2016 Programs at The Pawnee Arts Center

 Sunday, August 21st at 1:30 pm in the Dannebrog Fire Hall 114 East Oak St..

Nancy Gillis, Cherokee & Creek heritage and former Director of the John G. Neihardt Historical Site, will present a program on The Universal Sacred Hoop. She will be 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 will be on the cultural and spiritual context.

Sunday, September 11th at 1:30 pm in the Dannebrog Fire Hall 114 East Oak St.. Gerry Merck, of Cherokee descent, will present a program on her original art based on Black Indians. All five of the “Civilized Tribes” (Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Creek, and Seminole) owned black slaves. And as people tend to do when they live in close proximity, they had children. Half Black, half Red. Gerry first became interested in this when, as a part of her ethical responsibility to maintain cultural sensitivity in her practice as a mental health therapist, she read about their struggle to be recognized as they embraced their blended culture. It is also the catalyst behind the sculptures and portraits she have been working on inspired by the physical beauty, pride, and intrinsic sadness she sees in the faces of Red/Black Americans.

Sunday September 18th THIS IS A NEW DATE. 1:30 pm in the Dannebrog Fire Hall 114 East Oak St. Professor Jessica Shoemaker will present a program: Native Lands and the Law: This talk will introduce and explore some of the complex legal issues surrounding modern land ownership by American Indian individuals and tribal governments. Land and place are central ingredients in the stories and identities of many Indian communities, but the law—historically but also in modern federal rules relating to Indian land tenure—is often more of an obstacle than an asset in the course of indigenous self-determination. This talk will explore the contours of this modern legal system, why it has persisted, and where we might go from here. Professor Jessica Shoemaker’s legal scholarship focuses on American Indian land tenure. After a series of projects analyzing how the modern top-down institutions of reservation land ownership negatively impact Indian communities, Professor Shoemaker is engaged in a long-term project on transformational grassroots property law change. She has also recently worked on an international project on land use planning and community development through the University of Nebraska’s Rural Futures Institute. Before her academic career, Professor Shoemaker represented Indian agricultural and other interests, both in private practice and as a Skadden Fellow with the Farmers Legal Action Group, Inc.

Admission is a free will donation. The programs will start at 1:30 in the Dannebrog Fire Hall, and will be followed by a Speaker’s Reception in the Arts Center. Light refreshments will be served

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