Library to host Dakota Daughters performance at Pioneer Park

BROOKINGS – The Brookings Public Library will host a historical performance, “Dakota Daughters: Wounded Knee 1890, Three Women, Three Lives, Three Cultures,” at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 17. 

The presentation is made possible through a grant from the South Dakota Humanities Council.

The event will be in-person at the Pioneer Park bandshell and will be streamed live on the library’s Facebook page (@Bkglib). If attending in-person, social distancing will be required, and masks are strongly recommended. There will be no seating provided, so attendees are asked to bring blankets or lawn chairs to sit on. In the event of inclement weather, the performance will be streamed on Facebook Live.

Actresses Geraldine Goes In Center, Lillian Witt and Joyce Jefferson will present three monologues representing the perspective of women from the Native American, Euro-American and African-American cultures, giving an interpretation of the events leading up to the massacre at Wounded Knee Creek in December 1890. Goes In Center portrays Sitting Bull’s daughter, Witt portrays Sadie Babcock (a rancher’s wife), and Jefferson portrays Mattie Elmira Richardson (engaged to a Buffalo Soldier).

Each performer researched and wrote her part of this historical interpretation of events beginning right after the Civil War and ending with the 1890 Wounded Knee Massacre. Through the lives of these fictitious characters, they talk about real documents such as the 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty and sing songs, recite poetry and read newspapers from the time portrayed. Some of the language in this presentation may be offensive, however, it was used during the time presented.  The performers will introduce themselves at the end of play will engage in discussion and answer any questions.

The Dakota Daughters are a part of the Speakers Bureau program of the South Dakota Humanities Council. Founded in 1972, the SDHC is the only cultural organization in the state whose sole mission is to deliver humanities programming to the people of South Dakota. As a statewide advocate for the humanities, their mission celebrates literature, promotes civil conversation, and tells the stories that define our state.

For additional information about the programs and services of the Brookings Public Library, visit and follow the library on Facebook. The mission of Brookings Public Library is to provide materials and information contributing to the education, recreation, and quality of life for the Brookings community.


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