You’re listening to The Exchange, on Siouxland Public Media.  I’m Mary Hartnett.  The language of the Omaha Tribe is in crisis.  There are fewer than a dozen native speakers left.  However, a Nebraska filmmaker has produced a new documentary called “The Omaha Speaking.”  Timmerman has been working in partnership with Omaha tribal elders and sisters Octa Keen, Winona Caramony, and Glenna Slater.   85 year old Glenna teaches at the Nebraska Indian Community College.  I spoke with Timmerman and Glenna this week when they were in Sioux City for an event.  

Howard Chandler Christy

Willa Cather’s My Antonia is 100 years old, published the same year tens of thousands of doughboys were killed in France and Belgium, thousands more dying of epidemic influenza even before they arrived in Europe. Cather’s classic novel brings the region alive, just as does “Roll Call on the Prairie,” an essay she published in the Red Cross magazine.

Today, Willa Cather’s tall-grass people are the “small wonders.” Here’s what she wrote.

Good Samaritans on the Prairie

Aug 23, 2017
Wikimedia Commons

Okay, at least the man in the ditch in the famous New Testament parable, put upon by robbers, says the gospel of Luke, wasn't alone. What passed along the road above as he lay there was hardly a freeway, but at least there were passers-by, even if neither of the first two paid him the time of day in his suffering.

But the third one helped the guy out and up. What I'm saying is, at least the poor guy in the ditch wasn't alone.

Newscast, 4:32, Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Jun 14, 2017

Fourth Disctrict Iowa Congressman Steve King says he's outraged by the shooting today of a fellow congressman, Nebraska is once again exporting beef to China, and South Dakota has it's first case of West Nile Virus for 2017.

Newscast, 5:04, Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Jun 14, 2017

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds appoints a new head of the Iowa Department of Human Serivces, Nebraska is once again exporting beef to China, and South Dakota has it's first case this year of West Nile Virus.  

Newscast, 5:32, Monday, June 12, 2017

Jun 12, 2017

President Donald Trump returns to Iowa next week when he comes to Cedar Rapids on June 21st.  Private foundations are pitching in to help students visit historic sites during Nebraska's 150th birthday.  Nebraska has a new state "reptile."  South Dakota's governor is working with lawmakers on a compromise to eas access to public lakes on private lands.  

Newscast, 4:32, Monday, June 12, 2017

Jun 12, 2017

Iowa's insurance commissioner says he has a plan to prop up the state's individual insurance market.  A Siouxland ethanol firm celebrates a decade in the business.  South Dakota's governor says he'll sign a bill to settle disputes over public lakes on private property.  Nebraska has chosen a state "reptile."  

Green Star Energy Comes to South Sioux City

Jun 11, 2017

South Sioux City will soon be home a first-of-its-kind power plant that will supply South Sioux City with 8 percent of its electricity. Siouxland Public Media’s Mary Hartnett has details.

80621GreenStar :42

The Willa Cather Foundation

So it turns out, finally, that much of the trip you might take to Catherland, to south-central Nebraska, where Willa Cather grew up, tends to trace the life of one of her own central characters, Antonia Shimerda, from My Antonia, itself a hymn to the prairie. It’s as much about Antonia as it is about Willa.

Collateral Damage

May 29, 2017
Wikimedia Commons

Karen Edelman Williams had never been here before, never seen unending fields of corn and soybeans amid the tawny prairie grass, never seen anything like the yawning openness all around. So when, sometime later, she wrote a letter to those people she’d met on a visit out here, she told them she’d never forget the place. “I will never forget the kindness of the people we met there,” she told them, “or the beauty of your Nebraska skies.”