Ponca

Medicine Woman, interweaves the lives of Native American women healers of today with the story of America’s first Native doctor, Susan La Flesche Picotte (1865-1915). The one-hour PBS documentary produced by and about women, features historic and contemporary profiles of female healers, starting with Susan La Flesche Picotte (1865-1915) of the Omaha Tribe of Nebraska. 

Keeler was raised in California and moved to Omaha, Neb., to obtain her Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from Creighton University where she served as a student-body advisor working with the University's board of directors. She continued to hone her journalistic skills through various training opportunities while attending graduate school at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL), earning her Master of Arts degree in Journalism in May 2014.

The 1491s are a comedic group that travels the nation telling Native stories and bringing various social issues to light. They describe themselves as a “gaggle of Indians chock full of cynicism and splashed with a good dose of indigenous satire.” The 1491s got their start when the father of Dallas Goldtooth married the mother of Migizi Pensoneau. Growing up, the two boys made videos for fun. Eventually, the three other members asked to join in.

In 1877, the Ponca people were exiled from their Nebraska homeland to Indian Territory in present-day Oklahoma. To honor his dying son's last wish to be buried in his homeland, Chief Standing Bear set off on a grueling, six-hundred-mile journey home.

In 1877, the Ponca people were exiled from their Nebraska homeland to Indian Territory in present-day Oklahoma. To honor his dying son's last wish to be buried in his homeland, Chief Standing Bear set-off on a grueling, 600-mile journey home. Captured en-route, Standing Bear sued a famous U.S. army general for his freedom.

Larry Wright, Jr., recently completed his term limit as the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska's Tribal Chairman.

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This session was presented as a three-hour clinic. We began our session with introductions and a question prompt of “What is ‘home’?” Each participant shared, with one even highlighting that where she lived wasn’t her ‘home’. This was a perfect transition into the introduction, “What is ‘home’ for the Poncas?” Larry led a brief discussion about the historical aspects of the tribe and how the documentary, curriculum and the workshop sections of the project began to take shape.

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The month of February found me back at the Ponca tribal community of White Eagle working with the students to create a video for the American Graduate Film festival. The video is to address the festival theme is, the dropout crisis in America. The plan was to bring back the students from the Standing Bear's Meaning of Home summer program for another round of making digital media with Mac Air books using I-movie. With the deadline the first of March, we beganwith classes twice a week.

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I recently taught digital media to a group of Southern Ponca students at White Eagle Oklahoma for the Standing Bear’s Footsteps project. The class began with nine students who were selected the Ponca Tribal Education Department. The students varied in age from 10 to 14, that’s fifth to eighth grade, 4 girls and 5 boys. This was a six-week project, with classes held 2 ½ days per week.

It's not easy to convince people at the Winnebago Tribe Powwow to talk about politics and the upcoming election. It's not only talking over the steady, infectious rhythm of the drum groups performing in the dance circle. There's often a sense that Native people get left off the radar of the people campaigning for office. In fact, if there's something everyone agrees on, regardless of political philosophy, it's that candidates need to make a swing through the reservation more often.

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It's not easy to convince people at the Winnebago Tribe Powwow to talk about politics and the upcoming election. It's not only talking over the steady, infectious rhythm of the drum groups performing in the dance circle. There's often a sense that Native people get left off the radar of the people campaigning for office.

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