Evening at the College features Native American themes

Saint Joseph's College will feature two presentations on Native American themes on Wednesday, Feb. 27, at 7 p.m.

Professor Ray Gerber will show his film, "Song of the Drum, the Petroglyphs of Maine," a documentary about early images carved in stone by Native American shamans in Maine. The documentary, narrated by a Passamaquoddy educator and accompanied by tribal songs and music, explains what the images symbolized and how they changed over time. Carved as metaphors of the spirit quest or to help memorize chants, the petroglyphs appear mostly along scenic Machias Bay.

Gerber filmed actual wildlife depicted in some of the carvings, and he will also show petroglyph rubbings and stone tools used to make the petroglyphs.

English professor Edward Rielly will present a talk called "Sitting Bull: The Man Behind the Man Who Defeated Custer." According to Dr. Rielly, Sitting Bull was the greatest American Indian leader of his time, perhaps the greatest American leader of the 19th century with the probable exception of Abraham Lincoln. Rielly, the author of a Sitting Bull biography , will discuss the complex, multifaceted Lakota leader in the context of his Plains Indian culture.

Not just courageous or skilled in battle, Sitting Bull also was a revered spiritual leader and devoted family man who sacrificed his own freedom to keep his people from starving, according to Rielly.

The presentations, free and open to the public, will be held at Viola George Auditorium of Harold Alfond Hall on the Standish campus. The dining hall will offer selected Native American dishes for that evening's meal, between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. The charge for dinner for the general public is $8, and no reservations are necessary. 893-7723.

February 11, 2008 Contact: Charmaine Daniels at (207) 893-7723 or e-mail cdaniels@sjcme.edu