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Archive for September, 2011

Sisterhood of War: Minnesota Women in Vietnam

Tuesday, September 20th, 2011

Sisterhood of WarThe Abigail Quigley McCarthy Center for Women and Alumnae Relations at St. Catherine University are pleased to cohost an event honoring Minnesota’s women Vietnam veterans and celebrating the publication of the new book Sisterhood of War, written by St. Catherine University instructor Kim Heikkila

Navy nurse veterans Kay Bauer (a St. Kate’s alumna) and Mary O’Brien Tyrrell, two of the women profiled in the book, will speak and be in attendance.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011, from 7 to 8:30 p.m.
St. Catherine University, 2004 Randolph Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55105
Derham Hall, Fourth Floor, Room 409
Free and open to the public; books will be available for sale at the event.

Fifteen Minnesota nurses spent a year caring for the casualties of a divisive war, only to come home and descend into isolated silence. To heal themselves, they banded together as veterans.

In January 1966, Navy nurse Lieutenant Kay Bauer stepped off a Pan Am airliner into the stifling heat of Saigon and was issued a camouflage uniform, boots, and a rifle. “What am I supposed to do with this?” she said of the weapon. “I’m a nurse.”

Bauer was one of approximately six thousand military nurses who served in Vietnam. Historian Kim Heikkila, author of Sisterhood of War: Minnesota Women in Vietnam, delves into the experiences of fifteen nurse veterans from Minnesota, exploring what drove them to enlist, what happened to them in-country, and how the war changed their lives.

Like Bauer, these women saw themselves as nurses first and foremost: their job was to heal rather than to kill. After the war, however, the very professional selflessness that had made them such committed military nurses also made it more difficult for them to address their own needs as veterans. Reaching out to each other, they began healing from the wounds of war, and they turned their energies to a new purpose: this group of Minnesotans launched the campaign to build the Vietnam Women’s Memorial. In the process, a collection of individuals became a tight-knit group of veterans who share the bonds of a sisterhood forged in war.

Kim Heikkila is an adjunct instructor in the history department at St. Catherine University, where she teaches courses on U.S. history, U.S. women’s history, the Vietnam War, and the 1960s.

Read more about Kim in Minnesota magazine. If you miss the event at St. Catherine University, join Kim and and Kay Bauer and Mary Beth Crowley at the Minnesota History Center’s History Lounge on Tuesday, October 25, at 7 p.m.

Many of the interviews in the book are part of the Minnesota Historical Society’s Oral History Collections.

Trout Caviar Solves Tomato Glut!

Thursday, September 15th, 2011

phpUZrFKgIt froze last night, and the tomatoes are coming into the house fast, fresh, and flavorsome. Lucky for us, Brett Laidlaw’s Trout Caviar: Recipes from a Northern Forager is just out, and he has a solution: Oven Tomatoes with Herbs. The book is packed with enticing tales, practical tips, and recipes that deliciously showcase distinctive northern flavors and products.

Laidlaw, who inspires local cooks and eaters with his Trout Caviar blog, tells the inside story of the book in today’s post. The best scene, from the publisher’s view: a grumpy guy saved from a crabby night by the thought of writing a book.

The Berenstein Bears Speak Lakota

Thursday, September 8th, 2011

This Sunday, the first of 20 Lakota Berenstein Bears episodes will air in North and South Dakota. Episodes are also available at the website for the project which was sponsored by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and the Lakota Language Consortium.

“Voices of the characters are all from the Lakota-speaking Standing Rock, Cheyenne River, Pine Ridge, and Rosebud communities of North and South Dakota, and reflect all local dialects of the language.

           “Equally as important, the original Berenstain Bears series lines up very well to Lakota values, which was very important in the making of this series. Lakota values such as bravery, respect, generosity, and fortitude all play significant roles throughout the 20-episode series. Lots of different family interactions reflecting day-to-day life, as well as many idiomatic expressions help keep the langauge use real and relevant in every episode.”

Beloved Child: A Dakota Way of Life

Tuesday, September 6th, 2011

Beloved ChildAmong the Dakota, the Beloved Child ceremony marked the special, tender affection that parents felt toward a child whose life had been threatened. In Beloved Child, author Diane Wilson explores the work of several modern Dakota people who are continuing to raise beloved children: Gabrielle Tateyuskanskan, an artist and poet; Clifford Canku, a spiritual leader and language teacher; Alameda Rocha, a boarding school survivor; Harley and Sue Eagle, Canadian activists; and Delores Brunelle, an Ojibwe counselor.

Sustained by rich traditions, ceremonies, advocacy, and education, Dakota families are transforming the legacy of colonization and assimilation into a better way of life for their children.

As Diane writes, “Throughout Indian Country, there are signs of hope and healing. More Native people are learning their languages, returning to ceremonies, and insisting that indigenous culture is not second rate, not inferior, as so many generations have been taught to believe. As we return to our traditions, we begin to rediscover the ‘genius and brilliance’ of indigenous people, the long history of science, philosophy, art, agriculture, and spirituality created by sophisticated tribal societies.”

Please join us this Friday, September 9, at 7:00 p.m. for a very special event celebrating the publication of Beloved Child and honoring the people profiled in the book, who will be in attendance.

The event is sponsored by Birchbark Books but will be held at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 1917 Logan Avenue South, Minneapolis, at the northeast corner of Lake of the Isles in the historic Lowry Hill neighborhood.

For more information about the book and author, please read the Star Tribune review of Beloved Child, listen to Diane on KFAI’s First Person Radio, or watch Diane on TPT’s Almanac.

Come meet the blue-ribbon staff of MHS Press

Friday, September 2nd, 2011

Visit Press staff at the Minnesota State Fair, this Sunday, 9/4, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Carousel Park. Alison Ann Aten, Pamela McClanahan, Erica Hartmann Skinner, and Mary Poggione will be in the booth to talk books, history, and MNopedia, and share any of your Martha’s Cookies, too, if you’ve got ‘em.