UMC Links

New Osher Series Provides In-Depth Look into Native American Heritage

March 9, 2009 – In conjunction with the five-week PBS/KUED series We Shall Remain – the most ambitious television series and media project on Native American history ever produced – the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at The University of Utah will present an in-depth look into native culture through special events, public lectures and two six-week classes this spring.

Beginning on March 30, Custer to Crazy Horse: Exploring the Battle of Little Bighorn will provide a detailed insight into this iconic battle -the prelude to the conflict, the personalities on both sides, the assumptions that were made and what really happened. Taught by Ephriam Dickson, curator of the Fort Douglas Museum, this class will also examine the sources used by historians – including diaries, maps, photographs, oral history and archaeology – to reconstruct the events of that day in 1876.

Bernadette Brown, curator of African, Oceanic and New World art at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts will teach American Indian Art of the Northeast and Plains: The Warnock Collection beginning on March 31. This new course will use the Splendid Heritage: Perspectives on American Indian Art exhibit at the UMFA to explore native lifestyle in terms of adaptation to new environments, spiritual life and the function of art in their cultures. Brown will also lead a guided walk-through of the Splendid Heritage exhibit on April 23.

“The new Osher classes will allow people to engage with this topic deeply and from a variety of angles,” said Cathy House, Program Director for Osher. “We’ll have great resources at our disposal. The new [UMFA] exhibit, the PBS series, the public lectures, will allow us to really dig into this fascinating and sadly underrepresented history.”

Osher introduces the series with a lecture on March 23 titled We Shall Remain: a Native History of America and Utah. Free and open to the public, this interactive discussion – with Mary Dickson, award-winning author and host of KUED’s Contact, and Forrest Cuch, Executive Director of the Utah Division of Indian Affairs – will examine both misperceptions and truth about Utah’s tribes past and present, and look at the effects of urbanization and acculturation on Native people. The presenters will also discuss the valley-wide project around the PBS series – including the ways it will change the way Native history is understood and taught in Utah, and how to get involved.

Osher is one of over 20 partners in the KUED/PBS We Shall Remain community-outreach project – a provocative, multi-media project that establishes Native history as an essential part of U.S. history. For a complete list of Osher classes and events or to register, visit or call (801) 585-5442.

Class Details:

  • American Indian Art of the Northeast and Plains: The Warnock Collection
    Tuesdays, March 31 – May 5, 2009, 1:30 – 3:00 p.m.
    Commander’s House, Fort Douglas, Salt Lake City
  • Custer to Crazy Horse – Exploring the Battle of Little Bighorn
    Mondays, March 30 – May 4, 2009, 1:30 – 3:00 p.m.
    Commander’s House, Fort Douglas, Salt Lake City

About Osher

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at The University of Utah provides opportunities for intellectually stimulating, affordable, non-credit learning and for meaningful social engagement to people 50 and over. It is part of a network of over 100 Osher Institutes at colleges and universities across the country, all funded by the Bernard Osher Foundation. For more information, registration dates, and course offerings, contact the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at (801) 585-5442 or visit to download a program catalog.

About We Shall Remain

We Shall Remain is an unprecedented collaboration between Native and non-Native filmmakers to place American Indian voices at the heart of dialogue about our nation’s history. Part of the award-winning PBS series American Experience, this five-part television series begins on April 13, 2009, and will be accompanied by a large-scale, multi-media series of productions, exhibits, film series, lectures, discussions and educational programs around the Salt Lake valley: