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As it was in the days of the unbound prairie, so it remains in the age of endless corn: the pleasures of place are given to those with a keen eye for the subtle and overlooked. This fact of Nebraska life is especially true on the Omaha Indian Reservation, 80 miles north of the city named after the tribe.
There, in the village of Walthill populationsits a building that quietly embodies a uniquely Omaha story. It has persevered for over a century with little fanfare. The building—one-and-a-half stories built in the American Craftsman tradition—once contained an operating studio, two general wards, a maternity ward, kitchen, office, and five private rooms on the top level. Susan La Flesche Picotte. Born in a teepee injust a few months after a treaty ratified the boundaries of the Omaha Reservation La Flesche would go on to find success in settings far removed from her Nebraska roots.
With high-profile academic credentials and friendships with heavyweights in the East Coast intellectual scene such as anthropologist Alice FletcherLa Flesche could have chosen to make a life in any one of the burgeoning metropolises of the late 19th century. For years, her medical practice consisted primarily of traveling the open landscape of northeast Nebraska by horse and buggy, providing care to both Native and Euro-American communities across a square-mile area.
After returning to Nebraska, she had, in short order, met, married, and buried a French-Sioux man named Henry Picotte.
That is a remarkable achievement—then or now, or at any French women in Walthill Nebraska in U. As a young child, I would hear my mother, aunt, and grandmother speak of Dr. Since the mids, a small group of Walthill residents has worked to maintain the old hospital and establish a monument to the memory of La Flesche. While the Susan La Flesche Picotte Memorial Center has curated an impressive collection of medical artifacts and informative material, the building is now in need of serious repairs.
Rain has eaten through the roof in a few places, and water damage has marred the walls and floors of multiple rooms. Thankfully, the last two years have seen renewed enthusiasm for the unique history of the hospital. While the site was registered as a National Historic Landmark in and was recognized as one of the 11 Most Endangered Historic Places in by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, if its storied history is to be maintained into the future, a serious investment of resources is still needed.
Judi gaiashkibos who does not capitalize her last namethe executive director of the Nebraska Commission on Indian Affairs, has been involved with the restoration project since fall That it will lift spirits. We want people to stop and say French women in Walthill Nebraska is something of value here. Community outreach efforts have included numerous town hall meetings, conversations with tribal elders, and online surveys. Susan and this community. Some ideas currently floated include a language lab working to help preserve the Omaha languagea resource office for new and expecting mothers, and legal support services for victims of domestic violence.
We want to have a broader footprint, certainly impacting northeast Nebraska but also being a part of the conversation on public health and native sovereignty on the national level. Although she worked tirelessly for the health of so many, La Flesche suffered from various illnesses for much of her life. Chronic pain followed her through college and career, and a fall from a horse left her with multiple internal injuries. In her final years, the pain of bone cancer became a constant drag on La Flesche, even as construction on her hospital was being finalized.
She died in Septemberless than three years after the Walthill hospital opened. Despite a life filled with a great deal of illness, pain, and tragedy, Susan never let it get her down. She never gave into it. She always saw the bigger purpose. She understood that life is not about trying to avoid pain and suffering because that was impossible. Instead, she believed that life was about finding a purpose and then spending the rest of your life devoted to that purpose—no matter how many obstacles, disappointments, and heartbreaks are put in the way.
She realized what she was put here to do, and she did it. Start a chat. About me. Preserving the legacy of dr. French women in walthill nebraska Despite a life filled with a great deal of illness, pain, and tragedy, Susan never let it get her down. Susan la flesche picotte Visit drsusancenter. Subscribe Weekend E-Blast Locations.
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