West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture & History

Grave Creek Mound to host keynote address by Gerard Baker for public history symposium on April 13


Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex in Moundsville will host “Telling the Stories: American Indian Interpretation in the Trans-Allegheny Region,” a public history symposium featuring former Mount Rushmore Superintendent Gerard Baker, on Wednesday, April 13, from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. At 2 p.m., Baker will present the keynote address. The symposium is full; however, the keynote address is free and the public is encouraged to attend.

Baker, a full-blood member of the Mandan-Hidatsa Tribe of the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation in Mandaree, North Dakota, is the 2011 Elder-in-Residence for the Native American Studies Program at West Virginia University (WVU). He is well known for his appearances in a number of documentaries, including Ken Burns’ award-winning 2010 Public Broadcasting System series The National Parks: America’s Best Idea and Lewis and Clark: The Journey of the Corps of Discovery.

Baker worked for the National Park Service (NPS) for 31 of his 34 years with the federal government. He spent three years with the United States Forest Service, during which time he served as an assistant district ranger. While with the NPS, he worked as superintendent of the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail from 2000-2004. In that position, he managed the trails across 19 states and the traveling exhibit “Corps of Discovery II: 200 Years to the Future.”

Baker was also the superintendent of Mount Rushmore National Memorial from 2004 until his retirement in 2010, managing more than 1200 acres of land that attract three million visitors annually. In addition, from April to July 2010, he served as the assistant director for American Indian Relations of the NPS in Washington, D.C.

As Elder-in-Residence, Baker will be in Morgantown from April 10-15, providing guest lectures to classes, a luncheon colloquium, a student meet-and-greet session, and presenting a free public lecture on Tuesday, April 12, at 5 p.m., as well as the day-long symposium at Grave Creek Mound on April 13.

“I encourage those with an interest in Native American interpretation to attend the keynote address by Gerard Baker,” said David Rotenizer, site manager at Grave Creek Mound. “This is a rare opportunity to hear from a dynamic nationally recognized authority on Native American Studies.”

For more information about the public history symposium, Baker’s activities at WVU as Elder-in-Residence and the public lecture on April 12, contact Bonnie M. Brown, coordinator of the Native American Studies Program, at (304) 293-4626 or by e-mail at bonniem.brown@mail.wvu.edu.

For more information about the free keynote address and other activities at Grave Creek Mound, contact Rotenizer at (304) 843-4128 or by e-mail at David.E.Rotenizer@wv.gov.

Operated by the West Virginia Division of Culture and History, Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex features the largest conical burial mound in the New World which ranks as one of the largest earthen mortuary mounds anywhere in the world built by the Adena people.

Exhibits and displays in the Delf Norona Museum interpret what is known about the lives of these prehistoric people and the construction of the mound. The complex houses the West Virginia Archaeological Research and Curation Facility, a study room for researchers and a library. Contact the complex for information regarding group registration and detailed driving directions. The museum is open to the public Tuesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. It is closed on Mondays. Access to the mound and gift shop closes 30 minutes before the museum. Grave Creek Mound is located at 801 Jefferson Avenue in Moundsville.

The West Virginia Division of Culture and History is an agency within the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts with Kay Goodwin, Cabinet Secretary. The Division, led by Commissioner Randall Reid-Smith, brings together the past, present and future through programs and services focusing on archives and history, arts, historic preservation and museums. For more information about the Division’s programs, events and sites, visit www.wvculture.org. The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.



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