Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Dwight Howe, Cultural Presenter


Dwight is of Omaha & Ponca Indian ancestry. His Ponca grandmother who raised him helped instill a real sense of who he was and pride in being a Native American. He attended Chilocco Indian School in Oklahoma and Haskell Junior College in Lawrence, Kansas. At the age of seventeen Dwight volunteered and served seven years active duty in the United States Marine Corps. He was Honorably Discharged in 1984 at the rank of Sergeant.

Living in Southern California for many years, Dwight worked with Southern California Indian Center's, Inc. in their Public Relations Department as an Outreach Specialist. Engaged in public speaking, large scale event coordinating and conducting cultural presentations at college & universities in So. California and for many state & civic organizations. Dwight worked with the Orange County Unified School District, giving classes in Cultural Awareness to 5th and 6th graders. He also reviewed the written teachers guide that was developed in conjunction with the programs pilot year, which taught over 2,500 students.While in California he was the founder and co-chairman of the 501c3 non-profit called the United Urban Indian Food Program, which was a food bank for urban Indians living in the greater Los Angeles area.

Dwight coordinated the giving of food baskets to over 100 Indian Elders 65 and older, from four tribes in North Central Oklahoma, website www.freewebs.com/iefp/.,  gives the details. He has also received training on archival research with the Smithsonian Institute American Indian Museum Studies Program and the National Museum of the American Indian and has served as a NAGPRA consultant. Dwight completed a three year project serving as Native American Cultural Advisor for Marland's Grand Home in Ponca City; http://www.marlandgrandhome.com/ working on their Native American Collection of over1,200 artifacts that represented over 40 different tribes.Dwight has served as a cultural advisor for two State Parks in Iowa & in Nebr.. Dwight was actively involved with the Nat’l Park Service, Lewis & Clark Corps II Discovery project as a cultural presenter in their Tent of Many Voices;  www.lewisandclarkgnet.org/index/.


Dwight Howe currently lives in the quite village of Rosalie, Nebraska on the Omaha Indian reservation. He is working for St Augustine Indian Mission in Winnebago, Nebraska as their Cultural Mentor, teaching the Omaha language/culture to grades K through 8th.

Current projects include;

Coaching theWalthill Boxing Club
http://www.siouxcityjournal.com/news/vmix_3b55e03b-edc2-54f7-854e-4ff3d969b427.html

Elected Board Member for DHEGIHA LANGUAGE PRESERVATION SOCIETY, a 501(c)3 that promotes the preservation of native languages and culture of the Dhegiha speaking tribes.  In the 1400's there were five tribes that lived together speaking the ancient language of Dhegiha, those tribes were The Osage, Omaha, Quapaw, Kaw and Ponca.

Selected Board Member, Omaha Tribal Senior Citizens, 501c3 Non-Profit Organization located on the Omaha Indian reservation.

Facilitating cultural awareness/sensitivity training at Boys & Girls Town of Omaha. We finished working on a sweatlodge on campus for the Indian students at Boys Town.


Email address: dhowe1@live.com

Monday, February 27, 2012

Presentation at Ponca Nebraska State Park

This was a lot of fun, they had some good questions and seemed to be really interested.  I hope that it leads to further dialog with the small town called Ponca Nebraska.  The reporter cracks me up by saying I have a hypnotic voice.  I wished that more of the students would have shown up.  They wrote such a good book about Standing Bear and his court case.  They are now in the 8th grade, they wrote it as a 2nd grade project. I really wanted to create an atmosphere of understanding mainly because their chosen mascot is the Indians.  If you are going to call yourself the Ponca Indians you should know about the people you are referring too. That is just my opinion.

Sunday, February 26, 2012



Spring of 2012 is almost here the Indian New Year, wow time has flown by.  I see the signs of the changing of the season, box elder bugs, children riding their bikes, the robin is back, so are the eagles, although they have been here for over a month now.  March is the month of the little green tree frog and the thunder beings are making their way back to the plains.  I have so many things to be grateful for and so many things to remember.  My friends and relatives who have gone on their journey home and then there is little ones who have just arrived. I get mail from AARP now pretty regularly so I too am getting old.  Wakonda has been good to me and for that I am forever grateful and humbled by his grace and patience with me.  I have been living among my Omaha people on the reservation now for almost three years and I get to see my mother every now and then.  I asked her one day, Mom how are you doing? She said "oh life is just draining out of me son, but I'm OK."  She broke her left hip twice and her right hip as well all in a three year time frame.  I don't think she will ever fully recover from those injuries. She lives at Carl T Curtis Nursing Home in Macy Ne. She sundanced her last four years with me, that was nine years ago, I will always remember that as a very special memory. I am so grateful to still be able to say mother. My time here on the rez so far has been good and productive, I dont think I'm done yet either.  If you read on further down you will see some of what we have done for our people just these past few years.

Originally I wrote this blog for my two daughters, both are enrolled Ponca Indians, one is Northern Ponca the other from Oklahoma, my oldest is an urban Indian in So Cal.,with so many questions. She has blessed this world with two boys and a little girl.  My three beautiful grandchildren are enrolled in the Northern Ponca tribe as well. The other a teenager full of drama and life she has been raised among her Southern Ponca and already has so many memories of her Indian ways. I love all of them so much and I am so proud of each of them.  I have told both my daughters that being Indian is a way of life, not a degree of blood or a color of skin.  I told them; be good to people, be respectful to the elders, be helpful when you can, always be prayerful and acknowledge Father God in all that you do. I encouraged them to talk to God every day as if he were sitting right in front of them. I want them to pass those things on to their children. I don't know what is in store for me tomorrow, I just want to keep God in my life everyday that I am walking on this earth. I have tried my best to show them a good path to follow.  I only want good things for them, they are in my prayers every day and as I said I love them dearly.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

St Augustine Indian Mission, teaching Omaha language, a new journey for me.

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I spent my first two months doing curriculum development, researching, gathering materials and resources. I  spent time monitoring classes at the Omaha nation language program in Macy, which was very helpful.   This is my first semester teaching the Omaha language to grades K through 8th.  This is the small classroom in the library for students in  the lower grades.  I move to a larger classroom for students 5th through 8th grade.  I focus on colors, numbers, days and months, animals and common greetings, history and culture. This is the first time that the Omaha language has been offered at St Augustine Indian Mission and my first time teaching it as well.  Although I have been an educator for many years now, this is quite different. I am so proud to be able to be a part of this very special project. I really enjoy working with my young Omaha relatives and it is a real challenge connecting with the older students, trying to peek their interest. I will be forever grateful to Father Dave of St Augustine's for his vision and offering me this unique, unprecedented opportunity.
This has to be one of the best jobs I have ever had.  These kids are so bright and have such good hearts, I feel blessed everyday just being around them.  They pick up on things fast and they see things in a special way.  You can just see their minds working things out and read the questions in their eyes. I like to tease and joke with them, t

The Creator has been in my life for many years now and has brought to many special places and seen me through some very tough times as well.  He has blessed me time and time again, I see this job here as one of those many blessing he has put upon me. I wake up every day and give thanks toWakonda some days I'm short and simply say "Thank you God for this day," other times it is a thought out prayer. Today is Saturday the robins chirping woke me up and it was still dark, I was so grateful to have a moment with my God all to myself.

Some of my Omaha relatives learning the Omaha language & culture.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Boxing on the Omaha Rez - Walthill Boxing Club

Big Crazy Society of the Omaha Tribe of Nebraska, Walthill Boxing Club.
Boxing Club was opened in September 2011 elders came to support our efforts

We started planning in 2010 with the Big Crazy Society of the Omaha Tribe being the sponsor.  One of the members donated their building for our project.  We wanted to build a program that would help young people find a better way in life.  We then partnered with the St Augustine Indian Mission and our endeavor took off like a rocket.  A church from Omaha Nebraska, St Roberts made a huge donation to our efforts which kicked everything into high gear.

Click link below to see video of the boxing program: 

http://www.siouxcityjournal.com/news/vmix_3b55e03b-edc2-54f7-854e-4ff3d969b427.html

We started out with a bang, at least 25 kids showed up, but as time wore on and a few got hit in the nose and they quit, some found the training and discipline not to their liking.  Some did not want to give up alcohol or weed and/or were getting into trouble and were asked to leave.  We now have six fighters that come pretty steady and are serious about training.  We get a walk in from time to time as we are always open for anyone if they want to try to compete and follow the rules.
We train hard but we have time for prayer and reflection everyday, we want them to be winners in life not just in the ring.  This picture below says it all, we want them to have God in their lives everyday.

We are trying our best to offer them a way out and a way up in life. They are good kids that just need a break and some words of encouragement. We require them to sign a letter of agreement to stay in school, stay out of trouble and not to use alcohol/drugs, be willing to pray. We pay for their sanctioning fees, club fees, all training equipment, any travel and meals when on the road, all they have to do is show up and try their best to follow the rules.We want them to be winners in life not just in the ring.

Walthill Boxing Club sanctioned by U.S.Amateur Boxing Association and Nebraska Boxing Commission.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Original Nebraska Tribes honor small farmtown




Original Nebraska Tribes honor the town of Neligh,
May 22nd 2011


At first I don't think the townspeople of Neligh fully realized just how much this meant to us and /or what we were doing.  When they did, some started to shed tears. We had a Give Away honoring the oldest man and woman and we gave to the Mayor as well. We fed them Fry bread and soup. We all walked away feeling good about what we did.
White Buffalo Girl died May 23, 1877, on the fourth day of Ponca Tribes forced removal to Oklahoma. The parents of the child were not allowed to bury their daughter in a traditional manner, so they asked the local townspeople to help them. A relative of White Buffalo girl asked that they take care of the grave as if it were their own and so the people of Neligh did just that, they have put flowers on her grave every year. In this day of treaties, contracts, legal forms Memorandum of Agreements and all, it is well worth noting that this was just a group of Nebraska settlers who simple gave their word and kept it for the past 134 years.

Now maybe for the first time on May 22nd, Tribal members of the Omaha Tribe, Ponca Tribe of Oklahoma, Ponca Tribe of Nebraska are all getting together to perform a Memorial Dinner to honor the townspeople of Neligh, remembering the past and hopefully, healing for the future. This is unprecedented to say the least, one for the record books. The Omaha Tribes, traditional social organization known as the Big Crazy Society will provide the meal and the two Ponca Tribes will have a giveaway, cedar ceremony and memorial singing, they will want to express themselves and say thank you to the descendants of the people who buried their relative all those years ago.

1877 was a sad and tragic time for the Ponca Indian, losing so many loved ones in such a short time. Having this ceremony hopefully will help heal and provide an opportunity to acknowledge something good were the Ponca had a hard time just thinking about. Imagine being uprooted from their ancestral homeland by force, going to a place they called the hot country, must have been devastating. The years that followed didn't get better, only through their faith in the Creator and perseverance did they survive. Today the Ponca tribe exists in two separate divisions but they share a common ancestry of the past.

At the park in Neligh, the meal starts at noon, once everybody has been fed, (we are cooking for at least 400) then the two Ponca Tribes will start their give away. I believe there is a plaque and a painting, a babies cradleboard, some Pendleton blankets maybe a shawl and such will be given away as a sign of respect and just to say thank you. Several tribal elders and family members are coming up from Oklahoma and Tribal Council Representatives from both tribes will be in attendance. Good words will be spoken, prayer and fellowship will mark the day. We will be having a traditional sweat lodge ceremony Saturday, at Niobrara hosted by members of the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska. For some it will be their first time back up here to their ancestral homeland and hopefully it will bring the two Ponca tribes closer together.

http://www.publicbroadcasting.net/netradio/news.newsmain?action=article&ARTICLE_ID=1806990


This picture shows two shadows are the parents with flowers leading to a little girl with a white buffalo standing next to her. The flowers represent the flowers the townspeople of Neligh have laid all these years. My relative Sid Armstrong, Otoe/Ponca really did a great job in creating this image, in memory of WhiteBuffalo Girl, he is truly gifted.


The weekend went well, some say at least 400 to 500 townspeople came together with the two Ponca Tribes and the Big Crazy Society of the Omaha Tribe of Nebraska for the memorial dinner of White Buffalo Girl in Neligh Ne. We had a Give Away honoring the Oldest Man and Woman in the town and we gave the city itself some gifts as well,we fed them Soup & Frybread. Once the townspeople caught on to what we were doing some shed tears and were thankful..  This painting was given to the town in memory of White Buffalo Girl and as a tribute to the town for keeping its word to a brokenhearted Ponca Indian family. So many tragic stories in the late 1800's it was good to remember something like this. Artist was Sid Armstrong who is from Ponca City Oklahoma donated the artwork to the town of Neligh Ne. All in all we did the best we could in honoring both the town and our little relative who died along the trail. Looking back on this, it was truly a very sacred moment in time.