Guest speakers to give special presentations at Hazen library
By Daniel Arens
Three popular historical books giving insight into North Dakota (including the area around Hazen) are now available at the Hazen Public Library. In March and April, the library will hold special presentations by speakers, one for each of the three books.
Professor Thomas Isern, North Dakota State University (NDSU), has helped spearhead the effort to organize these discussions, while the Northern Plains Heritage Foundation (NPHF) is funding the event as part of its book club. The topics covered in the books cover a range of important elements in North Dakota history.
All three of the books are currently available at the Hazen Public Library if patrons would like to pick up any or all of them between now and the presentations, or if there is interest in learning more following the discussions.
Speaking of the books, Library Assistant Judy Dinkins noted that for any of the three discussions, residents are encouraged to come, even if they have not read the books.
“Even if you didn’t read it, come and listen: you might want to read it later,” Dinkins said.
March 13 Dr. Michael Yellow Bird, a sociology professor at NDSU, will hold a discussion at the library on James Rhonda’s book “Lewis and Clark among the Indians.” Library Director Valerie Albrecht and Dinkins said this book is the best book covering the interactions of the Corps of Discovery with Native Americans. The two ladies discussed what they knew of the adventures of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, noting that because the explorers wintered in North Dakota, much of the book’s contents and the presentation will likely focus on the interactions between the Corps and the Natives during that period.
The Knife River Indian Villages, as they are now called, was likely the frontier of what Lewis and Clark were aware of, due to the importance of flint trading from the Three Affiliated Tribes, according to Albrecht and Dinkins. Once the Corps got beyond those villages, they were in the unknown about what to expect, in terms of both Native tribes and geography.
Dr. Yellow Bird, himself a member of the Three Affiliated Tribes, is a professor of Tribal and Indigenous Studies at NDSU, whose classes cover a wide variety of subjects related to the culture, history, and beliefs of Native Americans. He has taught at several colleges in both the United States and Canada.