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Intellect

Lee Library exhibit honors Native American activist during April

Brigham Young University’s Harold B. Lee Library will display an exhibit featuring materials related to Native American rights activist Zitkala-Sa throughout the month of April in the L. Tom Perry Special Collections on the first floor of the library.

Gertrude Simmons Bonnin, known by her pen name Zitkala-Sa, was a Native American writer, teacher, musician and political activist. She co-composed “The Sun Dance Opera” with composer and former BYU professor William F. Hanson. Their opera premiered in Vernal, Utah, and was performed later on Broadway by the New York Light Opera Guild.

Special Collections acquired the Zitkala-Sa materials as part of the personal collections of former BYU president Ernest L. Wilkinson, who was Zitkala-Sa’s friend and attorney.

The exhibit was created by the library’s family history intern Suzanne Earnshaw, in collaboration with John Murphey, Special Collections’ 20th century curator; Shawn McMurdie, library designer; Amanda Cockriel, library design intern; and Brian Cannon and Jesse Embry of the Charles Redd Center for Western Studies.

For more information, contact Roger Layton at (801) 422-6519 or roger_layton@byu.edu, or Suzanne Earnshaw at se2724@comcast.net.

Writer: Angela Fischer

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