OCCC professor learns at American Indian workshop

Bertha Wise

OCCC English Professor Bertha Wise was selected as one of 50 professors from across the nation to attend a workshop to learn about the Ponca, Pawnee and Omaha American Indian tribes.

Wise attended National Endowment for the Humanities, a grant-funded workshop for community college faculty June 20 through the 25 at Central Community College in Columbus, Neb., she said

Wise, who has taught Native American Literature was selected as one of 98 applicants from across the nation.

“(The workshop) gave me a lot better insight and understanding of both the history and culture of these three tribes and the role they played in the different regions of the plains,” she said.

The workshop, titled “Legacies and Landmarks of the Plains Native Americans,” focused on three different American Indian tribes of Nebraska, Wise said.

She said her knowledge was expanded through trips to various museums, including the Joslyn Art Museum in Omaha and a museum in Genoa, Neb. that had once been a part of an American Indian boarding school.

Additionally, Wise said, she and and the other teachers met with Head Chief of the Pawnee Nation, Pat Leading Fox, and visited the Pawnee Indian Village Museum in Republic County, Kan.

The professors also heard a lecture from University of Nebraska journalism professor Jose Starita, she said.

Starita is the author of “I Am A Man: Standing Bear’s Journey for Justice” according to the workshop’s website.

Wise said overall the workshop proved to be beneficial.

“It just gave me more knowledge, really,” she said. “Everyone can use more knowledge.”

“Never stop learning,” Wise said.

Leave comment