Tribes and small towns featured in Great Plains Quarterly

Released on 02/21/2012, at 2:00 AM
Office of University Communications
University of Nebraska–Lincoln
Lincoln, Neb., February 21st, 2012 —
Winter issue of Great Plains Quarterly
Winter issue of Great Plains Quarterly

            In the winter issue of Great Plains Quarterly, an academic journal published by the Center for Great Plains Studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, researchers wrote about late 19th-century Indian Catholicism on the Rosebud Reservation, the depopulation of Gove County, Kan., and the Pawnee destruction of the 1720 Villasur Expedition to Nebraska.

            In "Converting the Rosebud: Sicangu Lakota Catholicism in the Late 19th and Early 20th Centuries," Harvey Markowitz discusses the Sicangu's responses to the significant differences between their traditional religious customs and the beliefs, rituals and requirements of Catholicism. "Following the Civil War, the U.S. government undertook a massive reform of its Indian Policy, replacing the antebellum goal of permanently segregating Indian and white populations with that of 'civilizing and Christianizing' (i.e., assimilating) Native peoples," wrote Markowitz, assistant professor of anthropology at Washington and Lee University.

            Aaron Gilbreath, a geography doctoral student at the University of Kansas, studied the depopulation of rural Kansas focusing on Gove County in "A Little Place Getting Smaller: Perceptions of Place and Depopulation of Gove County, Kansas." He focused his study on the way in which Gove County residents' view of their community might contribute to its ongoing decline. "Because Gove residents associate crime with outsiders, they have been reluctant to encourage them to come into the community. I-70 is underdeveloped throughout the county, with no truck stops and hardly any advertising," Gilbreath wrote.

            In "Leading the 'Father': The Pawnee Homeland, Coureurs de Bois, and the Villasur Expedition of 1720," Christopher Steinke, a doctoral candidate in history at the University of New Mexico, discusses the history and interaction of the Pawnee with the French and Spanish on the 18th-century Plains. Steinke probes into the defeated Spanish expedition to the banks of the Platte and Loup rivers in present-day Nebraska and discusses the hide painting, known as Segesser II, which portrays that confrontation between the Spanish and the Pawnees. "The artist depicted the forks of the two rivers, the Pueblo Indians who were guarding the Spanish horse herd, and individual members of the expedition, including a mortally wounded Pedro de Villasur," wrote Steinke.

            The journal may be purchased in the Great Plains Art Museum gift shop at 1155 Q St. or by calling 402-472-3082. Order forms are available online at

Writer: Linda Ratcliffe, Center for Great Plains Studies, 402-472-3965

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