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Francie M. Berg is a teacher, historian and author of 17 books, with strong homestead and ranching roots in the Old West. Born at home in the Missouri River Breaks, she grew up on a Montana ranch and lives in Hettinger, North Dakota, within a few miles of her grandparents’ South Dakota homestead and the center of a fascinating buffalo heritage of which she writes in Buffalo Trails in the Dakota Buttes and its companion book Buffalo Heartbeats Across the Plains.

For over 35 years she has been researching buffalo, read most all the books on the subject, visited many public, commercial and tribal herds, talked and visited with bison ranchers, climbed some of the most famous buffalo jumps in the Rocky Mountains, US and Canada, and wrote three books about the buffalo. Her other books on western history include: Montana Stirrups, Sage & Shenanigans, North Dakota Land of Changing Seasons, South Dakota Land of Shining Gold, Wyoming Land of Echoing Canyons and Ethnic Heritage in North Dakota.

Francie Berg has worked as a county extension agent, and taught high school, college and adult education.  A licensed nutritionist and graduate of Montana State University in Bozeman, she has a master’s degree in Family Social Studies and Anthropology from the University of Minnesota.

Books on Buffalo include: Buffalo Heartbeats Across the Plains, winner of three national awards, Buffalo Trails in the Dakota Buttes, a Self-Guided Tour, and The Last Great Buffalo Hunts: Traditional Hunts in 1880-1883 by Teton Lakota (back ordered).

Session: Fieldtrip Synopsis: Southwest North Dakota

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Scott J. Davis is the Head of Native American Community Outreach for Sanford Health. Under his leadership is to ensure Native American patients have the best quality health care services provided by Sanford. Also, to look at innovated ways to improve health care systems in partnering with Tribal Nations across the Great Plains and into Minnesota.

Prior to Sanford, Davis was appointed Executive Director of the North Dakota Indian Affairs Commission in April 2009 by Gov. John Hoeven. Serving 3 Governor’s as Executive Director at a cabinet level between North Dakota's state and tribal governments to address issues regarding education systems, court systems, economic development, social services, gaming, oil-energy, law enforcement, transportation, healthcare systems, veterans and youth.
Prior to his appointment, Davis served in several capacities at United Tribes Technical College in Bismarck, including Development Officer, Wellness Activities Coordinator, Facilitator and Adjunct Instructor.

Davis also worked for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe on environmental quality issues and as a teacher and coach at the Pierre Indian Learning Center and Turtle Mountain Community High School. In addition, he worked as a sales consultant for Northern Documents, a West Fargo company that produces products for private and public groups, including Indian Health Services, the Bureau of Indian Affairs and tribal, state and local government agencies.

Davis also served one term on the Mandan City Council.

Davis also serves as an Advisor for the Atlanta Braves Baseball team.

Davis holds an Associate of Arts Degree from Haskell Indian Nations University, and a bachelor’s degree in Business and Master of Management Degree from the University of Mary, and is graduate of the Bush Foundation Native Nations Rebuilders Program. Davis also has a certificate in Principles & Technics of Fundraising at the University of Indiana and Executive Education at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He is a member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and a descendent of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa.
 
Davis is married to his beautiful wife, Lorraine. Together they have 4 children and 3 grandchildren.

Session: Bison and Health Indian Communities: A Panel Discussion (Moderator)
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Dr. Duane Froese is Canada Research Chair in Northern Environmental Change at the University of Alberta, and has been working on the fossil record of Ice Age mammals in Northern Canada and Alaska for the last 25 years.  His research group focuses on environmental changes in the North, and undrstanding the ecosystems that supported the diverse grazing megafauna of Ice Age North America.  

Session: Bison Arrival to North America
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Dan Flores: A native of Louisiana and currently a resident of Santa Fe, New Mexico, he has written for the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, and numerous magazines. He is the author of ten books, most recently American Serengeti: The Last Big Animals of the Great Plains, the Stubbendieck Distinguished Book Prize winner in 2017, and Coyote America: A Natural and Supernatural History, which is a New York Times Bestseller, winner of the Sigurd Olson Nature Writing Award, and a 2017 Finalist for PEN America’s E. O. Wilson Prize in Literary Science Writing. His current project, “Wild New World: America’s Animals Confront Humanity” is a big history of the human/wild animal story and will be published by W. W. Norton in 2022.

Session: Why Does the Buffalo Matter?
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Daniel Glick is an Emmy-winning director, producer, writer, cinematographer and editor who has worked on projects of all types including documentaries, narrative films, comedies, commercials and web series.

These projects have garnered more than a dozen awards and span a range of topics that Daniel is passionate about: social justice, indigenous rights, wildlife, the arts, science, conservation, and prison reform.

His diverse range of clients have included The Wilderness Society, LL Bean, FICO, Wildlife Conservation Society, National Parks Conservation Association, Madame Tussauds Wax Museum and Colliers International.

Session: Documentary Presentation: Bring Them Home
 
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Erik Holland, UND BA in anthropology and archaeology, and a MA in History with Certificates in Museum Studies and Public History from the University of Wisconsin—Milwaukee, serves as the Curator of Education with the State Historical Society of North Dakota. He was recognized as the Environmental Educator of the Year in 2018.  In more than forty years educating and interpreting objects and places for the public, Erik has worked at historic sites and museums in North Dakota, Wisconsin, Virginia, and Minnesota, including Fort Clark State Historic Site and Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site.  The interplay and tension that is necessary to provide quality interpretive programming dealing with difficult cultural issues interests Holland. Helping audiences appreciate cultural stories from various perspectives, using landscapes, objects, and hands-on opportunities to engage them, has been his work.

Session: Return of the Bison: A Panel Discussion
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Photo Courtesy of Shane Balkowitsch

Dakota Wind Goodhouse is an enrolled member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. Goodhouse has a B.A. in Theology and a M.A. in History. He is a PhD candidate at NDSU in History. Goodhouse teaches U.S. History and Native American Studies at United Tribes Technical College. He is the editor and writer of "The First Scout," a blog about the history and culture of the Northern Plains. 

Wet Plate Photography by Shane Balowitsch.

Session: Cultural and Historical Significance of the American Bison

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Andrew Isenberg is the Hall Distinguished Professor of American History at the University of Kansas.  He is the author, co-author, or editor of seven books, including The Destruction of the Bison:  An Environmental History, 1750-1920 (2000; second edition, 2020); Mining California:  An Ecological History (2005); and Wyatt Earp:  A Vigilante Life (2013).
 
From his book The Destruction of the Bison, “The interaction between Indians and Euroamericans in the western plains created bison hunters on both sides of the encounter:  notably equestrian Indian nomads and Euroamerican hide hunters.  By the second half of the nineteenth century… Indians and Euroamericans were engaged in a destructive battle over control of resources in the plains.”

Session: Destruction of the Bison
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Kevin Locke (Tokaheya Inajin in Lakota translation “First to Rise”) is a world famous visionary Hoop Dancer, preeminent player of the Indigenous Northern Plains flute, traditional storyteller, cultural ambassador, recording artist and educator.   Kevin is Lakota and Anishnabe.  While his instructions were received from his immediate family and community, from extended family in every part of the world, Kevin has learned many lessons in global citizenship and how we each can draw from our individual heritages to create a vibrant, evolving global civilization embracing and celebrating our collective heritage.

With nearly 40 years of performing to over hundreds of thousands of people in over 90 countries, Kevin Locke’s concerts and presentations at performing art centers, festivals, schools, universities, conferences, state and national parks, monuments and historic sites, powwows and reservations number in the hundreds annually.

80 percent of Kevin’s presentations are performed thru the educational system and shared with children of all ages in schools, community centers and festivals internationally.  As a folk artist, he uses his talents to teach others about his specific tribal background.  His special joy is working with children on the reservations to ensure the survival and growth of indigenous culture.

Session: Reception at North Dakota Heritage Center

Melissa Sobolik is the Chief Executive Officer of the Great Plains Food Bank, North Dakota’s only food bank. She grew up on a farm near Courtenay, ND and earned her BA in political science from Concordia College.
 
Her path led her to the Great Plains Food Bank, where, over the past 14 years she has served as the Director of Agency & Client Services, Director of Ending Hunger 2.0, President and now CEO.
 
Melissa has also been elected to the Fargo City Commission, served as the Development Director for the Plains Art Museum, worked in a rural think tank and served on many non-profit boards.
 
She, her husband Jeremy and their Golden Retriever, Gracie, make their home in downtown Fargo.

Session: Bison and Healthy Indian Communities: A Panel Discussion
 

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