MILWAUKEE — W. Otis Halfmoon, a Nez Perce elder and National Park Service interpreter, will present, “‘Are They Ready to Hear the Truth?’: The National Park Service, American Indian History and the Public” at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, September 20 in the John P. Raynor, S.J., Library Conference Center.
Halfmoon has had a wide-ranging career as a public historian in the National Park Service and in the past two decades has worked as a trial liaison, interpreter, park historian and unit administrator with indigenous people in the West. Based in Santa Fe, N.M., Halfmoon mediates between Western tribal leaders and the U.S. government and documents and preserves his nation’s history and culture through oral histories. He is also an expert on the so-called Nez Perce War of 1877 and Chief Joseph.
This event is the first of several public programs planned for the 2011–12 academic year by Marquette’s interdisciplinary public history program.
“The interpretation and presentation of American Indian history is an important challenge for museums and historical agencies,” said Dr. John Krugler, professor and director of the public history program. “Despite the best intentions of museum professionals, whenever a dominant culture interprets the past, there is a high probability for significant conflict and disagreement.”
Halfmoon’s presentation is sponsored by the Helen Way Klingler College of Arts and Sciences, the Department of History, and Raynor Memorial Libraries.
The event is free and open to the general public, but guests without Marquette identification are asked to pre-register with Special Collections at (414) 288-7256 by noon September 19. Questions about the lecture may also be addressed to Special Collections.
Krugler, the public history program and the libraries will host the traveling exhibit “Lewis & Clark and the Indian Country” in Raynor from March 14 to April 27, 2012. Chicago’s Newberry Library and the American Library Association organized the touring exhibit with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, the Sara Lee Foundation, Ruth C. Ruggles and the National Park Service.
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