Olson Seminar to examine elders in Omaha tribe

Wynne Summers
Wynne Summers

Elders in the Omaha tribe and their life stories is the topic of the March 16 Paul A. Olson Seminar in Great Plains Studies at UNL.

Wynne L. Summers, assistant professor of English at Southern Utah University, will speak from 3:30 to 5 p.m. at the Great Plains Art Museum. The seminar and a 3 p.m. reception at the museum are free and open to the public.

Summers is the author of "Women Elders' Life Stories of the Omaha Tribe: Macy, Nebraska, 2004-2005." Her talk will feature the research and interaction she found with three women elders of the Omaha tribe - Eleanor Baxter, Alice Saunsoci and Hawate (Wenona Caramony). They grew up on the Omaha reservation, moved away in later life, and held careers outside the reservation. Yet all returned to their community bringing the skills they learned in the "white world" and the knowledge they gained as children from their own elders.

Summers said elders' life stories are an integral part of maintaining traditional culture, creating ongoing autonomy and independence, and preserving native culture. These stories create dialogues that establish self-identity based on their own languages of interpretation. Summers finished her doctorate in English at UNL in 2006.

For more information, go to http://www.unl.edu/plains or call (402) 472-3082.

- Linda Ratcliffe, Center for Great Plains Studies