On Wednesday, February 6, UNL Graduate Teaching Assistant Mikal Brotnov will lead an Adult Education class about the intertwined history of American Jews on the Great Plains and the Native Indian tribes of the area.
Brotnov grew up on the Nez Pearce Indian Reservation, where he saw firsthand the effects of reservation life on the American Indian population. He has written extensively about the historic marginalization of Native tribes and Jews in America. He interned at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian in the Education Department in 2009 and worked as a research assistant for Professor Debórah Dwork at Clark University, where he created digital images of 3,000 original letters written by children and their parents separated during the Holocaust.
Brotnov’s Adult Education class will focus on two Jews in the Old West who worked with Native tribes:
Jews remain erased from historical texts of the Great Plains. The relationship between Jews and Native Americans there fairs no better. Together, we will unfold the lives of Julius Meyer, a Prussian Jew who came to speak six languages indigenous to the Great Plains, and Robert Oberfelder, who came to live and work on the Red Cloud Indian Agency during the turn of the nineteenth century to explain how geography shapes those experiences and how the Jewish experience on the Great Plains came to be with Native Americans.
Mikal Brotnov’s class is Wednesday, February 6, from 6:30 to 8 p.m.