Latest News

Fundraiser for Simon Redbird Headstone

The Foundation is currently raising funds to provide Simon Redbird with a headstone. After attending federal boarding schools himself, he became a carpentry teacher for the Genoa U.S. Indian Industrial School, an architect, and an activist for Native rights. Please consider making a contribution to the Foundation’s Go Fund Me campaign to help support this effort to provide him with a headstone. Additional details can be found here: https://gofund.me/a17b9e83.

2021 Genoa Indian School Recognition and Remembrance Day Will Take Place August 14, 2021

The Genoa Indian School Recognition and Remembrance Day will be on Saturday, August 14th, 2021 in Genoa, Nebraska at the Genoa Indian School Museum & Interpretive Center (209 East Webster), a National Historic Site, and at the St. Rose of Lima Community Center. This is the 31st year of this celebration. The general public is encouraged to attend all these free activities and learn about this Federal Boarding School (the only one in Nebraska and a National Historic Site), and about the Native Tribes’ students who attended it. To honor and celebrate the students that attended the Genoa School, the 46 Tribal Nations that had students attend have sent their Tribal Nation’s Flag and/or Tribal Seal. Great meaning and Tribal identity is associated with their flag and the gift of a flag is one of the highest honors a Tribal Nation can bestow. These beautiful and colorful flags and seals are on display in the Genoa Indian School Interpretive Center.  

All of the day’s scheduled activities, including presentations and guest speakers, will take place in the air-conditioned St. Rose of Lima Community Center, next door to the Indian School Museum & Interpretive Center. The research center, Native American craft tables, and tours of the Indian School Interpretive Center will be available from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.

We encourage attendees to wear face masks to this public event, when indoors.

At the Foundation’s research center, researchers Linda Sass and Michelle Tiedje will be on hand to help descendants look up information on family members who attended the school, view photos, and review old school newspapers. There will also be Native American jewelry and crafts to purchase. All Native crafters are encouraged to bring items for sale. There is no charge for a table. (Call 402-993-6055 to reserve a table). Come view & buy their gorgeous items.

In addition to the above, scheduled activities for the day will include the following:

  • 10:30 to 11:00 is a presentation on Simon Redbird, a former teacher at the Genoa School, by Nickie Drozd.  
  • 11:00 to 11:15 is a memorial program honoring those associated with the school who have died in the last two years, by Nancy Carlson. 
  • 11:15 to 11:30 is a presentation of the Genoa U.S. Indian School/Wolfe Family Scholarship, given to the descendant of a former student. 
  •  11:30 to 12:45 – Native American Tacos and fry bread will be for sale. This delicious treat is made by Jan Ellston and served by Twin River FBLA. Ellston and her family are descendants of former students.  
  • 12:45 – Virtual tour of the former school barn.
  • We would also like everyone to know that, from 1-5:00, the Genoa Historical Museum in downtown is open, and features Pawnee and Mormon artifacts and photos.
  • 1:30 to 2:00 – Digital Project Specialists, Dr. Margaret Jacobs and Susana Geliga, with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln will share information on the digitizing program for the Genoa Indian School. 
  • 2:00 to 3:00 – Screening of recorded interviews with Stanford Whitewater and Sidney Byrd, former students who spoke about their experiences at the school. Come hear their stories in their own words.
  • 3:00- All Native Americans will have the opportunity to share memories they know about the school and about their families who attended.   
  • An ice cream social will be the final event at 3:45 pm. This will conclude a day full of entertaining and educational experiences.
    • In addition, everyone is encouraged to pay their respects at the Pawnee Memorial in the east end of the Valley View Cemetery and at the Veteran’s Memorial in the Genoa City Park. 

The day’s activities are sponsored by the Genoa Indian School Foundation. We hope the day’s activities educate us and strengthen our ties to Native American cultural traditions. Please join us, and bring the family, for a free, educational, and entertaining day!

For more information, call 402-993-6036 or 402-993-6055.

Pawnee Scouts Memorial Highway Dedication Ceremony Held June 12, 2021.

The Pawnee Scouts were recruited to be scouts in the U.S. Army from the Pawnee Reservation Village just south of Genoa in 1864. They helped protect the Pawnee Village, protected the workers laying the Union Pacific Railroad tracks through Nebraska, and went on expeditions with the Army.

Group photo of people gathered beneath Pawnee Scouts Memorial Highway sign.
Pictured (from left to right): Andrea Tweety Bowen, James Kindig, Vicky LeadingFox (hidden), Adrian Spottedhorsechief, Pat Leadingfox, Todd Vetter, Matt Reed, Robert Adson, Tim Jim, Micah Jim, Herb Adson, Morgan LittleSun, Kim Adson and little boy is Cody LittleSun

The dedication ceremony for the Pawnee Scouts Memorial Highway sign by Genoa was on June 12, 2021. It was held by the Pawnee Reburial Memorial in the Genoa cemetery. The ceremony started with the Pawnee visiting the Nance County Veteran’s Memorial and Resource Center opened by Dennis McCoig and Jon Epley. Lunch was held in the Genoa Park and was attended by Head Chief of the Pawnee, Pat LeadingFox and his wife Vicky, Band chief Tim Jim and daughter Micah Jim, Tweety Bowen, Band Chief Morgan LittleSun and son Cody, Herb Adson, Cultural Resource Division of the Pawnee Nation, his wife Kim and son Robert Adson, Band chief Adrian Spottedhorsechief, Band Chief Matt Reed who is also the Historic Preservation Officer and his brother Todd Vetter.

The dedication ceremony started with a welcome to honored Pawnee, dignitaries, and everyone gathered. The Creator was thanked for blessing the day with such nice weather. A brief history of the project was given by Nancy Carlson. The project started a year ago when Nick Moser and Jerry Carlson read about the dedication of the Medal of Honor Highway. A Pawnee Scout was included in the 73 people who were honored. Nick and Jerry felt that all Pawnee Scouts should be honored, so they started the process. They asked the Pawnee Nation Business Council for permission, which was granted and encouraged. The section of Highway 22 from near Genoa to near Fullerton was selected because the Pawnee Scouts were recruited from the Reservation Village. This village was located where the dedication ceremony took place. The named section of Highway 22 ends north of Fullerton near a Pawnee sacred site, and many older Pawnee Villages were located along this section of highway. With the highway section defined, the Genoa U.S. Indian School Foundation was asked to be the sponsoring organization. Resolutions of support were obtained from the Nance County Commissioners, the City of Genoa, the Nance County Veteran’s Memorial and Resource Center, and the Pawnee Nation. The application was submitted to the Nebraska State Highway Commission where it was approved, and Governor Ricketts signed it in January.

Head Chief Pat LeadingFox led a blessing in both Pawnee and English. Other speakers included James Kindig, District 4 Commissioner for the Nebraska State Department of Roads, Patricia LaBounty, Union Pacific Railroad Museum Director, Head Chief Pat LeadingFox, Cultural Resource Manager Herb Adson, Band Chief Tim Jim, Band Chief Morgan LittleSun, Band Chief Adrian Spottedhorsechief, and Band Chief Matt Reed, who is also the Historic Preservation Officer.

Herb, Kim, and Robert Adson, Pat LeadingFox and Adrian Spottedhorsechief sang songs and drummed, including a flag song, Warrior song, and a prayer song. Nick Moser played taps through the Genoa cemetery, closing the program. Visitors then viewed the displays from Jerry Carlson and John Drozd, while visiting with the Pawnee.

The event happened because of the work of many people. We want to thank our donors: Philip and Sandra Swantek and Jerry and Nancy Carlson, for purchasing the signs and for the following donors who made this day happen: Nance County Economic Development, Union Pacific Railroad, Helen Schweizer, Ralph Miller, Preferred Sands of Genoa, Nance County Veteran’s Museum, Genoa Community Bank and PointsWest Community Bank of Fullerton. We also want to thank the following sponsors for making this event possible: the Genoa U.S. Indian School Foundation, the Pawnee Nation, the Nance County Supervisors, Genoa Historical Museum, the City of Genoa, Nance County Veteran’s Memorial and American Legion Post #144.

We would also like to give a big thank you to the behind-the-scenes workers: Alyce Tejral and Nicki Drozd (lunch), Mitch Tracy & Jeff Morris (filming), Cherri Thieman (photography), Brody Thieman (handing out programs), the Genoa Leader Times and Nance County Journal for publicizing the event, John Buhl (use of speaker system), Bruce Hoffman, John Drozd, Monte Swantek, Jerry Carlson and Nick Moser (set up and tear down), Marty Carlson (shade tent), and Nancy Carlson (moderator).

Foundation Receives Champion of History Award

Alyce Tejral accepts History Nebraska’s Champion of History Award from History Nebraska Director Trevor Jones, April 7, 2021.

Foundation honored with History Nebraska award

The Genoa U.S. Indian School Foundation was honored to receive History Nebraska’s Champion of History Award. The award is given annually to recognize outstanding contributions by an individual or organization who help to preserve or interpret Nebraska History. Michelle Tiedje of Lincoln nominated the school.

The Foundation was recognized for its tireless efforts to ensure the school’s history and legacy is not lost. Because of the Foundation, more is known about the school. Without the Foundation, school buildings and remnants would likely not still exist, and hundreds of Native people would not have seen that some Nebraskans care about what took place at the school and the lasting impact it has had upon Nebraska’s Native communities.

The award was presented at History Nebraska’s Legislative Luncheon on April 7th.  Alyce Tejral received the award on behalf of the Foundation.

Michelle Tiedje with the Foundation's Champion of History award.
Michelle Tiedje with the Foundation’s Champion of History award.

Our location

209 East Webster Ave.
Genoa, Nebraska 68640

We are 1 block east on Willard from Highway 22, then 1 block north to East Webster Avenue.

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Contact us

  • historicalgenoa@gmail.com
  • (402) 993-6036 or (402) 993-6055
  • Visit us on Facebook
  • Our mailing address is: P.O. Box 382, Genoa, NE 68640

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The Genoa U.S. Indian School Foundation is also a partner in the Genoa Indian School Digital Reconciliation Project. For more information, visit genoaindianschool.org.

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