The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

January 25, 2013

Smithsonian director giving Dakota talk

Kevin Gover with National Museum of the American Indian

ST PETER —

  Coming off of the 150th anniversary year of the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862, Gustavus Adolphus College is bringing in a big name to present this year's Herbert and Mary Jane Lefler Lecture.

Kevin Gover, director of the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of the American Indian, will give a talk called "The Dakota-U.S. War of 1862 and Contemporary Native Memory."

The lecture is Sunday afternoon at the college and is free and open to the public. It's being presented by the Hillstrom Museum of Art with support from the Lefler Lecture Series, in conjunction with the museum's exhibit

"Hena Unkiksuyapi: In Commemoration of the Dakota Mass Execution of 1862."

Gover is a member of the Pawnee Nation of Oklahoma. He has been the director of the national museum since 2007, which was established in 1989 by an act of Congress.

The museum is "an institution of living cultures dedicated to advancing knowledge and understanding of the life, languages, literature, history and arts of the native peoples of the Western Hemisphere," according to a

release by the college about the event.

The museum includes the National Museum of the American Indian on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.; the George Gustav Heye Center, a permanent museum in lower Manhattan; and the Cultural Resources Center, a research and collections facility in Suitland, Maryland.

Previously, Gover was a professor of law at the Sandra Day O¹Connor College of Law at Arizona State University in Tempe. He also was an affiliate professor in the University's American Indian Studies Program. And he was the co-executive director of the University's American Indian Policy Institute.

From 1997 to 2000, Gover served as a presidential appointee in the position of assistant secretary for Indian Affairs for the U.S. Department of the Interior.

Gover has received various honors, including an honorary degree from Princeton University, the Outstanding Alumni Award from the University of

New Mexico School of Law, and the Alumni Association Award from St. Paul's School in Concord, N.H.

The Lefler Lecture was established in 1993 by Mary Jane Lefler in memory of her husband, Herbert P. Lefler. It is meant to carry on the family's tradition of "inquiry and learning" by bringing a scholar to campus each

year.

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