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17th annual Living History Field Day set for Monday at Fort Totten

More than 600 area seventh-graders will learn about frontier military activities, boarding school trades and American Indian culture during the 17th annual Living History Field Day on Monday at Fort Totten State Historic Site near Devils Lake.

More than 600 area seventh-graders will learn about frontier military activities, boarding school trades and American Indian culture during the 17th annual Living History Field Day on Monday at Fort Totten State Historic Site near Devils Lake.

History demonstrations are scheduled from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., a news release said. Students will travel to more than 20 stations of living history demonstrations, activities and exhibits scheduled throughout the day.

The site will be open to the public from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., with free admission. The fort was built between 1867 and 1873 as a military outpost, but it actually served for most of its history as an Indian boarding and community school, from 1891 to 1959.

Living History Field Day is coordinated by the Fort Totten State Historic Site Foundation and the State Historical Society of North Dakota, which manages and maintains the site. The program is open to schools that have pre-registered.

There are still openings for students. To register, call the Fort Totten State Historic Site at (701) 766-4441. There is a $2 materials fee per student. Students receive a study packet to further their study in the classroom.

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Demonstrations during the day will include brain tanning by Sheila Sears; Dutch oven cooking by Armon and Connie Hanson; traveling seamstress and hand-cranked sewing machine by Roberta Keller; cannon and Gatling Gun by Chuck Keller; social dancing and recreation by Miki Noltimier; a teacher in a one-room school by Betty Soper; frontier soldier by Steven Reidburn; commanding officer Maj. Marcus Reno by Jim Acker; cowboy poet by Dale Nystrom; hired servant by Rita Acker; officer's wife by Karen Nelson; laundresses by Barbara Miller; old-time games by Suzannah Miller; officer's striker and post bugler by Gary Miller; American Indian culture and cooking by Catherine Howard; butter churning by Novina West; a spinning demonstration by Marilyn Kruger; and striker at the Commanding Officer's Quarters and flag raising and lowering ceremonies by Vance Nelson.

From noon to 1 p.m., Kevin Locke of Mobridge, S.D., will perform. A pre-eminent traditional flute player and hoop dancer and an enrolled member of the Standing Rock Sioux Nation, Lock has been performing professional for more than 15 years throughout the U.S. and in 60 nations.

He is a traditional storyteller, cultural ambassador and educator with a masters of arts degree in educational administration from the University of South Dakota. In 1990, he was awarded a National Heritage Fellowship by the National Endowment for the Arts. Locke's program includes the hoop dance, courting flute music and accompanying narrative highlighted by Lakota sign language and traditional dance and music renditions.

It was from his mother, Patricia Locke, a 1999 MacArthur Foundation Grant recipient, his Uncle Abraham End-of-Horn, mentor Joe Rock Boy and many other elders and relatives that Locke received training in the values, traditions and language of his native culture, a news release said.

To register a school or for more information, contact Jack Mattson or Jessie Reinke at the Fort Totten State Historic Site, at (701) 766-4441. Here's a schedule for the day.

- Free public admission to Fort Totten State Historic Site, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

- On-site registration for schools, 9 to 9:30 a.m.

- Living History demonstrations, 9 to 11:30 a.m.

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- Welcome and orientation for schools and flag raising ceremony, 9:30 a.m.

- Lunch break for students, 11:30 a.m. to noon.

- Featured performance by Kevin Locke, noon to 1 p.m.

- Living History demonstrations, 1 to 3 p.m.

- Flag lowering ceremony, 3 p.m.

Living History Field Day is sponsored in part by the Devils Lake Kiwanis, the Devils Lake Rotary Club, the Arts Council of the Lake Region, Western State Bank, Altru Clinic Lake Region, Ottertail Power Co., The Devils Lake Journal, N.D. Telephone Co., the Fort Totten State Historic Site Foundation, the State Historical Society of North Dakota, and the Devils Lake Chamber of Commerce.

Related Topics: DEVILS LAKE
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