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“That the People May Live”: The Life and Legacy of Nicholas Black Elk, Holy Man of the Lakota

August 13, 2020
7:00 pm

Dover Town Hall
Black Elk with his wife and family
Please note: proper physical distancing will be practiced at this in-person event. Please bring your mask.

This lecture explores the life and legacy of Nicholas Black Elk (c1866-1950), the Lakota holy man made famous by the book Black Elk Speaks.

Damian Costello begins with Black Elk’s Great Vision and his struggle to discern his calling during the events of the Great Sioux War. During his long life, Black Elk lived out his vision in three overlapping roles: as a traditional healer, a Catholic teacher, and a revivalist of Indigenous traditions. Amid great tragedy, Black Elk wove these three strands into one beautiful life exemplifying survival, hope, and reconciliation.

The talk is based on Costello’s extensive historical research, extended residency in Indian Country, and continuing conversations with Lakota elders.


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John Flores
(802) 348-7488


Dover Town Hall
189 Taft Brook Road
Dover, VT 05341 United States
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