(5) Native American Perspectives Subjects

Trade Between the Lakota Sioux and Early White Traders

by Jerome Kills Small

This program is about the changes in the Lakota language and culture due to the impact of the trade between the Lakota Sioux and early white traders.  The value of the Lakota language is in the speakers ability to create words descriptively and instantaneously to any change or introduction of new items to their culture.  The use of money started a whole new way of building words for measuring, weighing, credit, currency, budgeting and debt.

A Warrior of the People: How Susan La Flesche Overcame Racial and Gender Inequality to Become America's First Indian Doctor

by Joe Starita

On March 14, 1889, Susan La Flesche received her medical degree―becoming the first Native American doctor in U.S. history. She earned her degree thirty-one years before women could vote and thirty-five years before Indians could become citizens in their own country. By age twenty-six, this fragile but indomitable Indian woman became the doctor to her tribe. Overnight, she acquired 1,244 patients scattered across 850 square miles of rolling countryside with few roads. Her patients often were desperately poor and desperately sick―tuberculosis, small pox, measles, influenza―families scattered miles apart, whose last hope was a young woman who spoke their language and knew their customs.

Chief Little Crow of the 1862 Uprising

by Jerome Kills Small

Kills Small presents the story of Little Crow, a Dakota leader, and his experience with the U.S. government culminating in the tragic events of 1862.

The Universal Sacred Hoop

by Nancy Gillis

Presentation explaining and exploring the concept of the sacred hoop image from a variety of tribal traditions, including the interpretation given to John G. Neihardt by the Oglala Lakota Holy Man Black Elk. Emphasis on the cultural and spiritual context. Approx. 45 min.

Understanding American Indian Tribal Governments

by Wynema Morris

Morris asks what it means to be an enrolled tribal member, which leads to the issues of tribal jurisdiction, tribal sovereignty, Las Vegas-style gaming and relationships with the U.S. government. Morris explains the role and function of tribal governments and how the interaction between Indian tribes and early Europeans during the Age of Discovery forged legal and political ties that continue to have an impact today.

Songs, Dances and Games of the Lakota

by Jerome Kills Small

Kills Small describes the history and origin of Native American songs and dances. A lecturer and storyteller who makes hand drums and pow-wow-size wood drums, Kills Small also is a singer of Lakota songs who has traveled extensively as a member of the Oyate Singers of Vermillion, S.D.

Dr. Charles A. Eastman (Ohiyesa)

by Jerome Kills Small

Charles Alexander Eastman was 32 when he accepted his first appointment as a physician for the Indian Bureau at the Pine Ridge Reservation in 1890. He witnessed the Wounded Knee Massacre and later recounted what he saw and did in his autobiography “From the Deep Woods to Civilization.” In this living-history presentaion, Kills Small portrays Eastman and describes the many changes he went through and his service in many areas of Dakota and Lakota Sioux life.

Harvesting Foods and Medicines in the Dakota Tradition

by Jerome Kills Small

In this presentation, Kills Small describes the medicinal foods and plants that grow in the Missouri River valley, on the Great Plains and on up to the Rocky Mountains. He talks about the universal uses, legends and history of the plants in Native American life.

Our Plains Indian Heritage

by Phyllis R. Stone

Stone, a descendant of Chief Iron Shell, an elder of the Rosebud Sioux tribe and a Sun Dancer, explains the uses and traditions of handmade items she brings for this presentation — items from both past and present American Indian cultures. Dressed in a traditional Sioux woman’s dress, she speaks about the life of the Rosebud Sioux as she shares artifacts. She describes life on the reservation and how her family combines their Indian heritage with other interests. Also included in the talk are artifacts and legends of the Mountain Man and the relationship of that culture to the Indians of the Plains.

Lifestyles of Lakota Women

by Phyllis R. Stone

As a descendant of Chief Iron Shell, a peace chief of the Rosebud Sioux, Stone shares her expertise on the lifestyle of a Lakota woman from birth to death. She describes changes that have come about in modern times, contrasting the contemporary lifestyles of Lakota women with past traditions. The degree to which Lakota women lead lives separately and distinctly from men in their tribe is discussed, and variations of practices that can be found among women in the tribe are described. Stone’s intimate knowledge of her Rosebud Sioux people and their ceremonies, her native attire and artifacts make this a rich and unique experience for young people

I Am a Man: Chief Standing Bear’s Journey for Justice

by Joe Starita

Joe Starita discusses the legal, social and political importance of the landmark 1879 decision in which a judge declared that Ponca Chief Standing Bear was “a person” within the meaning of the law and entitled to the same Constitutional protections as white citizens.

Speaking of Ella Deloria

by Joyzelle Gingway Godfrey

Deloria wrote the book “Waterlily” and the anthropology companion textbook “Dakota Way of Life” based on the extensive Sioux elder interviews she began compiling in the early 1920s and from her own knowledge as a Dakota woman raised among and with family ties to Lakota families. This presentation is about the woman and her work.

Sitting Bull Family Story

by Joyzelle Gingway Godfrey

The history of this family told by the daughter of Sitting Bull covers the time from prior to Euro-American contact up to and including the Massacre at Wounded Knee. The historical events that are recorded about the life of Sitting Bull are also the record of the events that led to the massacre.

The Voice of Native American Women

by Nancy Gillis

This presentation is a compilation of excerpts from primary documents in which Native American women’s comments, pleas and advice have been recorded, from the earliest records of negotiations with the colonists to contemporary women, including professionals, artists and activists. In a series of readings, interspersed with background material, it explores the way native women have spoken out in political, social and spiritual settings in humor, pathos, anger and celebration, passing their legacy to the next generation.

The Plains Tribes and the Homestead Act

by Nancy Gillis

While many tribes inhabited the immense tract of land called The Great Plains, interacting with their environment, neighboring tribes, and even European explorers and trappers for centuries, two decades prior to the American Civil War and the two decades following the Civil War brought tremendous changes due to increased tensions in the East and legislation enacted in Washington  – the Homestead Act of 1862.  Nancy Gillis will examine why and how these changes occurred on the Plains for the tribes  by looking at changes in foods, clothing, housing, family structure, gender roles, land control, and political relationships.