CHADRON – Indian Activism will be the theme of the 2018 Mari Sandoz Symposium hosted at Chadron State College Sept. 20-22. Registration information is available online.
In keeping with Sandoz’s “Love Song to the Plains,” CSC Art faculty Laura Bentz and Mary Donahue will exhibit photographs and paintings of the Pine Ridge region. David Christensen, who taught history at CSC, will speak about 20th century Lakota history.
According to Dr. Kurt Kinbacher, associate professor, who helps coordinate the symposium, the Pilster Lecturer will be Susan Power, an author and enrolled member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. Power lives near Saint Paul, Minnesota, where she teaches at Hamline University.
Her presentation will be Sept. 20 at 7:30 p.m. at the CSC Student Center. A question and answer session, reception, and book signing will follow her lecture.
Power graduated from Harvard Law School in 1986, changed career paths and graduated from University of Iowa with a master’s degree in Fine Arts in 1992. Later, she completed a fellowship and a writer-in-residency at Princeton University.
In 1996, she received the PEN/Hemingway Award for her 1994 debut novel, “The Grass Dancer.” In 2014, Power won the Electa Quinney Award for “Sacred Wilderness.”
Ernestine Hayes, author of “Blonde Indian: An Alaska Native Memoir” said in a review that Power's “Sacred Wilderness” characters “laugh, shout, whisper, and speak to readers long after the page has been turned and the book has been closed.”
Kinbacher said he is pleased the schedule also includes Judi M. gaiashkibos, executive director of the Nebraska Commission on Indian Affairs. An enrolled member of the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska, she received the distinguished Nebraskalander award at the 2017 Statehood Dinner.
University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Journalism and Mass Communications professor Joe Starita will also speak. He spent 13 years at the “Miami Herald” and wrote an article, “The Dull Knifes of Pine Ridge - A Lakota Odyssey,” a Pulitzer Prize finalist in local reporting that has been translated into six foreign languages. In 2012, Starita was the Pilster Lecturer at the Sandoz Conference.
Starita’s book, “I Am a Man: Chief Standing Bear's Journey for Justice,” on the life and death of Ponca Chief Standing Bear was chosen for One Book One Lincoln in 2011 and the 2012 One Book One Nebraska.
Kinbacher said other speakers include Dr. Kimberli Lee who is returning to campus to participate in the conference for the sixth time since 1998. She is the author of “I Do Not Apologize for the Length of this Letter,” a book about the Mari Sandoz letters on Native American rights. It won the Nebraska Book Award in 2010. Lee has published numerous reviews, articles and book chapters and presented lectures related to Sandoz and Native American culture and rights.
Dr. Beth Castle and Madonna Thunder Hawk will also present at the conference.
Castle is the producer and director of the documentary “Warrior Women,” about American Indian Movement activists in the 1970s including Thunder Hawk, who is a first cousin to AIM leader Russell Means.
—Tena L. Cook, Marketing Coordinator