Speaker series to feature Dakota people of the St. Croix River Valley

Mankato-based artist, writer, and teacher will talk about people who have long called this region their home.




2 minute read

Via the St. Croix Valley Foundation:

Gwen Westerman

“Travelways of the Dakota People in the St. Croix River Valley”
Wed. Mar 17, 2021, noon – 1 p.m.
Gwen Westerman, Ph.D., Artist, Poet, Historian, Teacher
Register here (online, free)

Conversations of the Valley, the long-running speaker series hosted by the St. Croix Valley Foundation, brings a slate of experts and thought leaders to the Zoom format. The theme for this season’s presentations is “Racial Justice: Listening and Learning.”

A reckoning on race relations is how many in the media have characterized events and responses that people have experienced or witnessed in the past year. Conversations of the Valley aims to take what can sometimes seem like far off voices in the national media and bring those voices closer to home.

This third presentation in the popular series takes place March 17, 2021 and will focus on Indigenous Communities of the St. Croix Valley region. There is no fee for this presentation.

Gwen Westerman is an enrolled member of the Sisseton Wahpeton Dakota Oyate and the Cherokee Nation. She is co-author of Mni Sota Makoce: The Land of the Dakota which won a Minnesota Book Award, and a Hognander Minnesota History Award. A three-time recipient of an Artist Initiative Grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, Dr. Westerman creates textile art influenced by her life and Indigenous cultures.

Her work is in permanent collections at Red Cloud Heritage Center Museum, Pine Ridge, South Dakota; University of South Dakota; the Great Plains Art Museum, Lincoln, Nebraska; and the Minnesota Historical Society, St. Paul, Minnesota. Dr. Westerman’s poetry is featured in the Norton Anthology of Native Nations Poetry (2020).

She teaches Native Nations Literature at Minnesota State University-Mankato where she received a Douglas R. Moore Faculty Research Award for her work on Dakota history and language.  

Registration is now open at www.scvfoundation.org

The next and final speaker in this series:

“Eliminating the Power of Racial Stereotypes Through Authentic Relationships”
Alexs D. Pate, Author, President/CEO of Innocent Technologies
Wed. May 19, 2021, noon – 1 p.m.