Southeast’s Crisp Museum Celebrating Native American Heritage Month


Appreciating Nature – Leaves and Acorns by Ellen Hahs

The Rosemary Berkel and Harry L. Crisp II Museum on the Southeast Missouri State University River Campus will celebrate National Native American Heritage Month during November with a variety of events.

Native American Heritage Month is an opportunity to recognize and learn about the cultures and history of the first people to populate the Americas, said Jim Philips, museum manager and senior curator.

“The diverse cultures and contributions made by this country’s indigenous peoples cannot be overstated,” he said. “This year we honor Native American Heritage Month with a series of programs that hopes to inform, entertain and educate our audiences.”

Upcoming events include the following:

Dr. John Herrington

Nov. 2, 4-8 p.m.: Make and Take Activity: Appreciating Nature: Southeast staff and students will lead participants in making easy trees with acrylics, fall foliage with watercolor, dream catchers, and animal tracks on cards. This event is co-sponsored by the Student Activities Council.

Nov. 13, 7 p.m.: Historic Tuesday Talk: “Live Your Dreams”: Dr. John Herrington, former NASA astronaut and first Native American in space, shares his remarkable journey into the astronaut corps and to the International Space Station. Mentors and motivation were the keys to his success, and he encourages others to find their passion in life and pursue their dreams through hard work, determination and heeding the advice of those who have led the way. The talk is co-sponsored by the Student Activities Council.

Cahokia Mounds by Bill Isminger

Nov. 20, 7 p.m.: Historic Tuesday Talk: “Skywatchers of Ancient North America”: Bill Iseminger, assistant site manager of the Cahokia (Illinois) Mounds State Historic Site, explains how American Indian cultures kept track of the time of year by observing the regular movements of the sun, moon and certain bright stars, and their alignments with natural and man-made structures. This presentation will examine the Woodhenges built at Cahokia Mounds, the mound and related structures in eastern North America, the rock Medicine Wheels of the northern Great Plains, and the pueblo structures of the Southwest and how these systems were used as calendars.

Trail of Tears by Jeremy Peabody

Nov. 27, 7 p.m.: Historic Tuesday Talk: “Finding Needles in Haystacks: Research and the Trail of Tears”: Denise Dowling, superintendent at Trail of Tears State Park north of Cape Girardeau, shares her fact-finding quest to the National Archives and will discuss the use of clues such as management, records, writings, collection and disbursement of food and goods for people and livestock to build a more complete understanding of this tragic relocation. Hardships happened in all areas: decision-making, time, environment, health, movement and other ways during the Cherokee Removal story, and the event actually encompasses many more tribes than most were aware.

The Crisp Museum is located in the Cultural Arts Center at Southeast Missouri State University’s River Campus, located at 518 S. Fountain St. in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. Museum hours are 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday to Friday, 1-4 p.m. on weekends and 10 a.m.-8 p.m. on the first Friday of the month. For more information, call (573) 651-2260 or email