(2) Native Americans on the Plains Subjects
Walking With a Dream: John Neihardt's Preparation for Black Elk Speaks
John G. Neihardt and Nicholas Black Elk hit it off the first time they met. In a sense, both men had long been preparing for this meeting. Black Elk knew white storytellers from traveling with Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show, and Neihardt had spent years interviewing elderly Omaha tribal members near Bancroft, Nebraska. This allowed them to forge a bond that produced a 20th Century religious classic.
A Brief History of the Five Tribes of Nebraska: Omaha, Ponca, Pawnee, Santee, and Winnebago
by Nancy Gillis
A look at the origins, history, and current state of these five tribes. This can be easily adapted for age group appropriate K-12 or adult. 45-60 min.
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.
The Legacy of Neihardt and Black Elk
by Nancy Gillis
This presentation explores the remarkable legacy of a unique personal and spiritual friendship begun in 1931 between the Lakota holy man Black Elk and poet John G. Neihardt. It includes brief biographies of each man, their meetings, and its impact on adding to the knowledge of Lakota culture, Native American philosophies, and the possibilities of cross-cultural recognition and respect.
Social and Political Structures of the Omaha Tribe
This presentation examines the social and political structures of the Omaha Tribe of Nebraska, and how both structures complemented the other. Recognition of dualities formed the basis for social structures, as well as to provide the basis for healthy populations. Use of power sharing, governing by consensus, and inclusion of spiritual ritual to “open” political proceedings are presented in-depth.
Songs, Dances and Games of the Lakota
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.
Harvesting Foods and Medicines in the Dakota Tradition
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.
Children Stories, Animal Stories and Traditional Lakota Stories
Kills Small tells children’s stories and animal stories that have been passed down for generations as part of the Lakota and Dakota Sioux traditions. Among the types of stories covered are iktomi (trickster tales) and ohunkanka (old legends). When speaking to adult audiences, Kills Small also analyzes the Native American storytelling tradition.
The Otoe-Missouria Tribe: The Forgotten Nebraskans
This program celebrates the Otoe-Missouria Tribes. Matthew Jones is a member of the Otoe-Missouria Nation. He will talk about the Nation’s impact on the state of Nebraska, the Territory (Louisiana Purchase) to Statehood. Come take the journey of discovery and learn how these aboriginal people and our state effected each other.
These are the stories, tales and legends of Set-Angia, Sitting Bear’s Native American people. Sometimes funny, sometimes sad, these stories reveal the Kiowa vision of the world—from the time of Creation to the coming of the white man. Attired in native dress, Sitting Bear brings to the audience through his storytelling the thinking and customs of his Kiowa people, legends such as why the Crow is black and how the Coyote got his yell.
Nebraska Archaeology: 10,000 B.C.E. to Circa 1800 C.E.
This program discusses the lengthy human occupation prior to the arrival of Euro-Americans in Nebraska. The human timeline is divided into Paleo-Indian hunters, Archaic hunter-gatherers, Woodland horticulturalists, Plains Villagers, Horse Nomads, Coalescent, and post contact. Archeological evidence, including stone and bone tools, architecture, floral and faunal remains, and settlement patterns, are used to illustrate prehistoric lifeways.
Ponca History and Heritage
A member of the Ponca tribe and director of cultural affairs for the Ponca tribe of Nebraska, Wendzillo speaks on the history of the Poncas in Nebraska. Among featured topics are the Trail of Tears and the tribe’s termination and ultimate restoration to federal status. Among the possible areas of coverage: Chief Standing Bear and the effect his struggles and court victory had on Native American civil rights, Native Americans and Christianity, Lewis and Clark Among the Indians
Our Plains Indian Heritage
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
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.
Storytelling of the Dakota
This presentation demonstrates the historic societal structure of the Dakota people through the medium of storytelling. The adventures of the first set of twins born in the world will give a glimpse of the family structure, food gathering and beliefs of their tribal people.