An Encounter on the Great Plains: Spirit Lake Dakota and Scandinavian Settlers Great Plains Lecture

Date: Time: 3:30 pm–5:00 pm
Center for Great Plains Studies
1155 Q St.
Lincoln NE 68588
Directions: 11th and Q streets
Contact: Katie Nieland, 402-472-3965,
Join us for a Great Plains lecture by Karen Hansen, professor at Brandeis University, titled “An Encounter on the Great Plains: Spirit Lake Dakota and Scandinavian Settlers,” which is part of the Paul A. Olson seminar series.

As part of the event, we’ll launch the new book, “Homesteading the Plains: Toward a New History,” produced by Center Director Rick Edwards and former Great Plains Graduate Fellows Rebecca Wingo and Jake Friefeld. Copies will be available for purchase and signing.

The event is free and open to the public.

Two epic processes in U.S. history—immigration and dispossession—collide on a remote Indian reservation in the early 20th Century. Using oral histories with elders and land records, Hansen explores life on the Spirit Lake Dakota Indian Reservation where Scandinavians began homesteading, with the sanction of the U.S. government. In effect, as land takers and land purchasers, they dispossessed Dakota Sioux while living as their neighbors on the reservation. The coexistence of these two profoundly different peoples reveals conflict over the meaning of land and their mutuality as they both sought to maintain their language, practice their culture, and honor loyalties to more than one nation.

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