Proclamation group photo
Proclamation signing
Nebraska State Capitol
January 9, 2017

L to R: Tim Anderson (John G. Neihardt Foundation Board), Erika Hamilton (Humanities Nebraska), Governor Pete Ricketts, Rod Wagner (Nebraska Library Commission), Pat Leach (NCB board and Lincoln City Libraries), Kate Borchman Hassebrook (NCB board) honor Neihardt’s novel, Black Elk Speaks, at a proclamation-signing ceremony for 2017 One Book One Nebraska.
See below to read Proclamation

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  • Local activity: Host a scholar listed on the Speakers Bureau of Humanities Nebraska. Apply for a grant from Humanities Nebraska to finance your event. Public programs sponsored by not-for-profit organizations may be eligible for funding assistance from Humanities Nebraska. See for details on their Speaker's Bureau General Public Programs Eligibility Requirements and for steps to book a speaker and to access application forms. Example programs:
    • "Lonesome Dreamer: The Life of John G. Neihardt" by Timothy G. Anderson
      Timothy G. Anderson, Professor emeritus, University of Nebraska-Lincoln – Lincoln, NE. This program, which draws on Anderson’s 2016 biography of John G. Neihardt, examines the life of Nebraska’s poet laureate. Beginning with his birth in 1881 and highlighting the thirty years he lived in Nebraska, Neihardt’s life story covers the triumphs and disappointments he experienced in a publishing career of more than seventy years and the personal life that he enjoyed with his wife and four children.
    • "Walking With a Dream: John Neihardt's Preparation for Black Elk Speaks" by Timothy G. Anderson
      Timothy G. Anderson, Professor emeritus, University of Nebraska-Lincoln – Lincoln, NE. John G. Neihardt and Nicholas Black Elk hit it off the first time they met. In a sense, both men had long been preparing for this meeting. Black Elk knew white storytellers from traveling with Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show, and Neihardt had spent years interviewing elderly Omaha tribal members near Bancroft, Nebraska. This allowed them to forge a bond that produced a 20th Century religious classic.
    • "A Perfect Understanding: The Romance of John and Mona Neihardt" by Timothy G. Anderson
      John G. Neihardt, Nebraska’s poet laureate, proposed to Mona Martinsen—and she accepted—before they had set eyes on one another. He was a poet and author, and she was a sculptor, and together they built a life based on something they called the “higher values” of art and beauty. Though to a large extent she set aside her own art for the sake of her husband’s, Mona was integral to his work, advising him and contributing to a life that made his work possible.
    • "John and Mona Neihardt" by Brad Kellogg and Raija Weiershauser
      Sit down with John & Mona Neihardt, as he writes at his typewriter and she works on a sculpture. Listen in as they reminisce about their lives together, including their long distance courtship as Mona studied under Rodin in Paris and John's travels to South Dakota to meet Black Elk.
    • "Songs, Dances and Games of the Lakota" by Jerome Kills Small
      Kills Small describes the history and origin of Native American songs and dances. A lecturer and storyteller who makes hand drums and pow-wow-size wook drums, Kills Small also is a singer of Lakota songs who has traveled extensively as a member of the Oyate Singers of Vermillion, S.D.
    • "Children Stories, Animal Stories and Traditional Lakota Stories" by Jerome Kills Small
      Kills Small tells children's stories and animal stories that have been passed down for generations as part of the Lakota and Dakota Sioux traditions. Among the types of stories covered are iktomi (trickster talkes) and ohunkanka (old legends). When speaking to adult audiences, Kills Small also analyzes the Native American storytelling tradition.
    • "Lifestyles of Lakota Women" by Phyllis R. Stone
      As a descendant of Chief Iron Shell, a peace chief of the Rosebud Sioux, Stone shares her expertise on the lifestyle of a Lakota woman from birth to death. She describes changes that have come about in modern times, contrasting the contemporary lifestyles of Lakota women with past traditions. The degree to which Lakota women lead lives separately and distinctly from men in their tribe is discussed, and variations of practices that can be found among women in the tribe are described. Stone's intimate knowledge of her Rosebud Sioux people and their ceremonies, her native attire and artifacts make this a rich and unique experience for young people.
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