Outlander Video Discussion Panel Shapes Up To Be Awesome!

Greetings Wandering Scots! We are getting very excited about the upcoming video discussion panel on January 31 from 1:30pm – 3:00pm ET featuring Outlander author Diana Gabaldon and an outstanding cast of scholars and experts to discuss Sir Walter Scott’s Waverley and Ms. Gabaldon’s Outlander. Panel moderator Dr. Caroline McCracken – Flesher is putting together […]

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Two True ‘Wandering Scots’ Team Up To Help Guide COSCA’s Wandering Scots Book Club!

Born with a Scots name and raised in six countries, for 26 years Doc Wright infected high school students in Australia with a love for history and literature – especially “Speculative Fiction.” Doc’s third love is his wife, historian and storyteller Jane Bennett. Jane is a multi talented Scottish American raised in New Mexico and […]

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You Wouldn’t Want To Play Your Pipes At The Royal Edinburgh Tattoo – Would You? OK!

Brigadier David Allfrey MBE, Chief Executive and Producer, The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, has sent this: ‘Following the huge success of The Pipers’ Trail as part of the 2014 Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, we are now looking to extend the scheme. Last year, we brought together a tremendous volunteer band of 27 pipers and drummers under […]

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2017: Scotland’s Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology. Get Involved!

As some of you may have noticed, Scotland loves to assign themes to every year. This has been going on for some time. The whole thing is just a little weird and lets just say, some annual themes are better than others. This year is Scotland’s Year of Food and Drink. It also corresponds with […]

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Buffalo Plaid: As American As Apple Pie or as Scottish American as Kirkin’ Of The Tartan?

We all love the stuff. It’s one of the reasons I find the Chief of Clan Gregor’s home so lovely. Remarkably distinctive in the world of Scottish tartan, it is that wonderful bold and beautiful Rob Roy MacGregor Tartan in big blocks of red and black. It is the stuff of heroes. Tom Mix wore […]

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Bootcamp Rumblings: Convenor Handbooks, Fundraising and Mentors

A few years ago, COSCA created a vehicle to carry our training webinars and other resources to Scottish clan, family and other societies so that they could more effectively meet their own missions and responsibilities to their members. We call it COSCA’s Leadership Boot Camp. We have received many requests to produce more training webinars […]

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Protecting Scotland’s Heritage: Who’s Minding The Store?

Prestonpans, Garva bridge, Culloden and other iconic Scottish heritage sites are threatened by the growth and development bug.  Is Scotland protecting its most important environmental and heritage assets? Last year, COSCA became engaged in the debate about whether new homes, roads and infrastructure should be built within an area adjacent to the NTS Culloden Battlefield […]

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Just When You Thought Nobody Was Watching: Does the Scottish Diaspora have an image problem in Scotland?

A few editions back, Planet COSCA.Scot included a swell little article on the December party at Holyrood Palace hosted by the Standing Council of Scottish Chiefs aiming to connect with and energize the Chiefly heirs so they will be ready to assume all of those important tasks that their fathers and mothers, the hereditary leaders […]

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National Museum of Scotland Closed By Worker Strike

The National Museum of Scotland is, as one might expect, high on many tourist’s lists of important places to visit and enjoy while in Scotland. After all, as the National Museum of Scotland says of itself “from the age of dinosaurs to the technology of the future, our galleries contain treasures from around the world.” […]

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Drop Your Smartphone And Pick Up The Book Of Kells

The Book of Kells was written in the neighborhood of 800AD, probably at Iona (or Applecross) in Scotland or maybe in Kells, County Meath, Ireland.  It’s also known as the Book of Columba, as tradition has it that it was written to celebrate the 200th anniversary of his death.  St Columba died in 597AD.  Two hundred […]

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Message From The President: Meet COSCA’s New Vice President

Greetings fellow Scots Ancestral Diasporrans! Here we go on a brand new year. We hope that you all properly launched yourselves into 2015 in your own personal style. If you did it clad with tartan, more’s the better! COSCA’s Scottish crystal ball tells us that 2015 will be a year of growth and success in […]

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Scots Diaspora Strategy: Ours Not Theirs

I have been graced by a New Year’s epiphany.  A Scottish Diaspora Strategy isn’t necessarily Scotland’s strategy.  It can be – aye, should be – our strategy. Translation:  In the past and continuing to this very day, the Scottish government has asked its Ancestral Diaspora to play a predefined and very narrow role in the government’s internal Diaspora policies.  As pointed […]

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Scots Diaspora Strategy: A Journey of Discovery

There was a time not too long ago when the Scottish government seemed quite interested in building stronger and more productive relationships with its several diasporas including the potential powerhouse of the Scottish Ancestral Diaspora.  Alex Salmond’s government commissioned a series of studies in 2008 – 2009 to assess the possibilities and make recommendations for how […]

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Getting Started With Waverley – A Few Suggestions

Has anyone dived into Walter Scott’s Waverley yet? It can certainly be a challenge to read a work written in Scott’s style 200 years ago! Remember that we have suggested a brand new edition by Jenny Calder offering up Waverley for the modern reader! http://www.luath.co.uk/waverley.html Try starting with the background resources that we have suggested. […]

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Iconic Scottish Wildcat Continues To Struggle As Big Funding Boost Might Make A Real Difference

Scottish charity The Wildcat Action project has been boosted by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) awarding a grant of £973,100 in a bid to reverse the relentless decline in wildcat numbers.  Once numerous across the whole of mainland Britain, the Scottish Wildcat is now restricted to northern Scotland and is in grave danger of becoming […]

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Heritage Project Spotlight: Kirkmichael Heritage Centre Project (Black Isle)

Every now and again a great heritage project comes across our screens that needs a bit of an extra boost.  The Kirkmichael Project is one of those.  Wonderful project on Scotland’s Black Isle to rescue, preserve and display 500 year old medieval stone carvings representing some of the best Scottish artwork anywhere.  They already have […]

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National Trust For Scotland Gets A New Leader

The National Trust For Scotland will proceed under the new leadership of Sir Moir Lockhead, a former apprentice mechanic who worked his way up to be chief of one of the UK’s biggest bus companies and has since retired.  Sir Lockhead will be replacing Sir Kenneth Calman who has been a very strong voice for […]

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Scottish Diaspora Strategy: Nobody Does Diaspora Like Israel

Today’s exploding levels of human mobility and migration have brought the term ‘diaspora’ into the lexicon of nations all across the globe including of course our own Scottish diaspora. It was the nation of Israel that really put the idea of a national diaspora on the map and until relatively recently, has dominated the field […]

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President’s End Of Year Message

People in Scotland call this time of year ‘the Festive Season’. I have never heard that phrase used in the United States but I think it is a lovely one. Who can argue with being festive. No matter how each Scottish American individual and family chooses to do it COSCA wishes each of you a […]

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Tinkers Heart: One of a kind memorial

Tinker’s Heart is a 1.7m x 1.4m heart formed by small Quartz stones laid in the earth at a crossroads near Loch Fyne. There is a tradition within the travelling community that it was constructed as a memorial to local tinkers who joined the Jacobite Rising of 1745. Is so Tinkers Heart may be the […]

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Good Things That COSCA Is Doing For You

COSCA has an awful lot of ‘irons in the fire’ in our mission to preserve and enhance Scottish heritage. So many that it is sometimes difficult to keep track of everything that has gone on. So we have assembled a wee summary of the highlights of the last two years of COSCA work. This isn’t […]

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4th Annual Scottish Clan & Family Caucus: More Details Available

The 4th Annual Scottish Clan & Family Caucus (#SCFC2015 for the social media people) promises to be the very best Caucus so far. The next Caucus will be located at Historic Rural Hill near Charlotte, North Carolina from April 17 – April 19, 2015 to coincide with the Loch Norman Highland Games. We were thrilled […]

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Standing Council of Scottish Chiefs’ Holyrood Palace Heirs’ Party

Guest Blog:  SCSC Convenor Sir Malcolm MacGregor of MacGregor Comments On An Exceptional Scottish Clan & Family Event A somewhat historic event took place at the Palace of Holyrood House on Friday 28 November. The Standing Council of Scottish Chiefs (SCSC) hosted a reception for heirs to clan chiefships and heads of families. It was […]

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Scotland’s Lord Lyon King of Arms To Speak At COSCA’s 4th Annual Scottish Clan & Family Caucus

COSCA is honored and delighted to announce that Lord Lyon King of Arms Dr. Joseph Morrow will be speaking at the 4th Annual Scottish Clan & Family Caucus on April 17, 2015 at Historic Rural Hill outside of Huntersville, North Carolina.  Dr. Morrow will also participate in Scottish heraldry workshops and seminars during the weekend […]

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COSCA Opens Committee Season With A Call To Action

Discussion groups and working groups are popping up like daffodils in April around here.  We invite your perusal of what’s up and your sincere consideration and honest evaluation of whether you are 1. interested and 2. available to participate on one or more of these discussion groups or working groups.  Of course the discussion groups will […]

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Scots Diaspora Strategy: Scotland Can Learn Much From Ireland’s “Irish Abroad” Concept

As we continue our exploration of world diaspora strategies, we choose to linger a little longer on Ireland.  We should be looking carefully at Ireland’s view of her ancestral diaspora.  We should learn more about our genetic cousins on the emerald isle generally in the hopes of working more closely on issues that concern us […]

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World Marmalade Festival Wants Your Jelly!

Calling all Scottish clan chiefs, chieftains, clans men and women all over the world to enter a jar in The World’s Original Marmalade Competition & Help Raise Money for Marie Curie Scotland! Huh?  What?  The World’s Original Marmalade Awards & Festival at Dalemain! OK.  When?  28th February & 1st March 2015 Marmalade – We all […]

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Scottish Clan & Family Forum: Getting Serious About A Scottish Diaspora Strategy

Last June in Stirling, Scotland, Scottish Minister for Enterprise, Energy and Tourism Fergus Ewing convened a Scoping Meeting to define the direction and initial topics of interest for a new Scottish ancestral tourism stakeholder’s committee. After discussion it was agreed that the name of the group ought to be the Scottish Clan & Family Forum […]

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COSCA Appoints Dr. Bruce Durie As Its Official Seannachaidh

The Council of Scottish Clans & Associations is delighted and honored to announce the appointment of Dr. Bruce Durie, BSc (Hons) PhD OMLJ FSAScot FCollT FIGRS FHEA as COSCA’s Seannachaidh. Dr. Durie will be consulting on a range of genealogical and ancestral questions and projects for COSCA and its members. “As Scottish Americans we celebrate […]

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EXCLUSIVE UPDATE: A New International Clans & Heritage Centre at Inverness Castle?

Inverness Castle presents a stunning sight above the River Ness as it flows through the ancient capital of the Scottish highlands.  The old stronghold was not designed for the special rigors of modern action but it has been kept in service as host of local courts and judicial business for years.   Might Inverness Castle serve a more fitting and useful […]

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Join iGive for COSCA and have fun!

Welcome to COSCA’s iGive.com Program! There are lots of ways you can participate and even earn donations for your own Scottish Clan, Family or other society!  Here is what you need to know: FIRST:  Just so you know, once you get set up every time you make an online purchase from one of the awesomely huge list of […]

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Invest In Your Scottish American Heritage

Heritage should never come to an end. But who makes sure? Heritage, language, places, relics, culture, values, ancestry.  They can all pass away in a surprised and exasperated heartbeat.  Unfortunately there is no governmental ‘Department of Scottish American Heritage’ that will keep our very special culture and history alive and relevant in this forward looking age.   How […]

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COSCA Makes Headlines With International Clan Gatherings Report

COSCA is in the news again! Before you read The Herald Scotland article however, understand that it’s a wee bit of a mean spirited take on our International Clan Gatherings report. The Herald’s article misses the primary purpose of the working group, survey and final ICG report. The primary task was and is to look […]

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International Clan Gatherings Working Group: Final Report

COSCA is delighted to bring you the final report of the International Clan Gatherings Working Group appointed at the 2013 Scottish Clan & Family Caucus at Grandfather Mountain.  We encourage you to take a few moments and review this document.  Let us know what you think. We wish to express our sincerest thanks to the […]

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Children of the Smoke: Painting Alban Ribbons

Possibly the most evasive task before the Council of Scottish Clans & Associations is that of painting the colorful unbroken ribbons of Scottish heritage that begin in Scotland, then flow across the water and eventually into to every nook and cranny across the globe. The ribbons signify several things.  They tell us that we have […]

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COSCA’s Most Excellent Trip To Scotland & Grandfather Mountain

For the best part of June and July this year, COSCA was at the forefront of both games of the biggest double header in recent Scottish American history:  Scotland’s Homecoming 2014 signature event Bannockburn Live! in Stirling, Scotland followed by the 59th Annual Grandfather Mountain Highland Games back home in North Carolina.  Below is the […]

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YEP! BANNOCKBURN LIVE IS GOING TO BE FANTASTIC!

VisitScotland has released details of the Bannockburn Live event and the fabulous musical and literary lineup for Saturday and Sunday. We knew that a celebration of the battle of Bannockburn 700 years on had potential to be great. We are happy to report, in our opinion, Scotland has captured that potential and has put on […]

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2016 Annual General Meeting (AGM) Notice

Annual General Meeting Notice   Council of Scottish Clans & Associations (COSCA) Saturday, July 9th, 2:00 – 4:00 PM Chieftain’s Tent, Games Field, Grandfather Mountain Highland Games   Agenda will include: Reports from the officers and committees Comments by visiting clan chiefs who are guests at the GMHG Elections to the Board of Trustees for […]

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The Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Council of Scottish Clans & Associates (COSCA)

The Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Council of Scottish Clans & Associates (COSCA) 2:00PM, Saturday, July 11, 2015 Chieftain’s Tent, Grandfather Mountain Highland Games The Council of Scottish Clans & Associations (COSCA), founded in 1976 at the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games (GMHG) as a nonprofit charitable corporation, held its annual general meeting (AGM) of […]

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Apply NOW For Scottish Clan Event Funding!

As promised, the third round of the Scottish Clan Event Fund has opened for applications for events taking place in 2016/17.   Last year people from across the world attended clan events throughout Scotland that were supported through the Clan Event Fund which is a Scottish Government initiative.  Your clan event may be next! Here are […]

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The Scottish Government Just (very quietly) Announced It Will Develop A New Diaspora Engagement Strategy

Although we are not certain that anyone really heard, Scotland has recently announced it’s intention to sweep off, update and modernize it’s Diaspora Engagement Strategy.  The announcement was made March 25th within the context of the release of Scotland’s new “International Policy Statement”. Here is the reference: “Scotland has an extensive and valued diaspora who, […]

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