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2022 Pilster Great Plains Lecture & Mari Sandoz Symposium

"Health and Wellness on the Great Plains: Historic and Contemporary Views Featuring the Writings of Mari Sandoz (1896-1966)"

September 22-23, 2022 in Lincoln, NE


This year's event is being presented in partnership with the Center for Great Plains Studies on the campus of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and will be held in the Great Plains Art Museum.

Mari Sandoz, 1896-1966, is celebrated for her histories of the Native Americans and homesteaders living on the High Plains. As the daughter of a Swiss immigrant who had some medical training before emigrating and settling in the Nebraska Sandhills, it is not surprising that health and wellness is one of the many themes Mari explored in her writings.

The Mari Sandoz Heritage Society’s annual Pilster Great Plains Lecture and Symposium on September 22-23 will look at health and wellness on the Great Plains from a historical perspective while relating to the modern Indigenous people of Nebraska and the Plains.

Program Highlights Include:

The annual Pilster Great Plains Lecture will be presented by Taylor Keen, a full-time instructor in the Heider College of Business Administration in Strategy and Entrepreneurship at Creighton University. Keen is also the Founder of Sacred Seed, a not-for-profit entity whose mission is to propagate tribal seed sovereignty, battle for tribal sacred geography and the seek cultural revitalization among tribal peoples. The lecture will take place on Thursday, September 22nd from 3:30 to 5:00 PM at the Center for Great Plains Studies at UNL.

There will be a book talk and signing at 5:15pm with author Alan Wilkinson at Francie & Finch Bookshop (130 S. 13th Street) featuring Alan's new book Lost and Found in Nebraska.

The Mari Sandoz Symposium on Friday, September 23rd includes presentations and a panel discussion as well as a luncheon and afternoon activities--

  • Health and Wellness in the Writings of Mari Sandoz with presentations by Dr. Kimberli Lee, Courtney Kouba, and Broc Anderson
  • Panel discussion on Indigenous Health Care on Today's Great Plains featuring Anpo Charging Thunder, MD and Siobhan Wescott, MD and moderated by Melodie Edwards of Wyoming Public Radio
  • Special presentation by the 2021-2022 Sandoz Scholar, Dr. Cathryn Halverson
  • Luncheon and presentation about Dr. Susan La Flesche Picotte and the restoration initiative of her hospital in Walthill, NE with Joe Starita and architect Dan Worth
  • Choice of an afternoon tour of the Sandoz archives at UNL or Jamison Wyatt's Stalking the Ghost of Mari Sandoz walking tour

Plan now to attend either in-person or virtually.


For all of our out-of-town guests, the Mari Sandoz Heritage Society has a block of rooms at the Embassy Suites Hotel at 1040 P Street, just around the corner from the Center for Great Plains Studies/Great Plains Museum. The room block closes at 5pm Central Time on August 24, 2022 or when filled, so please book your room early. In addition to the online reservation link below, you may also phone in your reservation to (402) 474-1111 (let them know you are with the Mari Sandoz Heritage Society).


Thank you to our generous partner, the Center for Great Plains Studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Please visit their website to find out more about their work and programs

This program was funded in part by Humanities Nebraska and the Nebraska Cultural Endowment