W.H. Over celebrated Native American Week with Between Fences

W.H. Over celebrated Native American Week with Between Fences The annual Native American Day celebration was held Monday, Oct. 13 at the W.H. Over Museum. Kidsâ�?�? Club met from 1-4 p.m. at the museum where they learned about Native American culture through games, crafts and other activities. This year the kids examined Native American use of plant materials with the help of county Extension agent Cynthia Bergman who helped them make gourd spoons or dippers. The public is invited to view a special exhibit of selections from the USD Northern Plains Indian Contemporary Art Collection hanging in Sletwold Hall from Oct. 4-30. Also last week on Oct.16, a large crowd was privileged to examined the Native American view of land ownership in the Thursday night lecture which featured Dr. Frank Pommersheim from the USD School of Law speaking on Indians and Non-Indians in South Dakota:�? Plenty of Fences But No Gates?�? If everyone in South Dakota had a chance to hear him speak, weâ�?�?d better understand each other. This week on Thursday, Oct. 23 at 7 p.m. in Sletwold Hall, weâ�?�?ll consider the years of the range wars. Dr. Christine Dando, assistant professor of geography at the University of Nebraska-Omaha, will speak on Crossing Fences: Exploring the Changing Social Frontiers of the American Great Plains. As the Plains were settled, fences were built, marking boundaries and delineating spaces.�? These fences were not just an aspect of the landscape, they were also defining who belonged and who did not belong in these places.�?  Crossing or cutting fences was serious business and still is.�? Through an examination of popular culture and media images, she will examine the changing cultural landscape of the Great Plains. On one hand, the U.S. Census has declared the frontier has returned to the Plains, seeming to open up space in this place.�? On the other hand, fences remain and our old boundaries haunt us.�? We continue to struggle over who belongs in this landscape.�?  Crossing societal fences is serious business and can be deadly, as fictional accounts illustrate (Brokeback Mountain) and actual events demonstrate (Teena Brandon in Falls City, NE and Matthew Shepherd in Laramie, WY).�? How do we, as modern Plainspeople, negotiate our fences and still find our place on the Plains? A number of groups are coming for tours of the Between Fences exhibit now; we really had fun with the big crowds last Friday. A number of visitors voted for the Mystery Fence that day. No one correctly guessed the first weekâ�?�?s fence (located at the corner of Dakota and Clark beside a parking lot). However, the second fence has been correctly identified as a back porch iron fence at the Austin-Whitmore House. The third week showed a white picket fence leading from the backyard to the alley at 206 Elm St. Last weekâ�?�?s photo showed a split rail fence in Sertoma Park at North Cottage Street and Rice Drive. Can you identify this weekâ�?�?s Mystery Fence? Somewhere in this issue of the Vermillion Plain Talk is a Mystery Fence photo. Look for it; and if you are the first one to call or email the W. H. Over Museum to correctly identify the pictured fence each week, you will receive a prize.�?  This is the fifth of six mystery photos; look for the rest each week throughout October.�? Winners in all contests will be invited to accept their prizes at the closing program: Breaking Down Fences, on Sunday, Nov. 2. Check the Web site for the identity of previous weekâ�?�?s photos: www.betweenfencesvermillion.org . Pickets are still coming in for the Community Picket Fence; have you painted a picket? How about decorating a picket to honor a veteran or a currently active service person? Remember that our final Thursday night lecture on Oct. 30 will feature a panel of Veteran POWs and we will have a Veteransâ�?�? fence on display from then through the Veteransâ�?�? Day program on Nov. 11. Pickets are still available at the desk of W H. Over Museum for $5.�? �? �? �? �? �? �? �? �? �? �?  The Between Fences exhibit will run through Nov. 2. The W.H. Over Museum will have special hours for this exhibit and will be open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 1-5 p.m. on Sunday. For more information call W.H. Over Museum (605-677-5228) or Nancy Hodgson (605-957-4686) or e-mail: whover@usd.edu or nhodgson@iw.net. More information is available at the Web site: www.betweenfencesvermillion.org.�? 

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